Roadside repair: gas-charged shock installation.

Contribute, Battle-Scarred Repair Warriors!

Moderators: Amskeptic, Sluggo

Post Reply
User avatar
asiab3
IAC Addict!
Posts: 1363
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:27 pm
Location: California sucks don't move here.
Contact:
Status: Offline

Roadside repair: gas-charged shock installation.

Post by asiab3 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:17 pm

The problem with a 1969 Volkswagen convertible is the relatively reliable nature of it… It's been driven almost every day for three years and I'm still waiting for something to wrong. It might suffice to say the dealership tool roll in the front trunk has never seen a fastener, and there are no spare parts on board… What do you do when you're motoring around Southern California when a friend asks you to come fix a clunk in his rear end? Or course the shocks come off during diagnosis…

"PSSSSSS" goes his shock as it expands in a rather prurient fashion… Now three inches longer than needed, there is no way that's going back in without a bottle jack that I do not have.

"All I have are screwdrivers and a volt meter. Can we compress it by hand? "
"Only if you stand on it."
"Got a jack?"
"No, but I have this Hazet 10/13 millimeter wrench, some Klein pliers, and a fan belt…………"

Image


Just like that, we were able to stand on the shocks, slip mom's spare belt around them, and get the shocks installed before dinner. (The noise was a missing lower spacer, allowing the shock to contact the torsion tube.) So when you're out on the road with a clunk, don't despair. You may just need a spare fan belt and some washers.

Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy"
http://theroadtells.com
"I would not do this again on a short time frame, the country is just so vast and beautiful…" - Barb/Elwood

User avatar
wcfvw69
Old School!
Posts: 507
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:52 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Roadside repair: gas-charged shock installation.

Post by wcfvw69 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:08 am

I drove a 68 bug one time with gas charged shocks. I can shudder thinking about how horrific that bug rode. Stiff and I could feel every pebble on the road. I remember not being able to push down the very light front end w/the bumper. It only reinforced my love of the original oil filled shocks VW installed on these cars when new. Of course, running 18 PSI front and 28 PSI rear helping tremendously with the comfort and delightfulness of the ride.
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

User avatar
asiab3
IAC Addict!
Posts: 1363
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:27 pm
Location: California sucks don't move here.
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Roadside repair: gas-charged shock installation.

Post by asiab3 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:25 pm

Yes I can't imagine the ride is very comfy, but this dude's Thing/181 is built for trails… He's raised it a few inches with knobby tires and skid plates where it counts. It's a capable off-road machine, and most of the off-road VW's I've driven handle wonderfully on trails and dirt tracks with their gas-charged shocks. Brian recently got Bilsteins with external reservoirs on his Class 11 that you drove around the block; it's a nice mix between purpose-built dirt running and daily driving smoothness now. Of course, we had a jack available to install those…

Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy"
http://theroadtells.com
"I would not do this again on a short time frame, the country is just so vast and beautiful…" - Barb/Elwood

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Posts: 22229
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:47 am
Status: Offline

Re: Roadside repair: gas-charged shock installation.

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:48 am

asiab3 wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:17 pm
So when you're out on the road with a clunk, don't despair. You may just need a spare fan belt and some washers.
Robbie

"Belts? We have belts. We have the right belt for your every gas-charged shock absorber need."

Image
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 73,930 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,428 miles

User avatar
sgkent
Addicted!
Posts: 290
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:11 pm
Location: Citrus Heights CA (near Sacramento)
Status: Offline

Re: Roadside repair: gas-charged shock installation.

Post by sgkent » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:36 pm

good fix but those shocks must be brutal to ride with if you can't compress them by hand, As one who went thru the "revolution" from oil filled to gas filled to electronic shocks I can say that for a VW, oil filled shocks are the best. I've owned a CJ7 offroad with gas shocks and oil filled. I could not wait to get rid of the gas filled ones and go back to oil filled. Gas filled shocks were invented as a means to overcome oil frothing that happens when shocks are cycled constantly like on the Baja 500. I know their history in part because I worked next to Walker Evans racing for quite some time and had lunch with those guys a couple days a week when the gas shock industry was invented. And - ii your friend is driving his Thing like the Baja 500 then he won't own it long. Now, if you told me it was a sand rail that he raced out around at Glamis then gas filled would be appropriate. All that said, great solution to the problem. Super creative.
Thank You -

Merlin The Wrench

Machine Work/Shop Recommendations: http://kentcomputer.com/77VW/machinework.pdf

Pointers on rebuilding an engine: http://kentcomputer.com/77VW/rebuilding_a_vw_engine.pdf

Post Reply

Return to “Field / Shop Tips”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests