QA1 shocks for the 328- info/wisdom sought-

Discussion in '308/328' started by chrmer3, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. chrmer3

    chrmer3 Formula 3

    May 19, 2006
    Full Name:
    Hi All,
    1986 328 early build 60k serial run.
    OK, so I have decided to pull the trigger & do the suspension bushings as well as shocks.
    Was going to send originals to Koni (matter of fact they are at Koni - I just stopped the rebuild of all 4) & decided to go the QA1 route with Verell's "paperweights" & bushing kit.
    All the raving of those that have "updated" the suspension as well as my car tech that was gracefully trying to steer me to replacements instead of the original "old technology" konis...

    so I have caved in to peer pressure .....

    Now, hopefully someone can tell me some QA1 part numbers for the application I need.... as well as do I want dual or single adjustments..
    I drive mountain twisties & rarely will track.
    Spring rates I am guessing 300# front & 250# rear...?? sound correct?
    Any references to the best springs to use (some say Eibach) ?

    Seeking all wisdom - Most of the info I have read pertained to 308's on here.... can not find much reference to 328 part numbers needed..
    Thanks again!
  2. Hans

    Hans F1 Veteran

    Feb 17, 2006
    Utrecht, Netherlands
    Full Name:
    Hans Teijgeler
    I don't know the 328 part numbers, but presume they will be the same as the 308 part numbers.

    I've got 300 front and 300 back. Never quite understood why everybody is putting in softer springs at the back. Soft = relatively more grip. So in this case more understeer than the stock situation where front and rear are about equal .Or at least, that's my reasoning. The argument of different geometry behind front and back doesn't make much sense to me either. 1.5 times as stiff = 1.5 times as stiff, regardless of geometry.

    Anyway, I wouldn't go softer than 300. Had I to do it again, I'd pick 300's again. The ride is just perfect for spirited road driving. Not harsh, just perfect.

    One thing I DID forget is to lube the poly bushings at the ends of the shocks. Result: it squeeks like mad. LUBE THEM!

    I'm using QA-1 springs and have no issues with them whatsoever. They didn't sag or anything in the about 8000 miles of driving that I have on them.

    Good luck and enjoy! This is - in my view - by far the best mod you can do to your car.

  3. chrmer3

    chrmer3 Formula 3

    May 19, 2006
    Full Name:
    I think (think being the key word) that the front is 50# stiffer is because of the typical nose dive that can happen on the 3x8's I believe the extra weight is to help the dipping in the front.... what I have been told, no idea-

    300/300 was what I thought originally but seems the masses have put stiffer springs up front more often than not.

    Input & thoughts greatly appreciated since I am far from knowledgeable in this field!

    Thanks again,
  4. ducowti

    ducowti Formula 3

    Jan 27, 2008
    Full Name:
    Chris, sorry I haven't anything to contribute, but I did want to say I'm glad you ran this thread which I will follow very closely as I will imminently be in the same boat.
  5. jimshadow

    jimshadow F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Feb 19, 2006
    Full Name:
    #5 jimshadow, Jul 7, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
    This is one of the best moves you can make, you are going to be thrilled with the results!!!

    If you search the archives, the 328 guys seem to be using 350ish lb springs....a lot of info there.

    If you are sourcing the parts yourself, try Lane Automotive, they had the best prices when I did mine this spring.

    I would highly recommend the bearing kit for the spring seats...makes adjusting very simple!

    PS, search my Suspension Rebuild thread...all the PN,s are there.
  6. Hans

    Hans F1 Veteran

    Feb 17, 2006
    Utrecht, Netherlands
    Full Name:
    Hans Teijgeler
    FWIW: I didn't use the bearings on the spring seats and found the springs fairly hard but not impossible to adjust. I sprayed a bit of WD40 on the surfaces before adjusting. That helped.


    P.S. With 300 lbs fronts, the nose will hardly dive at all when braking.
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  8. chrmer3

    chrmer3 Formula 3

    May 19, 2006
    Full Name:
    Can I assume that the 308 part numbers for the QA1's & springs should (will) be valid for the 328. I am guessing that since the ends provided by verell will mount up to either 308 or a 328 application shocks should be the same?

    I am confused because I know on a regular shock search the 308's & 328's use different Konis.... so I am baffled as to the same application being used by the QA1's.

    I guess its because I am clueless :( .......

    Can anyone say with certainty that yes the same numbers apply to the 328 as the 308 in regards to replacements....hate to get all excited buy & ship to Apex Vintage in Raleigh NC (where my car is at 200 miles away) to get the call... hmm shocks dont fit-

    Figure once this thread gets clarification, will be of great use to future 328 owners wishing to do the same-

    Thanks in advance!
  9. Mule

    Mule F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 25, 2003
    Full Name:
    The application/shocks for the 308 and early 328 may be different. They are for the later 328s. See posts #224 and 227 of this thread:
  10. chrmer3

    chrmer3 Formula 3

    May 19, 2006
    Full Name:
    Just did a check I believe these are the parts I need-
    Springs are Eibachs & Shocks are QA1 Proma Star Coil-Over Shocks. As per the above reference to the bearing plates for springs that makes sense added those also... I read another forum said bump stops are not on the shocks... probably need them correct?

    Have not ordered yet, but I believe this along with Verells paperweights & 4 wheel bushing kit should be complete setup. Complete ballpark pricing with everything below & Verells custom mods = approx $1300 + or - you may be able to shop numbers but I really think its going to be within change of this... I already spoke to one company today so I will most likely go with them if they can supply all of it - in a reasonable time frame.

    Final thoughts of anything else needed if anyone knows - or critisizm gladly listened to.

    For comparisons the stock Konis just to rebuild were approx $175 @ or $700 - of course thats utilizing existing 20+ year old springs to replace would also add $$$'s.

    My Ferrari will be driven & is in the process of a full engine out service, extensive replacing of rubber hoses, all gaskets, belts, cam bearings, suspension parts, interior work etc.. when back she should be a very fine driveable example. I toyed with the thought of keeping original Konis, but yanno.... I want this car to handle the best she can (within a reasonable cost)- not for a judge to give me his/her blessing for having original shocks....

    EIB-10002500300 Coil Over Spring, Red Powdercoated, 2.50 in. Diameter, 10 in. Length, 300 lbs./in., Each $66.39 (2 needed)
    ·This part is temporarily out of stock, but you can order it now. Tentative ship date: 7/27/2008, if your order is placed today.

    EIB-12002500250 Coil Over Spring, Red Powdercoated, 2.50 in. Diameter, 12 in. Length, 250 lbs./in., Each $59.95 (2 needed)
    ·This part is temporarily out of stock, but you can order it now. Tentative ship date: 7/27/2008, if your order is placed today.

    HAL-7888-109 Shock Bearing, Coil-Over, Steel, Roller Thrust Bearings and Washers, Kit $25.95 (2 sets needed)

    HAL-BC02 Shock Bumpers, Rubber Compression, 1.9 in. O.D., .875 in. Length, Kit $5.69 (4 needed)
    ·This part is temporarily out of stock, but you can order it now. Tentative ship date: 7/25/2008, if your order is placed today.

    HAL-DR4855P Coil-Over Shock, Aluminum, Clear Anodized, Street/Strip, Front/Rear, Eyelet/Eyelet Mount, Each $159.95 (2 need)

    HAL-DR5855P Coil-Over Shock, Aluminum, Clear Anodized, Street/Strip, Rear, Eyelet/Eyelet Mount, Each $159.95 (2 needed)

    HAL-T114W Coil Over Adjustment Tool, Steel, 2-Spanner Wrenches, Non-Adjustable, Set $16.95 (1 set needed)
  11. jimshadow

    jimshadow F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Feb 19, 2006
    Full Name:
    On Pg. 55 of Keith Bluemel's 308 book states...

    "The suspension of all models in the series was identical to that of the 308GT4 models.....Where the suspension did differ was in spring rates and shock absorber type and settings, due to the lower weight and different wheelbase of these models." Also stated in the book..." In Mid 1988 for European and late-1988 for US 328's, the suspension geometry was changed to provide anti-dive and zero offset, concurrently to accept the optional-but later standard- ABS braking system."

    So there you have it. Late '88 for the changes. If you look in the archives 300f/250r seems to be what a lot of guys have used for the 308/328 aftermarket springs (do your own searches please...), however for HANS and I in our little GT4's we went from roughly 185lb springs to 300 on all 4 corners and all is great, so I would think that 300/300 would be a good starting point. The nice thing is that the QA-1's are 12way adjustable, so you can compensate a little if your spring is too stiff/soft, plus springs are relatively cheap so if you absolutely hate them, you can swap them out.

    FYI, QA-1 makes a kit that contains the thrust bearings and wrenches. You'll end up with 2 extra wrenches but will save $$ over ordering separately.


  12. spang308

    spang308 Formula Junior

    Jul 17, 2004
    York, PA
    Summit racing sells the shocks for around $139 ea. and has them in stock. I used QA1 springs with good results. Start with 350# front springs and 300# rear springs. I have 350 fr and 250 rear and the rears are too soft. Consider doing poly A arm bushings as well and lube them before install or they will squeak. Also consider 1" front and 7/8" or 3/4" rear adjustable bars. They used to be available thru Saner performance but last I checked their website was down.

    I used this setup on a 84 308 GTB QV with 16" rims, so I'm guessing the set up would work well for an early 328. Good luck and feel free to ask any questions.


    P.S. It's WELL worth the money. You won't believe how much nicer the handling will be.
  13. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    #12 Verell, Jul 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    QA1 Shock & Spring rate selection:

    The 328s with S/N below 76626, and all the 308s Use the same physical size & length Konis. Different 3x8 models had slightly different spring rates & their Konis had different damping & rebound rates as shown in the table image at this post's bottom. The QA1's adjustability more than spans the Koni's range.

    The recommended QA1 shocks for 308/328 applicatons are:

    Front: HAL-DR4855P Single Adjustable 14” max height, Poly bushing
    Rear: HAL-DR5855P Single Adjustable 17” max height, Poly bushing

    If you want dual adjustable, the part numbers are:

    Front: HAL-DDR4855P Dual Adjustable 14” max height, Poly bushing
    Rear: HAL-DDR5855P Dual Adjustable 17” max height, Poly bushing


    In general people seem to find that 25-50 lbs higher on the front gives better handling than the more closely matched stock spring rates. Here’s what people have been reporting using for springs to go with the QA1 (and similar coil over shocks):

    Spring Length
    10" | 12"

    SPRING RATES lbf/in
    250 | 225
    300 | 250

    375 | 325
    400 | 350
    450 | 400


    Here's something I wrote to help people trying to understand the differences between Konis & QA1s:

    If you search the current & old Fchat for "QA1" and "QA-1" you'll find the following, and

    more. The QA1s have several advantages over the OEM Konis:

    1) They permit adjusting ride height.

    2) The QA1 dual adjustables permit indipendantly adjusting rebound & damping. The single
    adjustables offer a broad range of damping/rebound combinations.

    General consensus is that the single adjustables are much easier to get a comfortable
    setting, and their adjustment range is more than adequate for all but the most
    competetive track applications.

    3) While Konis are 'adjustable', The adjustment isn't easy to do. You have to remove the shock from the vehicle,
    then remove the spring from the shock. Then count turns as you rotate one end of the shock relative to the other end.

    4) The QA1s use spring sizes that have become very standard, so are available from many
    vendors other than just QA1. Thus you can choose spring rates & length that let you tune
    your suspension to meet your personal driving needs.

    5) The QA1s and springs for them are lower priced than the KONIS, and this trend is
    likely to continue.

    The only drawbacks to the QA1s are:

    0) The eye thru-hole is 3/4" ID instead of 12mm.

    I offer a QA1 Adapter Bushing Kit that gives a complete solution:

    This thread describes installing the shocks using the bushings:

    1)t the a-arm cross-brace interferes with one side of the upper shock eye on each of the
    2 front shocks. This requires either grinding away enough of the a-arm to provide
    clearance, or purchasing my 'PaperWeights'. The amount of interference seems to vary, as
    about 1 in 10 cars doesn't have the interference, or it's so small that the owner feels
    safe living with it.

    As you'll see when you did the above search, quite a few people have gone ahead & used
    QA1s by grinding away part of the a-arm brace.

    However, this solution was obviously abhorrent to those who don't want to eigher risk
    weakening the a-arm, or just want to avoid modifying their cars.

    A couple of years ago I tried to work with QA1 to get them to come out with a shock eye,
    or custom shock that would resolve the length & a-arm interference issues. (It's in one
    of the fchat threads).

    Then my friend Birdman needed new shocks & asked me to help him. See:

    The Birdman project led to me refining the design & making the well known PaperWeights
    that completely solve the problem w/o requiring modifying the front a-arms:

    3)The front shock length that is commonly used is somewhat shorter than the OEM Konis
    length. The PaperWeights bring the length back to match the Konis.

    4)The rear shocks don't have any mounting issues beyond the 3/4" thru-hole.
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  15. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 20, 2003
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    Everything you need to know is in my QA1/extended shock mount development thread.

    Unfortunately, it's 14 pages long.

    be sure that your 328 is the earlier style shocks that accept the same kind of shocks as 308s. The later ones changed to a different upper mount as Jim implied in this post. This is covered in my thread someplace.

    DO NOT under any circumstances have the Konis rebuilt. Been there, done that.

    Trust me, the QA1 upgrade is a nice improvement to the car.

    You will need Verell's bushing kit as well as the "paper weights." Don't forget to lube the mounts or they will squeek.

    This is what I used:

    QA1 12-250 spring
    QA1 DR5855P shock

    QA1 DR4855P
    QA1 10-300 spring

  16. luckydynes

    luckydynes F1 Rookie
    Project Master

    Jan 25, 2004
    CA and OR
    Full Name:
    pit bull
    #14 luckydynes, Jul 9, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  17. chrmer3

    chrmer3 Formula 3

    May 19, 2006
    Full Name:

    I ordered the bump stops - glad you posted this, I have ordered 250# Eibach's in rear.

    Thanks again!

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