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"free" Konis, 4kq rear strut adventure, BLUE strut bearings


My butt isn't sagging or wiggly anymore. I run H-stock auto-x, so I
couldn't change from the factory springs. Any damper is legal, so I got
the adjustable Konis. $195 for the _pair_, shipping inclus, from TC
Kline Racing, in Hilliard, OH. (614)771-7744. They have an ad in the '97
SCCA Solo rules book. No affiliation, YMMV, etc.

I also changed the rubber bits (strut b's and LCA bushes), and the LR
ball joint. The 150k car, stock AFAIK (have records from original
owner), had blue strut bearings in it. VW/Audi 857 412 355 A. What's the
deal with that?

JC Whitney, (312)431-6102, has some tools on sale which made this job
much easier:
Spring compressor 12CG6916X, $12.99
Ball joint tool   81CG2149N, $10.99 but worth $100
Ball joint tool   88YJ1770B, $9.99

The $10.99 tool needed ~1/16" ground from inner face of the "fork," and
worked for the lower ball joint _and_ tie-rod end. I didn't try the
$9.99 tool, but it looks like it might work on the front tie-rod.

I made a "top" strut nut tool from a 7/8" deep socket, using Mr.
Acetylene. The other tool ("bottom" strut nut) is a modified 1/2" deep
socket; just grind out some tabs. Thanks to Chris "tool-ges? We don't
need no stinking tool-ges!" Semple for the chisel-under-the-"ears"
ball-joint removal trick.

I used _three_ vise grips on the strut shaft to remove the
stuck/stripped unit. Thanks to all who provided tips.

The left rear strut was _completely_ dead. The top nut (the round/with
two slots one) was backed off about 5/8". I wondered about that
left-rear wheel hop when floored (first or second gear) and turning

I also removed the rust-perforated brake shields.

Note:  if you use the Konis on the rear of a 4kq, don't forget the steel
ring which goes under the strut-housing cap.

The struts have ~2 1/2 turns of adjustment. They come ~2 1/4 turns from
"stiff." I set them 1/4 turn from stiff. THIS IS WAY TOO MUCH DAMPING
FOR STOCK SPRINGS/RONALS ON A 4KQ. I'd say they're about 3X overdamped.
After the 2500 miles of PP and Tom's visit (ie, "break in"), I'll try to
set them more accurately and provide a report.

Happy damping,