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Coilover Install   PDF  Print  E-mail
Written by Aaron D.  
Monday, 16 February 2004


So the first project went off without a hitch. The project took around 3 hours, which of course includes goofing around time and we also did not rush anything as neither of us had anything better to do.


Onto the project:


The following will detail the installation of Tein HE coilovers onto my 1995 Nissan 240SX SE.


Things needed:

  • Small set of hand tools
  • A jack
  • A pair of jack stands


We started at the rear of the car and removed the stock rear suspension without much difficulty at all. Removal of the entire rear setup took all of 2 bolts and 4 nuts. There are 2 nuts on the top of the strut, and 1 bolt on the bottom. The 2 nuts on the top are gotten to by removing the rear deck lid. This is just the part that holds my speaker covers on and is held on by 3 plastic clips that just pop out. Once that was off we had access to the top of the struts. We took off the two nuts on either side with a 12mm socket and a small extension. Now you need to remove the bottom bolt. It is a 17mm bolt and to get it off I used a 17mm box end wrench and kicked it to break the bolt loose. Remove that bolt while holding onto the stock setup. The way Nissan engineered the stock setup allows you to take out the unit as a whole, unless you undo the top nut in the middle of the strut. Once the bottom bolt is off, the stock setup will come right off. To get the stocker out of the car we needed to angle it back down in between the rear upper control arm and the toe bar.


Here are some pictures of the old stockers, note the writing on one of them and remember that I kept up with a certain mustang with that on there. Also worth mention is the dust boots on both are fried beyond belief.




To install the new coilover we angled it back in-between the RUCA and the toe bar. Now, this is the first part where we really needed two people. I climbed into the backseat of the car, and Mark fed the coilover up to me. This part is kind of tricky as it was hard for both of us to see the holes to line up the coilover. However, once we managed to feed it up through I put the two nuts I took off back on finger tight. With that done we were going to put in and tightened up the bottom bolt. The only problem with doing that is that the Tein HE is shorter than the stock suspension. So to remedy this we got our jack and jacked up the rear end via one of the lower connectors. Once we get it jacked up to where it needed to be we just put in the bottom bolt and tightened it down to 50lbs/ft. Now I climbed back into the car and tightened down the top 2 bolts as tight as I could get them by hand.


We did the same procedure to the other side.


These next 2 pictures show the amount of wheel gap at full droop. Note that it is about the same as most cars stock suspension.




The next few pictures show the rears installed and ready to go. The first picture is of the dampen adjuster on the top of the coilovers.







Now we moved onto the fronts. The fronts proved to be more difficult than the rear as they each have 3 nuts and 2 bolts which are torqued down to 110lb/ft from the factory. On top of that my car has been on the road for almost 9 years now which has added a nice layer of rust onto the 2 bottom bolts.


So to remove the fronts we took up the top 3 nuts along with my strut tower bar. Then when we tried to remove the 2 bottom bolts the wheel would move all over as it had nothing to hold it in. Lesson learned: leave the top nuts on. Once we got the top nuts back on we went at the bottom 2 bolts. The bolts are held in by a 19mm nut and the bolt is 17mm. To loosen the bolts we first tried to do it by hand, which failed. We then tried the backyard bigger wrench attached to the wrench on the nut, which failed. When all else fails to remove a nut where else to you turn but to the BFH? Sadly, the BFH failed too. So our last resort was to opt for the bigger BFH, which finally got the nut to crack loose. Now we had to remove the bolt which was a royal pain. We had to had mark pushing up on the nut while I pulled down on the bolt. Finally we got off the first bolt and then the second. It was then that I noticed that the brake line was held into the stock setup by a small metal clip, as you can see here:



The clip came off with a simple pry of a flat head screwdriver and I pushed the brake line out of the way.





We then started installing the new coilover. This lead to a few minor headaches, but nothing that we could not handle. The first thing we did was feed it up to the 3 holes on the top and put on the 3 corresponding nuts finger tight. We then tried to put in the 2 bottom bolts, but as it was in the rear the new HEs are shorter than the stock setup. We started to do the exact same as we did in the rear and jack up on one of the lower connections. However, this was much harder than it was in the rear as on my car I have a much beefier sway bar in the front than I do in the rear. Eventually we got the two bottom bolts back in and torqued down to 100lb/ft. Lastly, we put back on the brake line and corresponding clip.


We were doing the same thing on the other side, but one problem we ran into was when taking off the stock setup we had to actually jack up on one of the lower connectors like we did to put the HEs on. We had to do this because the sway bar was twisted so much that it generated enough force that we could not get the bolt out any other way.


A nice comparison of the amount of travel I am losing by installing these is shown by the full droop of both before and after the installation.




other assorted shots after the fronts were installed:






This project would have been made easier by an air compressor but if you donít have one you can easily work around it.


After the install we went to Eagles Pizza for some late night grub. The car is now a whole new animal from what it used to be. My wheel hop issue that I had is completely gone as well as my car having a much, MUCH better turn in response. My car also has very little body roll whereas it used to have quite a bit. The car now rides like a track bitch should. Bumps in the road are no where near unbearable; they are pretty much just more crisp than they were on the stock suspension.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 February 2004 )
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