Shocks/Struts/Springs


Capt. Mike

Moderator
The numbers you quote are what Bilstein recommends as Vanagon HD. Are they the substitue for the 241-413-031J or the -031G? I would presume for the -031J for the simple reason it was used on the most applications including campmobile. -031G covers models also listed under -031J. A mystery as both are listed as HD; it might be VW's way of keeping two vendors or style of shocks (hydraulic or gas) separate.

First of all, get under the van and see if the stabilizer bars are still connected, all bolts tight (not just the shock mount, either) and all of your bushings, etc., are in good condition and in place. Changing shocks can call for some pretty tough fits and heavy strains. It's possible the job has gotten one disconnected or a hardened bushing broken out. They are, after all, 17 years old.

It would have been nice to have personally tested the new Bilsteins before installation. Being a gas shock, any damage or leakage could render them useless. I would hope your mechanic did so and compared them with the originals for fit, mount & function.

Finally check that you have the correct spacer sleeves installed per Bentley 40.4. Without, the shock would be 28.5mm stretched out when in normal unloaded height, a heck of a stretch. With the wrong spacers, there would still be a 4mm stretch. And I guess, finally, does Bilstein make the shocks different to eliminate the spacers and now they are doubled?
 
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westfaliarage

New member
Hi, Are Cofap shocks OEM?? I have been told they are but haven't read anything about them in this thread or on this site. Oh just noticed someone said they are out of Brazil but nothing else.

Thanks
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
No! OEM were Boge, with occassional Bilstein or Fichel Sachs. When Bilstein or Fichel Sachs were used, they were identical to, and completely interchangable with, the Boge. Confusion and false claims arise when a source MAY have been used in a local production, authorized replacement or some other VW affiliate make or model. For example, this claim might arise in supplying a shock for the Beetle that was manufactured in Brazil for a period where a percentage of local content was required. The claim might also arise where a company begins supplying a VW affiliate make or model in current production in some market. VW is talking about producing a couple of new models in the US. If a US manufacturer, say Monro, makes shocks for those sedans, that would still not make them OE or OEM for Westies.
 
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westfaliarage

New member
Thanks for the quick reponsce Capt. Mike. One more quick question. Bus Depot is selling something called a "Premium Heavy Duty Boge/Sachs. Their best Vanagon shock, higher performance than the stock Boge shock. Imported from Germany only by The Bus Depot!" They are $20 more than the standard Boge Shocks. Do you think they are saying these are going to have a stiffer ride? I am looking for something to decrease side to side motion which I think makes my son car sick. I have read how the you have said that shocks don't do it all and sway bars and other parts of the suspension take care of that. I have 206k KM's and I don't think the shocks have ever been changed so I was going to change them.

Thanks again
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
What year & model? Guideline #3! :mad:

Have you read the topic on Bus Depot in the PARTS forum? And have you gone to the dealer (Guideline #8) and looked at the parts fiche for your model? For example, assuming a late model Vanagon, the Westies CAME with 251-413-031J f. shocks, which are HD. You need to sort fact from fiction -- are they selling unapproved non-HD shock for Westies and then claiming you should buy the HD that was OE to begin with? Or are they claiming some new Super HD model? Correct OEM are available from a number of reliable sources -- you DO NOT want light duty, not-for-Westies, due to safety & handling consideration. Once you've got the correct data from your dealer, check with reliable resources such as VanAgain or GoWesty. The OE HD do NOT give a rough ride. I couldn't vouch for some Super HD (Guideline #7) as I feel they would be unnecessary and could cause ride or handling deficiencies.

Check your tires for load rating & pressures as well as the sway bars. That kind of sway may not be due to shocks. However, your shocks are probably about due. 100K and up is time to start monitoring them. I changed mine at 120K and they were just beginning to pick up some dead air.
 
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westfaliarage

New member
Thanks, Capt. Mike.

I was is rush to order for the summer season but now I am doing my research and will let you know what I find out. Found some time between chasing the 3 and 1.5 year old to read the guildlines.

1987 2WD.
 

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