I have been doing some research on bilstein and konis. It is amazing how hard it is to find out info about these shocks so I thought I would share.
The OEM replacement Bilsteins b461477 and 1478 are recommended by Bilstein Australia for up to a 2" lift. Bilstein here does not rate them for a lift. You can pick these up online for $65US each including shipping which is less than OME. Their dimensions are:
b461477 594mm 365 mm front (extended/compressed)
b461478 591mm 380mm rear
edit: as of 2011 the part numbers have changed but the shock appears to be the same
F4-B46-1478-H0 (or H1)............24-014786 rear
According to specific discussions with Bilstein Australia they are too short for a 2.5" OME lift. However, I suspect they may have picked the 2" cutoff line on purpose to eliminate most lifts from their warranty. If you compare them to the OME specifications below they have the same travel as the n73/74 shocks but are an inch shorter. The question is how much leeway OME has built into their shock length.
I do not know what you guys mean by "HD" bilstein shocks but all bilstein custom series shocks (5100-9100) are eye/eye fittings which do not fit on an 80 stud/stud front, stud/eye rear setup without adaptors (in which case to compensate for the adaptors you need a shock 2" shorter on the front and 1" shorter on the rear). I udnerstand you can special order from bilstein but I guess price becomes an issue plus I can't get past voicemail at bilstein usa to see if they have anything custom recommended. Bilstein australia has no standard setup sold for larger lifts and the stock shocks apparently get used a lot on bigger lifts.
Koni has no stock recommended shock for an 80 in north america.
The Koni Heavytrack and Raid shocks designed for the 80 series can be special ordered into north america from holland. I am still waiting for prices but have been warned to brace myself. Their dimensions are as follows:
30-1427 353mm 578mm front heavy track gas (no lift)
30-1426 355mm 584mm rear
90-5389 368mm 620mm front raid (up to 50mm lift)
90-5390 384mm 609mm rear
Note that the first "non-lifted" heavy track is shorter than the bilsteins.
I have also found additional heavytracks listed for australia only for up to 50mm lift but I have no dimensions and not sure yet if you can get in north america.
The Koni Raid series above seems like it would work for a bigger lift than 50mm if you compare it to OME lengths which are as follows:
N70 ......... 614 .......... 354 f (neutral lift)
N71E ........ 620 .......... 370 r
N74E ........ 620 .......... 370 f (2.5" lift)
N73 ......... 614 .......... 354 r
N73L ........ 667 .......... 387 f (3.5" lift)
N74L ........ 667 .......... 387 r
It is also interesting that the OME zero lift shocks are so long which makes me think length may be a little arbitrary for OME. If someone could measure the length of their OME 73/74s at full extension with a specific spring then we would know how much leeway they have built in and sort out whether the shorter bilsteins might be fine for the medium/heavy ome lifts.
I do not have stock oem shock measurements other than a recent comment by cruiserdan that they are 1 7/16" (36 mm) shorter than the OME regulars which would be about 584mm. If anyone knows exact length and travel for a baseline that would be great.
Koni Australia also sells a special "88 series" shock for lifted 80s which is apparently a special custom shock put together by the Austyralian distributor. I am trying to get the exact specs on it because in north america an 88 series Koni shock is a motorhome/commercial shock widely available in numerous models. Unfortunately Koni Australia does not seem to want to share.
Koni Australia sells the RAID shocks there as a "90 series". In north america a 90 series shock is a heavy commercial vehicle/bus line of shocks one up from the 88 and, again, there are lots of different shocks available.
Here is the 2004 Koni heavy duty catalog showing the dimensions for 88 and 90 series individual models but not the valving. You can see these are big twin tube shocks with lots of alternatives for length out there, some of which have the stud/stud or stud/eye combo needed for an 80.
Going back to the part numbers listed above for Koni heavytrack and raids you can now see that the first 2 numbers designate the series. The no lift heavytracks are 30 series (monotube 5/8" piston rod). The australian lifted heavytracks are 82 series (not sure what these are) while the Raids are 90 series (twin tube 17.5 or 18 mm pistons). The www.koni4x4.com
site lists a number of features for the RAID shock
The Koni 88 and 90 series are sold direct in north america at www.konirv.com
priced at US$120 and $161 each retail. So far I have not tried to find a discounted price.
Right now I am leaning towards the bilstein stockers if I am sure they will fit because the price is so good, or else ordering an 88 or 90 seires from koni, possibly with custom valving in case i move up in lift.
More data points.
It looks like there is a fairly close match for the OME 73/74Es in the Konis. Here are the specs for the Koni 82 series heavytrack australia (50mm lift shocks) I mentioned above. You can get them in north america special ordered from holland if you allow minimum 6 weeks shipping through koni usa.
82 2385 617 mm / 373mm front
Forces rebound = 2600 N, compression = 1050N
82 2386 617mm / 373 mm rear
Forces rebound = 2300 N, compression = 1050 N
Price is US$ 122 ea and US$ 114 ea. The rebound stats are when stroked at 33 m/s. These are roughly same length, same rear stroke, but a 19mm shorter front stroke than the OME 73/74e combo so you could use them with 0 lift up to at least the ome heavy springs. The 82 series has a 16 mm piston rod, 33 mm piston and 50 mm reservoir. Koni says their shocks carry a 40% surplus of oil over design needs.
For a big lift the following are suggested for the 80 series by Koni at $165 each
90 5055SP2 - 688 mm 399 front
90 2367SP2 - 702 mm 424 rear
Koni "suggests" but will not warranty these shocks on a lifted 80. You can see the stroke is very similar to OME L series but at 21 mm and 35mm longer you would need a lot of spring lift for these big boys plus you might need to mod the shock mounts. According to Koni the pin mounts require a chassis plate that is roughly 10 mm thick. the shocks are 70mm tubes with 80mm dust covers and they need a 30mm dia hole for the pins and the rear eye has a 1" ID and is 1.97" long (my stock eye is 1.25" long but have not measured an OME). Price = US$165 each.
If interested in these or other 90 series options you need to check the rebound rates in the catalog for these models then talk to Koni about how they would rides. I am not sure I understand the rating system they are using.
There remains the possibility of tracking down the elusive 88 series Australian Konis. These would be bigger shocks than the 82 series heavy tracks above and in the same US$120 price ranges. I have tried Koni USA and they are sure they do not exist outside australia. I have also tried Koni Australia without success.
EDit: koni says the 82 series are twin tube single adjustable
I have more info on the Koni shocks including the elusive 88 series...
The $Can price for the 30 series heavytracks and 90 series Raid shocks noted above.
301427 C$118.26/per monotube
905389 C$272.91/per twintube
Plus C$40 freight charge. These shocks are sourced from Holland by Koni North America as a special order. According to Koni Australia these shocks are designed by Koni France. Koni Australia does not sell the 30 monotube series, preferring their 82 heavytrack twintube series line, but they do stock a "few" RAIDS. On an australian forum someone commented it is almost impossible to get koni retailers to give any details about the RAIDs which they do not seem to want to sell.
Here are the specs on the other "82 2385/86sp1" series Koni australian heavytrack noted above. You can also order this through Koni North America and it will be sourced from Holland. This is a twin tube shock rated for "zero lift" by Koni Australia. I believe it is the same price as the longer 82-2385/86 series noted above.
82-2385sp1 , 600 & 372
82-2386sp1 , 584 & 373
Note the dimensions and compare to the bilstein stockers rated to 50mm.
Here are the specs for the 88 series shocks for an 80 only from Koni Australia. Koni Australia has them specially built locally and is prepared to sell these direct into Canada on one off orders with permission from Koni-North America. You could try and buy them by contacting Koni Australia directly, but weight for the price...
88-1688, Max, 615 mm. Min. 363 mm.
88-1689, Max 612, Min 369
The price is ... Aus$642 per pair front, Aus$632 per pair rear! Plus shipping and any duties from Oz! Koni Australia notes that the special 88 series is designed for desert conditions because of problems with heat they had with landcruisers, particularly with the upper shock mount inside the engine compartment.
Koni Australia says no "regular" 88 series truck shock would work on an 80 series without valving and fitting changes. They also expressed confidence their shocks will outperform the OME shocks in all conditions. This is borne out by the respect konis get on Australian forums.
There aren't any longer Koni shocks available because company policy prevents them selling any shock that would stretch stock brakelines or other stock components. You have to go custom if you want bigger. Given the price of their best stock, I will leave that alone.
So folks, I think this now covers specs and prices for every possible shock available from Bilstein or Koni that is designed to fit an 80. There are plenty of eye/eye custom bilsteins out there.