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Bilsteins for '88 944?

I need new front struts, was going to buy Bilsteins as the rears are Bilstein HD's only a couple years old. Car is an '88 and is stock as far as I know. PO replaced fronts with Gabriels right before I bought the car. I am looking at the strut and it appears that it is all one unit, i.e. does not have a replaceable insert. Bilstein does not appear to currently sell anything *but* inserts... what do I need? A pair of used struts from a 85.5-86?

Also planning on replacing bump stops but leaving the old strut bearings... the other guy asking the question prompted me to check the price on those, holy geez those are expensive.

Any other suggestions on how to get rid of the bouncy bouncy for cheap and providing good handling would be appreciated. I'm broke, but still would rather pay more if it means that I won't have to take the car apart again soon.

thanks,

nate

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1988 944... and a bunch of other cars
Old 05-12-2007, 06:01 AM
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Im not sure with Bilsteins but with konis they only sell the inserts now. Basically what you do is remove the shock in the strut and put in the new one. there are details on the koni website
Old 05-12-2007, 10:14 AM
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yeah, I've seen that... I have to admit that I am a little skeptical about using a single bolt at the bottom of the strut housing rather than squeezing the cartridge between a threaded cap and the bottom of the housing. The latter method seems like it should be a lot more secure. I guess the real question is, is there any geometric difference between the 85.5-86 struts and the 87-88 struts, or is the only difference the construction? I'd rather just backdate the struts if that would work.

The only options I see currently sold for 87-88 that appear remotely acceptable would be the Koni inserts (which I am a little concerned about for reasons given above) or the complete Koni units for the M474 suspension, which I don't have (would that work?) and those are over $300 apiece anyway, and then I'd feel obligated to buy the matching units for the rear to balance the car. I don't like Boge (wore out in a year on my old GTI) KYB (wore out in less than a year on the rear of the '44) or Gabriel (what is on the front of my car now)

geez, you'd think with a car that's so popular for racing like the 944 should have more good suspension options available from the aftermarket.

nate
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Old 05-12-2007, 10:33 AM
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I just replaced my front struts and rear shocks will billsteins, I don't really care for them as they are too stiff. I think the Koni that can be adjusted would be better choice. The Billsteins may be good in a track situaition but for every day driving I think the adjustable Koni would be better. Mine rides like a slead now, I could have just replace my shocks with a board, it would ride the same. I am thinking when I get the money I will replace them with the Koni. I hope they will break in and be softer but time will tell. I am afraid the rear mounting bolts will break off with these shocks because they have almost no give to them at all and the front I am afraid they will ruin my new bearings on the front. You can jump up and down on the front bumper and the front will not give at all and I mean AT ALL. When I installed them I could not compress them by hand at all and the only way I could compress them was with a spring compressor. I think I could have put them on without springs and been better off, I don't think the weight of the car would compress them. The rear if I put all my weight on one and jump up and down it would compress a little. I know they need to be stiff but I think these are a lot more than they need to be, at least for every day driving. At the same time I replaced the bushings on the A arms and thought I might have screwed that up being why they are soo stiff, but after taking everything apart I found out the A arms worked OK.
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:55 PM
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Bilsteins are fine race or street. It's the coil rate that makes them stiff. However, they have the bump stops internal, so you don't neet to buy those unlike Koni's. But if you got the Cash I'd still go the Koni's. Like they said. Adjustable is nice.
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1987 924S with 968 Drive front to back, Bilstein Insert on mod/stock Struts, 450# Hypercoils, 28mm Torsion Bars, Weltmeister Adjustable Sway Bars, Lindsey 968 Light flywheel, Spec Stage II Clutch, ToYO RA1's, Auto Power Cage & 6 pt Harness, KLA Strut Brace, Greasy hands, heavy foot, and lots of smiles
Old 05-12-2007, 08:42 PM
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I have Bilsteins on my 88 BMW and I personally think they are way too stiff. I just put Koni's on my 944 and they are stiff too but not as stiff as the Bilsteins (unless you turn the adjustment knob to full stiff).

I posted pics of the Koni installation on this board:
Weekend Project Pics - Koni Inserts

You mentioned that you don't feel comfortable with a bolt on the bottom. My opinion is that the bolt is much stronger than the threaded ring on the top of the strut cartridge. I had never heard of the "drilling for bolt on bottom" until I did the 944/Koni setup and I can say, that it's a very substantial bolt. The whole setup is very secure when complete.

Also, keep in mind, on the stock 1899 944 strut cartridge, the cap that contains the insert is just crimped on and not threaded like the earlier cars. The bolt on the bottom setup seems much more secure.

Vern
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Last edited by Tidybuoy; 05-14-2007 at 05:41 PM..
Old 05-14-2007, 02:26 PM
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I just purchased an 85.5 944.

The rear shocks are blown, the car is very bouncy and floaty in the fear, when pushed on the rear quarter it bounces 3 revolutions, it's silly! =)

I was thinking of going Bilsteins for the rear, are people just being too whiney or are they 'that stiff'. I have Koni yellows in my 87 MR2 and like them adjusted, on full stiff they are 'quite' stiff...

Koni's seem a little out of my price range until I determine I'm ready for upgrades instead of maintenance...

What about KYB GR2s? Garbage? okay OEM replacements for the short term (2 years) ? Thinking I might go that route to pass inspection/figure out what else the car needs. Thoughts?
Old 10-30-2007, 11:51 AM
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I don't know how you guys got really stiff Bilsteins. Maybe ordered M030 parts for a standard setup? I got a complete set from Pelican this summer and they are anything but rock hard. They have a good solid feel around corners, while maintaining a surprisingly soft ride on the highway. Personally, I love them.

KYB is garbage, unless you really need to save money...but that still doesn't make them any better! That's what I found in the front struts on mine, and they were totally shot, and were pretty cheap looking. The damper shaft on the KYB's was only about 20mm wide, whereas the Bilsteins shaft is like twice that (much more durable and stays tight longer).

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Old 10-30-2007, 07:53 PM
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