How to install adjustable coilover springs

Written by teeter allen morrison
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How to install adjustable coilover springs
Coilover springs are used in a wide variety of applications, from ATVs to race cars. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Coilover springs really are small coil springs mounted over shock absorbers. Once the coilover kit is in place, the coilover springs become part of the shock and share the same mounting points. Together they take up very little space and the springs are easy to change and adjust. Coilovers have been used in auto racing for many years. The only downfall to installing coilover springs is that the mounts must be strong enough to withstand the abuse of a racetrack or a rough road. On race cars, the chassis builder uses strong materials to construct a strong mount.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Safety glasses
  • Wrench set
  • Socket set

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  1. 1

    Determine the spring rate needed for the coilover spring. The farther out the coilover mounts, the lower the spring rate needed.

  2. 2

    Install the threaded coilover sleeve onto the shock housing. The threaded sleeve normally fits over the shock and is held in place by a large snap ring that fits in a groove on the shock. Some coilover shock components have the threaded sleeve made into the shock absorber housing.

  3. 3

    Thread a coilover spring collar onto the threaded shock sleeve. This will hold the coilover spring and is used to adjust ride height. Install the coilover spring onto the sleeve and insert a coilover spring cap on the rod end of the shock. Turn the coilover spring collar to adjust the spring rate on the shock component.

  4. 4

    Block the wheels on the vehicle. Place a jack under the car and raise it to take the weight off the wheel. If an old shock is on the car, remove it to make room for a coilover spring and shock component.

  5. 5

    Install the coilover component by bolting the shock's rod end to the bottom shock mount and inserting a bolt. Install the tube end of the shock to the top shock mount and insert a bolt. Tighten the bolts. The shock mounts upside down on a race car to reduce the unsprung weight, which is a big deal when racing. If the coilover spring is mounted on a regular car, mount it upside down -- this will keep dirt and debris off the shock rod and keep it from pitting.

  6. 6

    Thread the coilover collar up the threaded shock sleeve to tighten the spring and raise the car's ride height. The tighter the spring is, the more weight it will hold and the higher the ride height of the car will be.

Tips and warnings

  • If a coil spring rate is 227 Kilogram, that means for every inch the spring is compressed, it exerts 227 Kilogram of spring pressure.
  • If the coilover component is to be installed on a streetcar, find a shock manufacturer that makes the shock component of the coilover spring that fits the original replacement, if possible.
  • If the shock mount must be welded in place, locate a race car supplier: These suppliers often have stamped shock mounts that you can use to weld in place.
  • Coilover springs can be added to the existing springs like air shocks were once used to be to increase load capacity of the vehicle.
  • Always wear safety glasses when working in or around automobiles.
  • Take safety precautions when raising a car on a jack.

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