[s-cars] Bilsteins and oil in the strut tower

LL - NY larrycleung at gmail.com
Sat Mar 15 19:46:57 PDT 2008

I have found that Bilsteins work well with my UrS on Eibachs (VG
ride/handling compromise) but seemed rather underdamped for the H&R's (which
I found to be higher rate) I had on my 200Q. The Eibach/Bilstein seem nearly
ideal (a bit of stutter bumping on washboard surfaces) damping curve to
spring rate, but I'd consider revalving them if I had H&R's (had lots of
head toss, the car hammered over washboards, which most peeps would think
too firm a shock, but my guess was uncontrolled wheel motion, i.e. springs
overwhelming the shocks by reacting too fast).


On 3/15/08, Rich Assarabowski <konecc at snet.net> wrote:
> Autocrossers and track guys pretty much agree that Bilsteins are a higher
> quality shock and an inherently better design (single-tube) vs the Koni's
> (twin tube).  I have Bilsteins on my Miata and they have a reputation for
> long-life and reliablility.  I think Chad may have solved the mystery of
> their premature failures in the S-cars by putting a drain in the strut
> tower
> before installing them.  My strut towers were full of oil when I pulled
> them
> out.  The resulting hydrolocking would also explain my premature failure
> of
> the strut mounts (as well as the missing tapered caps) which you have to
> make sure you install after you remove the OEM struts.   These is the part
> that directly rests against the rubber of the strut mount and helps to
> distribute the shaft load on the rubber.
> The big advantage of Koni's for autocrossers, at least, is that they're
> adjustable, but even so, the street Koni's (yellow ones) are just
> single-adjustables (compression and rebound change together).  Almost
> every
> nationally competitive stock Miata uses double-adjustable Koni's or
> Penske's, but now you're talking $4000 for a set of 4 shocks, if you
> really
> want to win Nationals.
> I think revalved Bilstein's with a hole drilled in the strut tower (thanks
> Chad!!) is the way to go for non-stock springs (H&R's) for the S-cars.  I
> think out-of-the box Bilsteins are perfect for a stock or '92 suspension.
> When I was making the Koni vs. Bilstein decision for my S4, guys who had
> tried both seemed to prefer the Bilsteins for their less harsh ride.
> -- Rich A.
>    '99 Miata (CS autocross car)
>    '03 MS3
>     No more Audi :( (for now)
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