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Old 02-28-2008, 05:23 AM   #1
sikwan
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Default Koni Shock Install

Every time we go into a driveway or over a speed bump at an angle, the Sprinter likes to jostle side-to-side. Sometimes it can get bad enough to toss things around that are not tied down. The van rides soft which I don't mind, but the jostling effect is annoying, especially to the passengers when they least expect it.

I've read a lot about replacing the oem shocks with Koni's to alleviate the jostling. Retail prices on a set hover around the $700 and up. The cost was the one thing that kept me from purchasing a set, until now. I got a set for $595 shipped.

Part numbers for the Koni's
87-2638 (all Fronts)
82-2440 (3500 rear)
82-2434 (2500 rear)

I have a 2006 T1N 2500, so I bought two 87-2638's and two 82-2434's from Dustan in this post. I did place an order at Summit Racing for $622.75, but decided to cancel and order from Dustan. My order came in a week earlier than the ETD of the Summit order.

Driver's side view.
1.JPG
Rubber mat is covering the top of shock.

24mm closed-end wrench for nut and 8mm allen wrench needed for the shaft.
2.JPG
I didn't have the 24mm open ended wrench, so I had to use a 15/16 socket and impact wrench to remove.

Two bolts (19mm) towards the front.
3.JPG
It's best to turn the forward side of the wheel out to access these bolts. The sway bar ends get in the way.

Two bolts (19mm) towards the rear.
4.JPG
Lots of room on this side of shock.

OEM hydraulic jack positioned on the recommended jack point on frame.
5.JPG
Wheel removed using impact wrench and 19mm socket.

There's no way you could replace the front shocks without jacking up the front and removing the wheel. The shock does double duty by damping and positioning the hub. I thought I could just turn the wheel, remove the old shock, and replace with the Koni because the vehicle is supported by the front leaf spring. After looking at the design, the hub would just fall out of position. So much for easy work.

I think I wasted a lot of time trying to find the easy way when it finally dawned on me that it was not possible. This is the one time I didn't refer to the service manual before tackling this. Maybe I should've before wasting time.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Koni Shock Install

Remove the ABS sensor line.
5.5.JPG

Since I didn't have the right close-ended wrench (24mm), I used an impact wrench (15/16 socket) to remove the nut.
6.JPG
To prevent the shaft from spinning when removing the nut, an 8mm allen wrench can be used. I didn't need it since I was removing the nut using an impact wrench.

Rubber backed, metal washer.
7.JPG

Four (19mm socket) bolts removed.
8.JPG

Compress the shock to clear the mount in order to remove it.
9.JPG
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Koni Shock Install

Make sure to use something to support the hub before moving the shock.
10.JPG
The hub will fall away from the van and you will risk damaging the brake line.

I eventually replace the jackstand with a hydraulic floor jack. I really needed to adjust the hub up and down to mount the Koni. The jackstand couldn't do that.

Dust boot removed from the oem shock and compared with the Koni.
11.JPG
The oem shock seems to act like a spring/damper (shaft wants to pop back out when I attempt to compress it) while the Koni acts like a damper (shaft stays put at whatever position I compress/extend the shaft to).

8mm Allen wrench was used to turn the shock to max. Shaft needs to be pushed all the way in and then turned clockwise (looking from the shaft end).
12.JPG
You don't really need the 8mm Allen wrench to adjust it. It just makes it easier.

OEM dust boot on the Koni
13.JPG
I used the oem nut to hold the rubber mount while I extended the shaft. You don't have to do this. If the shaft is already extended, you could probably just slip the dust boot on and fish it through the mount.

Since I was the only working on this I had to slip the shaft through the top and rest the bottom on the hub.
14.JPG
This way I could go back into the cab and slip on the nut. Notice that the dust sleeve can be separated from the rubber mount.

The top nut on the shock was just spun on loosely. The bottom four bolts were bolted on snuggly. I mounted the tire and lowered the van. For only the front shocks, tightening the four bolts and the top nut is done with the weight of the vehicle on the shock. I torque the four bolts to 136ft-lbs and used the impact wrench to snug the nut on top. I went on to use an open-end 24mm wrench and an 8mm Allen wrench to tighten it.

You would think replacing some shocks would be easy. It is, but for some reason it was taking me forever on the front driver side (first side to work on). I bolted the bottom of the shock to the hub first and then attempted to mount the top numerous times before I decided to do the top first. I think I wasted an hour trying to do this.

So if you want to have an easier time, attach the top first and then attach the bottom to the hub.

Or heck, just do the bottom first and have fun with it. I'm sure I was doing something wrong.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Koni Shock Install

Driver's side front all done.
15.JPG

Passenger side top mount near the jack with the mounted Koni.
15.5.JPG
The passenger side took me less than 30 minutes to finish believe it or not. After wasting my time on the driver's side, I knew I wasn't going to make the same mistake, afterall, the sun was going down pretty fast.

As you can see by the rear installation, it was already dark. Lucky for me, the rear was much easier. It took me 30 minutes to do both sides. I think I could've finished it in half the time if it wasn't so dark!

21mm bolt and nut (through frame) on top.
16.JPG
And 18mm bolt and nut on bottom.

Again, I adjust the rear shocks to max by compressing the shock and turning the dust cover side clockwise.
17.JPG
I extended the Koni shock to match the eyes on the oem for easy mounting.

Driver's side mounted Koni.
18.JPG

Put the tools away, changed into cleaner clothes, and went for a short drive around the block. My, my, just exiting my driveway, I could feel the difference. The van feels more planted when exiting the driveway and the jostling effect out of my driveway is definitely gone. A left turn to the main drag was more assuring than before. The ride was definitely firmer on the same road, but not harsh. I went through the usual speed bumps at the mall just down the street and the damping effect to the jostling is a definite improvement. I didn't have a chance to take it on the freeway, but I'm so far very happy with the damping that the Koni's are doing.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Koni Shock Install

So, hows the ride, whats the verdict on the jostling?
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Koni Shock Install

Quote:
Originally Posted by AzteK View Post
So, hows the ride, whats the verdict on the jostling?
I have the shocks set to max. The ride is firm, but not harsh. The jostling is definitely gone. It's awesome!

I've only gone through speed bumps and driven into driveways. I haven't taken it on the freeway to see how it rides at speed, but there is a definite difference on the slow turns.

If you can swing the funds, it's definitely worth it.
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Koni Shock Install

Sikwan, Great write-up!

I found it interesting that you went with full firm right out of the box.

I just put Red Koni's on my wifes Golf and they were set at about 50% and are firm but absorb the bumps very well and give a nice ride.

Is the consensus that leaving the shocks at full soft while they wear in just to soft?
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Koni Shock Install

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate View Post
Sikwan, Great write-up!

I found it interesting that you went with full firm right out of the box.

I just put Red Koni's on my wifes Golf and they were set at about 50% and are firm but absorb the bumps very well and give a nice ride.

Is the consensus that leaving the shocks at full soft while they wear in just to soft?


Great Job Seek,


I read in the older post someone mentioning that if you set it full firm out of the box, that the shock looses its stiffness quicker, did you consider that before you adjusted to full firm?

Also, does anyone know what the warranty is on these? Bilstein's are lifetime, but after reading this persons comment on the konis losing some of its effectiveness within a year, I was shocked, to say the least......

Anyone ever get warranty on them?


So basically you turned both front and rear shocks clock wise until the end, and that is the full firm?


Thanks again for the writeup.


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Old 02-28-2008, 03:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Koni Shock Install

Thanks guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate View Post
Is the consensus that leaving the shocks at full soft while they wear in just to soft?
For me, I decided to go firm and then back it off a bit to soften the ride. It feels good, to me, on firm so I won't know until I've spent some time on this setting to see whether I should go soft. It will be a pita to remove the fronts for readjustments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkanuck View Post
So basically you turned both front and rear shocks clock wise until the end, and that is the full firm?
Yes clockwise for a firmer ride.

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Old 02-28-2008, 08:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Koni Shock Install

Don't drive too far before you retorque the strut to hub bolts because the 2003 service manual calls for 136 lbs ft for them. I don't know why there's such a large disparity between MB and Koni, but it appears that MB has been using the same bolts from 02 to 06, so I'd be more likely to go with their torque value.

The torque value for the top nut on the strut is 74 lbs ft.

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