So I bought a stock FiST strut, made in Spain, where it rains on the plain, so I could measure it and see if it was a good candidate for one of Koni's existing RACE inserts.
Good news. The 8611-1259 insert should fit, and stay stock.
Bad news. It will take some doing.
8611-1259 Race dimensions: 6.02" throw 21.26"extended 15.24"compressed 13.07"body 1.71"diameter
Here's a picture of the stock strut:
I was going to throw dimensions on the picture itself but iPhoto sucks, Photoshop Elements sucks, pretty much everything sucks. I miss AutoCAD from my youth. So I'll just describe the dimensions.
The most critical dimension in keeping this stock is the overall length must remain within 1" of stock.
Stock overall length (including fins that hang down a bit): 22"
stock throw: 6.5"
stock compressed length: 15.5"
stock body length: 13.5"
threaded top length: 1"
exposed rod at full compression: 1"
So, what's really cool is that it appears that if you gut this thing, and stick the koni in as far as it will (likely) go, it should come just about exactly stock length overall.. that's because the fins hang down a quarter inch, and there's like a quarter inch of slop and welds and thickness at the bottom of the cylinder. I think this is really perfect.
Now we're going to do what you've seen done in the videos and on other forums... punch a big hole in the bottom, chop off the top, and pull out the guts. You see that after I removed the dust cap, there's a narrower portion at the top of the stock strut. That's gotta go. The Koni's 13.07" body length will come about flush with where the stock strut's body is before removal.
What I need is a steel extension tube that can be welded to the chop point, and that will extend the stock tube's dimension from the chop point back out about 2", to maybe 1/2" beyond where the koni insert's body will end. Where that is we don't know because we don't know how deep into the stock body it will settle/end up.
The other end of the steel extension tube needs to be threaded on the inside to accept a gland nut, preferably one from Koni so I don't have to fabricate them. They're probably $20 bucks each. :-(
I can weld. But I don't have a lathe. Does anyone have any idea where I could have these tubes fabbed up? There is also likely going to be a need for spacers at the top and bottom of the inserts to keep them from swimming in the stock strut's inside diameter.
There's also the option of welding a cap on that can't be removed except by cutting it off again. But I don't like the idea of welding while the Koni is inside there.
So if you do the math, though, the stock throw is 1/2" longer than the Koni will be. But I have no idea whether the suspension could ever possibly go that far, or if there are bump stops or some other limiting factor that would make that ok. Please lend your vast experience, people with experience.