Installation of D2 RS Coilover kit for 2006 Infiniti M35x AWD
(Done in May 2013. Kit and/or instructions may change)
Electric Impact drill (Reversible, 7.5A, 1/2" drive)
Impact 6-point socket set 10-22mm long and short 1/2" drive
1/2" drive extension pieces long and short
24" breaker bar 1/2" drive
Nice to have 1/2" drive impact grade U-Joint (Flex joint) adapter F to M.
Drill and assorted bits for steel
Steel head hammer
Safety Parts used
Jack Stands (1 tone or greater)
Safety blocks (to prevent car from moving)
Mechanics gloves or disposable gloves (Preferably gloves that have textured fingers)
Knee pads or cushion while working on the ground
Rubberized Undercoating spray (Used to coat parts to protect from the elements)
Copper anti-seize paste (Applied to all bolts/nuts prior to installation)
Parts not included in kit
Silicone baking sheets (I used these as new gaskets)
M16 (5/8") x 80mm (3-3/16") Grade 8 or higher bolt, lock washer and nylon locking nut or similarly sized bolt/nut for rear lower stut mounting
Large diameter hose clamp > 3-4" diameter (I used this as a solution to the brake block mount on the new struts)
D2 RS Coilovers (Boxed Up)
D2 RS Coilovers (Opened Up)
D2 RS Coilovers (Accessories)
D2 RS Coilovers (Fronts top view Infiniti M35x AWD)
D2 RS Coilovers (Rears top view Infiniti M35x AWD)
Some Of The Tools I Used Layed Out
Preparing The Coilovers For Installation.
Find a flat place to park the car and using a measuring tape measure all four corners from the ground to the wheel well. Write those numbers down on paper.
Prepare the coilovers for installation by setting the preload on the springs. The coilovers come with three collars. Since I don't know the official names for each of them I will simply call the top one collar 1, collar2, etc. Loosen collar 2 and loosen collar 1 so the spring moves freely between the top mount and collar 1. spin collar 1 up to the spring and tighten by hand. Using the larger spanner tool tighten collar 1 one full turn. Spin collar 2 up to collar 1 and using the two spanner wrenches tighten them as much as possible by hand. Remember to tighten in opposing directions to they are tight against each other. Preload complete!
Next set the predetermined (Estimated) shock height. Feel free to use my numbers as a starting point (3.5" front bottom of collar 2 to top of collar 3 and 3.75" rear) This gave me 26 14/16th" from the ground to the fender for the fronts and 27 2/16th" from the ground for the rears.
Removing The Old Struts
Place the safety wheel blocks on the rear wheels and apply the parking brake as far down as possible.
Remove the front wheel covers and loosen all 5 wheel bolts. Using a jack raise the front drivers side up by the outer subframe mount.
Once the front wheel leaves the ground place the drivers side jack stand onto the outer subframe area
Remove the jack and repeat on the passenger front wheel. Both front wheels must be off the ground in order for the sway bar to be removed. Do not attempt to remove it with one wheel on the ground as you could injure yourself!
Remove the front wheels. Spray pb blaster on the sway bar nut (Underneath the lower control arm in the middle, only seen from underneath the car)
spray the lower suspension wishbone bolt and nut, spray the upper wishbone bolt and around the strut mounting area of the wishbone
spray the rear retainer bolts as well, and spray the brake block nut.
Spray both the drivers and passenger side and let sit for 30 minutes. I used a piece of wood underneath my spray areas to catch the drips and prevent damage to the driveway.
Remove the sway bar bolt. You'll need to use a wrench on the front side holding the nut in place while you remove the rear nut I believe it is a 19mm nut (The U-Joint impact bit helped)
Bang the sway bar link bolt out of the lower control arm.
Remove the lower strut wishbone nut and bolt (the bolt and nut are also19mm I believe). Remove the nut while holding the bolt head with an adjustable wrench.
Bang the bolt out towards the rear. The steering linkage is in the way to completely remove the bolt but you can lower it just enough to pull it out.
Remove the two 17mm retainer bolts. I had to use an extension and rotate the steering just enough to fit the extension between the steering linkage end links and my impact drill.
Remove the upper wishbone bolt (17mm). Using a pry bar, place in between the joint of the upper wishbone strut mount and pry away while pushing down on the wheelhub. This should free the strut from the lower wishbone. Keep working on it until the wishbone can be removed.
I completely removed the wishbone it and cleaned it up.
Remove the brake block nut and remove the brake block off the old shock body. Remove the ABS lines off the front of the old shock body.
Remove the 3 upper strut mount bolts in the engine bay (12mm) while holding the strut
(It may help to remove the AC line retainer ahead of time and rotate it upwards so it's out of the way)
Pull out the old struts.
Installing Front Coilovers
Remove the old strut upper red gasket and use it as a template to cut out new gaskets out of the silicone baking sheet. Place the new gasket on the top mount of the front strut, using copper anti seize apply liberal amounts to the three bolts. Install one of the 4 supplied adjustment knobs into the top of the strut. Install the strut into the upper mount and screw the bolts down (Don't tighten the nuts yet). Apply copper anti seize into the upper wishbone strut mount area and push the strut as far down as possible (Do not install the Bolt at this time). Don’t worry if the strut does not completely seat into the wishbone we'll deal with that later. Lubricate the lower wishbone bolt and nut with copper anti seize and install (Tighten to spec). Lubricate the retainer bolts with copper anti seize and Install the retainer (Tighten to spec). Place the jack under the lower control arm and push up until the shock drops fully into the wishbone seat. You may have to use the rubber mallet to give the wishbone a few wacks. Using the D2 supplied long "I" bracket run the upper wishbone mounting bolt through this bracket and install (Tighten to spec).
Remove the jack. Do not install the anti sway link yet. Tighten the 3 nuts on the top strut mount to spec.
Repeat this process on the passenger side without removing the sway bar.
Lubricate the sway bar end link bolt with the copper anti seize and re-install (Tighten to spec). Install the second ABS clamp and using the rubber grommets put the ABS lines in and push into the grooves. For the clamp bracket ensure you have them on the correct sides of the car. The opening in the U mount must face up.
Note: I did not remove any of the OEM rubber mounts rather just added the supplied grommet around the OEM mount and pushed it into the supplied brackets.
For the brake block I used a large hose clamp and drilled a hole for a bolt. Mounted the brake block to this and clamped it onto the thread body of the new strut. Do not tighten these brackets yet. Height adjustment must happen before these are tightened down.
Install the front wheels and use only 2 nuts (Tighten to spec). Lower both fronts. Roll the car back 10 feet and forward 10 feet to allow to settle. Measure from the ground to the fender in the middle of the wheel. Write it down and compare. If one side is higher than the other you will have to rotate the shock into or out of the lower mount to lower or raise as needed.
You don't have to raise both fronts to adjust the ride height again, just ensure you roll the car back 10 feet and forward 10 feet after putting it down each time you raise it up.
Once you have the height set lock the collar 3 as tight as possible to the lower strut body and using a drift and steel head hammer hit the lock collar 3 a few times to ensure it's snug. At this point you can tighten the ABS clamp and Brake block clamps. I used the Rubberized undercoating to blast the area for a few reasons. I live in a cold climate where things rust from the bottom up so this will protect the suspension against corrosion and seizing of the collars or bolts. It will also prevent the collars and retainers from coming loose over time. This stuff remains pliable so I can re-adjust as needed.
Removing The Rear Strut/Coil
Place the safety wheel blocks on the front wheels. Find the jack points at the rear of the car
This is the best location for both the jack and the jack stand. It's the rear subframe assembly. Remove the wheel caps and loosen all nuts. Raise both sides and install jack stands. Remove the wheels.
Using a 17mm socket remove the lower shock bolt and remove.
The shock will raise up slightly but there isn't a huge amount of pressure so don't worry about getting injured here.
Remove the two 12mm nuts from the upper shock mount (Hold the shock as you remove these nuts).
Remove the shock.
Using the jack raise the lower control arm (Lower Spring Perch) just enough to release some of the pressure.
Ensure you are not raising too high so the car lifts off jack stand. Remove the 17mm bolt and nut off the lower control arm (I used an adjustable wrench for one side)
Using the impact drill and the adjustable wrench I placed it between the bolt head and the control arm and pulled the bolt out while spinning the bolt. Lower the jack slowly to relieve the spring pressure. Press down hard on the lower control arm and remove the spring, lower bushing and upper spring isolator. I sprayed a liberal amount of rubberized underguard where the upper and lower isolators sat to prevent any corrosion. Re-install the lower control arm to the wheel hub. I had to fight this back into place using a screw driver to align the holes (Tighten the nut/bolt to spec).
Installing The Rear Coilovers
Take the old shock gasket and cut a new one out of the same silicone baking sheet. Install the new gasket but just prior to installing the rear coilover understand that the adjustment knobs are not accessible from the inside of the car so set the coilovers to a reasonable setting prior to installation. I started with 18 clicks from full S.
Install the upper nuts but do not tighten to spec yet. Using the bolt and nut you bought mount the lower shock mount to the wheel hub and tighten to spec.
Tighten the upper nuts to spec. Repeat with the other side.
Install the wheels using just 2 nuts and lower the car to adjust height. Once again remember to roll the car forward 10 feet and backwards 10 feet each time to raise the rear to adjust the height. Once height is adjusted as needed remember to use the drift and steel head hammer to secure the collar 3 in place against the lower shock mount. Drop the car and install all wheel nuts and tighten to spec.
At this point I would not take the car to an alignment shop because the suspension needs time to settle. Drive it for a week or so then get it aligned. Don’t go too long as you’ll wear the inside of your tires down.
Before lowering photo
Car after installation
Front Camber Check