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Old 09-30-2002, 03:40 PM   #1
Cosworth
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Default Ground Controls and shocks discussion

Well, i have my Ground Control/Koni/STi setup in. Did it this weekend and only took several hours to do the initial install and then play with settings to figure out my total range. Still have some more stuff to monkey around with though. Some might remember that i had talked with GC about my setup and that i planned to use Koni struts in addition. So, as plannded, i am using a 280#, 9" front spring and a 250#, 8" rear spring. This coupled with the Koni inserts and STi top hats, makes for a really nice setup so far. I am very impressed!

On installation. To do this setup, i had chosen to hack up the stock struts more than most do to gaim me the most adjustablility for the GC sleeves. No only did i have to hack off the top cap to get the internals out, but i trimmed the lower spring perch so it wouldn't be in the way of the GC collar. This was wise because the fronts being a longer spring will only allow me about .75 - 1 " lower than stock it seems. I could cut even lower on the perch (by the weld that holds the perch on) and gain another .5 inch height range lower, but that begins to jeopardize the overal stroke of the shock. The WRX doesn't like to be lowered too much as you start to remove available compression or bump travel in the shock alone. But don't get me wrong, lowering some amount is fine and especially with a stiffer spring, you can ensure that the shock wont travel as much with moer resistance of course. Without the dual adjustablilty of the JIC FLTA2 or the Cusco Zero2R, i needed to be a bit more conservative since my lowering directly affects stroke. With perhaps a Cusco upper perch/camber plate, i could lower even more without affecting stroke as camber plates tend to be shorter in thier overall construction vs the stock rubber/metal mounts. Once the struts were hacked up, the koni's, GC's, and STi hats went on without a hitch. I even added a Trailmaster off-road truck silicone shock boot (with more than 1/2 of its *really* long length trimmed off) to help keep dirt off the koni shock shaft since the stock boots no longer work with the GC 2.5" Eibach springs. If you don't trim the shock boot enough, it will bunch up on compression and act as an extra bumpstop limiting your overall travel. Speaking of bumpstops, i recommend that the stock front bumpstops be cut in half and the rears be cur .25" to .5" to account for reduced throw and the GC front upper spring perch.

On handling. This is where it all pays off. So i decided that i would not lower the car much and in fact its only about .5" to .75" lower all around which leaves me with adequate shock travel still. The shocks at full soft leave a very comfortable rice. At this setting, they are only marginally stiffer than stock and since my springs are a more "medium" rate (that lie somewhere inbetween the soft stock and eibach-style stock replacements and typical kidney splitting coilovers), they don't appear too bouncy. Given just a small addition of damping rate and they ride so very comfortably yet still handles so much better than my stock WRX with only swaybars. Of course, you will notice that the car is spring much more stiffly, but you would not experience any harsh bouncing, oscillation or crashing. Turn them to full stiff, however, and the car is a monster! The thing stays put no matter what i threw at it! Cloverleaf's were such a delight if you catch my drift (no pun intended). Truthfully, full stiff on the Koni's are a bit overkill. I've found so far that somewhere in the range of 3/4 stiff yields relatively the same feel without chipping your teeth and that will probably be where i set them for competition. Full stiff is frankly too much damping for these medium springs so the Koni's could clearly handle a stiff 300-400+ # rate for a track setup.

My rates were chosen for mainly auto-x duty and as i stated before, i needed a more "medium" sprung/damped setup for the unevenness of typical courses and daily street driving/commuting. When the car was stock with only my whiteline sways and 225 S-03's, it had good grip, but in a rubber bandy kind of manner and feel. When cornering, the car would hold the line, but i could feel the car "loading up" when it was leaning into the turn approaching 100%. If i exceeded my traction envelope, the car would give way abruptly leaving me chopping at the wheel to keep her in line. With the new suspension, the car stays flat and doesn't "load up" as before, but breakaway is much more linear and consequently much easier to control with more predictability!

I need to get my car aligned, but she tracks straight. I added camber bolts in the rear to dial out some of the factory -1.3 degrees of camber so as the help shift some of the bias from under to oversteer.

Some pics below.

For more pics, click here.





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Old 09-30-2002, 05:43 PM   #2
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Very nice setup. How did you managed to cut the lower spring perch off so cleanly? It looks perfectly round.

You're right about hardly any shock travel. Looking at picture #0772 (rear shock), it seems that it shows the bump stop before it was cut. There's hardly any stroke left if the bump stop is not cut.

Thanks for the good review and install pic. I'm sure you've saved a tonne going this route instead of getting the Truechoice of Cobb Tuning setups. Bravo!

Hendrik
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Old 10-01-2002, 12:36 AM   #3
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Ive been contimplating cutting off these perches too... Scary stuff though
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Old 10-01-2002, 11:23 AM   #4
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Very nice!!!

Matt
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Old 10-01-2002, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by STI4ME
Very nice setup. How did you managed to cut the lower spring perch off so cleanly? It looks perfectly round.

You're right about hardly any shock travel. Looking at picture #0772 (rear shock), it seems that it shows the bump stop before it was cut. There's hardly any stroke left if the bump stop is not cut.

Thanks for the good review and install pic. I'm sure you've saved a tonne going this route instead of getting the Truechoice of Cobb Tuning setups. Bravo!

Hendrik
Hendrik, the shock was not fully extended when i took the pic. In fact, the Koni's are nearly identical to the stock struts in every dimension. The housings are the same length (actually the front is 1/4" shorter, so better for lowering) and the shock rods are roughly the same length and have the same total stroke. So if one is not going to lower the car much, you would not have to trim much. If you are using the GC's, then you should definitely trim the front as GC provides an upper spring perch that hangs lower than stock. Lastly, depending on the amount that you want to lower, you should also do a little trimming. I went with trimming them to about 1/2 thier originial length kinda arbitrarily and kinda in light of the GC coil bind value.


Also, you have to remember, my springs rates are 75% stiffer in the front and a little over 100% stiffer in the rear so my overall shock compression/action has been reduced. In addition, i have not lowered the vehicle much. Curretnly, the front and rear are somewhere in the vicinity of .5 - .75" lower than stock. I can't affort to loose much ground clearance, expecially since i have the UK300 front lip that drops the nose a good 3/4 of an inch in the front. I *really* don't want to scrape that bad boy!


It wasn't that bad trimming the perches. It took a bit long as i did it *entirely* with a Dremel tool! I'm not normally so masochistic, but i didn't have an angle grinder so off i went with the Dremel. If you look at this pic below, you can see that the place where i cut was right where the spring perch has a bend in it. this bend goes completely around the entire circumference of the strut's lower perch so its easy to use the bend as a guide for your cut. Once this perch was cut off, i just used a simple grinding wheel to smooth the cut. A quick shot of some black enamel and there you have it, nicely cut lower spring perched for the GC sleeves to rest on AND use as a motion stop. This way you could never drop the threaded perch off the sleeve and works in the same fashion as the Ground Control D-Rings (which no one ever really uses anyways).

Click pic for bigger version:


Last edited by Cosworth; 05-19-2004 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 10-02-2002, 12:51 AM   #6
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Whoops, had to fix a typo in the spring rates.
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Old 07-14-2003, 05:21 PM   #7
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I decided to blow the cobwebs off this one - great threads should never die.

Cosworth - did you ever consider the "weld-on kit" from GC. Tony recommended it for more adjustability. He said you don't have to actually weld it on as it rests on the ridge of the old spring perch (at least I THINK that's what he said) Seems to me that doing that would cause the adjustability to be less????

I just ordered GCs with 340/300 springs - I'm a little nervous to say the least but thought I'd go for it - hoping my kidneys will survive.
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Old 07-14-2003, 06:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
I just ordered GCs with 340/300 springs - I'm a little nervous to say the least but thought I'd go for it - hoping my kidneys will survive.
if you plan to drive mostly on the street you may want to think hard about such a stiff spring. i've got the same set up as Cosworth, except I did not change my top hats at the time (but really should )

so Front = 280 rear = 250. This is plenty stiff for a street car.

One thing I can say is that stiffer than stock sway bars aren't necessary with the Konis sturts. Actually, they will mostly serve to compromise the independent movement of each wheel on bumpier roads.

You can dial in or out some understeer with the spring rates you select as well as with the strut adjustment and ride height.


I have to say your line about " Blowing the cobwebs off " gave me a chill. When I was doing my install, I had the right rear strut top in my hand, put it down, saw a little spider living in there, pulled my hand away instinctively; then took a closer look and saw that it was a Black Widow . I was emotionally rattled for the rest of the day !
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:27 PM   #9
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So what is the balance of the car now with that spring rate. I mean on corner exit, on the throttle. I'm looking for rates that will give me neutral to mild oversteer at the track. No understeer.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shankster
I decided to blow the cobwebs off this one - great threads should never die.

Cosworth - did you ever consider the "weld-on kit" from GC. Tony recommended it for more adjustability. He said you don't have to actually weld it on as it rests on the ridge of the old spring perch (at least I THINK that's what he said) Seems to me that doing that would cause the adjustability to be less????

I just ordered GCs with 340/300 springs - I'm a little nervous to say the least but thought I'd go for it - hoping my kidneys will survive.
whew, a little dusty in here, eh?

I had considered the "weld-on" kit, aka the ground control d-rings, but once i got all the parts in front of me and sized up the situation regarding the tire's proximity to the strut and the lower perch, i decided that the d-rings would not be of much benefit for my setup. Currently, i have the car lowered more than what i stated in my initial post above. I am more like ~1.25" lower all around currently. If i used the weld on d-rings, i would start to be both compromising the tire as it would be very close to being at the same level as it. Additionally, lowering the koni's this much compromises thier bump travel. I really can't speak for thier longevity as you lower it, but with my medium rate springs and trimmed bump stops, a hard bump will bottom them out (or coil bind, but i think its the shocks) at this height position. Rebound only adjustment makes them a little soft on bound.

For autox and everyday settings, i have the fronts set to about 3/4 stiff and the rear at full stiff. I have a whiteline front swaybar set at 20 and a perrin rear set to 24. If the autox is real tight, i'll bump the rear bar to 26 and back the front koni's off 2 ticks for more snap rotation. Sometimes on a faster, more sweeping course, i'll bump the front bar to 22mm.

I run 2* negative camber front and rear and 35 psi on kuhmo ecsta V700's. Works pretty well so far.
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cosworth


I am more like ~1.25" lower all around currently
Thanks Cosworth, I was assuming that I couldn't go that low without the d-rings. 1.25" is about as far down as I'd want to go so I'll try to do exactly the same thing.
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gonz


if you plan to drive mostly on the street you may want to think hard about such a stiff spring
Like I said - I am a little concerned. I understand GC has a spring trade policy - as long as you pay shipping they'll trade as many times as it takes to get the springs you want - has anyone ever tried this?

Stiff springs also have another benefit - It'll make my wife think twice about taking my car and leaving me with the freakin minivan.
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Old 10-18-2003, 09:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cosworth
I had considered the "weld-on" kit, aka the ground control d-rings, but once i got all the parts in front of me and sized up the situation regarding the tire's proximity to the strut and the lower perch, i decided that the d-rings would not be of much benefit for my setup.
Reviving an old topic...

I'm in the process of installing Konis and GCs on my Legacy and was wondering what to do with a couple of the parts supplied with the GCs. The first parts are about 1/4" thick spacers that are D-shaped on the outer circumference and are sized to fit around the strut housing. I'm assuming these are the D-rings you guys are referring to, and only need to be used if one completely cuts off the stock spring perch and wants to install the GC sleeves even lower. I may eventually do that in the rear - with the top of the strut housing cut off for the Koni inserts there's only about 2 - 2.5" of housing left above the spring perch, so the sleeve is actually too long for the strut housing.

The other thing is the O-rings included with each sleeve. I assume those go between the strut housing and the GC sleeves so the sleeves can't clank back and forth? I tried to put one of them in place, looks like I'll need to lube them up a bit to get the sleeves to slide over them.

If someone could verify that's what the parts in question are for, I would much appreciate it.

Oh, one more thing for the Koni crowd... The inserts come with black rubbery sleeves, about 1-1/2" long and maybe 1/8" thick. The diagram in the "instructions" looks like it shows them installed at the top of the strut housing and over the upper lip of the strut insert. That would make sense - the rubber sleeves keep the bad stuff (water, dirt, etc) out of the gap between the Koni insert and the strut housing. Is that correct?

Thanks!
Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan

PS - FWIW, I'm going with 325#f/280#r spring rates - we'll see how long I stick with that.
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Old 10-19-2003, 01:01 AM   #14
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Patrick,

I have a few points of advice for you in addition to some answers to oyour questions.

The d-rings are for exactly as you described: to serve as a substitute lower mounting point spring perch on which the GC sleeve will rest. Be careful on how much lower you plan on relocating that as the lower you go the more compression stroke you loose.

Even if the sleeve is longer than the remaining strut housing, as long as it makes room for the Koni insert you should be ok--and thats the most obviously important part. That is unless you have less than 1/4 of the sleeve length on the housing left, you should be careful it doesn't shift--but thats rather severe.

As for the o-rings, toss em. A better method is to use duct tape and wrap careful and even single layers of the tape around the housing, one at a time test fitting all the while. With the o-rings you will get some shifting, but with tape, you get much more support over the entire housing, so its structurally more secure. I think i made a post about this at some point here which might have some details i may have left out, but thats the basic jist of it. You'll want it just snug enough that it takes a bit of effort and twisting to get the sleeve on (2-4 layers) but not too much that it starts tearing the tape. You'll have to figure it out on you legacy application.
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Old 10-19-2003, 01:12 AM   #15
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A few more things...

Regarding the rubber boots, they also are for exactly as you described. Here are some pics of them mounted on my setup. You should also note that i have also employed polyurethane caulk/sealant (the white stuff in the pics) to further seal and stiffen up the assembly. IT serves two main purposes; first to seal out moisture from the housing (when applied inbetween the koni and the stock strut housing) and to seal out moisture from behind the GC sleeve. Lastly, it serves to properly help keep the GC sleeve located on the perch so it doesn't shift or rotate in any way.

Since you putting so many separate components together, its important to do these sorts of things to make your final coilover assemblies as robust as possible. Its been working good so far for me.

A side note, i will probably be going to 7", #400 or 6", #450 springs front and rear next season to see if there is any better performance. Hops its not too harsh.

Pics (more and bigger pics can be found here)


Last edited by Cosworth; 05-19-2004 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 10-19-2003, 04:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cosworth
The d-rings are for exactly as you described: to serve as a substitute lower mounting point spring perch on which the GC sleeve will rest. Be careful on how much lower you plan on relocating that as the lower you go the more compression stroke you loose.
Good point. Although, if I were to have them welded on to lower the sleeve, it would strictly be to make everything fit together better, not so that I could slam the car in the weeds. Regardless of whether I use the D-rings or not, I don't plan on going more than 0.75-1" lower than stock.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cosworth
Even if the sleeve is longer than the remaining strut housing, as long as it makes room for the Koni insert you should be ok--and thats the most obviously important part.
Obvious, yet I hadn't thought of that. That's definitely something I'll need to check, and I think I'll probably be screwed. I see in the pictures on your site that you have nice, short sleeves on the rear struts - definitely look shorter than mine. I might have to return mine and get something shorter (or just chop mine off).

Quote:
Originally posted by Cosworth
As for the o-rings, toss em. A better method is to use duct tape and wrap careful and even single layers of the tape around the housing, one at a time test fitting all the while. With the o-rings you will get some shifting, but with tape, you get much more support over the entire housing, so its structurally more secure. I think i made a post about this at some point here which might have some details i may have left out, but thats the basic jist of it. You'll want it just snug enough that it takes a bit of effort and twisting to get the sleeve on (2-4 layers) but not too much that it starts tearing the tape. You'll have to figure it out on you legacy application.
The Legacy struts are actually the same diameter as the RS ones, should it should be the same. Good tip.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cosworth
You should also note that i have also employed polyurethane caulk/sealant (the white stuff in the pics) to further seal and stiffen up the assembly. IT serves two main purposes; first to seal out moisture from the housing (when applied inbetween the koni and the stock strut housing) and to seal out moisture from behind the GC sleeve. Lastly, it serves to properly help keep the GC sleeve located on the perch so it doesn't shift or rotate in any way.
First, what exactly is the sealant you used? Bathtub calk or what?

Second, where all did you put it? In the pics I can see it at the base of the GC sleeve, but the other location(s) you described are under the boots, right? So is there a bead at the top of the sleeves, too? And for the bead between the Koni insert and the housing did you just put the bead along the top of the cut off housing, and then insert the insert so that the lip came down on top of the bead?

Thanks for the help, man.

Pat
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Old 10-19-2003, 01:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Patrick Olsen
First, what exactly is the sealant you used? Bathtub calk or what?

Second, where all did you put it? In the pics I can see it at the base of the GC sleeve, but the other location(s) you described are under the boots, right? So is there a bead at the top of the sleeves, too? And for the bead between the Koni insert and the housing did you just put the bead along the top of the cut off housing, and then insert the insert so that the lip came down on top of the bead?

Thanks for the help, man.

Pat
Pat,

The sealant is a polyurethane type of caulk that has a very high durometer when cured (rather than the usual silicone which is too soft). The stiffer polyurethane caulk helps better secure everything when dried over the weaker silicone version. You can find it in you local Home depot or Lowes or whatever you have there. It comes as several brands, you may just have to ask for it as its not as abundant as silicone. ITs generally used for home window applications.


The locations i used in are at 3 points:

First, between the koni and the stock strut housing which will be under that black boot. This was done in order to keep moisture out of the strut housing which i had already experienced after taking the assembly apart after one year. The staganant liquid that has collected in there was disgusting! :P You just squirt the stuff into the gap after its inserted and fastened in. Don't go crazy though, poly caulk is stiff and too much will make it a PITA to remove. Smooth it over and its done.

Secondly, you apply some at the top and bottoms of the GC sleeve. This helps keep the sleeve in place so it doesn't shift, twist or tilt. It also helps keep the tape dry so it doesn't rot prematurely.

Thats about it. Its advisable to let dry a bit before tromping on it.

Jon.
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Old 10-19-2003, 02:58 PM   #18
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Thanks! Off to Lowe's I go for some poly sealant and duct tape. I also need to find a 4x4 shop to buy some of the dust boots.

Pat
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Old 10-19-2003, 07:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Patrick Olsen
Thanks! Off to Lowe's I go for some poly sealant and duct tape. I also need to find a 4x4 shop to buy some of the dust boots.

Pat
Pat - get the smallest tube of the sealant you can - the stuff I got has to be used within 24 hours - I wasted 90% of it and it ain't cheap.
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Old 10-20-2003, 10:52 AM   #20
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I did the GC spring and Koni install back in June. This after getting many many tips and encouragement from Cosworth.

The duct taping is a must. Nice and snug

one item which maybe was mentioned at the beginning of the thread is to secure the GC aluminum top hats to the GC spring using wire or tie wraps through the two small holes in the GC top hats.

Also, it's good to have some spray paint or primer on hand. You should paint the freshly cut and drilled edges of the strut. No sense in giving rust an easy way in.

The pay off to doing the taping, caulking, etc is NO CLUNKING. 99% of the time they are dead quiet. In 4 months, I've only heard them clunk a handful of times.

Hopefully you have a good cutting tool. That was the biggest difficulty for me putting these in. The exhaust pipe cutter which I had did didn't work well, so I finished with a hacksaw and a file. Took a lot of elbow grease.

Gonz.
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Old 10-20-2003, 11:03 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gonz
Also, it's good to have some spray paint or primer on hand. You should paint the freshly cut and drilled edges of the strut. No sense in giving rust an easy way in.

Excellent Tip Gonz, I keep forgetting about that one. After all the time one spends in putting together this stuff, why let it get rusty!


Quote:
Originally posted by Gonz
The pay off to doing the taping, caulking, etc is NO CLUNKING. 99% of the time they are dead quiet. In 4 months, I've only heard them clunk a handful of times.
Agreed. Initially, i had not used all the methods i mention here as i was not aware of them all. After talking with folks over the years who have used them for far longer than I, i decided to rebuild the setup after a harsh winter. Thats when i discovered miosture in the housing, squashed and broken o-rings, clunkiness, etc, just after about 9 months. After rebuilding and a season of hard autox, she's still nice and quiet! A little extra work now makes a *huge* difference in quality down the road. I guarantee it.

Jon.
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Old 10-22-2003, 02:48 AM   #22
Patrick Olsen
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OK, another question. What are these white plastic washer thingies for? There's yet another cryptic pictogram in the instructions that I think might be showing these installed, but I'm not sure. They're sized to perfectly fit around the strut shaft.

Started to install the first insert into one of the front housings today. Man, this ain't gonna be easy! I need a better block of wood to work with so I can pound on these things.

Pat

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Old 10-22-2003, 09:32 AM   #23
Cosworth
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Pat, my best guess is that they serve two purposes. They indeed slide over the shock shaft and rest on the top of the housing and are intended to both act as a dirt scraper (for the big grime) so your internal slide bushings are not contaminated and secondly, as some sort of bottom-out protecter. Not realy a bump stop per se, but a simple device to protect the top of the housing body from whatever is directly above it if its potentially marring. thats my guestimate .02. I'm pretty suire about the first part, but the second is an elaboration.
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Old 10-22-2003, 09:33 AM   #24
Gonz
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Quote:
Originally posted by Patrick Olsen

Started to install the first insert into one of the front housings today. Man, this ain't gonna be easy! I need a better block of wood to work with so I can pound on these things.

Pat
Once you get over the apprehension of hammering on brand new struts, and start swinging a little harder, they go right in

Mine slid in without resistance until the the insert is far enough in that the raised bumps on the insert housing start to press against the old strut housing. Then it's about 1.5 to 2 inches of pounding with a wooden block and a hammer. It's a nice tight fit.

I did not use those white rings. I couldn't figure out what they do.

Gonz.
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Old 12-20-2003, 01:17 PM   #25
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bump please read my thread and HELP ME



its posted here also
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