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Koni shocks
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:52 pm    Post subject: Koni shocks Reply with quote

I posted this an introduction and a shock question a while ago with limited responses (Thanks to those that did respond), so here it goes again.

Here's a link to the first post-

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=150024

I'm looking for some first hand expeience with Koni front shocks. How do they ride? Is there enough adjustability to allow for the "perfect" setting?
Are they any shorter than the OE shocks?

Right now I'm running a set of Bilsteins that were originally meant for the front of a Chevy S-10. I modified them to mount to the Vanagon and have been very happy with the ride up until lately. I lowered the van about 1" more and now I need to find a stiffer shock to go along with the stiffer spring rate. I can't use OE length shocks due to how low the van is.

I know that there aren't too many performance oriented Vanagon owners on here, but any information would be helpful.

Thanks!



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r39o
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet. Sorry I can not offer shock advise. But that looks good.

Keep having fun...
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bigcfromcinci
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't used the konis,but from what i've read they are adjustable.I think I would go with them.I am...I'm running the H&R sport springs.Mines not quite as low as yours.

Your van looks sweet btw
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sgmalt46
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

go with the koni's!! Very Happy worth the money. adjust them to the stiffest setting. kept me from bottoming!!
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Phil G
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently put a new set of Bilstein heavy dutys on my 87. They aren't appreciably any different then the stockers the car came with - a bit too 'old lady' for my taste. I'm going to try to find a brand new pair of springs first, but my intuition tells me I will probably end up with a set of Koni adjustables in front so I can have the higher rebound dampening I'm looking for.
You might call GoWesty and work your way through the voicemail system to the 'tech' extension. Ask for Scott if he doesn’t automatically answer. He's built a performance Vanagon that he's getting ready to sell, and may well have had experience using the Koni.

The rule of thumb though, Konis almost always offer higher damping options than other shocks regardless of application. When I built an Autocross style bug, they were the only shocks that worked correctly in the rear. All the others I tried - including the Bilsteins allowed way to much rebound travel coming out of deep dips.
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mike boland
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:34 pm    Post subject: Koni for vanagon Reply with quote

I just bought a full set Front / Rears

I set front to 360 degrees adjustment and rear to 540 degrees adjustment given weight in rear plus all the stuff I take in my westfalia camper....

great shocks! however in / on roads that are in road construction area / rough roads the rears seem too stiff so one these days when I do oil change / brake job I'm going to remove rear shock and dail it in to 360 degrees see if that helps on rough roads?

but otherwise I LOVE those shocks.. should have bought them along time ago.!
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, thank you for the information guys. I think that I just might order a set right now.
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Ericthenorse
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used the Koni's and am very happy with how they performed... I am using a set of AVO adjustibles right now... http://www.avouk.com/ They are a sweet setup, but a little more than the Koni's. The AVO's are made for lowered vans, and are set up a little stiffer.... The Koni's are made for standard height vans, and might have bottoming problems with severe lowering..... What kind of springs are you using??

There are a couple of us "performance Vanagon" guys out here Twisted Evil Twisted Evil (I can hardly keep myself from laughing evrytime I use those two words together...)
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for that information Eric. Yes, I feel a bit silly calling a Vanagon a performance vehicle. but I must remember that I am comparing it to other Vanagons, not Porsches or Ferraris.

Did you order your AVO's directly from AVO? I just sent them an email as well.

The length of the Koni's was one of my concerns. As you can see, my Van is pretty low. The Chevy Bilsteins that are on it now are quite a bit shorter than the OE shocks. The rebound is great with these shocks, but it needs more dampening.

I'm running stock, cut front springs. I know that many people poo poo this and suggest going to a stiffer spring, but in my experience and experience of friends with racing BMW's, stock springs can be very adequate provided the correct shocks are used, especially on the street. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against using a stiffer spring if I have to, but I want to wait until I have the shocks situated before I entertain that idea as they may not be necessary.

I have run Koni's in a couple of other cars and were very impressed with their ability to be very firm but not harsh. The initial valving in some shocks, like the KYB's, is just too stiff and gives a jolting ride on the quick, sharp bumps. This is of course exaggerated with the use of low profile tires.

Maybe the AVO's are the way to go due the their ability to adjust the dampening.

By the way Eric, I love you Van. Totally agressive looking.
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Ericthenorse
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wait till I get the 400hp porsche 996 motor and 6 speed installed.... Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

You can also contact Bilstein USA and have any shock you want revalved to meet your specific needs(about $80 a pair) but this would mean that you already know what valving you want. They do have a great technical department, and they might be able to make a sugestion..
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tpinthepack
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need advice adjusting my Koni's. I have a stock Doka, full height. The shocks are not installed yet. I read about the adjustment, but I need to know if I screw all the way in, and then count turns outward, or vice versa? I notice that when I compress all the way and turn clockwise, it seams to ingage a spanner or so? I have not looked at the fronts yet, so I am referrring to the rears for now.

The Koni instructions don't really make sense?
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markz2004
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anyone who switched to Koni shocks comment on an improvement in "nose dive" the van may experience during breaking?

My bilsteins allow the van nose to dip during normal breaking conditions. They seem to be in good working condition, as they do not bounce repeatedly after a compression. I've jumped on the front bumper a few times to see if the shocks are worn. Most likely they are just too soft.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used both Konis and Bilstein HDs on a 91 Carat with stock Carat springs for over a year each with all sorts of driving.
I prefered the Bilseins at first, but they seemed to wear quickly and give a harsher ride after about 5k miles.
The Konis took a bit to figure out the perfect setting both front and rear, but have held up well and I sold off the HDs, keeping the Konis.
This van will be getting a complete suspension freshen up including bearing, bushings and springs. I will be trying H&R springs with a lower drop than the Carats to help make the Porsche 18" Twists look more at home.
I will post more info. once the R&R is complete and I have more miles on the setup.

dylan
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Crankey
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Chris, I have Koni's all round and I'm happy, but I'm just running carat springs now, not that low. and I have no idea how they were adjusted at install. all I know is I quoted the blurb from (Van Cafe ?) to Melowcat when he installed the springs and shocks in a PM. my front end is carat springs Konis 17" wheels on 50 series sidewalls.

feels the same as stock in rutted, busted up Georgetown.

I never "nosedive" but then sometimes I think alota people drive more aggressively than I do. so normal breaking to someone else may be hard breaking to me...

the instructions with the Konis didn't make perfect sence to me either...so I hoped Melowcat was familiar with them. either way they feel fine to me.
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1621
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

markz2004 wrote:
Can anyone who switched to Koni shocks comment on an improvement in "nose dive" the van may experience during breaking?

My bilsteins allow the van nose to dip during normal breaking conditions. They seem to be in good working condition, as they do not bounce repeatedly after a compression. I've jumped on the front bumper a few times to see if the shocks are worn. Most likely they are just too soft.


Mark, very noticeable improvement over the Bilstiens. No question about it. Nosedive is gone.
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JPrato
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tpinthepack wrote:
The Koni instructions don't really make sense?


Yeah, no kidding. I interpreted the instructions as following: Compress the shock all the way and rotate counter-clock wise (looking down on the shock) all the way. This is the softest position. While still collapsed, rotate half turns out (clock-wise) to make stiffer. Just keep track of the turns, road test and adjust accordingly. I got them about 3 half turns firmer on our 84 Westy with small car springs. I'll think I will soften them up a half turn or two as I would just like a titch softer ride.

No nose dive Markz2004, and I got to test it out this past summer with the small car front brake package! The shocks are awesome although pricey. The pain of the price will fade with time, but I bet the shocks won't.
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pete000
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could not be happier with my Koni's the Bilstien HD's just bounced all over the road with H&R springs...
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you guys comparing NEW Bilsteins with new Konis??

or OLD shocks with new one?

FWIW, Bilstein will revalve your chocks for a nominal fee (at least they will for the ones that fit a Porsche 911) and set the jounce or rebound wherever you want it.

on the aforementioned 'azz-engined nazi-slot car' the typical hot setup is Bilsteins, not Konis

maybe the ones of the Vanagon are not as good, I dunno re that
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79iltis
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just put Koni"s all around on my 90 Carat. AWESOME! Worth every penny.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have contact information for the person to speak to at Bilstein to get the HDs revalved?
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