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Has anyone ever fit coilovers on a T3?

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Lewis View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Jun 09 at 23:26
As above please - i'd  like our van lower but I don't think they do any other springs for it (currently have the Weitec one's that Baxter sells.  There is a place that have built a race bus and they've fitted them but they needed to weld brackets onto the shell etc - arseache.  There must be a way of fitting them on the front at least?!

Heres the link for the race bus - very cool!

http://www.ratataksi.com/en_index4.html

Here's the coilover pic (FRONTS):




REARS:


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rowlesy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 09 at 06:52
fabricating is the only way i recon! nothing off the shelf fits without mods! you just need generic coilovers with rated poundage springs and as above make up brackets to hold em! why not send em an e-mail and ask? they seem like a freindly bunch o lads!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigherbie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 09 at 09:05
You would have to make new mounts the originals are designed for the loading of a damper not the spring as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 09 at 09:18
Lewis,
You can go lower than you have atm by using H&R 55mm springs.
I've looked into fitting coil overs. It's not a big problem to do but as no one has any info on what spring rating to start at etc, it would be a steep learning curve.
You would need to start looking at what lengths (eye to eye or eye to bottom of mounting pin) the shocks need to be and then try to find out what the stock T3 spring rating is and go from there.
The chaps from wales who are running porsche and subaru engines are running coil overs but they have done everything from scratch and run helper springs as well.
MG
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 09 at 09:41
Ok guys cheers.

Mike, do you have any link to any of these lad's buses at all?  I reckon it might not be too hard to work out srping poundages, I guess it would just be a case of working out the weigth of the van and then speaking to somewhere like Faulkners (who make custom springs) and getting them make some suitable one's up.  What do you reckon?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 09 at 09:49
I don't have links sorry. Someone on here might. There have been numerous pics of their vans at shows... put in a search for Porsche powered or 997 powered bus or something like.
Rather than trying to work out what they might be, I'd take a stock spring to them and they should be able to measure it and then ask to uprate it (maybe 25%) a bit.
There are companies out there who do one off coil overs giving different lengths etc.
MG
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote busbuddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 09 at 20:14
Originally posted by Lewis Lewis wrote:

Ok guys cheers.

Mike, do you have any link to any of these lad's buses at all?  I reckon it might not be too hard to work out srping poundages, I guess it would just be a case of working out the weigth of the van and then speaking to somewhere like Faulkners (who make custom springs) and getting them make some suitable one's up.  What do you reckon?
 
 
most specialists like avo have a huge selection springs of various poundage so I doubt you will need some made special, we have loads of sets for our zephyr
 
to be honest if you are gonna fabricate mounts properly and buy coilovers then it would cost less to bag it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hege Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 09 at 11:11
The pics are from our white Transporter. I calculated the springs, but didn't have values for the stock or h&r springs as basis so I had to do it from scratch by measuring the suspension geometry and suspension motion ratios.

At the moment we're running 550lbs front springs and 400 lbs rear's. But I don't think this will help anyone who wants to make a street car. We'll go stiffer at the front as soon as we can find a good source for springs. The suspension tuning will start when we get the package mechanically reliable. Blowing up two subie sti engines in two weeks takes time away from everything else... Angry

Originally posted by Bigherbie Bigherbie wrote:

You would have to make new mounts the originals are designed for the loading of a damper not the spring as well.

You are right about the rear. At the rear the bump stop is separate as is the spring. If you mount the coilover in the place of the damper you should reinforce the frame because I'm sure it will bend if you hit a pot hole with a loaded van. The trailing arm should also be reinforced. It helps if you build a roll cage that mounts close to the coil over mounts. Wink
The front damper has bump stops as stock. If the upper (and lower) stock damper mounts are designed to take the load of a fully loaded van in extreme situations, then it's good enough for me.

It will require work to find someone who supplies the right coilovers or you'd have to have them manufactured to your size and mounting. I have seen units that have looked like they could be a direct fit that were made by Bilstein, so they should be around. Other manufacturers probably also make units that fit. Cost will be quite high if you need to build them custom. We we're quoted 500 Euro a piece for Custom lenght (race spec) Bilsteins when I asked around.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 09 at 22:25
Hedge - thanks for the reply.  You have the coolest T3 I have EVER seen - love it! Cool  I will look into it then, failing that, what about airbags?  Are they easy to fit on these vans or has anyone ever done it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hege Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 09 at 09:16
There's some vans that have air bags fitted to them. Depends on what you think is an easy fit. I haven't seen all solutions done to T3's, but I consider them as easy to fit as coilovers. Wink
The front is  bit of a problem because there isn't much space to fit an conventional air bag if you want to keep the shock at stock location.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=325077&highlight=air+bags
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3130296
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=4326441
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baxter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 09 at 15:38
Seems like an awful lot of work for little in return.
The problem for lowering the van at the front is achieving camber angles that can be set and probably custom fabrication of the upper wishbone or removal of the seat box for clearance for the arm.
Plus, lowered that much the suspension is operating in an area where it wasn't designed to operate, so more stress on parts and weird angles, so if it does work, it won't be pretty and will probably be all over the shop (just imagine the angle the lower arm will sit at, well over centre and well out of it's "comfort zone")
Fundamentally, it depends on what you want it for, to be able to use it, or driving around the track.
If you want serious lowering I would be looking towards lowering the body on the chassis as I think the end result would be better,and it will still retain some form of driveability rather than serious lowering that will just end up in bump steer central.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 09 at 16:21
It does seem to be a lot of work to achieve that even with air ride - the handy thing with air though is you can raise it up for driving it then just have it 'slammed' when parked up etc.

Bax all I really am after is some springs that sit lower than the Weitec one's as I think they make it sit a bit high at the moment Confused  Do you have any which may sit lower than mine?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baxter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 09 at 16:24
H&R's.
Trouble with your van is that it's empty so whatever you put in it is not going to be as low as you want.
Also remember the lower they go the worse they ride.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hege Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 09 at 21:32
The rear is also a problem. When the trailing arm is at an angle, you'll have problem putting power down. The trailing arm should be level or point just a bit upwards to the front, it should not be the way it is when the rear is lowered.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baxter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 09 at 21:47
Yep, when you lower the rear you get a load of toe in and negative camber.
I have rectified mine by elongating the mounting holes for the rear arm, but I'm already out of adjustment and it's still not 100%, but I daren't elongate any more so I'm looking into other ways of sorting it.
With AVO -50mm springs, on the rear, with as much elongation as I dare I'm still running .5° negative camber.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 09 at 23:30
Lewis,
This was my Bluestar lowered using H&R Cup kit. That's H&R 55mm springs and Koni adjustable shocks. It worked well and even with 18's, it was good to drive and not too hard.
 
There isn't much more in a Bluestar than your van. Your tyres as a little smaller O/D than the Bluestar setup above so you'll end up with a little more gap between the tyre and arch.
 
One way around getting the power down (which you have plenty of in your van) is to use an LSD in the gearbox.
 
MG
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote green manalishi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 09 at 19:16
Here is my set-up




Only joking, seen on an American forum, with modified top hat joints.





1991 2.1 DJ 16" Factory Hightop camper
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 09 at 23:14
How about this van - looks sick!  Anyone know what springs these are?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hege Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 09 at 22:53
We've already got a limited slip. Spinning both rear wheels helps, but doesn't solve the the problem you get with wrong suspension geometry. The car just doesn't feel like it has traction like it should when accelerating.

Like Baxter mentioned, if you want to go serious about lowering your vehicle, you should consider lowering the body on the chassis. We'll be getting a spare parts car to our garage in the next few weeks, and we've been thinking of using it as the practice car for the operation. In a T3 it's quite straight forward to lower it because you just cut like hell to make room, then cut the frame and then lower and strenghten it. I'm not saying it isn't a lot of work, but trying to do the same thing on a 911 or other car without frame structure you'll have a much harder time getting the strenght and stiffness into the suspension if you do the same thing. We would also want to alter the front lower wishbone mounting points a bit to get some anti-dive into the geometry.

Our car is as low as the car above at the moment. With shoes on you can barely get your toes under the plastic front spoiler. I'll have to take some pictures...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baxter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 09 at 23:13
When the vans were made in the factory, the body is lowered onto the floor pan.
See the factory vids on YouTube, or Yahoo or wherever they are, anyway, you can quite clearly see that the drop an almost complete body onto the floor pan assembly.
If you are serious about building a low van I would be tempted to strip a van and unpick where the factory did it, then modify and drop back on, that way you get the looks and a van that actually has some suspension and a ride that won't make your dentist or chirpractor rub his hands together.
or, you can hack your springs, have it ride like a bag of shit, chew tyres and be generally not a nice thing to drive, or safe for that matter, but hey, you'll look "cool", whatever that is.
LOL
Just go to VZI if you want to see dangerously modified vehicles that are made to handle worse in the name of "cool"
....search for narrowed beam and all will be revealed!!
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