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Installing coilovers isnt too difficult, can get it done in a day if its your first time or half a day if you are pretty quick at it. I've put up some pics, I should have taken a few more but I just kind of forgot so will explain it in words and stuff.
There is a thread on coilovers and spring rates so I wont go into detail about them. The main benefit is to have a lower, better handling car to make it more appealing to the female kind and/or increase the moistness of female occupants within the vehicle at the time when you do skids around corners with perfect control. They will worship your loins, true story.

N.B the above story is probably not true

Tool you will need for the job:



Breaker bar (for wheels/stubborn bolts)
Spring compressors (you can do the rears without them but its a pain in the ass, dont be a cheap bastard like Yujia and buy a set, they are about $15 for a set)
Hammer/gimpy (if you have a real gimp that would also be kinda cool)
Assorted drives and extensions depending on your socket set, 1/2", 3/4", etc..
Spanners, 17mm and 19mm
Cutting device of some sort
C-Spanner (usually comes with coilovers or can make your own)

and the following sockets:



10mm, 12mm, 17mm, 19mm and 22mm (for the spring compressors)

Ok so its up to you how you want to do the install, I did my drivers side and then my passengers side as I dont have enough room in my garage so had to turn the car around at some point. Jack it up, put axel stands under and take wheels off (if you need a DIY guide for this STOP NOW and trade your car in for a Mazda 121). You will need to remove the rear seats, again I havent done a guide for this as its reasonably easy. Grab the bottom of the base of the seat and pull up, repeat on the other side and remove. That will expose the bolts that hold the rear seat in, take them off and the seat belt holders then remove the back of the seat. (If I remember i'll take some photos putting the seat back in and update this, which is reasonably unlikely, but i'll try...sort of).

Before you start, if you are buying new coilovers then yay, but if they are second hand clean them up as much as you can, specifically the thread to wind the coilovers up/down smash some WD40 or CRC to lube her up like an uncertain virgin that way it will help to wind them up/down. With the coilovers, you want to wind them up a fair way so there is around 20mm of thread left showing at the top of the thread. Its easier to wind them down when they are in the car than up. To wind the coilovers back off the locking ring then use the c-spanner to hold the winding ring and use your other hand to turn the shock.

Now each shock/spring/coilover whatever you want to call them is held in by 4 bolts. One large one that goes through the bottom of the shock at the bottom and then three that protrude through the car and are held on by nuts either behind the rear seat, or in the engine bay. 

Remove the bottom bolt by using a socket to crack it then a spanner to hold the nut. Its a long bolt so it can take a while for it to come through. I've pictured the rear below, its 19mm. The fronts are 17mm.




Excuse the brakes, havent driven the car for a while 

Remove the three nuts of the top of the suspension, 12mm deep socket, or spanner/racthet spanner.

Rear:


Front (will need to take the ignitor off on one side so there will be a total of five 12mm nuts):


When you do the fronts they have a brake line holder that also connects to the shock. Its a 10mm bolt held in two places (red arrows), so remove these. Now if your coilovers have a brake line holder mounting hole thing on them then leave the bracket on the brake line (where the green arrow is pointing), if they do not, like mine, wiggle the brake line out from this bracket.


Ok for the rear that is all you have to do unbolting stuff. For the fronts you need to unbolt the strut from the top wishbone. In the pic below the number one arrow is pointing to a split pin (I have the limited edition invisible version, I had already taken it out at this point), remove this by pushing it forward, then pulling the bent piece over the bolt and pulling it out. Then using a 17mm (I think!) take this bolt off.


Using a hammer/gimpy/gimp hit upwards HARD to dislodge the wishbone. (if you are lucky the coilover will OMG materialise like mine did!)


Loose as a goose:


Everything is free balling now, so we are good to go to take them out. Like I said before you CAN do the rears without a spring compressor but its a waste of time if you have spring compressors which you need for the fronts anyways. In the above pic the L and R indicate where you should place your spring compressors (lols i really shoulda put a pic for this!). Make sure you have the bolt toward the bottom so you can wind them up too btw. Place them as high as possible, need to get them undernear the wishbone (not for the rear) and slide them around so they are opposite each other. They wont be even as you can get one higher on the top coil than the other, but just make sure they are firmly in place with the bottoms undernear the shock. If you cant get them under like the KYB ones I had then use the bottom coil of the spring to mount it on. Hand tighten the spring compressors, and then use your 22mm drive to wind them from there, OR if you have a rattle gun your life will be a lot easier! Do each side a little bit at a time until they are almost as compressed as you can get them (the more compression you achieve the easier they are to take out).

Now the fun part is getting them out, need to drop the bottom of the shock down and out past all your swaybar links and crap until the top of the suspension can come out, then careful not to scratch your guard, pull them out diagonally from the car. (i'll get pics of this if i ever do coilovers again, sorry chumps!  )

Once it is out weigh your original set-up to your coilovers and admire the massive weight loss you have achieved! Put the coilovers in the same way you took your last ones out (in reverse) and put the three studs through the top of your strut tower. You will notice that unless you are lucky, the bolt at the bottom of the shock probably wont line up with where it has to go on the hub. Simple, twist the coilover (which is being held in by the three bolts in the strut tower) until it lines up. Use your jack to lif the hub of the car up (use the bottom of your disc brake to jack it up, its not taking any weight so it wont do any damage you are merely lifting it into place) until the bottom of the shock is lined up with its mounting bracket. Insert the long bolt (need to slowly adjust jack until it slides through easily, be careful not to fuck the bolt), place nut on other end, tighten. Put the nuts on the three studs on the top of the coilover and tighten. This is all you have to do for the rears.

For the fronts, attach the strut to the wishbone and put the nut on and tighten. You will notice that you cant tighten it as it just turns (FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU I BROKE SOMETHING). Its ok Captain Awesome to the rescue, pull down on the wishbone as you tighten and bobs your aunty it will tighten up no problems.


For the fronts, attach the brake line bracket onto the coilover (for the fronts, if you have one), if you dont have one then cabletie!!!!! (BODGEPRO):


All done. Put wheels back on, lower car down and go for a quick drive to let the suspension settle in. Adjust the coilover to your liking by using the c-spanner to wind up/down. When you are doing this make sure that you measure from the centre of your wheel to the top arc of the wheel arch to ensure they are all the same height. Finally take it to get an alignment.

Thats all folks, now go slay some low socio-economic prostato street walking short skirt and fluffy boot wearing skanks!


Love Steve. 

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Article submitted on 29 Nov 2015
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