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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being the suspension tweaker that I am, as soon as I got this car back in June I started thinking of how the ride and handling can be improved. IMO, the car handled great as-is, but it's a car, so it needs to be tinkered with, right?

So, I've considered Tein SS coilovers, H&R coilovers and KONI yellow shocks with Eibach ProKit springs, and came to the conclusion that I'll be trying the KONIs with stock springs to start out with. Some reasons for this decision were:

  • I've ran KONIs on different cars before and am familiar with them
  • Good compression damping and great adjustable rebound damping
  • They are known to be of good quality, and are re-buildable
  • I can pair them with stock springs for the most OE feel with better performance
  • If I decide to go with a more aggressive spring, I can choose from aftermarket springs available, or go straight to Ground Control kit

So, I ordered the shocks from Excelerate Performance and they showed up in a couple of days:



While still stock, as a baseline I measured distance from center of the wheel to the fender lip, and it was 15" in the front and 14 3/4" in the back with a full tank of gas. This is what the car looked like:







On to the installation. I took pictures when doing the fronts, but didn't take pictures of the rears. Procedure is exactly the same for fronts and rears though, as far as washers/spacers/nuts/etc go. I'm not going to get into details of removing/re-installing the shocks, there are other howtos for that. I'll mention that doing rears was a PITA due to length of stock shock/spring assembly, and that the trick to removing the fronts is raising the control arms up and "steering" left/right to gain more clearance.

On to the pics.

2nd gen TSX KONI yellows come with 2 grooves on their bodies with a circlip that holds that lower spring perch. High groove is stock height, lower groove is 15mm lower than stock.



Compress the spring, take the tophat off:



Tophat is sandwiched between 2 bushings with tube between them. Since the KONIs shafts are thicker, we have to replace this tube with a new one.







Here is the stock shock with the spring off and all it's hardware:



I cut one "bump" off the bumpstop since we are going lower. NOTE ON THIS ONE: I've bottomed out on the front bumpstop once so far hitting a large bump on the road on a road I travel on regularly. I hate to recommend cutting the bumpstop even further -- I'll be leaving it as-is for the time being as this isn't a huge problem and you really have to try hard to engage the bumpstop. If I had to do it over again though (which, I'm sure I will lol), I'd consider geting some foam bumpstops from Ground Control (probably ones on the right).



Bumpstop is difficult to get over the weld on the damper shaft. I put some spacers between it and the nut, and tightened down the nut to get the bumpstop over it -- easy.



New shocks came with 2 spacers, one thinner and one thicker. The thinner one goes on top of the bumpstop, the thinner one goes over the dustboot.



Dustboot had a steel cylinder in it's top. We have to drill out the hole at the top of it to fit it over the KONI's larger shaft. Remove the cylinder:



Drill it out and put it back in:



Put the thinner washer on top of the bumpstop:



Put the dustboot over that:



Then, put the thicker washer on top of that:



Then, put the tophat on and tighten it. Bushings will compress, keep tightening until you bottom out on the steel washer and will feel a good amount of resistance, 'till then it isn't tightened all the way. Keep in mind the position of the spring in the top perch, and position of the studs in the tophat relative to the shock body. If you do this right, things will line up perfectly.



Kit comes with 2 nuts for each shock, so I put both of them on there for security:



Stock shock next to KONI with stock spring. Note the lower spring perch is lower, but the tophat is extended pretty much just as far -- this is good because you will have the same amount of droop as stock.



I left the shocks set to one turn from full soft. I also dabbed some grease on the adjusters of the front shocks as I've had them rust on a previous car. Car rides great -- feels very much OE, but more controlled, and to me it feels more comfortable. I have yet to do a twisties run, but I know from my previous experience with KONIs that they will work great. IMO, these are better than stock shocks in every way and allow you to drop the car 1/2" which is a bonus. So, only downside is cost :)

Here is what the car looks like lowered 1/2". Measurements show front wheel gap at 14 1/2" and rear is close to the same but a hair lower (will depend on amount of gas in tank):







Hope this helps some people. Let me know if you have any questions, I'll answer what I can as best as I can.

Stan
 

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great writeup !
Just curious is it possible to install the shocks in order to get no drop at all ?
(to have the same ground clearance like stock)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. Absolutely possible -- I set the lower spring perch in the lower groove so the car lowered 15mm. If you set the perch in the higher groove (which is how the shocks came set up from the factory), you'll be at same height as stock. You could even have a machine shop cut in more grooves and raise/lower the car even more.

Here is a picture of the stock front shock next to the KONI with perch on lowest setting. Too bad I didn't take a picture without the dustboot, but I'm pretty sure the damper length is the same, so amount of travel will be same as stock with perch on highest groove.



Stan
 

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Thanks for the explanation.
Is this perch available for any yellow Koni shock or is it something specific to CU2 , only , any idea?
 

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Nice write up and pictures. For clarification about the perches, not all koni yellow applications have multiple perches. A friend of mine got yellows for his wrx and they only have one setting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's correct, that's because the WRX uses struts, not shocks. I used to have a Subaru and actually ran WRX-fitment KONIs -- for that application, KONI makes inserts that you put into your original strut housings (you gut the strut, and install the insert inside of it).

I have KONI yellow struts on the front of my '99 Volvo wagon, and they aren't height-adjustable either. I had a set on a Miata (shocks), and they were.

My Volvo yellows (struts):


Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will bump this because I replaced the stock springs with a set of Eibach Pro-Kit springs. I set the KONI perches to the higher "stock" setting. I am very pleased with the results as it accomplished what I wanted - stiffer springs that would still be civil on the street. Ride quality is very acceptable even on rough roads, there is still plenty of suspension travel and handling is better.

Some pictures of what the car looks like now (black wheels are hard to see, I know), tires are stock size 225/50R17.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Stan









Rear gap (full tank of gas):



Front gap (full tank of gas):







Stan
 

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Thanks for the write-up. I am addicted to Bilsteins........do you think they will work on the CU2? I see they sell some on ebay UK....not in USA just yet/
 

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I would lower the front to the lower setting... Looks funny with the rear sagging...
 

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that's because he has lots of negative camber... He gets a camber kit, would look better
you think 1.0 degree of camber will fix 1/2 inch of gap?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If I were to go for Bilsteins on this car, I'd get the H&R coilover kit which is basically Bilstein HDs with some progressive springs. I've considered it, but decided to go with KONIs, partly for more spring selection and being able to run OE springs, partly because I have more experience with KONIs than HDs and the one set of HDs I had I didn't like as much as KONIs.

For wheel gap, it is what it is. Fenders are cut this way, Pro-Kit lowers even 1" front and rear so the gap remains. It doesn't bother me too much, I could drop the front 1/2" by moving the perches down, but I think that will be too much. 1/4" -- yeah, I'd try that, but I'd have to have new gooves cut into the shocks.

FWIW, initially I did leave the perches on the lower groove but the spring was barely preloaded, so I decided against running it that way as the initial try. Also, consider that you are looking at the car without people in it (but, a full tank of gas) -- I assure you the front will lower a visible amount when there is 160 - 260 pounds worth of weight in the front seats.

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Holy crap on the visual difference! Didn't expect that.

Do you know what your rear camber was prior to the camber kit, around -2.0? Maybe I should invest in the kit -- I want front to be more negative than rear, ideally.

Stan
 

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Holy crap on the visual difference! Didn't expect that.

Do you know what your rear camber was prior to the camber kit, around -2.0? Maybe I should invest in the kit -- I want front to be more negative than rear, ideally.

Stan
Yea, negative camber makes the rear look lower because the the tire is kicked farther into the wheel well, away from the qtr panel wheel opening.

I think it was close to -2 prior, then adjusted to -.5

Even better example:
Last weekend I mounted the TL wheels I'm going to run, 17x8 +45 wheels w/ 235/45 tires

The more aggressive wheel/tire package made the rake more noticeable because the wheel/tires are more flsuh with the qtr panel. So... I had to lower it more in the rear

On stock rear perch setting, -.5 rear camber.


On lower rear perch setting (20mm lower), a little more rear negative camber occured too because it was lowered 20mm more


Actually made the front come up a tad too
 

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Happy to help

Look into spacers... those wheels sit inward a good bit... would look great mor flush with the fenders
 
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