Koni Yellows with stock suspension - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Koni Yellows with stock suspension

A few months ago I installed a set of Koni Yellow sports setting shocks on my '72 Super. My Super has a stock suspension, its bushings are nice and firm, etc. It is also a remarkably original car so I shouldn't have been all that surprised to find that it was riding on its oem fittment Allinquant. At 139k klm, they were well and truly worn out.

Why Koni Yellows? There is some "received wisdom" among Alfa enthusiasts that Koni Yellow sport setting shocks are "too stiff" for for street-cars and are better suited for race applications. I haven't found this to be case at all. I started using Koni sport setting shocks long before before they were identified by the yellow color. Back in the day they were red but identified by an SP1 code. This was a long time ago. Before I go on I should say that I've driven 105 series Alfa with Koni Red stock setting shocks and find them excellent all-around shocks. I will note that many Alfa owners increase the stiffness of the red front shocks a bit. Just sayin' . . .

My comments, however, are not intended to be a direct comparison of Koni Reds and Koni Yellows. What follows is my rather favorable impression of fitting new Koni Yellow shocks to an otherwise stock Giulia Super suspension. As mentioned, my Super has a completely stock, entirely roadworthy (bushings are still in good shape and so may have been changed at some point in the car's life) suspension so installing the Koni Yellows gave me a good baseline. The only difference from stock is that I have 15x6x29mm GTA style wheels with 185x65x15 Kuhmo H rated tires.

The Koni Yellows were installed in their stock position and, as installed, are relatively stiffer, i.e., you can immediately feel the difference, than my experience with Koni Reds. My entirely subjective interpretation of the difference between stock setting reds and stock setting yellows is that the yellows in my experience are indeed stiffer but hardly uncomfortably so (as in not jarring your teeth over bumps) and---again this is entirely subjective---less harsh than, say, sport setting Bilsteins or even the sport suspension settings on my Mazda3 5 door. Basically, the yellows are designed to provide more control and, in this, I think they do a good job.

Not far from my house there is a limited access uphill access road. It's long enough to allow some hard acceleration and, since there are seldom any other cars present, it's a great place for tuning. The road terminates in a decreasing radius sweeping turn which made it great for trying out my new shocks. I was especially impressed with how the yellows performed in the decreasing radius turn. If I time things just right I can catch the green light and enter the intersection (usualy devoid of cars, btw) fast enough to break the tires loose. This time, however, I could actually feel the Koni Yellow shocks firmly controlling the front suspension movements. To confirm this I made several loops around the access road, each time increasing my speed until I was right at breaking the tires loose. Each time the Konis showed that they were doing what their advertised to do: they provide more control while remaining supple enough to make them unobtrusive in normal driving. In everyday driving, you're aware that the shocks are stiffer than stock but not so much that you are constantly aware of the "stiff-shock-spring" harshness from race-oriented suspension settings.

I like this combination of stock suspension, Koni Yellows, and the Kuhmo H rated tires so much that I've shelved my plans for further suspension mods for the time being.

I will add a final caveat. I am speaking from the standpoint of a long term user of Koni Yellow sports setting shocks. These are my preference mainly because I like 'em. You're experience may differ.
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Jim . . . '72 Super 1300, '70, 1750GTV, 2nd series,
'62, Lancia Flaminia Zagato3c, 2nd series

Last edited by 180OUT; 01-01-2017 at 04:43 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 06:00 AM
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Hey, I have to ask how did you manage to 14 inch tires on a 15 inch wheel, if you share your secret it opens up a bevy of new fitment options that were never before available? Sorry I couldn't help myself, obviously a typo. Happy New Year to you and all the best members, Fran
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, a typo. It's now corrected. I'm dyslexic so I can't always see my mistakes, even when they're so obvious.

Jim . . . '72 Super 1300, '70, 1750GTV, 2nd series,
'62, Lancia Flaminia Zagato3c, 2nd series
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 09:24 AM
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I have Koni Yellows on my 79 Alfetta with stock suspension. It is an extremely well behaved car and not at all harsh. I felt that the Alfetta has a more advance suspension than older Alfas; I chose Reds for my 74 GTV. Interesting to know that older cars also behave well with Yellows.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 11:27 AM
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My preferred set-up for a fast road car is Koni Sports (yellow) up front, set about 1/2 to 2/3 stiff and Koni Classics (red) at the rear, on softest setting.

Ian

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 01:25 PM
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This discussion jump started something I have thought about for a while. I removed an almost new set of Koni Yellows in the early 1980's when I bought my '76 Spider, and replaced these with a set of Koni double adjustable. I saved the yellows, and now think these might be good for my '91 Spider with 86,000 miles on the original shocks. Has anyone else had experience with Koni yellows on a S4 Spider?


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George Schweikle

1976 Spider (Dedicated Autocrosser, "SPICA, No Carbs")
1991 Spider Veloce (Retirement cruiser)
Scuderia Non Originale
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Koni Classics (red) at the rear, on softest setting.
And you don't have the rear of the car bouncing up and down under heavy braking? I have Koni yellows set mid way to keep the rear stable under those conditions.

Ed Prytherch
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A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by alfaparticle View Post
And you don't have the rear of the car bouncing up and down under heavy braking? I have Koni yellows set mid way to keep the rear stable under those conditions.
Nope.

Ian

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 07:32 PM
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I have the yellows on my S3 Spider along with a chassis stiffener and the base Alfaholics fast road suspension kit fitted along with appropriate bushings etc. I think the car drives very well and isn't too harsh on normal roads, though it is a bit rough on very crappy roads,. The car handles great, (subjective statement I know) and I have no issues braking or otherwise.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 09:28 PM
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I'm not trying to steal the post, just a quick question for Maseratiguy. I have an S3 also and would like to eliminate the wallow. What AlfaHolics kit did you use? From your experience, would you think just the yellows would make the difference? It's just a stock cruiser so I'm not looking to hot rod it. Thanks.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Have your checked your trailing arm bushings? When worn, they will produce a decided "wallow" that you describe. If they're bad (they seem to start going away when the millage edges past 50-60k) replacing the shocks won't solve the problem.

Jim . . . '72 Super 1300, '70, 1750GTV, 2nd series,
'62, Lancia Flaminia Zagato3c, 2nd series
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 08:16 AM
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As 180OUT said, 1st make sure everything is in good shape bushings etc. (from reading his posts through the years he knows way more than I do). It shouldn't be too hard to check the trailing arm bushings for wear.
I used their basic "fast road kit" (springs, a big front sway bar, Koni yellow shocks stiffer rubber bushings). I like it but I also put a lot of credence in doing what the rest of BB says and either going with the reds on the settings previously described or the yellows at the factory settings. My opinion is that yellows at the settings out of the box would have been good enough for me at the time with out doing the other parts, (but I wanted to rebuild the suspension anyway), ie. fun to drive, handle better, ride well.
my 2 cents
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 07:24 PM
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Maseratiguy,
I asked my question because AlfaHolics makes a kit B, 1" drop or a Kit C, which is a 2-2.5" drop. Both called 'Fast Road Kit'. But now I know you got the basic. Thanks!

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 09:44 AM
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Oh, I only have a 1" drop. unless you're on a track 2 -2.5" drop is losing a lot of ground clearance,. no?
I had a Merak for years and, (maybe 4 -4.5" ground clearance), and it can get scary! Bad roads, speed bumps, rail road crossings, pot holes. That's why sometimes I think I should have kept the springs stock and just went with the yellows.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 180OUT View Post
There is some "received wisdom" among Alfa enthusiasts that Koni Yellow sport setting shocks are "too stiff" for for street-cars and are better suited for race applications. I haven't found this to be case at all.
Neither have we! Quite often when I read that someone has fitted Yellows and "they made the ride too stiff" further investigation reveals that they're running some insane spring rates like 1200lb on the front and 240lb on the rear of their road car...

When we recommend shocks we suggest Koni reds for stock springs and Yellows for the uprated handling kit type but if someone just wants shocks and "may" be fitting uprated springs in the future I tell them to get the Yellows because these will cope with the stiffer springs if they do use them later. The Koni Yellows are fine for road use with stock springs and you lose very little in the way of ride comfort compared to the Reds but they have enough reserve damping to rein in stiffer springs which the Reds can struggle with.

For what it's worth, we fit all Konis as they come out of the box (soft setting).

Just because something is adjustable doesn't mean you have to adjust it.

Oh, and on the Spider handling kit, we find that the B kit is the realistic limit for S3 and S4 Spiders as they have quite long overhangs so don't take too kindly to being lowered much!


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Last edited by Mound Dawg; 02-17-2017 at 09:04 AM.
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