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GoWesty 1.5" Lift Springs - more tippy?
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northband
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:57 pm    Post subject: GoWesty 1.5" Lift Springs - more tippy? Reply with quote

Hi - I'm going to be replacing my shocks and springs along with doing a 16" wheel upgrade and was wondering if going with the 1.5" lift is going to make the westy too tippy on curves. Kind of like jeeps being narrow and easier to roll over.

Maybe not an issue but something I'm wondering before spending the time/money.
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Bman
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:24 pm    Post subject: HI! Reply with quote

Although I have a set of GW lift springs, I have yet to decide on which 2WD T3 I will put them on; 1.) the 89 Camper, or 2.) the 84 Doka.

What I do know is that on the 89 camper I've had stock, lowering and custom lift springs on them. Stock, I had the classic westy lean on the front driver side. Lowering springs, the van hugged the road and the wife loved the ride, custom high, the van is prone to rolling and taking fast curves a little uneasy. The custom springs are HIGH, I am now moving toward lowering the Westy a little to improve handling, but still maintain as much clearance as I can. GW Springs?, the touching of the coils are a concern, but they are also one of the most widely available brands out there for a lift job.

So this information was shared to give you a sense that the higher you go the more top heavy and prone to leaning you will experience.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:40 pm    Post subject: Re: HI! Reply with quote

We installed these on ours, and it was tipping UNTIL we added a 1" front sway bar. Now it's the way it should be. I consider the sway bar a must if you lift it, especially if you pack stuff up high (on the roof) like we do.
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joseph928
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:50 pm    Post subject: springs & shocks Reply with quote

Blue Bay Bus OK I know I have a Syncro, but we put on the GW 2 inch lift and it felt a little uneasy in the turns. Then went to Old Man Emu shocks from stock shocks and that made all the difference! And then went from 14 inch to 15 and 215-75-15 BFG and that helped to. Very Happy
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jbnova
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did the 1.5" GoWesty springs with 16" Mefros, Bilstein HD shocks, and 215, 70, 16 Cooper Discoverer tires. I only noticed improved handling, not worse. The springs are a bit more stiff than stock.

I agree with the suggestion to beef up the sway bar. I plan to do this myself as soon as Chris at T3 Technique has his sway bar in the retail chain.
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GoWesty (H&R) 1.5" Lift Springs + 0.5" pad in rear.
Bilstein Shocks
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northband
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking on going with the Van Cafe 2wd Spring Kit. From what they state it gives a moderate lift which is what I'm after. I'm afraid the GW 1.5 may be a bit much for my liking.
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

> I'm going to be replacing my shocks and springs along with doing a 16" wheel upgrade

can we explore this a bit, piece by piece?

Why are you changing 3 things at once?

1. Changing shocks alone could be sufficient to improve your ride and handling.

2. Taller springs are best used IF you need more offroad clearance, such as with a syncro, otherwise, they cost you in gas mileage and handling, which may not be justified.

3. Going to 16" rims means you will need to pick a tire that meets Vanagon load specs. Have you decided on a tire size model yet? (Please dont say Hydroedge)

Think about what your goal for the changes are, you could be making yourself spend money you don't need to, for an assumed goal that is not yet clearly stated.
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northband
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question Jon -

I just got this westy - its an '86 original owner and around 93k miles. Its pretty saggy, rolls like a whale, and the tires are worn. I don't like the small 14"s so want to go bigger.

Since I'm going to be changing rubber I figure change the wheel, upgrade. Since its saggy I figure may as well swap the shocks and springs.

As far as wheel I am having a hard time deciding between 15x6.5 or 16x7.5. I found a set of each. As far as rubber I've been looking at different variations but mostly Mich Defenders based upon the what GoWesty offers.

That's where my mind is - of course my pocket book is a consideration too. The wheels are off an older mercedes so I can get a deal on them - but may have to purchase some spacers and hardware to make it work. However, even with the extra costs I'm still under what it would be if I bought a fresh set from a place like GW.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good info on the sway bar... might have to add that too!

87 westy
i have the GW 1.5" lift & Bilstein shocks. 16" wheels and 215 70 16 BFG tires and it definitely feels more tippy per say but i think its better than it was with stock springs. stock springs were much softer and had a lot more body roll.

I did have to replace the 2 rear axles. shortly after the lift, within a few hundred miles one CV boot went out and spewed grease everywhere. GoWesty recommended replacing both axles since the axle geometery has changed a lot. i means the cv joints have seated over the past 20+ years and the new angle apparently was not good. GW said new axles will let CV joints seat at new geometry and work better in the long run.

wish i knew that when i bought my springs i would have ordered new axles as well.
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

> I just got this westy

Congratulations!

> Its pretty saggy,

springs wont change sag, you need shims for that. Sag is caused by weight differences, and shims will be needed even with new springs.

> rolls like a whale

shocks will help a lot, springs dont have anything to do with it

> and the tires are worn. I don't like the small 14"s so want to go bigger.

most important is getting a tire that is rated for a light truck.. If you put some Hankook RA08 on your 14's it will transform your ride
http://www.busdepot.com/ra08

> Since I'm going to be changing rubber I figure change the wheel, upgrade.
> Since its saggy I figure may as well swap the shocks and springs.

as long as the wheel is still within Vanagon spec. That does not include mercedes wheels, and does not include wheels wider than 6.5"

> As far as wheel I am having a hard time deciding between 15x6.5 or 16x7.5.

definitely not x7.5!

> Mich Defenders based upon the what GoWesty offers.

GW is notorious for using tires that are not light truck rated, including those defenders

If you want to get serious about tires, in 15" I recommend Michellin Agilis
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Agilis
look at the 102 load rating, that is a very good road tire (as long as your van does not see snow, otherwise, get Nokian from Van-Cafe), I run it on my 2wd westy.

Since you need tires, I suggest you buy RA08's and love your existing rims and gearing. Bigger tires rob your motor of effective gearing power.

Since you mention roll, get new shocks, they will completely transform the roll resistance of your suspension. It is NOT the springs.

Since you mention Sag, get shims, they will level your corners, nothing else will.

Im taking the time to post this advice because imho, many people think body roll is a need for springs, when imo, its a need for shocks, and properly rated tires.

save the money you would have spent on springs and wheels, to use for gas Smile

and if you can, share a photo of your new ride
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northband
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent post - I think I'm going to wait on the wheel upgrade for when I replace the motor. I want to eventually do the Subaru conversion - perhaps then I'll bump up the wheels to 15".

In the meantime I'll get the suggested 14" tires. Though I may get some Vanagon 14" alloys for the look - we'll see.

That's good news on the springs - I'll get some shims and shocks and go from there.

I'll definitely put the savings to use via other upgrades like brakes, body, seals, etc...


Here are some pics of 'Lady'

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice Westy Smile

you have electric mirrors and AC, congratulations again

yes, the 14" alloys are very nice imo

I suggest the following tire pressures for the Hankook RA08
front 40psi
rear 48psi

The next upgrade I would suggest is headlights.
http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_1314_568/round_h4_headlight_grill_kit.html
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At 93k, I'd be surprised if your original springs are saggy. Springs last a long time unless abused. Shocks however, will age due to the use of rubber which loses its seal and thus the damping fluid over time. So I'd consider new shocks and then see how you like it. Lifts to me generally result in a mishmash of some things better, and a lot of things worse. It is technically difficult to raise the center of gravity of a vehicle and keep its handling as brisk as original. People on here often do a lift and then insist it handles "better" but I will contend that a fresh stock factory Vanagon would outhandle a lifted one and resist rollover in an emergency waaaaaay better. You'll never get someone who's just spent $2500 on a lift to agree, but there you have it from someone who's done suspension development at the factory level.

Personally, I'd go with new shocks and check things over for loose bushings in the steering and suspension and I bet you'll be happy. Spend the money saved on a thorough mechanical freshening so you can go wherever you want without worries...

DougM
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northband
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

Regarding shims - where and how do I know what ones to get? Any suggestions?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

northband wrote:
Thanks!

Regarding shims - where and how do I know what ones to get? Any suggestions?


Van-Cafe has them. They are 1/2" thick.

Go measure your Van at each corner. From fender lip to protruding top edge of hub cap is fine, just be consistent which spot you pick (normally people pick wheel center, but your caps dont have center marks). My guess is you will want 2 shims at driver rear, and 1 shim at passenger rear, since you have a westy. Shimming a Driver Rear not only lifts that corner, it also lowers the diagonal opposite, in this case the passenger front. Post your measurements and I will give you a more accurate guess Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should add that when I added the springs, I first drove with new stiff shocks, and 16" Merc wheels with 107/109 rated Nokians.

The upgraded sway bar was added after the first trip, and was a very drastic improvement. Night/day.

However, ours is very heavily loaded, YMMV.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are getting lift springs for off-road travels consider 15" rims. When the going gets rough you can air down to get a bit more cushion out of the tire sidewall. With 16" rims you have less sidewall to work with however if you will be staying on the street 16" rims have some advantages.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is my setup, GW1.5" lift, Adjustable Fox Show, and all I can say is that the handling is phenomenal. Van is riding on BFG All Terrain 215/75/15. The ticket is the adjustable Fox Shocks. For city streets, I dial the adjustment knob as high as possible and there's a predictable pitch during aggressive cornering. Never any concern of it rolling. For off roading, I dial the setting back to #1 or #2 and it just absorbed the road like a soft sponge. I also believe the my wheels offsetting has some contribution to the handling. They are offset at near zero, which pushes the wheels out close to 2" from stock. GW really did their homework on this setup. I highly recommend it.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently put in the GW lift springs with 5+ yr old Bilsteins on my 2wd with stock wheels. Neither change was remarkably different, and the lift isn't crazy, but I like it. I noticed the new springs still porpoise quite a bit when I brake hard, but again, I think about the same as stock. Eventually I plan to upsize the wheels.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kryptkat wrote:

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OK ..now thats a sweet van...very nice Very Happy
Tell me about those vents?
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