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Bilstein HD's for the S14

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  • Bilstein HD's for the S14

    Well, I have been wanting some Bilstein HD's for my S14 for some time. They are super beefy, cheaply rebuilt/revalved and monotube.

    Bilstein makes struts for the S14 but do not import them to the US. So I have been randomly searching around for the past couple of months trying to find struts from other cars that might work. From my research, the damn S14 is an odd sort. The fronts are REALLY short and the rears are REALLY long. At first I thought I was gonna have to go with the A2 VW Golf/Jetta front struts. They are the smaller 30mm shafts and are not as common from what I have been told.

    Last week I was browsing ebay and stumbled upon a set of EVO 8/9 struts and they looked like they might work. I emailed the owner and he measured them for me. As I was awaiting his response I was further searching for pictures of EVO struts and found this picture



    Those are a set of 3000GT/Stealth struts and just eyeballing them they looked like they would work. So I called Bilstein in Mooresville, NC and Keith is the man. Within 3 minutes he told me all I wanted to know.

    R36-5022-H0 insert

    OD 45.8mm (1.8")
    Extended Length 480mm (18.89")
    Collapsed Length 380mm (14.96")
    Body Length 266mm (10.47")

    On paper they looked like they would work. So, I bit the bullet and bought a set, here is what they look like compared to my Koni Yellows



    They bolt right into the stock housing!!! The body is about 1/2" short than the Koni where I was running it at. The fat "stud" at the bottom of the Koni stuck out the bottom of my stock housing.

    Ok, more measurements.

    I inserted the struts into the my Techno Toy Tuning camber plates, the strut rod sticks up .3" beyond the threaded portion (you can see a mark from a sharpie in some of the pics). That will be perfect as I have a solution for the wacked mounting of the T^3 camber plates that costs less than $2 and can be bought at Lowes. I'll post that later.

    The GC upper hats are a bit thinner than the T^3 ones, and drilled out sit pretty flush


    I know this setup may not be appealing to alot of folks. There is no adjustablity. However they are cheaply revalved to whatever spring you may wanna run. I am also told that Bilsteins are easy enough for the avg person to re-valve but I have not looked into that.

    Now all I need is a HD strut for the rear. The 3000GT's MAY work with the stock S14 uprights but I have not had a chance to call Bilstein about them. The G35 front struts MAY work with the Z32 uprights but they are kinda pricey at $200/ea.

    My wife is being induced today so I am bit busy. Jmauld is helping me and trying to find out the dimensions of the 3000GT rears.

  • #2
    Congrats. That'll make for some fun to play with.
    Between rides...unless you count a WD21...

    Comment


    • #3
      The Bilstein off the shelf stuff isn't easily revalvable. Especially the struts. It would take some work.

      So you'll either have to send them to bilstein or make them revalvable. But even if they're revalvable, you need shims and unless you know exactly what shims you need, it's not cheap.

      But if they're revalvable, it's true that pretty much anyone can open them up and change stuff and put them back together, but that doesn't mean it will be better.
      www.tipengr.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Wiisass View Post
        The Bilstein off the shelf stuff isn't easily revalvable. Especially the struts. It would take some work.

        So you'll either have to send them to bilstein or make them revalvable. But even if they're revalvable, you need shims and unless you know exactly what shims you need, it's not cheap.

        But if they're revalvable, it's true that pretty much anyone can open them up and change stuff and put them back together, but that doesn't mean it will be better.
        Hmmm I know of ton of Miata folks that have had theirs re-valved. Granted that's a shock not a strut. I'll check into it and post what I find.

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        • #5
          Bilstein can revalve a strut, no problem. They even charge the same $65 to do it. Assuming these are like mine (the imported 240sx bilsteins), and from the outside I don't see much difference.

          Comment


          • #6
            I meant more in terms of doing the revalve yourself. Of course you can get Bilstein to revalve them for you. I would just spec out the damping coefficients and give them to Bilstein so you will get a curve that closer matches what you want versus telling them weights and spring rates and getting something that may be close and may be a little bit off.
            www.tipengr.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Wiisass View Post
              I meant more in terms of doing the revalve yourself. Of course you can get Bilstein to revalve them for you. I would just spec out the damping coefficients and give them to Bilstein so you will get a curve that closer matches what you want versus telling them weights and spring rates and getting something that may be close and may be a little bit off.
              I seriously doubt I'll be re-valving myself.

              I do like the idea that it is possible. I even have a friend who has a shock dyno at his shop and has dabbled in Bilstein re-valves AFAIK, its just he is 2 hours away.

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              • #8
                Well revalving them is easy. It's just getting them set up to be revalvable that's a pain in the ass, especially the struts. And then the cost of getting all the shims that you may or may not need. And then spending hours on the dyno if you don't have a baseline.

                But the process is simple.
                www.tipengr.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  So basically these are a bolt on shock for the front when you modify the front strut housing like with konis? I wonder if there is a rear strut option that is a little shorter then a koni yellow.

                  What size does the rear bolt hole need to be? There are some random struts on ebay that have a 12mm hole.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WishIHadaSilvia View Post
                    So basically these are a bolt on shock for the front when you modify the front strut housing like with konis? I wonder if there is a rear strut option that is a little shorter then a koni yellow.

                    What size does the rear bolt hole need to be? There are some random struts on ebay that have a 12mm hole.
                    To be honest, the rear 3000gt may be a good match. Its way down on my list of things to do right now due to my newborn twins.

                    Jmauld was supposed to do some legwork for me but he is a slacker.

                    As crazy as it sounds, Monroe shocks have been a GREAT resource for comparing various shocks/struts. They are one of the few companies to give out dimensions.

                    Rear 240sx Dimensions according to Monroe Shocks
                    Body 18.625"
                    Compressed Length 19.25"
                    Extended Length 26.625"
                    Travel 7.375"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The 3000GT unit might work for the rear. Although, in the pictures, it looks like it may be just an inch or two too short. I've been meaning to call Bilstein and ask for the dimensions, but work has gotten in the way of that.

                      The "odd" thing about the 240 mount, is that it has a step in it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It would be perfect if they were 1-2 inches shorter then S14 koni yellows - as I do want my car to be lower then most people on this board. I figure that if I need to adjust my suspension geometry I can buy some of the SPL lower control arms front and rear and adjust the roll center. I may be missing the point, but I am working up to get to my first HPDE event so I'm not an avid track goer yet and it is hard for me to justify forking out 2200 on a koni set up, especially if I can run bilsteins, I would really not mind not haven dampening adjustment. I also want my car to look a certain way, I've been doing auto-x and everything else as low as I am now and like the way it handles. I am going to try and call them now and get the dimensions and I'll post them up!


                        I just called, the guy was away from his desk, so I left a message. I will let you all know what I find out.
                        Last edited by WishIHadaSilvia; 05-19-2008, 02:40 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you get ahold of him. Get the dimensions for the following shocks.

                          Rear S14 - B46-1916
                          Rear S13 - B46-1744
                          Rear 3000Gt - F4-B46-1743-H0

                          That way it will be easy to compare one model to the next, when you're using the same measurement points.

                          Also get the diameter of the mounts.
                          Last edited by jmauld; 05-19-2008, 03:43 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Why not switch to Z32 rear mounts and use Z32 bilsteins. If you open up the damper, you can get another 2" out of it. And possibly even more if you switch to a 9" shaft.
                            www.tipengr.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Aren't Z32 rear shocks WAY shorter? If they work I could buy some ohlins/bilstein coilovers for the rear, haha. I don't have the cash to do all of that right now though, I'm working on getting my motorswap in this weekend. Once I get that dealt with and payed off it is going to be time to remove my bad suspension pieces and upgrade (read new coilovers and some SPL RUCA and toe arms).

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