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Old 08-08-2006, 11:14 PM   #1
SammyRex
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Default Another review and question of koni inserts on wagon

Just completed the installation of koni inserts on Saturday.
And my current suspension setup is listed below:
1. RCE cc plates
2. Group N rear strut tops
2. SPT pink wagon specific
3. Cusco 22mm F/R swaybars (shoud have listened to Big Sky for getting
WL Front bar)
4. whiteline F/R HD endlinks
5. koni inserts

After the installation, I took it for a ride through local streets (knoi
adjustment: 1 turn front and 1/2 turn for rear).
My first impression for koni is "softness". It feels that the koni is sligtly
underdamped when mating with the pinks. But it gives the car an excellent
streetability. Compare to the toyota MR2 (91) I had (Eibach spring w/ tokico
inserts), Koni is way more comfortable in addition to its wide adjustability.
But I wish the koni to be a little be stiffer just because long history with
MR2, I am so used to the stiff suspension. And finally, I feel my wagon's
handling is above my MR2 and my wife's mazda 3 wagon .
I am wondering how long it normally takes to break in the new strut inserts?
And after the break in period, will I feel a little bit stiffer? And I start seeing
that maybe I should have used JDM pinks like PJC1909 or Tarmac like Big Sky
since I already have RCE plates. But I really like my car's even drop front
and rear under current setup. Wish that Big Sky's project wagon spring can
be out soon .

About the handling on the corner, there is no doubt, feels like 10x better than
oe struts (oes are hard on street driving and soft on cornering ).
I love my knois, they are well worth the money, except the fact that they
takes time to build. For anyone who is looking for good combination of streetability
and performance, this is definitely the best bang for bucks. If you want to
have higher quality struts than knois, you might just have to pay lots more for the improvement.

Here are other reviews from big sky and PJC1909

cheers,

Sammy

Last edited by SammyRex; 08-09-2006 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 08-09-2006, 12:17 AM   #2
peterex
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Thumbs up

First off, I enjoyed your thorough review. I have a couple comments:

I don't think the Konis are "soft" at all. They definitely have more compliance than some of the setups out there, but definitely not at the expense of performance.

The softness you feel might be your springs. While an improvement over stock, they aren't quite as stiff as JDM Pinks. Plus, if anything, I think that your Konis may be overdamped. I run Konis with Ion Performance Sport Spec springs (which have rates comparable to JDM STi pinks- i.e. a bit stiffer than the springs you're running), and I find that the springs are pretty overdamped on the street with anything greater than 3/4 turn in the front and 1/2 turn in the rear. Try dialing the Konis back a notch, let them break in, and see if you like the handling better then.

Also, did you get your alignment yet? That may further reduce feelings of sloppiness.
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:33 PM   #3
SammyRex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterex
First off, I enjoyed your thorough review. I have a couple comments:

I don't think the Konis are "soft" at all. They definitely have more compliance than some of the setups out there, but definitely not at the expense of performance.

The softness you feel might be your springs. While an improvement over stock, they aren't quite as stiff as JDM Pinks. Plus, if anything, I think that your Konis may be overdamped. I run Konis with Ion Performance Sport Spec springs (which have rates comparable to JDM STi pinks- i.e. a bit stiffer than the springs you're running), and I find that the springs are pretty overdamped on the street with anything greater than 3/4 turn in the front and 1/2 turn in the rear. Try dialing the Konis back a notch, let them break in, and see if you like the handling better then.

Also, did you get your alignment yet? That may further reduce feelings of sloppiness.
In fact, my suspension seems to getting stiffer and stiffer day by day after the installation.
Maybe the springs still need to be settled after the disassembling.
It does feel stiffer little by little. The konis really gives me what I want now, I really love them.
About the alignment, I maximized my front camber with 4 camber bolts by myself (judged by eyeballing only).
Alignment is scheduled with Andrewtech Automotive tomorrow. Wish they
can really do me good on coming auto-X event.
Everything feels to me so far is a big step improvement, I am very happy with them now.

BTW, for the Auto-X, what kind of setup (koni) will you suggest?

Sammy

Last edited by SammyRex; 08-09-2006 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 08-09-2006, 12:20 AM   #4
infantsam
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I have a similar setup - no camber plates/endlinks/top mounts -and I got WL 22/22 sways

I don' rexpect the Koni's to 'break in' - bu tthe springs should settle into the rubber a bit.

My opinion is it feels much better - and the fit of the parts was pretty much perfect. But it isn't a hard core setup - and is not intended to be.

Have you got a good alignment yet? Thats next for me.

I'm learning that there is really no such thing as street/track - it si a compromise.
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:37 PM   #5
SammyRex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infantsam
I have a similar setup - no camber plates/endlinks/top mounts -and I got WL 22/22 sways

I don' rexpect the Koni's to 'break in' - bu tthe springs should settle into the rubber a bit.

My opinion is it feels much better - and the fit of the parts was pretty much perfect. But it isn't a hard core setup - and is not intended to be.

Have you got a good alignment yet? Thats next for me.

I'm learning that there is really no such thing as street/track - it si a compromise.
Maybe the best compromization between street/track capability has
accomplished by konis .

Sammy
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:04 AM   #6
drees
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Needs some pics of the finished product, Sammy.

I agree with the others, the Konis have much more damping than the stock struts, though on the low settings the feel should be very similar. They seem to be quite deceiving in their damping as they seem to make the car ride smoother than the spring rates would indicate which is one reason people love them for their daily driver.

Once you have broken the Konis in and turn the damping up, things should feel much harder, but the Konis at the higher settings are probably too much damping for the the SPT pinks you're on.

If you are looking to get the wagon to feel more like the MR2, it sounds like you'll definitely want to up the spring rates considerably. Since you're running the RCE plates, you can get away with running sedan springs, so your options are wide open. JDM pinks or perhaps RCE's STi springs might be more of what you're looking for, but I'd wait until you get it aligned and put more miles on the setup.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:39 PM   #7
SammyRex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drees
Needs some pics of the finished product, Sammy.

I agree with the others, the Konis have much more damping than the stock struts, though on the low settings the feel should be very similar. They seem to be quite deceiving in their damping as they seem to make the car ride smoother than the spring rates would indicate which is one reason people love them for their daily driver.

Once you have broken the Konis in and turn the damping up, things should feel much harder, but the Konis at the higher settings are probably too much damping for the the SPT pinks you're on.

If you are looking to get the wagon to feel more like the MR2, it sounds like you'll definitely want to up the spring rates considerably. Since you're running the RCE plates, you can get away with running sedan springs, so your options are wide open. JDM pinks or perhaps RCE's STi springs might be more of what you're looking for, but I'd wait until you get it aligned and put more miles on the setup.
The struts were installed, it will be difficult to take pics for them .
I will be patiently waiting for my koni to break in and decide the spring to change.
I do want my wagon to handle like MR2..... That was a little fun car for me.
But now, with koni, they are close .
Thanks for your input.

Sammy
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:45 PM   #8
drees
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SammyRex
The struts were installed, it will be difficult to take pics for them .
I'll settle for some pics of the car with everything installed. I bet it looks good with the SPT Pinks plus RCE plates.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:50 PM   #9
SammyRex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drees
I'll settle for some pics of the car with everything installed. I bet it looks good with the SPT Pinks plus RCE plates.
Will do , let me do it tomorrow and post it.
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:11 AM   #10
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Old 08-09-2006, 07:49 AM   #11
PJC1909
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Nice to see you got those on, sammyrex. I agree with everyone on the street softness/smoothness. There is a little bit of "sticktion" that works itself out in a few weeks of driving. The Koni's really let you know they're there when you get on it.

I've never gone past 1 1/2 turns, so I can imagine that the Konis would overdamp wagon pinks. They'll take quite a bit more spring. Bigsky is pretty happy with his Koni/Tarmac setup as you know. I would say that on full soft the JDM pinks are slightly underdamped, so I run 1/2 turn F, 1/4 turn rear on the street. Also, it preserves a little understeer, which is safer for the street.

On track it's 1 1/2 turn F, 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 turn rear, depending.

that's part of the fun of konis -- adjusting them!
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:44 PM   #12
SammyRex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJC1909
Nice to see you got those on, sammyrex. I agree with everyone on the street softness/smoothness. There is a little bit of "sticktion" that works itself out in a few weeks of driving. The Koni's really let you know they're there when you get on it.

I've never gone past 1 1/2 turns, so I can imagine that the Konis would overdamp wagon pinks. They'll take quite a bit more spring. Bigsky is pretty happy with his Koni/Tarmac setup as you know. I would say that on full soft the JDM pinks are slightly underdamped, so I run 1/2 turn F, 1/4 turn rear on the street. Also, it preserves a little understeer, which is safer for the street.

On track it's 1 1/2 turn F, 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 turn rear, depending.

that's part of the fun of konis -- adjusting them!
My suspension is just getting stiffer and stiffer, I guess when we reinstall
the springs, few days are still needed for them to settle back down.
They are giving me the exact performance I was looking for.
One question to ask you, what's your tire and what tire pressure F/R you
are running on track days? Do you have any suggestion for Auto-X?


Sammy
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:24 PM   #13
BIGSKYWRX
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Sounds like a very nice setup

The Koni's do a great job of balancing a daily driven ride and weekend "adventures"

They are one of the few struts that can handle slightly stiffer than stock springs to pretty damn stiff springs (I think some of the guys w/ GC coilvers are running 400#ish springs)

As you turn the knob towards full stiff you'll definitely get things "firmed up". For autox I like to run a little more damping in the rear vs front- 1/4 from full stiff in the rear and a 1/2 turn from full stiff in front. For the track I run 1/2 from full stiff f/r.

I'll bet the drop looks pretty good w/ the RCE plates and wagon pinks
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:51 PM   #14
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With my Koni setup I ran 1 5/8 rear, 1 1/8 front to good effect this weekend at the track. You'll have to experiment.
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:20 PM   #15
chimchimm5
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Can you (anyone) describe the koni (yellows, I presume) in these two situations:
- high frequency short vibrations, ie high speed freeway cruising on less the perfect roads
- low frequency long vibrations, ie performance cornering
- going over speed bumps or unpaved road conditions

Oh, and let me know which springs they are paired up with... thanks!
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:50 PM   #16
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With my Tarmacs I was reminded last week why this isn't a setup for everyone- I found about a 10 mile stretch of road in South Dakota that had some rather bad seams- the high spring rate combine w/ rather highish (this was acknowledged by a very skilled tech at Koni) high speed compression made this uncomfortable. There are many times I get lulled nto thinking this setup is almost cushy- then I find the right bump or stretch of road and it reminds it's not

The Koni's have lots of rebound damping (low and high) at it's disposable- in turns it does it's job very, very well.

It's kind of funny, but I'll see a big bump or dip and think oh crap and I don't even feel it. Other times I don't see anything and I get a nice reminder I've got a stiff setup- it's almost always a seam of some sorts.

I did have a chance to run my setup on some gravel roads just recently and was very suprised how poised it was- now mind you this was pretty nice bladed gravel, but not perfect.

Less than perfect road conditions like undulations or off camber the Koni's soak up all day long. Really the only place I find them less than perfect is very short/sharp edges- again this is w/ rather stiff springs. I have since found out that as spring rates increase you can decrease high speed compression- if it weren't so expensive I'd consider having them revalved to dial out some. The rebound and low speed compression I wouldn't change a thing.
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