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Discussion Starter #1
As the weather clears this spring I'm doing rear suspension work, including shocks, on the '06 non-aero wagon. With 140k, struts aren't far behind, I'm sure. With kids in college and a small fleet of aging vehicles to maintain, costs are a real consideration. I'd love to do Bilstein B6 all around, but the cost of B6 struts put them outside budget. On the rear, though, they're not nearly as prohibitive.

What's the consequence of mixing, say, an OE-level (B4) strut up front with a B6 in the rear? What about the Koni FSD front + B6 rear? Strangely, the Koni struts are about $100/strut cheaper than the B6 strut, while the Koni rear shocks are about $10 more than B6 shocks.

I had B6 on my '95 NG900 and really liked them, but I've also never been offended by the OE suspension on this 9-5 (and it was in decent condition when I got it at 70kmi), so throwing B4's all around, or similar OE level, is not a horrific prospect. I just figure that this is my only chance to upgrade so I like to maximize.
 

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B6 all around thumps and bangs over every minor crack and sewer grating. But it gives great control over larger dips or with a load. 9-5 linear wagon.

Local shop has at least one 9-5 wagon with B6 in the back and OEM or something in the front. Koni front and B6 rear sounds like a decent idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is the Koni somewhere between OE/B4 and a B6...sort of a B5? If that's the case, maybe Koni would be better for the rear, too?
 

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Which Koni are you talking about? The yellow adjustable "sport" version?

Do you use the car to carry loads sometimes, or pull a trailer?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Which Koni are you talking about? The yellow adjustable "sport" version?
80451160 by Koni | Rear Shock Absorber 9-5OG [Koni Special Active - Red] OE Upgrade and its strut counterpart. I haven't seen the yellow koni anywhere for a couple of years.

Just looked on Koni's corporate site and they only list these red/fsd for the 9-5. No yellow.

Do you use the car to carry loads sometimes, or pull a trailer?
For the most part, any load isn't heavy. I race bikes, and I'll throw things in the back, but they tend to weigh less than the difference between a full tank of gas and an empty tank.

I don't have a hitch, though it's a possibility. If I do, though, I'd be pulling a sunfish sailboat--an item so light that if it weren't cumbersome I could pick it up by myself--or using the hitch to support 2-bike hitch rack.
 

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Really, it's hard to say. I've had Koni Classics on a '78 Trans Am, and Koni yellows on an NG900. Both the type of shock and car are different.

If you hate a harsh ride, and/or have rough pavement, I'd recommend caution on the B6 shocks. But, if you were often carrying loads in the back, the B6 do keep everything nicely under control.

There's probably no single correct answer. Personally, I would not install B6 on a 9-5 again. Also, our roads are 100% weather-destroyed crap.
 

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For a while i had B-6’s on the back before i could do the fronts. The mix of aftermarket and stock was not a problem but now i have B-6’s all around and i am quite happy. I disagree with Ed’s assessment but in know it is subjective. I live in Michigan and have roads that are probably comparable in crappiness to Ed’s. I prefer that livelier ride and better handling that I have now but since i live in a pretty small town I can avoid the roads that i know to be rough...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate that feedback. I'm in STL, MO, and years of tax reductions have put our state into a horrible infrastructure situation as well. I'm not opposed to "stiff", but I definitely need some damping around here.

I'm now curious about B4 vs. Koni red/fsd
 
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