Koni strut install FAQ - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Koni strut install FAQ

Is there are wiki or a step-by-step procedure for installing Koni struts to replace the electronic struts on the "S" model 164? If it was a simple strut change I could handle it no problem but this line in the Centerline catalog has me worried that its not so simple.
"These are a strut insert that requires cutting the original housing and bolting the bottom of the insert to the housing."
Ideally I'd prefer not to destroy the old electronic struts as I would like to attempt to repair them at some point in the future.

Side question: will the B&G Sport springs work with the stock electronic struts?

Scott Catlin
1993 Alfa Romeo 164S
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 07:01 PM
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If I recall correctly, you have to have donor struts from a base or L model to install Konis in anyway, so your special S struts will remain intact for a later rebuild. Cutting the top off should not be too hard with the proper tool, many people have done it. It also involves drilling a hole at the bottom to bolt in the insert. I haven't done the job, just have seen several posts on the subject.
Charles

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Are donor parts needed for the front and rear, or just the front? And will LS struts work? I'll have to check the attic but I think I have a set of rear LS struts from a BB member, but no L or Base.

Scott Catlin
1993 Alfa Romeo 164S
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 08:45 PM
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Rear Konis are bolt in. You need donors for the front only.

Red 1991 164S, Black 1991 164S, Red 1987 Milano, 1972 Berlina, 1973 Berlina rebuilding SPICA engine
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 03:34 AM
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LS fronts same as B/L so you can cut off the tops and drill a hole in the bottoms.

That being said there were some LS models that supposedly had special controlled suspension like 164S/Q models but I don't think it was USA spec option though.

I have some B/L fronts already cut off if you need them.

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
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Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 04:45 AM
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Front insert installation is straight forward. You may have to file down some material at the top of the inserts. There are small metal bumps that hold the strut insert tight in the donor strut housing. A little too tight maybe.

Did you find a set of true 164 front inserts? Availability is limited it seems. Now rears maybe disappearing too.

Alfissimo sells an alternate front version of the koni. There's an extra step involved with modifying the upper strut bearing. Spacers are also required at the bottom of the donor housing. I did this on my own a while back and have at least 5000 miles on those struts with no problems.

Just my opinion regarding your side question...I would probably use stock springs with the electronic struts. I don't know that you want to alter the piston travel range, but the guys who have rebuilt those may know much better.

John
1991 Alfa Romeo 164L, 1993 Ford 5.0L Mustang
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 07:20 AM
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Electronic struts aren't that hard to rebuild. If the hard chrome isn't worn off the rods, I'd rebuild them.

Red 1991 164S, Black 1991 164S, Red 1987 Milano, 1972 Berlina, 1973 Berlina rebuilding SPICA engine
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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I'd like to rebuild the electronic struts eventually but can't have the car off the road for an extended amount of time. With no garage and having a 164 as a daily driver, I typically have about 8 hours to do R&R on most jobs in someone's borrowed garage. That was the sacrifice I made to buy the car I really wanted, and luckily I have several gearhead friends who don't mind sharing a beer in their garage while I turn a wrench

Scott Catlin
1993 Alfa Romeo 164S
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 05:06 PM
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My 1991 164 S's adjustable suspension was still working fine up until a few months ago....I did, however, a year ago purchase a Yellow Koni set up from Jason (Alfissimo).....I've got to tell you ....the Koni set up is sooooo much better...I always found the stock Auto to be too floaty and the stock Sport mode to be way too stiff....I set up the Konis half way and found that the car is perfect (used donor front housings from an L that my mechanic supplied)....This is how these cars should have been set up....I kept all the bits (should I get the urge for a rebuild) but even if I rebuilt them....I wouldn't install them.....D

1964 Giulia Sprint GT 1991 164 S President New York Alfa Romeo Owners Club
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 06:13 PM
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This is a very personal thing. I've had them both, Koni yellows on my 164B, and CDS on my 164S, and I really REALLY enjoy the ability to switch between a hard and a soft setting, it is an extraordinary luxury. I have a friend with several very sporty (and expensive) cars and pity him for the incredibly harsh ride that he cannot alter. I, on the other hand, at the push of a button, can have a suspension that corners like the car's on rails, or a wonderfully plush ride, that mitigates all the coarseness from a "gravelly" road especially when I or my passengers are not in the sporty mode. I wouldn't change it for anything, it's definitely one of the nicest things, I my opinion, of the S.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scatlin View Post
I'd like to rebuild the electronic struts eventually but can't have the car off the road for an extended amount of time. With no garage and having a 164 as a daily driver, I typically have about 8 hours to do R&R on most jobs in someone's borrowed garage. That was the sacrifice I made to buy the car I really wanted, and luckily I have several gearhead friends who don't mind sharing a beer in their garage while I turn a wrench
If you're on a tight schedule, make sure the long rear strut bolts are willing to come out with no trouble. They can easily hold you up for a bit. Also mentioned to someone else recently, keep an eye on the washer placement at the rear strut bolts.

Probably need new dust boots and bump stops as well, and front strut bearings at the spring perches. At least anyway Im assuming all the upper mounting hardware from the S is the same.

John
1991 Alfa Romeo 164L, 1993 Ford 5.0L Mustang
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 09:23 AM
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I had to go the Koni route because my S came to me with CDS system removed and B/L struts, and broken front springs.

Old Blue the 91L RexCar's daughter now has, had all I needed for the conversion. It had Konis. Eibach springs and sway bars, which is why I bought it from the auto auction. Had the new radiator and new S steering rack I needed, too.

Old Blue got all Old Nero's OE parts to replace what I got for BB2.

Spare parts when you find them is when to buy them.

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
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Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

Daily driver and parts hauler but not car hauler 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7L H.O. V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 09:40 AM
Del
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I rebuilt the S struts on my 91S, no problems. I installed Koni shocks on my 94LS, also no problems. Set those Konis to 2/3 firm to simulate, after much road testing, the firm setting on the S shocks. We are very happen with that setting, it making the LS a very good road car. Have driven many miles with that setup throughout the West.

Del

Seattle

1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
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previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 02:38 PM
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So Scott, tell us more about the state of the electronic struts so that we can better advise you on the most efficient repair approach, then you can choose between the two. Since your time is limited and you want the least down time, it may be best for you to do the struts either one at a time or in pairs.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 03:02 PM
Del
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I think he could easily do them one at a time if he has all the required replacement parts for a complete strut rebuild, including bearings, bellows, etc. The car might drive a little funny, as mine did before I rebuilt the shocks (going over speed bumps produced a kind of "kitty corner" up and down due to one soft corner), but that's no problem in ordinary driving.

An advantage to doing them one at a time is that you are guaranteed to not mix up the parts, as well as having a minimum down time for the car at any time.

Del

Seattle

1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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