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Rookie suspension ?????s

846 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  CarPoor
I just brought home an '88 Cabby that has a pretty peppy motor, but the struts are S-H-O-T, and I'd like to improve canyon carving abilities, and lower it a fair bit. Which system would give me the most bang for my buck, allowing
1) adjustable lowering...slam for GTGs, up some for the daily grind.
2) vastly improved handling/stability
3) decent ride comfort- I like the Teutonic feel in my cars, but I'm too old for a
kidney damaging ride.
4) Reasonable total cost
also, I'm in the PacNW. Who sells these kits, or should I order online? What about buying from across the border in BC? Thoughts?
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Re: Rookie suspension ?????s (CarPoor)

Denon in Vancouver sells FK coilovers, which seem to be very good. HPA Motorsports in Vancouver sells KW coilovers, which are also very good.
[EDIT: Here is some contact info for you...]
HPA Motorsports

[Modified by catalytic, 1:32 AM 2-13-2002]
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Re: Rookie suspension ?????s (CarPoor)

Bingo. See, you're not such a rookie after all http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif Height adjustability was the main reason I recommended coilovers for you. Otherwise, I wouldn't because of the cost and harsher ride.
I continue to enjoy my ProSystem very much. The only thing I am really looking to do is make the steering firmer, tighter, and less boosted. I don't know how to accomplish this directly, except for maybe crimping the power steering fluid hose (?)
In the future, I may fine-tune the suspension by adding an upper strut tower bar and maybe a 25 mm rear sway, but the Eibach springs and shocks are here to stay!
If you are looking for a similar system for your old cabby, I don't think Eibach ever made a ProSystem for it -- the ProKit springs, maybe, but definitely not the shocks. For shocks, you might want to look at Boge ProGas.
Some additional notes you may find useful:
You shouldn't lower your cabby much at all, because you will lose much of whatever precious suspension travel you have left (older VW's don't have much to spare!). If you want to lower > 1.25", you should forget about separate springs/shocks and go with coilovers, because they preserve more suspension travel. I would personally NOT lower the car and just change the shocks to some Boge ProGas. http://www.autotech.com/shocks.htm#boge
You might want to look at Shine's Real Street setup as well, as they make a good minimally lowered suspension kit. http://www.srsvw.com/page5.htm
Another issue with old VW's is that their body structure is very weak (if it wasn't already that way from the factory, years of corrosion will make it so). It would be a very good idea to add structural rigidity in the form of an upper-strut tower brace and a lower subframe brace. I am not sure if a rear upper or lower brace is available for the cabby, especially with the space required to stow the top. Perhaps VW already reinforced the cabby adequately around the "tub" anyways, to compensate for the lack of roof...
My 2 cents...

[Modified by catalytic, 7:42 PM 2-14-2002]
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Re: Rookie suspension ?????s (CarPoor)

I'm not sure how to pinpoint squeaks, rattles, and clunking exactly, as I am neither a mechanic, nor am I particularly comfortable under a car... having said that, exorcising a VW's noises is an age-old challenge that can be likened to a zen artform. Of course, one must turn inward, and meditate in the driver's seat for as long as it takes for enlightenment to occur.
You must become one with your dub before you can find the answer to such questions like: if a Rabbit Diesel rattles in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound? ... Or, what is the sound of one ball joint clunking?
For those of you who like watching movies instead of studying religion and philosophy, be sure to rent the new video from Volkswagen, "Clunking Tie-Rod, Hidden Rattle".
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Re: Rookie suspension ?????s (CarPoor)

Seriously, though. Most A1 and even A2 VW's need structural reinforcement in the form of a strut tower braces front and rear. The A1's also could benefit from a lower front brace as well. (not to mention a rear swaybar and a thicker front bar). These reinforcements would address some of those noises for sure, but you might want to check things like the ball joints, tie rods, CV joints, strut bearings/mounts, among others...
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