HowTo: Install A Suspension

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Ilya
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HowTo: Install A Suspension

Postby Ilya » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:03 pm

Figured I'd put this out there for anyone who was interested in installing their own coilovers/suspension on their own but weren't feeling very comfortable. I have a 2007 M35x but this should similar to most M's. This should give you the general idea.

*Disclaimer* - I am not liable for anything you do to your car. This is just a basic walkthrough.

I took the pics with my HTC EVO 4G LTE from Sprint. End of shameless plug lol. I took these pictures after I already had installed my suspension so you will not have such a nice and clean suspension when you get in there. Unfortunately :).

I did this like a week ago so some of my details (such as sizes of wrenchs) may be off. If you have a 12-19MM sizes, you should be all set.

LASTLY - THIS IS A VERY TOP DOWN HOWTO. JUST MEANT TO GIVE AN IDEA ON HOW I DID IT.


Task: Change The Front and Rear Suspension (in this case to coilovers)
Time: I spent a better part of 2 days on this because I had some MAJOR issues with rusted nuts/bolts, etc. If you live in the South, this shouldn't be as bad. If you live in the North...you'll probably be in the same boat as me. YOU WILL NEED A ****LOAD OF UPPER BODY STRENGTH or some major power/air tools.
Tools/Supplies Needed:
  • 12-19MM sockets/wrenches (see explanation above - details are hazy since I did this a week before doing the HowTo)
  • Suspension components you are going to be swapping, in my case this was all four corners because I was going to BC Coilovers
  • Floor Jack
  • Optional - Anti-Seize - put this on all the bolts, etc. you take off and have to re-install
  • Optional - Wire Brush
  • Optional - PB Blaster (LOTS OF IT)
Process:

1) Put your car securely up on jack stands. In my case, I have a lift, so it's much easier.

2) Take off the tire. You will see this:

Image

3) Now, first thing we want to do is free up the front strut. You need to remove all of the lines (brakes and ABS) as well as the strut assembly brace.

Image

4) Once you have all that done, you want to remove the bolt/nut holding the strut assembly brace to the control arm. This might be extremely tough. I had to fight this for quite a while and ended up cutting the bolt and buying a replacement at the hardware store.

Image

Image

5) Now, loosen the three nuts in the engine bay that are holding the strut in place.

Image

6) Once you have everything loose, you should be able to move the strut around and get it out of the brace assembly and then out of the car. It will take some finnagling and maybe a few light hits with a mallet to get the brace off the bottom of the strut.

Installation of the new strut is the reverse of removal. Do the same steps for the other side.

-----------------------------

Now we can work on the rear suspension.

1) Put your car securely up on jack stands. In my case, I have a lift, so it's much easier.

2) Take off the tire. You will see this:

Image

3) Now, secure the spring perch like so with the floor jack and a 4x4 or 2x4 (or something sturdy):

Image

4) With the spring perch secured, take out this bolt. I'm pretty sure this was 17MM.

Image

Image

5) After that bolt is removed, slowly lower the floor jack to relieve the pressure on the spring.

6) Once the spring is loose, push the perch down and remove the spring. Install your new spring. In the case of my BC's, I re-used the rubber spring seat and got rid of the rubber cone thing. The order to re-install was Spring Perch -> Spring Seat -> Spring -> BC Adjustment thing (term escapes me right now). It should look like this (sorry for the bad pic):

Image

7) Secure the spring perch again by raising it into place and installing the bolt/nut.

8) Now we can work on the rear shock. Remove the two nuts at the top of the shock.

Image

9) Remove the main bolt holding the shock.

Image

10) The shock should come out relatively easy now. Installation is reverse of removal.

11) Put everything together and double check.

-------------------------------

As for how to actually setup the coilovers (in this case BC's), I used the following link as a guide. However, I didn't have much success (evidently, too complicated for this IT guy) and I ended up going to a local shop to have them adjust everything to how I wanted it:

Link
Last edited by Ilya on Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:08 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Ilya
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Re: HowTo: Install A Suspension

Postby Ilya » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:20 pm

If for any reason you break some bolts or want to get some ahead of time...here are the part numbers:

Strut Mount is the little gasket that goes on top of the strut between the body and the strut.

Strut Bolt refers to what goes through the shock/strut to secure it to the control arm.

Strut Nut ist he nut that goes on the other side of the bolt. The rear doesn't need the nut because it's part of the assembly. My BC coilovers came with their own nut.

Front:
Strut Mount Left: 55338EG00A-1434308-148802 - $18.06
Strut Mount Right: 55338EG00A-1434308-148792 - $18.06
Strut Bolt Left: 56127EG00B-1434308-148796 - $2.38
Strut Bolt Right: 56127EG00B-1434308-148806 - $2.38
Strut Nut Left: 0122500072-1434308-148793 - $1.31
Strut Nut Right: 0122500072-1434308-148794 - $1.31

Rear:
Shock Mount Left: 55322AL500-1434308-150159 - $23.80
Shock Mount Right: 55322AL500-1434308-150142 - $23.80
Shock Bolt Left: 56280AQ000-1434308-150155 - $6.30
Shock Bolt Right: 56280AQ000-1434308-150139 - $6.30

For the front mounts, I honestly just made my own using gasket paper. For the rears, I re-used the old ones. They weren't in bad shape (not compared to the fronts anyway).

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Re: HowTo: Install A Suspension

Postby 06M4.5 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:00 pm

Nice job :dblthumb:

If you have it I would add the part #'s for the pinch bolt & nut.

Was the bottom nut on your rear struts welded? I know the M35 & M45 are.

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Re: HowTo: Install A Suspension

Postby Ilya » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:10 pm

Nope, the bottom of my rear struts was fine. The only issue I had in the rear was I stripped one of the nuts for the shock at the top. Otherwise, the rears were easy sailing (other than the adjustment issues).

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Re: HowTo: Install A Suspension

Postby Ewa_Bound07 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:29 pm

Thanks for the post. Did you have to remove your rear seats to get to the rear struts? Can you acces them through the trunk?

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Ilya
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Re: HowTo: Install A Suspension

Postby Ilya » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:59 pm

Ewa_Bound07 wrote:Thanks for the post. Did you have to remove your rear seats to get to the rear struts? Can you acces them through the trunk?
They are held in by two nuts on the outside of the car (in the wheel well). No need to go into the trunk or the rear seat.

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Re: HowTo: Install A Suspension

Postby Ewa_Bound07 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:07 pm

IlyaKol wrote:
Ewa_Bound07 wrote:Thanks for the post. Did you have to remove your rear seats to get to the rear struts? Can you acces them through the trunk?
They are held in by two nuts on the outside of the car (in the wheel well). No need to go into the trunk or the rear seat.
Very nice. Thanks

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Re: HowTo: Install A Suspension

Postby szh » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:42 pm

Very nice write-up! Good stuff. :dblthumb:

One other thing I would strongly recommend. After changing shocks/struts, always get a a full four-wheel alignment done. Something or the other always shifts a bit and aligning the wheels and tires is essential - avoids unusual tire wear or handling issues after the change.

Z

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Re: HowTo: Install A Suspension

Postby AZhitman » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:59 pm

WAY cool. Car looks spectacular.

One small piece of advice. Please, IMMEDIATELY replace the bolt/nut from Step 4 with a proper Grade 8 or better set of hardware. The shear strength on the one you installed is quite low, and that's a critical component.

Seriously - That would not be a pretty result.

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Ilya
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Re: HowTo: Install A Suspension

Postby Ilya » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:37 pm

szh wrote:Very nice write-up! Good stuff. :dblthumb:

One other thing I would strongly recommend. After changing shocks/struts, always get a a full four-wheel alignment done. Something or the other always shifts a bit and aligning the wheels and tires is essential - avoids unusual tire wear or handling issues after the change.

Z
Yep. I had an alignment done after the suspension settled. Had another one done today (replaced the driver side hub/bearing assembly this week).
AZhitman wrote:WAY cool. Car looks spectacular.

One small piece of advice. Please, IMMEDIATELY replace the bolt/nut from Step 4 with a proper Grade 8 or better set of hardware. The shear strength on the one you installed is quite low, and that's a critical component.

Seriously - That would not be a pretty result.
Hmm, I'll have to get the one I listed then (part numbers provided in this thread). It seemed pretty hefty to me, but I see what you're saying.

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Re: HowTo: Install A Suspension

Postby Ewa_Bound07 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:47 am

I used the Meagan coilovers to lower the car. The issues I am having now is a rattling from my right rear shock. I doubled checked all the nuts and bolts but could not id the source. Looking at some post on YouTube I noticed some guys were talking about the coilover itself and it maybe the problem so ill check it tomorrow


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