OEM vs Koni shocks - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-17-2006, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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OEM vs Koni shocks

my 78 spider veloce is in desperate need of new shocks. im also debating some new springs for her. my question is how much and what type of a difference do people feel there is between using OEM spec replacement shocks vs something like a KONI RED performance shock. there is a fair price difference and i just wanted some opinions before i dive into this. she is more of an around town and occasional mountain/winding road car. i might take her to the track on a rare occasion but im too busy with other stuff (and expenses) to really be concerned about shaving half or quarter seconds off of last weeks lap time.

thanks for the feed back guys.

Rob

'79 Spider Veloce (early restore stages)[COLOR="Yellow"][/COLOR]
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-17-2006, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks msiert. I thought the Konis were considered more of an upgraded shock. IAP, Centerline and the rest offer "original spec" type shocks considerably cheaper (almost 1/2 the cost) than the Koni reds so I guess I assumed the Konis were considered "high performance" comparitively. Would you recommend against these "OEM" type shocks? I guess I'm just trying to figure out if there is that much of a difference between the two or if the OEM type are actually not very good. I have only heard/read great things about the Konis so now Im curious if anyone has gotten the OEM type and what they think of them.

Also, my spider only has 35K on it (pretty good for a '79 but that's what happens when it sits in one spot for 16 straight years) so Im also debating if the springs really need replacing or not. They're not broken or anything, just not sure if springs would ever go out or need replacing that early in mileage. Id like to replace them as long as Im doing the shocks but if they are ok, that money could certainly be used in MANY other places

Thanks for any input folks

Rob

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 08:15 AM
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IMHO, you would be better off buying the cheap shocks and not worrying about the springs. I disagree that the springs sag over time. They sag with use. If the car really only has 35,000 miles on it, the springs are probably just fine. Put the money into other places. You can always go to a "sport" type spring and shock set up later.

Erik
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msiert
Yes, they are very good shocks never heard OEM shocks wearing out people usually only replace them when they want to upgrade.

My OEM shocks wore out after 170,000 miles. Well, they probably wore out before then, but that is when I noticed

I'd replace with OEM, but the OEM shocks (if you can find them) are just as expensive as the Koni Reds....so you might as well go for the slight upgrade and adjustability...

The gas-type replacements that IAP, Centerline, ect. sell are not really as good as the OEM shocks.

Sport springs and Koni Reds are just about the best improvement you can make on a Spider---it really does transform the car without making the ride too harsh.

As far as springs wearing over time, yes---they wear over time and with use. All metals creep over long periods of prolonged stress. Instant forces, such as when you go over a bump or through a corner, do not affect this so much, but they will fatigue the metal to an extent. This also leads to creep, but the main culprit would have to be the years and years of load bearing they do.

Stacy Faught -- Alfas: 1983 GTV-6, 2018 Giulia Quadrifoglio. Non-Alfas: 1991 Corvette ZR-1
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robboxedit
I thought the Konis were considered more of an upgraded shock. IAP, Centerline and the rest offer "original spec" type shocks considerably cheaper (almost 1/2 the cost) than the Koni reds so I guess I assumed the Konis were considered "high performance" comparitively. Would you recommend against these "OEM" type shocks?
The Konis perform AND ride better than the KYB shocks we sell at Centerline, even if there are no other changes made to the suspension. With Sport springs, they are even better. They are also adjustable to compensate for wear, so realistically you can expect them to last the life of your Alfa.

The KYB shocks are a good quality shock, and are definitely an improvement over worn out shocks of any brand. But, I really only recommend them for a customer than just can't afford the Konis. The Konis really are that much better.

Joe
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 10:08 AM
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Are Koni Reds adjustable in bound and rebound?
I have read in another thread that only the Spax shocks can be adjusted without the need to remove them from the car! Is it true?

Theo
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Last edited by Tubolare Zagato; 04-19-2006 at 10:10 AM.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 01:47 PM
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Koni reds and anything else not full race is not adjustable for compression but for rebound only. Yes, to my knowledge Spax (low pressure gas) is the only street shock that is externally adjustable. Personally, I prefer Spax to Koni with regard to handling, but Konis last longer and have better quality control.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 07:08 PM
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A couple of years ago, I read either in the Alfa Digest or the Alfaracing Yahoo group list that there is a guy at Koni-NA who will custom convert regular shocks so that they can be adjusted for rebound by means of an external alloy wheel, so no more taking them off all the time. Maybe a phone call will reveal who does it - it was only done on a semi-official basis, as a side-project for one of the tech guys.

Last edited by Alex; 04-19-2006 at 07:19 PM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 07:59 PM
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Because of the mounting, front shocks are pretty easy to adjust - just disconnect the bottom, push up, rotate to adjust, extend. Start with mid to 1/3 softer, or use as issued.

Rears are a SOB. But just set the koni's on full soft at rear and forget them.

Robert
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2006, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex
A couple of years ago, I read either in the Alfa Digest or the Alfaracing Yahoo group list that there is a guy at Koni-NA who will custom convert regular shocks so that they can be adjusted for rebound by means of an external alloy wheel, so no more taking them off all the time. Maybe a phone call will reveal who does it - it was only done on a semi-official basis, as a side-project for one of the tech guys.
From my point of view it is very unconvenient for an adjustable shock not able to be adjusted on the car. I am sorry but i would never buy such a shock for my car. What you write about the Koni-NA guy is very interesting but i think that the whole job would send the total check in the skies.
It's unbelievable that only Spax can offer an easily adjustable shock for our Alfas!

Theo
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2006, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubolare Zagato
From my point of view it is very unconvenient for an adjustable shock not able to be adjusted on the car. I am sorry but i would never buy such a shock for my car. What you write about the Koni-NA guy is very interesting but i think that the whole job would send the total check in the skies.
It's unbelievable that only Spax can offer an easily adjustable shock for our Alfas!
In practice, most people rarely need to adjust a shock once it is installed and set-up. With Konis, you can make an educated guess as to the stiffness desired based on intended use and your suspension, and come out good 95% of the time.

From there on out, you will probably only need to adjust them every 5 years or so to compensate for wear.

I have Spax adjustables on my GTV and have never adjusted them, even at the track. The PO set them up well for the car and they have always worked fine for me.

Joe
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2006, 04:27 PM
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If you check with Koni, they will tell you that the red shocks, set in the soft position, are identical to the stock Alfa shocks in compression and rebound. They are however adjustable in rebound.

So, one can stiffen up the rear in rebound, (which will "lift" the inside rear tire), and get some oversteer from the rear end. Of course this "kills" the rear to help the front (understeer). Not a good idea.

And one can stiffen up the front in rebound, and get a feel like you went to stiffer springs, but then you would loose compliance on rough roads.

I would use the stock shocks. Alfa knew what they were doing.

By the way: The Koni yellows are stiffer in both compression and rebound than stock Alfa or red Konis.

George Willet


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2006, 04:00 PM
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shocks

My 76 with 45,000 miles on it has the original springs and shocks. I believe the ride height is correct and the shocks work just fine. I do not drive on the track but do drive hard everywhere I go. When I do replace the shocks I will more than likely put on as close to stock as available and upgrade the tires...

Paul
76 Spider
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-26-2006, 08:03 PM
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What do the Aussie guys think is the best suited shocks/suspension combo for Australian road conditions. My 75 spider is all original & more than likely in need of a revisit in this area. As I've not driven any other Alfa 105's I don't know if I'm missing out on something or if the ride/handling can be improved by newer equipment.

So what do the Aussie Alfisti say?.

I Spy Alfa

Last edited by Freddie; 07-26-2006 at 11:37 PM.
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