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Old 06-24-2013, 03:30 PM   #1
jstbstn
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Member#: 35020
Join Date: Apr 2003
Chapter/Region: VIC
Location: jameson@dalesmotorsport.com
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02 WRX - Stage WTF
04 WRB WRX Wagon - Stg 2+

Default So you're installing your own coilovers....

Since the market these days is FULL of a broad spectrum of coilover options and a lot of people choose to do their own installs today, I thought I would give a few pointers to help keep the coilovers working well now and into the future and at the same time helping keep your alignment tech happy. This might be common knowledge to many of you but some may not know and we see issue's enough through all makes and models that I thought this may be helpful.

A lot of people choose to pick up used coilovers these days since there are always some floating around and one of the biggest problems we see in this scenario is seized components... collars, camber plates, bearings, etc. These issues tend to be less common on high end stuff like Ohlin's or KW's but if you choose to go the used route no matter what the grade of coilover do yourself a favour and do some work on the units before installing them.

1. clean the strut body of the coilover well with brake clean or something like WD40 I've always found works very well. Make sure to get all debris out of the threads to lessen the chance of seizing.
2. loosen off all of the collars. If they won't move then soak the coilovers over night in a penetrating lubricant such as Deep Creep.
3. Once they are loosened apply copper anti seize to the threads and make sure to move the collars through the range to ensure all threads have a nice coating. If you have a coilover that threads into the clevis for height adjustment, make sure to completely remove it from there to clean inside and apply anti seize.
4. If your coilovers are equipped with camber plates make sure the set screws have been removed and anti seize applyed as well as cleaning the mating surface between the plate and the mount. Make sure the bearing moves smoothly and no debris is in it.
5. Pre-assemble your coilovers for install roughly setting height to where the manual says too and be diligent in your measurments. Spring pre-load should be tight but the coil should still be able to be rotated by hand when no compression is on it.
6. Once your coilovers are installed remember to clean them regularly!!

With brand new coilovers the most important thing you can do is apply anti seize and work to pre-set height accurately to make for less adjustments on the ground and again on the alignment rack.

Hope this helps make your home installs or preparing of used suspension for install a little bit better Please ask questions if you have any!

Jameson Smith
Dale's Operations Manager
jameson@dalesmotorsport.com
604-530-9160
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
coupe-a-loop
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Join Date: Oct 2012
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Location: Scuurrvey BC
Vehicle:
1995 v2 sti type ra
Glacier White

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Great advice, of which alot can be carried over to any component on your vehicle. Being a fairly new official member here, just seeing your posts over the last couple days, I'm glad your back with us. Thanks for the tips!
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:26 PM   #3
on9
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Great info!
Just a quick question. Is it a good/bad thing to preload the spring?
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:40 PM   #4
jstbstn
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04 WRB WRX Wagon - Stg 2+

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You want spring preload on a coilover to prevent any unwanted clunking due to the spring walking during extension however too much spring load and you're more likely to get coil bind so it has to be a balanced medium. Basically what we look for when a coilover is installed; if you jack up the front end and let the suspension sag you should be able to grab the coil and rotate it both directions by using a moderate amount of force. With coilovers that use the spring perch to increase height and have no helper springs to balance preload this becomes a bit of a mute point.

Jameson Smith
Dale's Operations Manager
jameson@dalesmotorsport.com
604-530-9160
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:06 AM   #5
Sleeka
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Default

I wonder about the timing as I just installed some ST coilovers and am not sure it is correct. I found the most confusing part was how the top mounts work. There is never clear directions or pictures for this step and when using the rears it seemed a little strange the way the rubber sits with the coilovers.

Also in my case it seems like the car is now jiggling down the road. My stomach was sore from it. Since this is my first set of coilovers I don't have a reference to base the ride on. Doesn't seem right to me though.

The install part is actually pretty easy but its always a little stressful thinking it may be done wrong. I can see that paying to have them installed would have eased my mind greatly.

Anybody else have some install advice?
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:15 AM   #6
coupe-a-loop
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Glacier White

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeka View Post
I wonder about the timing as I just installed some ST coilovers and am not sure it is correct. I found the most confusing part was how the top mounts work. There is never clear directions or pictures for this step and when using the rears it seemed a little strange the way the rubber sits with the coilovers.

Also in my case it seems like the car is now jiggling down the road. My stomach was sore from it. Since this is my first set of coilovers I don't have a reference to base the ride on. Doesn't seem right to me though.

The install part is actually pretty easy but its always a little stressful thinking it may be done wrong. I can see that paying to have them installed would have eased my mind greatly.

Anybody else have some install advice?
If your using the original top hats from the oem struts, then you'll likely need different top hats for the coilovers. Check with your supplier. If it don't feel right then its probably not.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:16 AM   #7
Scott_2.5TS
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...and remember not to put the conical washer upside down and 3 holes on front top hats face outward

Also:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post


Here is what the conical washer looks like edge-on. This picture shows the correct orientation: Small face up, large face down.



If you place the stock conical washer onto the upper spring perch properly, you can see that the stock conical washer completely fills the flat spot on top of the upper spring perch and there is no gap between the washer and perch.




However, if you were careless and put the stock conical washer onto the spring perch upside down, you would see a gap between the perch and washer and the washer would not fill the entire flat spot on the perch.



This is the underside of the front strut mount. You can see the bearing that allows for steering in the center. The shiny ring of metal in the very center turns easily to allow for steering. The somewhat rusty ring of metal just outside of that is the outer edge of the bearing. The outer edge does not turn and will prevent steering if the washer contacts the outer edge.




When the stock conical washer is properly installed, the washer will only contact the inner, movable race of the bearing. There will then be a gap between the outer edge of the bearing and the outer edge of the washer, as there is in this picture.



If you install the stock conical washer upside down, washer will lie flat against both the inner and outer portions of the bearing. This will lead to the washer becoming jammed between the bearing and the upper spring perch. When this happens, steering becomes very difficult and many problems ensue.

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Old 06-26-2013, 11:30 AM   #8
jstbstn
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04 WRB WRX Wagon - Stg 2+

Default

Some great discussion here guys!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeka View Post
I wonder about the timing as I just installed some ST coilovers and am not sure it is correct. I found the most confusing part was how the top mounts work. There is never clear directions or pictures for this step and when using the rears it seemed a little strange the way the rubber sits with the coilovers.

Also in my case it seems like the car is now jiggling down the road. My stomach was sore from it. Since this is my first set of coilovers I don't have a reference to base the ride on. Doesn't seem right to me though.

The install part is actually pretty easy but its always a little stressful thinking it may be done wrong. I can see that paying to have them installed would have eased my mind greatly.

Anybody else have some install advice?
Hopefully the info above provided you some insight to mentally review your install procedure. The ST's are a great coilover, I sell a ton of them, and they do not require a new style upper mount to be installed on your vehicle; granted that your mounts are not worn out. A common addition to installing new coilovers like these is to get Group N mounts at the same time or for the front's Whiteline makes the comp C mounts that add +.75 degrees caster and -0.5 degrees camber. Personally I usually recommend new mounts to customers when they are installing new suspension and their mounts have 80K km on them or more just to save the headache of having to do the job all over again if the mounts start making noise. If it's in the budget, great, if it's not at least everyone knows what to expect.

Jameson Smith
Dale's Operations Manager
jameson@dalesmotorsport.com
604-530-9160
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:38 PM   #9
steve
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All these things we take for granted now.
But I remember my first spring install so long ago; and I put the washer in upside down.




Live and learn.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:24 PM   #10
Akord
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2002 Legacy Wagon
Blue / Gold

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I just got coils installed about a month ago and now I'm trying to raise em up. One of the coils I cannot adjust the height cuz its pretty seized. I can loosen the bottom collar though but just cannot get the whole thing to turn.

Any suggestions? I tried PB blaster and wd40 on it. Can I heat it up or something

thanks!
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:02 PM   #11
jstbstn
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02 WRX - Stage WTF
04 WRB WRX Wagon - Stg 2+

Default

What kind of coilovers are they man?? Applying heat to a strut body can only be done in small amounts or you could cause damage to the internals. It usually takes a large amount of heat to break collars loose and more than is safe. It'd soak the collars for a couple days in deep creep and then try to get it loose. Try to lower it first to expose the threads to move upward and clean the threads and see if that helps.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:40 PM   #12
FRStan
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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2015 Forester XT DGM
2005 TSX NHBP

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Hi, I got a T1R coilover that clunks when steering. The shop that sells this brand replaced a teflon seat on the bottom of the springs and the problem was fixed, but came back within a week. Are you guys able to possibly replace it with something even more durable? I am afraid they will replace with the same thing and it'll come back.

Quote:
We were having issues with thh T1R B52 damper kit for the BRZ & FRS. We were getting a popping sound when cranking the steering wheel which caused the bottom perch to loosen up although it was tight. The main reason to cause this issue was the rubber spring seats, which failed to allow the spring to turn freely. This created drag from the spring to the suspension, meaning when you turn, the springs are dragged to the spring perch moving in a direction and this cause the suspension to go loose.

We found the fix for this issue. By switching out the rubber spring seats to Teflon spring seats, the spring can turn freely with no drag.
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