Lowering the Front Suspension
Changing Springs, Struts or Coil-overs
This guide is going to explain how to change the springs or fit new
front suspension or fit new
Made this purely because over a whole weekend, i required new
tools/pieces and frustrated me to hell!
- 22mm Swan Neck Spanner
- 17mm Spanner
- 13mm Spanner
- Allen Keys
- Torx Bits
- Copper Grease
- Spring Compressors
- Axle Stands
- WD40 / PlusGas
- Replacement Nyloc nuts
- 3 Hours spare minimum!
- Spring compressors
- Replacement springs/coilovers
- Mole grips
- New suspension top mounts
- New drop links (recommended)
Few tools needed and all in all a very simple job.
To begin with jack the car up onto axle stands and remove the wheels,
doesn't need to be too high, Wheel about
an inch above the groung is suffice.
Firstly, use WD40/PlusGas on all the nuts and bolts which are
going to be
These are shown in the image below:
- Drop Links
(I suggest the top drop link connecting to the strut to be removed,
this keeps the drop link attached to the car). I took this to my
advantage and replaced the drop links at the same time - a common
feature of drop links is to continuously spin as the nut is seized onto
the thread. Easiest way to overcome this either grab mole grips behind
and grab as hard as possible, or cut it off with a grinder.
- Steering Track Rod End
- Suspension / Hub Pinch Bolt (behind the
where the arrow indicates)
At this point it's probably a good idea to crack the big nut in the
cenre of the strut loose whilst it is held securely. Just a half turn
to a turn should be enough. Just to make life easier later on.
Remove the nuts and bolts from the Track Rod End, Hub Pinch Bolt and
Drop Link shown above. Replace all of the nylock nuts with new ones.
Next, you need a hammer and need to smash the hub downwards, this part
you need to be careful only because you dont want to knock the
driveshaft out as your gearbox oil will escape. You may find it easier
to remove the brake pipe and abs bracket at this point (13mm bolt) and
hub on the top where the bracket was fitted. But can also hit where the
track rod end fits if that works for you.
The hub may take a beating before the suspension comes out, but you can
see it gradually leaving the hub. As you can see circled, bolt to
remove and suspension out.
Now under the bonnet, remove 3 bolts holding in the top mount, and last
thing holding the suspension
Here i've removed 2 already, a friend to help is useful, or as i did,
put a jack under the hub so when the suspension
fell, it wouldn't pull the driveshaft out.
Gradually ease out the strut and you should be left with this.
At this point, you can either:
- Fit new coilovers/standard suspension straight away with
new top mounts requiring NO spring compressing
- Compress the springs to use the old top mounts because
you're a cheap ass
like me and dont want to spend an extra £50
So, compress your springs, remove the top bolt which isn't
easy. It requires a torx bit and preferably a swan neck ring
spanner. Or use my technique, get a
pair of mole grips on the damper rod to prevent it all spinning at
once. But this will damage the rod which is not a good idea. In this
case as the strut was being replaced with a pair of new coilovers, so
condition of the old strut was not relevant.
The reson for the swan neck ring spanner is so that you can get it
into the top mount and still get the torx bit into the head of the
shaft that the nut is screwed onto. If you just use a socket then the
shaft will rotate as you turn the nut. So the torx holds the
shaft as you turn the spanner on the nut.
Once the top mount is off. Attach it to your new coilover/strut and
refit in using the reverse of above. If you're fitting a new lower
spring you'll need to gradually decompress the old one and then
compress the new one before fitting onto the strut. Once the spring is
on the strut and the top centre nut is tight you can gradually
decompress the spring.
Now you're done, it's all set to refit you wheels and take off the axle