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Old 04-18-2003, 08:38 PM   #1
AnimalMother
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Default Ground Control / Koni vs. coil-overs

I'm wondering, does anyone have any experience/opinion on what would be best for a daily-driver/autox/occasional track day suspension...focus is on strut/spring/top hat and this is for onroad stuff only...no DMS rally struts, or anything over 2K, etc. Autocross would obviously be in STX or beyond.

I'm leaning towards the Koni insert, Ground Control and MRT camber/castor plate front and camber plate rear. How do you think this would compare versus say a Tein FLEX setup or even JIC or other under $1800ish coil-over? I KNOW Koni is great, and I know it is only single-adjustable...what about these other brands?

I searched around but didn't find much...thoughts? If this has been discussed, please point me in the right direction.

AnimalMother
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:00 PM   #2
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cosworth is your man, he has that identical setup. PM him.

peter
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Old 04-19-2003, 12:05 AM   #3
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The Koni/GC/MRT setup is exactly what I'll be going with. I have a similar setup on my Mustang (Koni Double-Adjustables, Grigg's coil-over conversion sleeves, Max Motorsports C/C plates) and it offers all the adjustability one could need. The Subaru Konis are only single adjustable, but so were my DMS 40s (which were junk and returned), so I don't see that being a problem.

I won't be able to give any feedback for months, though. I'm currently about halfway through a 6-month deployment, just making a port visit now. I won't see my car again for over three months, and then I have to get all the stuff ordered and installed.

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Old 04-20-2003, 09:03 PM   #4
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Old 04-20-2003, 09:23 PM   #5
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No matter how you look at it, your saving some ~$400 or so buying the Koni setup vs a true coilover setup from <insert coilover here>. If your not a real track hound, the Koni's should be more then enough.
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Old 04-21-2003, 11:55 AM   #6
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what do you think would be the disadvantages/advantages of a Koni setup versus a true coil-over? I am pretty certain that Koni makes a great shock absorber, but I am not so certain about many of the other brands. Granted, I haven't seen much information either way, but I know I can trust Koni.

Also, is the Koni subject to overheating on the track? Or would you prefer some coil-overs to koni/GC because of the lower spring rates that would most likely be used? Thoughts?

AnimalMother

Last edited by AnimalMother; 04-22-2003 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:41 PM   #7
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:46 PM   #8
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Default need koni feedback

I am in the same boat... currently i have H&R springs with the stock struts. Its a little bouncy but firm. The only real downside is track days where this suspension seems too soft.

Considering Tein coilovers but the koni inserts for 800.00 less is an option. More information would make my choice easier.

Anyone with Koni want to provide an opinion?

Bailey
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:53 PM   #9
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I know slater mentioned cosworth above...and I have followed some of cosworth's posts, but we need some more info!

what about trhoppe...he went from DS on Konis to STX on Tein HAs...Tom, any info you can share?

AnimalMother
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
what about trhoppe...he went from DS on Konis to STX on Tein HAs...Tom, any info you can share?
I went to Tein HAs mainly because of a sponsorship.

There are 3 different ways that you could go about getting a nice suspension IMHO.
1) Stock Konis with GC collars and a low springrate. Something like a 275. This would be good for a road car, with occasional autox and occasional track use. It wouldnt be too rough on the street and would be decent on track. Cost = $900
2) A Tein or JIC type of coilover. You can have a nice matched suspension, but with higher spring rates. You know the shocks come valved for your spring rates and will work well together. This will be a stiffer and more jarring ride on the street, but you will have a little more control on the track and autox. Still ok to drive around on, but not as comfy as option 1. You could also run the same spring rates as the Teins with the Konis, as long as you sent them off to get revalved. Cost = $1500 to $2000 ($900 + $400 revalving for Konis)
3) A Leda type of coilover or a GC Advance or Koni DA shock with GC sleeves and HIGH spring rates. This is what you would want on a full track or full autox car, that is seldom daily driven. This suspension is not nearly as easy to setup and tune as #2, because you have seperate bump and compression dampening to deal with, and that is a lot of rope to hang yourself with. Cost = $2400+

I am using option 2, but with custom spring rates. Option 3 was too much $$ for not a huge return on the performance side. Once I drive the car in STX trim for a while and get every little bit out of it. I will probably switch over to the GC Advance Design shock with GC springs. But right now, I really like the Tein HAs and am very happy with them. Also, since switching from DS to STX was such a big jump, I know I'm not getting the full potential out of the car yet.

-Tom
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Old 04-22-2003, 06:15 PM   #11
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I'm in full agreement with Tom. I have the Koni/GC/Noltec combo and it has pluses and minuses. I have a "medium" setup that is not too harsh that gives me wonderful street driving feel without the harshness of a really stiff coilover kit. My setup uses 275f/250r # rates so its not outrageous. Offramps are a breeze, but on the track, i don't have the benefit of the heavy spring rates of the JIC/Tein heavy hitters but i don't have to deal with the harshness of daily duty of those either. But don't get me wrong, it has a feel on the track that i would not trade for stock. THe performance increase is good, but i won't ignore the fact that its not as hardcore as a full coilover kit. Also, believe it or not, my car is fairly supple on bumps.

Pro's:
- Relatively inexpensive compared to full coilovers kits.
- adjustable shock rebound gives you an adjustable taught and controlled ride while still giving you comfort on the street since the bound rate is fixed.
- height adjustable coils with full customizable rates/lengths for whatever your needs are both before and after purchasing.
- adjustable caster/camber with the Noltec front plates. Somewhere in the neightborhood or 5* max caster and 2.5* max camber is attainable (setting my plates to max position on both yeilded these values on the alignment rack.
- corner weighting/balancing possible.
- pretty colors.
- Koni's have lifetime warrantly and are EASILY REBUILDABLE in the USA!

Con's:
- Koni's only single adjustable so bound control can be rather underdamped during competition or heavy use.
- limited max damping to about 400# in the SA koni inserts.
- limited to how "severe" you want to go with lowering since the GS's are only single adjustable in height. Lower the car and you compromise the bound travel. Need to compensate by higher spring rates or shortened Koni's which equals $$$.
- not inverted shock design (like RA, A2's, Z2R's).
- can be noisy since all components are not integrated from the factory. that means tolerances not as tight as a fully integrated as a true coilover setup.
MRT/Noltec = Austrailan, and that means rust! (sometimes)


So you can see that some of the cons are not really cons--more of limitations to the system that you need to figure before you buy in. It has its realm of suitable application and if your needs fit it, its great. If your needs exceed thier capabilities, then you need to spend a lot more money on more race oriented equipment. The SA Koni/GC setup is a very nice combo that suits a wide array of needs. It is rather flexible from lite applications to medium/heavy applications. Beyond that, you need to upgrade to DA shocks and as we all know SPEED = MONEY. How fast do you want to spend.

Jon.
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Old 04-22-2003, 07:39 PM   #12
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Question

does anyone know if the GC kit fits over the STi strut that is included in the full SPT/STi kit that is installed by the dealers. I have the SPT kit, and it is pretty good, but I think it could use some tweeking. I called GC and they said no, but on their website it shows a pic of one of theor collars on a pink or red strut that looks like the one from STi.



what do you guys think. I was going to call them again and see if I could talk to someone else.

thanks

RR
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:02 PM   #13
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The "WRX" GC kit is probably setup for the WRX factory shock diameter. I want to say that the pink STi struts are going to be fatter then the stock WRX shocks, so that means that the "WRX" GC kit would not fit on them. I'm sure if you took some EXACT measurements of the pink STi struts and sent them over the GC, they could set you up with a collar that would work.

-Tom
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:09 PM   #14
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Great info from trhoppe and cosworth. Thanks! Out of curiosity, what does GC usually recommend as far as spring rates (assuming you are going to use koni inserts)?

Anyone else have anything to offer???

AnimalMother
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Old 04-22-2003, 11:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by trhoppe
The "WRX" GC kit is probably setup for the WRX factory shock diameter. I want to say that the pink STi struts are going to be fatter then the stock WRX shocks, so that means that the "WRX" GC kit would not fit on them. I'm sure if you took some EXACT measurements of the pink STi struts and sent them over the GC, they could set you up with a collar that would work.

-Tom
sorry tom, they fit, and fit perfectly!! on both V7 and V6 struts. (i have both sets so i know firsthand ).

the only modification needed on the STi struts (any version) is that the first 'ridge' below the threaded section on the top of the struts needs to be filed down slightly, took me 10 minutes with a bastard cut file. note that this is for the ERS spring top hats to seat snugly on the struts - all 4 struts need to be done of the GC* chassis, only the fronts on the GD* chassis because the rear top mounts and top hats are different than the GC* chassis.

i'm running the same rates as cosworth (275F/250R), and they are an excellent compromise.

peter
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Old 04-23-2003, 02:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by slater


sorry tom, they fit, and fit perfectly!! on both V7 and V6 struts. (i have both sets so i know firsthand ).

the only modification needed on the STi struts (any version) is that the first 'ridge' below the threaded section on the top of the struts needs to be filed down slightly, took me 10 minutes with a bastard cut file. note that this is for the ERS spring top hats to seat snugly on the struts - all 4 struts need to be done of the GC* chassis, only the fronts on the GD* chassis because the rear top mounts and top hats are different than the GC* chassis.

i'm running the same rates as cosworth (275F/250R), and they are an excellent compromise.

peter
thank you. you wouldnt happen to have a picture of the area I would need to file.

I am new to this, what is the difference between an GC* and a GD*?

thanks again.

RR
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rapid_Roo


thank you. you wouldnt happen to have a picture of the area I would need to file.

I am new to this, what is the difference between an GC* and a GD*?

thanks again.

RR
Generally speaking:

GC* is the <=2001 vehicles.
GD* is the 2002>= vehicles.
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Old 04-23-2003, 02:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cosworth


Generally speaking:

GC* is the <=2001 vehicles.
GD* is the 2002>= vehicles.
thanks,

so having an 03 WRX I have a GD*, or did I get that backwards.

but that would be just like me.

thanks again for all of the help.

RR
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Old 04-23-2003, 06:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rapid_Roo
thank you. you wouldnt happen to have a picture of the area I would need to file.
here's a pic... disregard the f-ed threads, i've fixed those... (these are my V6 fronts).

the red part is where to need to file - basically you're making the circular ridge slightly smaller in diameter.



hope that helps...

peter
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Old 04-23-2003, 08:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by slater


the red part is where to need to file - basically you're making the circular ridge slightly smaller in diameter.



hope that helps...

peter

thank you very much. I was worried about performing surgery on the struts, but I think I can do this.

thanks again

RR
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Old 04-23-2003, 09:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rapid_Roo



thank you very much. I was worried about performing surgery on the struts, but I think I can do this.

thanks again

RR
no problem. yeah, it's not a big deal by any means - took me 10 minutes to do all 4 struts. and if you decide to go back to a regular strut/spring combo, it doesn't affect that at all.

peter
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Old 04-23-2003, 09:30 PM   #22
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I don't know if this helps any, but I recently put Koni inserts on my Prodrive springs (215F/195R is claimed as the spring rates). I also installed Cusco camber plates in the front.

I chose this combo over coilovers because:

1) I didn't want to have to re-corner weight the car every time I made an adjustment in ride height;
2) I didn't want obscene spring rates (I'm not into the kidney beating 8k/6k combo, thank you)
3) I wanted better bound control on the track
4) I didn't want to drop 2 grand+ on a 'good' set of coilovers

I considered and rejected the GC setup for reason #1 above, but otherwise I think it would be a good combo if you don't mind tweaking constantly and have a set of scales. I don't...

While the spring rates may not be ideal for a heavy autox or track car, I can definitely say that this combo is far superior to the stock setup. The best part is that it cost 1000.00 for all.

I have a recent thread with driving impressions and all the gory details if any of you are interested...

Good luck!

Scott
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:55 PM   #23
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One thing I haven't heard anyone mention with regard to the Koni inserts is the piston diameter, and what effect that might have on performance. If it fits inside the stock strut housing, I imagine that it must have a smaller piston than stock, is this going to result in any noticable effects?

I'm investigating various suspension options for my car, and it seems that without spending $1500+ on a coilover system (that I wouldn't even know how to tune) my options are to find some STi take-offs or go with Koni inserts & prodrive springs w/ STi top-mounts. Both of those seem to fall in about the $1K range, and I'm wondering what the main differences are. Right now I like the STi option better because I'm not totally comfortable with the idea of hacking up my OEM pieces, but everyone that has the Konis seems to like them a lot, so I don't know...
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Old 04-25-2003, 09:04 AM   #24
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If I recall correctly, the koni insert shaft diameter was actually larger than stock. Miracles of packaging I suppose.
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Old 04-25-2003, 09:10 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by ConeMasher
If I recall correctly, the koni insert shaft diameter was actually larger than stock. Miracles of packaging I suppose.
Yes, I can confirm that. I didn't measure, but it was definitely larger. I would put it in the 40mm range or so, just eyeballing it.

Scott
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