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post #1 of 74 Old 06-14-2009, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Real world tips for adjusting dampers

I'm looking for tips or tricks to dialing in the adjustment in my adjustable Koni's. I don't have a race track at my disposal so I'm looking for tips or things you might have done yourself or heard others do to dial in their settings. Right now I am running adjustable Koni Sports and MM adjustable coil overs with 325 and 250 springs. I guess there is no way to say a specific setting is the best due to the variables between cars and setups, but I'm looking for a range that I can play in. It seems like I'm chasing my tail with trying to get this setup properly. I DD my car so getting a decent ride to and from work is important. Sometimes its hard for me to tell what end is oscillating too much.

BTW, I know some of the non-adjustable crowd (:cough: 2k2GT) will get a kick out of this.


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post #2 of 74 Old 06-15-2009, 05:56 AM
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I certainly don't envy you.

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post #3 of 74 Old 06-15-2009, 09:37 AM
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Start at 3 turns away from full stiff and take it for a highway drive. Focus on the front first. Adjust the front stiffer til it no longer "floats" for a cycle or two after a bump. When it settles right down immediately after a bump, you've found your max-comfort, still-handles street setting. For corner carving you'd probably want more rebound.

If they're double-adjustables I wouldn't mess with the compression setting at all, unless you find the car bottoms easily on big dips.

IMHO the rears are harder to tune because it's harder to tell the difference between too much and too little rebound, but it has to do with the motion frequency. If it goes boing, boing, boing after bumps, make the rebound stiffer. If it does a higher-frequency boyoyoyoyoing then make them softer. How's that for technical?
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post #4 of 74 Old 06-15-2009, 10:17 AM
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Sounds MustangWorld-ish. (yet makes sense )
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post #5 of 74 Old 06-15-2009, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Start at 3 turns away from full stiff and take it for a highway drive. Focus on the front first. Adjust the front stiffer til it no longer "floats" for a cycle or two after a bump. When it settles right down immediately after a bump, you've found your max-comfort, still-handles street setting. For corner carving you'd probably want more rebound.

If they're double-adjustables I wouldn't mess with the compression setting at all, unless you find the car bottoms easily on big dips.

IMHO the rears are harder to tune because it's harder to tell the difference between too much and too little rebound, but it has to do with the motion frequency. If it goes boing, boing, boing after bumps, make the rebound stiffer. If it does a higher-frequency boyoyoyoyoing then make them softer. How's that for technical?
Youe description of the rear is pretty spot on. I find myself trying to figure out if I have too much or too little.

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post #6 of 74 Old 06-15-2009, 03:45 PM
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Knowing full sell he does not have DA's, this needs said. Compression damping is NOT spring rate, that's not it's use, and it's not meant to keep a car from bottoming. Springs support the car, compression damps unsprung weight, the car coming crashing down to the stops is sprung weight moving.

How do you adjust rebound? Easy, you set it where the car feels the best for you.... The more rebound you run, the quicker the car reacts at that end, the quicker it'll take a set, and generally the firmer it'll ride. The less damping the slower the response, the slower the car will settle down and take a set, and the faster it'll generate roll. If you can't tell what the car is doing and/or what changes the shocks make you are either misinterpreting what's happening dynamically, or not changing the damping enough.

There is no litmus test about what's right and what's wrong. Having adjustables gives you options, options that you simply do not have with non-adjustables. If you don't understand I'd say it's in part because of many of falicies you read on the web no matter how well intended. It's ironic that some folks are so hell bent on changes when they have a car full of other changes. I guess they just don't like having changes they can then use to fix a mistake. Is being blindly faithful to an idea better than learning how to do some tuning? And even if you don't use the adjustment, you have a defacto non-adjustable. In the case of Koni vs. Bilstein for similar price but with Koni's better warranty service (most of the time).

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post #7 of 74 Old 06-15-2009, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Would you think 2 from soft on the front and 1.5 turns from soft in the rear is too much? From what I am running now, that is the next small increase. MM told me on the phone that I would probably be way near the upper limit of rebound adjustment with my current spring rate. I dunno. Then I see guys running 400# springs with the same shocks. Maybe they like to bounce?

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post #8 of 74 Old 06-15-2009, 07:39 PM
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How I set the rear Koni DA's on my car... 88 American Iron Mustang. (I've got MM non-adjustable Bilsteins on the front). Increase compression until the car tends to "skitter" on the bumps - the shock doesn't seem to be reacting fast enough to absorb the bumps. Once I found that point I backed off the compression setting just a bit. Back off more if the track is wet. For rebound, if the front tends to roll more than I like it, I increase the rebound resistance (firm it up) - this helps control the speed of the weight transfer from the L rear to the R front, or vice versa. This may or may not be correct, but it's how it was explained to me, and it seems to work...
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post #9 of 74 Old 06-15-2009, 07:56 PM
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How do the MM Bil's seem to be working for you? Any reason why the difference in damper front to rear?
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post #10 of 74 Old 06-15-2009, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Seemed to work well on the ride home with 2 turns from soft up front and .5 turns from soft out back. 1.5 turns in the rear felt kinda painful. Well see how that goes.

I haven't really set my ride height properly yet either so I need to get the front higher and further away from the bumpstops. I'm sure that will improve the ride further


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post #11 of 74 Old 06-16-2009, 10:49 AM
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How do the MM Bil's seem to be working for you? Any reason why the difference in damper front to rear?

They (Bils) seem to work fine, I run 450lb coilovers on the front with the 4cyl swaybar. MM k-member and SN95 length LCA's. Rear is 325lb CO springs, rear swaybar is the EVM adjustable set on full soft of the softest bar in the package.
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post #12 of 74 Old 06-16-2009, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Well right now I'm running two turns from soft in the front and half a turn from soft in the rear. We will see how that goes. Now that the front suspension is sitting a little higher, the ride seems to be much better. I was really limiting my travel I guess with the front so low. I'm near the top of the coilover sleeve and its still isnt that high, but then I guess the x2's are working like a drop spindle taking away some of that height.

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post #13 of 74 Old 06-17-2009, 03:27 AM
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They (Bils) seem to work fine, I run 450lb coilovers on the front with the 4cyl swaybar. MM k-member and SN95 length LCA's. Rear is 325lb CO springs, rear swaybar is the EVM adjustable set on full soft of the softest bar in the package.
Thanks!
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post #14 of 74 Old 06-28-2009, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Man this is frustrating. Contrary to what I've been told the car seems to "feel" better on the street with rebound set to almost full soft up front and set at full soft in the rear. I was under the impression that I would need most of my rebound adjustability to control these springs. Anything over full soft on the rear seems to make the rear end want to run like a pogo stick.

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post #15 of 74 Old 06-28-2009, 07:13 AM
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post #16 of 74 Old 06-28-2009, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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post #17 of 74 Old 06-28-2009, 04:11 PM
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I was just saying I don't have that probably with my Bilstein's. Wish you luck on your fiasco.

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post #18 of 74 Old 06-28-2009, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah. I dunno. Seems to better the softer that I go at least with the rear shocks. Its a little bouncy at soft but even more so as rebound firmness increases.

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post #19 of 74 Old 06-29-2009, 10:29 AM
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I ran the Philly autox event yesterday with the same Koni SA's, which replaced the stock oem units. This is the only mod, so far, and when I changed just the rears, it made a noticeable difference in ride and control. The shocks/struts were left on full soft. At the event, I adjusted the fronts to 1 1/4 turn from soft and the rears a 3/4 turn. Tire pressures were 36f/31r. The understeer was the worse than stock, very John Deere like. Before the 2nd run, I backed the settings down 1/2 turn, but with similar results. I think I screwed up by not leaving them on full soft as a baseline. The ride home seemed weird on a short section of the NJ TPK, which isn't known for it's quality surface. Maybe it was me or the road, but the ride seemed to be "buggy like", mostly from the rear. I'm going back to full soft f/r before the next outing.

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post #20 of 74 Old 06-29-2009, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah. Sounds like you may be feeling something similar to me. Even konis literature seems to indicates that the ride quality will go down some. Mine just seems bouncy a lot and when I turn the firmness up, the ride gets more bumpy which is weird to me.

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post #21 of 74 Old 06-29-2009, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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I think I read/heard konis are designed to work with stock spring rates at full soft.

I have no data to back that up so, take at your own risk

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post #22 of 74 Old 06-29-2009, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
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I ran the Philly autox event yesterday with the same Koni SA's, which replaced the stock oem units. This is the only mod, so far, and when I changed just the rears, it made a noticeable difference in ride and control. The shocks/struts were left on full soft. At the event, I adjusted the fronts to 1 1/4 turn from soft and the rears a 3/4 turn. Tire pressures were 36f/31r. The understeer was the worse than stock, very John Deere like. Before the 2nd run, I backed the settings down 1/2 turn, but with similar results. I think I screwed up by not leaving them on full soft as a baseline. The ride home seemed weird on a short section of the NJ TPK, which isn't known for it's quality surface. Maybe it was me or the road, but the ride seemed to be "buggy like", mostly from the rear. I'm going back to full soft f/r before the next outing.

Shocks do not effect steady state balance. If you get them too stiff you can cause a skate as the effect is to load the tire too quickly and provoke a slide.

The better the grip, the more rebound damping you can use. The lower the grip, the less you can use (rain, street tires, both..... lousy surface, etc). And 1/4 turn change is a noticeable amount of change. If on street tires, I'd have recommended something around 1/2 turn in front and 1/4 turn from full soft in the rear on street tires as a starting point.

Also many folks run their pressures up to crisp up the response of the car, if that is the case, now that you can do that via damping you can drop the pressures to make the best grip.

And of course Rob you can call me because I'd like to know all the details. FWIW, you don't have to soften the rears just because you do the fronts, in fact if you keep the rears stiffer it helps the car rotate on turn in.

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post #23 of 74 Old 06-29-2009, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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And of course Rob you can call me because I'd like to know all the details.
Damn, am I off the list or what?

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post #24 of 74 Old 06-29-2009, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like full soft is giving the best ride on the street. That surprises me because I thought that 325's up front were going to be taxing the dampers and that they would need to be towards the top of firmness adjustment, especially since maximum recommends 325 as the stiffest spring to use with the Single Adjustable yellows.

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post #25 of 74 Old 06-29-2009, 06:50 PM
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I bet the guys at MM would be happy to help if you if Sam won't.
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post #26 of 74 Old 06-30-2009, 01:01 AM
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Just got my Koni SA's from Sam in/on the car this weekend and I'm blown away at the difference they made over the god knows how old Tokiko Blues that have been on the car since I got it. On full soft these are so much more comfortable over bumps and on turn in the car feels like it's on rails. I'm going to run them on full soft for another day to and from work tomorrow and then on Wednesday I'll put a full turn in the front to see how that feels so that I can start figuring out what changing the rebound actually feels like.

Sam, HUGE thanks for everything man you're a class act and I'll never forget about how much extra work you put in to get me the Koni's in time.


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post #27 of 74 Old 06-30-2009, 06:37 AM
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Why do Koni's have spring rating of like 450lb yet my QA1 spring rates are 175lb? I am confused as to what spring to run up front because I am hitting the bumpstops and don't know how stiff of a spring to go with.

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post #28 of 74 Old 06-30-2009, 06:42 AM
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A 175lb spring is a drag race spring. If i'm reading your sig correctly, i'd imagine nothing softer than a 350 rate, and something like 425 being more optimal for taking the curves.
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post #29 of 74 Old 06-30-2009, 06:58 AM
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Well i have bigs and skinnies on a SN95 body with a QA1 coilover system. 80% street 20% track. Are you still thinking 350 or would do you think i should begin in terms of the spring? I need to get rid of the 175's that bottom out like nothing. PS I live in the country so you can imagine the bridges and dips and everything else. THanks agian for your help.

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post #30 of 74 Old 06-30-2009, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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When you say 20% track do you mean drag. I assume so because of the soft spring and big n littles

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post #31 of 74 Old 06-30-2009, 08:50 AM
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yes, 20% drag strip--80% street

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post #32 of 74 Old 06-30-2009, 08:55 AM
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Well i have bigs and skinnies on a SN95 body with a QA1 coilover system. 80% street 20% track. Are you still thinking 350 or would do you think i should begin in terms of the spring? I need to get rid of the 175's that bottom out like nothing. PS I live in the country so you can imagine the bridges and dips and everything else. THanks agian for your help.
No offense...but why are you bothering posting in the RR/AutoX section. A staggered fitment is one thing, but trying to make a 175 wide tire attain grip on a nose heavy Mustang is another....

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post #33 of 74 Old 06-30-2009, 09:06 AM
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i was just responding back to the post that was already here. On the other hand when i say 175 i am referrring to coil spring rate not tire size. Sorry for offending you by joining the conversation and trying to find answers.

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post #34 of 74 Old 06-30-2009, 09:58 AM
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No, you said you're running "big n' little's". Whats the size on your front rim? 165's 175's? Sorry to knock the chip off your shoulder.

As for "just responding back to the post that was here"(which was about adjustable damper settings)......you blatantly asked about spring rates in your post.

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post #35 of 74 Old 06-30-2009, 12:58 PM
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2k2gt, he hijacked the thread..., but please don't turn this place into corner-carvers...
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