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T4 lowering thread.

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Baxter View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 Aug 07 at 20:43

Okay, start with a bit of as waffle about how to fit them, as it is sooo simple it's unreal..

To lower the rear.

Jack van up, undo lower shock absorber mount, remove spring, fit new, refit shock absorber.
Done.

 

To lower the front.

Jack up van, support on axle stands.
Have a grovel underneath, find the end of the torsion barsbehind the fuel tank, you'll know when you find it as there is a long 18mm ish thread pointing down with a 27mm nut about 4" up it.
This is the nut that sets the tension on the torsion bar, basically if you undo the nut it releases the tension, and lowers the suspension.
The way I do it is to clean up the threads first, then mark the thread where you want to move it to.
If you work on this simple rule you won't be far away.

10mm at the adjuster nut = about 25mm at the wheel.

So, if you have fitted -50mm springs then moving the adjuster by 20mm will lower the front suspension by 50mm.

Obvoiusly, all vans are different so once it's lowered take it for a spin, park it on level ground and check the trim height with a tape measure (wheel centre to wheel arch) and make adjustments to the adjuster nuts as to achieve a level ride.

There are a couple of gotchas, make sure it's on stands as if the upper adjusting bolt thingy comes dislocated the van drops, on you! and if it does come loose, it's a bit of a bastard getting it back in, so just be careful if the adjuster nut is stiffer that it should be.

Now, if you look around at what springs are for sale, and which ones are TUV approved (German standards) you will probably notice that they only seem to go to -45 to -50mm, I think the reason for this is the amount of adjustment there is on the front torsion bar.
It is easier to described once you have seen the set up but basically the adjusting bolt is sort of T shaped at the top, and if there isn't enough pre load on the torsion bar this T shaped piece can be moved about, Now I believe the knack to lowering a T4 and it still stay safe is to lower the nut only enough to leave some pre load on the adjuster bolt.
Leave no preload and the T shaped piece that fits in the chassis and you run the risk of it become dislodged, maybe changing a tyre, or working on the front end.
Lowering anymore that 50mm I would say is probably unsafe, plus they start to drive really baaaad.
I know it's not as cool to not be scraping the ground, but it's safe and is going to handle better using the torsion bars as springs rather than using the bumpstops as springs!!

Done, lowered, easy.



On axles stands, outside your Mums house I would say this is gunna take an hour start to finish.

The most important part is to check the wheel alignment afterwards, very, very important as the T4 seems to be more affected by camber and tracking changes than the T3 is!

Camber is easy in theory, bit of a pain in practise.
If you take the front wheels off you will see the top ball joint, okay, if you just slacken the big balljoint bolt (24mm) then undo the 18mm camber adjuster bolt at the top side of the ball joint, then moving the quadrant changes the camber. if you tap the quadrant towards the front you will get negative camber, towards the rear you will get positive adjustment.
All well and good saying this, but doing it in situ is a bit of an arse of a job.
Another thing worth mentioning is that just like the T3 there is only a certain amount of adjustment on the camber adjusting quadrant, lowering much more than the 50mm and your gunna run out of adjustment and not be able to set the camber up right after you've done your work, which will mean dubious handling and it's gunna scrub the rather expensive tyres you just bought.
Once camber is set, then check and reset tracking.
I reckon on about 1 hour to set wheel alignment at the front.

Also, we have to mention the rear brake load proportioning valve.

Dunno how much you know about these things, so a bit of background first...

Under the van, in the middle, between where the rear arms bolt up is a hydraulic valve attached to each arm by the means of springs, going into the valve assembly are 2 brake pipes carrying basically unregulated brake pressure from the front of the van.
Out of the valve are 2 more pipes going to the rear brakes.
This valve reduces the amount of pressure going to the back brakes, when the van is loaded it opens the valve to increase braking effort to the rear.
In laymans terms it stops the arse end of your van locking up when you anchor on with nowt in't back..

As the valve is attched to the rear arms it basically reads the suspension height and gives proportionally more braking pressure to the rear brakes the more weight you have in.

What cocks this all up is when you lower the van as the valve thinks you have a load in, and gives you more braking effort, which could lead to you locking the rear before the front, which means you could end up in a spin as anyone will remember from their peddaling to school days, locking the back wheel wehn turning usually ends up in tears.
To make our job more difficult, vw have the suspesnion set at a certain height (stock!) to set the valve up, obviosuly when you lower the van you are no longer at stock height and the measurements and readings you are meant to get are kinda worthless.
So, be careful! Something I am thinking about is a sensible way of getting around this niggle that people will be able to implement themselves..

Now, they don't tell you that when your buying springs do they?!

Thats it, job jobbed.

 
Spring choices..
 
Gen VW (888 special springs, white spots)

no Pics, soz like, sure you know tho...

Coils 7.666
Ends - 9.9mm
Thickest part - 19.8mm
Overall height - 255mm

Gen VW (Caravelle - 1996, 2xbrown spots - heavy duty!! may have had wrong springs fitted!!)

No pics.

Coils - 6.75
Ends - 10mm
Thickest part - 17.9mm
Overall height - 270mm


H&R (advertised as -20mm to -40mm, depending on spec of van to start with)



Coils - 7.5
Ends - 10.2mm
Thickest part - 19.7mm
Overall height - 242mm
TUV Cert - Here


KW (advertised as -40mm)



Coils 7.25
Ends - 9.1mm
Thickest part - 19.4mm
Overall height - 245mm
TUV Cert - Here


Weitec (advertised as -40mm, the lighter duty parallel wire one, the cheaper one)



Coils 7.75
Ends - 13.6mm
Thickest part - 13.6mm
Overall height - 250mm
TUV Cert - Here


Weitec (the proper ones, the tapered wire ones, the ones that will carry weight)



Coils 8
Ends - 10.96mm
Thickest part - 18.5mm
Overall height - 235mm
TUV Cert - Here
 
Eibach - TUV Cert - Here

Drop - 45mm
Coils - 7.5
Ends - 9.8mm
Thickest part - 19.25mm
Overall height - 235mm

Data not verified, taken from Eibach website's TUV cert.

Oh, and anyone ever seen a TUV cert for any Jamex springs?
I don't think I ever did when I sold them, they certainly weren't in the box!

hhmmm....

So, there you go.
The 19mm ain't far off to be fair, but I think it's a bit daft to go saying only anything thats 19mm is "correct" when as you can see from the small range above they vary quite a bit between the brands, the Weitec HD one weirdly having fatter ends and a slimmer middle, but it's not just down to how it's wound and the thickness of the wire it's also down to how the spring is tempered.

In all fairness I really don't think you can go far wrong with most of these springs, go for the cheaper Weitec ones if you really don't expect to carry weight, but the difference in price between the other is minimal and they are all TUV approved (hence modest drop)
I will say the one I measured that didn't match the TUV cert (That I noticed anyway) was the KW, so, I presume subject to change applies here, or engineering tolerances..

Also worth noting is that I have measured the spring including is surface protection, obviously once this has been stripped away the spring will be much narrower.

Simon.


Edited by Baxter - 25 Jul 09 at 23:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baxter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 07 at 23:04

Updated, now I'm not as drunk as I was last time!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jets Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 07 at 22:53
Another great writeup, well done. Although I won't be lowering my van I found it interesting. Thanks for the time & work you have put into it. Keep em coming. Once again you don't see anything as good as this on the "other' forum" & this ones FREE.

Edited by jets
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baxter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 07 at 23:04

Cheers.

If it has any bearing on anyone reading this I can supply....

  • KW
  • Weitec
  • H&R
  • Eibach
  • Bilstein

I have most on the shelf, the rest can be ordered and be with me in a week from Germany.
As always I am willing to price match if not beat any legitimate traders.
I'm personally running Bilstein B6's and Jamex springs although the more I load my van the more I realise cheap springs are just that.
H&R are ordered and will be with me soon.

Anyone for some little used jamex -55's?  cheap....

 



Edited by Baxter
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jane/rob&dennis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 07 at 09:02

Originally posted by jets jets wrote:

Another great writeup, well done. Although I won't be lowering my van I found it interesting. Thanks for the time & work you have put into it. Keep em coming. Once again you don't see anything as good as this on the "other' forum" & this ones FREE.

Oh I don't know there's recently been posted a step by step guide with pictures to fitting the KW kit to a T4  on another pay per view site.  Which I do believe was influence by this thread here.

An excellent description Simon, drunk or not and the exploded diagrams really helped when it came to changing the front shock. Thanks.

Jane/Rob&Dennis
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baxter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 07 at 19:46

Feel free to re-post your work here, of if you like it can be made into a permanent tech page and added to the T4 section of the main site if you so wish. Saves it getting lost in the forum ether.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Discodave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 08 at 16:54
i would like to add to the list of tools you will need!

you might need an acytelene torch! i did! one of the rear shock bushes was seized to the mouting bolt!   set fire to it and all was well!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smilo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Mar 08 at 22:14

Our 2003 lhd Westy was leaning to the left, i.e. the same side as 16 stone me (yeah, don't stop smoking), and the fitted furniture. And the fuel tank?? And the water tank?? It had been leaning for 6 months or more, but not, I think, for the previous 12mths of our ownership. 

I had JK "heavy duty"  springs and Boge shocks fitted onto the back which made the handling much less rolly, so I was pleased. But the lean, easily enough for me to notice, was still there, no difference at all.

Last week a local garage wound the front nearside up and that feels better and has reduced the van's slight, but long term pull to the left. Tyre wear seems to be even.

Now I've run out of ideas and so have two local garages. I've tried ignoring the lean, but that doesn't work for me. Is there anywhere else to make adjustments?



Edited by Smilo
http://sumdoood.blogspot.com/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BANANABUS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 08 at 21:09
Originally posted by Smilo Smilo wrote:

Our 2003 lhd Westy was leaning to the left, i.e. the same side as 16 stone me (yeah, don't stop smoking), and the fitted furniture. And the fuel tank?? And the water tank?? It had been leaning for 6 months or more, but not, I think, for the previous 12mths of our ownership. 

I had JK "heavy duty"  springs and Boge shocks fitted onto the back which made the handling much less rolly, so I was pleased. But the lean, easily enough for me to notice, was still there, no difference at all.

Last week a local garage wound the front nearside up and that feels better and has reduced the van's slight, but long term pull to the left. Tyre wear seems to be even.

Now I've run out of ideas and so have two local garages. I've tried ignoring the lean, but that doesn't work for me. Is there anywhere else to make adjustments?

 

you might wanna have a look here ! At mr Baxters new toys!

http://www.brick-yard.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=22930& amp;KW=westy+lean

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smilo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 08 at 23:06
Good shout.
http://sumdoood.blogspot.com/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote majbishup Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 08 at 00:07
Nice 1 baxter. I got 1 for u what happens to the brake bias when i get round to fitting adjustable air bags and more to the point is it even poss with torshion bar on front. Maj.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Superstyle Dan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 08 at 11:34
Just to clarify chaps on the tools front for lowering the torsion bar, are you using a deep set socket or a 27mm spanner?

Thanks
Hit me up for T4 Camper Conversions as well as Sport seats exclusivly for a T4
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeeDub Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 08 at 12:26

spanner would be best

Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baxter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 08 at 20:54
The VW tool is a very deep 27mm socket.
Spanner would take ages, socket on an air gun takes seconds, so long as the nut isn't siezed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Superstyle Dan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 08 at 21:31
Nice one fella's thanks for the hedz up.

Got a spanner to do the job, was just wondering if their was some special fangled way of doin it that I might have missed.

Left side was a doddle right side had to construct some kind of hybrid, tourqe wrench meets 27 mmm socket meets jammed in spanner to get leverage took two of us to get it wound down even with it soaked in plus gas, one pushin one side ad one pullin the other, a little heath robinson i admit but it worked in the end.

Thanks

Dan
Hit me up for T4 Camper Conversions as well as Sport seats exclusivly for a T4
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baxter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 08 at 21:53
Thems the ones when the upper mount becomes dislodged!
Lucky boys if it came loose for you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote majbishup Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 08 at 15:21
baxter, i know you can get air bags for the rear but i want to be able to raise and lower the complete van. 1st is it possible with a torsion bar and if it is do you know of anything or anyone who sells such a unit be it air or oil. cheers maj.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ole carter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 08 at 09:33
Just a heads up for Mr Baxter....... for the supply and fit of the billy b6's,h&r springs and roll bar..
 
top job,top bloke......(not much tea makin though..LOLLOLLOL.)
 
completely transformed the van....tickety boo
 
Cheers Andy 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lint Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 08 at 14:57
I'm about to buy that deep socket from Hazet £26+VatCryCry

Edited by Lint - 28 Nov 08 at 14:58
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brenton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 08 at 09:46

ive adjusted the fronts about 5 times with just a spanner, you should be able to get it save the money for beer lol

cheers brenton

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