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What is it about Vans? I find myself getting more and more interested in Vans as I get older, something about the ride height, being able to see over the road, far more comfortable and being able to take a lot of stuff to the tip on weekends. Vans are awesome, but what about Slammed Vans?
If you like a good VW Caddy or Ford Transit And haven’t thought about modifying it, just like you do with your car, then why not? They are just as modifiable as any other motor vehicle and they look cool doing it.
In this post we will go over why would you slam a van, silly engine swaps, some of the most popular vans and some quick modification ideas to help get your juices flowing for the next time you step into your work horse.
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Why Slam A Van?
Let’s face it, slamming cars isn’t for everyone, so why would you want to do it to a van? Even if your not using a van everyday for actual work purposes, they just drive a lot smoother and more comfortable than a car. Some people even prefer to daily a van to save on fuel and to get a better ride height.
Most vans nowadays do just drive like a car, they don’t have that slug, big box feel like they used to, they are just a bigger car and surprisingly easy to park.
Like owning any vehicle though, most of us will be thinking of ways to modify it and improve the stance / looks. I get it, it’s a car modifying thing. Slamming a van might no make sense to you though, but we think, not only improving the looks but changing the suspension can also improve the handling and ability to take load.
Suspension upgrades such as air and coilovers can make a huge difference to your drive. Besides, most van manufacturers have started to catch on to the growth of modified vans and started to produce performance models. So what’s the difference if you produce performance yourself.
Most vans have quite a bit of power in them, they have to so they can pull under load. But what’s if you had MORE power, something we all crave with any car or van.
More power is something we all aspire to, but what kind of engines have people swapped with and what kind of power has been unleashed from a big box machine? Well, there are examples of a lot of the bigger vans running RS4 engines and the famous RB26.
Some of the smaller vans like the Renault Kangoo might run a Megane RS engine or an ST 225 engine, this means the power to weight is a lot greater but more inline with the bigger vans with bigger engines.
The sort of power you want to get out of a van is literally, however much you dream of, you could drop an RS 5 cylinder in your van and get 300 bhp or you could drop an RS4 4.2 V8 in it and modify the engine to over 700bhp, It’s all down to what you want out of it.
We would say, a comfortable power pull from a 6 or 8 cylinder engine would be good for a bigger heavier van that has plenty of space in the engine bay, while a smaller courier will benefit from a 4 or 5 cylinder with around 200bhp. This will make your drive that little more exciting.
Most Popular Vans
With the popularity of vans today, there is a lot to choose from and knowing which one is best for your needs is a bit difficult. But to give you an idea Here are some lists on the popular vans to modify.
- Ford Connect
- VW Caddy
- Citroen Berlingo
- Renault Kangoo
- Peugeot Partner
- VW Transporter
- Renault Traffic
- Ford Transit
- Mercedes Vito
- Toyota Previa
All these vans are incredibly popular in the UK market and can be found with tonnes of modification options, from big rotiform wheels to Coilovers and body kits. Join the Van Mafia and get engine swapping and slamming!
Lower Your Ride
Lowering a van isn’t as easy as lowering a car, mainly because the parts are a little harder to acquire and you have to consider your load weight. There are coilover sets available and air suspension suppliers that can lower vans without problems.
Some of the top places to try to find your suspension setups would be
- Air Technik
For wheels give LK Performance a try! These guys have a great setup and offer wheels to suit any van.
As for engine swaps and remaps, try Slide motorsport and most performance garages will offer a good remap, depending on which van / engine you have may vary to where the best place is to get it remapped.
The hard part is always getting the inspiration to start a project. The van community is growing and there are a lot more people with Slammed Vans, particularly VW Caddys and Transporters.
If you want to get involved and make something’s unique, try out Pinterest or Instagram and search for pins and tags around ‘Slammed vans’. There is plenty to look for and there is usually plenty of people to help give advice on vans.
Like this post or want to know more? Drop a comment below, we love to hear from you. Good luck with your van modifications, share your experience with us on Instagram and Facebook!
All the best
Founder of Boost And Camber
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