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MODERATORS NOTE: (Although many of the tips in this how-to are good, DO NOT USE VICE GRIPS TO GRASP THE CYLINDER OF THE STRUTS, USE AIR TOOLS OR A PASS THROUGH WRENCH. IF YOU USE VICE GRIPS ON YOUR STRUT THERE IS A HIGH CHANCE THEY WILL BLOW OUT AND WILL NEED TO BE REPLACED).
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Ok for the third installment of my how to series we are going to install some lowering springs, STI Pinks to be exact. A few notes before we start in, remember to chuck your wheels, my car decided to roll away on me when i was tightning my lugs. use jack stands. Try not to do this on the hotest day of the year in a un air conditioned place, also may want to grab some beer.

Heres a word document for those that would like to print this out, or save it. <a href="http://www.filefactory.com/file/b42dc3">Suspension install how to.docx</a><br />

ok on with the show.

Ride height before install I.E. stock.


Step 1: i started with the rear i thought they would be the most dificult. i was right, though none were all that hard to do. Before jacking up the car loosen the lugs on both rear tires, do not remove all the way. at this point chuck the front tires with wood or wheel chucks.


Step2: Jack up the rear of the car on each side at the designated spots. look unde rhte car in front of the rear tires, Install a jack stand and remove the jack, repeat with other side.


Step 3: Pick a side to start on and remove lugs the rest of the way and take the tire off and place off to the side.


Step 4: At this point i opened the trunk and cleared all the crap out of it. Then remove the floor and place off to the side. Also remove spare tire.



Step 5: remove the two styrofoam things next to the tire on either side by pulling up, the fasteners will pop out, place these off to the side, you are also going to want to remove the plastic cover that reveals the strut tower bolts. It just pulls out, start from the bottom.



Step 6: Go back next to the car and remove the bolt that holds the strut to the A-arm. Size is 17mm, you will need a deep socket and a wrench.



Step 7: Remove the bolt that holds the sway bar link to the A-arm. size is 14mm, you will need a deep socket and a wrench.



Step 8: go back into the trunk and remove the two nuts that hold the strut tower top to the frame. Size is 14mm, you will need a deep socket and a extension.



Step 9: get bitched at for working on your car instead of mowing the lawn.

Step 10: Push down on the rotor assembly and pull strut out with free hand. Remember how you got it out so you can put it in the same way. I ended up using a pry bar to push the assembly far enough down to get the strut out.


Step 11: Attach the spring compressors and tighten them up.



Step 12: You are going to need a 14mm socket and a pair of vice grips. Pull down the dust shield and loosly attach the vice grips to the shock, Then remove the nut atop the strut. If the shock spins tighten the vice grips alittle more. (use vice grips at your own risk) a few people have had blown struts after install and are blaming it on the vice grips, i have yet to have an issue. (my struts have struts have blown as well.)


Step 13: Decompress the spring and remove all the parts of the strut, keep them close by.


Step 14: Open up the box your springs came in and grab the appropriate spring. I bought the STI pinks, ohh boy are they pink.



Step 15: Cut the spacer thats on the shock, I removed one section from the bottom. then reinstall it.




Step 16: Install the new spring on the strut. Some springs may need to be compressed, STI pinks need to be. The top strut nut needs to be torqued to 55ft-lb's.


Step 17: Once assembled the right way after 4 trys, incert the strut back into the car.


Step 18: Using the pry bar again finagle the strut back into where it came from. Make sure you line up the bolts atop the strut. Line up the sway bar bolt and inset it with nut facing the back of the car. Then incert the bolt for the strut bottom, nut facing the rear of the car. tighten up all the bolts and nuts. The three top nuts need to be torqued to 20ft-lb's, the two bottom bolts and nuts need to be torqued to 175ft-lb's



Step 19: After tightning all the bolts reinstall the tire and tighten the lugs hand tight. Once done with that move to the other side and repeat steps 1 through 18, with possibly no step 9 or an evern worse step 9. Once you get the other side done reassemble the trunk and install the floor again.


Step 20: At this point you can try to tighten the nuts for the wheels or you can wait and do it once we get the car on the ground.

Step 21: Jack the car back up one side at a time removing the jack stands as you go, once car os on the ground tighten the lugs if you havent already.


Step 22: On to the front, now would be a good time to take a break or mow the lawn. your half way done, it only gets easier from here on.

Step 23: Turn the car around. Pop the hood, locate strut tower tops on either side of the engine bay. note there location, we will be back.




Step 24: Loosen the lug nuts on both front tires, as before do not fully remove them...


Step 25: Jack the car up at the appropriate points and install jack stands, do this for both sides. Do not forget to check the rear tires, we dont want your car to roll away like mine did!


Step 26: Pick a side to start on and remove the tire the rest of the way.


Step 27: Remove the brake line holder that is on the strut as well as the speed censor holder thats on the other side of the strut. The size for both these is 12mm, Place bolts back in the holes so they dont get lost.




Step 28: Next we are going to need a 19mm deep socket and wrench to remove the next bolts. may want to get a tube that fits over the handle to grant more leverage. remove the nuts and the top washer.




Step 29: Take a hammer and gently bang outt the bolts. place off to the side with the nots and washer.


Step 30: Go under the hood and remove the 3 nuts that hold the strut top to the car. Size is 12mm.


Step 31: Push down lightly on the rotor and finagle the strut out.


Step 32: remove the rubber cap from the top of the strut.


Step 33: Attach spring compressors and tighten spring.


Step 34: remove the nut at the top of the strut using a 17mm deep socket and vice grips just like we did for the rear.


Step 35: Remove top and spring compressors. mock up new spring and compress if needed.


Step 36: Re asemble the strut the way you took it apart. Remove spring compressors.

Step 37: place strut back into car being sure to line up strut top bolts with the holes, there is only one way it will work so you may have to turn the top till you get it right. Once you get it right tighten the top tower bolts hand tight so it doenst fall on ya.



Step 38: Line up the bottom holes and slide a bolt in, mind you one is bigger than the other and will only fit in one hole. Make sure the nut side is facing the front of the car. getting the bolts in may take some muscle.


Step 39: Put on all the nuts and washer which goes on the top bolt. Also rehook up the brake line and speed censor, tighten all the nuts and bolts. Do not forget to tighten the 3 nuts in the engine bay.


Step 40: Reinstall the tire and tighten the lugs hand tight.



Step 41: At this point you are going to repeat steps 26 through 40 for the other side.

Step 42: Use jack to remove jack stands from one side of the car at a time. Tighten up the lug nuts.

Step 43: close your hood, Jump on in and give her a whirl. If you hear any noises it may just be the spring ajusting into the seats, if it makes it repeatedly you might want to look at it.



All in all it only took me roughly 3 hours to complete. Wasnt really anything that can hurt you unless you slip and punch something, or bust a knuckle. I used a air compressor with some air tools, made it go alittle faster. As always feel free to post in this thread with comments and or questions. Next How To will be a AP cold air.
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

great write up man!! maybe mods want to sticky this? all this work and no pic of the finished product? haha
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

Do you think it's necessary to cut the bump stop? I didn't on my pinks install...
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

no but, i did it on my SRT-4 so figured i would on this one to. I only removed about an inch.

Pics to come. this is what came after i took a shower and was going to take a few pics.






 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

+1. Great Work/Writeup
Definitely gonna come in handy once i get my Pinks.
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

Nice work, just to add, I used whiteout to mark the top/bottom of the suspension (before disassembly) to help in re-assembly. Also used it on the front camber bolts, so that you can reset the old alignment. Those front 19mm bolts can be a PIA if you don't have a impact wrench or a descent sized break bar.
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

Once again, nice write up. PLEASE don't stop doing these. OT where do you live?
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

Awesome How To!!! Only Queston is on Step 9, Is that when you have the beer? ;) Good Job BRO!! +'s
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

Once again, nice write up. PLEASE don't stop doing these. OT where do you live?
I live in south eastern CT over by the groton subbase. I dont plan on stoping, Ive got knowledge of alot of installs, so i figure i should share so all can do them there selves and save alot of money on labor. And i agree we should look into a section just for how to's, mod approved ones, or somthing along those lines.

by step 9 i was on my 3rd beer, it was way to hot out.

Drove the car to work this morn, and wow what a diffrence, feels alot better. next will be front and rear sways and endlinks. Hopefully the cold air gets here by the weekend so i have somthing to do. ;D
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

Please be careful when attaching vice grips to the strut tube, if they slip or mar the tube in any way your struts will leak and blow out, I recommend borrowing air tools or if you must use vice grips, put a thick rubber pad between the grips and the strut tube.

Also, I agree on marking the top and bottom of the strut assembly so they can be lined up again again with ease and correctly.

I also recommend a torque wrench for tightening bolts...but make sure you have the correct torque specs....I've had trouble with some of the bolts on the 08 being kinda weak and breaking even prior to reaching the factory torque spec.
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

Please be careful when attaching vice grips to the strut tube, if they slip or mar the tube in any way your struts will leak and blow out, I recommend borrowing air tools or if you must use vice grips, put a thick rubber pad between the grips and the strut tube.
not quite true. The front and rear struts on the 08 have bump stops that limit how far the shock can compressed I.E. bottom out, this makes it so that you dont blow the strut. So maring even the slightest would not cause your strut to blow unless you fully remove the bump stop. The marred part of the shaft will not go into the base therefore causing no damage, except for the mar.

Also, I agree on marking the top and bottom of the strut assembly so they can be lined up again again with ease and correctly.
This is true, the tops of mine were pre marked so i just remembered where they were and put them back that way. Might be worth marking them if yours are not marked.

I also recommend a torque wrench for tightening bolts...but make sure you have the correct torque specs....I've had trouble with some of the bolts on the 08 being kinda weak and breaking even prior to reaching the factory torque spec.
I agree 100%, i could not find the torque specs and really did not want to have to deal with teh retards at the local stealership so i went by feel. Though i did not break any bolts.
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

Oh ok way out in CT. I was just curious cuz that was the same weather we had in IL. Somewhat nice during the day then rained like mad.
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

The COBB instructions has torque specs for every bolt in this install, although there were some questions about some of them being too tight. I used them and I didnt' break anything.

Also, check out the shop manuals I linked in this thread. These should be accurate in any case....

http://www.3gwrx.com/forum/index.php?topic=1623.msg17254#msg17254
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

MAKE SURE you're looking at the right torque spec. In the shop manuals, it's listed as N*m, kgf-m and then ft-lbs.

The torque for the strut top is 40.6 ft-lbs, not 55.
For the 3 12mm nuts on the strut mount, they are 14.5 ft-lbs, not 20.
For the two 19mm bolts that attach the bottom of the strut to the knuckle, they are 129 ft-lbs, not 175.

Maybe that's the reason some people are having problems with bolts breaking/overtightening, etc?


Otherwise, aweeeeesome walkthrough, I'm not longer scared to do this myself now :) thanks for writing it up!
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

Just looked at the specs for the rear, and they list two different sets of specs for the strut... they're slightly different. ???
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

MAKE SURE you're looking at the right torque spec. In the shop manuals, it's listed as N*m, kgf-m and then ft-lbs.

The torque for the strut top is 40.6 ft-lbs, not 55.
For the 3 12mm nuts on the strut mount, they are 14.5 ft-lbs, not 20.
For the two 19mm bolts that attach the bottom of the strut to the knuckle, they are 129 ft-lbs, not 175.

Maybe that's the reason some people are having problems with bolts breaking/overtightening, etc?


Otherwise, aweeeeesome walkthrough, I'm not longer scared to do this myself now :) thanks for writing it up!
Yea i might of wrote down the wrong ones ill check again when i get home and correct them if there off.
 

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Re: How To: install lowering springs. (56k stay far far away!)

We need some after shots... Especially those of us interested in the STI springs. ;D
 
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