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KongaMan    125
Posted (edited)

I know this topic has been discussed before, but I'm trying to find some middle ground between Monroes and Bilsteins.  I understand that there are KYB shocks for the first-generation cars: KG4550 for the front, and KG54105 (with the 107 adapter kit) for the rear.  From what I can gather, the mounting tabs on the front shocks are a little shorter than the originals (they end about halfway across the mounting holes) and the rear shock is ~1" longer than the Monroes. 

 

Does anyone have any experience with these KYB shocks?  If so, did you encounter any installation or performance issues?

Edited by KongaMan
KYB, not KGB ;P (see edit history)

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Black River    82

I'm running them.  The fronts are shorter on the mounting holes.  I just welded a plate to them and drilled a hole in the proper spot.  They work great, but my car is lowered over 3".  I've always had good luck with their stuff, which is why I went with them again.

 

Lucas

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telriv    44

I've been using them for yrs. It's a GOOD middle of the ground as far as cost. They last longer than any of the others & you DON'T experience that "Float-a-Matic" feeling after only about a yr. except of course for Bilsteins.  All these numbers are the ones I provided MANY yrs. ago.

 

 

Tom T.

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bodayguy    38

I don't see Bilstein as having any shocks for us, according to their online catalog. I have been planning on getting new shocks too but wasn't sure what to get. My main concern is fit, I don't want the mechanic to bi%#$ about installation.

My thought had been just to go to Les Schwab, believe or not, and see what they might do. Any suggestions??

Edited by bodayguy (see edit history)

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KongaMan    125

IIRC, Bilstein (like KYB) has off-the-books shocks for the Riviera.  That is, I think you need to go through the specs to find a shock that fits the application; they don't list it as such (e.g. the KYB rears are listed for a Toyota truck or something).

 

According to my notes, the Bilsteins part #s are 55-R101 (F) and 55-R410 (R).  My understanding is that the 55-R410 supercedes the 55-R216 that folks formerly referenced as a suitable rear shock.  I've also seen reference to a 55-R285.  When I looked into this a few months ago, the cheapest place I found for the Bilsteins was Classic Performance (www.classicperform.com; (714) 522-2000): 55-R101: $89; 55-R285: $87; 55R-410: $89.

 

Specs from my notes (you'll double-check these if you know what's good for you :P):

- KYB KG4550: 9.25"-13.54"

- Monroe 5759: 9.375"-14.875"

 

- Bilstein 55-R410: 14.8"-25.3"

- KYB KG54105: 15.67"-25.31"

- Monroe 5760: 14.635"-24.875"


 

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)

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KongaMan    125
On 5/8/2017 at 5:49 PM, telriv said:

I've been using them for yrs. It's a GOOD middle of the ground as far as cost. They last longer than any of the others & you DON'T experience that "Float-a-Matic" feeling after only about a yr. except of course for Bilsteins.  All these numbers are the ones I provided MANY yrs. ago.

 

I dunno who's responsible for originally finding those numbers, but whoever it was: Well done!

 

I've used KYB Gas-A-Just shocks in other applications and quite like them.  I don't think they're a magic bullet (they certainly won't disguise soft springs or worn bushings), but my experience is they've got a firmer (but not harsh) ride that takes away some of the swim.

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)

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KongaMan    125

It is the KYB Excel-Gs that are under $25; the Gas-A-Just shocks are a bit more.  You'll also note that Summit doesn't list any KYBs for the rear.

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Black River    82

Yessir, but I got mine from them.  I looked them up on the Googles internet machine and just typed that in their search engine.

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bodayguy    38

OPGI lists 55-R102 Bilstein for the rears. 55-R101 for the fronts. Yeah, pricey. More than $100 each.

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telriv    44

The Bilsteins have been SPECIAL BUILT by a member. They ALSO fit some of the Full Size cars. I installed a set on a '64 Wildcat last year.

 

 

Tom T.

 

 

 

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KongaMan    125

The KYB KG4550 (left) and the Monroe 5759 (right) side-by-side.  It's pretty clear that the Monroe has a longer tab.  The KYB tab length is 3.38"; the Monroe is 3.75".  Anyone know the center-to-center distance on the mounting bolts?

 

The KYB is also noticeably firmer.  You can compress the Monroe with gentle pressure; you have to lean on the KYB to get it to move.

 

KYB-vs-Monroe.jpg.5c0e66667cd01e8a75758e7b2ef23bce.jpg

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Seafoam65    158

                 I'm in the car repair business and I bitched to a KYB sales rep that came by trying to sell me his shocks

that I already use his shocks but that the shocks they list for the 65 Riviera fronts do not fit because the lower bracket

is too short. He said that he would get them to take care of the problem, but then later he would not return my phone calls.

I have sent an e-mail to KYB Tech Support in an effort to get them to fix the mounting bracket problem. I'll let you know what they say.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)

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KongaMan    125

I generally don't like half-assing things or jury-rigging parts to make them fit, but, man, those Monroes are soft.  I may have to make a shim/extender for the KYBs to capture the whole head of the bolt.

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Seafoam65    158

Agreed.....I have Monroes on my car and it really bounces when I hit a bad dip in the pavement. I am determined to get

KYB to fix this problem.

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steelman    24

You can press the old slotted base out of the old shock and press it into the new shock. I have had to do this on 55-57 Chevys for years.

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KongaMan    125
2 hours ago, steelman said:

You can press the old slotted base out of the old shock and press it into the new shock. I have had to do this on 55-57 Chevys for years.

 

I was looking at doing exactly that.  The problem is that the bases may not be interchangeable between brands.  That is, the base on the donor shocks may not fit the new shocks.

 

If they do fit, though, a ball joint press might do the job nicely.

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dr914    14

We sell both kyb and bilstein for the riv. (I advertise them in the review) After long years experience with Porsche, I loved the bilsteins so much that they finally made them to fit our cars.  Kyb is cheap and has unsophisticated valving. Bilstein has very sophisticated valving hence the far superior ride.  However even kyb gives a better ride than monroe!  Bilstein on my Dad's original 64 along with the GS spring set made all of the difference in the world, makes one want to add quick ration steering and four piston calipers and disc brakes!  George Hussey

Edited by dr914 (see edit history)

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Seafoam65    158

                KYB gave me the finger regarding making the bracket longer on the shocks that otherwise fit. They

are not interested in our  business, so I am done with them regarding buying their shocks period. I buy a lot of their shocks for

my customer's cars but no more!

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Seafoam65    158
2 hours ago, dr914 said:

We sell both kyb and bilstein for the riv. (I advertise them in the review) After long years experience with Porsche, I loved the bilsteins so much that they finally made them to fit our cars.  Kyb is cheap and has unsophisticated valving. Bilstein has very sophisticated valving hence the far superior ride.  However even kyb gives a better ride than monroe!  Bilstein on my Dad's original 64 along with the GS spring set made all of the difference in the world, makes one want to add quick ration steering and four piston calipers and disc brakes!  George Hussey

Do these Bilsteins bolt right on the front with no modification necessary?

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KongaMan    125
28 minutes ago, Seafoam65 said:

Do these Bilsteins bolt right on the front with no modification necessary?

 

For $400+ a set, Bilstein should send someone out to install them for you. ;)

 

This is the problem: there aren't any great options.  Monroes are too soft, KYBs don't fit without finagling, and the Bilsteins are absurdly priced.

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msdminc    25

They are pricey, but they provide a great ride and bolt right in.

 

Rock On

 

gord

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telriv    44

As stated they ARE pricey, BUT how can you put a price on QUALITY???  The Bilsteins are FAR SUPERIOR than ANYTHING that's available on the market today. These will be the LAST set you will EVER have to purchase. I just about guarantee it!!!!  George went through A LOT of time & trouble to get us NUTS a QUALITY product. Use HIM, support HIM or else NO ONE will go through the trouble of EVER producing any QUALITY parts for our more cost conses consumers.

I go through this SAME scenario that George & others have gone through to produce a QUALITY product, like Mini Starters, Forged pistons, etc. for our beloved "Nails" only to be told they are too pricey. Continue on this path & I GUARANTEE  Back in the 60's I sent KONI my original shocks. It took almost a year, but after 48+ years they are still on the car & function as they did when new. At the time I bought oil & rebuild kits for them. Haven't had a need to use them. The AMAZING thing about them is that the faster you drive the tighter they get. Don't know how that happens, but at 120MPH the car feels as stable as at 60MPH.

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telriv    44

I don't know what happened, but part way through it posted ONLY part of my reply.

Starting with "I GUARANTEE", to finish, NO ONE WILL GO THROUGH THE TIME, TROUBLE OR COST IN $$$$ that it takes to produce these items in a specialty, low volume market. Were not talking Small Block Chevy here will it most likely would sell in the thousands or possibly more. THERE HAS TO BE A ROI!!!!!

Come on people, support him & the others out there willing to take the chance & help them at least recoup some of the expenses associated with taking on such an en devour.

Getting back to the Koni shocks. Way back then, in the late 60's, '68 to be exact, when you could by heavy duty shocks for our cars just about anywhere for between $5.00-$10.00 the Koni's cost me more than $50.00 each, but they are STILL on the car. I know MANY will not have the same car 50+ yrs. later as I, but as stated you can't replace known GOOD QUALITY parts & pieces.

I know I probably have opened a can of worms & I know not everyone can justify the $$$$, but think about how MANY TIMES you will be doing the same thing over & over again & receive the same crappy results expecting better. IT JUST WON'T NORMALLY HAPPEN!!!!

 

 

Just my thoughts on the subject.

 

 

Tom T.

 

 

 

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KongaMan    125

To be fair to KYB, they don't list those shocks as fitting a Riviera.  It's just a happy coincidence that they're so close.  If they did change them to fit, they might no longer be suitable for the original application -- which probably sells a lot more than Riv shocks ever would.

 

As for forking out $400 for other shocks...  It's not a choice between quality and junk here; it's a question of value.  Are the Bilsteins three times better?  I dunno.  But I do know that whatever shocks I install are more than likely going to be the last shocks I ever install on this car.  If I get a satisfactory ride out of them, it's not clear what the justification is for tripling my cost.  Or to put it more bluntly, why should I pay someone just because he went to the trouble to make something I don't need?  That ain't the way the free market works.

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