Heavy-duty suspension?

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kieferwabbit
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:57 am
What year is your cabby?: 1980
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Heavy-duty suspension?

Post by kieferwabbit » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:03 am

Hi guys!

The shocks on my 1980 are all pretty much shot. I want to replace them, and possibly the springs, with heavier-duty parts. The reason? I plan to eventually convert the car to electric, and the batteries will add enough weight that it will be like having a couple of linebackers in the back seat at all times. I want my little convertible to still be usable as a 4-seater after the conversion, so I want to make sure that when I replace the shocks, I replace them with ones that can handle the stress.

In thinking about this, I've noted that most off-roaders use gas-charged shocks, and those have to take the stress of huge bumps and even landing from jumps. Do any of the major manufacturers make gas-charged shocks for our application?

Should I also upgrade the springs? Where would I find higher rate springs in the proper size? Another VW model, or is there a way to source generic springs with a higher rate than what's already in my VW?

Lastly, to save money (which is always tight), could I upgrade the shocks now and do the springs later, or will that lead to weird handling issues?

Thanks!

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CalAltaDubber
Frozen Guy in the Northern Country
Posts: 2004
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 11:10 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1987
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Contact:

Re: Heavy-duty suspension?

Post by CalAltaDubber » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:06 pm

If you are converting to electric, a site that you might wat to check is http://96-volt.com/. He converted a Cabby to electric, and would have more information on what size struts he used.

As for changing struts on these cars, it is always better to do them together. Silmpy because you would have to disassemble the strut assemby to change out the shock or the spring. Naturally, if you have the strut off the car and apart, you need to do an alignment. So save the cost and do them together.
Phil

'87 Cabriolet, "Topless Bunny"
'88 Cabriolet, "Posh Bunny"
'04 Golf
'12 Golf Wagon TDI
'69 Manx type Dune Buggy (New Toy)

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kieferwabbit
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:57 am
What year is your cabby?: 1980
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: Heavy-duty suspension?

Post by kieferwabbit » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:50 pm

Yeah, I've seen mister 96V, but he's got a massive budget compared to mine. Buying Bilstein replacement struts/springs ain't within my budget by a long shot.

With everything I do, it has to be the most cost-effective way possible. Not the cheapest -- I don't want dangerous or unreliable, but the best bang-for-buck.

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CalAltaDubber
Frozen Guy in the Northern Country
Posts: 2004
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 11:10 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1987
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Contact:

Re: Heavy-duty suspension?

Post by CalAltaDubber » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:38 pm

kieferwabbit wrote:Yeah, I've seen mister 96V, but he's got a massive budget compared to mine. Buying Bilstein replacement struts/springs ain't within my budget by a long shot.
Oh I understand budget issues. That's the main reason I took 5 years to build Posh Bunny. Bilsteins were out of my range too. I went for a set of FK springs and shocks. They were actually cheaper than a stock set of struts.
kieferwabbit wrote:With everything I do, it has to be the most cost-effective way possible. Not the cheapest -- I don't want dangerous or unreliable, but the best bang-for-buck.
Agreed, that's the way I like to work. So you can see why I suggested to do both shocks and struts at the same time. That way you only need to do an alignment once.
Phil

'87 Cabriolet, "Topless Bunny"
'88 Cabriolet, "Posh Bunny"
'04 Golf
'12 Golf Wagon TDI
'69 Manx type Dune Buggy (New Toy)

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