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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've mentioned in a few places that I'm going to find out if the strut inserts Koni makes for the SHOs will work in the Gen3 cars. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, here is a link to how the conversion is done:

Koni strut install

Here is another link to Koni's general instructions:

Bolt in insert instructions from Koni

The short explanation is that you cut the top off the OEM struts, pull the guts out, and put in new guts from Koni. The stiffness is adjustable from daily driving, to butt-slapping hard.

I took some preliminary measurements off my car and sent them to my contact at Koni (Gordon Benson, an extremely patient and helpful person.) It looked good up to that point so I bought a set of donor struts from The Bob, so I can do this experiment w/o tearing the Sable apart.

Here is one of the donor struts:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've sent some more measurements to Gordon at Koni. He's checking whether the inserts are compatible with the stock mounting points. Meanwhile, I have new mounts, bearings and Eibachs on the way. Hopefully, Gordon will green light the conversion. If not, I can still resort to KYBs as the back-up plan.

Here's hoping :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As information comes and and things progress, I'll keep this updated. Assuming that you also change springs when you do the struts, the parts cost will be about $800 plus alignment parts and labor. That's $550 for the strut inserts plus $250 for the Eibach springs. You'd reuse the mounts, front mount bearings and boots/bumpers from the existing setup. In my case, everything has 113k miles and I hate to take things apart twice, so I'm replacing everything in strut assembly, adding another $250 or so for all four corners.

THe Eibach springs lower, as well as stiffen the car, so it will need to be aligned. The stock alignment range won't be sufficient. On the front I will either drill the welds on the strut tower plate, or put in one of the camber plate kits ($159) from Prosuspension. I had a link to a good picture of moving the stock alignment plate, but lost it when SHO Forum reorganized :D

Prosuspension also has an extended range kit for the rear lower control arms ($59). I'm going to do the conversion to put in the tubular GM (Pontiac GTP, etc) adjustable control arms. The arms were $200 shipped from gmpartsdirect.com. GM part number is 10329694. You need an adapter kit from SHO Nut for $40. That requires either replacing the brake proportion bias valves with plugs, or making an adapter to connect the valve actuator arm to the new lower control arm. Random bits will also be necessary to route the emergency brake cables and ABS sensor wires, which run along the stock control arms.

More pictures and information as I get to it and/or remember it B)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The word is in from Koni. Based on all the data I sent them, things are go :chili:

I'm going to go ahead and order the inserts. The fronts come with adapter ring to boost diameter of the insert outside diameter of 45mm to the 48mm inside diameter of the OEM strut casing. The rears do not comes with those rings, but the gen3 rear strut casings are also 48mm inside diameter. After I see the adapters that come with the fronts I'll either fabricate another set, or order an extra set from Koni ($53 for the pair.)

The inserts are from the Gen2 SHOs 6/92 through 95. The Koni numbers are: 8641.1287 for the fronts and 8641.1323 for the rears. [SHOs through 6/92 used a different size rear.]

I'll update again when the parts arrive :D
 
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Very happy to hear this, Bill. A huge thanks goes out to all the work you put into this project. Everyone in this club, and others I'm sure, will benefit from this.

Please keep us updated on how the conversion goes, I know there are many V8 SHO owners who would be interested in this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The parts are trickling in, I'm still waiting for the springs. The strut inserts came yesterday, giving me more questions to send to Koni :D No adapters came with either set, so I need to recheck with Gordon at Koni that they are supposed to be there, before I start banging on Tire Rack. I test fit the inserts into the gutted struts and they are mightly loose as it is. I'm considering, don't laugh, slathering them with epoxy, or some other thick adhesive, and setting them in that way. It's not load bearing, in any case, I just need something to keep them from starting to bang around. I've heard that issue both on the SHOs and on the GTP guys who've been adapting them.

It's a good thing I'm going to rip the suspension apart again. It's been squeaking like a bunch of maniacal mice ever since I ran it around the track. I may have destroyed another set of front end links. It has a new set of the plastic kind from last summer, so I went ahead and ordered some of the Moog metal ones. They'll go in when I swap the front struts.

I wonder whether I'm going to be able to get at the adjusters for the rears once the rear seat it back in. That's one more mystery.

One early discovery is that the hardware to mount the insert to the bottom of the strut sticks down a bit. I think it will conflict with the modification of cutting off the alignment tab and lowering the strut. I may even need to do the opposite and raise it up a tad.

I'll get some pictures as soon as I decide how to go about stabilizing the inserts in the strut cases. Things will be slowed because I'm in the middle of putting a new clutch in the GF's Civic. Can't get the asshat shift rod off the transaxle. Arrgh!
 

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Keep it up Bill, great to see your hard work is paying off. Like teh Bob said, many people will be interested in this and benefit from it. Thanks for being the guinea pig! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks to everyone for all of the positive comments. Of course, now I have to either succeed or die trying. No pressure, no pressure B)

Concerning the priority numero uno GF clutch parallel project, I got out the pin that holds the shift rod on the transaxle. It took a little advice from a Honda guy (who I met on this forum when he was looking for info on his GF's Taurus.)It's seems that pin is referred to as something that rhymes with "the witch pin" since it is a "witch" to get out. Transliterate that as you feel appropriate :D Now everything is ready to do the actual removal of the transaxle next weekend.

Here's another picture that shows a little car part miscengenation. In the back and front are KYB and Koni parts for the Sable. Strewn about in the middle are clutch parts for the Civic along with Civic driveaxles and other suspension parts that were in the way.

Why are some of the parts sitting on towels, I imagine I hear you ask? The upright freezer in the garage didn't shut properly and we got a little lake of ice water in the garage. With all the semi defrosted food we will be eating Freezer Stew, Freezer Pie, Freezer Shakes, Freezer Goulash, Freezer Chowder and most likely every other version of Freezer Surprise for the next several weeks :rolleyes:
 

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before I start banging on Tire Rack. I test fit the inserts into the gutted struts and they are mightly loose as it is. I'm considering, don't laugh, slathering them with epoxy, or some other thick adhesive, and setting them in that way. It's not load bearing, in any case, I just need something to keep them from starting to bang around. I've heard that issue both on the SHOs and on the GTP guys who've been adapting them.
You might try some foam in a spray can. Don't get the expanding type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You might try some foam in a spray can. Don't get the expanding type.
Good idea, although having thought some more about my adhesive idea, I see a flaw. If an insert goes bad, I'd have to replace the whole thing and gut a new OEM strut. With an adapter ring I could drive the insert back out of the housing, if I needed to.

Speaking of failures, there's an important point from Koni. Gordon at Koni has been very helpful with information, but it has been with the understanding that this is my science project, and Koni does not endorse or condone it. Since this is not a recommended usage, the warranty does not apply.

This is for the GTP's but it shows you how they made the insert fit correctly.
Thanks. That was actually one of the sites that got me thinking that this could work on the post Gen2 Tauri, but I couldn't find the link again when I put this thread together :D Gordon the Koni Guy told me that Koni was aware people were installing them that way (welding and exhaust clamps,) but that he didn't think much of the method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The springs are here. Concerning the adapter rings, it turns out Koni has made two different varieties of inserts for the fronts. The newer ones have a smooth edge on the cap where the piston emerges from the insert. Those come with adapter rings for fitting them into the larger diameter OEM strut casings. An older style has a larger diameter serrated ring. I received this older style. On these, that serrated ring goes down inside the casing to hold the insert in place.

The rears still need the adapter rings. Since I don't have a sample set to work from, I ordered a pair from Koni (about $40 shipped.) Of course, pictures will be provided as things arrive and go into place :D

I checked on where the rear upper mounts attached. As I feared, you can't get at them with the rear seat assembled. This is where the adjuster knobs will be. I'm considering several options here. At first, I will most likely leave the rear seat out while I play around with the stiffness settings.

Of course, I have to get everything installed first. The GF's Civic still lies inert in the driveway, but I sorted out the parts issue and should be able to do the clutch swap on the weekend. I'll probably add some pictures to my Side of Rice thread, for grins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The Civic is almost back together. Here's some more info (for the small number that may care :D ): Side of Rice

There was a bit of a foul-up with my order for adapter rings from Koni. I sorted it out, but it will be a bit longer to get that part. There's nothing else to report right now. If there's a bit of free time I'll work on the front struts while I wait for the adapters for the rears.
 
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