More cheap suspension [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: More cheap suspension

17th September 2002, 04:52 PM
435 inc VAT for the Bilstein Sprintline kit from:

Thats 65 quid chaper than Eurocarparts. :lol: Oh no, I don't know what to do!! :-?? :-?? :-??

17th September 2002, 06:37 PM
Blo*dy well done for finding all of this. I'm going to save myself lots of money because of you. I owe you a...can of Pepsi :lol:


18th September 2002, 12:53 PM

Check my previous posting. What do you reckon - Koni's or Bilsteins :-?? I wonder whether the Bilstein springs will match the dampers better than Konis/PI or Eibach. Prices are very similar and both cheaper than Eurocarparts. How much hastle is the iunsert business (see previous posting). By the way, have you got your Speedparts stuff fitted?

Jez :)

18th September 2002, 02:49 PM
Still waiting for the Speedparts stuff. John from Elkparts is putting in a bulk order tomorrow and I have been told to expect the bits by the end of the month. If I can get anything like the sort of BHP that Bill J has just measured on the basis of the same sort of mods then I'll be very, very happy.

I'm still making up my mind about the dampers. It does look like the Konis will be a bit of hassle to fit but they are a known quantity (i.e. they have been fitted by others before and they work well). I'm still pondering what to do. However, I need to do something soon. The wallow-ride I have at the moment is simply unbearable.


18th September 2002, 03:49 PM
If I can get anything like the sort of BHP that Bill J has just measured on the basis of the same sort of mods then I'll be very, very happy.

What? Oh 305bhp and 330lbft of torque? I'd almost forgotten about that :lol:

Pity you can't get the Konis before the Kodak meet (or maybe you can?) That would be an ideal time to fit them. I must get round to writing up my own account of the Koni fitment.

19th September 2002, 03:26 AM

Did you have the same problem with Koni front inserts or do Abbott sell a bespoke set of Koni's? I really wonder which setup will be best as I now have a similar price - shame that few others appear to have much experience of sports shocks/dampers. Are the ones specified in my earlier posting the same as yours? Good dyno result - I am taking the Elise to Emerald in Brixton soon - they charge only 25 quid for a standard run.


19th September 2002, 07:04 AM
The Abbott Konis are the ones you can buy over the counter at any Koni dealer. If by "insert problem", you mean that they are inserts, then yes. As for problem, I'd have had much more of a problem if I'd been replacing the entire strut, as one strut-to-hub bolt on each side was seized solid! I simply took the hubs off as well and worked on them as one unit. The instructions that come with the Konis are quite easy to follow.

I can't remember the part number for the front inserts (and can't read them now), but I believe the rears are the same ones you quoted.

In lieiu of an article describing the fitment of the Konis, this is an excerpt from an e-mail reply to someone who asked me some time ago about fitting Konis and SD (Swedish Dynamics?) springs:
I cannot think of any reason the SD springs should be much different from the Abbott springs I fitted, so here goes:

Much of my information was gleaned from the Haynes manual. The torque setting for the top nut is supplied in the Koni instructions. I haven't got the other orque settings here, but can look them out for you.
I took notes and photographs, but never got round to writing it up for my site.

Before you start, you might want to check the two bolts holding each strut
to the hub. On mine, the nuts came off easily, but one bolt on each side was seized in the strut. Since the Konis are inserts and the same strut goes back on the car, I took the whole hub off with the strut by unbolting the lower ball joint and steering joint and undoing the hub nut.

If you're lucky, the front struts will come off easily by unbolting from the hub and from the top mounting. You'll need to loosen the top nut half a turn hile on the car and for this you need a big Allen key - I think it's 7mm or 8mm - to hold the centre and a socket to loosen the nut. I got a key from my local parts shop which had a rubber handle and was obviously designed for this job - this was the only size they did in that particular style, so I'm betting it's a standard size for shocks. It was in their "special tools" section along with ball joint splitters and clutch alignment tools. I think I used a spark plug socket that had flats on the outside and I passed the allen key down through the middle and turned the socket with a spanner. Only loosen it one turn.

The rest of the removal should be fine with the tools you have.
Compress the spring and remove the top mounting and spring.
At the top and bottom of the rubber boot, there is a lug. Mark the position of this lug on the strut before removing the boot. It needs to be lined up again hen you re-assemble the strut. The top lug lines up, I think, with a groove in the top mounting.

Following the instructions in the Koni box, after drilling the little hole in the bottom I got to the part about cutting the top off the strut. I was rather paranoid about getting this right, so I borrowed a really good hacksaw (that held the blade nice and straight) and measured the required depth at points round the strut. Then I made a little groove with the hacksaw at each point and joined them up to make a big groove all the way round. Then I went round again making the cut deeper until I had cut through. I got a perfectly straight edge and when I dropped the Konis in, they dropped in exactly flush and I was very pleased...

The other method I have heard mentioned is to use a rotary pipe cutter, but I couldn't find one big enough locally. The strut is about 50mm (2") in diameter, if I remember correctly.

You will need a 14mm drill bit. Make sure you have one that will fit your chuck (sounds silly, but don't ask me why I mentioned it...)

With the Abbott springs, I didn't need to compress them to fit them.
They are so short that I could put the top mounting on and just pull it down by tightening the nut. This is the only thing that might be different with the SD springs.

The top of the strut on the Konis is different from the OEM, and requires a small socket (11mm, I think) to hold the rod and a box spanner or socket to tighten the nut. I used a 3/8" drive 11mm socket with an extension passed down through the box spanner which I seem to remember was 22mm. Final tightening is supposed to be done on the car. This didn't work well and in the end, what I did was wrap some cloth around the rod, clamp it tightly in a vice to stop it turning and torque the nut with a torque wrench.

Don't forget that the bump stops go in with the writing the right way up (this looked like the wrong way up to me).

On the rear, it is best to choose a setting for the shocks before you start, as you need to disconnect them again to adjust them. Mine are set a bit hard at (I think) about 1-1/2 turns. Perhaps 1 turn would be better for my purpose, as I almost never have people in the back and I didn't want too firm a ride. Having the rear set firmer does help reduce understeer, though. There have been recommendations on SaabNet for the Koni settings.

Again, try the lower mounting bolts before you start as I've heard they can seize and are a pig to get out. Mine were fine. The shock holds the suspension arm up, so support the arm with a jack while undoing the shock and the only other thing to do is to unclip the cable that runs along the arm so you can lower the arm and free the spring. Put in the new spring and jack the arm back into position and refit the shock.

I really must get round to writing it up some day. In the meantime, I hope the above is of some help.

Good luck on the dyno run. I'm sure an Elise doesn't need 300bhp to make it go fast, but wouldn't it be fun??? :lol: