Long Term Project: Coilovers! Step 1

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Ireland Engineering Coilovers Complete

In General there are 3 types of projects I have. Immediate for urgent needs and repairs. Short term which are upgrades or repairs to be done soon, usually within 30 days, and long term, like 6 month projects. Here is one of my long term projects. Coilovers!

In the auto modification community coilovers is such a sexy word. It’s a special suspension that integrates a shock and spring into one unit and is height adjustable so you can dial in the height to exactly where you want it. The stock suspension is similar to a coilover unit except it’s not height adjustable so what most people do if they want to lower a car is put shorter springs on it and maybe a stiffer shock and that’s usually pretty good. The problem is that strut tube is designed to be at a certain height and when using shorter springs you are reducing the amount of shock travel you have. A moderate drop in height is usually ok but an aggressive drop will usually result in either the need of a much stiffer shock and rougher ride or a softer shock that bottoms out because it gets pushed to the limit of its travel. Coilovers for the 2002 can address this problem. The strut tube is shortened, and a threaded spring perch is welded on so you can adjust the location of the spring on the strut and thus lower and raise the height of the car. You also use a shorter shock so you get full shock travel.

      Because the 02 is such an old car no one makes a coilover suspension for it so they have to be made. You take the stock strut tubes.  Cut the spring perch off, shorten them, weld on a threaded adjustable spring perch, install a more narrow spring and a shorter shock and when that is all done you have a custom adjustable coilover for the front of the 02!  So my project began with me getting an old rusty set of strut tubes. Just surface rust. Structurally sound. So step one is to sand off the rust and shoot them with a Rustoleom Krylon paint. Not concerned about the tops or spring perches because they will be cut off anyway. So here’s the result after a few coats of paint and some wet sanding.

 

Stock strut tubes sanded and painted with Rustoleum Krylon paint.
Stock strut tubes sanded and painted with Rustoleum Krylon paint.
Stock strut tubes sanded and painted with Rustoleum Krylon paint.

Im very pleased with the results and will move on to step 2 of the project which will be to have the strut tubes shortened and the adjustable spring perches welded on. No rush for this. Paint and few mechanical things have priority but this moves this project along to being ready for the next step. ??

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