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Old 04-17-2008, 09:23 PM   #1
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Default stupid koni stupid things

So like, my car has felt pretty crappy lately. First I thought my skills were just way deteriorating, but I started to get a sense that my shocks might not be up to snuff.

(My shocks are Koni Sports (yellow) which had the first set of "race" valving in them, which was later released as its own shock. I'm not sure my Fat Cat Motorsports bump stops and sort of prototype mounting from FCM are correct, so maybe they bottomed out. They always felt harsher when bottomed than the fronts which felt awesome since the FCM bump stops.

I bounced the corners of the car by hand, and I guess they stopped quick?

Then I turned up the stiffness, and it got much better for a couple days. Then it stopped being better. I noticed the car bottoms out a lot now where it didn't used to.

So I looked and my rear bump stops are both soaked with oil. One of the fronts is mint, the other is a little tainted.

Just recently, I noticed my rear end doesn't make the squish-squish sound it used to.

Is there any more definative test to do, or should I just send off the shocks for rebuilding? Is there any point to doing it myself?

One of the reasons (money aside) I'm wary to send them off for rebuilding is last time it took 3 months to get this done at Koni. Then I had AGX's (since sold), so now am I going to have 500 lb springs on OEM shocks? Seems a bad idea.

Lastly, I'd like to come up with a way to keep them from going boom every year and a half.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:36 PM   #2
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get illuminas
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:47 PM   #3
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If you've got oil coming from the top of the tube where the rod comes out- that's bad. The SM Bilsteins are badass IMO for a cheap performance shock. I've saw an SM catch multiple feet of air and come down on the front tires - neither shock blew. And the ISC shock hats will give you all the travel you need.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:04 PM   #4
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sounds like you are too low for the konis, your cure will be shorter bump stopms and some taller top hats. search for what mxv did to make cheap top hats that seem to work pretty well. Do not downgrade to Illuminas, re-valve your konis to race spec and get some stiffer springs, i am sure you can make most of your money back by selling you current springs off
good luck man
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:15 PM   #5
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****, I noticed oil on one of my bilsteins last week. **** me in the ***.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:31 PM   #6
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have you tracked them yet? damn. All I can say is we beat the **** out of one set for three seasons and they never once had an issue.

cheapest top hat for extended shock travel evah- just add washer and bushing
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Old 04-18-2008, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
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sounds like you are too low for the konis, your cure will be shorter bump stopms and some taller top hats. search for what mxv did to make cheap top hats that seem to work pretty well. Do not downgrade to Illuminas, re-valve your konis to race spec and get some stiffer springs, i am sure you can make most of your money back by selling you current springs off
good luck man
Yeah, I would think that, but... I'm near stock ride height (maybe 1/2" low), and I'm running FCM mounts (not sure what these are doing for me). The springs are already 3 or 4 times stock, so they are pretty stiff, and I already have the race valving in there.

Basically I have no idea how this happened.

Why would I want shorter bump stops, shouldn't they prevent the shocks from bottoming?


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And the ISC shock hats will give you all the travel you need.
ISC? Whazzat?


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****, I noticed oil on one of my bilsteins last week. **** me in the ***.
I'm thinking stinkdick will only further complicate my life, so I'm going to skip this. Maybe someone else on the board can help.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:22 PM   #8
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have you tracked them yet? damn. All I can say is we beat the **** out of one set for three seasons and they never once had an issue.[/IMG]
I'm talking out of my *** here, but isn't street driving exponentially worse on dampers than the track?
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:43 PM   #9
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I don't get it man. Only thing I heared of blowing these is bottoming them out i.e. hitting the bump stops too much, that's why top mounts that give you more travel are such a good thing. Fatcat sells shorter bumpstops as well giving you a little more travel. I'm not sure which ones you have.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:44 PM   #10
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I'm talking out of my *** here, but isn't street driving exponentially worse on dampers than the track?
Yes, you don't have potholes the size of DC on the track, again, that's what kills Konis, bottoming them out repeatedly
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:49 PM   #11
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I've never caught 2 ft. of air driving on the street. Maybe I'm not driving hard enough?

Here's the ISC shock hat:


Samething mxv made - gives the stock length body somewhere to go under compression and keeps the rod centered in the stroke at rest when the car is lowered. Dan is doing the same thing for the TEIN (more elegant with a spherical bearing).
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:57 PM   #12
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What could be bad about hitting the bump stops? If you don't hit the bump stops, the rods will bottom out inside the shock, that does damage them.

The bump stops prevent the shock body from rising to the point where things connect inside.

So I would think a taller bump stop (while more likely to give you a sudden jolt in a turn and be bad for handling) can only increase the life of the shock by preventing this internal mashing.


Also, any feeling on running spec miata springs on the street? My current 500/300 # set up feels incredibly soft. Before I had FM springs (275/150 or so) on AGX's and they were super stiff.
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:02 PM   #13
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Well, bump stops do compress, I am not an expert so I can't really explain it that well, but bump stops are more of like a safety net, you are not supposed to be hitting them or rideing on them with your shock body, every now and then is what they are there for. if you hit them repeatedly, that's how you blow your shock.
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:17 PM   #14
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Ideally you want a bump stop that provides a good transition from your spring rate to the bump stops rate. Even more ideally you don't want to bounce off your bump stops- the idea behind the taller/deeper hats. Racers were trimming the bumps to increase travel w/o disturbing the actual spring rate with the bump - leaving the trimmed bump as a safety measure.
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Also, any feeling on running spec miata springs on the street? My current 500/300 # set up feels incredibly soft. Before I had FM springs (275/150 or so) on AGX's and they were super stiff.
Springs? No problems. Mine are higher than SM and they ride great on the street. Shocks? Utter ****.
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:30 PM   #16
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Currently i have the stock ones trimmed down, I think the Koni instructions even said to do that. Or it could have been the GC kit, i don't remember.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:53 PM   #17
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Well, I've got piles of travel, so I doubt that's the issue...

I'll see what I can do to get more travel, but at this point I'm thinking raising it up more might start to limit droop. I already can't get off my springs.

I still don't see how bump stops are going to hurt the shock.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Springs? No problems. Mine are higher than SM and they ride great on the street. Shocks? Utter ****.
What springs are y ou running? Which shocks? I didn't think the konis were stiff enough, even with the 'race' rates. But the car sure sticks.

I'm thinking I'll move the 500's to the rear and pick up ~700 for the front to make a set.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:07 PM   #19
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So, rebuilding your shocks yourself is not an option? I guess, at minimum, they'd be hard to pre-charge....

And, um, any suggestions on how to keep them alive longer?
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:26 PM   #20
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again, shorter bumps from fatcat, and diy homemade tophats if you wanna go cheap, or just buy some tophats that give more travel, other than that, i dont know what to tell you
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