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Old 12-04-2017, 02:19 AM   #11
adj2000
 
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Default Re: Aftermarket Suspension Options - whats your experience?

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Originally Posted by Desertbound View Post
Well Iím going to be biased since I design our (Van Compass) suspension components but I figure I would chime in anyway with the rhyme behind the reason for how and why we made our sprinter suspension packages the way that we did. Additionally, there is a lot of bad and incorrect information out there regarding suspension upgrades. My intention for this post is to simply put out correct information.

First, what is it most of us donít like about how the Sprinter handles both on and offroad? As a suspension engineer by trade with over 10 years of experience designing and manufacturing suspension systems and other off road aftermarket components for Jeeps and Dodge trucks and someone who personally owns and drives one of two sprinter vans everyday over 60 miles a day, I can tell you the things that I personally didnít like about the ride quality of a stock sprinter van.

On Road:
ē Ride harshness. Relative smooth roads didnít seem too smooth anymore.
ē Head jostling, damn near violent sway / rocking with uneven, low speed road conditions. (Lack of low speed damping) Most noticeable when pulling into and out of driveways at an angle or tackling speed bumps in a parking lot at an angle.
ē Relative instability in even moderate wind conditions. Especially noticeable in my 118Ē WB tall roof T1N (The Pita Van)

Off Road:
ē Ride harshness. Washboard roads and rocky forest roads were near unbearable.
ē Head Jostling, damn near vilent sway / rocking with uneven, low speed conditions, again a severe lack of low speed damping to control the tall center of gravity and most importantly, overly stiff sway bars.
ē Lack of articulation and overly stiff sway bars causing unnecessary tire lifting and severely limiting articulation.

Now, how to address these issues; Iím just going to focus on ride quality since that is the focus of this thread. I will not get into our suspension lift kits and fitting larger tires and why it is a beneficial upgrade for many individuals as this thread seems to be more focused on ride quality and drivability. I can go into that as well if desired.

Shocks. The OEM shocks are cheap and are designed to cover a wide array of weights / and chassis configurations. The sprinter suspension, was most likely designed for its intended customer base, which are not the individuals on this forum. The sprinter customer base is commercial; Fleet trucks. Thus, cost, longevity, and maintenance were likely the priorities in the chassis design, not ride comfort and on or off-road prowess. A simple upgrade to a quality, tune-able monotube rear shock will make you love your van 10x over. I guarantee it. Do not waste money on Konis, they are junk. We have dealt with them, they are poorly made in comparison to a Bilstein or Fox and we have replaced countless sets with very low mileage on them. We have installed brand new ones per customer requests and the ride is improved over stock slightly but are not even in the same league compared to when we do our Fox upgrade. Konis have very little compression damping in them and rely solely on rebound damping. Do yourself a favor and before doing anything else to your van. Get a set of tuned Fox shocks from us (Van Compass) or Agile and you will immediately be happy.

Rear spring rate. The OEM spring is a good spring. Itís a leaf spring. Itís technology from the 1800s and it is still in use today. OEM spends millions and millions on chassis design and making sure some, not all, components will never need replacement. I personally have never had a vehicle where the OEM rear leaf springs have worn out and lost spring rate. If you have a relatively light van, I.E. not nearing the GVWR of the van, we do not recommend adding spring rate to the rear of the van as it is just not needed. More spring rate means more damping will be needed to control said spring rate to keep the van from rocking, swaying violently and feeling harsh on relatively smooth roads. It is my understanding that the Agile full replacement rear leaf pack has more spring rate than the factory leaf pack, but I cannot say for sure. I know they do a lot of custom leaf packs depending on the customerís vehicle.

We do a rear add-a-leaf pack for a couple reasons;

1. I like OEM components. They tend to go the distance. I know this is a contradiction to my stance on shocks, but shocks are a wear item. They are meant to have a shelf life. The rear leaf spring on a vehicle is not a wear item. It is designed to outlast the vehicle. Thus we wanted to keep it on the vehicle and design something to give it a little help and fit our goals.
2. Our add-a-leaf pack allows us to give heavy vans at or near the GVWR a slight spring rate and ride height increase to help control the additional weight which they are always hauling around as well as get them back to the same amount of uptravel the van had when it was an empty cargo van, thus preventing excessive bottoming of the rear suspension and improving the ride quality.
3. Cost. Making a full replacement pack is expensive and the retail price has to be high for it to be cost effective for the manufacturer to justify producing it.
4. The way our add-a-leaf pack is designed allows us to use it in a variety of applications. It allows us to tune ride height, getting up to a 2.0Ē lift for those desiring a big increase in tire size and ground clearance, as well as just being able to use it on heavy vehicles just needing a slight increase in spring rate and ride height.

Front suspension. Harshness in the front end, again, is down to a lack of damping in the factory struts. In my opinion, the front of the OEM spring rate on the front of these vans is adequate for the weight that the front of the van carries. There are exceptions to that. Cab & chassis motorhomes and some heavily built out 3500s could stand an increase in spring rate. In this case, we recommend installing a Sumo spring. It is a cost effective solution and adds spring rate to the chassis in an area that is designed to handle the full weight of the vehicle.

Side to side sway / rocking. Yet again, this is due to a lack of low speed damping in the front struts. There simply is not enough damping in the factory struts to control the tall chassis and overly stiff front sway bar. A sway bar is a spring. Load one end of a sway bar, and the other side wants to unload. Itís a giant solid bar that you are effectively twisting as the van handles bumps unevenly going down the road. It is this loading and unloading of the front sway bar along with inadequate damping that is most conducive to the violent rocking which Sprinters are so well known for.

We address the improving the front suspension ride quality with additional damping.

ē We add a secondary shock to the front of the van. Again, we use Fox shocks combined with bolt on shock brackets and tune each shock kit per vehicle depending on your vanís weight and your primary use.
ē We do not add spring rate or ride height unless requested and is needed, IE a very heavy van. But letís not forget, where is most of the additional weight carried in a van? The rear, not the front.
ē We put a lot of rebound damping in the shocks to control the unloading of the sway bar and drastically limit the side to side sway / rocking of the vehicle over uneven, slow surfaces. The increase in compression damping and the amount of additional damping drastically improves off-road performance with fast, small bumps (washboard for example).
ē Our front shock kit can be bolted on a bone stock 4x4 van without the need for less wheel offset or a wheel spacer. A benefit to an additional front shock is that you have a backup should a stock strut blow out or wear out prematurely. And I promise you, your front struts will wear out. With our kit, that secondary shock acts as a redundancy should you loose a strut on a long trip.
ē Our front shock kit is a relatively cost effective upgrade. $700 for all the components and detailed instructions so you can install it yourself in your driveway with simple hand tools or contact us to set you up with a quality installation shop.
ē No alignment is needed after installing our front shock kit.

Now we do business with Agile and they sell and install a lot of our products. But I personally am not a fan of the coil assist kit up front that Agile does for a couple reasons;

ē It puts the front CVs at an increased operating angle.
ē It adds spring rate to an area of the chassis not really designed to carry spring rate and into a wear item. The spring rate load is being loaded into the stock rubber strut bushing which is already a commonly serviced part. The top of your strut bolts right under your feet to just sheet metal. This is the reason we like the Sumo spring for a spring rate increase as it installs where the factory bump stop is and transfers load into the suspension sub frame which was designed for it.
ē Wheel spacers are required.
ē You are more likely to be lifting a tire when articulating. The van is lifted in a way where down travel (droop travel) is lost. Heavier spring rate means more force is required to compress the suspension, again hindering articulation without lifting a tire.
ē The van is no longer driving down the road with the OEM ride height suspension geometry. Steering and control arm angles are increased and alignment ability is limited.
We do our suspension lifts very differently and extend every suspension component accordingly so suspension geometry is the same as OEM and all corresponding components are relocated or replaced so suspension angles are unaffected. I could go into more detail, but this thread is about ride quality, so Iíll just leave this alone for now.

I run our red van which is on 315/75/16 tires with our 2Ē lift kit and no sway bars front or rear. And the way we convince people about our suspension set up is to come drive the red van. It is a dream to drive in all road conditions both on and off-road. Even with a trailer behind it towing 5k lbs in heavy wind conditions.



Unless Agile is making longer sway bar links and installing significantly longer travel shocks and disconnecting the front and rear sway bar, you are not getting much, if any increase in articulation. That is a misconception as shock lengths and front and rear sway bars are the limiting factors of the Sprinter vanís suspension.

Whichever suspension upgrades Sprinter van owners decide to go, with Van Compass or Agile. Don't waste money with air bag kits and crazy heavy rate after market front or rear sway bars. Both Van Compass and Agile have extensive backgrounds in the automotive off-road aftermarket and are here to produce results to optimize your van life experience. Iím sure Iím missing a few points and will likely ruffle some feathers but we get these questions on a daily basis so hopefully this information will help educated Sprinter owners understand where and why upgrades should be made.

-Rob
Hey Rob, I will be interested to update my 3500 suspension.
Thanks, John
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Old 12-04-2017, 03:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: Aftermarket Suspension Options - whats your experience?

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Originally Posted by Desertbound View Post
...

Whichever suspension upgrades Sprinter van owners decide to go, with Van Compass or Agile. Don't waste money with air bag kits and crazy heavy rate after market front or rear sway bars. Both Van Compass and Agile have extensive backgrounds in the automotive off-road aftermarket and are here to produce results to optimize your van life experience. Iím sure Iím missing a few points and will likely ruffle some feathers but we get these questions on a daily basis so hopefully this information will help educated Sprinter owners understand where and why upgrades should be made.

-Rob
Thanks for the clarity on a couple of points. You confirmed some things I only thought I knew and answered a couple of questions for me. However, I do have ONE question for you:

I have ridden in many 4X4 trucks with AAL's installed, and without exception, they all rode extremely poorly unloaded. The few trucks I have ridden in with custom leaf packs in the back (Deaver and Atlas) were exactly the opposite. My van is currently sagging over an inch in the back, I havent scaled it yet, but its no light rig. Its a pop top with all its additional weight behind the center bench, (cabinets, 20gal water, aluminess bumper, box with gear, spare tire, butcher block counters, refrigerator etc). Despite all the weight, the back of the van is still very harsh over any imperfection. I cant imagine adding spring rate back there.

With upgraded shocks, is your AAL kit any less harsh than a loaded stock van?

I dont really want to raise the van much more. I have plenty of clearance to get most of the places I want to get to on the 33's I am running. My wife has MS and already has a hard enough time getting in and out of the van, so putting it another 2" up in the air is, unfortunately out of the question. My aim is to restore the rear height, get the most controlled ride I can and do anything I can to increase articulation. If I can get the ride I want with both sway bars jettisoned, that would be my ideal situation.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:45 AM   #13
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Default Re: Aftermarket Suspension Options - whats your experience?

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Originally Posted by adj2000 View Post
Hey Rob, I will be interested to update my 3500 suspension.
Thanks, John
John
I would largely agree with what you have stated in your lengthy post.
No feathers ruffled at this point in Golden!--Maybe my dislike of Coors pi$$water perhaps ruffles feathers!
Cheers Dennis
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Aftermarket Suspension Options - whats your experience?

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Originally Posted by Wrinkledpants View Post
Right. I just mean that if you can get a striker lift, 35" tires, AND do sway bar disconnects from one quality vendor using fox equipment (aka Van Compass), I would likely pull the trigger on that. As mentioned above, the big appeal from the Agile setup is the articulation. My assumptions are that the Agile production version will be reliable and not jeopardize the chassis. However, you're kit is already solid and production ready. So, adding sway bar disconnects would put me into the van compass camp as I can get everything I'm looking for.

If there is sufficient LSC damping on those dampers to support a highroof with a rack and a full load on the roof, then I could see doing a complete sway bar delete and just turn some dials when back on the pavement. That would actually be preferable to disconnects, at least from a convenience standpoint. In my experience, there is always a downside to running that much LSC, but my experience is all car and bike related. Maybe having big, chunky tires would soak up some of that stiffness?
We can get you there but my suggestion would be to first to try our set-up without pulling sway bars. It all really depends on how you want your van to feel and what is your end goal. How many dirt miles a year are you gonna see vs. street miles. We have some customers who live down a 5 mile washboard road and deal with that every day vs. the average weekender who road trips and just occasionally hits a forest road to an established campsite. We try to address every customer individually.

We have to bump up the low speed damping significantly to control these top heavy vans. We are dealing with a lot more weight than a car or mountain bike. That said, compared to what your van feels like stock, it will be a massive game changing improvement in all conditions. Big tires help a ton for offroad travel. There's simply no getting around that. There's a reason why off road vehicles run big floaty tires, it's not just for looks.

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Originally Posted by aksotar View Post
I have yet to actually drive my new 4x4 144 but right off the bat I had Agile Fox LSCís w/reservoirs installed in the rear and am looking forward to their front struts when available... Iíll also change to a heavier rear sway bar.. got the factory spring dampners... I have 285/70R17ís KO2ís on Method Standards, Backwoods bumper w/Warn Zeon 12S Platinum winch..
after decades of riding all sorts of ATVís and snowmachines that Iíve upgraded shocks on I can only expect a much better ride as compared to factory shocks, same as on my cars and trucks... I want a heavier rear sway bar because I am going to be towing a trailer with toys on it...
I live in Ak, drive a 2012 GMC K1500 excab truck and will now drive my van wherever I took my truck... I would never mess with the sway bars on my truck, thats why I have toys.. if youíre in situations you feel you need to disconnect your sway bar then you better have other vehicles around as well as having a winch, shovels, etc.... itís a Sprinter Van, not a Baja racer... but to each their own...
The whole sway bar disconnect thing is simply to allow the vehicle to use all of the suspension it is equipped with. Trust me, a sprinter is much more unstable and sketchy when teetering down a dirt road with a tire up in the air. Having the sway bars off allows the van's chassis to stay level and suspension stay planted on the ground. This photo shows how much better the front suspension can work without the front sway bar hooked up in the dirt.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaPUQixj...-by=vancompass

Note how level the chassis is and how much the front suspension is actually flexed with the sway bars disconnected. I strongly suggest you keep your factory rear sway bar vs. going to a bigger aftermarket bar. The only potential benefit you may see is in very heavy side wind conditions and high speed cornering. Everywhere else will likely be a detriment in side to side sway / rocking and low speed off road conditions. Which, let's be honest, is what these vans mostly see when being driven on dirt roads. You're totally right, they are not baja racers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OffroadHamster View Post
Thanks for the clarity on a couple of points. You confirmed some things I only thought I knew and answered a couple of questions for me. However, I do have ONE question for you:

I have ridden in many 4X4 trucks with AAL's installed, and without exception, they all rode extremely poorly unloaded. The few trucks I have ridden in with custom leaf packs in the back (Deaver and Atlas) were exactly the opposite. My van is currently sagging over an inch in the back, I havent scaled it yet, but its no light rig. Its a pop top with all its additional weight behind the center bench, (cabinets, 20gal water, aluminess bumper, box with gear, spare tire, butcher block counters, refrigerator etc). Despite all the weight, the back of the van is still very harsh over any imperfection. I cant imagine adding spring rate back there.

With upgraded shocks, is your AAL kit any less harsh than a loaded stock van?

I dont really want to raise the van much more. I have plenty of clearance to get most of the places I want to get to on the 33's I am running. My wife has MS and already has a hard enough time getting in and out of the van, so putting it another 2" up in the air is, unfortunately out of the question. My aim is to restore the rear height, get the most controlled ride I can and do anything I can to increase articulation. If I can get the ride I want with both sway bars jettisoned, that would be my ideal situation.
I totally understand what you are saying. Yes. A single cheap add-a-leaf usually rides harsher on an unloaded truck. But the flip side to that, is try to hook a trailer up to that same truck with a set of deaver or atlas springs. They usually end up sitting on the bumpstops when you actually need to use the truck as a truck. Our leaf pack is the same thing that many high end ICON Toyota truck and Carli Dodge truck suspension kits consist of. For example;

http://iconvehicledynamics.com/shop/...bular-uca.html

Naming our kit an add-a-leaf kit is probably poor branding on our part. We should have probably called it a Mini-pack. We developed our add-a-leaf kit for your exact van. Heavier vans that are sagging down about an inch in the back and could stand a slight bump in spring rate and ride height so they go down the road in more control. The harshness you are feeling from the rear is the cheap stock shocks you have and more frequent engagement into the rear bumpstop from your sagging ride height.

If you are on the fence, just start with a set of tuned rear shocks. But to me, it sounds like the ideal set-up for your van would be the addition of some rear spring rate.

-Rob
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: Aftermarket Suspension Options - whats your experience?

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Originally Posted by Desertbound View Post
I totally understand what you are saying. Yes. A single cheap add-a-leaf usually rides harsher on an unloaded truck. But the flip side to that, is try to hook a trailer up to that same truck with a set of deaver or atlas springs. They usually end up sitting on the bumpstops when you actually need to use the truck as a truck. Our leaf pack is the same thing that many high end ICON Toyota truck and Carli Dodge truck suspension kits consist of. For example;

http://iconvehicledynamics.com/shop/...bular-uca.html

Naming our kit an add-a-leaf kit is probably poor branding on our part. We should have probably called it a Mini-pack. We developed our add-a-leaf kit for your exact van. Heavier vans that are sagging down about an inch in the back and could stand a slight bump in spring rate and ride height so they go down the road in more control. The harshness you are feeling from the rear is the cheap stock shocks you have and more frequent engagement into the rear bumpstop from your sagging ride height.

If you are on the fence, just start with a set of tuned rear shocks. But to me, it sounds like the ideal set-up for your van would be the addition of some rear spring rate.

-Rob
Rob - Thanks for the further explanation. Its not so much that I am on the fence, more that I have a time budget and dont want to iterate on the van's suspension. As it is, it will be hard for me to find the time to do any of this suspension work and in general I am loath to work on something so big without a lift. Swapping suspensions on half ton trucks is bad enough, the van is huge.

Like you I am interested to see what Agile's strut ends up looking like from a cost and performance standpoint. As a Poly grad I have a strong lean toward VC's offerings.

As an engineer the design of the rear factory leaf pack bothers me, it may be a million mile spring, but its not progressive and once you get into the overload spring, forget it. I cant imagine a full replacement pack not outperforming a mini-pack. But again this is all just experiential with trucks. Deavers and Atlas's will definitely loose rate if overloaded too much and definitely sag when operated beyond their capacities, never to return to their original ride height again. They are designed to give the most travel and plushest ride at ONE weight. However, this is close to the scenario of my van. Loaded it will pretty much always weigh the same, and I dont much care to use the van for towing. To me logic says I should be able to size an appropriate high count leaf pack to give a great ride and carry the static weight of the van. Also, I believe that most of Agile's increased articulation is in the rear, not the front.

My ideal set-up would be:
VC lift kit minus the spring pack.
VC or Agile Remote reservoir rear shocks
Custom rear leaf pack
Agile strut or VC aux shock up front
All the VC skid plates
VC sliders and magically be able to mount an AMP research power step to tuck behind/above the sliders.

My reality is probably closer to:
VC Shocks, level the rear somehow, mount an AMP step and VC skid plates and drive really carefully and hope for the best.

If I had time to install your 2" lift and could get enough drop out of a powered step for my wife I would be all over it. Thats what you guys should do, make a set of brackets/mounting kit to get the amp step to tuck above/behind your sliders! You know, along with all your other projects ;)

EDIT:
BTW I am in no way knocking anything you guys build or put out! I think you guys are mammoth contributors and take a ton of risk developing equipment for such a small market and have exceptional engineering. I wish you were still on the central coast to put me within striking distance of cruising up to check out your vans and gear (not to mention save on shipping).

Last edited by OffroadHamster; 12-04-2017 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: Aftermarket Suspension Options - whats your experience?

A properly designed leaf spring supplement provides minimal spring rate change at normal ride height, and adds rate progressively with suspension droop. Done properly they won't result in a harsh ride, and can help tame undesired body movement when paired with a properly valved shock.

More spring means you need more shock, just the physics. More weight (and more moment due to taller vehicle) means you need more shock.


Sway bars are great for on road driving where the road does not roll much. This means most of the side/side changes are not due to the road, but to cornering G forces.

On bad roads, or off road, the sway bars act as a large energy storing spring, which exacerbates body roll on tall vehicles. A way to fix this is with stiffer main springs, and more low speed shock damping.

Ideally the suspension would be setup like F1 cars, with separate dampers for roll and each wheels bump/droop. But that is not feasible on a sprinter. A workaround is to valve the shocks to target the frequency/speed of typical body roll. There is not perfect, and will affect the ride some, but the improvement in body roll can be dramatic.

If you can successfully tame the worst of the body roll, you remove the rotational inertia which makes handling a tall vehicle without sway bars so dangerous and unsettling. This can allow removal of the sway bars without compromising handling, although the van will handle differently. Lack of roll bars is a boon off road, with better articulation, and less stored energy to damp. Ideally a sway bar disconnect would be fitted.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: Aftermarket Suspension Options - whats your experience?

I'm in the crowd of 'disconnect when possible' and so I'll be leaving my swaybars on until I find a suitable option for disconnecting the swaybars when needed. The van handles quite well as is and I want to get it outfitted completely before deciding which way to go about the swaybars.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: Aftermarket Suspension Options - whats your experience?

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I'm in the crowd of 'disconnect when possible' and so I'll be leaving my swaybars on until I find a suitable option for disconnecting the swaybars when needed. The van handles quite well as is and I want to get it outfitted completely before deciding which way to go about the swaybars.
You have been running around for a while with the lift and shocks now, can you provide a bit more detail on your thoughts (or do you have it posted somewhere else that I have missed)?

Also, I have read through the install instructions for the lift kit. It looks like it will probably take me two solid days by myself. Was this about your experience? Anything particularly challenging about installing with the van on stands instead of a lift? My biggest obstacle my workspace isnt particularly flat. Ive swapped suspension on my truck there but it was onerous to say the least.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:16 AM   #19
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Default Re: Aftermarket Suspension Options - whats your experience?

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Originally Posted by OffroadHamster View Post
...I wish you were still on the central coast to put me within striking distance of cruising up to check out your vans and gear (not to mention save on shipping).
I live just north of San Francisco - if interested in coming to take a look, PM me.

I'm at VC now getting a full kit installed:
2" Stryker lift
Front Fox shocks & Sumo Springs
Adj Fox Remote Res Rear Shocks
Skid plates
Ladder
Rear storage box (new product)
Pillar Mount for lights (new product)
Tire: Duratrac 35/12.5/17 Load Range E2 Tire

I'll post my impressions once it is installed.
Factory Ride: I did not like the factory ride off road - no low speed damping - well just poorly damped overall. Harsh front end bottoming out. On road, it was ok - needed refinement, but the lack of low speed damping was obvious. Experienced some bucking and porpoising if the concrete spacing was just right...Fairly bouncey all over the place. Drove Rob's van at VC - huge difference - night & day.

Reasons for VC over Agile
Maintain factory geometry, maintain balanced travel (uptravel vs down travel), maintain CV joint life, maintain factory alignment spec's. Also, wanted a fully integrated kit. Full documentation.

VC adds a pretty stout bracket for a secondary front damper. Agile kit loads the sheet metal fender-well opening & a rubber spacer with a spring - as an engineer (with a materials background), this approach concerns me (metal fatigue, not designed for the load, reliance on the strut for damping, etc)

Regarding the Rear spring pack: Just need a little help with rate. The mini-pack adds a little spring rate (enough to level & support my build-out) - and is long enough to properly augment the factory main leafs. I've done this approach with my Suburban - the factory leafs were fine - just needed a few more leafs and a slight increase in rate. Worked for 150k miles before I sold it...

I have lifted every 4x4 I've ever owned...and there were drawbacks to every kit I've installed. One lesson that has stuck with me: maintain factory steering angles and arm travel geometry - otherwise alignment, CV joints, ball joints all suffer. Bumpsteer and wandering/poor steering manners then tend to occur... The Sprinter arms are relatively short - so the choice became simple for me...minimize impacts on 98% of the driving (on-road).

My van is being built out over time and will wear a number of hats. I fully expect to return the shocks to VC (or a shock builder at VC direction) once the build is near completion ... and since this a custom suspension, this should be expected.
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:29 PM   #20
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Default Re: Aftermarket Suspension Options - whats your experience?

I agree with much you say but take exception to the Koni comments. The Konis are guaranteed for life. Koni will replace them if they go kaput. I doubt they can do that if they are poorly make. I had Konis (front & back) for over 9 years on my Sprinter MH. Till Fox came along, without a doubt they are head and shoulders better than Bilstein shocks. This is not a subjective opinion, but based on accelerometer data analysis.

You also mention Konis have more rebound than compression damping. Isn't that how a well designed shock is supposed to work? All the stored spring energy is supposed to be damped during rebound. You really don't want shock damping to inhibit spring compression when hitting a bump. The ride will be harsher.

I had one Koni shock failure while driving in Baja. Koni replaced the shock. I have 11 years on the Koni struts. Never a problem with them. They're far from junk. The OEM struts were a disaster. The MH front end would bottom out. Never a problem with Koni.

I've done a lot of suspension testing. Here's a couple of FFT graphs showing the difference when removing the rear Helliwig sway bar. Thg x-axis is frequency of vehicle oscillation and y-axis can be characterized as the amount of rocking energy when going over a speed bump at an angle. The vehicle oscillates at 1 Hz. With the SB peak amplitude is 50 units and without SB about 27 units. The SB almost doubles the rocking energy! I wouldn't have believed it.

I'm doing some new testing here.
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=61368

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertbound View Post

Do not waste money on Konis, they are junk. We have dealt with them, they are poorly made in comparison to a Bilstein or Fox and we have replaced countless sets with very low mileage on them. We have installed brand new ones per customer requests and the ride is improved over stock slightly but are not even in the same league compared to when we do our Fox upgrade. Konis have very little compression damping in them and rely solely on rebound damping.

-Rob
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FFT Hellwig SB.jpg (33.7 KB, 317 views)
File Type: jpg FFT no SB.jpg (31.3 KB, 288 views)

Last edited by calbiker; 12-06-2017 at 03:34 PM.
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