Adjusting Konis
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Thread: Adjusting Konis

  1. #1
    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    Default Adjusting Konis

    I went for another spin in my car last night on some twisty bits of road, just to test out the power steering some more... I think having quicker steering shows up the weaknesses of the suspension a bit more. The car feels a bit more floaty around corners, especially if the corner isn't smooth and constant of radius and camber.

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    So I'm just wondering how adjusting up the Konis would help. I'm not really sure if stiffer dampers or stiffer springs are needed here. How do stiffer dampers effect the handling? My brother had Konis in his Alfetta; he had them adjusted up pretty tight and reckoned it didn't affect the ride too much, but the firmer damping kept the body movement down to a minimum. He had standard springs and torsion bars in that car.

    The springs in my car are standard at the front, and 505 GR at the rear. I guess the GR springs are standard really, just not sagged like the originals were.

    So, what do I need? Stiffer springs or dampers? Or both? I also recall Ray saying that Konis should be on the softest setting with standard springs.

    And how does one go about adjusting the front strut inserts? Quite a job I would think... I've never pulled apart front suspension before.
    John W

    1979 Peugeot 504 GTI 2.2 litre 5 speed - 72 kW at the wheels

    1974 Peugeot 504 TI
    - now on the road

    2009 Peugeot 407 HDI wagon - family car

    Previous: 2005 407 HDI manual sedan, 1980 504 GL, 1990 405 Mi16, 1977 504 GL Special, 1984 505 SRD Turbo



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    Firming up the dampers should not affect the ultimate roll you achieve in a corner but it does control the rate that the roll occurs. The car wont seem to lurch into a corner.

    So, give it a try. Start with half a turn extra on all corners. Then start tweeking it from there (no more than a 1/4 turn at a time). Use the same road course to see if you can feel the improvements.

    After that you may want to try some stiffer antiroll bars.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    instead of using stiffer springs to try and stop the roll a bit use 2 sway bars

    this way you can keep the ride but the roll will diminish
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    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Of course, if you only do that at the front it will increase understeer...

    I know 'rambo will argue with this, but it's a fact. That's how racing cars are altered to induce understeer, whereas lightening the front bar or tightening up the back bar gives more oversteer.

    John, I might have said try them first on the minimum setting, but the adjustment is there to try for personal preference. You can adjust them without taking the struts off, but it's very tricky.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    Of course, if you only do that at the front it will increase understeer...

    I know 'rambo will argue with this, but it's a fact. That's how racing cars are altered to induce understeer, whereas lightening the front bar or tightening up the back bar gives more oversteer.

    John, I might have said try them first on the minimum setting, but the adjustment is there to try for personal preference. You can adjust them without taking the struts off, but it's very tricky.

    been there, done that, doing it again

    car never understeered in fact it oversteered when pushed
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

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    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

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    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

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    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    How come yours is the only one in the world to work like that?

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    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    I already have stiffer sway bars, +1mm front and rear. Ray, you're probably right in saying that a stiffer front sway bar increases understeer, but when a car bodyrolls like a standard 504 does, I'm happy to have a little increase in understeer combined with a big decrease in bodyroll. Anyway, my 504 also has 1.5 degrees negative camber at the front compared to 0.5 degrees positive camber as standard, so I guess that should reverse the understeering effect of the bigger sway bar, yes? Anyway, I quite definitely noticed a big reduction in understeer once I had the negative camber.

    Anyway. I don't favour the idea of "tweaking" the dampers if I have to remove and replace time after time. Especially the struts. How do I adjust the struts without removing them from the car?
    John W

    1979 Peugeot 504 GTI 2.2 litre 5 speed - 72 kW at the wheels

    1974 Peugeot 504 TI
    - now on the road

    2009 Peugeot 407 HDI wagon - family car

    Previous: 2005 407 HDI manual sedan, 1980 504 GL, 1990 405 Mi16, 1977 504 GL Special, 1984 505 SRD Turbo



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    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastpugdriver
    Firming up the dampers should not affect the ultimate roll you achieve in a corner but it does control the rate that the roll occurs. The car wont seem to lurch into a corner.
    That's what I'm after. As per my previous post, body roll has already been dealt with. Now I'm after BODY CONTROL. I want to take out that floatiness. The car has excellent handling, it stays nice and flat through corners, but if I go through a dip or something mid-corner it tends to lurch a bit.
    John W

    1979 Peugeot 504 GTI 2.2 litre 5 speed - 72 kW at the wheels

    1974 Peugeot 504 TI
    - now on the road

    2009 Peugeot 407 HDI wagon - family car

    Previous: 2005 407 HDI manual sedan, 1980 504 GL, 1990 405 Mi16, 1977 504 GL Special, 1984 505 SRD Turbo



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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    How come yours is the only one in the world to work like that?


    the only car or the only pug ?

    504/604 has a wider front track than the rear

    i run neg camber and always have done

    without getting huffy or attacking another of my posts have you tried this on a 504 ?
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

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    That's what I'm after.
    Look up the koni site. There is a PDF there on how to adjust every model Koni. You just have know which ones you have.

    If it is Koni yellow then there may be an external adjuster. Otherwise you may need to remove the strut or shocks from the car.

    http://www.koni-na.com/pdf/tech.pdf

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    Before you spend too many readies in seeking utopia, find a good tyre man and start from the begining. Balance tyres to start with. Then speak to someone who races or rallies the same model to find optimum settings for Castor,Camber, Toe in/or out. It is vital to get these setting correct before moving to suspension parts.

  12. #12
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by pugrambo
    the only car or the only pug ?
    Essentially, the only car... like I said, it's a fundamental of automotive dynamics that understeer will increase with extra front roll stiffness... or with reduced rear roll stiffness.

    .....without getting huffy or attacking another of my posts have you tried this on a 504 ?
    I don't get huffy about anything, but I do get cheesed off about my logical and reasonable and never abusive posts being edited and deleted.

    Anyway, I've never tried it because I have no problems with body roll.

    I believe firmly in letting the suspension work, not tying it down so it can't.

    Now... without going to a second post just to get my post count up...


    John... you can work out a way to do this if you understand what's there. You might need to cobble up some special tools to help, but you can do it. Biggest thing is to contain it in place when the shaft's out of its socket at the top.


    pastpugdriver... Koni would never recommend anything but removal for adjustment. Too many traps for the unwary. And they aren't externally adjustable. 205GTi and Mi16 have these, however.

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    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    Now... without going to a second post just to get my post count up...
    Hmm... I'm not sure what to make of this; I don't know if this is directed at me or not, but I did do two posts in a row. I'm not at all interested in my post count but I will go to the trouble here to put all I want to say into one post...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    John... you can work out a way to do this if you understand what's there. You might need to cobble up some special tools to help, but you can do it. Biggest thing is to contain it in place when the shaft's out of its socket at the top.
    Trouble is I don't really understand what's there. I'm not sure what the Koni insert part of the strut consists of our how to remove it, even if the strut was removed from the car. I don't know much, but I'm willing to admit it!

    Quote Originally Posted by 911s
    Before you spend too many readies in seeking utopia, find a good tyre man and start from the begining. Balance tyres to start with. Then speak to someone who races or rallies the same model to find optimum settings for Castor,Camber, Toe in/or out. It is vital to get these setting correct before moving to suspension parts.
    The camber and castor can't be adjusted. I was able to increase the negative camber by 2 degrees by fitting longer control arms from a later model car. So I can't do anything else with these two settings. Toe-in has just been set to 2.5 degrees which I assume is standard...? I didn't ask the mechanic (who fitted the power steering and thus set the toe-in).

    I'm not after a race or rally car. As it is, the car is very comfortable to ride in, with handling that is surprisingly capable. I'm actually very happy with the handling except for the damping, as I mentioned above. I'd just like to tighten it up so it's not so floaty. Not that it's really floaty, but it just feels underdamped now that the steering is higher geared and lighter. I figure that to fix the problem, I need stiffer dampers. Really, all I want is to confirm that a firmer setting on the dampers would be the way to fix the problem, and suggestions on what a good setting would be for the Konis ie. 25% or 50% or whatever.
    John W

    1979 Peugeot 504 GTI 2.2 litre 5 speed - 72 kW at the wheels

    1974 Peugeot 504 TI
    - now on the road

    2009 Peugeot 407 HDI wagon - family car

    Previous: 2005 407 HDI manual sedan, 1980 504 GL, 1990 405 Mi16, 1977 504 GL Special, 1984 505 SRD Turbo



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    Really, all I want is to confirm that a firmer setting on the dampers would be the way to fix the problem, and suggestions on what a good setting would be for the Konis ie. 25% or 50% or whatever.
    I say .. crank them up Give them 1/2 the range of adjustment available.

  15. #15
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    You're probably right... it's normally about two and a half turns for full adjustment, give them about a full turn, maybe a tad more.

    John (no, it wasn't directed at you...), what you need to do is close the shaft down into the body of the strut, then turn the shaft when it engages the nut in the footvalve.

    Undoing the nut at the top of the shaft will allow you to push the shaft down, but it also allows the spring the potential freedom to move about... and much of that could be disastrous. The strut body, therefore, would have to be firmly contained to avoid movement while the operation took place.

    Then raising the shaft would be difficult... to a point.

    You can, for instance, put the nut back on top of it, juggling with fingers between the windings of the spring (which would be at normal full extension ideally) and then use a shifter as a lever to lever over the windings and work the shaft up until you have to take the nut off before it disappears. Then you'd need to work out another strategy to get it the rest of the way.

    I've forgotten what the detail design of the top of the shaft is, or I'd be more specific. If the thread is significantly smaller than the top section, it would be easy to make up a piece of tube with the thread cut inside it to screw onto the shaft. This could be used to push down and pull up and would help keep things straight. But I don't think you can.

    If someone has a strut they can pull the spring off and lay out the bits, you'll get a better idea. I might be able to do this in the next couple of weeks as I'm probably doing a strut change on my wagon. If you can wait...

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