Suspension…

Well I brought my van and boy was i chuffed with it. T3s were new tome…so new that i had no idea what one was supposed to handle like. I knew it was made on the brink 80s / 90s and I wasn’t 100% sure from memory what the vehicles of this era should handle like. I mean I drove a lot of them…but maybe I had just got used to a modern equivalent.

However…after persisting with the van for a few months i decided that I wasn’t happy with the height of the van. With any vehicle I own I tend to want to make changes so this was just a matter of course for me. So after a little research I decided to plunge for the Brickwerks Eibach Pro springs which offer a 40mm drop from standard. I also decided in light of the poor handling that going for a set of the Powerflex Steering Rack Mount Bushes couldn’t do any harm.

Delivery of springs and bushes
Delivery of springs and bushes

I received them, and promptly had them fitted by a local mechanic that works on my Lotus. When I collected the van after fitting the height was great with a subtle but noticeable drop. The van seemed to handle slightly better on the multiple speed humps in my area. Little did i know things weren’t anywhere near as good as it should be. The next months salary were spent on replacing the dampers. Boy did this make a difference! I went for the Bilstein Fronts and Rears, (again from Brickwerks).

Bilstein Fronts
Bilstein Fronts
Bilstein Rears
Bilstein Rears

It was pretty clear after changing the dampers that this turned out to be the single biggest issue with the handling of the van. Basically, the van used to take an age to settle after going over a hump because the original ones were shot and not doing what they were supposed to. On this I concluded that the original springs we not brilliant. They were not progressively coiled so offered a very basic rebound effect, so changing to the Eibachs offered a slightly better ride. Twin this with a new ‘WORKING’ set of dampers and it was a transformed animal.

I would like to add that after a future visit to Brickwerks in which the Radius arms and corresponding chassis mounts were replaced / repaired, along with the Wishbone Bushes , the handling was improved yet again.

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