Shock absorbers, springs & shackles       


A basic requirement for shock absorbers to work fine is that the springs and shackles are all in good shape and well greased. Springs should never be painted, or show signs of rust. Make it a habit to regular clean the springs and seperate the leaves to get some grease in between the leaves. Ideal for lubriacting spring leaves is Wynn's Viscotene. Its thin when sprayed but becomes a sticky lubricant once settled. It can not easily be washed off.

Seperating the leaves can ofcourse only be done if the bolts of the clips holding the blades in line together are removed. In some cases there are no bolts but are the clips "folded over". In that case it is worth taking the spings of the car and modify the clips to take bolts facilitating future maintenance.

There do exist special leave spring lubricators (by Terry, see right). You can also force a screwdriver blade in between the leaves to make room for greasing. Rusted spring leaves will not allow the shock absorbers to do their work! You will notice the difference.

All VA's were originally fitted with Luvax shockabsorbers front & rear.

Regular maintenance demands regular checking of tightness of all connecting rods and nuts and other fixings. Replace worn rubbers in time. Check oil level of the shock abosorbers frequently and top up if required using an oil can with a flexible sprout filled with the appropriate oil for the dampers on your VA.

The oil used in round (vane type) Luvax dampers differs from the piston type damper oil. Do not mix !!

Up untill chassisnumber VA 1914  Luvax Fingertip Control type which are adjustable from the drivers seat were a standard factory fitting.


 "Fingertip" shock absorber control                                     "Fingertip" system lay out


A Fingertip Control system compromises of a control knob under the steering column, which operates through a bowden cable to a firewall mounted spill valve, and pressure pump activated by the movement of the rear axle, four type BR 16 vane type shock absorbers and many feet of copper piping.


  The firewall mounted spill valve



A BR 16 rear shock absorber including the bracket holding the pressurepump showing the operating rod in between the pump and the shock absorber arm.


From VA 1915 the Fingertip Control was replaaced by ordinary Luvax vane type shock absorbers. They did however still have a provision to alter the rate of damping.


A typical shock absorber problem causing a hard to find rattle.



A very late VA chassis (photo Gareth Fineberg) fitted with Luvax piston type shock absorbers.


The oil used in round (vane type) Luvax dampers differs from the piston type damper oil. Do not mix !!


        A modern day improvement front and rear

         Although not original it is a great improvement in the VA's road behaviour




Some modern day testing guided by The shock absorber expert Aert van der Goes lead to the following conclusion:

Shockabsorbers which are dimensionally perfect are:

Front:Koni 80-1349, Length fully extended 386mm;fully compressed 257mm.
Dampingforces @ 0,33m/sec in Bump 450N;Rebound 900N.
Heavier alternative with same dimensions is Koni 80-1350.Forces @ 0,33 m/sec in
Bump 750N; Rebound1050N
Both types have been designed for VW.
Rear:Koni 80-2584,designed for Fiat.
Length fully extended 416mm,fully compressed touching built-in bumpstop to avoid damper bottoming out internally =285mm Height of bumpstop is 17mm.
(All dimensions measured from centre to centre.)
If necessary Koni dampers can be revalved to suit the customer's requirements!





Back to VA Index