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Old 03-21-2004, 02:22 PM
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308 Suspension Springs/Shocks

Well spring is in the air.
A time when a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of... 308 Suspension Upgrades!
The fact is, most 308s are going to need a suspension rebuild.
With the oldest of the 308 series now being 30 years old,
even a pristine looking garage queen can need suspension components replaced
due to age.
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2004, 02:26 PM
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First off, let me say that if you are going to show your car,
to always use proper stock replacement parts in your rebuild.
If you are doing shocks and want to stay original,
Then tirerack.com has stock new Koni shocks priced about the same as it would cost to rebuild and refinish your old ones.
Now with that disclaimer out of the way, lets have at it.

The stock Koni shocks on a 308 are great, if you live in 1977.
The coil springs on the stock 308 are of odd size in diameter
and replacement choices are limited.
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Old 03-21-2004, 02:29 PM
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Enter the adjustable after-market shock.
These shocks/springs are generally lighter than the stock Koni shocks/springs.
In my case a weight savings of just under 26lbs total.
And with the smaller outer diameter of the new after-market springs,
wider tires can then be fitted on the rear of a 308.
The cost of adjustable after-market shocks can range from mild to wild,
and trying to justify spending big time bucks on a high-end racing suspension for a 30 year old street car that was only tracked twice a year just didn't jive.
Instead my goal was to assemble a modern cost effective suspension solution
that would allow me some flexibility, along with the ability to return to stock if needed.
Well apparently more than one 308 owner had the same idea,
and through this wonderful Ferrari brotherhood, where many have researched and wrenched, I thought I'd share this low budget solution.

The shocks we decided to use are from QA1 Motorsport.
Front shocks: HAL-4855P
Rear shocks: HAL-5855P

I purchased mine from summitracing.com
But there are other sources as well as other brands and styles of shocks available.
Remember this is just one of many possible solutions.
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Old 03-21-2004, 02:42 PM
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The shocks as stated earlier, are much lighter in weight than their stock Koni counterpart. This is due mainly from the new shock bodies being machined from aluminum while the stock Koni is bodied in steel.
Now along with their lighter weight comes improved features over stock,
like adjustable rebound and adjustable ride height.
No more "big gap" between your tires and fenders.

The other huge advantage, is now you have many coil spring choices.
So now you can decide how stiff or loose you want the ride to be.

For springs I went with Eibach from truechoice.com
Once again there are a number of other spring manufacturers and resellers out there. This is just one possible solution.

As far as spring rates I went a little stiffer than most run on the street, hoping to gain a little better track performance.
325lbs. front and 275lbs. rear.

1000.250.325
1200.250.275
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Old 03-21-2004, 02:43 PM
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Dave.
Looks great!! Can you share with us how much this cost? Im thinking my Mondial might need an upgrade.
Thanks Dave

Last edited by davem; 03-21-2004 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 03-21-2004, 02:49 PM
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Great Thread!! How many spring rates are available for these shocks? I would like to do somthing like this to my 308 as well. What did you use for the shock bushings? Do the ones the come with the shock fit well enough to uses or were ther mods needed to get them to fit propperly.
This looks like the ideal set-up to use. Fully adjustable and it's so easy to return the car to a stock cofiguration.

What was the total cost for the shocks and spring? Are you going to compliment them with sway bars aswell?
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Old 03-21-2004, 02:50 PM
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The only downside to using this shock/spring solution
#1.
In order for the new shocks to clear
a portion of the upper front A-arm must be cut out.

#2.
Because of the difference in the shock end width
the new shock bushing must be shimmed out.

If you are the kind of person that can perform,
and live with a little mod work like this.
Then your 308s suspension can be transformed from
what some owners lovingly refer to as a wallowing pig,
into a tight on rails machine that will no longer be embarrassed by an S2000 through the twisties.
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Old 03-21-2004, 03:06 PM
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Tip..........

If you are doing shocks, you might as well replace your suspension bushings while you have your A arms out.
They will be as worn as the shock bushings.
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Old 03-21-2004, 03:13 PM
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The shocks that I purchased came with shock bushings installed.
As far as pricing goes, it would be best to check online for current info.
but the project total was within stock prices.
Spring rates available were all over the place for a 2.5 inch spring mount,
many many choices.

Last edited by Dave; 03-21-2004 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 03-21-2004, 06:43 PM
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Dave,

Wonderful information and pictures! For those wondering price:

HAL-ALN4855P 14 in. extended height, 10 1/8 in. compressed height, coil over shock $132.88

HAL-ALN5855P Street or strip, 5\8 in. chrome piston rod, clear anodized aluminum body, #8 ACME threads, aerospace sealing... $132.88


Yes indeed, seems like suspension time for many of us 3x8 folks Another great benefit is that once you make the A Arm mod and better shocks, the world of various springs are open wide Did you get her corner weighted yet? And most important of all... Let us know how she rides

Enjoy the Walk,

Steven R. Rochlin
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  #11  
Old 03-21-2004, 08:25 PM
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Thanks for posting the pics Dave. I'll have an easier time doing that front A-arm mod next weekend. What did you use to cut that small u shape with?

Thanks,
Brent
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:37 PM
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Brent the mod to the upper A-arm was done with a cheap air tool.
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Last edited by Dave; 03-21-2004 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:45 PM
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Dave,

Great information and pictures. I like the shot of the shrunken shock bushing in the original shock. Is that where that banging sound from the top of my rear shock is coming from (Ha Ha)

I thought it would be easy for me; just replace the originals with another set of Koni's. Now you have me thinking.

Thanks for all the information; its great to have options.

Andy
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Old 03-21-2004, 09:39 PM
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New Konis...
I like how they came painted.
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Old 03-22-2004, 01:48 AM
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Dave,

I can't believe I didn't even get an honorable mention (j/k).

I'm looking into getting some bushings machined to get rid of the stack of washers. Let me know if you are interested.

Henry
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Old 03-22-2004, 07:24 AM
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Dave,
I'm unclear on something. If the shocks/springs are SMALLER in diameter than the old Koni dinosaurs, why does one need to grind the upper A arm?

Birdman
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Old 03-22-2004, 07:28 AM
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I have another dumb question...how do you figure out where to set the rings on the shocks that adjust the spring position? Is this done by trial and error with the ride height?
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Old 03-22-2004, 07:59 AM
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Birdman,

My plans are to first get the height lower than stock once the shocks settle, then do a corner weight and see where she is at and adjust accordingly.

Enjoy the Walk,

Steven R. Rochlin
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Old 03-22-2004, 08:12 AM
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Nice job!!! I'm finishing the suspension rebuild on my 82 308 GTSi. I notice you've used strainless brake lines. I did the same but have played bloody hell getting the "hard" lines tightened at the inboard front (steering rake in the way). How did you manage it - I'm open for all suggestions from anyone.

Thanks in advance.

Steve Schroeder
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Old 03-22-2004, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdman
Dave,
I'm unclear on something. If the shocks/springs are SMALLER in diameter than the old Koni dinosaurs, why does one need to grind the upper A arm?

Birdman
I was wondering the same thing.
Someone please correct me if im wrong, but looking at the pictures of the Konis. The narrow perch on one end is the bottom i suspect clearing the obstacles.
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