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How to Make Coilovers - A DIY Thread - Lots of Pictures, Beware by fierogt27
Started on: 03-19-2012 08:43 PM
Replies: 16 (7113 views)
Last post by: Sage on 12-06-2014 11:31 AM
fierogt27
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Report this Post03-19-2012 08:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt27Click Here to Email fierogt27Send a Private Message to fierogt27Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I just recently replaced my lowering springs with West Shore Fabricators coilover kit. Even though it is pretty much a self explanatory process, I thought I would do a build thread to show how to complete it.
The website I brought from. Their customer service is very helpful. http://www.westshorefabrica...iero/CoilOverKit.htm

Just as a disclaimer, don't try this at home if you are unexperienced.

You will need a jack, jack stands, an angle grinder, a bench grinder, and an assortment of sockets and wrenches.

First thing to do is to jack up the car and make sure you put it on jack stands securely.


Next, take of the tires and locate the two large bolts on the strut.


I used a 1/2 socket wrench with the end of a jack handle for leverage to get the bolts off. I didn't have a wrench large enough to hold the other side of the bolt, so I used vice grips.


One important thing to remember is to disconnect the brake line from the strut.



Once you get the two bolts out it will hang in the same place it was. Now its time to work on the top three screws.


You need to take off the mounting tab for the decklid vents first


Then you need to take off the three top bolts, but be careful, it will start to drop the strut as you loosen the bolts. The best way to do it in my opinion is to take off the two shorter bolts(the ones that are closer together) off first and then take off the longer bolt while holding the strut in one hand so that it doesn't fall when it is fully disconnected.



Once you get both of them out, they will look like this.



Next you have to take apart your struts. This could be the most dangerous part of the process depending on what springs you have. You may want to rent a spring compressor from a local parts store. I already had lowering springs so I didnt have a need for a spring compressor. What I did was put the bottom of the strut up against the wall, and kept pressure down on the spring just in case. To take apart the struts you need the correct size wrench or vice grips, and the right size allen wrench. You hold onto the nut at the top of the strut with your wrench and put the allen wrench into the actual strut and twist the allen wrench while holding the bolt steady. Its hard to describe this part for me but you will understand once you start doing it yourself. Once you get that nut off everything else just slides off. I forgot to take a picture of me doing this but here is what I'm talking about.



So by this time you will have both of the struts off the car and completely dissembled, and be left with something like this.



Now its cutting time, hold your strut in your bench vice by the base of it. Tighten the vice enough that you can put a decent amount of pressure on it and it wont move, but not too much to where you damage the strut. You will be cutting off the spring perch that your stock springs sit on. Your coilovers will go completely over the entire spring.




When you begin cutting with your angle grinder, make sure to hold it securely with two hands. I don't have a ton of experience with using an angle grinder, so I used it in moderation. I started out using small little triangular cuts, being careful not to get too close to the barrel of the struts.





If you continue to cut them like i did in little small sections, and not all in one motion, your cuts should turn out something like this.



I would recommend, if you are not good at using an angle grinder, to cut until you are about an inch away from the barrel all the way around. If you are a little more familiar with an angle grinder, then its your call on how comfortable you are, but I don't think I would go much closer than half an inch way from the barrel. I forgot to take a picture of how close I got but it was around 3/4 inch away.

Next, use your bench grinder to grind away the rest of the metal. You want to be careful to grind only the spring perch and not the barrel. This will be the longest step. I had a 2.1 amp bench grinder, so with mine I couldn't put full pressure up against it because it would make it slow down its speed, therefore grinding even less. I also had to take breaks because mine would start getting too hot. For the grinding process, it probably took me about an hour and a half per strut. Depending on how close you cut with your angle grinder, and how powerful your bench grinder is, your time my vary.



And here's a picture my girlfriend decided to take.




When its all said and done, the spring perch needs to be completely gone. The barrel of the strut needs to be one size around from the top to the bottom.



You will know that you have ground enough off once you can slide your threaded sleeve all the way down your strut.



Apply RTV around the base of your strut and then slide on the threaded sleeve.



Then put on your threaded nut with the spring setting on it. Then put a large washer and the bushing on. It will require some difficulty to put the bushing on because as you try to push down on the bushing, the strut will start to compress.



Once you get the bushing on, you then put your top hat on followed by another bushing, followed by the original top washer. Then put the strut nut on the tighten it all down. Then put your strut tower D plate back on. You have now completed your coilover build.



Now its reinstallation time. Nothing fancy here, but reassemble exactly like you took apart.

First put the top three bolts into their holes, starting with the longest one to make it easier. Don't forget to put the plates and washers down before you put the nuts on.



Next, connect the two large bolts back at the bottom. Don't forget to reattach the brake line to the strut.



Then put back on your vent mount.



Next thing to do is to adjust your car to your desired height. The only real way to do this is to make the coilover almost as high as it will go but twisting the threaded nut, put the tire on and see how high it sits after you lower it to the ground. Then raise it back up and adjust, and then lower it back down and see where it sits. Repeat till you find the right height.





After you fully adjust your ride height, get your car an alignment, and you'll be good to go.
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fieroguru
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Report this Post03-19-2012 09:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nice write-up!

First thing I do with an angle grinder is take that side handle off. Had one snap off while in use once and sent my hand right into the backside of the grinding wheel. I was lucky to have had the heavy gloves on that I did.
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mattwa
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Report this Post03-19-2012 09:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mattwaClick Here to Email mattwaSend a Private Message to mattwaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Good advice, my small 4" angle grinder has a really cheap side handle that is splitting from the threaded rod already..my 7" angle grinder is a different story.
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fierogt27
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Report this Post03-19-2012 09:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt27Click Here to Email fierogt27Send a Private Message to fierogt27Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wow ive never heard of that happening, good to know for the future, thanks!
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fierogt27
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Report this Post03-19-2012 10:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt27Click Here to Email fierogt27Send a Private Message to fierogt27Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
By the way, stop cutting when your angle grinder looks like this,


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mattwa
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Report this Post03-19-2012 10:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mattwaClick Here to Email mattwaSend a Private Message to mattwaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierogt27:

By the way, stop cutting when your angle grinder looks like this,



LOL, I haven't gotten one that small yet...wow.

[This message has been edited by mattwa (edited 03-19-2012).]

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nitroheadz28
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Report this Post03-19-2012 11:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for nitroheadz28Send a Private Message to nitroheadz28Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierogt27:

By the way, stop cutting when your angle grinder looks like this,



LOL!

Funny pic with the gf, cool lighting! Nice write up man, I was in the exact same boat as you with how I cut it- I didn't know how people were able to hammer the perch off at the spot welds and was too scared of breaking through the shock body. I can't imagine using a crappy bench grinder, I know I had to grind for what seemed like an eternity- but it was worth it!
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fierogt27
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Report this Post03-19-2012 11:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt27Click Here to Email fierogt27Send a Private Message to fierogt27Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yea if I was going to do multiple cars, I would upgrade to a better grinder. Mine is 2.1 amps, I would step it up to at least a three. That 0.9 amp makes a huge difference. But Im on a budget just like everyone else and could only get the cheaper one. And yea, I would never try to hammer it off, one bad break, and you just busted it.
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fierogt27
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Report this Post04-10-2012 04:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt27Click Here to Email fierogt27Send a Private Message to fierogt27Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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Report this Post04-10-2012 09:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MstangsBwareClick Here to Email MstangsBwareSend a Private Message to MstangsBwareEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Lucky you didnt catch the garage on fire.......Did that poly bushing come with the top hats?

Tell Taylor she has a cavity on her left lower molar.....

[This message has been edited by MstangsBware (edited 04-10-2012).]

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fierogt27
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Report this Post04-11-2012 12:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt27Click Here to Email fierogt27Send a Private Message to fierogt27Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MstangsBware:

Lucky you didnt catch the garage on fire.......Did that poly bushing come with the top hats?

Tell Taylor she has a cavity on her left lower molar.....



Yea everything came in the kit.... Taylor has too many cavities to count lol
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Report this Post04-11-2012 01:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for weloveour86seSend a Private Message to weloveour86seEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wow! Anymore pics of the GF working on the car? Lol

It's only for PFF research. I swear!
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Report this Post12-05-2014 10:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for huracan2015Send a Private Message to huracan2015Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Where did you get the parts? And what size spring? I've been doing a lot of research and there are too many options, I'm getting so confused. I need to lower the car at least 3 inches.
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Report this Post12-05-2014 10:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Neils88Click Here to Email Neils88Send a Private Message to Neils88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by huracan2015:

Where did you get the parts? And what size spring? I've been doing a lot of research and there are too many options, I'm getting so confused. I need to lower the car at least 3 inches.


3 inches? That's a pretty extreme drop on a Fiero. I was under the understanding that it is recommended you don't exceed a 2" drop. Am I mistaken?
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Report this Post12-05-2014 10:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for huracan2015Send a Private Message to huracan2015Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Oops typo lol. Although I would like to completely slam it now that I think about it haha! The gap is quite large...

But then I wouldn't have much, if any suspension travel. So... 2 inches is probably enough

[This message has been edited by huracan2015 (edited 12-05-2014).]

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Report this Post12-06-2014 10:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Picture resizer https://imageresizer.codeplex.com/

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Report this Post12-06-2014 11:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SageClick Here to Email SageSend a Private Message to SageEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierosound:

Picture resizer https://imageresizer.codeplex.com/



Yep, what he said^.....nice write up, but the size of the pictures makes it a little difficult to read thru.
Not complaining, just suggesting how it could be presented a little better for the "masses".

Now if you are viewing on a 52" monitor.....GREAT! Some of us just have "little biddy" screens though....

"A" for effort though!

HAGO!

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