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Discussion Starter #1
firstly my set up is new voltgland shocks with -40 springs with 5mm poly top rubber things! 16" wheels on 215x60 tyres.. the van has full camper conversion without fridge. my question is how do i improve the ride and keep a slightly lowered van.... id like to put some 18" wheels on but i know the smaller profile tyre will make it worse....
There must be some way around it???
any advice?????????
 

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If you want good dampers then either Bilstein B6 or Sachs 'hd' :cool:

What make are 'voigtland' dampers :* they are obviously a well known manufacturer I: or re-branded?

As to a good ride & a t4, well even when new that's a minor contradiction as t4's have a basic suspension and when lowered its geometry is less than ideal

lowering the front is done by loosening the torsion-bars 'nuts' - in effect that's lessening the effect of the front springs/ torsion-bars ;) even a small drop ~ 40mm reduces the springs load and promotes an increase in 'nodding-dog' especially with inferior dampening from cheap shock absorbers I:

Then there's the suspensions 'bumpstops' and with lowered spring-rates there's more contact between the bumpstops & suspension arms (front & rear)

slightly banging over bumps & potholes :*


Remember it's an old 2+ Ton van so has not the handling OR comfort of a car, t4's can be made better BUT still a 2+TON vanLOL:LOL:

Rich.
 

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15 or 16" wheels give best ride "quality" (65/55 ratio)
17" are OK with good tyres and shocks. (45 ratio)

18" (30/35 ratio) would be horrendous as you would have no tyre-wall to absorb bumps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you want good dampers then either Bilstein B6 or Sachs 'hd' :cool:

What make are 'voigtland' dampers :* they are obviously a well known manufacturer I: or re-branded?

As to a good ride & a t4, well even when new that's a minor contradiction as t4's have a basic suspension and when lowered its geometry is less than ideal

lowering the front is done by loosening the torsion-bars 'nuts' - in effect that's lessening the effect of the front springs/ torsion-bars ;) even a small drop ~ 40mm reduces the springs load and promotes an increase in 'nodding-dog' especially with inferior dampening from cheap shock absorbers I:

Then there's the suspensions 'bumpstops' and with lowered spring-rates there's more contact between the bumpstops & suspension arms (front & rear)

slightly banging over bumps & potholes :*


Remember it's an old 2+ Ton van so has not the handling OR comfort of a car, t4's can be made better BUT still a 2+TON vanLOL:LOL:

Rich.
i believe the vogtland dampers are a good quality damper as are the springs..... im also aware of the weight and age of the van. previous dampers were bilstein b6's but i swapped them out to see what the difference was between them and the vogtland dampers.
Pretty similar really!!!!.
It does ride a bit smoother fully loaded tbh but id like to know what other steps can be taken to improve the ride while keeping the lower ride height. i cant be the only one thats wanted to tackle the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
15 or 16" wheels give best ride "quality" (65/55 ratio)
17" are OK with good tyres and shocks. (45 ratio)

18" (30/35 ratio) would be horrendous as you would have no tyre-wall to absorb bumps.
pretty sure you could run 45s on 18"s
 

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i believe the vogtland dampers are a good quality damper as are the springs..... im also aware of the weight and age of the van. previous dampers were bilstein b6's but i swapped them out to see what the difference was between them and the vogtland dampers.
Pretty similar really!!!!.
It does ride a bit smoother fully loaded tbh but id like to know what other steps can be taken to improve the ride while keeping the lower ride height. i cant be the only one thats wanted to tackle the problem.
Have you thought about the suspension arms bushings??

Presume they are the ones as fitted by Vw:*

If you do go down the route of checking/changing then expect seized bolts in the bushes sleeves :(

These are still readily available from TpsT:

As to bushes, you can get polyurethane bushes but a full kit to replace a t4's cost the same a a mid-African country's debt and apart from funky colours won't really improve the ride :*

Rich.
 

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Have you thought about the suspension arms bushings??

Presume they are the ones as fitted by Vw:*

If you do go down the route of checking/changing then expect seized bolts in the bushes sleeves :(

These are still readily available from TpsT:

As to bushes, you can get polyurethane bushes but a full kit to replace a t4's cost the same a a mid-African country's debt and apart from funky colours won't really improve the ride :*

Rich.
Also...

A rear anti-roll bar helps with the ride & general handling T:


My '95 t4 has..

B6 Bilstein dampers.
Rear anti-roll bar conversion.
T4srus-60mm rear sprywirh home-made polyurethane shims.
Geometry played with (many hours on 4-post ramp with later aligning equipment I: )
Bumpstops shortened & front damper mounts adjusted / clearance ground to allow more travel (although I'm weary of not too much front travel or too low as the balljoints can reach the limits of their movements :* )
8/16" (et15) Stilauto wheels with 225/55/16 tyres.

It's an acceptable ride quality and actually better now after changing from the 18" Audi rs6 (8.5/18") wheels with 245/40/18" tyres although did go round cornersbetter with the 18" I: this mk I need better tyres on the 16" alloys LOL:

Rich.
 

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firstly my set up is new voltgland shocks with -40 springs with 5mm poly top rubber things! 16" wheels on 215x60 tyres.. the van has full camper conversion without fridge. my question is how do i improve the ride and keep a slightly lowered van.... id like to put some 18" wheels on but i know the smaller profile tyre will make it worse....
There must be some way around it???
any advice?????????
Well some VERY good replies for you here T:

T4's will not give you a miracle ride, but will give one that's quite acceptable for every day use. You have been asked, but did not say what you are hoping to achieve ................ we all have our own interpretation of 'improved ride quality'. I am running my fourth, on what has been a 26+ year journey of ownership (and counting). Great little vans, would buy a new one tomorrow if I could, providing they built it without all the faults I know exist A:

Being a van (regardless of what it says on the back), and of course front wheel drive, all the weight is at the front; for payload at the rear. I agree with everyone who says drives best with some load. 5, 6 or 7 (happens very seldom) in my Multivan transforms it.

My spec is factory lowered (and no more), with reinforced shock absorbers (read Sachs Super Touring in the aftermarket), 16" factory alloy wheels (BBS) with 225 60 tyres .............. been driving that for over 18 years, never been an issue. Had thoughts about rear ARB and poly bushes, but it's not a competition vehicle, so never bothered. If you want to 'firm' yours up a little more then the ARB may be a move forward, but don't go crazy 28mm, 26 is fine; and don't do too much 'off throttle' fast cornering LOL:

18" wheels will give you little to look forward to on a long journey. My personal tyre choices tend to be 15" / 205 or 215 65 15, 16" / 225 60 16, and 17" / 225 (or 235) 55 17; I have never gone any larger than that. With regard to clearance, never been a problem. Just remember vehicles fitted with 16" wheels from the factory have different front wings, and different inner rear wheel arches, so that helps them.

Whatever you change or do, a final ACCURATE, four wheel alignment check, as suggested, is a MUST. I am sure you will find what you want, I have seen many vehicles with 'THE LOOK', but handle like a sack of $hit, so be sure not to waste money.
 

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Hi. You can go to 50s on 18s if you have got the room. I had ,40s on my 18s. Then went to 45s it made a big difference
I then went down to 17s with. 50s a big step in the right direction

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well some VERY good replies for you here T:

T4's will not give you a miracle ride, but will give one that's quite acceptable for every day use. You have been asked, but did not say what you are hoping to achieve ................ we all have our own interpretation of 'improved ride quality'.

less bounce is what im after.....handling wise its fine... I dont expect sports car handling anyway. i noticed that unless were on nice smooth roads its good, but changing surfaces and holes we seem to bounce over them rather than soak them up! In general it feels too hard. Maybe as the dampers and springs are brand new they might bed in a bit????

Thanks for the replies
 

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less bounce is what im after.....handling wise its fine... I dont expect sports car handling anyway. i noticed that unless were on nice smooth roads its good, but changing surfaces and holes we seem to bounce over them rather than soak them up! In general it feels too hard. Maybe as the dampers and springs are brand new they might bed in a bit????

Thanks for the replies
With your new shock absorbers and springs 'bounce' should have been the least of your problems. Tyres (type and make) and most importantly tyre pressures, also play a big part in the way it drives; and handles road surface changes.

The new shock absorbers and springs will need some 'bedding in time', certainly several hundred miles. During that time maybe you can better evaluate what you have achieved, and what you had hoped to.

Lowering springs are fine, but they often come with a carrying capacity way above those of the factory spec. That can change the characteristic considerably, and is the main reason why I kept the originals. The gas shocks you have maybe just a beefier version of the factory originals.

The factory reinforced shocks, read Sachs Super Touring (or HD if you like), are oil only so offer a different ride again (also used when the factory offered 'sports suspension').

The problem is people want to achieve something in their own mind, and none of us are actually driving your vehicle. As I said I think I would run it for a while and then maybe re-evaluate what you are after ................ we are all looking for something different :*
 
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