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coilover install 'how to'?

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Can someone please point me in the direction of a good 'how to' for coilovers? I am getting some really ridiculous quotes from local shops and I am thinking about doing it myself.

Thank you!

John
 
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1
It's actually really easy.
Have you tried finding a haynes manual or something similar at a local auto parts store? That can be a decent guide for the job.
But in general, what you see is what you get. It's pretty much like lego. You only need to get the torque specs right.
 
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boro92 - stop making sense, please! It's much easier to sit behind my keyboard and ask a stupid question than actually do any leg work myself - hah!

I generally do all of my own work on my cars and motorcycles so this shouldn't be too much of a stretch. I just like to be prepared for it - in my experience, even on seemingly simple things, there is always at least one "I don't have that tool" or "where the heck does that go?" moment.

I have reviewed some spring how tos and since the coilovers should be direct plug ins I am hoping it won't be too difficult.
 
Just got finished on a coil over upgrade. It is pretty straightforward. Some watch outs, mostly for the rears:
  • If you have remote reservoirs, you have to figure out hose routing and where to drill the access holes
  • If your rear struts have an eyebolt both ends, the FRPP upper rear mounts provide a clevis mount and are bolt in, but the top stud bolt is a smaller diameter than the upper bushing in the stock damper. I used steel plate inside the trunk on top of the wheel well to compensate. Torque Spec for this is 29.5 ftlbs
  • I've seen some concerns posted here re the load bearing capacity of the rear wheel wells. Not sure if this is real, but not a concern for me as I have the cooltech roll bar that mounts to these locations.
  • Having said that the outer reinforcement plates that come with the Cooltech bar needed some modification to accommodate the FRPP upper mounts
  • Make sure you get the correct spacers for the top and bottom bushings on the rear struts. I used the same (lower stock bolts) at the top, but you have to shorten them.
 
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Thank you for the replies, guys!

I picked up some KW V3s from Jegs where they were several hundred less than anywhere else I found. They arrived today but I haven't even had a chance to open the box. According to the online instructions from KW, it seems like they come with shorter rear bumpstops. I have P springs currently and that install was very simple on a lift but I will be doing it in a friend's garage without lift. Still looks simple(ish).
 
Champale said:
Thank you for the replies, guys!

I picked up some KW V3s from Jegs where they were several hundred less than anywhere else I found. They arrived today but I haven't even had a chance to open the box. According to the online instructions from KW, it seems like they come with the proper '11+ strut tops and shorter rear bumpstops. I have P springs currently and that install was very simple on a lift but I will be doing it in a friend's garage without lift. Still looks simple(ish).

PM sent
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,545
2,376
Arizona, USA
Assuming the KWs came assembled and the damper reservoir is hard-mounted to the damper body, this should be relatively easy.

If you're handy with a wrench and have a buddy help you (and maybe some air tools) you could bust this out in an afternoon.
If none of the above, could be an all-day thing. Not too difficult, though.
 
Besides having standard ratchets, sockets, and torque wrenches, I suggest getting an offset wrench for the strut hat (see picture below). Sorry, I can't remember the diameter needed off the top of my head. Spring compressors will make your life easier when transferring the strut hat. If you're doing KW V3s (which reuse the stock hat), now is a great time to install some aftermarket camber/caster plates. Maximum motorsports or Vorshlag make popular pieces. You'll also save the hassle of needing to reuse the stock strut hat if you go that direction.

If you want to get more thorough with your car's setup, adjustable swaybar endlinks will let you accurately corner balance your car once your coilovers are installed. Not an issue if it's primarily street driven, or NOT seriously track driven I should say.


image_17649.jpg
 
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I really appreciate all of the tips you guys have been providing! I have Maximum Motorsports CC plates on the way.
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
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neema said:
Besides having standard ratchets, sockets, and torque wrenches, I suggest getting an offset wrench for the strut hat (see picture below). Sorry, I can't remember the diameter needed off the top of my head. Spring compressors will make your life easier when transferring the strut hat. If you're doing KW V3s (which reuse the stock hat), now is a great time to install some aftermarket camber/caster plates. Maximum motorsports or Vorshlag make popular pieces. You'll also save the hassle of needing to reuse the stock strut hat if you go that direction.

If you want to get more thorough with your car's setup, adjustable swaybar endlinks will let you accurately corner balance your car once your coilovers are installed. Not an issue if it's primarily street driven, or NOT seriously track driven I should say.


image_17649.jpg

This is what I used with my swap. Hold the stud with a smaller wrench, turn the nut tight with the larger. Check and snug up with a torque wrench.
 
neema said:
Besides having standard ratchets, sockets, and torque wrenches, I suggest getting an offset wrench for the strut hat (see picture below). Sorry, I can't remember the diameter needed off the top of my head. Spring compressors will make your life easier when transferring the strut hat. If you're doing KW V3s (which reuse the stock hat), now is a great time to install some aftermarket camber/caster plates. Maximum motorsports or Vorshlag make popular pieces. You'll also save the hassle of needing to reuse the stock strut hat if you go that direction.
If you want to get more thorough with your car's setup, adjustable swaybar endlinks will let you accurately corner balance your car once your coilovers are installed. Not an issue if it's primarily street driven, or NOT seriously track driven I should say.
Neema, I think you have Clubsport KW, not 3V KW coilovers!?
What is the difference between the two versions for the S197 application? Did you get remote reservoirs? Did you get attached to body remote reservoirs? Did you get camber plates with them? What was the difference in spring rate?any pics? thx!!!
 
Clubsports come with KW camber plates, which are nice units. The springs are standard linear rate 60mm springs on all corners unlike the progressive rate rears on V3s, so it's easy to replace them with other spring rates. They don't come with remote reservoirs and their construction is very similar to the V3's twin tube design. I think the key difference is the spring rates they come with out of the box and the valving.

I wish I had good pictures for you but I haven't snapped a shot of them mounted on the car. They're coming off and will be for sale, so I'll have pictures of them soon. There's a thread on s197forum showing clubsports getting rebuilt, so you can see them up close and personal.

http://www.s197forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=102264&highlight=clubsports
 
Neema, what are you installing in their place?
 
I'm talking with Filip at Cortex. I like the offset front struts and I've been wanting something to address the stock roll center in the rear (i.e. his watt's link). More than anything else, I like the support he provides and the fact that he's local. His setup is getting used by more and more race cars, which is comforting.
 
neema said:
I'm talking with Filip at Cortex. I like the offset front struts and I've been wanting something to address the stock roll center in the rear (i.e. his watt's link). More than anything else, I like the support he provides and the fact that he's local. His setup is getting used by more and more race cars, which is comforting.
I'm with you 100% there. Ordered my Stoptech kit from him too.
 
neema said:
Clubsports come with KW camber plates, which are nice units. The springs are standard linear rate 60mm springs on all corners unlike the progressive rate rears on V3s, so it's easy to replace them with other spring rates. They don't come with remote reservoirs and their construction is very similar to the V3's twin tube design. I think the key difference is the spring rates they come with out of the box and the valving.

I wish I had good pictures for you but I haven't snapped a shot of them mounted on the car. They're coming off and will be for sale, so I'll have pictures of them soon. There's a thread on s197forum showing clubsports getting rebuilt, so you can see them up close and personal.

http://www.s197forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=102264&highlight=clubsports
Thank you for your answer!
So you do not like them...
What are you having instead? Cortex Koni's?
 

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