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Author Topic: Racing shock absorbers  (Read 13450 times)
Jon Mello
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« on: March 03, 2011, 10:41:01 PM »

We'll start out with horizontal shocks for the rear suspension. Not everybody used these shocks back then but some did so let's have a look.

First is an NOS set of Koni shocks, part # 76E-1256. These happen to be dated 9-67. Koni called these "axle dampers".

As you can see by the little yellow decal, the poofed-out part of the shock body would face up.


Koni also made these for Mustangs but as you can see, the part that goes forward has a longer extension, probably
to hook up with the factory bracket on a Shelby up inside the car's interior. Koni listed these as part # 76E-1225.



Here's a set of horizontal rear shocks as installed on the '67 Chaffey College Camaro.



Below is an advertisement from Competition Press/Autoweek from the 1969 era. It shows Hi-Tork as a brand of
horizontal racing shock. Note the fancy terminology "hydraulic traction bar". Well, that's pretty much what it is.


Another view of a Hi-Tork horizontal shock mounted on a car.


Yet another angle showing the installation of a Hi-Tork horizontal shock.



Below is a page from the late '67 Koni catalog showing part numbers for Camaro shocks including the horizontal version.
Check out the price of $22. Try finding any Koni shock for $22 now, let alone a pair of these rare horizontal ones!

                Make                        Description                              Year          Front P/N     Price             Rear P/N       Price
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 04:50:30 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2011, 03:03:39 PM »

Front Koni shocks for Camaro will be inserted here shortly. Part # is 80-1914.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2011, 03:07:49 PM »

NOS rear Koni shocks for '67 Camaro, part number 80-1915. Koni "winged" decal is the correct one used on
these shocks during that '67-'72 era. Diameter of the shock body (the left half in the photo) is  1 - 11/16".
Larger upper part of shock assy is 2" in diameter. Stud at top mounts into factory reinforcement in trunk floor.
Bolt runs through lower eyelet hole to mount shock to lower shock plate under axle/leaf spring.




Here are an NOS pair of rear shocks for '68-'69. They are part number 80E-1953.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 11:23:47 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2011, 03:34:18 PM »

Used front double-adjustable shocks taken off a '69 Camaro Trans-Am car. Part number is 8210J-1016.
Main body diameter is 2 - 5/32". I have seen some of these shocks with red plastic knobs on the side
and others with black plastic knobs. I've got no idea why there were two different colors.



Close-up of the part number and date.


When installing these larger diameter double-adjustable shocks on an early Camaro, the
hole up in the spring pocket should be enlarged to accommodate the larger diameter of
the shock. You don't want to have any potential for bind going on.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 10:52:22 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2011, 03:37:42 PM »

Used double adjustable rear shocks, also from the same '69 Camaro. Part # is 8210J-1021
and they are identified (stamped) as to being either left or right. Diameter of shock body
is also 2 - 5/32". Left one is on the top, right one on the bottom. These are dated 8-68.
I believe Koni did not begin using the double-adjustable design until the 1968 racing
season and that all Camaros raced during the '67 season used the type as shown at the
top of the page. If someone has different information, please chime in. Double-adjustable
shocks were available for the '67 body and were part #8210J-1017.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 04:11:22 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2011, 04:03:13 PM »

Jon,
Wheeler Engineering was Gary Wheeler, the engineer who would go on to work at AAR for Dan Gurney.  Master fabricator Phil Remington used to call Gary "doubleshock" since he was the fellow who designed them for Gurney's Cudas in 1970.  Gary had developed his horizontal shock setup while autocrossing his own Camaro in Southern California.  I have a photo of Gary and his Camaro.  He also used the Camaro to tow test rigs.  Gary later went heavy into aerodynamics where he worked on many different racecars and aircraft.  He even worked on Kenny Bernstein's funny car!

Mike Camicia
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2011, 11:12:21 PM »

Cool information, Mike. Thanks for that. Was the name in reference to two horizontal shocks "per side" or just for two horizontal shocks, or what? I ask because a friend has a '69 Camaro with two horizontal shocks "per side" (total of four) and that was something I had never seen done before. Would love to see a photo of the Gurney 'Cuda rear suspension if you have one.
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2011, 06:52:46 PM »

Jon,
Yes Gary's original design had 2 Delco horizontal shocks (side by side) on each side (for a total of 4) not to mention the traditional Koni adjustables for vertical.  Remington later swapped in the horizontal Konis for the Delcos.

Mike
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2011, 06:00:06 PM »

Mike,

Here's a couple of pictures of the double horizontal shocks on a car that Dick Guldstrand built for Gerry Gregory for the '69 Trans-Am season. These are obviously in an unrestored state, as-found condition. They are the Hi-Tork shocks, so maybe Gary Wheeler had some direct involvement with Dick Guldstrand on this.

Have any of you out there seen another Trans-Am Camaro with a shock set-up like this? I haven't. It would be nice to know if there were any others.



« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 11:03:25 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 06:12:13 PM »

Hi Mike,
 
I think I can still see my Hi-Tork labels wrapped around each shock!  The rear disc brakes and also the thee-leaf spring certainly looks exactly like the ones Dick put on my 1967 white SS350.  However, I never ran four Delco units like that.  Apparently someone subsequently did what I did on the early works AAR 'Cuda's and just doubled-up on the Delcos.
 
I was told my old Camaro was totaled within a year of my selling it to a Chaffee College student of mine in 1969.  Even if that were false, I don't think this one in you pictures could be mine, because my sub-frame was mighty battle-scared from dozens of different mounting bracket having been welded onto it.  Also, I removed the factory bump stops completely, and this car still has 'em.  So alas, I doubt this could be a photo of my car.
 
But the Hi-Tork dampers were some that I sold somebody while I was in the original Guldstrand Corvette Club - a year or so before I joined AAR.
 
Cheers,
Gary Wheeler
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 01:59:22 AM »

Hi Mike and Gary

I recognise that last name of Wheeler from the shock ad in one of the previous posts from Jon.

I happen to own the 69 Gregory/Guldstrand built Camaro that has the four horizontal shocks that are pictured above. It was so cool when I first cleaned off the dirt to see the "Hi-Tork" decals. This was yet another clue as to the validity of this car. The car had been featured in the January 1970 issue of Motorcade magazine. The shocks were described as follows;  "Hi-Tork brand shock absorber-cum-traction arms are mounted above each spring to control rear axle wind-up during braking or accelerating". Those pictures were just taken the other day so the shocks have remained there all this time. Good to hear that you recognise the leaf springs as well.

Robert Lodewyk
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Robert Lodewyk
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2011, 12:08:38 PM »

Robert,
That is so cool! I'm sure we'd all like to see some more pics of your car.

Mike Camicia
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2011, 06:37:15 PM »

Mike,

Robert sent me these photos to post. The first is of the car right after it was built and was featured in a Sports Car Graphic article where Paul van Valkenburgh drove it on the street and to the grocery store.



These other two shots are of the LH side of the rear suspension. Not sure why the angle iron is welded to the frame next to where the horizontal shocks mount. The bolt-on bracket on the axle would maybe be for a panhard rod. It doesn't look like anything has been bolted to it in a long time, if ever.





There will be more posted on this car but it might be better to put it all into a different thread.
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2011, 08:55:03 PM »

How cool is that for a "grocery getter"   Grin
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Daniel  
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2011, 12:20:02 AM »

Thanks Mike and tmodel 66 for the kind words about my "heap". Shocked

During the next week I will try and learn to post some pictures on my own so Jon does not have to do it. Embarrassed

My first thought was the angle iron was put there to help hold a floor jack yet there is not one on the other side. Closer inspection tells me that it was wounded and they tried to brace it with that piece--only a guess. As for the bracket on the rear end housing the u bolts appear to be the same manufacturer as the ones added to the leaf spring perches. I do not see any evidence of anything being mounted to either frame rail. The fuel cell was clearly moved forward to facilitate the more Penske style fuel filler that was apparently added in a later update. Thus a fair amount of the trunk floor was removed. Perhaps whatever was there was removed when the fuel cell was moved forward and any evidence left as well---only a guess.

Robert
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Robert Lodewyk
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2011, 03:08:58 PM »

Pages from the 1970 Auto World Sports-Racing Equipment catalog






I have found that the Koni 80-1931 shock for the Volvo Model 142 will fit
on early Camaros if you open up the hole in the lower control arm to clear
the slightly larger diameter of the Volvo shock. There may be other Koni
shocks that may also fit the early Camaro application. Does anybody know
of some?
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2011, 05:44:26 PM »

1969 Koni ad and decal
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« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2011, 11:59:14 AM »

I recently noticed that a period looking "Vintage Mustang" double adjustable Koni shock absorber was offered on page 8 of the following Truechoice Racing Services Koni catalog.

I gave them a call yesterday and they said that they also make the front and back shocks for both first and second-gen Camaros. 

The original part numbers are stamped into the shock body, and they will come in the orange paint with period style wing logos.  They will not have the date code or wing that is stamped into the originals.

They gave me a price of $625/each.  That's all I know.  Please call Truechoice with any additional questions.

-Chad

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Jon Mello
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« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2011, 10:55:44 PM »

Chad, sharp eye and great research on your part. Thanks for calling them and for posting your findings here. It is really appreciated and no doubt will be a benefit to somebody wanting to restore their race car appropriately.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2011, 03:30:18 PM »

Some Koni shock instructions, as seen here.




« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 06:51:56 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2011, 01:13:38 AM »

1970 Koni catalog pages, courtesy of Franz Estereicher. Thank you, Franz!














These are from a 2005 Koni catalog.


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Jon Mello
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2012, 12:20:29 PM »

Koni double-adjustable shocks were the preferred shock-of-choice on all the Trans-Am cars back then. Here's a nice,
informative article on the double-adjustables from my Winter 1969 issue of 1001 Custom and Rod Ideas magazine.











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Jon Mello
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2012, 11:02:42 PM »

Jon, thanks for posting that article from 1001 Custom and Rod Ideas on Konis.  The details within are helpful to a very broad spectrum of racing enthusiasts.

-Chad
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2012, 01:07:06 AM »

May 1967 Koni ad noting that Konis are "factory approved options" for Firebirds and Mustangs.
Note that the horizontal traction dampers are noted as being available for Mustangs but they
also became available for Camaro as well by the fall of '67.

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Jon Mello
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« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2013, 05:28:10 PM »

I have a NOS set of Koni single adjustables from 1971. The seller advertised them as 'new in the box' so I was pretty surprised that they had sat around this long without being used.







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Jon Mello
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« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2013, 06:17:13 PM »

Nice score on those shocks. They are in pristine condition. Thanks for posting the photos.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2013, 02:20:19 PM »

 I found a similar deal 15 yrs ago when I was restoring my Yenko Stinger. Guy in Nebraska had new rear Camaro shocks , which work great on the Stinger with a bottom mount change
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« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2013, 08:46:20 PM »

Were you fully aware of that before you bought them? I suspect it must be hard to find any Corvair shocks,
let alone Koni Corvair shocks.
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« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2013, 12:42:10 PM »

   Yes I was aware.   I have a large file on Koni products from the 60's and 70's. Since my race car only weighs about 2100 lbs, the valving for the rear of the Camaro is about perfect for the Stinger.   The 67 HiPo Dodge Dart I am restoring has Koni on it since new and I will be returning them to Lee Grimes at Koni in Kentucky for restoration soon.  Logan Dernoshek ( Warren's son ) has driven my car at Mid Ohio, Watkins Glen and several other Vintage events and compliments my setup as very predictable ( and fast )
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« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2013, 11:01:22 AM »

What's the story with the Dart? Is it an old road racer or one of those D-Darts that they made for drag racing? If you have anything
cool regarding Koni shocks that hasn't already been posted here, it would be great if you would share some photos of it in this thread.
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« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2013, 01:29:19 AM »

Ron Tredway is restoring his Owens-Corning '70 Camaro Trans-Am Camaro originally driven by Jerry Thompson.
He sent me these photos of the original double-adjustable Konis that were on the car. The shorter front shocks
are #8210-1067 and the rears are #8210-1068. All are dated 3-70. Thanks for sharing these with us, Ron!









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« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2013, 10:32:25 AM »

Did they all have spherical ends? Or was this a modification?
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Check out the Black 69 RS/Z28 45k mile Survivor and the Lemans Blue 69 Z 10D frame off...
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« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2013, 12:00:02 AM »

I have asked Ron and he's unsure of the answer. He said he would check in with Jerry Thompson to see what he might remember.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2014, 12:31:57 AM »

These are GM-issued Koni shocks, available through the parts department and, in the case of Firebirds, available as a factory option from what I have been told.
These not only have a Koni part number on them but also a GM 7-digit part number. The front shocks were part # 80A 1914, 9791593 and the rear shocks for
multi-leaf applications were part # 80E 1953, 9792749. For some reason, Firebird used a different Koni part # on the rear multi-leaf shocks in '69, 80E 2025
rather than 80E 1953. Thanks go to Robert Lodewyk for sharing these from his personal collection.


Chevy parts book P&A 30A




















'69 Firebird-specific shock in the middle and on the left, vs '69 camaro multi-leaf Koni on the right




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« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2014, 08:10:50 AM »

Sorry for the late reply on an old thread.

If the Koni double adjustable seemed to be the one to use in Trans-Am back in the days, what about today ?
In your opinion what is the best front shock to use today (TA legal) ?

Eric
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2014, 12:47:23 PM »

In looking around the race paddock, I'd say that most of the HTA guys still prefer a period Koni double adjustable shock.  People like http://performanceshock.com/ (PSI, at Sears Point) can do a wonderful job restoring/rebuilding them to proper race spec as well. 

Performance Shock can also build new double adjustables, that look and perform just like the originals as well.  They will not however have a period date code (if that matters). 

You might also consider looking into whether http://www.truechoicekoniracingservices.com/ can help you with some new Koni shocks. As was discussed previously in this thread, True Choice has been able to build new versions of their old double adjustable shocks and it's possible they are still offering this service.

As for what other shocks competitors might be using, I honestly don't recall. You will not be dissatisfied if you were to go the Koni route.
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