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Installing Coilovers?

Old 03-21-2011, 06:42 PM
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Installing Coilovers?

ok guys, here's the deal

My coilovers came in a few days ago and they are just sitting in my garage. I want to install them myself but I'm afraid to because the job looks/sounds intimidating. I hear that it takes like 6 hours to install four coilovers and being a guy that has only installed basic bolt-ons (intake/exhaust) I'm curious as to whether or not this is a job for an amateur such as myself.

I really don't want to take it to a shop because they charge $200-$300 and I need that money for rolling fenders, but at the same time I don't want to have to call my boss and tell him I can't get to work because I took apart my suspension and can't install the coilovers haha.

I dunno, I'm just nervous and am looking for some input. I will probably have another guy helping me but he has just as much experience as I do and has only installed his own intake/exhaust. Neither of us will know what we are doing. Will we be okay?
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:07 PM
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Given the circumstances i'd bring it to a shop.
Installing coilovers without the right tools could turn out to be a pain, even if the job is not hard per se.
Also think about the importance of setting the right ride height and corner balancing the car after it... only a shop with scales can do that!
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:28 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much about the corner balancing aspect unless you plan on tracking the car, but the ride height adjustment is the most important. The job isn't hard, there really isn't much that can go wrong, just make sure you have a torque wrench, jack / stands, and a proper set of sockets. As far as the height goes, you can try and ballpark it by measuring from the center of the wheel hub to the fender when the car is off the ground. When you take it for alignment afterwards you can have them check the height on the lift and see how you did.

Of course, as bse says, it would be even easier to just have a shop take care and handle everything.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:42 PM
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Listen, it's not that hard, but does take time, patience and basic hand tools, wrenches, etc. plus taking the trunk apart. Follow the RX-8 shop manual for directions. You got a great price quote, you might want to do that.

I'd put the car on 4 stands and just go to work. To save time, leave the height as-is, just get them on and then go to a performance shop, not a corner gas station - get an good alignment, have them adjust the height, corner balance it, etc. That's more worth paying for.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:13 AM
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One thing that is key is to make sure the left and right spring perches are set to the same height before you isntall. They will be different font & rear, but make sure the LF & RF are set to the same height, and likewise that the LR and RR are the same.

Use a ruler to do this, measuring from the same spot on the shock body. Take your time, be precise.

The, after you install the coilovers, if you want to adjust the height or rake, make sure and do the same number of turns on each side. For example, if you want to lower the rear to decrease the rake, drop both the LR and RR the same number of turns.

If you do this, the cornerweights will at least be OK - they shouldn't be much worse than stock.

One thing you do NOT want to do is chase one corner. Don't attempt to drop or raise just one corner by adjusting ONLY that perch - that's a great way to screw up the cornerweights.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:31 AM
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:05 AM
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Honestly, it's way easier to install coilovers than aftermarket springs. Just rip the old struts out of there and the short coilovers will fit right in. If you have a buddy, the right tools, and the DIY thread open you shouldn't have any issues. Then you can use the money you saved and go get an alignment when you're done.

http://www.hi-impact.org/ryang/modif...ock_front.html
http://www.hi-impact.org/ryang/modif...hock_rear.html
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:10 AM
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I have seen "easy" installs go horribly wrong, especially on a car that has been up north or near the ocean. What seems easy to one maybe terribly difficult to another without mechanical ability.

First make sure you have a penetrating lubricant, basic hand tools with metric sockets, a torque wrench, jack, jack stands, and a flat surface to work on.

Read:

Front:

http://www.hi-impact.org/ryang/modif...ock_front.html

Rear:

http://www.hi-impact.org/ryang/modif...hock_rear.html

http://deviantspeed.com/RX8-coilover...n-installation
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:19 AM
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^Agreed - the question is to the OP - do you think of this as a learning opportunity? Because that's what it is.

As for tools, I highly recommend extended reach open box wrenches, as well as an extended reach socket wrench. The added leverage these tools give can pay huge dividends in getting those stubborn bolts off in a controlled fashion.

Also recommend a good set of mechanics gloves. They can be real knuckle-savers for those of us that are a little clumsy.
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:50 PM
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6 point sockets are a must, I stripped my endlink bolts because of using a 12pt
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:45 AM
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Meh, after some thought I've decided to puss out and pay a guy to do it. Shops still want to charge 300+ so I found a friend of a friend who will get the job done the right way for $150. I'm thinking that if I stick with him and try to do whatever I can to help he might just do it for free lol.

Thanks for the comments/opinions
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Grog View Post
Meh, after some thought I've decided to puss out and pay a guy to do it. Shops still want to charge 300+ so I found a friend of a friend who will get the job done the right way for $150. I'm thinking that if I stick with him and try to do whatever I can to help he might just do it for free lol.

Thanks for the comments/opinions
I def suggest sitting and observing what he does. Things like suspension are a very tricky thing to tune and in the event that something fails or you need to remove the assembly, it would be nice to know exactly how it is installed so you dont have to keep shelling out money.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:32 PM
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Just buy him some beer It's not a hard job, just time consuming. Air tools greatly reduce time.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:40 PM
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Bond wouldn't wussy out!


Last edited by Mazurfer; 03-30-2011 at 06:48 PM.
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