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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:20 AM   #1
kuksul08
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Koni FSD Suspension Mini Review/DIY

Well I just got these installed, and I thought I'd give a short review for anyone in need of new shocks.

I have the sport package on my car with about 100k miles, and the shocks were original sport shocks. I have to give it to Sachs, as the shocks did pretty darn well until now. I noticed some wobbling effect in the long sweeping turns, and a harsh, jerky ride over bumpy roads with the original shocks. When I pushed on the rear end, it would oscillate about once before settling down (down, up down, settle). Also, there was a horrible rattling sound coming from the trunk, which I am assuming was the shock mounts. So, I thought it would be a good idea to get new shocks

It took me about a year to get the extra money, and will power to decide which ones, and buy them. I read a recommendation in the Roundel about how great they are, yadda yadda, so I got 'em. I bought them from NA Motorsports, and they were extremely helpful and fast to help me out. I'd definitely recommend purchasing from there.

First impressions were great. The shafts moved smoothly as they should, good quality paint. I could have used some stickers though, you know, it's nice to AT LEAST get stickers when I spent $650 on shocks



Now to the installation...

The rear shocks were incredibly easy. You have to take out the side carpeting from the trunk which is fairly simple. Pull the center of those plastic rivets out, and then pop out the gripping part. Don't forget the one hidden behind the rear seat on the sides. Then it's just a matter of unbolting the 2 nuts from the mount, and the lower bolt on the shock, and it comes right out. I only jacked up the car a little for clearance. Make sure to get new gaskets and shock mounts when replacing the shocks. I used OEM parts for those from AUtohausAZ, also another awesome company. The torque spec for the lower bolt is 74lb-ft according to some people on the forum, and I just made the other nuts/bolts "good and tight".

One thing I noticed..the new shock shafts are about twice the diameter of the old ones. Very beefy indeed

The struts were a different story, basically it went like this:

Passenger side:
1. Jack up the car and remove the wheel.
2. Remove the sensor thing from the control arm via a nut on the bottom.
3. Remove the nut holding the swaybar endlink on, and then pull out the sway link from the strut. This might take some raising/lowering of the control arm to get it to come out straight.
4. Take the brake sensor off the bracket for some more stretching room.
5. Take off the pinch bolt and bracket that holds the brake line/brake sensor.
6. Remove the 3 nuts on the shock tower, this should loosen it all up and allow you to jack the car up to the full length of the brake lines to give all the clearance you can.
7. Now it depends on what spring situation you have. I couldnt get the shock far enough out of the retainer, so I had to put one spring compressor on to bring it down...very scary, but it worked. So that's when you can take out the strut assembly.
8. Mark the spring and upper spring perch so that you know to align the spring exactly the same on the new shock. This is important to ensure it seats properly.
9. Use the spring compressors to push the spring down about 1.5 inches or so, just enough to safely get the upper retainer and bushing off.
10. Once you take off the bushing, load up that bearing with grease.
11. Snug up the nut on top using the new nut and split washer.
12. In order to put it back, we didn't use the spring compressor. Put the top of the strut assembly up into the hole, and rest the bottom of it on the retainer down below. Jack it up high enough to give some stretching room, and push inward. The paint gets slightly scratched on the strut, but it pops right in.
13. Make sure everything is seated properly, the dimple on the strut is in the retainer slot, and it's up against the stop on the strut.
14. This is getting really long. Put it back the way it was using some elbow grease. Tighten the 3 top nuts to 18lb-ft, the pinch bolt to 60lb-ft, and the swaybar link nut to about 30lb-ft (I'm guessing). The top nut would be impossible to torque without spinning the shock shaft, so we used an impact drill to tighten it up which worked perfectly.

Driver Side:
1. Same as the other side, but you'll see how easy it comes apart. You will need to take the sensor connectors out of that little box for some extra room.



If you have any questions, feel free to ask. There are a lot of details, and it's hard without pictures (I didn't even think of it at the time).

Now, down to business!!!!

O....M....G. It takes the bumps incredibly well, the ride is quieter, smoother, more pleasant...it feels like a true performance luxury car now, BUT, at the same time, it handles so much better. It is very stable through the turns, and doesn't wobble at all.

There is one specific turn that I used to take and it has a large bump halfway through. The car used to bounce up and to the side, and get very uneasy. Now it's totally smooth and solid, like the bump wasn't even there. Imagine if you had big high profile tires on that absorb all those bumps in the road, that is what it's like.

I also took it on some very tight backroads, and there is one word to describe it: Planted. It stuck to the ground, yet made the whole experience so much better because of how smooth it was.

All in all, I recommend them. No adjustments needed, relatively easy to install (1 hour for the shocks, 3 hours for the struts), and a world of difference to someone with worn out shocks. Also remember that rattling noise, it's gone now, even though the old shock mounts didn't look half bad.

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Old 08-01-2008, 09:12 PM   #2
Chris-TK
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I helped my buddy Zach install his Koni FSD setup. It made a difference in his 330.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:19 AM   #3
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Hrm, I'm looking for a nice, moderate solution like this. It's good to see a nice review for them. Did you do anything with springs, or keep your stock ones?
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by zeshon View Post
Hrm, I'm looking for a nice, moderate solution like this. It's good to see a nice review for them. Did you do anything with springs, or keep your stock ones?
Most people use these FSD's in conjunction with Eibach springs.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:13 AM   #5
kuksul08
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Originally Posted by zeshon View Post
Hrm, I'm looking for a nice, moderate solution like this. It's good to see a nice review for them. Did you do anything with springs, or keep your stock ones?
I kept the stock sport springs. The roads can suck too much to lower the car at all.


A little update after some more regular driving and commuting. The shocks are still working great. Overall, I wouldn't say the handling is hugely better, because the car can only corner so fast, limited by it's inertia and tires. I would say; however, that it corners with much more stability and gives more confidence and control.

For the average person looking to upgrade but still keep the car an excellent daily driver, the FSD's are great.
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Look at that subtle jet-black coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a 6mt.
S54 Valve Adjustment Spreadsheet & Info: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28231781/S54...ent%20info.zip
S54 VANOS DIY Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SkT2j3jsU0
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:00 PM   #6
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I am looking to do my shocks as well...wondering if you could comment on the ability to absorb the bumps and bruises of the roads of these Koni's. I am looking for the shocks that can give best riding comfort while keeping the aggressive suspension of a ZHP...ZHP stock suspension is stiff enough for my means so I don't plan/want to go any harsher.

Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:29 AM   #7
ssm1991
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I'm also planning on getting the Koni FSD / Eibach springs combo soon.

Here's a good informative review on it in the Bimmerfest forums more than 2 yrs ago, written by an E46 owner: Koni FSD Review (very lengthy).

And one from TireRack's tests in late 2005 (also using E46): KONI FSD Dampers Improve Handling Without the Traditional Sacrifice in Ride Quality.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bigfatvr6prik View Post
I am looking to do my shocks as well...wondering if you could comment on the ability to absorb the bumps and bruises of the roads of these Koni's. I am looking for the shocks that can give best riding comfort while keeping the aggressive suspension of a ZHP...ZHP stock suspension is stiff enough for my means so I don't plan/want to go any harsher.

Thanks.
The FSD's are your answer....they do exactly what you want.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:26 AM   #9
kuksul08
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Originally Posted by fmzip View Post
The FSD's are your answer....they do exactly what you want.
qft. There are plenty of potholes and water bars on my road which went from loud jolting bumps with stock sport suspension, to muffled thuds which I can barely feel with the FSDs.
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Look at that subtle jet-black coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a 6mt.
S54 Valve Adjustment Spreadsheet & Info: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28231781/S54...ent%20info.zip
S54 VANOS DIY Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SkT2j3jsU0
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:54 AM   #10
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kuksul,

Where did you get your FSDs?

Thanks,
BW

----------------------------------

"I bought them from NA Motorsports"

Duh.......yeah, nevermind.

Last edited by BuckwheatOne; 08-25-2008 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christkharris View Post
Most people use these FSD's in conjunction with Eibach springs.
Any reason why most people do this?
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:46 PM   #12
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Looking for shocks myself. I hear that you can only use Eibach springs. I have brand new H&S sport springs and would like to use them. Anyone of any problems using the H&S?
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrippinBimmer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by christkharris
Most people use these FSD's in conjunction with Eibach springs.
Any reason why most people do this?
Because Koni has a package that sells them together, which means they've been tested to match well. Although using it with stock springs should be ok. TireRack and JleviSW sell both versions with or without the Eibach springs.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:06 PM   #14
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Nice write up

It's funny; when I was deciding between Yellows or FSDs, I couldn't find a single decent review on the FSD's. Everyone was saying, "Yeah, they're great! They're supposed to do this, and this." But had they ever ridden or driven an equipped car? "Uh, no. That's just what everyone says." Yeah...right. I decided to go with what I knew (Yellows).

Now I wish I had the balls to go with the FSD's! I think I was looking for a bit more comfort out of the wagon...
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:36 PM   #15
kuksul08
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Originally Posted by wuzilla View Post
Nice write up

It's funny; when I was deciding between Yellows or FSDs, I couldn't find a single decent review on the FSD's. Everyone was saying, "Yeah, they're great! They're supposed to do this, and this." But had they ever ridden or driven an equipped car? "Uh, no. That's just what everyone says." Yeah...right. I decided to go with what I knew (Yellows).

Now I wish I had the balls to go with the FSD's! I think I was looking for a bit more comfort out of the wagon...
Yeah, it was kind of a blind purchase for me. Tire Rack has a nice review on them but not many regular people's reviews. I was always set on the Bilstein Sport before...
__________________

Look at that subtle jet-black coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a 6mt.
S54 Valve Adjustment Spreadsheet & Info: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28231781/S54...ent%20info.zip
S54 VANOS DIY Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SkT2j3jsU0
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