308 Suspension Springs/Shocks

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Dave, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    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.
     
  2. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    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.
     
  3. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    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.
     
  4. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    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
     
  5. davem

    davem F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 21, 2002
    4,356
    Stepford,Connecticut
    Full Name:
    dave m
    Dave.
    Looks great!! Can you share with us how much this cost? Im thinking my Mondial might need an upgrade.
    Thanks Dave
     
  6. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    12,428
    The Cold North
    Full Name:
    Howie Felterbum
    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?
     
  7. Tired of seeing this ad? Upgrade now
  8. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    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.
     
  9. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    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.
     
  10. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    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.
     
  11. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
    10,672
    Worldwide
    Full Name:
    Steven
    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
     
  12. brent Lachelt

    brent Lachelt Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 6, 2003
    1,738
    Glendora,California
    Full Name:
    Brent R.Lachelt
    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
     
  13. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    Brent the mod to the upper A-arm was done with a cheap air tool.
     
  14. Tired of seeing this ad? Upgrade now
  15. tuttebenne

    tuttebenne F1 Rookie

    Mar 26, 2003
    2,940
    Bay Shore, NY
    Full Name:
    Andy
    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
     
  16. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    New Konis...
    I like how they came painted.
     
  17. hanknum

    hanknum Formula 3

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,014
    Santa Barbara
    Full Name:
    Henry
    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
     
  18. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,682
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE 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
     
  19. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,682
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    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?
     
  20. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
    10,672
    Worldwide
    Full Name:
    Steven
    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
     
  21. seschroeder

    seschroeder Formula Junior

    Apr 25, 2002
    251
    Alexandria, VA
    Full Name:
    Steve Schroeder
    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
     
  22. davem

    davem F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 21, 2002
    4,356
    Stepford,Connecticut
    Full Name:
    dave m
    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.
     
  23. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    11,347
    The twilight zone
    Full Name:
    The Butcher
    It's were the spring sits that causes problems. A custom perck can probably be made to solve the problem too. Search the old archives, but I know I saw a 328 fitted with a nice set of Ohlins shocks with remote res and I don't think any cutting was done. Mine are also Ohlins, but I bought then with a large attached gas res, an it hit on the upper a-arm. I had to do a lot of work on the rears on my car, but most of it was because I decided to move the bottom of the shocks in 1.63 inches to clear the wheels I wanted.
     
  24. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    Henry, when I wrote "where many have researched and wrenched"
    I should have said, where Henry... :)
     
  25. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    Mark is correct, the way the QA1 is built, as seen in the photos,
    is with the spring perch closer to the shock bushing than the stock Koni.
     
  26. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    Steve, If this is where you are talking about,
    well I had my steering rack pulled, so I don't know if that helped or not.
     
  27. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    10,881
    MO
    Just wondering, would you be able to provide a detailed list of all the bushings you replaced (in total)? Were there any you did not replace? If so, which were they?

    I am just wondering. I plan on doing this late summer and want to get all the parts together now.
     

Share This Page