Lotus Elan

Koni insert disassembly?

PostPost by: nomad » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:17 pm

Curious as to whether anyone had tore down the Koni adjustable shock inserts to fit droop limiter sleeves? Can they be disassembled and reassembled successfully?

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PostPost by: nmauduit » Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:33 pm

interesting approach, I'd like to read about it as well.

I've had red konis serviced by a specialized shop (which complained about gasket supply), but for droop limitations I had only heard about shortening the shaft, which I thought would probably present the drawback of preventing setting modifications afterwards - so I have not tried that so far...
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PostPost by: nomad » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:32 pm

The original factory struts had droop limiting sleeves on the ram's but, of course, not enough for CV's.

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:35 am

nomad wrote:Curious as to whether anyone had tore down the Koni adjustable shock inserts to fit droop limiter sleeves? Can they be disassembled and reassembled successfully?

Kurt


Kurt,

If you bought the CV conversion kit from Dave Bean, RD Ent, or JAE Parts, droop limiters are not necessary.

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Dan
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PostPost by: nomad » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:47 am

Thanks Dan but the ones I have are the old ones offered by RD. I'm quite sure I need to limit droop. That would be very easy with a spacer sleeve on the ram inside the insert. Just wondering if they can be taken apart and reassembled. They have three places that are crimped over from the factory but that doesn't seem to be the thing that really holds them together. If the top just unscrews it would be no problem. No obvious provision for that though.

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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:28 pm

Have you got a photo of the top of the outer tube?

On many shock absorbers the upper nut of the tube unscrews using a C spanner or similat special tool.

Best people to ask though would probably be Koni.

Lots of pictures of Koni Shocks and C spanners on this page:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=koni+ ... s+spanners

Image

If it doesn't use C spanners it might need two-prong spanners like these:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=prong ... 97&bih=817

Image
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PostPost by: nomad » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:55 pm

Thanks, Bill, but on closer examination I'm guessing the the top "head" is limited going into the tube by a machined shoulder inside the tube, sealed by an "O" ring and held in by three crimped areas. Not designed to be taken apart but I think that wouldn't stop me! :D The problem would be getting them back together! :evil: I think getting past the removed crimp and still having a "O" ring that would seal might be the main problem. Sooo, do I want to risk a perfectly good shock to try it!! Probably not! Any one want a perfectly good set of Koni inserts???

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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:56 pm

Why not try an external droop limiter, a strap from top of damper rod to somewhere on the hub casting.
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PostPost by: nomad » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:08 am

billwill wrote:Why not try an external droop limiter, a strap from top of damper rod to somewhere on the hub casting.


That's what I have rigged now, Bill, but haven't fitted the Koni's yet and limiting the stroke of the Koni's would be much more elegant and likely quite a bit stronger than my current set up. All at the back will have to be disassembled anyway to do something about rear toe.

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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:24 pm

Kurt,

I understand that you don't want to shorten the damper rod, but as you seem to think your dampers are useless, maybe shortening the rods is worth a try.

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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:40 pm

RichardHawkins wrote:Kurt,

I understand that you don't want to shorten the damper rod, but as you seem to think your dampers are useless, maybe shortening the rods is worth a try.

Richard Hawkins



Probably that would just be the same problem. To shorten the rods you would best put them in a lathe to cut new threads for the top & with Koni to cut squares or somesuch to rotate the rod in the damper to adjust the damping.

Hence he would probably need to get the rods out of the damper & then later put them back.
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PostPost by: nomad » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:22 pm

Not at all useless! In fact very nice dampers which is why I wouldn't want to ruin them. I may yet get brave and disassemble one. If I do I will post the results in case anyone else would want to limit droop by the same method. I have bigger fish to fry as of right now so it would be a while.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:23 am

In Australia at least the Koni distributor also offers a rebuild service for Koni shocks as they are designed to be rebuilt. Potentially you could get the rods shortened by the Koni distributor in the US?

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PostPost by: nomad » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:57 am

Thanks, Rohan and others, but it seems to me that cutting down the ram wouldn't be nearly as easy as just fitting a sleeve over it and under the "head " if you will. The sleeve would still allow the Koni adjustment procedure to work while shortening the ram will not.
If there are Koni re-builders then they most definitely can be taken apart. The crimp doesn't appear very robust for holding everything together but then it doesn't have to be since the nut that goes on top of the strut is supposed to do that job.

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PostPost by: gearbox » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:25 pm

Never seen anyone cutting down the rod as these things are usually heat treated and cutting and threading would be pretty difficult. I've been using a simpler way of doing it and I believe TTR and others do the same thing. Sorry I don't have any pictures as I have been doing this for about 40 years and didn't think anyone else did it differently. I have done these on all my race cars and on my Elan on numerous Bilstiens and Konis and it works the same way.

I'll describe the process the best I can and just let me know if something is unclear. The shock is a tubular body with a piston that runs up and down the shaft which is filled with oil. The piston at the end of the rod has valves that regulates the speed of the piston under different loads. So the first step is to remove the cap on top of the tube using the 2 pin wrench as described above (It screws off) while the piston is fully compressed. Don't worry about the two punches on the tube as this will be overcome by wrenching the cap off. Second, pour the oil out into a clean receptacle. Third, remove any mounts on the top of the rod. Fourth, slide cap off rod and the shock. At this point you should have determined how much you want the shock shortened. Easiest way of doing this is to mount the assembled shock and fully extend it and measure. Then compress the shock until you see where you want it and measure again. The difference is the number you want. So let's say we wanted the shocks fully extended range to be shortened by 1.5". Get a Delran, Nylon, or other heat and oil resistant plastic rod. The plastic rod should be slightly smaller in diameter than the ID or the shock tube. Then drill a hole down through the center of the plastic rod larger than the size of the steel ram rod. Cut to size, and in this case 1.5", and slide onto the ram rod and down into the shock tube. The Nylon tube you just made should easily slide on the rod and into the tube, loose is good. Refill with the saved oil to the top and if everything is correct, it should take less oil than what was taken out. Tap it a bit and wait for all the trapped air to escape with the piston full compressed in the down position. Replace the cap and tighten. Repunch the two indents on the tube where the cap notches land and it will prevent it from loosening and your done. So basically, if you have followed what I have written, the piston will only travel to top of the shock and be limited by the plastic insert resulting in a 1.5" shortened range. Hope this was understandable and please ask if you have any questions. Thanks Allan
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