A Vanagon’s suspension system is made up of several important components, including the springs, which support the vehicle weight and absorb and reduce excess energy from annoying road vibrations and various treacherous impediments. This article will explain a bit about Vanagon springs, what they are, why they are important, and why we think Schwenk Vanagon Springs are the best the industry has seen. (If you are interested in learning about shocks, please see this additional article: The Perfect Vanagon Shock Set Up.)
There are three different spring types that are used in suspension systems: “coil”, which is what our Vanagon’s use, “leaf” and “torsion bar”. Coil springs are merely wound torsion bars. They are commonly used because they are compact, easily mounted and have excellent life-endurance properties. Leaf springs are long, thin members that are loaded in bending. They are used as an assembly being comprised of several layers of thin metal to obtain the correct spring rate. Leaf springs serve as both the damping member and the linkage. Torsion bars rely on the twist of a long bar to provide a spring rate to dampen car shock loading. Torsion bars mount across the bottom portion of a vehicle and are more difficult to package than others.
In the beginning, Volkswagen’s color coding of their springs made it very difficult to know which spring went best with which type of van, whether they were simple, light passenger vans or the heavy-duty expedition Syncros you see nowadays. In fact, many of the VW springs were not available in the continental U.S. and today are no longer available, even overseas. We believe Mr. Schwenk did us all a great service by developing up-to-date, optimal springs for a variety of Vanagon types.
We choose to offer these springs for four main reasons:
Using high-quality springs in your vehicles isn’t just about performance, reliability, and reputation, it’s about safety. The force between the van body and the wheel is maintained by these springs. More importantly, a coiled Schwenk spring is better suited to provide steering stability and good handling. We love that our customers ride off-road, go on epic, hair-raising expeditions. But the most important aspect of buying “Burley” is for safety. It is and will always be the main reason why we make our products so strong.
These springs have a great shock-absorbing capacity. Vehicles need to be tough—they need to withstand environmental conditions on rough, uneven terrain and long drives. They need to perform at their very best, all of the time. BMS customers expect it. If you’re dishing out money on a new suspension system, you naturally don’t want your suspension to give out. You deserve a smooth ride from point A to point B.
If the springs aren’t durable, then the vehicle isn’t reliable. It’s just that simple. Components that were poorly manufactured weren’t designed to your vehicle’s specifications, or which were created in the wrong size won’t last very long. BMS relies on its reputation for making or having the best possible parts in the business. Schwenk springs are another offering of a high-caliber product we can stand behind, made right here in the USA.
Each set of Schwenk springs are designed to deliver great handling and braking, optimal damping, and a comfortable driving experience specific to every type of van: standard Syncros, lifted Syncros, standard 2WD Vanagons, and 2WD Westy Campers.
By narrowing the focus of his spring to a smaller range of vehicle weights and characteristics, Schwenk springs perform better on those vehicles than stock springs or any spring sold by competitors. If you are interested in turning your old Vanagon into a smoother, more comfortable experience, or if you plan on taking your rig off-road for camping expeditions, then look to improve your suspension system. A good place to start is a better spring.
- For Tin-Tops, Dokas, Weekenders & lighter Syncros
- Slightly taller than stock-spring ride height (depending on vehicle weight)
- Height adjustable with shims
- Work well with all major shock brands
- Designed for dual-purpose, on- / off-road use
- For full Westys and other heavy Syncros
- Increased ride height & suspension travel (depending on vehicle weight)
- Modestly stiffer than stock springs
- Work well with all major shock brands
- Designed for dual-purpose on- / off-road use
- Modestly stiffer & slightly taller than stock (depending on vehicle weight)
- Firm but responsive feel – not harsh
- Improved ride, cornering & stability
- Work with all major shock brands
**You will find a much more detailed description from Schwenk about his springs on our springs’ product pages.