Submitted: Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 15:17
ThreadID: 66371 Views:4026 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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Would like to know if anyone has had both Bistein and koni shocks on a gu wagon apparently having heavier axles are harder to control and still ride well, i am replacing adjustable rancho shocks which were great when new but did not last very many km's at all, so i with draw any praise that i have given in the past and apologize to anyone have miss guided if they were silly enough to listen.

We also tow a ct which adds extra stress to the rear shocks.

Cheers Mattie
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Reply By: Member - William H (WA) - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 17:06

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 17:06
Good afternoon Mattie.
I was about to place an order for the rancho shocks 5000 from Sydney,???? so what was the problem with them, how long did they last.

Cheers for now...William H...Bunbury...WA.
AnswerID: 351523

Follow Up By:- Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 20:25

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 20:25
Hi Will

Unless the 5000's are better than the 9000's then they just will not last, my adjustable s were great compared to the shocks that came with the new car (i did change the springs at the same time) which i had set at 4 out of 9 but after not many km's i was turning them up with not much off road (a trip from Naracoorte to Longreach a few hundred km's on dirt around there and home via Camerons Corner towing the ct) with not much else that i would consider rough going, the vehicle has done 70,000km and have only been fitted for 55,000km and have been wound up to 9 for a while and not working very effectively(2 of them not really at all), and have been told that they are an adjustable Munroe!! i think ( if this is not correct it is a similar cheaper brand), since i have put them on i have been told they are crap shocks but some of these guys did sell other brands but i would have to agree and they are not a cheap shock.

This is my experience maybe other people will disagree as i would have earlier.

Cheers Mattie
FollowupID: 619798

Reply By: Kanga1 - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 18:16

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 18:16
G'day Mattie,
Our GU 111 4.2 TD was a bit wanting when I got it so I had Lovells springs and Koni Heavy Track Shocks fitted giving about 50 mm of lift, and was very happy with the suspension from then on, even on some fairly nasty extended corrugated sections ( ie, from the Wylie Scarp via Israelite Bay through Cape Arid, which was horrendous, to Condingup in 1 day) with no problems, this was a big day with as said before, extended bad corrugations the suspension is still on the car now and has since been through long trips in the Pilbara and June/July last year did 8 weeks in the Kimberley GRR, Munja Track, Mornington etc. We now have a Troopy, which we have nearly finished upgrading for extended outback travel, the shocks are Koni Heavy Track, one thing I noticed on trips is all the Police vehicles I stuck my head under in the bush, also had Koni shocks fitted. Sorry I can't give any info on Bilstein shocks, I have no experience of them.
Happy Trails, Kanga1.
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AnswerID: 351534

Follow Up By:- Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 20:29

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 20:29
Hi Kanga
I have been quoted some Koni shocks so i spose i should check to see if they actually Heavy Tracks does this mean there are other ones that are not as durable?

Cheers Mattie
FollowupID: 619800

Follow Up By: Kanga1 - Monday, Mar 02, 2009 at 19:40

Monday, Mar 02, 2009 at 19:40
Hi Mattie, sorry for delay in replying, I don't know if Koni do a variety of Off road, long travel shocks, they must have a site somewhere on the www. Good luck with your hunt. Kanga1.
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Reply By: Thermoguard Instruments - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 18:48

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 18:48
G'day, Mattie,

Yes, I agree, Rancho are rubbish but both Bilstein and Konis are good dampers.

I bought a set of Rancho 9000x adjustables a few years ago. Our '97 LR Discovery 300Tdi with 180K km on the clock and a semi-permanent load of 300kg's behind the cargo barrier (still not a big total load compared to LC and Patrol wagons) had somewhat sagged original springs. It also had 80K km old Bilsteins and poly-air-equivalent air-springs in the (sad) rear coils.

Well, the Rancho had to be set at 7 out of 9 damping with the vehicle solo to have any effect at all. With our (then) 1600kg caravan in tow, they had to be set at 9 out of 9 to give even something like the equivalent to the (I thought) tired Bilsteins

A few months later I changed the tired original springs to Lovell’s HD springs (brilliant!, tough as nails but still a nice compliant ride). Moved the air springs and the Ranchos with the new springs and it was still marginally damped when towing. As I still had the Bilsteins, I put them back on. What a revelation! While they were struggling with well-sagged original springs + air springs, they were again excellent with decent springs and air-springs.

Now, with 270K+ km in total on board and a new set of air springs (the old ones split after only 6 years and 180K kms!), the Bilsteins are still going well. They may seem a bit under damped when driving over 10 km/h speed bumps but they still seem to 'firm-up' with increasing speed and we are well-controlled with our, now, 2300kg 'van behind or with the vehicle solo.

Can't recommend them enough.


PS: I'm told by 'reliable sources' that de Carbon gas dampers are very good too, especially for the price.

PPS: I also have some Koni manually adjustable oil dampers on my old ex-Army 1977 Land Rover Series III. It doesn't get to try its dampers to the limits much these days but the Konis are also an excellent damper.
AnswerID: 351541

Follow Up By:- Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 20:37

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 20:37
Hi Ian
The Bilsteins and the Koni are about the same price(bilstein $30 cheaper a corner) i have not had Koni and had Bistein a long time ago on a Hilux which seemed alright but not sure if i would have known any different back then.

FollowupID: 619804

Reply By: Wherehegon - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 21:46

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 21:46
Not really answering your question, but I have the 95 series prado and had OME fitted to it, while I find them very good they are a bit too firm for my liking when runnng around town. Now I always said you cant have it both ways,,,,,, well I think I have found out you can, I went for a run in a 95 series TD prado that had bilsteins fitted WOW brilliant, not too hard and held the weight in the rear end brilliantly. Next time this will definately be my choice, you pay more for them but obviously get what you pay for which is quality and brilliant ride. I have always loved OME over the years but not for the prado.........WHG
AnswerID: 351561

Follow Up By: That Troopy Bloke (SA) - Sunday, Mar 01, 2009 at 19:10

Sunday, Mar 01, 2009 at 19:10
Quote - "I went for a run in a 95 series TD prado that had bilsteins fitted WOW brilliant, not too hard and held the weight in the rear end brilliantly."

Are you sure it was the shocks and not the springs that "held the weight in the rear end brilliantly"?

FollowupID: 619939

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Sunday, Mar 01, 2009 at 19:12

Sunday, Mar 01, 2009 at 19:12
Very hard getting the right compromise Whg, took a Jack for a spin with Ironman, way to rough and the thing rattled like mad. The Nullarbor we just brought was the other extreme soft and wallowy.
Puting some maxtrac shocks on the front was a huge improvement, firm but not harsh. Sals already ordered a bullbar and driving lights for it, then she will not let me drive it lol.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 619940

Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 01, 2009 at 07:56

Sunday, Mar 01, 2009 at 07:56
I have Bilstein shocks in the 100 series and am very happy with them. I have a 50mm lift and the Bilsteins have an extended travel to make sure they don't hit the end stops. Have no experience with Koni although when I was shopping around they were the other common recommendation. I was also advised against Rancho.

The 100 series IFS is said to be tough on front shocks and although they get v hot when working hard I have not sensed any fade.

AnswerID: 351597

Reply By: Outbacktourer - Sunday, Mar 01, 2009 at 21:41

Sunday, Mar 01, 2009 at 21:41
After 20 years of off road and racing I will only use Bilstein or Koni. Both are excellent shocks. Bilstein work best on independently suspended corners and Koni best on live axle ends. Also Koni are a twin tube shock which does not require impact protection in off road situations.

On the GU I believe Koni would be the best choice. That is what I have on mine athough I just had to replace one at 90,000K as it was starting to leak. Had done Central Aust, Kimberley, Cape York etc. One thing about Koni on the Patrol, they will not fade. If you have a HD spring wind them up 1 1/2 turns from full soft.


AnswerID: 351776

Reply By:- Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 22:06

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 22:06
Thank you for the replies i have settled for the bilsteins, it was a flip of the coin between them and the koni's.
My advice for what it is worth if you read the first post if you want adjustables then have an in cab controller as you never adjust them until the ride gets bad, the good thing that i have found is that you will not buy a new set of shocks to see if it makes a difference but being able to able to adjust the shocks you realize that it is not that the road is getting worse!!!!! but the shocks deteriorating.

AnswerID: 352231

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