Koni vs Bilstein

Submitted: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 16:25
ThreadID: 23263 Views:29809 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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What’s the difference between Koni and Bilstein shocks? Is one better than the other for off-road use (hilux with winch and bullbar).

Spoke to Bilstein and they say (off course they would) that there shocks are mono tube which is better for off-road use compared to the Koni's, but they did say that theirs and Koni's are the best on the market for offroad use.

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Reply By: Smitty - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 16:48

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 16:48
One major bonus for the Koni's is that they are re-buildable. And personally, I see far more koni shocks than Bilstein out there. I personally have only ever gone with Koni's and can't speak highly enough of them.

Only my oppinion though.
AnswerID: 112614

Follow Up By: viz - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 20:31

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 20:31
Did not know that Konis were rebuildable; Bilsteins definitely are. Heasman's in Sydney will rebuild them, as will make custom shocks...

FollowupID: 368844

Reply By: Member - Stan (VIC) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 16:55

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 16:55
Bilstein front shocks can be adjusted to the weight of the car
i.e. no bull bar/second batteries/winch to bull bar/second battery/
winch and it will still be the same height. I guess it all depends
what the springs you get them with...

I got bilteins with Lovells springs and very happy with the setup...
Drives better the OME Prado suspension on road and
you don't jump and hit your head through the roof while offroad
and going twice as fast compared when I had OME suspension.

Don't have any experience with Koni shocks.

Might be worth to have a chart with GO_OFFROAD from this list.
He done my setup and getting a new Hilux with the similar setup
for the Simpson Trip in July.
AnswerID: 112615

Reply By: Member - Ross P (NSW) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 16:58

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 16:58
After much investigation I went Bilstein over Konis because I'd heard that some of Konis leaked after a short time and the suspension specialist I was talking to claimed that Koni would not replace them under warranty as they claimed it must have been an installation problem.
After about 30,000 kms on the Bilsteins including a trip to the Cape my LHS front has a slight leak and my mechanic thinks that both rears are weeping as well.
Supplier has ordered a replacement front shock under warranty without hesitation and will take a closer look at the rears when the car goes in.
If you're in Sydney talk to Michael at Northshore 4WD for what I think is pretty fair comment.
AnswerID: 112617

Follow Up By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 18:15

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 18:15
I'm looking at Bils for the front of my Jack Ross.... the importer tells me there are two valvings to choose from - lighter for stock vehicles and heavier for extra heavy gadjets on board - do you have any more info on that issue ? - the Jack has a steel bull, second battery but not much else ............
FollowupID: 368821

Follow Up By: Member - Martin- Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 19:16

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 19:16
Hi Banjo

I can only speak from a friends point of view as i own a Patrol that is running Bilstiens and Lovell springs and the ride is fantastic but my friend has a 98 TD Jackaroo and he fitted Bilstiens to the front and the ride is shocking, it is to hard he has since been advised that the best shocks to get for the Jackaroo is an oil shock hope this helps.
FollowupID: 368831

Follow Up By: Nudenut - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 21:31

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 21:31
installation prblem v manufacturers warranty? let the installer sort it out with manufacturer...and enforce it.......aint your problem
FollowupID: 368861

Follow Up By: Member - Ross P (NSW) - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 09:01

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 09:01
Hi Banjo,

Don't know about the valving but for the Paj, at least, the Bilsteins have a circlip arrangement that allows some adjustment of how high the bottom of the front spring sits. I got about 15 mm lift with this arrangement.
I put heavier springs in the back because I tow (220 kg ball weight) but left the OE ones in the front. I've been happy with the combination - ride is a very flat and quite good over corrugations.


Yep, you're right but hey, I didn't want the agrivation.
FollowupID: 368910

Reply By: viz - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 20:37

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 20:37
Got Konis on the front and Bilsteins on the rear of my Rangie. Very good combo - have very little problems with corrugations. Billies on the front are too stiff IMHO... I kept on pulling the ends on the Konis when they were in the back, and went to Billies. This proved to be a very good move. I have tried Gabrielle, Rancher (from memory - some US shockie that needed 2 people to lift up - they were huge)), De Carbons, custom De Carbons, some US multi adjustable valve shockie (can't remember). Biltseins beat all of themby a country mile...

On my Cruiser I am putting custom Bilsteins wiht airbags on the back. Not sure yet what I will do on the front...

AnswerID: 112659

Reply By: Outbacktourer - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 13:37

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 13:37
Hound, What kind of vehicle is it? You can tell by the posts here mostly good experiences with both in certain situations. Different types of suspension design benefit better from certain types of shock set-up. "Normal" Koni and Bilstein are a different design and have different operating charateristics which need to be matched to the vehicle in question. Both brands have more expensive, more adjustbale vesions that can do almost anything, but the mass market shocks from both have definite built in charateristics. For example, most Koni's have more rebound rate than bump and when adjusted change the rebound rate only. They also are a twin tube design that can stand a few stone dents. Bilstein have some funky speed adjustable valving that adjusts depending on bump frequency. Being mono tube they don't like stones. IMHO IFS likes Bilstein. When there is a live axle in the front I use Koni and either will do in the rear, Koni if stones are involved. As said earier, for some applications Bilstein will have a "sport" and "Comfort" shock which have different rates.
AnswerID: 112794

Follow Up By: hound - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 14:01

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 14:01
2005 model single CC hilux td tray. Front has coil over shocks which is almost identical to the current Prado's, rear is still live axle.

Am waiting on Lovell’s coils and leaf springs which I will get in the next few weeks but need to decide on Shocks.

Have rear shocks already from my previous Hilux, which Koni says will be fine on the new model. So all I need is some shocks for the front and want some suggestions on either Koni's or Bilstein shocks for the front with a set the same as Prado.
FollowupID: 368958

Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 16:43

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 16:43
OH. A bit out of my experience since I'm not familiar with what Koni use in the coil-over set-up (it could be the gas charged top adjustable which is different to the run of the mill Koni), someone else may help here. I do know of people who have had good experience with Bilstein in this application though.
FollowupID: 368984

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