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KONI Sports for Classic Z's


Joseph@TheZStore

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9 minutes ago, AK260 said:

Utterly brilliant chap - massively applauded!!


Yes it is but don’t forget the white washer that goes at the bottom to stop air locking if bottomed out.

Updated with another screenshot. Thank you!

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32 minutes ago, AK260 said:

Utterly brilliant chap - massively applauded!!


Yes it is but don’t forget the white washer that goes at the bottom to stop air locking if bottomed out.

Where did you get that idea? That is not what the washer is for.

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On 2/7/2019 at 8:46 PM, Joseph@TheZStore said:

On the bottom right is their "washer" to go on top of the Gland Nut. It is designed with channels and waves, the purpose being an added layer of protection for the seal underneath, as it will direct away any air pressure when bottoming, or road junk that bounces up there, so it doesn't end up crammed on top of the seal.

 

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Very nice work, lapriser! 

As mentioned above, the only thing that I saw was that the upper image didn't have the white plastic "bump plate" but I see it on the angleD view.  As Joseph mentioned, it is a surface for the bump rubber to impact into and allow any road grit or puffs of air from the fast moving bump stop to be blown out to the side and not into and possibly passed the piston rod seal.  It is simply an extra layer of protection for the rod seal to have a nice long life in the sometimes harsh and dirty environment of a roadgoing fender well. 

Also if your car is lowered and has oversized wheels and tires such that the tire may hit a fender lip occasionally during deep suspension compression, you can stack a few extra bump plates on each other (called "packers" by the racing community) as a fine tuning to make the bump rubber impact happen a little sooner and keep the fender off your tires.  Just for fine tuning though, if you need a lot of added strut length to keep the fender off the tire, you really should consider a higher spring rate, a higher ride height, or less wheel or tire width to keep the fender away. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, lapriser said:

Can anyone confirm this is the stack up for the fronts?

image.png

If these are the fronts.. why is there not a bearing in the top that can let the top rotate?  (these bearings are bearings that are not like the wheelbearings but rotate top and lower part ..  (i don't know how to say this on an other way..) 

Nice picture drawn but the topbearing shoud be drawn in an other way.. there should be a top and lower half with ballbearings in between. Again, nice drawn.. you'll figure it out i'm sure!  😉 

Edited by dutchzcarguy
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On 4/7/2021 at 1:13 PM, lapriser said:

Hey guys,

I'm wondering if anyone has had any issues with the top nut stripping out or crossthreading?

I installed the strut with no issue which involved hand threading the supplied nylock nut until it hit the plastic locking section, then tightening by hand with a socket wrench. I realized I forgot to put the bump stop into the assembly and began unthreading the top not and it eventually froze up and would not move. After some creative clamping and a lot of force I was able to remove the top hat assembly but the threads and adjustment knob on the strut are destroyed. The adjustment knob does not move and the strut seems to have lost its dampening resistance.

I am a little baffled about how this could have happened so aggressively. I don't use nylock nuts usually and this one seemed very aggressive. Is this a common issue with nylocks?

20210405_173652.jpg

I did not have this issue.

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On 4/6/2021 at 1:04 PM, Neb said:

Just wanted to chime in after installing these on my '75 280Z.  I definitely researched this thread, and very much appreciate all of the great feedback and information here.

Nothing but a good experience for me.  I replaced the stock springs paired with KYBs with the full eibach lowering kit (23-4042 on MSA) and koni shocks (2x 23-1033, and 2x 23-1034 on MSA).  I also did the MSA sway bars at the same time. 

Everything bolted up fine.  I had the usual issues with the rears when trying to get enough clearance without pulling the spindle bolts. I ended up dropping the rear subframe; pita, but there was no way those spindles were coming out and I wasn't ready to tackle that monster just yet.  I did not have any issues fitting the gland nuts, or with seating the shocks into the strut tubes.  The fronts were done in about 1/4 the time of the rears, mostly due to having to drop the subframe.

Once installed, the drop in ride height was definitely noticeable.  I didn't measure, but I'll include a picture or two of the before/after.  I set the shocks to 1/2 rotation from full soft for starters, and haven't felt the need to adjust them further yet.

I've been out on 2 short twisty drives so far.  The car feels firm, but in a sporty confident way.  Bumps are felt but not harsh.  Far less dive and roll.  I'm sure the sways are helping there as well.  The shocks and springs seem very well paired.  A definitely improvement over the floaty feeling of the stock springs/sways + KYBs.  Looking forward to pushing it a little harder this summer!spacer.pngspacer.pngspacer.pngspacer.pngPXL_20210110_210655098.jpgspacer.pngspacer.pngspacer.png

PXL_20201214_234943575(1).jpg

messages_0(1).jpeg

messages_0(2).jpeg

 

What is your tire and wheel combo?  My front fender gap is much greater than what your picture shows with the same springs and konis.  I have 205 55 15 on 15s.  I have not driven the car so maybe it will settle once it hits the road?

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adivin, I think your tires have a smaller diameter than stock, which probably accounts for the larger fender gap you see as compared to the blue Z in the pictures.  I have 205/55s also, but they’re on 16” wheels.  I think the overall diameter of my current tires is close to the original tires that came on my Z.

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18 hours ago, adivin said:

What is your tire and wheel combo?  My front fender gap is much greater than what your picture shows with the same springs and konis.  I have 205 55 15 on 15s.  I have not driven the car so maybe it will settle once it hits the road?

My fronts are 205/55R16.  So yours would be an inch less in overall diameter.  Mine did settle some after a couple drives.  

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On 4/9/2021 at 1:05 PM, lapriser said:

Hey guys,

I was thinking about drawing up some Datsun Specific instructions for these. Is that something anyone would be interested in? I started modeling some reference 3D files for my own sake. Can anyone confirm this is the stack up for the fronts?

image.pngimage.png

 

This is much clearer than the Nissan drawing.  I posted that snip from the FSM mainly to show the ball bearings in the races.  And the "bound bumper rubber" that I think nobody has ever actually seen.

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23 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

This is much clearer than the Nissan drawing.  I posted that snip from the FSM mainly to show the ball bearings in the races.  And the "bound bumper rubber" that I think nobody has ever actually seen.

Actually, I have seen those Nissan OE snubbers. I bought them from MSA back in the mid-1980's.  They were installed on struts that got stored and I didn't get around to using them until 30 years later.  When I checked them out, they looked perfect but crumbled to the touch.  So much for open-cell, natural rubber suspension bushings.  The sad part is that today's no-cell neoprene bushings are not the answer for a lot of owners (unless you are dedicated to track days, autocrosses, or live in a part of the world were roads aren't exposed to frost-heave).

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I was able to redo install of the front strut with the one I have remaining. I also completed the rear strut on the driver side so half the car is now done. Install went perfectly and no issues at all with the supplied top nut. I am installing a few other adjustable suspension components so I won't have it back on the ground for another week or so but I am very excited.

Here is an updated Cross Section with the edited bearing for clarity. I've also created a file for a longer strut adjustment knob that I am looking for a place where it can be readily downloaded and 3D printed if you wish. I will post when it is live.

Screenshot 2021-04-12 224204.jpg

20210412_173400.jpg20210412_175058.jpg

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Very nice home made adjuster, lapriser.  This actually reminds me that last year I told Joseph that I would post the easy & cheap long neck adjuster tool that folks have made over the years.

If you look at the bottom of the KONI supplied adjuster knob, you will see that the tip with the elongated adjuster slot is actually an insert into the end of the adjuster knob.  There are actually two different KONI adjuster tab sizes so we have two different inserts depending upon what tab size is used for your application. Although a somewhat tight slip fit, you can remove your insert easily by taking something like a largish wood screw that will bite into the plastic enough to pull the insert out.  Be carefully not to deform the intentionally soft plastic of the slot too much.  Now you can glue or epoxy (anything hardening really that will fill the voids) that insert into the end of either a screwdriver-like nut driver tool or into a small 1/4" drive socket that you can turn with a 1/4" drive screwdriver-like handle. I bet you probably have an old one at the back of your toolbox that you never use.  I don't recall the exact size nut driver or socket needed to fit it into but it is somewhere less than 1/2" or 12 mm size (maybe 10-11 mm or 3/8"-7/16'" range?).  If you don't have these tools at home, they can be had for cheap at Harbor Freight, some brand X tool kit, etc.  No need to spend Snap-On or Mac Tool levels of money on something that could be had cheaply or you likely already have and don't use.  There is a good chance you can make this tool with a screw, a hand tool and glue that is already in your garage and not have to spend any money or more than 10 minutes time.

Although you could make your adjustments turn the socket with 1/4" drive ratchet and small short extension, I really suggest using the screwdriver type handle and not a ratchet to reduce the leverage and remove the tendency to over torque/over tighten the KONI adjuster tab and snap it off.  The small diameter of the screwdriver handle makes is easy to toss in the glovebox or toolbox for quick adjustments with the twist of a wrist without overtightening.  Easy-peasy.

Homemade adjuster 1.jpg

Homemade adjuster 2.jpg

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On 4/7/2021 at 2:29 PM, madkaw said:

I believe this was mentioned by someone else in this thread . I decided not to use their supplied nut for that reason of seizing 

My old Koni reds came with a regular nut and lock washer. I have removed and reinstalled several times over the years changing

springs. No issues. I do not think I would use the nyloc nut in this situation. With the piston top being cut half, I can envision the 

nylon sometimes pulling the nut sideways enough to partially cross thread. Now there is metal in the threads and when removing

I think that further jams the threads to fully strip. When I look close I don't think any of the shaft threads are any good. They are

about totally gone at the bottom. I would recommend to Koni that this may not happen often, but to eliminate that possibility,

change to nut and lock washer install.

 

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My old Koni reds came with a regular nut and lock washer. I have removed and reinstalled several times over the years changing
springs. No issues. I do not think I would use the nyloc nut in this situation. With the piston top being cut half, I can envision the 
nylon sometimes pulling the nut sideways enough to partially cross thread. Now there is metal in the threads and when removing
I think that further jams the threads to fully strip. When I look close I don't think any of the shaft threads are any good. They are
about totally gone at the bottom. I would recommend to Koni that this may not happen often, but to eliminate that possibility,
change to nut and lock washer install.
 



Well said!!! After my galling disaster with them on my brand new Konis I ditched the nyloc and went back to the original ones that come on the Z.

I was in a hurry to get them off and was merely using a socket set quickly before they welded themselves onto the threads.

I do wish Koni would take onboard the feedback and change this - its a lovely product with what I consider to be an unnecessary wart!
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Please be assured that KONI has been watching this thread and seeing the feedback.  With feedback from both this forum and the input of Motorsports Ind., we have worked together on some minor tweaks and changes over time.  As I have said several times previously, we started this project using all the specs, dimensions, hardware, etc. that KONI have been using successfully for decades making the red 86 series internally adjustable (compress-to-adjust) Z-car inserts. KONI has used this nyloc nut on the Z-car 86s since at least 1993 when computerized build sheet records began and any changes and updates would be noted and dated. There have been no hardware changes on those parts and nylocs have been used on them for at least 28 years and also not a single prior comment to KONI America about stripping thread issues, etc..   

I've been the lead Automotive Technical person for KONI America since Spring 1996 and I can say hand on heart that there have been essentially no cross threading or galling comments reported to us for any car applications if they a) used the right thread pitch hardware, b) didn't overtighten it, and most importantly c) didn't use an impact tool. The very vast majority of installation issues are related to impact tools and not looking at the instructions.  I will admit that even though I most certainly knew better, I have in the past used an impact tool when in a rush or when more convenient and caused issues (not galling or stripping but jamming rebound adjusters). The last time I stuck someone else's shock adjuster is the last time I used an impact tool on a top nut.

If you want to change the hardware to use different nuts than the nyloc nuts supplied, then go for it if it pleases you.  Just don't over tighten and DO NOT use an impact tool just as the instructions say.  The top mount uses Metric 12 x 1.25 pitch and you can used a deep regular nut and a lock washer if you prefer.  Because of the recessed depth of the stock type Z-car upper mounts, using jam nuts (two stacked regular nuts biting into each other) will be hard getting a tool to hold the bottom nut while tightening the top nut.  For top hardware that is exposed and not recessed where a second wrench is accessible, KONI uses a lot of jam nut systems but the Z-car mount is recessed  The nyloc has the advantage that the nylon ring resists all self movement and rotation as long as any threads are present whereas a lock washer only locks in that very last 1 millimeter or so of tightness when the split ring is crushed flat and trying to spring back. If it were to loosen one rotation (remember 1.25 pitch) or some debris were temporarily stuck under the hardware during the moment of installation, then the nut will be free to move if the piston rod were allowed to shuttle vertically within the mount while it operates on the road.  So a nyloc is particularly advantageous when the D-shape top mount means there is less threading surface area for a regular nut to load against to resist turning.

The D-shaped portion is less than 25% of the circumference and not 50% so nyloc nut is not getting angled and causing cross threading and galling when going on but that reduced threading will restrict how much heavy tightening it can take before deforming the threads.  Datsun chose the D-shape 50 years ago so that is what we and you must deal with when installing parts. There are plenty of threads to keep the nut aligned to thread properly and be properly tightened as designed but that proper amount of tightening is not a high number. 

Just remember that most installation issues on long term proven products are usually caused not by the nut under the wrench but by the nut turning the wrench.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, KONI Lee said:

Just remember that most installation issues on long term proven products are usually caused not by the nut under the wrench but by the nut turning the wrench.

Maybe just accept that Koni (you) might be wrong, and the customer might be right.  These guys are not "nuts" and are very capable of ascertaining the cause of a problem.  gundee even supplied some historical background on the actual "long-term proven product".  The product in question is not long-term.

Where does Koni source the lock-nuts?  Or the shafts for the shocks.  They might not be what you think they are.

 

This conversation has the signs of the guy who suggested using locknuts defending the decision, shifting blame, when problems crop up.  No offense intended, it's very common.  gundee's suggestion made sense - go back to what worked just fine.

Seriously, you wrote a lot of words just to end by saying it's the customer's poor methods that are the cause.

 

Edited by Zed Head
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Pardon my effort at a little humor or levity at the end along the lines of the old joke about "the nut behind the wheel".  Clearly it landed wrongly for you. 

I have shared the info that comes across this forum with engineers here and in Europe for input for improvements if needed and explanations if there are specific decisions behind it that are not clear.  Forums are always a double edged sword with pros and cons for manufacturers because there can be positive feedback, problem solving, and refinement as well as misunderstandings or misinterpretations, armchair engineering without understanding, heading off on tangents, etc..  There are positive updates coming based on feedback from here but also misunderstandings and tangents.  Being helpful has been the goal and not simply being defensive or pushing a sales message.  I can step away if the involvement is seen as unhelpful.  Feel free to reach out the KONI Tech staff and Joseph is certainly available to assist as well.

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Just keeping it simple.  There's a problem that seems to be connected to the Koni lock-nuts and shafts.  KYBs, Monroes, etc. all have the same D-shaped threaded portion and have for many many years.  Many people use the KYB's but I can't recall any stripped strut shaft comments for KYB's.

The engineers at Koni will have the historical data.  More returns since the nut change.  It's not your fault and you don't need to defend the product.  It's actually better to just agree with what the facts show.  

It's good that you're sharing the problems with the engineers.  Please pass on their replies when you get them.  Always interesting to see the internals of the big companies.

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I think Koni Lee and others have been helpful and responsive throughout this thread and I'm thankful we have quick responses direct from the source. 

The top nut situation seems to be limited to a handful of cases from what I can tell including my own. I have since installed 2 more Koni struts with the supplied nuts without issue. I think the number of potential cases we've seen could be attributed to either a bad batch of hardware, user error, or just plain bad luck, and from Koni's perspective it does not look like a widespread problem considering the number of struts they've likely sold at this point. 

Upon removal of my old struts I noticed my KYB struts also were held in with nyloc nuts as well. This appears to be the industry standard for quite some time. I genuinely believe I had a bad nut and wrenched on it a bit too hard while believing the nyloc part of the nut was causing the resistance. I've never used a nyloc of this size before. I am glad we are documenting this to show the importance of careful install and knowing the potential issues that can arise from the different aspects of these struts (small thread size/D-shaft, over-torqueing, power tools, etc.) 

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Please be assured that KONI has been watching this thread and seeing the feedback.  With feedback from both this forum and the input of Motorsports Ind., we have worked together on some minor tweaks and changes over time.  As I have said several times previously, we started this project using all the specs, dimensions, hardware, etc. that KONI have been using successfully for decades making the red 86 series internally adjustable (compress-to-adjust) Z-car inserts. KONI has used this nyloc nut on the Z-car 86s since at least 1993 when computerized build sheet records began and any changes and updates would be noted and dated. There have been no hardware changes on those parts and nylocs have been used on them for at least 28 years and also not a single prior comment to KONI America about stripping thread issues, etc..   
I've been the lead Automotive Technical person for KONI America since Spring 1996 and I can say hand on heart that there have been essentially no cross threading or galling comments reported to us for any car applications if they a) used the right thread pitch hardware, default_cool.png didn't overtighten it, and most importantly c) didn't use an impact tool. The very vast majority of installation issues are related to impact tools and not looking at the instructions.  I will admit that even though I most certainly knew better, I have in the past used an impact tool when in a rush or when more convenient and caused issues (not galling or stripping but jamming rebound adjusters). The last time I stuck someone else's shock adjuster is the last time I used an impact tool on a top nut.
If you want to change the hardware to use different nuts than the nyloc nuts supplied, then go for it if it pleases you.  Just don't over tighten and DO NOT use an impact tool just as the instructions say.  The top mount uses Metric 12 x 1.25 pitch and you can used a deep regular nut and a lock washer if you prefer.  Because of the recessed depth of the stock type Z-car upper mounts, using jam nuts (two stacked regular nuts biting into each other) will be hard getting a tool to hold the bottom nut while tightening the top nut.  For top hardware that is exposed and not recessed where a second wrench is accessible, KONI uses a lot of jam nut systems but the Z-car mount is recessed  The nyloc has the advantage that the nylon ring resists all self movement and rotation as long as any threads are present whereas a lock washer only locks in that very last 1 millimeter or so of tightness when the split ring is crushed flat and trying to spring back. If it were to loosen one rotation (remember 1.25 pitch) or some debris were temporarily stuck under the hardware during the moment of installation, then the nut will be free to move if the piston rod were allowed to shuttle vertically within the mount while it operates on the road.  So a nyloc is particularly advantageous when the D-shape top mount means there is less threading surface area for a regular nut to load against to resist turning.
The D-shaped portion is less than 25% of the circumference and not 50% so nyloc nut is not getting angled and causing cross threading and galling when going on but that reduced threading will restrict how much heavy tightening it can take before deforming the threads.  Datsun chose the D-shape 50 years ago so that is what we and you must deal with when installing parts. There are plenty of threads to keep the nut aligned to thread properly and be properly tightened as designed but that proper amount of tightening is not a high number. 
Just remember that most installation issues on long term proven products are usually caused not by the nut under the wrench but by the nut turning the wrench.


Wow! That was unnecessarily defensive over something so simple [mention]Koni Lee[/mention]!! Not to mention completely unexpected from someone who normally does a great job of being a “real person” engaging well with his customers.

Whether Koni has or hasn’t had this issue in the past (or indeed failed to record it on some system) is frankly irrelevant.

The fact is, it HAS happened and what people are more interested in hearing about is what Koni will do to take it seriously! Not for you to just gloss over it / brush it away with historical rhetoric and an attempt at “levity”.

In the last 40 years of spannering cars, I’ve been a loud advocate of Koni and the quality of its products. The ONLY time I’ve had issues with turning a nut has been with either very rusty old ones, or nyloc nuts - typically on stainless steel exhaust clamps and now your shocks.

Putting your response to one side and looking at the facts:

1. Unplated metals of different “nobility” WILL have a reaction to each other.
2. Heat (especially in threads) accelerates the issue.
3. Nyloc nuts generate a lot of heat on the threads especially when being unwound.
4. This has happened more than once and on the same shocks / nuts supplied by Koni - regardless of the number of instances. It’s a bit like saying: in the last 28 years I never murdered anyone your honour so this instance must be just a freak incident that should be ignored. If as you say you’ve never had this issue before, then surely you should be extra concerned that it has happened, sit up and take it seriously.

Koni’s response would merit a great deal more respect if it was to acknowledge it happened and to properly investigate it - rather than derogatory remarks (however in jest) about the client or just spouting unnecessarily defensive vanilla corporate statements. The people who typically do that are aware of a problem they are trying to hide - which I don’t believe to be the case here and why your post put some of our noses so out of joint.

I and many others, have been very impressed with your responsiveness and engagement with the community to date and value it greatly. Please don’t let the side down with responses like that again. Take the issues seriously, we’re not idiots or inexperienced 17 year olds playing with our cars for the first time.

A better response would have been to have requested those nuts and shocks to be sent back to you for further analysis. Maybe you do have a dodgy batch / supply QC issue that you’re not aware of. What better way than to get your hands on the “field tested” failures?

Moreover, if you think the customer is likely to be a “nut” and not aware of potential issues with nyloc nuts, you may wish to consider including a warning in the instructions and / or include a small sachet of anti-seize; as most “enthusiasts”, unlike us more experienced mechanics won’t have it on their garage shelf.
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4 hours ago, AK260 said:



A better response would have been to have requested those nuts and shocks to be sent back to you for further analysis. Maybe you do have a dodgy batch / supply QC issue that you’re not aware of. What better way than to get your hands on the “field tested” failures?

 

 

My shock and nut are on their way to Koni USA now as requested by Koni and MSA

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