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    VWVortex


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    Thread: opinions wanted - shocks and coil springs?

    1. 08-18-2012 06:03 PM #1
      So I am planning on installing at set of Bilstein HD socks (all four corners) on my 02 weekender (76K miles) and was wondering if I should go ahead and replace the rear coil springs while I have everything apart too. I have found two options for the coil springs replacements; OEM or a nice set of Suplex (German made) progressive rate springs. The difference in price between the two is about $75 dollars with the OEM being cheaper.

      I am leaning towards the Suplex progressive rate springs for that nice smooth ride when unloaded and a firmer more controlled fill when loaded.

      What do y'all think?

    2. Member
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      08-19-2012 09:16 PM #2
      I think...don't bother. The springs just don't fatigue unless they are absolutely hammered by high loads.

      I wouldn't run Bilsteins myself since they make the ride too hard to my arse. If you can get the Sachs Super Tour shocks that were fitted OE to the more heavily loaded T4 versions eg. Rialtas (?) then they'd be my recommendation. Failing that...Koni is travelling well under mine.

    3. 08-20-2012 12:28 AM #3
      I love my Bilsteins and as far as springs go, unless you're lowering it, don't bother. No reason to replace them.

    4. 08-20-2012 08:51 AM #4
      Thanks for the input. I prefer gas over oil shocks, so I am going to go with the Billies. But I think I am going to heed your advice and pass on the springs, maybe buy some new oxygen sensors instead.

    5. 08-20-2012 01:24 PM #5
      I hated the Bilstein HD's on my '97 EVC. The ride was way too harsh and jarring. On the plus side you're going to know instantly if you need to replace any of your ball joints. If it were me I'd go with the Bilstein Touring. The only downside to that is you're looking at twin tube vs mono tube. But then again I've never experienced shock fade in the OEM dampers, which I believe are also twin tube, even on very bumpy, twisty roads. If you do end up ordering the HD's keep in mind you're going to need to order the buffer pads, as they are not included with the shocks.

    6. 08-20-2012 06:44 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by my_vw_sucks View Post
      If you do end up ordering the HD's keep in mind you're going to need to order the buffer pads, as they are not included with the shocks.
      Huh? There are no buffer pads required for this.

      The issue is not odering buffer pads. It's installing them correctly. The Bilsteins, unlike the stock shocks, have a soft silcon upper cover (versus hard metal cover on stock ones) and therefore the mounting plate for the car cannot sit right on the shock without the large washer between them (which is supplied with the Bilsteins). There is nothing extra to buy but you have to make sure that washer is in the correct spot on installation.

      And ride is subjective. My HDs are on a '93 GL which by and large should be lighter than even a Weekender, let alone a VR6 Camper, and yes it's firm but the body control is superb with these shocks. I attribute jarring-ness to the stiff sidewalls that Eurovans need on their tires. Perhaps this can be amplified by firm shocks but firm shocks are not the cause.

    7. 08-20-2012 07:12 PM #7
      Check this out:


      The ones on the right are the front shocks. They go under the mounting plate with the plate on top of that supplied washer (stock shocks have no supplied washer but the dust boot is metal which serves as the metal surface the vehicle rests on). Everything else then installs in the same order as what you took out.

      Yes there are rubber buffer donuts that are also involved (they are on the car now) and they may be worn and are inexpensive to replace while you're at it, but those aren't directly related to Bilstein vs non-Bilstein.

    8. 08-21-2012 04:34 PM #8
      Huh? There are no buffer pads required for this.

      The issue is not odering buffer pads. It's installing them correctly. The Bilsteins, unlike the stock shocks, have a soft silcon upper cover (versus hard metal cover on stock ones) and therefore the mounting plate for the car cannot sit right on the shock without the large washer between them (which is supplied with the Bilsteins). There is nothing extra to buy but you have to make sure that washer is in the correct spot on installation.


      http://europarts-sd.com/dampingbuffe...r1992-2003.asp

      These do not come with the Bilstein HD's. They come with most other dampers for the EV. It's a an extra $24 to get a set. Yes, they are already on the car, but why wouldn't you get a set?

    9. Member chendermi's Avatar
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      08-21-2012 09:08 PM #9
      I had Bilstein HDs on my 2003 Weekender, but finally decided the ride was too rough for me and switched them out for regular Bilsteins. I also made sure the front ride height was set properly and am running Nokian eNTYREs in the stock 225/60 R16 size.

      Quietest and smoothest ride I've had so far (at 120K miles).

    10. 08-21-2012 10:20 PM #10
      Thanks again everyone, this is some valuable info.

      Maybe I should describe my situation a little more.

      Today, my van is used as a second car. We put about 500 miles on it a month and 99% of these are around the pot-holed ridden streets of New Orleans. I don't carry much of a load but expect to do more camping and loading in the fall and winter. I am planning on installing a new pair if Michelin Defernder tires in the next couple weeks (225/60r16). They have a load rating of 100 and I figure I will get some cusion out of the them becuse of the bigger less stiff sidewall. I didn't plan on installing an pads to increase rear height but I am planning on leveling the van with a torsion bar adjustment.

      With the new HD shocks I want added stability and a firm yet subtle ride. Don't we all? I do worry about noisy rattles though.

    11. 11-14-2012 11:41 AM #11
      I installed a complete set of Bilstien HD shocks on my EV this weekend. All I can say is wow, they transformed the ride! The old OEM shocks were shot, all four had zero rebound.

      Thanks for the input everyone.
      Last edited by nolamule; 11-14-2012 at 01:55 PM.

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