DIY front coilover installation mk3
A few notes before we begin:
- A second set of hands would be a huge help! I unfortunately, had to do it myself (so it is possible) but if time is an issue, another person can sure make things a lot faster.
- Although air tools are not required for this project, I would highly recommend either renting, purchasing or borrowing a set from a friend.
- The night before installation, spray liquid wrench on all the shock and strut mounting bolts. Before installing the new coilovers, remember to apply a liberal amount of FK lubrication spray so that the threads do not become heavily corroded.
- Deep 17mm Socket
- 18mm Socket
- 22mm Socket
- 18mm Wrench
Tools which are helpful (but not required):
- Torque Wrench
- Breaker Bar
- Impact Wrench
- Impact Sockets in the above sizes
FK Coilover Suspension Installation
Step 1: Pop the hood, chalk rear wheels, raise front end of car, secure on jack stands.
Step 2: Remove front tires
Step 3: Using an 18mm socket remove the two bolts securing the strut assembly to steering knuckles. After these bolts have been removed an alignment will be required to correct the front camber angles.
Step 4: Remove the caps under the hood covering both upper strut mounts. These should snap on and off without trouble. (2.0L/1.8L models Only)
Step 5: Using 22mm socket, remove the bolt which secures the strut assembly to the strut towers. The strut assembly should fall out of place. Remove from Car.
Step 6: You should take this opportunity to replace the upper strut bearings and mounts with those from a VR6 setup. The VR6 mounts will raise the front of your car another 5mm-10mm, they are stronger and less susceptible to failure. The original A3 mount is know to fail after only 30,000 km. These mounts and bearings can be purchase for approx. $25cdn each. If you choose to try and reuse your original bushings, you will need a spring compressor. Since I did not go this route, I have omitted this step. Please see your shop manual for instruction on the proper way to disassemble a shock or strut assembly.
Step 6a: (VR6 upper strut mounts): Spin Locking adjustment collar on the new FK strut assembly all the way to the bottom so that all pressure is released from the coil spring. Remove 22mm nut holding down the spring cap. Place the new bearing between the spring cap and the new threaded bushing. Now place the new VR6 mount on top of the bearing.
Step 7: With the new VR6 upper strut mount and bearing in place, position coilover assembly into wheel well and loosely thread 22mm strut tower mounting nut. Then loosely thread the two 18mm bolts attaching the coilover assembly back to the steering knuckle.
***Note*** The strut mount was incorrectly reversed in the next two pictures. Remember to install the mount, "fat-side" up
Step 8: Position a hydraulic jack under the control arm and raise it until the upper strut mount is tight against the inside of the strut tower. Now tighten the 22mm strut tower mounting nut.
Step 9: As best as possible, level the front brake rotors so that the camber is not overly negative. Now tighten the two 18mm steering knuckle bolts.
Step 10: With a torque wrench, apply specified torque settings to all three nuts. Torque settings should be specified in any good shop manual.
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