Cost is manageable - Inserts set me back about $270 total after shipping from Tirerack. I went with SRT-4 inserts instead of WRX inserts. The dimensions are similar and the weight distribution of the SRT-4 and Shelby Z are similar too. I had to buy some used struts because I am keeping my stock struts and springs in case I ever get rid of the car. For most, the struts should be free. I paid a machine shop $70 to lathe the strut rods to work with the Shelby Z's strut bearing. About $12 invested in Rustoleum primer, enamel and clearcoat to make the housings look nice. $50 deposit on an Autozone chain wrench rental to cut the tops of the struts off (credited back on return).
Took about 45 minutes per strut to drill out the bottom and cut off the tops. You definitely need a vise to do this. The chain wrench will kick your butt unless you have the strut secured in a vise tightly. A couple days to finish the housings (sand, prime, color, clear). 10 minutes to assemble. Had to wait about one week for the machine shop to do their thing.
All together, I suppose I have about $350 into it, plus my time and the cost of the used struts. Built casually over the course of a week or two. Still have to put them on, but really looking forward to it.
Procedure for making your own set of Koni Struts for your TurboDodge. Procedure and part #'s are for an '88 Shelby Z. Ensure part fitment for your specific vehicle prior to purchasing components and cutting your struts (can't go back).
I used the SRT-4 Sport inserts, Part# 8641 1474Sport
Others have used WRX inserts, Part# 8610 1351Sport
Either way, you will need to lathe the top of the strut rod down to allow it to pass through the bushing in the bearing assembly and leaving enough exposed thread to engage the main nut. The Konis are easily disassembled by a competent professional, allowing them to place the rod in a lathe. I had the machine shop remove 1 3/8" of material below the threads. This left plenty of thread for the nut afterward.
1) Remove, disassemble strut assembly. BE CAREFUL. If you have not done this before, get someone that has to help you. Compressed springs can kill or severely injure you if not handled properly.
2) With spring and bearing assembly removed, clamp strut assembly in a vise with the bottom of the strut tube facing up (vertical).
3) Grind or sand off the welded bump in the middle of the strut bottom.
4) Using a center punch, mark the center of the strut tube for drilling.
5) Adjust strut to a horizontal position. Begin drilling into the strut tube. Use a small bit. You will be relieving the pressurized gas in the tube. It is non-flammable. Work slowly and listen for the gas escaping. Once gas has escaped, drill into tube, but do not use a lot of force. The existing strut inside the housing will snap your bit if you hit it too hard.
6) With the hole in the bottom, remove the strut assembly from the vise carefully in order to avoid spilling the oil. Over a bucket, work the strut rod in and out like a pump to force the oil out the bottom of the strut. Dispose of oil properly.
7) Place strut assembly back in vise and gradually open hole to 1/2". Your hole must be centered. If it isn't centered, you will need to open the hole further to allow the bolt to mate with the strut insert threads.
8) With the hole complete, turn strut assembly around so that the top of strut is near you. Using a tail pipe cutter or chain wrench (Autozone rental tool), begin working the metal until you cut the top of the strut off. The Konis will come with directions as to how to make the proper measurement for placement of the cut. This took me about 5 minutes per strut and will leave your hands hurting like hell - but don't be a wuss - you're a manly man with homemade Konis in your near future.
9) Once you break through, you may need to whack the strut top with a small sledge hammer to break off the top. With top separated, slide the strut out of the housing and throw away.
10) Grind the sharp edges back around the cut - it will be very sharp.
11) Test fit the insert. Slide your insert into the housing up to the press-fit bumps. Do not install all the way. Make sure you can thread the bolt into the strut insert through the bottom hole. If not, you may need to widen the hole for engagement.
12) Once everything lines up, take the insert out. Assuming you want a nice looking pair of struts, clean off all the old oil and grime (Oven Cleaner is great) and sand the rust and old paint off. Prime, color and clear coat with your choice of paints. Or powder coat if you are a playa'.
13) Once the finish is dry, slide the rubber sleeve all the way up and onto the insert. Then drop the insert into the housing. Insert the bolt with the two washers provided and begin tightening. This requires your own allen wrench. If you measured correctly, the press-fit bumps at the top of the insert will be pulled down into the housing and everything will snug up nicely. I did not have to use any kind of hammer to do this.
14) With insert completely tightened, slide the rubber sleeve over the lip of the housing.
15) Per the Koni instructions included with your struts, make your initial adjustments to the strut compression and rebound settings.
16) Install springs and bearings on struts. Install assemblies in car. Adjust firmness to your liking. Commence shredding about town and track.
I would like to add. The SRT 4 Koni thing has been done on the L body because the whole strut works with the top mount better than a Daytona. With my car to make SLH 4 work on the GLHS I use a Daytona strut with a spacer and a coil over spring.
Sooo those looking for doing a 11.3" front disk bolt on to a L body can do this mod without machining the strut rod. Then add it to the L body with a coil over. The 11" brakes of course fit the back anyway lol.
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