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Old 08-03-2009, 05:59 PM   #1
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Writeup: custom Koni and Ground Control coilover setup assembly

Finally collected all the parts for a koni/ground control custom setup. . . and now that I finished taking the california bar exam, I have some time to mess with it.

There's a billion threads asking about what coilovers are best - from all I've heard from credible posters, this is the best possible setup. Comfort, adjustability, performance, price. The only thing that held me back was having to gather random parts and assemble, but now that I have all the parts and saw how it came together, it really wasn't that hard.

First off, parts checklist and pricing:
Fronts


1. Custom housings - $375/pair
These are custom made by Veilside180sx (Richard) who posts here and on his website NissanRoadRacing.com They can be made for S13/S14 and optional z32 uprights in the rear. I believe he can do different colors.

2. Gland Nuts - (included in Veilside180sx's housings)

These secure the Koni inserts inside of the housing.

3. Koni 8611-1257 Race Insert - $299/each (2 needed)

The heart of the setup - infinitely adjustable (2.5 turns) rebound on top, 12-clicks of compression adjustment on the bottom. Purchased from Shox.com

4. Ground Control coilover sleeves ($399/set including springs)
Height adjustment of about 3 inches IIRC. Come with Eibach springs in any spring rate/height you want. When ordering tell them you have Konis to get the proper internal diameter (ID). They also include top mounts, but I didn't use the fronts. Purchased from Shox.com

5. Eibach springs (included in GCs)
I used 2.5inch internal diameter and 7inch height, with 450 lbs/in front and 350 lbs/in rear spring rates. Roughly 8/6 in kg/mm.

6. Rubber o-rings (included in GCs)
O-rings that go around the coilover housing between the GC sleeves to prevent the sleeves from rotating when using the perch adjustment.

7. Bumpstop (comes with Koni inserts)

8. Flanged sleeve bearing (Mcmaster Part #6659K21) - $1.23/each, 4 needed
Required to center the Koni shaft within the Tein camber plate bearing. Flanged edge also serves as added surface area for the bearing to rest atop the Vorshlag top hat. Info: METRIC SAE 841 BRONZE FLANGED-SLEEVE BEARING, FOR 14 MM SHAFT DIAMETER, 18 MM OD, 14 MM LENGTH

EDIT: Get Mcmaster part # 6658K22 instead. That is a non-flanged sleeve bearing, 14mm ID, 18mm OD, 18mm length.

9. Locking nut (comes with Konis)
Secures the top of the coilover assembly.

10. Vorshlag spring perch - $75/pair from
These go atop the spring and below the Tein camber plate. These spring perches include a sealed bearing. The Tein camber plate has a spherical bearing that allows the coilover to deflect, but it is not designed for rotational forces which occur when the coilover's working. The Vorshlag spring perch can support the weight of the car while allowing the components to rotate safely. Purchased from RRT

11. Tein Pillow Ball front Upper Mounts - $190-200 from anywhere basically

There are a number of camber plates that work, I just went with the tried and true Teins because they're easy to get and others have used them before. The measurements I refer to may differ from camber plate to camber plate, so beware.

Rears:



1. Custom housing
see above

2. Gland nut
see above

3. Koni 8610-1436 Race Insert - $199/each
Single adjustable for rebound only. You can use 8611's in the rear here as well, it's just another couple hundred bucks. Purchased from Shox.com

4. Ground control sleeve
See above

5. Eibach Spring
see above

6. Bumpstop
see above, comes with the Konis. Koni gives you 2 per set of inserts, but you only need 2. Because they are far too tall, I just cut them in half and use half on each corner.

7. Tein Pillowball Rear Upper Mounts- $160-$175
see above

8. Locking nut
Comes with the Konis.

9. Flanged bearing
This is an important piece - it's a small metal flanged bearing INCLUDED in the Vorshlag top hats used in front. Distinguish this from the other brass flanged bearing from McMaster (entry 8 in the fronts). This pieces will be used to space the rear tophat from the Tein upper mount. The internal diameter of this piece is 14mm, which is appropriate for the Koni shaft, but the OD is TOO BIG to fit within the tein upper mount. It therefore cannot function as a centering mechanism the way the brass bearing can.

EDIT: Get Mcmaster part # 6658K22 instead. That is a non-flanged sleeve bearing, 14mm ID, 18mm OD, 18mm length.

10. Brass Flanged Sleeve bearing - $1.23.
I told you to order 4 of these above. This CAN fit inside the tein bearing and center the koni shaft. Purchase from Mcmaster.com

11. Torrington Bearing - $8.37/each
This is a needle and roller bearing. Combined with the housing pieces below, they will serve the same funtion as the Vorshlags, but for cheaper. You can use Vorshlags here if you wanna spring for it. The only difference is these are unsealed but cheaper. Order from Amazon.com HERE. You need 2.

12. Torrington Bearing Housings - $3.67
These will sandwich a Torrington bearing. Amazon listing here. You need 4.


. . .

Second, putting it all together

FRONTS

Step one:


Put Koni 8611 insert into front housing. The bottom of the housing has a hole for the compression adjuster.

Step two:


Wrap a couple of the Ground Control-supplied rubber rings around the housing. These will prevent the sleeve from rotating through simple friction

Step three:


The front Ground control sleeves have this black ring on the inside. I'm not sure what it's for, but it prevents the sleeve from sliding all the way down the housing properly. I just punched it out. Be careful, it only slides out one way.

Step four:


Slip the Ground Control sleeve over the housing.

Step five:




Place the Veilside180sx-supplied gland nut above the housing, make sure its centered properly, and tighten it so the Koni insert is snug inside the housing. You should use threadlocker on this, you do not want it getting lose. I did not use the threadlocker yet because I am just test fitting everything. If i fuck up i want to be able to take it apart.

Step six:



Take half a bumpstop (if you haven't yet, hack 'em in half) and slide it onto the shaft of the Koni insert.

Step seven:



Mount the spring on top of the Ground Control perch.

Step eight:



Put the Vorshlag top mount above the spring. The ID of the vorshlag piece is 14mm, so the Koni shaft goes right through it.

Step nine:







Put one of the flanged brass sleeve bearings inside the Tein spherical bearing. The pictures should show you why you need the bearing. With no brass piece, the rim of the Tein bearing is putting all of the weight on to the metal snout of the Vorshlag piece. With the brass piece, there is more surface area. The brass piece also centers the Koni shaft inside the Tein bearing.

Step ten:




Thread the Koni-supplied nut onto the Koni shaft and tighten it up. This requires threadlocker as well. I believe Koni recommends 33 lbs/ft of torque. I'm not entirely sure what the best way to tighten it is. With a socket over the nut, I think you'd need some way to hold onto the Koni shaft. Def suggested carefully using vice grips to hold the shaft while you tighten the nut.

Here's a pic showing the articulation available:




REARS

Step one:





As before, drop the Koni insert into the housing. Wrap one of the GC-supplied rubber rings around the housing.


Step two:



Slide the ground control sleeve on.

Step three:



Thread the Veilside180sx-supplied gland nut onto the housing. Don't forget threadlocker.

Step four:


Bump stop goes on.

Step five:





Put one of the Torrington bearing housings on.

Step six:



Bearing itself goes next.

Step seven:



Top it off with another housing piece.

Step eight:



Spring

Step nine:



Shit, i forgot to mention it above. . . that silver piece is a top hat supplied by Ground Control. GC gives you four, I only used two since I have vorshlags in front. It has the proper ID for the Koni shaft (14mm)

Step ten:



Important point - put the flanged piece that comes with the VORSHLAG tophats above the ground control top hat. It has the proper ID for the Koni shaft, but as mentioned, it will not go inside the Tein bearing . . .but we don't want it to. This piece serves as a spacer between the GC tophat and the Tein bearing to there is room for the Tein camber plate to deflect.

Step eleven:





Put the Tein top mount on. As you can see in the second pic, the Koni shaft is not properly centered inside the bearing. We can't have that flopping around . . .

Step twelve:





This is where the brass flanged pieces come in handy. Insert it into the Tein bearing, and viola, the Koni shaft is centered.

Step thirteen:



Use the last Koni-nut to hold it all together. Threadlocker here as well.



Hope this explains it. If deemed useful, perhaps it can go into the Premieproject area or FAQ section.

And if i fucked up anything, please let me know asap.


Much love to veilside180sx, McCoy, Def, and anyone else I bugged.

Waiting for Def's z32 upright bearings so I can get all that stuff on my car.

Last edited by OptionZero; 08-10-2009 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:36 PM   #2
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Looks good so far!
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:02 PM   #3
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You're going to want to cut the flange off of the brass spacers you're using inside of the camber plates. That flange will eventually deform from the loads it will see when set up like that. I used a 4.5" cutoff wheel to hack it off, and a file to deburr it when I set mine up.

Also, it kind of sucks that you got the barrel shaped eibachs. With some dealers you have to specify that you want springs with a consistent OD. I'd try to send those back; otherwise you're going to lose more inside wheel/tire clearance than necessary.
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V1A View Post
You're going to want to cut the flange off of the brass spacers you're using inside of the camber plates. That flange will eventually deform from the loads it will see when set up like that. I used a 4.5" cutoff wheel to hack it off, and a file to deburr it when I set mine up.

Also, it kind of sucks that you got the barrel shaped eibachs. With some dealers you have to specify that you want springs with a consistent OD. I'd try to send those back; otherwise you're going to lose more inside wheel/tire clearance than necessary.
Will the brass deforming be that big a deal? The flanged rim is so thin already . . .

I have some non-flanged bearings that are 18mm in length, I can just hack those in half. It'll be easier than cutting off the flanged edge.

I'll give shox.com a call and see if i can trade the springs.

Not too worried about inside clearance, I'm not running any 315's in front yet I think an s14 has sufficient clearance that I'll be ok; kouki fenders are as wide as it gets stock, and i can get a pull if i have to.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:03 PM   #5
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Great writeup. Can't wait for your review after you get some driving time on them.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OptionZero View Post
Will the brass deforming be that big a deal? The flanged rim is so thin already . . .
I'd be worried about it breaking off and leaving a void in the assembly. There would be about 2-3mm of space for the spring, tophat, etc. to bounce around and make a lot of noise and possibly damage something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OptionZero View Post
Not too worried about inside clearance
Wish I could say the same for my s13.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:54 AM   #7
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What's the use of the torrington bearings on the rear? Do they rotate that much?
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:08 AM   #8
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Nice write up
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:13 AM   #9
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What's the use of the torrington bearings on the rear? Do they rotate that much?
It probably doesn't rotate much, but the Torrington eliminates any possibility of binding due to rotation.

I actually used a second set of Vorshlag upper perches in the rear of my S13, partly for this reason, partly for a cleaner upper assembly.

V1A, x2 on wishing there was more room in the front of an S13...
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:10 AM   #10
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your going to like them a lot. its really like being on rails with GC and koni's. one day ill change from the yellow's to the 8611
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:38 AM   #11
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SICK.... What is the total price afterwards?
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:12 AM   #12
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i'll bite

how low do these go.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:53 AM   #13
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you have no idea how much this helps me, I was going to buy off the shelf coilovers and build some of these in the future after I figured out what I was doing, now I can just jump right in. I am assuming they aren't on the car yet? once they are it would be nice to have some feedback on ride quality
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:40 AM   #14
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I have a similar setup on my S13. Ride quality is excellent, despite having pretty stiff springs. Rides better than a JIC-equipped car I've driven, and much better than a K-Sport car. I've got a friend locally who has Stance on his car, but I've yet to drive it to make a comparison.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:48 AM   #15
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what did the total pricing come out to??

and how low do these go compared to something like stance
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:55 AM   #16
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It's about $1500 for all 4 corners (depends where you buy your shocks from). You won't get the "slammed" look though, this is purely for people looking to have more control and quality.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:02 PM   #17
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so height adjustment is only available through drooping?
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:47 PM   #18
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that is correct.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:01 PM   #19
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so fucking bad ass, seriously the best coil over setup you can build period. You can have the shocks valved by koni to your liking and always order up different springs from eibach for the gc's.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silviaguy240 View Post
so height adjustment is only available through drooping?
I believe due to the design of the housings, even putting the spring perch at its highest setting still results in lowering the car an inch or so. That's according to some S13 guys like McCoy. Don't know its effect on the s14.

Veilside180sx said i shouldn't have any problems matching my currrent ride height (car at top of the tire level, maybe a shade below).

Quote:
Originally Posted by slideways2004 View Post
what did the total pricing come out to??

and how low do these go compared to something like stance
Total price? You can shop around for camber plates and maybe get some used ones or a different brand (ebay?).

$1000 for Konis on all 4 corners
$750 for housings
$400 for GC + eibachs
$75 for vorshlag tophats in front
$325 for Teins
$28 for the torrington bearings ($8x2 + $3x4)
random shit like the brass bearings were only a few bucks

$2478 total the way I did it

You can knock off $200 if you go with 8610's in front instead of 8611. Take off another $47 if you skip the vorshlags and use regular torrington bearings in front. Used camber plates would probably halve what I spent on the new Teins, but surprisingly no one had any used ones when i was looking. One of those cases where they're only available when u don't need it.

If somehow you score used GC's u can shave off more.

I'll make a few hundred back selling my old Apexi's, they're still good.

Admittedly if you were in the market for Megans or D2 or whateve these are double the price. . . but these are better than any of the $2000ish JDM coilovers.

I think a year ago or so Koni jacked up their prices quite a bit. I might have seen 8611's for around $200 somewhere before . . . but thats long gone.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ManoNegra View Post
Nice write up
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If I can use your machine shop.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V1A View Post
You're going to want to cut the flange off of the brass spacers you're using inside of the camber plates. That flange will eventually deform from the loads it will see when set up like that. I used a 4.5" cutoff wheel to hack it off, and a file to deburr it when I set mine up.

Also, it kind of sucks that you got the barrel shaped eibachs. With some dealers you have to specify that you want springs with a consistent OD. I'd try to send those back; otherwise you're going to lose more inside wheel/tire clearance than necessary.
Called Shox. They said to call GC. Called GC. They won't exchange my spring, although they did confirm they make 2.5inch ID, 7inch tall, 450 and 350 rate springs with consistent diameter.

GC's explanation is that the barrel shape provides more clearance on spring compression so there is no coilbind (makes sense, i guess).

If I start running into problems with tire clearance, I can always change springs . . . and call Hypercoil

Last edited by OptionZero; 08-04-2009 at 02:12 PM..
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:52 PM   #23
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WOW! great write up. I can't wait to see your review and stance after you install them, because I've been thinking on what to upgrade to, but don't want to drop all the coin at once.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:08 PM   #24
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Awesome write-up. Ground Control is in my backyard (about a 10 minute drive). I went a long time ago and they wanted like $800 with AGX's for my S13. I wish I used that set-up. I wanna try this sometime to compare to my Flex's.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:08 PM   #25
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if you used AGX's instead of Koni's... you'd shave like, what, over a grand off of that
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:10 PM   #26
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You'd save a grand easily. AGX's are stand alone, not inserts . . . no housings needed, and they're like half the price of the Konis themselves.


I wouldn't recommend AGX's though. Mine blew with just RS-R Sus Down springs (like 3 kg/mm all around i think). Didn't even track the car (a few auto-X's and daily driving on highway). A koni yellow in the rear will save alot of money still.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:55 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OptionZero View Post
I believe due to the design of the housings, even putting the spring perch at its highest setting still results in lowering the car an inch or so. That's according to some S13 guys like McCoy. Don't know its effect on the s14.
Here is mine adjusted about 1/4" down from the top of the perch with 6" 550lb springs. I could probably drop the car another 1-2" easily without fear of running out of suspension travel, but due to the hilly area I live in dare not.





Quote:
Originally Posted by OptionZero View Post
GC's explanation is that the barrel shape provides more clearance on spring compression so there is no coilbind (makes sense, i guess).

If I start running into problems with tire clearance, I can always change springs . . . and call Hypercoil
You should be ok, the spring should be above the tire enough that this shouldn't be an issue up front. If it is, that's the beauty of these, ERS springs (or hyperco) can be found almost anywhere.

Here's mine with the current ride height... those are 255 RA-1's on a 17x9.5 +28


Quote:
Originally Posted by BustedS13 View Post
if you used AGX's instead of Koni's... you'd shave like, what, over a grand off of that
I've driven on AGX's and GC's and it's no comparison to driving on Koni 86XX's. They also can't handle the spring rates that the koni's can and you can't lower your car without taking the chance of blowing them due to bottoming out.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:41 PM   #28
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Cool, never knew people did this setup often on their 240's. I have Koni's and GC's on my e30 but it's more for getting low than handling.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:39 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OptionZero View Post
You can use my washing machine.

If I can use your machine shop.
deal!
I'll be needing a washer and drier soon...
the z32 bearings should be done soonish, I'll be expecting a full write up then

Quote:
Originally Posted by chitownguy View Post
Cool, never knew people did this setup often on their 240's. I have Koni's and GC's on my e30 but it's more for getting low than handling.
there are a number but unfortunately they tend to get lost in the JDM-coilover-of-the-month hype.
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:57 AM   #30
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Posts: 1,544
Trader Rating: (45)
Feedback Score: 45 reviews
is this an auto cross set up or drifting ? (I know you can get what ever valve & spring rates you choose)

How are these better than a good low price coilover(i.e. pbm, ect...) ?
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