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Discussion Starter #1
I'm installing Koni Reds on my 87 Quad (front end first) and am having A TIME pushing the bottom of the shock with the slide-on bushing back on the post (shaft). I know they were kinda tough to remove, but I simply cannot get the new ones to slide back on. I cleaned off the post, even put a little 3-in-1 on for some lube, but I cannot get it completely back on. It goes only so far and then stops. I checked the part # on the Koni site and they're correct (80 1551). Bought them from IAP. I expected some resistance, because they were tough to remove, but this seems excessive. Any advice??
 

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3-in-one is not really a good rubber lube.......
I use silicone spray to ease rubber parts on, or maybe some lithium grease.
Heck, even vasaline will work there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. I ended up wiping most/all of the lube off anyway as I was trying to install. I'm still stuck, though, trying to slide the shock back on. I did try to install it from both ends of the bushing, not that it should matter, but still to no avail. I'm no weakling (I think, anyway), but this seems way tough. I also don't want to risk knocking the car off the jack stands (even though I'm using a jack as a secondary backup) with a lot of pushing and pulling.

I thought this was going to be a pleasant, sunny Sunday to work on the car. Ha!
 

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Is Koni still using natural rubber for their shock mounts ??
Seems very last century to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, Tifosi. I was hoping you would weigh in at some point! Your advice is always very insightful. The lubricant discussion is a good one, and valuable to note. But I'm still puzzled by the Koni problem. I've sent a query to Koni via their website. Don't know if pinging IAP would be helpful. This seems to be a manufacturing issue, not a sales issue, or it's my car. I was just curious if others had experienced it/solved it.

Thanks to all so far...say goodbye to a lovely Sunday.
 

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Mike -
Sorry to read of the problem, though I don't think I can provide you any insight. However, I do now know why you weren't at the Chili Cook-off outside of Olympia today. 8^)
Good luck - give me a call if you need some useful advice. I know a couple of folks who might be able to help, even though I cannot.
 

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When you say you can't get the thing completely back on, can you get it far enough to allow the threads of the fixture to engage?
If so, then you might try 'jacking' the thing the rest of the way into place by using the fixture as a right~there and running more true to the axis leverage assistance device than you can by hand, hammer or bar.

Granted if it's stupid tight caution should be the order of the day onnaconna you don't want to damage the threads, but otherwise it indeed will help shove it on there and there's no harm in doing so as long as it's not getting in a big bind.
(you may even find that after a turn or two it'll pop on all by itself once everything is lined up more accurately)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Tifosi,
That's exactly what I was thinking as I was struggling to slide it on, but I couldn't even get it far enough to have the shaft extend beyond the bushing to expose the threads. Thanks for the response. This is a puzzle.
 

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I installed a set of koni sport shocks in my 88 quad. I got under the shock with a 3 foot pry bar and i sprayed the bushing with wd 40. it went right on i also left the top nut loose so the shock would pivit to the angle. they should not be that hard to install on the front. the rears are a little more of a challenge.
 

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You'd be amazed at how much problem can be caused by the tiniest of burrs or corrosion. If memory serves, there is a steel bushing inside the rubber bushing on the shock. First, use a strip of emery paper around the stud/spindle, or possibly even a flat file that you roll around the circumference feeling for burrs. Then, wrap some emery paper paper around a drill bit (perhaps 1/4" diameter) and spin it in a drill inside the shock bushing to remove burrs and corrosion. Your problem can be as little as .0005" and make things really tough. Clean it all up and see what happens. I wouldn't use much lubricant, although a slight bit of anti-seize might be wise to facilitate future removal.
 

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I use anti-seize compound 99.9% of the time on threads, bolt shoulders, spacers, etc. It's my second best friend, next to leverage. To make rubbery parts slippery, I use Maguier's rubber/vinyl protectant (I like it better than ArmorAll).

My '85 Spider is slated for a frame-up starting this spring, and I've already bought my Konis, so it's good to know what I may be up against. Does anyone have a preference to a brand of steering & suspension parts? The original Italian tie rod ends, etc. still seem tight @ 100+k miles, so I'm leaning toward buying the same.

Don P: you have some interesting machines....
 

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If my signature is a bit vague, most of the machines are past-tense. Only the Mooney, 86 Quad, and 102 Roadster are currently in-stable. I certainly miss all the rest a lot more than I do most of my ex-wives.
 

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Stupid question, but are the metal sleeves from within the bushings on the old shocks still on the spindles ???
 

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Not many US aviators even know what a Zlin or Stampe is. However, I'm sure that Alfa owners will at least grasp the significance of a one-piece, 26 foot, solid, milled,Titanium spar. Italian hardware is beautiful. Czech hardware is beautiful - and strong enough to hurt ya'.

Your last name suggests something French. Ever heard of the "Coupe d'Anjou"?
 

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I looked those up, but one year of French in high school doesn't help. Biplanes? Back in my h.s. era, I dreamed of learning to fly, but the price killed it. I turned to 2 wheels and neat 4 wheels. I'd still love to own a RotorWay some day.

Laycock deNormanville is just an interesting name I use. It was a company that made overdrive units for British cars. My last name is Brooks, a combination of English, German, Scotch & Irish - probably all the bad parts.

Speaking of French & German, the Citroen ID/DS was designed by Flaminio Bertone. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
SOLVED! - Thanks for all the helpful posts to this issue. I read them with great interest. After chatting with a materials engineer friend about this problem during a ski vacation this week, he asked me a great question: Where have you been storing the shocks while waiting to install them? I had to admit that during the two months between buying and installing (while I was trying to get the free time...) they were kept in my cold, cold garage on a shelf. I mean, it's not THAT cold here in the Northwest, but as I'm writing this, there is snow on the ground, so... Anyway, he suggested gently warming up the bushings with a hair dryer and trying again. His logic was that the cold garage over two months could have slightly shrunk the bushings just enough to make them difficult to slide on. I went out today, warmed up the bushing and the shock slid on. Not super easy, mind you, but they went on enough to get the washers and nut on. From there, it was a matter of tightening them on. No problem. Those of you in warmer climates, or during another time of the year wouldn't have this problem. But for those of us who live in colder climates, and want to work on our Alfas during the winter months, this is something I've never considered before. Thank you engineers of the world!

A few views from the work:

The Quad up on jack stands, jack under spring pan for 'back up' and wheel chocks in place. I use the floor light for close up work.



The original shock in place:



The original shock, wiped clean:



Removing the shock at top:



The new Koni Red installed:



 
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