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Front Coilovers on 5th Gen

  #1  
Old 10-09-2015, 05:15 PM
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Default Front Coilovers on 5th Gen

I pulled my front suspension apart today to replace a broken wheel stud (what a crappy setup for doing this!) and figured now that I've got all of the suspension out that now may be a good time for a front suspension upgrade up front. My rear suspension is already fully redone - all 6 bmr bars, rear gm stb, and Held coilovers. I'd like something up front to match.

So I'm wondering, does anyone on here have coilovers on their 5th gen?

If so, are they purchased or diy? It looks to me like diy would be easier on the 5th gen since the sleeve goes over the strut holder instead of the actual strut itself like on the 2nd gens. So you wouldn't have to worry as much about damaging the strut since you can just remove it while you're cutting.

What struts are you running? There don't seem to be as many options for this strut type, especially nothing adjustable.

Thanks in advance for any help!
 
  #2  
Old 10-23-2015, 12:27 PM
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Not a real popular mod, huh?

I reached out to the one company that still shows that they have them for sale (Arraut Motorsports). Unfortunately they've been hard to get in touch with via email. I called them and they said they don't support the 1st gens anymore but they would see what they might still have laying around. Unfortunately I never got a call or an email back.

I think I'm just going to try and do it myself. I'm on work travel for another week, but then I'll try and dig into it.

Ive already got the replacement parts in:
-New hubs
-ARP wheel studs
-Ball joints
-Tie rods
-Struts

Still need to order the coilover parts, and will probably do the usual A1 racing / summit parts. I'll keep the thread updated once I dig into it.
 
  #3  
Old 10-23-2015, 02:54 PM
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I must have missed this before. I am interested in your project post some photo's as you can.
 
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:09 PM
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Well, between vacation and work travel, I haven't had a chance to even look at the car, much less actually work on it.

The upside is that I did have some time to get the parts ordered. I still haven't heard a word back from arraut motorsports, so I'm going the diy route. I sure wish they'd pull the stuff off their website if they aren't going to sell parts anymore.


Anyways, I ordered the usual sleeves and lower perches from A1 racing. I also ordered some top hats from them as well since I see some people build coilovers with these top hats centered in the stock upper rubber. If I don't use them, it's no biggy, they were only like $12 each.

I also ordered the upper mount bushings, sway bar end link bushings (that are used for strut upper bushings), and the thrust bearings. I also picked up 400 #/in qa1 12" springs to complement the 350 # rears.

Looks like the parts will start coming in late this week/early next week. I'll post some updates when I start doing some real work.
 

Last edited by bumpin96monte; 10-27-2015 at 09:22 PM.
  #5  
Old 10-27-2015, 09:16 PM
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Ahh, another of the forums Crazies doing what you do best. Your so cool fabricating, welding, bending, beating, welding things together. Another Bumpin Mad Hatter project, bet it will be trick. You do good work for sure! Your awesome, Mr. Tinkerer, never a dull moment in your life.
 
  #6  
Old 10-27-2015, 10:26 PM
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I can't say for sure that any 5th genner has done coilovers on the front. I'm sure some GP coils would be similar, but I think it's gonna be a custom job.
 
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by nitehawkjcb View Post
I can't say for sure that any 5th genner has done coilovers on the front. I'm sure some GP coils would be similar, but I think it's gonna be a custom job.
It appears that it won't be drastically different than other wbody cars. Once you cut off the factory spring perch, I will be able to get a sleeve on there with no problem, the a1 racing has a sleeve where the ID will be a perfect fit. What makes me a little nervous is that at the bottom, it isn't even from one side to the other- half is welded higher than the other half.


I can either weld a bead around the back half and grind that back down to level it out all around or it looks like I can take a cutoff wheel and cut the lip on the front a little lower to match the back half. I think this will be the preferable option since the factory weld is down further, so all I will be doing is cutting off the excess metal.

The big unknown is the top. I've seen some upper mounts where they cut the rubber off and end up with something that you can just put your upper bushing on and go, and I've seen others that needed a tube welded on. Since I don't have the spring off yet, I don't really have a good idea what my upper mount looks like.


On a side note, I was browsing strut options (I already bought the gr2/excel, but they're not really made for high rate springs). It looks like the older mr2 and old celica have a kyb agx strut insert option that is physically almost the exact same setup we have (where you're just putting an insert inside the factory strut housing) I think I'm going to try and find a local autozone or something to see if they have a strut insert in stock for them to get some measurements since I can't find anything online.

It looks like they have a little less stroke, but I think that would be a good thing since lowered cars don't tend to use much of the upper strut travel anyways. I know my rears onky use the bottom 1/2 of the travel. As long as the insert OD is similar and thr strut body is the same length or shorter, I should be able to make that work.
 

Last edited by bumpin96monte; 10-28-2015 at 08:18 AM.
  #8  
Old 11-07-2015, 08:20 AM
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Started in a bit last night and ran into a speed bump.

The factory upper mounts were nothing like I expected. I've looked at tons of grand prix coilover builds , and I've seen a variety of stock and aftermarket upper strut plates (the piece with the 3 bolts that protrude into the engine bay), but I've never seen one that looked like what I had.


Mine had a large cup that sticks down into the wheel well about 3" deep and just over 2.5" wide. Unfortunately, with 2.5" ID springs, that means the spring tries to sit on this cup. I could probably have mounted the a1 racing top hat to this cup, but I can't see putting the weight of the car just on this cup.

I didn't see a whole lot of other options with this type of mount without lots of fab work, so I ended up going to buy 97-03 grand prix upper mounts at the parts store last night.

The bolts physically line up so that's a good start. Now I'm trying to figure out if I should cut out the rubber center and run my 2.5" springs, or I can use the sealed turning bearings and leave the rubber if I buy a 2.5 to 3.5" spring. Onky downside there is that they only come in a 10", so I need to make sure this isn't going to force too much of a drop.
 
  #9  
Old 11-07-2015, 02:19 PM
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Finally got the ball joint off. Those factory rivets are really hardcore. I had to grind the heads off, drill the center out, and then it still took a ton of work with a punch and hammer to knock then free.

Also had an issue with the strut top as it was really rusted on. I also couldn't find anywhere local with the right tool to remove it (the 4 pin thing), so I ended up using a pipe wrench and a BFH. Still took an hour soaking in pb blaster and heat from a map torch before it finally let go.

After lunch is going to be grinding off the spring perch and sand blasting the whole assembly. I'm sure that'll be a whole lot of no fun.

I'm taking a ton of pictures to try and make a how to out of it later.
 
  #10  
Old 11-07-2015, 06:26 PM
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Done for today. Grinding that spring perch off is a massive pain. I only got about 30% through and my grinding wheel ran low.

I was able to cut the majority of the actual perch off with a cutoff wheel, but there is about a 1.5" wide band that is left butted right up against the stock strut body. Ends up being a lot of material to remove via grinding.

Also need to find a better way to remove rust. DIY sandblasting without a full enclosure didn't work. I can use an abrasive disk on my angle grinder to get the open spots, but I need to find something to get into the nooks and crannies (and there are a ton with this thing being a bunch of welded together pieces of sheet steel). Ill see what I can find at the hardware tonight. Off to a car show for now...
 

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