[200q20v] Update: Need advice: Koni or Bilstein

Bernie Benz b.m.benz at prodigy.net
Sun Jul 29 23:15:53 EDT 2001

IMO, your problem was internal to the Bilstein insert, not external.  Likely
a disintergrated rebound bump stop plugged the valving causing the insert to

Bernie Benz
Gardnerville, NV

'90 90Q-20V  140K
'91 200Q-20V 140K 
Ford "Quatro" Tractor
Other Misc. Toys 
From: WARATAP at aol.com
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 00:35:51 EDT
To: 200q20v at audifans.com
Subject: [200q20v] Update:  Need advice: Koni or Bilstein

Well, it never fails.  You always get the advice AFTER you've made your
purchase ;-) 

Well, actually I Really needed to replace things urgently and ended up
ordering a set of Bilstein Sports from http://www.euro-car-service.com.
had them in stock and I received them the next day (I'm in Michigan and
they're in Ohio).  Tom (the owner) was very helpful and I have Chris Miller
to thank for steering me in his direction (albeit for the beefed-up Samco
Lower Intercooler hose).  I would have bought that, too, but had already
ordered a lightly used one from DADS in CA.  Oh, well.

Originally, I was under the impression that both my left front and right
Bilstein Sports were shot (as the right rear sat about an inch lower than
left rear).  After I removed the left front, however, physics made me
understand that it was just the left front that was giving me such a
headache.  Since I was just replacing the inserts and already had Bilsteins
installed and alignment was fine, I marked the camber plates and was only
able to remove the %^$#  Bilstein retaining nut with a chain wrench
(definitely a good tool to have) and much force (aided with a chisel).

Anyhow, usually it's a good idea to jack up the car a little before removing
the camber plate nuts and strut insert, but this time it was really
something.  As I was removing the last nut...BOOM! the plate and insert shot
right up, bouncing the plate off the hood with the insert hitting it as well
(but luckily, no dent).  The damn insert had seized in the full-upright
position!  Actually had to disconnect the hood shocks and have someone hold
the hood as the insert was removed, almost to the point of having to remove
the hood entirely.  Needless to say, the car settled immediately and the
end was even again.  I'm theorizing that dirt made its way into the piston
through the loose protective boot, causing the failure.  I used numerous
to soak up all the spent hydraulic fluid from the bottom of the strut
cylinder.  Installation was a breeze in comparison and I immediately felt a
huge difference in handling and responsiveness.  This was late Friday night
and I finished up the right insert Saturday after a good nights rest.

My advice: Regardless what you have for struts, check to make sure the
protective boots are not letting anything into the strut cylinder.  If you
can see the insert, then dirt, grime, etc., can and will get in there.
Replace/reseat the boot and check it periodically.

'91 200q20v with a few mods...

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