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I have Empi shocks on my speedster and the ride is really rough, my other speedster had Koni's and it was not nearly as rough.  What's the preferred shock absorbers here ?  I don't want to loose performance and handling but I hate feeling like my hubcaps are gonna fly off my wheels or my filling are gonna fall out..

My 52 BMW R51/3 is my pride and joy..   Also a 57 Speedster replica.  

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I had green Bilsteins that were way too stiff and on the advice of someone here or on Spyderclub I swapped them for them cheapo KYB’s (not the gas-a-just) and couldn’t be happier.

I think someone makes replica Konis (Ikons) that are valved for Speedsters and Spyders, but I have no experience with them.

I think there’s a company that will rebuild vintage Konis with Speedster/Spyder valving but it’s really expensive if you don’t already have the vintage Koni cores to rebuild and only certain shocks were rebuildable.

Last edited by dlearl476
@Rotnroby posted:

Fantastic!!    What is the model number ?

Front Shocks: KONI 80 1787
Rear Shocks: KONI 80 2149

There's a lot of threads on this topic you'll find using the search feature. Most seem to have made adjustments to the stiffness of the shocks, especially in the rear. I initially did as well, but found the ride to be a little jarring. Doing more research, KONI's recommendation is to use the factory settings, unless you've done some sort of customizing that requires an adjustment. Granted, these are valved for VW Beetles, but we're not far off from what those required. Taking them back to factory resulted in a really great ride, for me.

I ended up getting the older Koni non-gas reds for the front of my Spyder. I left the adjustment at full soft/slow rebound(factory setting) and couldn't be happier.

The ride is smooth and supple but they react well to sudden bumps. The Spyder rides nicer than my Cayman, although the Cayman does have 18" wheels with very short sidewalls. Possibly I need new shocks on that at over 100k...

No rears, my Spyder has coilovers and no torsion bar in the back.

Koni shocks are very nice indeed: recommended.

I have Z4 with adjustable Koni's. They're great for that 3,000 pound car.

The Speedster has KYB Excel-G (gas) all the way around. The ride is firm, ...um hard. We have a crew installing bumps and pot holes here...don't know what they're paid. I've been looking for a softer shock for the front that would still provide good handling and really haven't found much. Oil shocks seem to, almost be, a thing of the past. There has been some discussion about EMPI shocks but I just can't pull the trigger on those.

I would think the Koni's would be too stiff even at the low setting. That's where I have the Z4 shocks set.

What to buy?

I would think the Koni's would be too stiff even at the low setting. That's where I have the Z4 shocks set.

What to buy?

Jim, the KONIs on your Z4 (great car, by the way) are engineered for your Z4. If you were to remove the KONIs from your Z4 and mount them on your Speedster, yes, you'd have some issues. The KONIs you would, in theory, purchase for your Speedster are valved for Type 1 Beetles, which are very similar to our cars anyway. If you like the way the KONIs handle on your Z4, you should find they offer a similar experience on your Speedster.

I have Z4 with adjustable Koni's. They're great for that 3,000 pound car.

The Speedster has KYB Excel-G (gas) all the way around. The ride is firm, ...um hard. We have a crew installing bumps and pot holes here...don't know what they're paid. I've been looking for a softer shock for the front that would still provide good handling and really haven't found much. Oil shocks seem to, almost be, a thing of the past. There has been some discussion about EMPI shocks but I just can't pull the trigger on those.

I would think the Koni's would be too stiff even at the low setting. That's where I have the Z4 shocks set.

What to buy?

They aren't.

I've got them and like them, and you have at least 3 other positive testimonials on this one thread.

Do what you wish, but the combination of EMPI sway bars, Koni shocks, and Vredestein Sportrac 5 tires is an almost perfect balance of comfort and handling in an IRS speedster. You'll hear folks advocating for light oil shocks, which are probably fine for cruising. I've got zero complaints with my setup, other than those engendered by having a beam instead of an A-arm suspension.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Total agreement here. The Konis ride NICE, but still handle well. In a beam-equipped Spyder. I had black COFAP oil shocks. I had KYB GR-2. The ride is best with Konis.

Supple. Best ride/handling I've ever had in a beam car. Period.

That's the beauty of Koni. They are actually valved differently for each application.

Last edited by DannyP
@Rotnroby posted:

My Koni’s are on order ,, should have them installed by the weekend.. 👍

Nice! Hope you love them!

I'd advise to play around with your tire pressure after installing the shocks. They play a huge role in the ride quality of these cars. Start low and build up until you discover you've gone too far, then back them off to whatever the sweet spot is for your setup.

Last edited by JR_1979

As Danny said, start red Konis on the softest setting, find the tire pressures you like and if/when you notice handling getting a little sloppy adjust up a notch.  Koni used to have the reputation of being uncomfortable on the street because too many people (especially VW owners) in the past made the mistake of thinking they needed to automatically be made stiffer right from the start.

Some people say that the only thing better is a set of custom valved Bilsteins (most are set up for offroad and are way too stiff for a street car with a Beetle's or Speedster's weight).  There apparently is a shop down in CA (or Arizona or Nevada) that someone on the Samba (or maybe it was Shop Talk Forums?) said could rebuild them with custom valving but I never got the name out of him.  Al

@ALB posted:

As Danny said, start red Konis on the softest setting, find the tire pressures you like and if/when you notice handling getting a little sloppy adjust up a notch.  Koni used to have the reputation of being uncomfortable on the street because too many people (especially VW owners) in the past made the mistake of thinking they needed to automatically be made stiffer right from the start.

Some people say that the only thing better is a set of custom valved Bilsteins (most are set up for offroad and are way too stiff for a street car with a Beetle's or Speedster's weight).  There apparently is a shop down in CA (or Arizona or Nevada) that someone on the Samba (or maybe it was Shop Talk Forums?) said could rebuild them with custom valving but I never got the name out of him.  Al

Yeah, nits to the nats ,,  a simple solution is a set of red Koni shocks.  I’ll install them and chuck the old Empi’s..  anything is better then those POS shocks!!

I'm late to this rodeo, but I ran Koni Reds for 20 years and I liked them a lot.  Softest setting up front, somewhere around mid-range out back.  I got them because I occasionally tracked the car back then (nothing serious) and wanted something stiff and sure-footed.  They were all of that plus a bag of chips and not really harsh riding.

Now that I'm becoming an auld phart, I've given up tracking the car, but I wanted something even softer so I went with a set of KYB's and I like them.  Not as sure-footed as the Konis were, but fine for what I need now.  I also could bump up the tire pressure a couple of pounds with the KYBs and still get a soft ride.

I'm late to this rodeo, but I ran Koni Reds for 20 years and I liked them a lot.  Softest setting up front, somewhere around mid-range out back.  I got them because I occasionally tracked the car back then (nothing serious) and wanted something stiff and sure-footed.  They were all of that plus a bag of chips and not really harsh riding.

Now that I'm becoming an auld phart, I've given up tracking the car, but I wanted something even softer so I went with a set of KYB's and I like them.  Not as sure-footed as the Konis were, but fine for what I need now.  I also could bump up the tire pressure a couple of pounds with the KYBs and still get a soft ride.

👍

@JR_1979 posted:

Front Shocks: KONI 80 1787
Rear Shocks: KONI 80 2149

There's a lot of threads on this topic you'll find using the search feature. Most seem to have made adjustments to the stiffness of the shocks, especially in the rear. I initially did as well, but found the ride to be a little jarring. Doing more research, KONI's recommendation is to use the factory settings, unless you've done some sort of customizing that requires an adjustment. Granted, these are valved for VW Beetles, but we're not far off from what those required. Taking them back to factory resulted in a really great ride, for me.

Thanks again the shocks are just amazing!!!

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