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    Thread: Eurovan Suspension Alternatives - Bilstein HD Anyone?

    1. Junior Member
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      02-29-2012 03:49 PM #26
      Thanks again gti_matt...you're the best! Probably won't get at it till the weekend (hopefully).

    2. 03-01-2012 10:20 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by euroger View Post
      Thanks again gti_matt...you're the best! Probably won't get at it till the weekend (hopefully).
      Now that I've done it a few times, I have it down to about a 90-minute job from start to finish including clean up. As long as you don't have any stuck bolts giving you grief, it's not that hard and not terribly time consuming.

      I should clarify that the reason for using the car's jack to support the suspension is so it takes the tension for you while you undo bolts. On the rear suspension, the shock's travel is the only thing that prevents the trailing arm from fully swinging down to the floor so that's why you want a jack under it to get it back up into position before you remove the shock in the first place.
      Last edited by gti_matt; 03-01-2012 at 10:23 AM.

    3. Junior Member
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      03-03-2012 09:58 PM #28
      In an attempt to compensate for the 'falling-forward-feeling'...while riding in the rear bench seat/flip-out bed, I've been contemplating lowering the rear of my '03 EVMV ('non-poptop' model). After reading some older posts on the subject however, I'm a bit confused as to the best method of going about it.

      Should I invest in new springs and/or different doughnut thickness? Perhaps I'd be better off leaving the Bilsteins shock install and (contemplated) rear lowering mod, to those more qualified? Unfortunately, I'm at a bit of a loss where to take it.

    4. Member chendermi's Avatar
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      03-05-2012 08:09 AM #29
      If you feel like you are falling forward in the rear seat, maybe the problem is that the front end has sagged. That's a noted problem with the front torsion bar suspension. Have that checked (it is easy to do). I needed to raise my 2003 and 2001 to stock height and it made a big difference in ride quality as well.

      Back to the main topic: just replaced Bilstein HDs with regular Bilsteins on a 2003MVWK. Liked the handling of the HDs, but it just getting too harsh on the roads here. The regular Bilsteins give a more comfortable ride, though I was aware of the winds over the weekend on a 350-mile round trip. Granted, it was very windy here.

    5. Junior Member
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      03-05-2012 11:22 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by chendermi View Post
      If you feel like you are falling forward in the rear seat, maybe the problem is that the front end has sagged. That's a noted problem with the front torsion bar suspension. Have that checked (it is easy to do). I needed to raise my 2003 and 2001 to stock height and it made a big difference in ride quality as well.
      Do you know what the "stock height" is/where would I find the specs?

    6. 03-06-2012 04:52 PM #31
      On a 2001-2001 that already have a lowered suspension from the factory, new rear springs won't get you much more lowering, so for the bang-for-the-buck I probably wouldn't quite bother (at lesat not with the full H&R Cup Kit which is pricey, often close to $800, but the springs a-la carte were usually about $200). On a 2001-2003 I would go for thinner spring pads instead as a bang-for-the-buck option.

    7. Junior Member
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      03-06-2012 05:46 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by gti_matt View Post
      On a 2001-2001 that already have a lowered suspension from the factory, new rear springs won't get you much more lowering, so for the bang-for-the-buck I probably wouldn't quite bother (at lesat not with the full H&R Cup Kit which is pricey, often close to $800, but the springs a-la carte were usually about $200). On a 2001-2003 I would go for thinner spring pads instead as a bang-for-the-buck option.
      Too late...pulled the trigger this morning . Oh well, at least I'll be able to say our EV has Bilsteins and H&R springs or, I should say...will have. Seriously, they claim 1.5 - 2" lower (on average), which should be just about right.

    8. Junior Member
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      03-07-2012 07:54 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by euroger View Post
      ...they claim 1.5 - 2" lower (on average), which should be just about right.
      Failing that...I could always let the air out of the rear tires.

    9. 03-08-2012 12:09 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by euroger View Post
      Too late...pulled the trigger this morning . Oh well, at least I'll be able to say our EV has Bilsteins and H&R springs or, I should say...will have. Seriously, they claim 1.5 - 2" lower (on average), which should be just about right.
      If the new springs for the back truly don't make a huge enough difference for you, I'm sure that someone here will buy them for their 1993-2000 (post 'em up on the classifieds). That'll make a 1993-2000 owner happy and you can recoup most of your money on the portion for the springs.

    10. Junior Member
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      03-08-2012 01:41 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by gti_matt View Post
      If the new springs for the back truly don't make a huge enough difference for you, I'm sure that someone here will buy them for their 1993-2000 (post 'em up on the classifieds). That'll make a 1993-2000 owner happy and you can recoup most of your money on the portion for the springs.
      Thanks for all the help/advice gti_matt! I'll see how the install goes and post my comments when I've 'lived' with them (new shocks/springs) awhile. I'll try posting some photos as well...if I ever figure out how to do it.

    11. Junior Member
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      04-12-2012 01:04 AM #36
      FINALLY got around to installing the rear springs and shocks on our '03 Eurovan MV. Removal & installation (2hrs.) went well (thanks gti_matt). I went with the Bilstein HD shocks/HR Sport springs combo, rather than the "Sport Cup Kit." Gord & Tom at Essex Distributors (http://www.essexdistributors.com/) recommended the "more robust" mono tube HD's, over the twin tube design (included with the cup kit)...YMMV! They also assured me the ride will be firm but, not harsh...here's hoping they're correct! Being a bit of a cheapskate, I decided the $$$ saved on the 'sport shocks', should cover the cost of a 4 wheel alignment, if necessary...I'm not altering the front torsion height, just lowering the rear. I hope to get the front shocks done later today or tomorrow and will follow up once I've put some miles on 'em .
      Last edited by euroger; 04-12-2012 at 01:22 AM. Reason: Moved from: "WTB H&R Cup Kit"

    12. Junior Member
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      04-13-2012 04:58 PM #37
      Got the front shocks installed in an hour-ish and after a few trips around town, first impressions are mostly favourable...less 'nose-dive' on hard-ish braking and quicker recovery on uneven (frost heaved) surfaces (less bounce). If there is a downside, pavement irregularities (ie. frost cracks) were more noticeable but, aren't something I can't live with. This may also be attributed, at least in part, to a change in rubber...Motomaster SE ('Crappy Tire' house brand) to Michelin "HydroEdge" (225/60R16). Speaking of swapping tires...anyone know the torque spec for stock 16" VW alloys?

    13. 04-13-2012 07:53 PM #38
      Quote Originally Posted by euroger View Post
      Got the front shocks installed in an hour-ish and after a few trips around town, first impressions are mostly favourable...less 'nose-dive' on hard-ish braking and quicker recovery on uneven (frost heaved) surfaces (less bounce). If there is a downside, pavement irregularities (ie. frost cracks) were more noticeable but, aren't something I can't live with. This may also be attributed, at least in part, to a change in rubber...Motomaster SE ('Crappy Tire' house brand) to Michelin "HydroEdge" (225/60R16). Speaking of swapping tires...anyone know the torque spec for stock 16" VW alloys?
      Not sure on the 16s but on the 15s on my 2000 Eurovan it was something like 118 ft-lbs.

    14. Junior Member
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      04-15-2012 01:44 AM #39
      Quote Originally Posted by gti_matt View Post
      Not sure on the 16s but on the 15s on my 2000 Eurovan it was something like 118 ft-lbs.
      Found this site:

      http://www.dormanproducts.com/docume...pecsMASTER.pdf

      They list 133 ft.lbs for "2006-1997"...which seems a bit high to me (for alloys). "1996-1993" is listed as 118 ft.lbs.
      Last edited by euroger; 04-15-2012 at 01:55 AM. Reason: correction

    15. 02-26-2016 02:05 AM #40
      Go Westy has the Bilstein HD and Extra HD for about $50 more.. each shock.
      I have a Weekender and mostly drive it on paved streets.
      Of course i want the Extra HD but my wallet doesn't. Any ideas how much it will make a difference?

    16. 02-26-2016 12:48 PM #41
      FYI: Extra HD is secret code for "we added some compression and rebound to the shock." The heavier the vehicle, the stiffer you need to go on compression and rebound. So, if you have a GLS and it has no extra weight in it, as compared to a fully loaded camper, the stiffer shock would benefit the Camper but not the GLS. So, Extra HD doesn't make the shock any better, it's just utilized for a different application. If you really wanted to, Koni can revalve their shocks to whatever you want as they are rebuildable.

    17. Member my_vw_sucks's Avatar
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      02-26-2016 04:15 PM #42
      Quote Originally Posted by jjvincent View Post
      FYI: Extra HD is secret code for "we added some compression and rebound to the shock." The heavier the vehicle, the stiffer you need to go on compression and rebound. So, if you have a GLS and it has no extra weight in it, as compared to a fully loaded camper, the stiffer shock would benefit the Camper but not the GLS. So, Extra HD doesn't make the shock any better, it's just utilized for a different application. If you really wanted to, Koni can revalve their shocks to whatever you want as they are rebuildable.
      The funny thing is that the ride quality was crap on my EVC with HD's but is great on my weekender.

    18. 02-26-2016 05:06 PM #43
      As I've said before, ride quality all on personal preference, just like when it comes to how hot a certain brand of salsa is (what's mild for you might be hot for me). I make a living as suspension engineering and pretty much tried to explain the difference as to what actually happens.

    19. 02-27-2016 12:19 PM #44
      Quote Originally Posted by jjvincent View Post
      As I've said before, ride quality all on personal preference, just like when it comes to how hot a certain brand of salsa is (what's mild for you might be hot for me). I make a living as suspension engineering and pretty much tried to explain the difference as to what actually happens.
      Pretty funny because my wife owns a salsa company!
      http://www.heidissalsa.com/

      Anyhow, I get what you guys are saying. I don't want anything too stiff. Just something that won't 'dive' as much when breaking / or bounce when hitting dips in the road. The weekender can get bouncy and I figured that since i plan on doing a minimal lift, I might as well throw shocks in too. My wallet isn't too deep though. I'll probably get the regular HD's.

    20. Member KBATTPO's Avatar
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      02-27-2016 01:10 PM #45
      I am on regular HD's in all 4 corners and I like them a lot. Granted, for

      I have two other cars (see on left) and the Eurovan serves strictly as stuff hauler. I took it to over 100 out west and it sat on the road like a flatiron on the ironing board. I did drop it by maybe 20-30mm all around though (removed upper perches in the back and wound down the front torsions to match the level).
      Igor
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    21. Member my_vw_sucks's Avatar
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      02-27-2016 01:16 PM #46
      Quote Originally Posted by jjvincent View Post
      As I've said before, ride quality all on personal preference, just like when it comes to how hot a certain brand of salsa is (what's mild for you might be hot for me). I make a living as suspension engineering and pretty much tried to explain the difference as to what actually happens.
      Well, when I eat bilstein hd salsa and chips in my weekender I find it to be fairly mild. The same salsa was pretty spicy when eaten in my EVC. Maybe they changed the recipe. Or, maybe it's the few dashes of westy added in for flavor that helps temper the heat.

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