Installing a fully-adjustable suspension is probably one of the best performance upgrades available for an s-chassis. It can also be a daunting task considering the necessity for proper adjustment to achieve the type of handling characteristics desired.
This writeup uses Megan Racing units, a competitively priced entry-level offering good for damping, height, and front camber adjustment using the included plates.
Time: 2-4 hours
– 12, 14, 17mm sockets, deep if available
– 17mm open-end wrenches
– Breaker bars
– Penetrating fluid (for stubborn nuts and bolts)
– Needle nose pliers
– Measuring device
– Coilovers of your choice
First, visually inspect the coilovers to make sure they are complete and ready to install. Adjust them according to your needs and set them aside.
Next, raise the car and suspend from jackstands at the proper points. These can be found in your FSM. *ALWAYS ensure the stability of the car when it is supported on all 4 jackstands!*
Remove your wheels and prop your hood/hatch/trunk for access to the coilovers during installation.
Start at the front. Remove the brake line from your strut with the pliers by grabbing the flat side of the clip holding them together and pulling up and away.
Now the fun part! Break the 17mm nuts and bolts holding the strut assembly to the spindle. After you pull them free, the spindle should drop away.
Now you should be able to remove the 3x 14mm bolts holding the strut into the tower via the engine bay. Support the strut from below before removing hte final bolt to prevent it from falling on your foot or the brake line.
Lift the new coilover into place and secure it with the new 14mm bolts that should have come with your suspension.
Make sure you have the right unit for the corresponding side; the brake line clip should face the front of the vehicle when re-attached.
After sticking the clip into its new home, re-attach the spindle to the coilover with the 17mm bolts and nuts.
Repeat the process for the other side. You can now replace your front wheels.
On to the backside! The rear struts are held in the rear tower location with 2x 12mm bolts each. Remove them and set aside for now. Get back on the ground after you grab your 17mm socket. Removing the single bolt attaching the bottom of this shock to the rear spindle should be slightly easier, but since you removed the upper bolts the assembly might drop a little after its free.
Carefully pull the old strut out and donate it to a needy Nico member.
If you have RUCA’s, go ahead and install them now.
Replace the old strut with your new coilover using the reverse of the above process. Upper bolts first, then secure it with the lower 17mm bolt.
When you’re finished, go ahead and re-mount your wheels.
Ensure that everything is tightened properly before lowering the car. Don’t get excited and forget a step, you could mess up your expensive new parts and that makes for a bad day.
Observe the ride height and other characteristics of your car with your new suspension, and adjust accordingly!