What shocks are available for the ST?

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Chassis Upgrades' started by AlanBDahl, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    I'm thinking of upgrading my shocks for autocross. Are there any shocks available? Just the rears would be ok to start but all 4 would be nice. I'm not looking for coil overs unless they can be modified to stock dimensions somehow. Adjustable would be nice but anything stiffer and with more rebound dampening would work.
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  3. moff3tt

    moff3tt Active Member

    Not much apparently, but with most people saying the stock setup is over-sprung. With some good dampers I wonder how the stock setup would feel.
  4. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    Excellent question. In for the group buy, whatever they are, whenever they come out :confused:
    Methane Herder likes this.
  5. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    I'm really surprised that there isn't at least something available from England.
  6. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    What about Koni single or double adjustable race inserts? Has anyone taken our struts and refitted them?

    On a different forum, one of the contenders for g-stock at last year's nationals put in some rather extensive machining and fab work to make the doubles work on his focus st.


    I'm not sure I'm up for that since I don't have a lathe, but I'd go for singles if they went in like they did for this E36 M3 set:

    Or if all it took was a bit more persuasion than that.

    Seems we could probably engineer some Koni's into what we've got. Any thoughts on that idea?
  7. eRic

    eRic Active Member

  8. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    I wrote to the nice folks at Koni and asked if they had race inserts that might work with the FiST's OEM struts, or if they knew of anyone who had already tried to work with the available inserts.

    As for availability of shocks for our car, I didn't even get a "soon". Their response:

    <deleted because I just realized the email had a confidentiality notice at the bottom...>

    I will ask permission to post the response on the forum.

    The jist of the response is that they don't know of anyone who's done it, and the information on available inserts is HERE: http://www.koniracing.com/8611.cfm

    That's an honest answer. So it looks like I'll have to do some engineering work to figure out whether any of the available inserts are workable. Does anyone have a dimensional drawing of the OEM struts?
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  9. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    I'm willing to be a guinea pig for the inserts. I've been putting out feelers to folks that have switched to coilovers so I could get a set of oem struts without cutting up mine. If anybody wants to let go of theirs, please let me know.
  10. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    Cligedy, that's a great idea! I suppose there are oem struts floating around from all those kits being installed.

    Let me know first! ;-)
  11. reddog99

    reddog99 Active Member

    That all looks like a great idea, but I was appalled that the guy didn't even bother to deburr any of the cutting or drilling, and then the lack of torque wrench usage to top it off.... o_O
  12. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

  13. Joshesh

    Joshesh New Member

    Those Koni STR are better than stock suspension according to Sam Strano. The Koni Sports will be the better shock, but it is not currently available. I hope the "inserts" you get are something closer to the sports.

    BTW, I have the Koni STR rears sitting here and ready to install later today. I may buy the fronts if the rears feel any improvement over stock.
    David Heavey and moff3tt like this.
  14. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    Looking forward to your report though I would rather wait for the Sports if there's any chance of them showing up this year.
  15. moff3tt

    moff3tt Active Member

    I look forward to if they're worth it. I think the STRs are all stock springs will need.
  16. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    So I bought a stock FiST strut, made in Spain, where it rains on the plain, so I could measure it and see if it was a good candidate for one of Koni's existing RACE inserts.

    Good news. The 8611-1259 insert should fit, and stay stock.
    Bad news. It will take some doing.

    8611-1259 Race dimensions: 6.02" throw 21.26"extended 15.24"compressed 13.07"body 1.71"diameter

    Here's a picture of the stock strut:

    I was going to throw dimensions on the picture itself but iPhoto sucks, Photoshop Elements sucks, pretty much everything sucks. I miss AutoCAD from my youth. So I'll just describe the dimensions.

    The most critical dimension in keeping this stock is the overall length must remain within 1" of stock.
    Stock overall length (including fins that hang down a bit): 22"
    stock throw: 6.5"
    stock compressed length: 15.5"
    stock body length: 13.5"
    threaded top length: 1"
    exposed rod at full compression: 1"

    So, what's really cool is that it appears that if you gut this thing, and stick the koni in as far as it will (likely) go, it should come just about exactly stock length overall.. that's because the fins hang down a quarter inch, and there's like a quarter inch of slop and welds and thickness at the bottom of the cylinder. I think this is really perfect.


    Now we're going to do what you've seen done in the videos and on other forums... punch a big hole in the bottom, chop off the top, and pull out the guts. You see that after I removed the dust cap, there's a narrower portion at the top of the stock strut. That's gotta go. The Koni's 13.07" body length will come about flush with where the stock strut's body is before removal.

    What I need is a steel extension tube that can be welded to the chop point, and that will extend the stock tube's dimension from the chop point back out about 2", to maybe 1/2" beyond where the koni insert's body will end. Where that is we don't know because we don't know how deep into the stock body it will settle/end up.

    The other end of the steel extension tube needs to be threaded on the inside to accept a gland nut, preferably one from Koni so I don't have to fabricate them. They're probably $20 bucks each. :-(

    I can weld. But I don't have a lathe. Does anyone have any idea where I could have these tubes fabbed up? There is also likely going to be a need for spacers at the top and bottom of the inserts to keep them from swimming in the stock strut's inside diameter.

    There's also the option of welding a cap on that can't be removed except by cutting it off again. But I don't like the idea of welding while the Koni is inside there.

    So if you do the math, though, the stock throw is 1/2" longer than the Koni will be. But I have no idea whether the suspension could ever possibly go that far, or if there are bump stops or some other limiting factor that would make that ok. Please lend your vast experience, people with experience.
    Cligedy likes this.
  17. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    So if you don't want double-adjustables, it looks to me like you could install the single adjustable Koni's and it would work perfectly...no welding or machining required, just like the video at the link I posted earlier.

    single adjustable part number / dimensions (same dimensions as the double-adjustable.. except all you need to do is fasten it from below with a bolt like in the video)
    8610-1437 Race6.02"21.26"15.24"13.07"1.71"

    the only thing I don't know about is the outer diameter of the insert and whether I'd need some kind of ring to take up the slop. I doubt it'll press-fit into the stock tube like it did in the video, unless you're really careful about how much material you remove... Maybe try to hit the sweet spot when you're removing the shoulder - by just removing part of the shoulder. I'd take it slowly. I guess then you risk being unable to remove the stock guts.
  18. scotth560

    scotth560 New Member

    Inserting the Koni's is a task I have taken one other time in my life. (7th Gen Civic EX). I can tell you that I would want to know the thickness of the OE Strut metal for the FiST. If it is anything like what I had to address with my EM, the cons far outweigh the pros. I put them on and after 4 events (two NT's, Dixie and Atlanta, the struts had wallowed out the tops and loosened themselves from the bottom and all the related items that go along with bad struts. Ended up replacing the fronts twice (and re-engineering the Koni instructions and the first attempt at adding more stability to the insert) before I bought the Tokico HTS. As for welding a body with a Koni insert in them, DON'T DO IT (they are EXTREMELY sensitive to any kind of heat!!! Koni will have something soon, I can just feel it. The demand for the product will push them...or someone else will beat them to the punch. I'm as anxious as anyone else.
  19. wash

    wash Active Member

    If I were making my own struts, I would find a seamless tube that is a good fit for the insert, then cut apart the old strut housing and transfer the brackets and spring seat to the new tube. Use a piece of copper bar stock on the inside to prevent warping and jig up the brackets to line them up.

    If you do it right it will fit perfectly and after paint the housing will be hard to distinguish from stock.
  20. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    I like your idea. However...

    You're probably a much more competent and experienced welder than I am. To take your approach would be putting a lot of faith in my welds. My solution, should my welds fail, would only result in a really big rattle, as opposed to a kneeling car.

    What I lack is the interior threading, and a seamless tube doesn't have that without a lathe or a tap.

    And I agree with Scott, I wouldn't weld it in. Talk about difficult to maintain!
  21. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    Thank you so much for relating your experience! Were yours single or double adjustable? Did you use spacer rings at the top and bottom to keep the insert concentric to the strut tube? Was it just that a very little bit of play will only get worse?

    I'm still looking for a list of cars that might have the threads I need. Please let me know what cars I could likely scavenge from.

    Last week I had the opportunity to rummage through a vw/Porsche/Volvo/Audi scrap pile, but all the struts seemed to be crimped, not threaded with inserts. I guess the ones with inserts are unlikely to require total replacement at a garage.

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