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      10-28-2012, 07:09 AM   #1
AKopp
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DIY: Installing ST Coilovers

Here's a fairly detailed install of how to lower your car with ST Coilovers. Without further adieu, here we go. I'll do my best to remember the size of the bolts and what not, but I might forget... I apologize for crappy pictures. I wasn’t going to get my DSLR filthy.

I suggest using a lift or hoist but it's not required. A second person is also very helpful, but I didn't have one. I assume no responsibility if you get injured or mess up your car. Be careful and take your time.

I started with the rears.

1: Have your car elevated with a lift or on jack stands and remove the trunk liner. Don't cut corners, remove everything. Also pull your wheels awhile.

2: Underneath the car, locate the damper and the lower mount. This is an E12 socket. Remove both bolts.


3: In the trunk, remove the top damper nut. (16mm and 6mm)


4: Back underneath, remove the large bolt and nut (21mm) that holds the brake hub to the suspension arm. You will need a floor jack or screw jack to push up on the spring and release some tension on the bolt. It may fight a little, but it'll come.




5: Release the jack slowly and you can then pull out the spring and damper.




6: Remove the lower damper mount and install it on the new ST damper. (16mm) Put the new covers and bump stops on the damper.




7: Find the new threaded spring perch and coat it with anti-seize. Don't be afraid to get carried away; you can never have enough lube.


8: Back on the car, you'll see a black cup that held the old spring, pry that off with a screw driver or pry bar. The new spring perch with sit in there with the new spring.


9: Pull down the suspension arm and insert the new spring with the perch. You will use the old spring boot on the bottom of the new spring. Make sure everything is lined up and sitting comfortably. There is an orientation of the bottom mount, make sure it's correct.



10: Insert the damper and compress it by hand and send up inside the trunk.



11: Get your jack again and raise the suspension arm up and put the bolt through the brake hub.


12: While you're still under the car put the bolts in the lower damper mount.


13: Back in the trunk replace the top damper mount and bolt.


Do this again on the pass side and rears are done! Oh and replace the trunk liner. Easy, right? I adjusted the perches and about half way down, by the way.

Okay, take a break... Get ready for the fronts. We're going to do the front left.

1: The rears are basic, but the front have sensors. A few, to be exact. ABS, Brake Lining and Headlight Leveling. Remove these all first. You have two behind the strut in and small plastic case. And the leveling sensor has a little arm that looks like a sway bar link. (10mm)




2: Remove the upper part of the sway bar link that mounts the side of the strut. (16mm and 17mm)


3: Remove the outer tie rod end (21mm and T40 Torx) This is removed so we can pull the control arm down to remove the strut.


4: Remove the pinch bolt that holds the strut. (18mm)


5: Lightly hammer a chisel in the cap that pinches the strut. This will help you free the strut easily without too much swearing.


6: Up top, there are three (13mm) bolts that hold the top strut mount. Support the strut because it will drop. You will need an open ended wrench for the bolt underneath the strut tower brace.


8: Now the hub is flopping around. Time to finally use that buddy and a pry bar. My buddy was a 5 foot long pry bar. No picture, but pry the control arm down and swing out the strut assembly. Your chisel should still be in that pinch slot, and the strut should pull out easily.

9: Put the strut assembly in a vise or something secure and compress the spring with two good spring compressors.


10: On top of the strut, there is a 21mm nut, an impact gun works the best and slowly take the nut off. (Warning, this is dangerous. Be careful and make sure the spring is compressed. It will pop.)


11: Here we have the new strut from ST. Again, more lube! Coat the threads with anti-seize.


12: Spin the perch all the way down and put the spring on. You don't need to compress the spring. Install the old top strut mount completely. (22mm and 6mm allen) Make sure the spring is sitting correctly in to the mount.


13: Put the strut into the hub and clamp it down with the pinch bolt.


14: Pry down on the control arm again and put the strut up inside the three mounting holes. Tighten them down nice and snug. From here it's reverse steps, tighten the tie rod, the sensors and the sway bar link. Repeat for the pass side and check out your new ride height. I have 20 threads left available to go lower on the front, to give you an idea of where I have it adjusted.





Hope this helps!

Memorable frustrations include: getting front struts out of and into the car, replacing the trunk liner and adjusting the rears. To adjust the rears without the whole perch spinning, tap a pry bar or screw driver between the perch and the body and use your spanner wrench to turn it. Have fun, take your time and be careful.
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Last edited by AKopp; 11-15-2012 at 10:41 PM.
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      10-30-2012, 10:05 AM   #2
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For anyone wondering, I do need a fender roll at least in the rear... Not terrible though. The fronts are extremely close to the strut, but no rubbing.
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      11-08-2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the DIY.

I'll have the dealership install mine though, then if anything happens due to the installation my warranty isn't void. (I talked to my local dealership and they said that's fine, but cost-wise it's going to be a pain in the ass).
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      11-08-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
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Hey nice DIY. Im thinking about getting these, but im scared it wont go too LOW. In the picture you have, did you max out? Thanks!
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      11-11-2012, 06:30 PM   #5
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just finished installing my KW V1's using this DIY. First off THANKS!
And Jetblack, I had 20 threads left as suggested, and I couldnt turn the wheel more than 180 degrees without rubbing. So you can definitely go low, I actually settled on 33 threads. I have 265 rears and 235 fronts on 18's.
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      11-13-2012, 12:27 AM   #6
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Great Diy Bro
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      11-14-2012, 08:35 PM   #7
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very nice DIY.
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      11-15-2012, 12:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetblack135 View Post
Hey nice DIY. Im thinking about getting these, but im scared it wont go too LOW. In the picture you have, did you max out? Thanks!
Thanks everyone, glad it has helped some people. As far as going low, they will. The rears are at about half, and the front can literally have the body sitting on the tire, making it undrivable. I raised the front up a bit, actually. When I turned the wheel, you couldn't even get a notecard between the tire and fender. Looked badass though! I had my fender lips grinded in the rear to fit the big tires. I didn't want to risk rolling them and screwing up the fender and paint. Rubbing is so occaional now I barely notice it. Only on really big dips... Which I had that issue when I was at stock height with this wheel and tire setup.
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      11-20-2012, 09:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKopp View Post
Thanks everyone, glad it has helped some people. As far as going low, they will. The rears are at about half, and the front can literally have the body sitting on the tire, making it undrivable. I raised the front up a bit, actually. When I turned the wheel, you couldn't even get a notecard between the tire and fender. Looked badass though! I had my fender lips grinded in the rear to fit the big tires. I didn't want to risk rolling them and screwing up the fender and paint. Rubbing is so occaional now I barely notice it. Only on really big dips... Which I had that issue when I was at stock height with this wheel and tire setup.
Nice job!! and great loooking 1er
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      11-21-2012, 11:04 AM   #10
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Great DIY.
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      11-21-2012, 02:51 PM   #11
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Awesome write up... this will definitely come in handy for me in the spring. One question... your stance is perfect in the pictures at the top of the thread and these are the exact coilovers I want so I am wondering: In your post on 11/15/2012 you say that you raised the front up a bit... The pictures in the beginning on the thread, is that 'raised up' or is that before you raised it up?
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      11-21-2012, 04:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGM <3 View Post
Thanks for the DIY.

I'll have the dealership install mine though, then if anything happens due to the installation my warranty isn't void. (I talked to my local dealership and they said that's fine, but cost-wise it's going to be a pain in the ass).
How much was the dealership charging?
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      11-22-2012, 11:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evolution3 View Post
Awesome write up... this will definitely come in handy for me in the spring. One question... your stance is perfect in the pictures at the top of the thread and these are the exact coilovers I want so I am wondering: In your post on 11/15/2012 you say that you raised the front up a bit... The pictures in the beginning on the thread, is that 'raised up' or is that before you raised it up?
That's raised up. I let the springs settle for a week and went around and remeasured all the corners. Measuring from the ground to the fender. Minute adjustments here and there... We're talking a 16th of an inch.

Thanks for all the words everyone.
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      11-22-2012, 11:04 AM   #14
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Also curious about the dealer price... At my shop, I'd charge 345 bucks.
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      12-03-2012, 01:59 AM   #15
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How much was the dealership charging?
Didn't get around to asking sorry; I've decided to install them myself instead.

Though considering just this week they tried to charge my friend $180 for spark plugs that he bought down the road for $15, I'd imagine it'd be a fortune.

Also my local dealership has proven a few times that they are not the friendliest of people, so why waste my money there.
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      12-03-2012, 09:42 AM   #16
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true, I was just curious of the price because they always seem to just rape people.
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      12-10-2012, 07:40 AM   #17
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I have no mechanical background or whatsover with cars. I was wondering if I should really do this myself. Kinda scared. I don't even have a jack or a spring compressor. Maybe I should just let a shop do it?
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      12-12-2012, 01:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I have no mechanical background or whatsover with cars. I was wondering if I should really do this myself. Kinda scared. I don't even have a jack or a spring compressor. Maybe I should just let a shop do it?
If you have a friend with some mechanical knowledge, that'd probably be your best bet. Access to tools is the biggest thing. You could hurt yourself if you don't know what you're doing. I mean, in reality, this step by step DIY should walk you through it. But again. Have a buddy that has done some mechanical work before. Our cars are too nice to f*ck up.
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      01-03-2013, 05:11 PM   #19
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Just got my rears done and they were a piece of cake. Just make sure you have all the right tools and take your time while doing everything. Toughest part for me was either getting the trunkliner back in, or screwing in the colossal lugbolt again (the two holes wouldn't line up). But everything fits and is all back together now.
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      01-04-2013, 07:55 AM   #20
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pics when its all said and done, SGM?
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      01-04-2013, 04:12 PM   #21
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pics when its all said and done, SGM?
Of course! I'll send you a PM with them once everything is on.

I'm also running 12mm spacers in the front and 15mm spacers in the rear, even over huge bumps the rears still naturally camber in and tuck inside the wheel well. Perfect if I want to spin the coils all the way down
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      01-04-2013, 04:25 PM   #22
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Just got my rears done and they were a piece of cake. Just make sure you have all the right tools and take your time while doing everything. Toughest part for me was either getting the trunkliner back in, or screwing in the colossal lugbolt again (the two holes wouldn't line up). But everything fits and is all back together now.
Before and after pics
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