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Thread: Completed: DIY DRC removal/swap with Koni Yellow Sports....

  1. #1
    Registered User 4.2Crew's Avatar
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    Completed: DIY DRC removal/swap with Koni Yellow Sports....

    Decided to scrap the DRC system and swap to Koni Yellow Sports. After researching the pros and cons of coilovers, Bilstiens, Koni's, KW's etc, I decided to simply remove the DRC strut assemblys and replace with the Koni's---saving/reusing the most of the other related hardware. I did freshen the front strut mounts with new oem's.

    Seems like the most common route is to install coilovers... Can't go wrong there! But I wanted to retain the same ride height, spring rate and ride as stock and save some cake. Coilovers certainly would have worked, but once the suspension was dialed in, I would never touch it again. The only risk I could see swaping in the Koni's was a different (higher) ride hieght... After the swap, the hieght on all four corners is within 1/16" of the stock DRC system!

    So, for about $700 for the Koni's and $80 for new front mounts, a totally fresh, new, quiet, compliant ride was achieved with a much simplier and robust sytem.... Total garage time: 8hrs. Total savings over a comparable 2Bennet system: $1300.

    The ride is slightly less rigid and a bit smoother than the DRC suspension, but still firmer and sporty'er than my 2001 A6 4.2L with factory sport suspension...

    It's amazing how many fittings and splicies are in the system!... No wonder they leak fluid and pressure... Mine was not under ANY pressure when drained.

    Sorry for the blur'd pics....

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    2003 RS6 l SE Exhaust l Koni Yellow Sports w/stock springs l Lowered 1"F 1.25"R l EPL Tuned l 19 x 9.5 VMR V713 & 265 PSS's l 50% window tint l Protective film on entire hood, bumper and front quarter panels l

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    Cool. I have put Koni's on all my cars since 1985 and they have always been great. Question - did you take a ride height measurement before and after? This could be a direction I would go when my DRC dies knockknock. Coil overs are the snizz, and yes, they can allow you to put that ride height where it looks the best (but what most often is put where it is not best for the car....), they also allow corner weighting, simple spring rate changes, etc., etc., but every coil over suspension I have had was "set it and forget it". If this kit is close to that setting, then it is a very viable option.
    Daytona/Ebony/Carbon/SEE/RNS-E/19X9 Speedline "Peelers"

  3. #3
    Registered User MaxRS6's Avatar
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    Congrats on ridding yourself of the oil demon!
    210K miles rolled

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    Registered User 4.2Crew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSU RS6 View Post
    Cool. I have put Koni's on all my cars since 1985 and they have always been great. Question - did you take a ride height measurement before and after? This could be a direction I would go when my DRC dies knockknock. Coil overs are the snizz, and yes, they can allow you to put that ride height where it looks the best (but what most often is put where it is not best for the car....), they also allow corner weighting, simple spring rate changes, etc., etc., but every coil over suspension I have had was "set it and forget it". If this kit is close to that setting, then it is a very viable option.
    Yes, I took measurements from the axle center to the top lip of the wheel wells on all 4 corners 10 minutes prior to tearing into it...

    The Koni's product numbers are:

    Front: 82-2516sport
    Rear: 82-2526sport

    The fronts have about 2.5 full turns of rebound dampening adjustability and the rears have about 1.25 turns... I set the fronts at 1 turn from softest, and rears at 0.5 turns from softest.

    Also, the Koni fronts have only one lower perch groove... Easy enough to cut a groove if ride hieght needs adjustment. The Koni rears have 3 grooves (approx 3/8" apart)... I chose the middle groove which yielded an oem rear ride hieght.
    2003 RS6 l SE Exhaust l Koni Yellow Sports w/stock springs l Lowered 1"F 1.25"R l EPL Tuned l 19 x 9.5 VMR V713 & 265 PSS's l 50% window tint l Protective film on entire hood, bumper and front quarter panels l

  5. #5
    Registered User 4.2Crew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxRS6 View Post
    Congrats on ridding yourself of the oil demon!
    Tell me about it!... My garage floor is spackled with hydraulic oil dripping's and odor after completing this project... Ugh, the garbage probable smells as well----since that is were all the DRC components landed! Off to the home center tomorrow for floor cleaner/degreaser.
    2003 RS6 l SE Exhaust l Koni Yellow Sports w/stock springs l Lowered 1"F 1.25"R l EPL Tuned l 19 x 9.5 VMR V713 & 265 PSS's l 50% window tint l Protective film on entire hood, bumper and front quarter panels l

  6. #6
    Registered User ben916's Avatar
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    Nice work!

    That lift is AWESOME!!!
    SOLD - 03 RS6 Avus (905355)
    Current - 03 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 double cab - the YETI, lifted, winched, snorkeled, lockered, skidded, geared

  7. #7
    Registered User SFJ_RS6's Avatar
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    Very nice work and second that on the awesome lift!! Will you say more about the lift - brand, $$, where you bought it, and how you like it?? I've been wanting a lift for a long time, but unfortunately don't have the overhead for the typical 2- or 4-post type in my residential garage. Yours looks like it could work at my place.
    Last edited by SFJ_RS6; February 18th, 2012 at 03:46. Reason: typo

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    Registered User mik15's Avatar
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    so you have replaced only the shock-absorbers and kept the original springs? could you please post some pictures of the car after the replacement? Congrats on going this way instead of coil overs, i think i will do this as well when the time comes, first of all because it's cheaper and then i don't use the car to its full potential so i am sure i would never change the settings and take full advantage of a KW3 for example...where did you buy the Koni from?
    Ex.: 2004 Audi RS6 C5 ABT, Milltek non-resonated, 19" RS4 B7 rims, RNS-E - SOLD
    2004 AUdi RS6 C5, SE exhaust, RNS-E, 19' original rims - SOLD
    Now :2009 Audi RS6 C6 - stock yet pretty fast

  9. #9
    Registered User 4.2Crew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFJ_RS6 View Post
    Will you say more about the lift - brand, $$, where you bought it, and how you like it?? I've been wanting a lift for a long time, but unfortunately don't have the overhead for the typical 2- or 4-post type in my residential garage. Yours looks like it could work at my place.
    This type of lift is refered to a mid-rise scissor lift... It has a lift height of approx 48", load capacity of 6000lbs, and a collapsed (nested) height of about 5" (so you can drive and park most vehicles over it when not in use.) After looking at different models and price points, I kept an eye out for a deal on the Snap-On model (made by Ammco.) The previous owner purchased it from Snap-On then had it painted blue to match the decor of his garage!... He sold it for around $1000 if I recall---retail was around $2700 at the time.

    Mid-rise lifts could be purchased from Harbor Freight for around $1000 (in 2005 anyway), but I did not warm up to the flimsyness or build quality.

    After living with the lift "on" the floor for a month, I decided to "flush-mount" it by cutting out the concrete floor and repouring a reinforced submerged foundation. When not in use, it's covered with aluminum diamond plate---great for use as an adjustable height bench and motorcycle lift!

    Not sure if Snap-On or Ammco make this specific lift, but I do see'em come up on Ebay occasionly---they hit the scales around 1000lbs so shipping will likely not be free!
    2003 RS6 l SE Exhaust l Koni Yellow Sports w/stock springs l Lowered 1"F 1.25"R l EPL Tuned l 19 x 9.5 VMR V713 & 265 PSS's l 50% window tint l Protective film on entire hood, bumper and front quarter panels l

  10. #10
    Registered User 4.2Crew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik15 View Post
    so you have replaced only the shock-absorbers and kept the original springs? could you please post some pictures of the car after the replacement? Congrats on going this way instead of coil overs, i think i will do this as well when the time comes, first of all because it's cheaper and then i don't use the car to its full potential so i am sure i would never change the settings and take full advantage of a KW3 for example...where did you buy the Koni from?
    Yes, the factory springs were retained...

    I'll post pics later today of the car.

    As for as cost and simplicity, I echo your sentiments exactly!..... Just couldn't see the value in coilovers for my driving lifestyle---"Set it, adjust it, and forget it!" Factor in the cost savings and the fact that, if you do this yourself or pay someone, the labor time is about the same!.... One exception: The 2Bennet coilovers come ready for "bolt-in." But delivered to my door they where just under $2100...

    To my surprise, I couldn't find anyone else in the forum archives that went this route----Or, at least posted about it!....

    Adjustable ride-height coilovers do have an advantage over this method. But, you can cut additional grooves into the Koni strut body to achieve the same results... If using the factory spring, the critical measurement is from the center of the bottom mounting eye to the bottom spring perch----that is where the 95% of the ride height is determined....

    Also, here in MN, the screw-type adjustable spring perches are exposed to extereme envirnmental conditions... Just ask a shop if they like working on adjustable coilovers once those fine threads are corroded!
    2003 RS6 l SE Exhaust l Koni Yellow Sports w/stock springs l Lowered 1"F 1.25"R l EPL Tuned l 19 x 9.5 VMR V713 & 265 PSS's l 50% window tint l Protective film on entire hood, bumper and front quarter panels l

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4.2Crew View Post
    Yes, I took measurements from the axle center to the top lip of the wheel wells on all 4 corners 10 minutes prior to tearing into it...
    So when done, the setting was how close to stock ride height? I would imagine if a spring compression measurement was taken before removing the springs from the DRC, and then matching that to whichever groove on the Koni yielded the same measurement, and then provided that the perch to bottom mount centerline measurement is the same (Koni probably copies it), then it should be close to stock ride height. Was that the case for the front?

    Please give a 1000 mile report. It will also be interesting to see if you feel the need to upgrade the swaybars, since DRC is supposed to be an "active swaybar" there when you need it, and not affecting ride quality when you don't.

    Lastly, again, that lift is killer!

    Thanks for the report!
    Daytona/Ebony/Carbon/SEE/RNS-E/19X9 Speedline "Peelers"

  12. #12
    Registered User 4everRS's Avatar
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    Great job Crew. I would love to feel the difference in handling when I'm down in you neck of the woods.
    Avus Silver RS6 - Viper Stage 2 ECU/TCU - Water/Meth Injection - Frozen Rotors - Hbars - clear corners - Hella smoked tails - gutted precats

  13. #13
    Registered User 4.2Crew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSU RS6 View Post
    So when done, the setting was how close to stock ride height? I would imagine if a spring compression measurement was taken before removing the springs from the DRC, and then matching that to whichever groove on the Koni yielded the same measurement, and then provided that the perch to bottom mount centerline measurement is the same (Koni probably copies it), then it should be close to stock ride height. Was that the case for the front?

    Please give a 1000 mile report. It will also be interesting to see if you feel the need to upgrade the swaybars, since DRC is supposed to be an "active swaybar" there when you need it, and not affecting ride quality when you don't.

    Lastly, again, that lift is killer!

    Thanks for the report!
    To answer your questions:

    Yes, the height is within 1/16" on each corner as before the swap...

    Compressed spring measurements: Short answer, yes... I wasn't too concerned about the compressed measurement, but it was within 1/4" on fronts and rears...

    I drove the car about 60 miles today to get the alignment trimmed back in after the swap.... Wow, what difference! Quiet, compliant, smooth, sporty and luxurious ride! I can tell the DRC did assist the sway bars... Not night and day, but there is a difference.
    2003 RS6 l SE Exhaust l Koni Yellow Sports w/stock springs l Lowered 1"F 1.25"R l EPL Tuned l 19 x 9.5 VMR V713 & 265 PSS's l 50% window tint l Protective film on entire hood, bumper and front quarter panels l

  14. #14
    Registered User 4.2Crew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4everRS View Post
    Great job Crew. I would love to feel the difference in handling when I'm down in you neck of the woods.
    Hey, anytime!... Garage is always open, fridge is always full!...
    2003 RS6 l SE Exhaust l Koni Yellow Sports w/stock springs l Lowered 1"F 1.25"R l EPL Tuned l 19 x 9.5 VMR V713 & 265 PSS's l 50% window tint l Protective film on entire hood, bumper and front quarter panels l

  15. #15
    Registered User 4.2Crew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik15 View Post
    Could you please post some pictures of the car after the replacement?
    Here are two "after" pics:

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    2003 RS6 l SE Exhaust l Koni Yellow Sports w/stock springs l Lowered 1"F 1.25"R l EPL Tuned l 19 x 9.5 VMR V713 & 265 PSS's l 50% window tint l Protective film on entire hood, bumper and front quarter panels l

  16. #16
    Registered User SFJ_RS6's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info about the lift - you've got a very nice setup with it! I'm going to do a little shopping and see where it leads.....

  17. #17
    Registered User mik15's Avatar
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    it looks just as before, i could even say that it's better on the rear as it looks a bit lower than with the DRC, one again great job, keep us posted with your feedback over time/miles....
    Ex.: 2004 Audi RS6 C5 ABT, Milltek non-resonated, 19" RS4 B7 rims, RNS-E - SOLD
    2004 AUdi RS6 C5, SE exhaust, RNS-E, 19' original rims - SOLD
    Now :2009 Audi RS6 C6 - stock yet pretty fast

  18. #18
    Registered User lswing's Avatar
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    Nice work! I'm doing this same swap next week. Was thinking of using the lowest perch for the rears, by your pics it looked to be riding a bit higher than the front. What's your impression of your cars stance? Just hoping I don't sag in the back. Really looking forward to the new ride as my drc is harsh as hell frozen over...going to start with soft all around and go from there.
    Ace/Edge TC - Tozo Trans - MTM TCU - REVO/ME7 tune - Wagner IC's w/ Venair Hoses - Aux Radiator delete - Hotchkis Sways - Hawk HPS Pads - Koni Sport Struts - Scroll KO4 Turbos - Devil's Own WM - 421whp/452wtq on Mustang Dyno - http://www.audirssix.com

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