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1LE SUSPENSION QUESTION/PROBLEM.... Please.....?

This is a discussion on 1LE SUSPENSION QUESTION/PROBLEM.... Please.....? within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; Hello All, 7 days ago, I bought a 2001 Camaro SS with 19,000 original miles on it. It has almost ...

  1. #1
    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    1LE SUSPENSION QUESTION/PROBLEM.... Please.....?

    Hello All,

    7 days ago, I bought a 2001 Camaro SS with 19,000 original miles on it. It has almost every Y2Y option, and is one if the Eighty 2001 Camaro SS' that have the 1LE Suspension option. For those not too familiar, part of the package are 4 3-Way adjustable Koni Struts/Shocks. The car came with a suspension adjustment tool and a pamphlet with pictures showing how to use it. The pictures and instructions show that adjustments are made under the hood by placing the adjustment tool (Knob) over the top these supposed "Front Dampers", and turning the knob to one of the 3 desired Dampening Force settings(City Ride, Cross Country, or G.T./Aggressive Driving). The adjustment knob/tool is supposed to fit over a protruding oblong piece of metal that locks into the tool so it can be turned. The areas under the hood look to be exactly where you would bolt on a Strut Tower Brace.

    Well, I am unable to find anything under the hood that even comes close to what is shown in the pictures. FYI...I know the 2001 SS very well, as I had one from 2001 when I bought one new, until 8/31/12 when I accidentally drove it off a cliff on Skyline Drive in Virginia. Yes, my seat belt saved my life but not that of the car's.

    Although I have not had the car on a lift yet, I do see what looks like some sort of adjustment disc/knob at the base of both struts and both shocks. They look a little rusted, but seem to have some sort of lettering on them that I cannot make out. I did verify that all 4 of them have the "Koni" logo on them. But, due to the design of these knobs at the base of the shocks (No protruding oblong piece of metal), the supplied suspension adjustment tool would definitely not fit over these to adjust them. I am sure I will get a better idea once I get a closer look at the base of the shocks and struts when I get it up on a lift.

    If anyone out there has any experience with the 1LE suspension, please help me understand if I am missing something, if there is really something wrong with the supplied 1LE suspension adjustment documentation, and possibly how to adjust the shocks. Thanks all.

    Tom

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    Senior Member Carlos01SS's Avatar
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    You know what buddy, I have never heard of Koni making 3-way adjustable shocks for the 1LE option.
    My knowledge on the subject is the the 1LE option had Koni Dual Adjustable (Koni DA) shocks for front and rear and in order to adjust them you have to remove the front tires to make the adjustments while the rear DA shocks you make one of the adjustments via the top of the shock, which is accessible by putting your rear seat down and you see a perforated "U" in the carpet which you use a straight edge to cut it open and VOILA there's the top of the rear shocks.

    There is someone on another website who sells suspension parts for our f-bodies, his name is Sam Strano, he has a website and a phone number, find his website and give him a call, I'm positive he will verify that there wasn't a 3-way Koni shock option, only the DA shocks, give him a call and ask away.

    Sam is the only person who I know will be able to answer your questions, he was a multi-winning SCCA National AutoCross champion while running his '02 Z/28, he knows the 4th-gen f-bodies suspension quite well.

    Good luck!

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    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    Hello Carlos,
    Thanks for the information. The reason I said that there are 3-way adjustable Koni's is that the Koni Instruction sheet I have with the system specifically mentions and names the Three adjustable Dampening Force settings that they refer to as(City Ride(Adjustment - completely clockwise), Cross Country(Adjustment - 1/2 turn counter-clockwise), or G.T./Aggressive Driving(Adjustment 1 turn counter-clockwise)).

    As you probably know, GM installed the 1LE option from it's inception in the 1989. The 1LE option was discontinued by GM in 1999. GM's reason was the cost of keeping an inventory of parts for such a low production vehicle was not profitable. SLP brought back the 1LE option in 2001 on Camaro SS and Firebird Firehawks ordered with RPO Y2Y options. I did read that the Koni's were TWO-WAY adjustable when GM installed them. Maybe something changed with the Koni Shocks these last 2 years of the 4th gen?
    Thanks again for the info and I will find and contact Sam.

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    Member Blue28's Avatar
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    No change the shocks are Koni D.A. shocks. Those are just 3 adjustment range setting that's all.
    Furthermore the DA shocks have a adjuster on the bottom/side of the shock body that adjusted with a wide stubby flat-tip screwdriver on the front and rear (for compression). Up top(in the interior) the rear shocks adjust with a knob(for rebound) and in front between the coil of the spring up top(for rebound) with either a thin allen wrench or metal rod in quarter turn sweeps.
    Last edited by Blue28; 10-13-2012 at 02:40 PM.

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    Senior Member Carlos01SS's Avatar
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    Yeah the rebound adjustment for the front shocks is a total of 9 quarter turn sweeps, the instructions should show you which way to sweep for softer, I'm pretty sure softer the sweeps are left to right.

    for the front shocks I have mine 5 sweeps from full soft for rebound, and compression (bottom adjustment using screwdriver) is lowest setting.

    For the rears, I don't know how many full turns there is to make the rebound full stiff but I have 1-1/2 turns for the rears for rebound (200lb rear springs and 200lbs worth of stereo amps and subwoofers) and compression (again, bottom adjustment for the rear shocks as well) is lowest setting too.

    I have spent about 4K on my suspension, and my adjustments right now with my aftermarket suspension parts my car is a serious canyon carver, other than a GT3 with racing slicks or a Lotus Elise with slicks, most other cars can't keep up with me TRUE STORY!!!


    Okay okay, include c6 Z06's in there too.

    if you keep your DA shocks full soft front and rear, they will behave like the Bilstein HD shocks more or less. adjusting the rebound alone to 4 sweeps from full soft in the front and 1/2 to 1 turn for rebound for the rear and your car will be completely transformed, have fun!


    Carlos.
    The Black 2001 SS #5697
    T-tops, 6-spd/B&M ripper, ARH LT's/GMMG/CME, Volant, Koni DA's & GC coilovers, Strano frt & rear sways, G2(SFC's w/v-braces, STB, adj PHR), Wilwood 6-piston red calipers frnt brakes w/13" 2-pc rotors, RKSport(clear front & rear corners, c-f grill), chrome Z06 wheels

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    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    I agree Ron. We had a big misunderstanding from the beginning here. When I said I had 3-Way adjustable Koni Struts/Shocks, you guys thought I meant there were 3 separate areas on the shock that could accept adjustments? Seems that way, but I was talking about ONE adjustment knob/area that could be ADJUSTED TO ONE OF 3 POSITIONS. So, when you guys say Koni D.A., you are referring 2 separate adjustment knobs/areas on the shock (Rebound and Compression), which makes so much more sense to me, a guy who has never had a car with adjustable shocks, but has a motorcycle with TRUE 3-way adjustable shocks front and rear. Apparently only 80 2001 Camaro SS' had the 1LE suspension installed, so this is why most people don't have much info on it.

    NOW:

    Whoa Carlos,
    You told me to go to Sam for details on these shocks. Now you have all the details one could want. Dig the Revelation man. The first thing I need to do is get the car up in the air to see what is what, and now that I know there MAY be separate Rebound and Compression settings on these shocks, I have to see where everything is currently set. Yes the doc I have says Clockwise for a softer ride, but it says nothing of 2 adjustments for each shock. Obviously, my doc sheet suxxxxx...!!! I will chime back in once I get a read on the current set up.

    Blue28/Ron, love the Decaying-Eyeball Protruding-Wind/Sand Blown-Hairless-Tilted-Mummy Looking- Head, and thank you as well for the excellent information that I have been waiting so long to get.

    Thanks very much to both of you for giving me so much information about my Koni DA's(District Attorney?). Now I feel I have a great base of information for when I get this baby on a lift in a month or so.

    Tom
    Last edited by NastySS; 10-14-2012 at 07:35 AM.

  7. #7
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NastySS View Post
    I agree Ron. We had a big misunderstanding from the beginning here. When I said I had 3-Way adjustable Koni Struts/Shocks, you guys thought I meant there were 3 separate areas on the shock that could accept adjustments? Seems that way, but I was talking about ONE adjustment knob/area that could be ADJUSTED TO ONE OF 3 POSITIONS. So, when you guys say Koni D.A., you are referring 2 separate adjustment knobs/areas on the shock (Rebound and Compression), which makes so much more sense to me, a guy who has never had a car with adjustable shocks, but has a motorcycle with TRUE 3-way adjustable shocks front and rear. Apparently only 80 2001 Camaro SS' had the 1LE suspension installed, so this is why most people don't have much info on it.

    NOW:

    Whoa Carlos,
    You told me to go to Sam for details on these shocks. Now you have all the details one could want. Dig the Revelation man. The first thing I need to do is get the car up in the air to see what is what, and now that I know there MAY be separate Rebound and Compression settings on these shocks, I have to see where everything is currently set. Yes the doc I have says Clockwise for a softer ride, but it says nothing of 2 adjustments for each shock. Obviously, my doc sheet suxxxxx...!!! I will chime back in once I get a read on the current set up.

    Blue28/Ron, love the Decaying-Eyeball Protruding-Wind/Sand Blown-Hairless-Tilted-Mummy Looking- Head, and thank you as well for the excellent information that I have been waiting so long to get.

    Thanks very much to both of you for giving me so much information about my Koni DA's(District Attorney?). Now I feel I have a great base of information for when I get this baby on a lift in a month or so.

    Tom
    DA = Dual Adjustment
    My ride is a 2002 Camaro SS SLP #3296 with 30k, LTH, 3" Y, CME, Frost tune, K&N, ported TB, Blackwing lid, Bellows, MSD, Denso Iridium, and 85mm MAF, Bilsteins, Eibach springs, SLP strut brace, Adj. Panhard, TA Girdle, UMI, Pro 5.0, Nitto NT555
    My wife has a 2004 GTO with the rare SAP, 18" wheels, K&N Cold Air System, MSD, Ported TB, Frost tune, Denso Iridium, Flowmaster cat-back, 3200 Yank, 75k

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    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    Thanks Keith, but couldn't you tell I was just messing around when I said "District Attorney" ?? Thanks anyway though.

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    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NastySS View Post
    Thanks Keith, but couldn't you tell I was just messing around when I said "District Attorney" ?? Thanks anyway though.
    Sorry, I forgot to put the "lol" at the end.

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    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    Gotcha.....

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    Senior Member Carlos01SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NastySS View Post
    Whoa Carlos,
    You told me to go to Sam for details on these shocks. Now you have all the details one could want. Dig the Revelation man. The first thing I need to do is get the car up in the air to see what is what, and now that I know there MAY be separate Rebound and Compression settings on these shocks, I have to see where everything is currently set. Yes the doc I have says Clockwise for a softer ride, but it says nothing of 2 adjustments for each shock. Obviously, my doc sheet suxxxxx...!!! I will chime back in once I get a read on the current set up.

    Blue28/Ron, love the Decaying-Eyeball Protruding-Wind/Sand Blown-Hairless-Tilted-Mummy Looking- Head, and thank you as well for the excellent information that I have been waiting so long to get.

    Thanks very much to both of you for giving me so much information about my Koni DA's(District Attorney?). Now I feel I have a great base of information for when I get this baby on a lift in a month or so.

    Tom
    I still say talk to Sam, he knows our cars big time and based on what you want your car to do, he will recommend settings that should work for you.
    remember, my setup is based on Sam's beginning recommendations and then I messed with them a bit due to the fact that I have changed the spring rates on my fronts twice and the rears 3 times, finally getting what I have right now...and I still don't know just what would happen if I make changes on the compression settings.

    Adjusting the fronts 4 sweeps from full soft is a rather aggressive setting but most folks here usually have theirs at 4 or 5 sweeps from full soft and are ridiculously pleased with their results.
    keep in mind that you are in a 2+2 sports coupe, so comfortable ride is relative...some folks complain that BMW 3 or 5 series are too stiff, but that's because they are sports oriented vehicles, can handle the twisties with relative ease and that's because their suspension is set up for the turns, hence "firm" ride.

    There have been a handful of folks who HATED their f-bodies with the Koni DA shocks, they wanted a comfy ride, and were promptly advised to sell their car and buy an older cadillac or buick, as they float like boats but take turns like shit!!!

    Your call, try it, 4 sweeps from full soft for the fronts and maybe 3/4turn from full soft for the rears and go from there...both rebound adjustments only.

    good luck!!!

    my .02

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    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    Thanks Triple C (Carlos Canyon Carver),

    Will do. And, I COMPLETELY understand that a bumpy/stiff ride is a trade-off for great cornering/handling. I have had an '01 SS since August 2001, so I am use to it and understand the physics. If I want a cushy ride, I drive my 2 ton SUV.

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    Senior Member Carlos01SS's Avatar
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    Bingo, you get it, that's great!

    So go play and keep us posted with your results...take pics too as I am sure this will be brought up again and you'll have a thread with pics showing how to adjust Koni DA shocks.

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    NastySS NastySS's Avatar
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    3C,

    I think it's hard to believe some people think a Great Handling Sports Type Car wouldn't have a bumpy ride. Seems like a common sense thing to me.

    I will definitely take pics of the 2 Front and 2 Rear adjustment points and post them when I get to it. Unfortunately, for personal reasons, it may take up to a month before I get to that, but definitely sometime in November 2012, ya know, definitely before the Earth Explodes and/or the Poles Shift and/or Gravity Goes Bye-Bye and we all Float Away on/about 12-21-12...lol

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