Sent Bilstein another email about any possibility of the 3000GT inserts being pushed back further. They said it's possible.
9:20 AM (10 minutes ago)
This is just an estimated time of arrival. There can be a possibility that the dates will change.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Best regards
I also sent Koni another email asking them if they make inserts for the Mitsubishi 3000GT, they don't.
On Wed, Nov 21, 2018 at 5:49 AM info.koni.us, wrote:
The 8611 1257race is a double adjustable strut cartridge just like the 8610 1437race, but much shorter. It is not a cut-a-strut and does not have the threads at the bottom. Also, we do not offer an application for the 3000GT. We have researched this in years past, and unfortunately we do not have a good off the shelf cut-a-strut option for the Thunderbird. The best options are to either find a used set of the Thunderbird specific dampers and have the serviced/rebuilt or use the 8610 1437race in a custom housing.
I asked about the 3000GT because, well, it's what we're trying to use from Bilstein so I thought it'd be good to ask if Koni had anything for that platform. I also asked about the 944 platform because it was brought up here. Instead, he already gave me information we already know that is related to the MN12 platform with Koni products when I was asking about information for other potential inserts to use for the MN12 platform.
Hang in there. We'll figure it out. Again, let's wait for the Bilsteins since they are a known quantity.
I'll hang. I've got some time to go anyway before the car is back up. I still need the transmission. That said, with the above emails, I'll hold on to my order with Summit for the Bilsteins until end of March....or until you are done with your build, whichever is first, lol. If Koni is the end resulting insert, then it looks like I'll end up going with the 8610-1437RACE units. Though, if there is another unit that grabs my attention from another manufacturer, I'll reach out to them and see if it will work.
So...KYB, Tien (they may have something for the 3000GT since they do more stuff for imports), and...? Any others that have an aftermarket support presence?
As far as this project is concerned, I'd suggest that CDsdontburn read the thread in which I compiled all the front suspension options again.
1) You don't need the monoball bearings in the top. That was a bit of silliness I went along with because if it's good enough for a Porsche GT3, there's no reason our tbird can't have them too. a tube and a washer (MaddMartigan's first design) will work just fine. The key is that you just need a hole at the top to fit the larger bilstein/koni shaft.
I did go through your thread again, and based on what low key "generic" struts for your racing you used, I want to use the same ones based on your feedback on them. I saw other Koni PNs you put in there as well and I'll also consider them if Bilsteins are in fact no-more.
2) As far as the QA1 setup is concerned, the springs are cheap if you want to experiment. Like $30-60/pair cheap. As far as bumpstops are concerned, they are just rubber. IIRC. the Bilsteins have internal bumpstops. If you don't trust them and don't want to spend $14, you could make them out of any hard rubber. My engine mounts used to be hockey pucks. If you know someone who's kid is into hockey, you can always get these for free. a bumpstop is a hockey puck trimmed down to a smaller diameter + a bigger hole in the center.
If the Bilsteins state they don't need bumpstops, I won't get them. If they need them and don't come with them, I'll get them separately. I'm not going to cry over $14.
Only people I know who are into hockey, is my wife's dad and his family. They're in Buffalo, NY area though. Not very convenient for me...
2.5) As far as replicating the QA1 setup is concerned, I'm all for the experimentation. For the flanges on the bottom though you really do need three pieces of metal welded together vs just a flat sheet bent into a U. One thought is to cut down the donor shock so much that you just have the bottom flange + a small tube on top. A setup like this would drop into the small tube and you'd bolt it to the sides. I personally would find this a little sketchy but it's very similar to what tbirdtess did with a Bilstein circle track shock years ago.
That is seriously a "fork" type design. I was actually thinking of drawing something up exactly like you said. The tube up top would then be secured to the strut via a nut and screw type. This is the fork that my 6th Gen Honda Accord uses. Of course, it wouldn't be looking exactly like that, but a similar type setup.
3) Getting the bilsteins lathed down is really no big deal even if you don't have a lathe. I dont. The key is to find a classic machine shop (not one full of CNC machines but the kind that's kinda dirty with some old dude), show up with the donor shock cut down with the bottom hole already drilled out in one hand + the bilsteins in your backpack and a six pack of beer in the other. Measurements? We don't need measurements. "Excuse me, sir. I want THIS to fit in THAT. Are you thirsty?"
Boom. The person puts the new shocks in the lathe and just start shaving it down. Cry a little as the pretty yellow outside goes away. 5 min later, you drink a beer and maybe give him/her a few more bucks. It helps if its like the late afternoon on a Fri.
With me being Latino, I know shops. LOL. A 12 pack of Corona, Modelo, or Tecate and $20 later, it can be done.
Here's one more solution for those with more money than patience.
NOTE: We will adapt an 8611 to your strut housing — Quoted price based on application. Please call for Details.
I can guarantee that the QA1 option will be cheaper.
I have more patience than money, lol.