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I paid $793.21 shipped from suspensiononline which is an online reseller run by paragon products. Product was shipped directly from Koni-NA, and took 8 business days to be at my door. I didn't get a tracking number until business day #8, but at least I got one. heh

Koni FSDs are stamped that say they're MADE IN HOLLAND! Isn't that VEIRD? hehe

I've already installed the Eibach camber kit and will be upgrading my suspension from S-techs/OEM struts which have worn down in about 10k miles of rough freeways. Basically, I push the compress the OEM strut all the way, it sinks with little resistance, and then takes FOREVER to come back out and extend with a terrible sound to them like a "bubbles and oil" sound.

I feel as though the ride has gotten considerably rough/bumpy from my S-techs and was either going to go with coilovers or this Koni/fsd combo. Supposedly the Gallardo has FSDs which is pretty sweet. I also commute 50 miles on the weekends with sometimes kids and nobody seems to really like the ride comfort on my S-techs with worn down shocks.

The prokit drop looks even and OEM. The S-techs have a severe drop in the front. I notice that driving I feel a bit higher on the new setup.

The ride was greatly improved due to it being compared to worn out struts + s-techs. Bumps are excellent, though I'd have to say that the stock suspension is probably more comfortable for certain mid size bumps. The FSDs soak up small bumps really well as well as the dots for median lines on the freeway.

The suspension feels like it can absorb small bumps, but then when there's a huge weight transfer from either a large dip or sweeping curve, there's much less body roll than OEM and definitely less roll than with the S-tech + OEM strut. Basically, if you are driving and hit a long dip, you will first feel a small drop from stage 1 of the shock, but then stage 2 of the shock kicks in and stops the car from moving any further. To describe it, I'd have to say it's soft for minor road imperfections, but stiff for everything else. Compare this to Koni Yellows or an STI suspension and I have to say that an STI will feel more stiff overall. It just won't have the high frequency damping capability the FSDs have.

It actually feels pretty solid how it reduces body roll which adds a lot of confidence. I'd much rather have the feeling of reduced roll from stiffer suspension than just adding a sway bar.

One CON is that since it soaks up a lot of the initial impact of bumps, there's a somewhat isolated feel now compared to what I had before. Before I could pretty much feel every little pebble on the road which was crisp and distinct. Now those pebbles disappear and I feel a little like I'm floating, except without the body roll associated with a "floating" ride quality. My 89 Buick Electra comes to mind... The ride was super smooth, but the car felt like a boat.

The suspension got quieter, perhaps due to the slight change in suspension alignment. I did not notice my camber to be visibly out of whack, but I'm due for a four wheel alignment in like a month in case the springs sag slightly.

One problem I have with the FSDs is actually the craftsmanship. It appears that when I compared the two front shocks, one of the brackets was a little less than 1/8" lower on the right side, than should be. The result was a slightly different mounting position in the spindle which probably doesn't affect the ride, but it bothered me nonetheless. I suppose I could show pictures and bring this up directly with Koni and explain it to them that the shocks don't fit the same left/right, but it's a lot of work taking them out and I don't think it'll be worth the trouble since it's probably moot. This leads me to believe that the brackets are welded by hand and imperfections are highly possible.

During Install, I used quarters and put the bolt in backwards to separate the "C" clamp to free the spindle. This left me with only 10 moderate hits or so to loosen it.

I didn't like aligning the rear arms with the wheel housing though. That was probably the hardest part for me. I had a wide variety of snap-on tools and tightening the nut on the rear koni struts may require a unique deep reaching open ended socket wrench. You also need a special socket or some type of locking pliers to hold the threaded shock in place while you torque the nuts down.

The spring compressing is by far the best part if you have a good spring compressor. :)



Take note, that to remove the rear struts, you just remove the two bolts from inside the wheel well, and the lower strut bolt. A breaker bar definitely comes in handy. I used a powered driver to help remove certain bolts quickly.

I calculated the installation of Springs and Struts to take 6 hours at most. I started at midnight, and finished cleaning up by 6am.

Update 2-27-07

After 2 months of daily driving and about 2000+ miles. The Shocks have broken in, and the springs have settled.

I must say that the suspension is noticeably more rough than before, but it still absorbs bumps effectively. I just notice that I feel the bumps a lot more than I did before.

I'd have to say that the OEM suspension has a more comfortable "floating" ride quality than my broken in FSD/Prokits.

So this mod should be for somebody that wants a suspension upgrade to improve handling, but not necessarily comfort.

I do however think that the ride quality is not as rough as most other shock options. For the most part, it feels good.

I'll keep this thread updated if I notice any furthur changes in the suspension behavior.

Update 8-6-07

Sadly, after approximately 15,000 miles of 70% freeway and 30% highway. My FSDs are now considerably more rough and bouncy than before. Bumps that were not too bad have gotten more harsh, and the shocks don't soak up the small bumps as well. It is beginning to feel similar to my S-techs on worn OEM shocks... it sucks.

I was honestly hopping to reach about 50,000 miles until it got this bad, and i'm a bit disappointed that I only got 15,000 miles. Though I guess it was because of the lowering springs, rough freeways, and aggressive driving.

So DO NOT buy the combo unless you want a rough ride in about 15,000 miles. I'd suggest FSDs plus OEM springs now. Or just to avoid FSDs all together. They were awsome up until 10,000 miles, then I think at the 14,000 mile mark I began to notice the bumps getting worse and worse.

The car still handles great and is firm, it's just got rough and gets annoying for daily driving.

Update 9-27-07

I tried to contact Koni, but their email contact for north america no longer exists. I decided to give up and accept my more "bumpy" ride. heh

On a good note, the ride has not noticeable got any more worse in the month and a half from my last complaint. So I'm grateful that the low frequency damping is still good and firm. The ride is still more harsh than when it was new, and I have no confidence going over speed bumps and cross gutters. However, I drove in an STI, and also a regular WRX, and the suspension just feels more firm. I think I have a marginal degree of bounce and I notice it when I hit a sharp bump at high speeds. It's like a resonating short bounce. I do think that I have less body roll than the WRX, but the feeling of the road seems to be a little "disconnected" now with my FSD/Prokit setup. It's a little difficult to explain, I just know that the feedback from the STI suspension is 100% superior. I like it how I can feel the sharpness of the bumps in the STI, while in my car it feels like the tire deflects off the bump and bobbles up and down a bit there-after.

This may 100% be the Kumho KH11 tires, but when I'm taking a high speed turn, the car feels more squirrely and jittery. It does not feel planted and smooth... This is one concern I have and I can't really make a statement on what exactly is to blame.

I would need to try Koni Yellows and then maybe OEM shocks on my car to really know what my FSDs are doing to my ride.

Update 5-15-08

FSD's are CRAPPED OUT. My ride quality has gone down the hole. it's been 8 months since my last update and now for sure my shocks feel like they're worn out. Even my friend who has a stock 06 WRX tells me my suspension feels gone. I take a turn fast, the car leans more than it used to. I hit a medium sized pothole or dip and my car SLAMS into it and it feels like somebody just hit my car with a sledge hammer. (No damping whatsoever) Even smaller bumps and uneven slats hit my car hard that it shakes the whole cabin. I no longer have confidence in my cornering abilities I think my tires are the only thing giving me grip in turns. heh

The car goes over a small dip and I can feel the shocks hit the bumpstops. I find that the car hits the bump stops WAY more than before, now that I think about, I don't recall ever feeling that "bump stop" collision when my shocks were new. When my passengers start making comments when I go over train tracks or uneven slats is the time I know my suspension is worn.

I firmly do not suggest the FSD to anyone unless they are getting it as a short term investment and don't plan on having their car longer than 25k miles... Cause that's how long it'll take for your shocks to die.

I am now shopping for new shocks and my FSDs will go into the trash because I wouldn't resell them for $10. What a dissapointment...
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit

I would love pics and what not. I am a member of the prokit family, and I am looking to upgrade to Koni's sometime down the road.

and a review of course....after time of course.
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit

Good choice. I think you made right choice with this combo since you commute many miles. It's good that you are getting FSD, because you want to match stiffness of the springs with proper dampers. I have Racing Beat springs on stock shocks, and supposedly RB has lowest spring rate of the aftermarket bunch, yet I still feel stock dampers are inadequate. My ride has become rough and bumpy just like your S-tech on stock shocks. I did put close to 40k miles on stock shocks before putting on the springs though.

Please post your comments and pics. I might get FSDs to make ride more comfortable later, or even go back to stock springs + FSDs.
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit

I also have a set going in on Tuesday here in Melbourne, Australia.
I'll be sure to report in!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

I got them installed and updated my first post. More review soon too come when I have the chance to push the car.
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

Great review. Yes, please push the car and let us know. ;) I have racing beat springs with stock dampers that had 40k miles on them... and ride is stiff. It seems that according to advertised spring rate and drop, Racing Beat springs are in between OEM and Eibach springs, so they should work great with FSDs, if that's the case. Not that I need new shocks, but I can sure use some good ones, especially spring time coming.
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

I think I posted a review in another thread, but here's the feedback I mentioned I would give.

Install process - should be pretty clear what's going on:

















Handling review:
The car sits about 1.2" lower than stock.
It doesn't 'sink' into its travel and hit the bump stops as before, when I had a 2" drop. It 'floats' now (NOT like the Buick mentioned above!!), so you get some proper suspension handling road imperfections, where before it kinda thumped when you hit undulations.
Although the damping was pretty well matched to the lower springs, you can now feel the dampers controlling the wheel movement so much better. No snappy rebound on high-speed hits, and a real smoothing out of road surfaces, all while providing good feedback through the wheel. The car sits much more level and you finally feel you have suspension controlling wheel movement and not just pushing all the forces into the chassis.
Pretty much all the harshness is gone, and there is about 90% less body roll in cornering and much, much less pitching (almost nothing!) under brakes or acceleration (I also have front & rear sway bars and a strut brace).
Control. That's the feeling.
I could recommend the dampers alone, as they're making a massive difference, but the Eibach's rising rate really helps too.
So, really, FSD damping is definitely worth every cent.
I'm expecting the springs to settle and the dampers to loosen up a bit (giving even better control) with more miles on them.
Anyone doing this upgrade will notice an immediate improvement in handling with the benefits of lowering (lower CofG, flatter cornering, etc - oh, and better looks!) without the ride becoming overly harsh.
Recommended!

BTW, I had a pro shop install the setup and align all 4 wheels. Took them about 3 hours.
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

Hmm... I definitely need these dampers. Question is, whether I get the eibach+FSD package or, just the dampers.

So you haven't hit a bump stop with this? That's what I am worried about lower drop of Eibach (1.2 in) compared to Racing Beat (0.5in). Thanks for reviews.

Edit*
[quote author=JezMaz link=topic=66402.msg1169277#msg1169277 date=1169767336]
It doesn't 'sink' into its travel and hit the bump stops as before, when I had a 2" drop.
[/quote]

Can't read... that answers the question. Well, if you ever bottom out, let us know. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

My bad, perhaps I didn't phrase myself correctly, but what I said above was that the ride "floats" above small high frequency bumps LIKE my buick EXCEPT without the body roll associated with it. I'm not saying my car handles like a buick. :)

I see your shop did the exact same thing I did to my front struts. The accordian dust protector only attaches to the top of the FSD, and not the bottom, so we left it hanging.

I've gotten a chance to push my car quite a bit.

The dive is reduced from my setup before, and the rebound definitely doesn't bob the car back up when making a sharp turn. My car still understeers of course when pushed too far, though now I feel my RSA-s need to be replaced with something that has more grip.

I also think a rear sway bar is in order because although the FSDs offer reduced body roll/dive/squat, there's still movement. :)

The ride now feels stiffer than stock, I'm fairly certain now, and I think the ride is slightly more bumpy compared to stock. The Prokits don't feel as harsh as the S-techs, that's for sure. I'm enjoying the ride, and I've only had one minor front scuff plate bottom out on a steep driveway.

Had I wanted to keep a firm road feeling with lots of feedback, i probably should have chosen Koni Yellows, but instead I wanted something a little more comfortable than yellows, yet handle better than stock. That's pretty much where the FSDs fit in.

I read the tire rack reviews, and supposedly their test car barely took a faster lap time with FSDs than Koni Yellows set to softest. This sort of confused me... I think the FSDs probably provide BETTER traction on uneven pavement, yet with the resistance to excess compression/rebound that OEM struts have which is why it came out on top.

I'd say get the Yellows if you want a sporty ride. Get the FSDs if you want sporty with some added comfort.
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

well the FSD's are on my list, after i put on the camber links and get new tires. its nice to finally read a review of them, it makes me feel more confident in making a decision.
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

[quote author=HouRman link=topic=66402.msg1169331#msg1169331 date=1169769646]
My bad, perhaps I didn't phrase myself correctly, but what I said above was that the ride "floats" above small high frequency bumps LIKE my buick EXCEPT without the body roll associated with it. I'm not saying my car handles like a buick. :)

I see your shop did the exact same thing I did to my front struts. The accordian dust protector only attaches to the top of the FSD, and not the bottom, so we left it hanging.

I've gotten a chance to push my car quite a bit.

The dive is reduced from my setup before, and the rebound definitely doesn't bob the car back up when making a sharp turn. My car still understeers of course when pushed too far, though now I feel my RSA-s need to be replaced with something that has more grip.

I also think a rear sway bar is in order because although the FSDs offer reduced body roll/dive/squat, there's still movement. :)

The ride now feels stiffer than stock, I'm fairly certain now, and I think the ride is slightly more bumpy compared to stock. The Prokits don't feel as harsh as the S-techs, that's for sure. I'm enjoying the ride, and I've only had one minor front scuff plate bottom out on a steep driveway.

Had I wanted to keep a firm road feeling with lots of feedback, i probably should have chosen Koni Yellows, but instead I wanted something a little more comfortable than yellows, yet handle better than stock. That's pretty much where the FSDs fit in.

I read the tire rack reviews, and supposedly their test car barely took a faster lap time with FSDs than Koni Yellows set to softest. This sort of confused me... I think the FSDs probably provide BETTER traction on uneven pavement, yet with the resistance to excess compression/rebound that OEM struts have which is why it came out on top.

I'd say get the Yellows if you want a sporty ride. Get the FSDs if you want sporty with some added comfort.
[/quote]

LOL! Yeah, what I meant about 'Buick floaty' was just that! It sucks up bumps without body roll - but it's not what you'd call a soft ride!
Pedders (local Aussie chain of suspension pro-shops and race suppliers) did the fitting, and decided there was benefit in retaining the front boots, even though they don't attach. It doesn't interfere with action of the damper, but keeps unnecessary crap off the shafts anyway.
The big difference between FSDs and Yellows are the intended use. Yellows really are designed for track conditions, i.e. not the massive range of damping requirements you need on the world's roads. They can be set up perfectly for a given circuit to match spring rates.
The FSDs, however, include circuitry (hydraulic damping circuits, not electronic!!!) to cover much more variety of terrain. They're unadjustable, but don't need to be because the internals are far more complex and you don't have only one or two circuits like in the yellows. The valaving is designed to react differently to differing velocities and therein lies its amazing ability to cope with the massive differences in road surface found out in the real world.
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

great write up both of you, thanx

so has anyone been able to confirm if the springs from this FSD kit is the exact same ones as purcahsed separately?
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

Great write-ups indeed...good stuff.

Is it safe to assume that the FSD's will work with mazdaspeed springs?
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

These FSD units are interesting. Has anyone tried the FSD shocks with the OEM springs? Would sure like to compare them to the Bilstein HDs (if they are available for the MZ3)


[quote author=HouRman link=topic=66402.msg1169331#msg1169331 date=1169769646]
My bad, perhaps I didn't phrase myself correctly, but what I said above was that the ride "floats" above small high frequency bumps LIKE my buick EXCEPT without the body roll associated with it. I'm not saying my car handles like a buick. :)

I see your shop did the exact same thing I did to my front struts. The accordian dust protector only attaches to the top of the FSD, and not the bottom, so we left it hanging.

I've gotten a chance to push my car quite a bit.

The dive is reduced from my setup before, and the rebound definitely doesn't bob the car back up when making a sharp turn. My car still understeers of course when pushed too far, though now I feel my RSA-s need to be replaced with something that has more grip.

I also think a rear sway bar is in order because although the FSDs offer reduced body roll/dive/squat, there's still movement. :)

The ride now feels stiffer than stock, I'm fairly certain now, and I think the ride is slightly more bumpy compared to stock. The Prokits don't feel as harsh as the S-techs, that's for sure. I'm enjoying the ride, and I've only had one minor front scuff plate bottom out on a steep driveway.

Had I wanted to keep a firm road feeling with lots of feedback, i probably should have chosen Koni Yellows, but instead I wanted something a little more comfortable than yellows, yet handle better than stock. That's pretty much where the FSDs fit in.

I read the tire rack reviews, and supposedly their test car barely took a faster lap time with FSDs than Koni Yellows set to softest. This sort of confused me... I think the FSDs probably provide BETTER traction on uneven pavement, yet with the resistance to excess compression/rebound that OEM struts have which is why it came out on top.

I'd say get the Yellows if you want a sporty ride. Get the FSDs if you want sporty with some added comfort.
[/quote]
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

I've read reviews of FSD + OEM.

Imagine a suspension that's slightly more firm than OEM, yet it feels very similar. At the same time, there's less body roll and it actually absorbs potholes/rough surfaces better than OEM.

With Pro-kits, it just makes the ride a little more bumpy than the OEMs, but for the most part, it's not too noticeable. I'd have to say the bigger bumps are more noticeable with prokits and the ride is identical to that of OEM springs on smoother surfaces.

I just drove in a brand new 2006 Shinka RX-8... WOW, my Mazda3 is tons more comfortable with reduced road noise. haha

Too bad I can't handle like that RX-8... the shinka rims are wrapped in potenza RE070s.

Oh, and with FSDs, the bumps are quieter than before.
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

That's good to know. I noticed the FSDs are only sold in sets of 4. What happens down the road if one only needs a partial replacement, like replacing only the rears? Another concern I have is the durability of Konis. I had a bad experience with a set of Koni Reds once. There were finished after less than
10k miles. I have had a much better experience with Bilsteins. They work well and seem to last forever. I can't understand why Bilstein do not make a set of rears for the MZ3, considering the huge number of these cars on the road.



[quote author=HouRman link=topic=66402.msg1187706#msg1187706 date=1170696116]
I've read reviews of FSD + OEM.

Imagine a suspension that's slightly more firm than OEM, yet it feels very similar. At the same time, there's less body roll and it actually absorbs potholes/rough surfaces better than OEM.

With Pro-kits, it just makes the ride a little more bumpy than the OEMs, but for the most part, it's not too noticeable. I'd have to say the bigger bumps are more noticeable with prokits and the ride is identical to that of OEM springs on smoother surfaces.

I just drove in a brand new 2006 Shinka RX-8... WOW, my Mazda3 is tons more comfortable with reduced road noise. haha

Too bad I can't handle like that RX-8... the shinka rims are wrapped in potenza RE070s.

Oh, and with FSDs, the bumps are quieter than before.
[/quote]
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

Interesting you only got 10K out of Reds. Did you have too low of a drop because that makes a big difference.

The majority of Mazda3s on this forum either have Koni Yellows, FSDs, Mazdaspeed Struts, or Coilovers.

Since FSDs are relatively new and are more for every day drivers, I'd imagine they will be pretty durable for normal road conditions. I would think that Yellows wouldn't last as long as FSDs on rough roads, since the FSDs are designed to take the small bumps. I could be wrong though and the yellows could be more durable...

I bet there'd be a lot of Bilstein and Tokiko strut buyers had there been availability. :(

Personally, I'd probably have gotten the Tokiko Coilovers.

Didn't really want the Tein ones, and the other available coilover options are rather expensive. Actually I tried to buy some used Tein Basics for $500 local pickup, but was too slow.
 

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Re: Koni FSD and Eibach Pro-kit Review

The Koni Reds I used were installed at the rear of an 82 Mustang GT using stock springs. I was never comfortable with them. At the softest setting, the damping was very weak, the rear end bouncing over bumps - basically no better then the old stock shocks I replaced. And at the hardest setting it was so stiff that when going over a series of bumps, the rear rebounded so slowly after the 1st bump that there was little suspension travel to handle the next bump. After about 6 months of driving or so, the shocks wore down to the point where the back end was floating even at the stiffest setting. Maybe I got a set of duds, I don't know. On the other hand, I have used a set of Bilstein HDs with my Explorer and after 12 years, they were still working very well.

As my MZ is a daily driver, I am not interested in lowering the suspension (I already have done that with my other car), so it looks like I may just give the FSDs a try (in the absence of Bilsteins).


[quote author=HouRman link=topic=66402.msg1188042#msg1188042 date=1170708117]
Interesting you only got 10K out of Reds. Did you have too low of a drop because that makes a big difference.

The majority of Mazda3s on this forum either have Koni Yellows, FSDs, Mazdaspeed Struts, or Coilovers.

Since FSDs are relatively new and are more for every day drivers, I'd imagine they will be pretty durable for normal road conditions. I would think that Yellows wouldn't last as long as FSDs on rough roads, since the FSDs are designed to take the small bumps. I could be wrong though and the yellows could be more durable...

I bet there'd be a lot of Bilstein and Tokiko strut buyers had there been availability. :(

Personally, I'd probably have gotten the Tokiko Coilovers.

Didn't really want the Tein ones, and the other available coilover options are rather expensive. Actually I tried to buy some used Tein Basics for $500 local pickup, but was too slow.
[/quote]
 
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