Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

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SLOroadster
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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by SLOroadster »

Don't get me wrong, I'd be stoked if the Bilstiens work, but I'm not going to run out and buy a set to find out they don't work.

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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by jamesw »

Has anyone tried these yet? At $88 x 4 that is a pretty good sport/track alternative.

http://www.allshocks.com/bilstein/html/ ... %271962%27" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by st3ph3nm »

I think we touched on this situation in the mono leaf thread in Tech discussions. I have Koni's in my car, simply because they were there when I bought it, and re-valving @$100/corner was a whole lot cheaper than putting Bilsteins in. That said, for the kind of competition I'd love to do (tarmac rallying) the Bilsteins are a better bet. The extra diameter means that the shock is much less likely to overheat on a twisty, bumpy road section at competition speeds. One of the guys in our club here in Victoria has a Bluebird SSS (411) which used to run Konis and has gone over to Bilsteins. It was his car that inspired my change to the mono-leafs. What he found was on long stages (over 20km or so) he'd found the Konis giving out due to heat. Next year running the same stages with Bilsteins, the shocks stayed as good at the end of the stage as they were at the start. This is all well and good, but for most people, if you have Konis, then like me, I can't see the value in swapping. Track work never works the shocks as hard as rallying, as the track is much smoother than a country road. And even fast country runs with the club don't work the shocks as hard as closed stage rallying. I've never had problems from the Konis yet. If you want a competition upgrade from a KYB, though, then Bilsteins are the way to go, IMHO, especially as the Konis seem to be NLA.
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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by notoptoy »

OK, so, is it me, or can I just not tell what you are, or are not endorsing?
What do you like and what do you not like?
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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by st3ph3nm »

I'm not "endorsing" anything. What *I* like and what someone else likes are most probably going to be two different things. Money no object, my car would be used more for competition, I'd have another car as a daily driver, the Datsun would get Bilsteins and I'd be entering Targa Tasmania every year (at a cost of ~$4000 just for the entry fee, it ain't a poor man's sport). As it is, the Koni's do exactly the same thing as the Bilsteins for the kind of competition I do - little sprints, motorkhanas, etc.

So there's no need for someone with Konis, imho, to spend money on changing. If you never intend to compete in the car, then again I wouldn't spend the money on the Bilsteins, and go with KYB's. I only mention Koni because a lot of cars have had the swap done over the years. Seeing as they're no longer available, apparently, Bilsteins seem to be the only competition choice nowadays - and they are a superior product.

There's no "right" answer when we're dealing with so many diverse owners here. Look at the cost, balance against the use and weigh it up for yourself.
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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by jr02518 »

I might be an instigator or an enabler, maybe both. When you have a bit of free time looking for distractions at the end of the month and you are surfing with the search function on the site you might find things. Better put, information that leads to purchases.

I am reminded that I found this thread back when I purchased my Roadster in 2020, the rear shocks were on back order and I filled he information for a later day. That day was today, the rears are available and they are on the way. I did purchase the fronts with the modified lower mounts from a vendor on the list, but the rears I went direct to a shock warehouse. I will let you know how it works out.

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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by jr02518 »

Installation debrief of the shocks: The car is not on the road, yet. The upper bushings supplied with the shocks might be correct for the car intended, but for the Datsun, you will need a bushing that will work on the car you are installing your new shocks.

Bilstein has the bushing, you just need to contact them and they have what you will need to make the shocks fit. Once you measure that upper mounting bolt. That might be large enough to mount a shock on a full size pick up. 4X4.
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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by Slackline »

I bought mine from JT. They bolted right in.

I love them. I don't autocross, etc, but I came from KYB's so I can tell a difference for sure.
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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by baxtersit »

I have Datsun Restoration Bilsteins front and rear and Flexform rear springs. I had the KYBs and thought they were too harsh for the rough roads I have to drive on outside of Cleveland. I drove a season with these Bilsteins but was always thinking that the rear shocks were also too stiff and it seemed to me like the rear axle was just not compressing over sharp bumps. During the winter I asked Jim to revalve the rears and reduce the compression and rebound dampening about 20% which he did and I think it helped. Still unruly over crappy pavement but it's the best it's ever been.
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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by Gregs672000 »

I have the same set up, though my rear springs were made before very many others were involved so I don't know if my rears are the same rate, but I based them off what they thought would compare to my old comp springs. JT did my Bilsteins a little lighter as my wife has suffered a few car accidents that have messed with her back. I previously had re-valved Koni's and KYB before that, and the difference in comfort and capability particularly on rough roads was considerably better with the Bs. It's possible that my shocks are set even lighter than yours. I still get "bangs!" if the road is terrible, but it's soooo much better, and my wife has done 10hrs in the seat. As I recall, JT had mentioned that they can be adjusted at any place that's set up to change the pressure in the shock (?) like my local 4x4 shop that sells them. Perhaps he will chime in...
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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by notoptoy »

I have the advantage of using the Bilstein's in two rear spring applications. I swapped from the vaunted Koni's to the Bilstein's. Originally I had the Bils (Set up for Touring from JT) with the stock springs, and the difference was nothing short of amazing, the pairing seemed perfect. I later added the Monoleaf springs, and the ride, though still improved over the Koni's, did get noticeably harsher than the stock springs. I have not found a place to adjust the pressure in the shocks (Per JT) so have lived with it, but do want to get the pressure reduced by 10 or 20 percent to take some of the harshness out. One other note, with two heavier (~2oo Lbs) gentlemen, the monoleaf /touring Bils are noticeably smoother and much more pleasant.
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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by CSP311 »

A fan of the Bilstien and mono shocks. I was lucky enough to join up with a roadster meet with Lou Mondello in Aus. the last time I was there, and a few SR's had this set-up. Just great, over very tight and twisty, pockmarked road surfaces, I am going that set-up too.
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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by JT68 »

Hi Guys, if you bought the premium rear Bil's from us, those are nitrogen tunable-there is a fill port up on the black cap.
We also have some less expensive rears that do not have the gas fill ports. Both versions are specifically tuned for Datsun roadsters.

Yes, anywhere that can do Nitrogen gas fills for you can probably do it. (I've used Subaru & ford dealers here locally, just call around)

The manager at the Subaru place knew old Datsuns and thought the Bilsteins were so cool he did even charge me.

Bilstein considers 0-50psi as "light gas" which will be softer and more comfortable. 50-200 psi will make things firmer. As I recall, they said 250 is about the max recommended, but we've never had anyone going that high.

Higher nitrogen fill mostly affects compression, not much on rebound.
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Re: Bilstein shocks for the roadster?

Post by Gregs672000 »

Thanks JT!
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