KONI Technical FAQs

Common questions asked of the KONI Tech Line are as follows:

Q: What is the difference between KONI Special (red) and KONI Sport (yellow)?

A: The KONI Special (red) has been engineered to maximize the ride comfort with good handling performance for each vehicle application. The KONI Sport (yellow) typically starts at a higher initial valving baseline to give a sportier feel and work on vehicles with higher performance parts. In some instances, KONI will only offer a Special or Sport valving and not both. Some modern cars come from the factory with higher tech suspension systems and wheel/tire packages so they would move directly into the Sport range; however, they are still valved to give a comfortable ride with very good handling capabilities.

Q: How much stiffer are KONI shocks than factory shocks?

A: This is a difficult question to answer because every KONI application is developed for that specific vehicle to get the best ride and handling characteristics. In general, most factory shocks are under damped for optimized handling so KONI engineers select firmer valvings. Unfortunately, factory shocks are generally chosen for financial reasons rather than performance so lower technology, cheaper shocks are the standard. In some instances, a factory shock may have good characteristics in some parts of the working range but need some help in other parts and there are even a few instances where the KONI engineers found better handling by softening the factory units.

Q: What is the best adjustment setting for my shocks?

A: There is no single best adjustment setting for your KONI shocks because every driver and vehicle has different preferences for comfort, performance, performance modifications and roads to drive on. For most vehicles, we suggest that new KONI's be installed in the full soft position (the standard setting right out of the box) to take advantage of the balance of ride comfort and handling designed by the KONI ride development engineers. If the car has performance upgrades (springs, wheel/tire packages, etc.) or the driver wants the car a bit more aggressive, most people find the optimum setting in the 1/2 to one full turn from full soft range. Over the extended life of the damper or if the driver wants a specific firm handling characteristic, the dampers can be adjusted up higher. Very rarely will a KONI ever need to be adjusted to the full firm setting.

Q: What are the best springs to match my KONI shocks?

A: One of the great advantages of KONI adjustable shocks is that there is no specific spring for matching optimum performance. Instead you can adjust your KONIs to match your springs. Most performance springs have a higher spring rate than the vehicle's original springs. Since the shock controls the motion of the spring, increased spring rates require more rebound damping for control and that is one of the reasons why KONI's are rebound adjustable (and some are double adjustable). Using higher rate springs with OE or soft shocks will very quickly overcome and wear out the shocks. The KONI adjustment range is typically about 100% (twice as firm at the full firm setting as at the full soft setting) to allow for the proper damping of OE springs and high rate performance springs.

Q: How far can I safely lower my car?

A: KONI shocks are designed to fit standard height cars and can work with lowered cars as long as they don't bottom out internally and become damaged. Unlike some shocks, KONI's are not position sensitive so they will work properly anywhere in their stroke range providing they are not bottoming or topping out. Different vehicle suspension designs have different stroke travels but a good rule of thumb is that most vehicles can be lowered acceptably about 1 1/2 inches, beyond that the possibility of bottoming increases rapidly although some longer stroke cars can go lower. Most vehicles are equipped with bump stops to keep the shocks and springs from bottoming out. When lowering a vehicle be sure to reuse your bump stops because they are cheap insurance to avoid bottoming damage. Remember, also, that severely lowered vehicles typically have negative effects on suspension geometry, ride quality and handling, and tire and suspension part wear.

Q: KONI makes some shocks that are not gas shocks. Why?

A: There are basically three types of shock absorber designs: mono-tube high pressure gas, twin-tube low pressure gas, and twin-tube hydraulic (non-gas). Each of these designs has certain ride and performance characteristics that can enhance the performance of a vehicle and KONI is the only company that makes all three designs. KONI ride development engineers evaluate each new vehicle and can decide which shock design would best apply to that vehicle. Some cars respond best to mono-tubes, some like gas pressurized and others don't. Most shock companies utilize only one or two of these styles because it is less expensive for manufacturing but are therefore, limited in design capability and function.

KONI Tech Line: Call 859-586-4100 or email info@KONI-na.com. Technical Questions can be answered 8-5 EST M-F.


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