How to make rear coil-overs using factory struts, with pics. (Page 1/49)
fierohoho FEB 11, 03:17 PM
What I offer here is for Fiero owners who want to do the work themselves to try and keep the costs down.

I welcome any comments from others to help cover any mistakes I make or to offer an easier or cheaper way for this to be done.
I will start with the assumption that you allready have the struts removed from the car.

The first pic shows the adjusters you will need, they are 5" aluminium and can usually be found used on Ebay for $? or new at this link: for about $47.00 each, they are called C-O Hardware Kit-AFCO Aluminium Shock w/5" sleeve, part number 20126.

I purchased mine at a racing swap meet for $25.00.

The next pic shows a set of 12" coil springs with a 2 5/8" ID, you'll need a pair with about a 250Lb spring rate.

I got mine used for $30.00 at the swap meet, they can also be found used on Ebay for $? or new at this link: for about $67.00 each, they are called AFCOIL-12" Coil-Over 250Lb Rate 2 5/8" ID.

Now to start...The next pic shows a factory strut from a 85GT, it has clamps on it from the previous owners lowering attempt.

This worked to my advantage as I didn't have to compress the spring or have it done by someone else so it could be removed safely.

CAUTION!!! Don't remove the spring youself if you don't know what you're doing, it's under tension and you could get HURT/KILLED. Take it to a service shop and have them do it.

You'll notice I had put the louver bracket and retainers back on it after I removed it from the car so I wouldn't misplace them.

Remove the items in the next pic, items "A" are what you see on top of the strut tower, item "B" is on the underside of the tower.

[This message has been edited by fierohoho (edited 02-11-2004).]

fierohoho FEB 11, 03:33 PM
At this point you now have the spring removed by someone else unless you had the correct equipment/skills to do it yourself.

I tried using an impact with a 21mm socket to remove the top nut that holds the upper retainer plate to the strut shaft, I then had to use a 21mm wrench on the nut and a 10mm wrench on the shaft to remove the nut as the shaft spun with the impact.

The next pic shows the coil retainer "A" and upper spring perch "B" along with 2 washers and the 21mm nut.

The small bushing on the right is actually the center of the dust boot, it had seperated from the boot.

The next pic shows the spring, rubber cushion from the upper spring perch and the dust boot, all of which are no longer needed.

The next pic shows the bare strut.

You need to remove the lower spring perch from the tube and grind the top of the strut to the same diameter as the tube.

Just Dremel, file or grind the weld away to remove the perch, try not to put too much heat into the tube just to be safe and don't grind a hole through the side of the tube.

fierohoho FEB 11, 03:42 PM
This pic shows the finished strut.

The next 2 pics show you've got it right when the adjuster slides over the strut and seats at the bottom.

Now slide the coil spring on, see next pic.

fierohoho FEB 11, 03:54 PM
In the next pic you can see one of the washers I put back on the strut shaft, in hind sight you can probably leave it off though.

The next pic shows I've put the upper spring perch over the strut, the hole isn't big enough to put it on over the bottom later, you could also trim this piece down a little if you want.

Now you need to make a bushing for the top of the coil spring so there is no metal-to-metal contact with the retainer plate.

You could go with a piece of garden hose split lengthwise and wrapped around the top of the coil.

I made a bushing using some flat farm belt material I had.

I traced a 4" diameter circle using a compass, see next pic.

Then I cut the circle out with a single edge razor blade, see next pic.

fierohoho FEB 11, 03:59 PM
The next pic shows how I cut out the center, I used a 2 1/8" hole saw in the drill press.

Here's a pic of the finished bushings.

The next pic is a side view of the spring retainer plate.

[This message has been edited by fierohoho (edited 03-12-2007).]

fierohoho FEB 11, 04:05 PM
The next 3 pics show where to put the bushing and placing it on the strut shaft.

Now it's time to put the washer and nut on the shaft, see next pic, and tighten them down.

[This message has been edited by fierohoho (edited 02-11-2004).]

fierohoho FEB 11, 04:11 PM
The next 3 pics show the spring perch in position and the top pieces in place for safe keeping until install.

The next pic is an underside view of the assembled strut.

fierohoho FEB 11, 04:16 PM
The last pic shows my completed coil-over struts.

That's it in a nutshell, buying new parts and using the old struts you'll have about $228.00 into this project.

A little searching for used stuff can really knock the price down as I have about $55.00 or so into this project.

NOTE: See page 2 of this thread for additional info I added to deal with the metal-to-metal potential when bottoming out on rough roads.

Special thanks to Bruce L. who really did all the work here.

Wrench on dudes.


Where will the road take you today?

[This message has been edited by fierohoho (edited 07-20-2007).]

twentyeight FEB 11, 04:24 PM
Master Tuner Akimoto FEB 11, 04:35 PM
Great documentation+ for ya.

Quickest 4.5 Fiero Supercar
85 Fastback SE/GT
4.5 (RSR)Hi Perf. Caddi-V8 Blueprint&Balanced.
Sub 12sec1/4 mile (to be track verified)
Undergoing Custom Restoration