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Date:         Thu, 6 Apr 2000 21:07:28 EDT
Reply-To:     CMathis227@AOL.COM
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         Chuck Mathis <CMathis227@AOL.COM>
Subject:      Re: vanagon suspension
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"

I gotta concur with Brent here. I picked up my '85 with just over 40K miles. While they didn't show any signs of oil leaking, etc., I could pump the shocks with almost no effort.

Brent also didn't mention the infamous braking nose dive that is quite dramatic with a Vanagon because of the wheel base and the fact you're sitting on the wheels.

A set of KYB's and an AirLift kit solved my saggy, bouncy problems for right at $200.

I had a '67 in college -- made a '72 seem like a limo even after I replaced the fused left front shock.

Chuck '85 Westy Weekender -- 'Roland'

In a message dated 4/6/00 8:32:53 PM, bchristensen@INFOGENESIS.COM writes:

<< My Syncro is my first vanagon, but I had a '72 Microbus in college. Vans

like these take getting used to because you are sitting right on top of the

front wheels. As a result, you notice a couple of things:


That being said, I think that shocks seem to be the most overlooked aspect

of Vanagons by DPO's, based on the amount of time we spend talking about

them here on the list. :-)

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but IMHO the stock (OEM or dealer)

shocks on a Vanagon (or just about any other vehicle for that matter) are

pretty much useless after about 50,000 miles. The problem is that they fade

gradually, and the driver (DPO) becomes accustomed to the bouncy ride and

the occasional bottoming out over time. It is also something that people

rarely think of checking (like the oil or tires). I would bet that every

single used car with over 50,000 miles that I have bought in the last 20

years needed shocks when I bought it.


Probably more than you wanted to know, but I hope it helps point you in the

right direction. If you need shocks, take heart in the fact that you have a

2wd Vanagon, and have lots of options for shocks. I am awaiting the

delivery of my new special-ordered, list-purchased-from-Australia Old Man

Emu shocks, which even at about 35% off retail, still cost $500 for four of

them! (I think KYB's are about $25 each for a 2 wd Vanagon!) >>

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