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Unexpected poor handling with Konis

7870 Views 30 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  AlanBDahl
I ran my first event of the season yesterday with my newly-installed Konis and the results were poor. I'm now trying to figure out what to do next.

Setup: 2014 ST with Dirizza ZII 225/45-16 on OZ wheels. Porterfield R4S brake pads. Koni yellows front and rear.

1st run: Shocks full stiff rear, 1/2 turn from soft front. 38 psi front/42 rear.

Car was all over the place, I could not keep the rear end planted. All I can do to make it through the course with just one cone. 3 seconds behind Des in his ST.

2nd run: Shocks the same, pressures 38/38.

Much better to begin with but still eager to rotate. Entered a fast three-cone slalom with a short braking area into a right-hander. Car snap spun on me and sent me off course into the grass and a side taxiway. Day over per our 4-wheels-off rule with a DSQ on the score sheet.

From my perspective the common wisdom of Koni shock settings is way off. I'm thinking the middle setting rear and half-way to 3/4 front. Am I right and everyone else is wrong or did we goof up our install some way?

Des does have a Cobb front bar but that doesn't explain the 4 second difference between us. I road with Des and his car had very good turn-in but tended to loose grip in hard sweepers. My goal is the best of both worlds, high grip with good turn-in. I think it's doable, it's just figuring out how...
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Play around with the adjustment a bit...there is some subtlety at the "firm" end of the adjustment in the visible rear rebound rate (i.e. how quickly shock extends back out).

In my case, for repeatability from side to side I'm going to full stiff then back off just a bit (1/8th turn is close) and checking both shocks are (very close to) the same. One observation : at "as far as you can turn it stiff" the rebound appears to spike pretty dramatically. I suspect this is not good, and given what you described may be where you are at Alan ;)

If you had a mechanic install them, unless they are very experienced with Koni shocks that are adjusted in this manner I would immediately question exactly where they are actually set...
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To back up what Des said, 4 of us (Me, Josh, Navid, Chris/Pam) all put on larger (Eibach) front bars between the Crows Tour and Crows Pro (Des had the Corksport larger bar both weekends).

Plus : car is WAY more stable/drivable/confident in slaloms. Especially true in higher speed slaloms. Car is (a lot) less likely to bicycle.
Con : it does wheelspin more, and MIGHT be a negative in sweepers on the clock.

Gut feel is if it were a VERY tight course that was all about 25 MPH digs (i.e. local small lot course), you might want the stock front bar. Otherwise, just accept there will be more wheelspin and the front bar will be faster. On most "National" style courses I've driven, I'd take the bigger front bar.

Other note we found : be sure you have the bar bushings as far towards the REAR of the car as you can before tightening them down. Really helps to have one person tighten while another holds the bar in place (i.e. pushing it towards back of car). Otherwise, the Eibach bar will "clunk" on the subframe. Not an issue with the Corksport as it is bent differently and won't be anywhere close to the subframe.
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