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(Post Link) post #1 of 38 Old 18-02-12 Thread Starter
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Koni Sports vs Bilstein B6/ B12

Yes I know this has been discussed before, but just wanted to bring the debate up to date as struggling to find much definitive information.

My Spider handles like crap - one of the worst handling cars I have ever owned. This has to change.

I have been offered Koni Sports plus Eibach springs fitted at a good price.

I also have an even better price on a Bilstein B12 kit fitted, which is Bilstein B6 shocks and Eibach springs.

Internet research is confusing. Some people seem to reckon the Bilsteins are good without compromising ride quality too much, whilst others say that the Bilsteins are too hard and that Koni Sports are a more comfortable set up, that still have a big impact on handling.

Does anyone have any experience with these two set ups?

The majority of my daily driving is commuting through traffic or on the motorway to see clients, so I want a set up that improves the handling without making the drive rock hard for my day to day driving...

Luck is the residue of opportunity and design...
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Hi James,
I've been trying to find out whether the B12 pro kit uses B6 or B8 dampers, maybe you could just about use either damper with the pro kit? I don't know, I know they say B6 for up to 30mm drop and B8 for 30-40mm drop. It would be nice to know which one Bilstein actually end up speccing though as they obviously think that's the best compromise.
I met a Director of Pro drive last year and spoke to him about The Brera S they helped develop, he spoke highly of Bilstein and since then I've kind of been brainwashed.

So where did you find out that the B12 uses B6 dampers? Are you just assuming (common sense) that the pro kit springs supposedly lower 30mm (for V6 GTA, according to their catalogue (I always thought it was 20-25mm)) so go for B6 and for the Sportline springs use B8.

What the bl***y hell am I rambling on about, I just want to know whether the B12 uses B6 or B8!

Cheers
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A friend recently queried the b12 kit. He was told that there are two b12 kits available,prokit and sportline i think. The prokit b12 uses the b6 dampers and the sportline b8 and they both use Eibach springs.

My brother has the bilstein b6 on his motor with eibach springs and the ride is rock hard. I would choose the koni sport over the bilstein for comfort.

EDIT: Forgot to mention koni sport is what i have fitted.
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Bilstein uses B8 dampers in the B12 kit combined with eibachs. But you could use B6 as well. B6 an B8 is exactly the same damper with exactly the same characteristics, just B8 has shorter piston rod and thats why it is used only for lowering above 30mm. B6 work from standard ride height up to 30mm lowering. In the past I contated Bilstein about this and they told me I can use both with -30mm springs. In the B12 kit they include B8.

I have the B8 on my Twin Spark. I used them with H&R springs in the past and now I have Eibachs so the B12 kit, I just bought the parts separately
Its definitely not too firm, neither my mother or girlfriend complain. On the other hand, my father complains, so its individual. Of course its sporty firm, but well damped. If you want to lower the car, go for it. However, to anybody that doesnt insist on lowering for looks I would recommend to go for B6 and keep the OEM springs and ride height. Probably best option for a daily driven alfa on bad roads.

This month I will be removing my B12 kit and putting original suspension on it. Twinspark is now used by my father as well and I have GTA as a toy. So for him I am swapping 17" wheels for 16" and puting back OEM suspension.

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However, to anybody that doesnt insist on lowering for looks I would recommend to go for B6 and keep the OEM springs and ride height. Probably best option for a daily driven alfa on bad roads.
I agree, I have H&R springs with the B8. And it handles superbly, however, if you on a slightly bumper road its going to kill you.

Keep OEM springs and ride height, trust me, you going to wish you had
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I had Koni sport + Novitec springs before on my GTV, and I've changed this combo for Bilstein B6 + eibach springs.

I can say that Bilstein are REALLY more confortable, without a doubt !
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Firstly, thanks for the replies fellas.

The Bilstein kit I have been offered is the Pro Kit so according to the above must come with the B6 shocks. Thanks for clearing that up Alid.

Firstly I think in terms of a drop - I hadn't thought of going with just better shocks and keeping standard ride height. Would this still yield a markedly better handling profile? I thought the majority of the gain was from the lower, stiffer springs and that uprated shocks were more about adjusting the damping to compensate for the lower ride height.

I am looking to sharpen up the turn in and most of all reduce the way the car rolls and sways around.

Unfortunately I seem to have developed an unhealthy obsession with 'arch gap' - I can't look at any car without scanning the wheel arches to see if it sits right. The Spider would definitely benefit from coming down by 20mm to 30mm visually (particularly when finished off with some spacers to bring the wheels out a little more.)

So from what I can gather, the bilstein set up will be quite a lot firmer than standard, but is more forgiving than some of the other options?
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struggling to find much definitive information.
..
So James, you're sorted now eh?
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I am looking to sharpen up the turn in
I fitted a upper front strut brace to my old 156 Veloce, it very noticeably tightened up the turn in. I have not fitted one to the GTV as I find the steering very precise without it.
Most spider owners praise the fitting a strut brace, there have been quite a few posts about it on the 916 forum. Plus it is a cheap mod and easy to fit.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Junior View Post
Firstly I think in terms of a drop - I hadn't thought of going with just better shocks and keeping standard ride height. Would this still yield a markedly better handling profile? I thought the majority of the gain was from the lower, stiffer springs and that uprated shocks were more about adjusting the damping to compensate for the lower ride height.
Simply said, springs define how much will the car rolls, dives or lifts and dampers define how fast will it do so.

I personally think that for a less than perfect road driven car and daily use its more pleasant to have softer springs and stiffer dampers. For my taste its not a huge problem if the car rolls more in the corner if its done in a controlled way and the chassis doesn't start to rock/swing with fast direction changes and the dampers are capable of controlling it.
I think you will be happy with the ride on eibachs and B6/B8 but if you could live without lowering and use just the B6 you would be happier
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Thanks Gotcha. That is useful.

I think Sensing is right - it makes sense to put the strut brace on first as it is cheap and a five minute fit and see how that effects the handling first, then look at suspension.

Happily a few good things happened yesterday that means the mod fund is now looking healthy, so shouldn't be a stretch to do both.

The only trouble is, having been driving a 156 V6 for nearly a week I am now lusting over a smooth 6 cylinder petrol and Z4 Coupés are coming right down in price I notice. Oh dear...
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I am looking to sharpen up the turn in
You can add more toe out to get better turn in
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Lower and upper strut brace at front (if someone does them)... This will sharpen turn in and handling no end.
 
(Post Link) post #14 of 38 Old 21-02-12 Thread Starter
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Thanks fellas.

Upper strut brace was ordered earlier today actually. Naturally I will report back once fitted with a write up.

Cannot find a lower strut brace for the Brera/ Spider unfortunately. Anyone know of one? This would be good to have, as apparently it is more effective versus the upper strut brace.
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speak to jbsmith - if anyone modified a brera it's him.

i personaly don't think a strut brace will improve anything noticable on the 159 Cassis cars (Brera, Spider, 159)....
... they are heavy cause they already are rigid - the 147, 156 & GT on the other hand.....
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Aren't the koni sport dampers adjustable? So as firm as you decide you want..
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I'm in the same boat with Brera but I have decided to just fit the eibach lowering springs and keep oem dampeners. Should be a good compromise and won't break the bank....
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I'm in the same boat with Brera but I have decided to just fit the eibach lowering springs and keep oem dampeners. Should be a good compromise and won't break the bank....
I would do it the other way round, the oem dampers will struggle to control the stiffer springs and it cold be very bouncy. I put Bilstein dampers and standard springs on my GTV6 and it worked very well with better handing, no bounce/wallow and the ride was barely any worse.
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I would do it the other way round, the oem dampers will struggle to control the stiffer springs and it cold be very bouncy. I put Bilstein dampers and standard springs on my GTV6 and it worked very well with better handing, no bounce/wallow and the ride was barely any worse.
I think the set up would be fine as the Eibachs are about the same stiffness as the springs on the 159Ti, which uses the same dampers as the Lusso 159 to decent effect.
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I think the set up would be fine as the Eibachs are about the same stiffness as the springs on the 159Ti, which uses the same dampers as the Lusso 159 to decent effect.
This was my thinking. Just slightly better compression over the oem's on the 2.4 brera with a nicely (but not too much) lowered ride height.
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Also the major issue with Brera/159 handling is nose dive under breaking which hopefully should be resolved by the eibachs....
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Also the major issue with Brera/159 handling is nose dive under breaking which hopefully should be resolved by the eibachs....
I am not trying to be awkward, it is your car and your money so you can do what you like but I cannot understand how fitting lower springs of the same stiffness will help much and surely they would result in the car hitting the bump-stops more regularly.
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I am not trying to be awkward, it is your car and your money so you can do what you like but I cannot understand how fitting lower springs of the same stiffness will help much and surely they would result in the car hitting the bump-stops more regularly.

I must admit I drove Mikey's old 2.4 Spider a few years back that had lowered springs fitted with standard shocks and it was pretty composed - not too hard from what I recall. I was also a passenger for a round trip of around 100 miles so had plenty of seat time and it wasn't bad at all from what I remember.

Not sure lowered springs with standard shocks would bea good idea long term though as it suposedly reduces the life of your shocks if they are not designed to work with shorter springs.

Very interesting what is said about the Ti however... My old 1.9 Ti had incredible handling - so smooth and controlled in the bends. Amazing really considering it rode on 19s. Is that really just a result of lower springs and standard shocks?
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P.S. Strut brace arrived today - woohoo!

Like most of my car parts, I had it delivered to the office to slip the contraband in under the GF's radar!

She'll never know...

Off to pick up the wobbly barge tomorrow so will let you know if it makes a difference.

I don't want to give the 156 V6 I have on loan back - it is so much nicer to drive than the Spider!
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I must admit I drove Mikey's old 2.4 Spider a few years back that had lowered springs fitted with standard shocks and it was pretty composed - not too hard from what I recall. I was also a passenger for a round trip of around 100 miles so had plenty of seat time and it wasn't bad at all from what I remember.

Not sure lowered springs with standard shocks would bea good idea long term though as it suposedly reduces the life of your shocks if they are not designed to work with shorter springs.

Very interesting what is said about the Ti however... My old 1.9 Ti had incredible handling - so smooth and controlled in the bends. Amazing really considering it rode on 19s. Is that really just a result of lower springs and standard shocks?
yep
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