want to lower your van, well done, you've made a wise choice.
your van will..
the way it handles
you wandering about so much on the motorways.
the amount of buffeting you get from wagons/coaches on the motorway
probably the reason most of you lower your vans, to improve it's looks
factory VW did a 30mm drop and was fitted to Caravelles, Multivans and
most of the special editions as well as being optional on anything else,
with the 30mm lower springs you also got shorter front bumpstops but
used the standard shock absorbers.
lowering kits seem to start at about 45mm and go down to 80mm, but...
are fine, not much you need to do, you can just fit the springs, maybe
just trim a rib or so from the bumpstop at the front and it will work
perfectly well. 45mm kits are excellent for those who want to maintain
a reasonable amount of comfort or for those with heavier campers who
want the benefits of being lower but still want to be able to get across
rough campsites. Can be used with standard shock absorbers but replacement
is recommended as the ones on your van will probably be the ones it
came out of the factory with!
are probably the most popular, but when going down 60mm there are a
few more things you need to take into consideration.
will ideally need to fit shorter piston shock absorbers, due to the
spring being shorter you run the risk of bottoming out the shock absorber,
If using the original bumpstops you will need to trim them down by approx.
2 ribs, if not your shock absorbers will be constantly running on the
bumpstops giving a choppy, harsh and bouncy ride.
If using reasonably wide wheels you run the risk of clipping the wheel
arches on full lock, trimming back the return lip or rolling the arches
may help. It's difficult to say what will and what won't catch as everyone
has different wheel widths, tyres, spacer combinations, a case of suck
it and see Im afraid.
to me are too low, you run out of camber adjustment at the front end
on late vans, early ones you can get away with it, just. When lowering
a van you have to reset the camber and tracking as when the suspension
get lower the front camber gets more negative and the tracking changes.
Up to 60mm you can just about manage to reset the camber to such a point
to where it will go back to factory setting but the adjusters are pretty
much on the limits, any lower and the adjusters will be at full adjustment,
you end up with negative camber, your steering will be heavy with less
self centering and you will scrub your tyres off on the inside.
daft, okay, yeah, how cool are you, all the downsides of 70mm plus you
probably don't have a bumpstop in there now so you run the risk of the
top arm hitting the seat box! You probably have to run smaller tyres
so they don't constantly rub on the inside of the arch and because of
this your speedo is on the piss because you have smaller tyres. Also
at the rear there is next to no movement in the spring before it hits
the bumpstop. Waste of money (In my opinion)
job is to blather everything in WD40 or similar, get the wire brush
out and give the top shocker bolt a good going over.
undo the nut with your 17mm spanner. (Sometimes 19mm depending on
shock absorber manufacturer)
off is the lower shock absorber bolt, can be quite tight, we had
to use a strong arm to remove the offending nut, use your 22mm spanner
at the other end to stop it spinning.
withdraw the bolt, at the nut end there is a small collet which
needs to be popped out of the arm, this will make re-assembly so
much more simple.
the shock absorber out in a downwards fashion, it may be necessary
to compress the shock absorber to be able to get it out of the hole,
depending on how far the van is jacked up.
time for you to give those Allen bolts a right good broddling, you
need to get all the kak out of the hole to allow a good fit for
your Allen key, round these and your going to have to split the
ball joint = more time!
remove the 8mm Allen headed bolts, can be tight, I prefer to use
a 3/8's drive allen key socket, it doesn't hurt your hands once
it cracks off. If you have to resort to using traditional allen
keys then you will need some extra leverage and its worth putting
some rags over the bar to stop the shock hurting your poor little
ho and of she blows..., once the bolts are out lever the upper wishbone
out of the way.
sometimes you can, sometimes you can't.. Get away with leaving the
caliper on, this one was tight and there wasn't enough slack in
the flexy hose so off came the caliper and we rested it on a socket
just to take the weight so it wasn't pulling on the flexy.
using brute force and ignorance pry the spring out, this van was
particularly tight and the spring once free danced round on the
road for a few seconds so keep your mits out of the way, on tight
ones like this it may be an idea to use some spring compressors
to take the strain and make removal easier, we didn't have spring
compressors but lots of bars, it took a while but they came out
in the end.
spring versus old spring, new spring won.
duly got fitted to whole left by old spring, there's a rubber insulating
piece that fits on top of the spring which muggins here forgot to
take a photo of, give it a squirt of WD to aid refitment. You may
need to lever the lower wishbone down to get it into place.
the upper wishbone back down over the ball joint, use a screw driver
to line the holes back up.
bolt it back up, we used some copper grease upon the threads of
everything we reassembled to aid future tear downs.
the shock absorber and bump stop back in.
shocker bolt going back in with the collet to be found and refitted.
the top shocker bolt.
we go, one side done.
onto the back, Dead easy the back, you don't even have to take the
rear wheels off! jack it in a skywards manner till the wheel is
just touching the ground then undo the bottom shocker bolt.
tap it out.
jack up the van again till the wheel is well clear of the ground.
remove the spring, told you, dead easy.
new spring won the battle and made its own way to the van.
spring being put into place by Mick stunt hands, note saggy gloves.
the jack to align the shocker bush with the holes in the rear arm.
bob the bolt back in. job done.
by any amount you MUST have the front steering geometry checked and
reset. As stated above, as the van gets lower the front wheels get more
negative camber, this WILL scrub off your tyres and give dubious handling
The tracking also changes, again once your lower and camber has been
sorted then reset the tracking to keep you on the straight and narrow
and keep the tread on your tyres!
choice out there now, not like a few years ago, the Germans are the
masters of doing things right, do you see them going lower than 60mm?
springs, probably the best available, quite expensive, you get what
you pay for!
again not the cheapest but good.
- JK (Just
Kampers) Not sure who makes their springs, shockers by ALKO, bit more
heavy duty than stock, kit works well.
shock absorbers, respected and loved in Germany
shock absorbers, Standards are very reasonably priced, there is also a sport version, which are top notch.
great budget kit but for the price your better spending that little
extra and getting something a little better.
UK made, available from Halfords of all places, they work well.
my favorite, I would say that as I sell them! 30mm, 50mm and 70mm drops
available, 14 point adjustable shockers let you tailor the ride to
your own tastes, come with poly bushes. Best compromise for features
can supply and fit lowering kits AND set the suspension up properly