Small Car Performance is now a proud authorized dealer of Schwenk Vanagon Springs!
Schwenk Springs are a significant upgrade from the stock VW Vanagon Springs but importantly are still in compliance with stock VW specs for ride height, alignment, and shock valving – making trips to alignment and mechanic shops headache free.
What’s so great about Schwenk Syncro Westy Springs?
- Increased ride height and suspension travel
- Moderately increased stiffness to improve handling and stability
- Performs well both on and off the road.
True to the Syncro’s roots, Schwenk’s Syncro Westy Springs are a dual-purpose on and off-road spring. Matched to the damping of Old Man Emu shocks and designed for use on Syncro Westfalias, and other heavier Syncros, they truly deliver the best of both worlds: real off-road capability and solid on-road performance.
How will these Schwenk Syncro Westy Springs affect my ride height?
With the use of thin shims for fine tuning, these springs allow a range of possible ride heights from roughly 19" to 19.5" on an empty Syncro Westfalia. This range of possible ride heights permits optimal suspension performance. The vehicle has enough "sag" under static weight to move up and down over terrain utilizing the maximum range of travel the suspension provides. The increased height also provides additional suspension travel.
We do not advise a ride height above 19.6" for several reasons. Heights above 19.6":
- result in a loss of range of suspension travel and performance
- result in greater stress to CV joints and higher rates of failure
- may not permit the vehicle to be aligned to VW specifications
- result in more "lean" and increased risk of roll-over on paved roads at freeway speeds - as is true with any taller spring on any vehicle.
Without shims, these springs will provide an empty Syncro Westy with a ride height of roughly 19," measuring from the center of the wheel/axle to the lower lip of the fender. A 1/8" shim up front and a 3/16" shim in the rear will provide ride-height of roughly 19.25" on an empty Syncro Westfalia. For ride height of roughly 19.5," a 1/4" shim up front and a 3/8" shim in the rear are needed.
This ideal range of ride height - from 19.0" to 19.5" - allows for adaptability to a wide range of Syncros, tires, height, and handling and driving preferences, all within stock specs.
If you drive almost entirely on pavement, and do not have extra-large tires, you should use the springs without shims (except to level the van, as needed). This setting and ride-height will provide the best and safest on-pavement performance while still maintaining very good off-road performance with a decent increase in ride height.
Those with larger tires, or who desire maximum height, can obtain the desired ride height easily and simply using fine-tuning shims.
What’s the spring rate of Schwenk Syncro Westy Springs?
The spring rate strikes an ideal balance between on and off-road performance. The ride is more stable and firmer on paved roads than stock springs, but it remains supple - as the Syncro suspension was intended to be. It is a little more spirited than stiff springs designed for only pavement would be, but the overall stability, handling and cornering is a huge upgrade.
Off-road, the springs perform very well. They are softer than any other after-market spring. As a result, they soak up the bumps better. They also provide superior traction. The springs are not harsh on bumps and freeway joints, like stiffer springs are. The shocks perform better than with stiffer springs as well since they are within VW factory damping specs.
Schwenk Syncro Tin Top Springs do NOT use a Progressive Coil. These are Straight Wound Springs!
The springs are straight wound coils. Schwenk does not use variable-rate coils because they result in a performance compromise and often do not work as intended. Variable wound coils entail a loss of travel. In addition, the weight-range under which the softer coils are effective is quite narrow – with the result that they are often fully, or nearly fully compressed (and hence non-functional) under the static weight of a moderately loaded and heavier Syncro.
Overall, straight wound coils provide a more consistent and progressive feel throughout a greater range of travel, resulting in superior overall suspension performance.
What’s so great about Chrome Silicon Pre-Tensioned Steel?
All Schwenk Springs are made of Chrome Silicon Pre-Tensioned Steel. Chrome Silicon is simply the best material available for automotive springs for the simple reason that it does not sag over time, like other spring steel does. In addition, it can be wound to closer tolerances - meaning more accurate and consistent spring rates across the entirety of the manufacturing process.