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Old 03-04-2014, 12:56 AM   #1
erok81
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Member#: 300717
Join Date: Nov 2011
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
JBP

Default Coilover Install Help

I recently installed some Tein Streetflex coilovers on my 2004 WRX and have some questions on adjustment and what not. If you don't know the street flex have independent height and preload adjustments. Preload is adjusted by the two upper locking collars and height by the lower lock ring that moves the body up and down from the knuckle mount. Anyway, onto the questions.

I installed these according to tein's specs and noticed my car wasn't quite level. Maybe 1/2-3/4". So I adjusted the lower collar the exact distance I needed to lower of raise to match the other side. However, I would lower one side say an inch and one would think that would lower the car an inch. But it didn't. I'd get maybe a 1/4". So I got all four corners about the same to each other. However the adjustment on the coilover (not touching preload) was close to two inches different compared to the opposite side. My question is - is that normal? I would think that they would all be similar. Two inches seems like a lot to me.

Next up I took it for a ride and it seemed a little more harsh than it should be. So I popped off the front tire and compared shaft travel. One side had quite a lot of travel, the other side maybe a finger width. Both with the car weight on the suspension. However the preload is exactly the same on each side. The only difference is the height adjustment. That doesn't seem normal either.

So to adjust these do I need to do something with the preload as well when I am adjusting the height? From what I read it doesn't seem that way.

I checked the part number on the coils and they are the same. My previous spring/strut combo sat level.

How do your adjustments compared corner?
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:25 AM   #2
erok81
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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2004 WRX
JBP

Default

After reading a few threads and google searches I am going to try ditching Tein's instructions, set each coil at 0 preload, then adjust them and see what happens.

But my question still stands - how much different are your setups side to side? And what would cause a car with exactly the same preload to have almost no shaft travel on one side but loads on the other?
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:47 PM   #3
erok81
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2004 WRX
JBP

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Okay check this out. Either my car is jacked up or something is going on.

In order to get the front level here is what the adjustments look like!




Next up...preload. In order to get a similar shaft travel on each front side (I know this is a dumb way to do it) I had to give the passenger side about 5/8 additional preload and the other side negative preload - so the coil was flopping around by maybe 1/2" or more.

Here is what I don't get. The passenger side needs more preload and the driver less preload just to be even.

You can see from my measurements and photo this thing has to be completely out of whack to sit level with even shaft travel.

What's going on here??
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:47 PM   #4
erok81
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One last attempt at this. Set the "height adjustment" exact the same by coilover measurements not off of the body. Then set the preload to zero on both sides. Weighted the suspension....passenger side sitting on the bumpstop driver side plenty of travel.

I have no idea what I can be doing wrong. Camber is as close as I can get it at home without proper alignment tools. Both coilovers are set exactly the same. Yet one side just bottoms out.

I think my only solution is just to half ass this and won't handle well. Split the difference. Negative preload on one side, positive on the other, then split the height adjustment over each side. One corner will have much more preload and sit higher than the other side, but at this point it's the only way I am going to get this thing back on the road.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:21 AM   #5
blubug_768
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Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Morgan Hill CA.
Vehicle:
02 WRX

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I don't have tiens but all mine are within 10mm. Are your spring rates the same on each side? Take the side off that's bottoming out and make sure its not blown out. When you change height/preload on one corner you transfer the weight of the car around, that's why 1" of changes don't equate to 1" of ride height. Also is the dampening set the same on both sides?
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:50 AM   #6
Back Road Runner
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2004 Forester STI
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If preload and height adjustment are set equal and you get different results, it's likely mismatched springs, example you accidently swapped one rear spring with one front one. It's also possible Tein sent you the wrong/mislabeled springs. Take them off the car, disassemble the coilover and manually feel the spring. Set them on the floor and push down and press on one side and bend the coil to one side. Repeat with all four springs. You should clearly be able to differentiate the soft and firm springs by their stiffness to load and flex. As well both pairs should feel the same between their counterpart. You should end up with 4 springs that feel like 3 or 4 different rates. They should feel like 2 very specific rates, and each pair should feel and deform equally.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:43 AM   #7
erok81
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JBP

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I thought about trying that next - swapping the coils side to side to see if I lose all of my up travel on the opposite side after the swap. They are labeled the same which is why I put off swapping them until the end.

Also good to know that they should be similar in their final setups. That sounded right to me which is why I was alarmed when they were so different.

Thanks for the help. I'll give these ideas a try.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:33 PM   #8
jaboyd
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2011 STI
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When the suspension install starting heights are all the same the car will NOT be level!! That is bc the corner weights on the car are NOT equal. Usually the heaviest corner is the drivers front, thus it is the lowest.

If you corner balance your car you'd find that the car will NOT level and the variance btwn the highest and lowest corner is between 1/2" - 3/4" (usually front left is lowest, then the right rear, followed by left rear and right front the highest).

If you try to adjust the left front higher you"ll get some increase but not as much as you put in....why? .....because you are trying to load the other 3 corners of the car. The more you try to raise it, the more resistance you'll get from the other corners. By the way this also makes for lousy handling.

Suggest setting at whatever the mfr recommends for spring starting height, the car will NOT be level....and that's ok. If you want optimal handling, have it corner balanced ($150 - $200) but corners will not match. If you wish to get the car to a more equal height, turn both fronts approx the same amt. Then do the same to the rears....in this way you won't be fighting the other 3 corners.
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:12 AM   #9
MedicDG
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2012 WRX, Sedan
WRB

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I had same problem with my bc coilovers. My car sat lower on one side and it took me a while to figure it out.

I fixed this by removing all endlinks before you start. Then the most important step is make sure all four coilovers have the same preload. I will say it again the preload MUST exactly for all coilovers. Next make sure u triple check that all coilovers heights are the same. I measured between the rings of coilovers. Keep in mind that your endlinks must be put back under load so I recommend driving your car onto ramps to get this done.

If you need to adjust ride height again you will have to remove endlinks again or your adjustments will cause a ride height problem.

Good luck!
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