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How to install coilovers?

How to install coilovers?

Some of us have installed coilovers on our cars. Even though coilovers are one of the most expensive upgrades available, we don't mind doing it. After all, they offer many advantages over struts and shocks and can improve our car's performance and handling. However, our car often suffers from numerous handling problems because coilovers are not installed correctly!

What are coilovers?

They are a mixture of a coil spring and a shock absorber in a single unit. There are several different types, including those that allow you to adjust the height of the car. Installing coilovers is a fairly simple do-it-yourself job. Plus, most threaded coilovers will fit your car, so you should have no trouble finding the perfect fit for your needs and budget.

Why Install Coilovers?

Installing a coilover allows you to install two or more springs with different loads that work in tandem with the shock, and most importantly, since you can decide how much travel each spring can have, it's possible to change the shock's response elasticity (which differs from the hydraulic setting) and thus the car's behavior. We'll devote a section below to spring selection.

It is possible to install a single coilover per wheel or to combine a coilover whose sole function is to support the springs and dampen low-speed loads with a special shock absorber, technically known as a "bypass", whose function is to dampen medium and high-speed loads.

How to Install Coilovers: Steps to Follow

Front Coilover Installation

Step 1

Remove the front wheels to access the brake line support bolt. This is located on the strut body, and while you won't be doing anything with it right away, doing it first will make things a lot easier later.

STEP 2

This is optional, but highly recommended. You should disconnect the sway bar from the link. Just remove the bolt and nut and the sway bar should be free. This will give you more room to maneuver and make things easier and safer, and it's as easy as it gets. It's optional, but there's literally no reason not to.

Step 3

Behind the disc brake you'll find a nut and bolt. These connect the shock to the lower control arm. Disconnect them.

Step 4

Remove the plastic panel that covers the engine. Don't pull it out if you feel it's stuck, because that probably means you haven't loosened all the bolts. Pulling it out could break it, and you don't want that. Remove all the bolts (two per wheel arch and a few more on the underside) and the gasket should come off.

Step 5

Removing the trim will give you access to the bolt and nut that holds the upper wishbone in place. This bolt is longer than the others. Unscrewing it will separate the upper wishbone.

Step 6

Reach under the hood and unscrew the two nuts in the strut tower. Removing them completely will allow you to easily remove the strut, as these two nuts connect the top of the strut to the strut tower.

Step 7

First, connect the strut to your air compressor. Then remove the nut that holds the top bracket to the strut.

Step 8

This top bracket needs to be connected to the coilover after it is removed from the strut. While you're connecting the top bracket to the coilover, make sure all the parts are in the right order. This is especially important for the parts that go between the spring and the upper bracket. Some types of coilovers may have more parts than others, but for all of them, you need to make sure that all the parts are in the correct order. This shouldn't be difficult, but it is essential.

Step 9

Connect the bracket to the coilover and make sure there's no slack.

Step 10

Place the coilover in the wheel arch and insert the upper support pins through the holes in the strut tower. Tighten the two nuts at the top of the strut tower. These are the two nuts you removed from under the hood in step 6.

Step 11

This is a combination of the previous steps in reverse order. Essentially, it's a matter of putting everything back in place. Here's a quick checklist:

  • Connect the upper wishbone using the long bolt. Make sure everything is in its original place, including the two washers.
  • Connect the lower wishbone.
  • Attach the stabilizer bar to the link.
  • Attach the bracket to the brake line.
  • Replace the plastic lining and don't forget any of the bolts. Start from the bottom.
  • Replace the wheel

Rear Coilover Installation

Step 1

Once the rear wheels are disassembled and removed, disconnect the sway bar.

Step 2

Unscrew the bolt that connects the control arm to the strut.

Step 3

Remove the trunk carpet to gain access to the upper rear wheel mounts.

Step 4

Remove the metal cover over the fuel line.

Step 5

The rear tower is underneath, and once you're there, remove the two nuts. If you can't reach the nuts, don't apply excessive force around the fuel lines. Use an extension instead.

Step 6

With the nuts removed, you'll be able to pull the hub down and disconnect the shock absorber.

Step 7

Use the compressor to remove the mount and install it on the coilover as you did on the front.

Step 8

Tighten the upper shock mount to the strut tower and reinstall the metal cover and the mat you removed earlier.

Step 9

Connect the lower shock to the hub.

Step 10

Install the sway bar and replace the rear wheels.

What are the benefits of coilovers?

Knowing the benefits is just as important as knowing how to install them.  

  • Improved Handling: When installed correctly, your car will handle better. With coilovers, you can take tight corners in comfort.  
  • Easily Adjustable: Adjustable coilovers help you raise and lower your car with ease. Whether you're on a long road trip or at a car show, adjustable coilovers can raise and lower your car with ease.

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