Coilovers are an excellent addition to your vehicle. They can significantly improve your vehicle's performance and look. Though they are most useful for track use, driving a car daily on coilovers is doable. With the help of automotive experts, we can help you install coilovers on your Acura ILX.
To install coilovers, you'll have to remove your car's current strut and springs. Before doing this, you'll have to ensure that your brakes and brake rotors are out of the way.
Also, you'll have to apply pressure to the control arm because the spring is under a lot of pressure. You can do this by using a jack and placing it underneath the control arm.
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You must support the control arm before removing the spring because it can fly out with all the built-up pressure. Installing coilovers is straightforward, but you'll still need some mechanical knowledge. Keep reading below for a more in-depth explanation of how to install coilovers.
Steps On How To Install Coilovers
It's best to practice safety when working on your vehicle. That is why you need to understand what to do to prevent damage to your car or yourself.
If this is your first time replacing parts on your vehicle, it's a good idea to have someone with automotive knowledge assist you.
Below are the steps you need to do to install coilovers on your Acura ILX.
1. Prepare Your Vehicle
Preparing your vehicle will ensure that you will be safe and you can install the parts appropriately as needed. When prepping the car, make sure you have the vehicle parked on a flat surface to ensure everything is balanced and your vehicle won't roll away.
You'll also have to remove the sidings and carpet of your trunk since the holes the coilovers will attach to are underneath them. You should also make room so that you can move around your vehicle. This will help if you need to get into tight or weird angles.
2. Have The Proper Tools
Having the proper tools will ensure you can remove the old components and install the new ones. You will not need advanced tools to install coilovers. You may already have most of these tools if you work on your car from time to time.
Below are the tools you'll need to install new coilovers.
A breaker bar is a tool used to help loosen tight sockets. The breaker bar will come in handy since there will always be a chance that one socket will be hard to remove. A breaker bar is also called a power bar.
Wrenches are essential in removing sockets and bolts. There will be a lot of sockets and bolt holding different parts of your suspension components and other parts connected to it. Multiple sizes are also required since not all sockets and bolts have the same size.
Jack And Jack Stands
A jack and jack stand are needed to help raise and hold the car. Besides lifting the vehicle, you can use the jack to help keep and relieve pressure on the spring since you can't just remove it because it can fly out because of the built-up pressure.
Traditional metal and rubber hammers will come in handy when a bolt can't be removed by pulling or pushing. Using a hammer to help remove the bolt may be necessary, especially if the bolt won't budge.
You can use WD-40 on bolts or sockets covered with rust. WD-40 can help loosen these bolts and sockets because it composes of oils that help penetrate and lubricate components.
Though a marker is optional, you can use this to help mark two components together to test if they moved after a particular time. Markers can be helpful when testing out the newly installed coilovers.
You can also use this to mark parts on a component that you need to cut or shave. Marking a component you plan to cut or shave will make the job much easier since you have a guide on how far you should go compared to eyeballing it.
Touch-up paint is also optional but will help protect your vehicle in the long run. After shaving or cutting a part off your car coated with paint, you can use touch-up paint to cover the exposed metal, preventing rust.
Also, you can use touch-up paint to repair any scratches made on your car's body after working on it. Just get the appropriate color to make sure it will blend with the car's original paint.
Power tools can help remove bolts or sockets, but you can also use them for modifying panels or your vehicle to make parts fit in. Sometimes you'll have to modify your car a bit to support your new coilovers.
For the Acura ILX, you'll have to put holes in the plastic covering the strut tower to install the coilovers properly. Cutting and putting holes will not be the case for all models of the Acura ILX, but most of them will require you to do so.
3. Remove Components Connected To Your Current Suspension
The parts you'll need to remove are your brakes, brake rotors, and other connections that are holding the suspension up or are in the way. You can turn the wheel inward to work on the brakes and other components.
It would be best if you also jacked up the control arm to put some pressure on the spring since this will fly out if you remove it immediately.
With the jack holding the control arm, you can remove the strut safely. Make sure to relieve the pressure little by little before you try to remove the spring.
When depressurizing the spring, you should not stand in front of it. The best place to stand is to one side of the vehicle. If the spring flies out, the car's body will protect you.
You'll need to unbolt the strut from the strut tower found in the engine bay and below behind the brake set. If you don't have a new bump stop, get the bump stop from your old strut and place it on your coilover. This will act as a cushion for the coil.
4. Installing The Coilover
If you don't have an adjustable strut mount, you'll have to replace this since some high-end coilovers will come with adjustable strut mounts that allow you to adjust your camber and caster.
Just remove the old ones and do the necessary modifications to fit the new strut mounts properly. You may need to drill holes since some coilovers have more bolts to hold them in place.
After placing the new strut mount, you can install the new coilovers and screw them. After that, you can connect the coilover to the control arm. Make sure you follow the recommended amount of torque when tightening the bolts together.
After connecting the coilover to the control and sway arm, you can set your desired camber and caster on the strut tower. You can set this to whatever you want, but for the most balanced setup, have an alignment shop fix it for you.
You can now reinstall the brake and brake rotor. From there, you can adjust the damping to your desired setting or follow the recommended setting given by the coilovers manufacturer.
The final thing to do when installing coilovers is to adjust the ride height. You can change the height of your vehicle by twisting the nut up or down.
Turning the nut down will lower your car's height, and twisting it up will raise it. Make sure the front coilovers have the same height as each other. The same goes for the rear.
Note that the front and rear coilovers don't have to be the same height, but most of the time, it's best to keep them all at the same height.
5. Putting Your Car Back Down
After you have installed your coilovers and are ready to put your car down, you'll have to put a few planks of wood underneath the tires.
You'll have to do this because your vehicle will be lower, and you won't be able to remove the jack if you don't lower your car on planks.
6. Have Your Car Professionally Aligned
Have your vehicle professionally aligned to get the best and most balanced setup. These mechanics will have the advanced tools to help ensure that there will be little to no difference between your coilovers.
Installing coilovers is an excellent idea if you want better handling and looks for your vehicle. Be sure to choose a trusted brand to ensure you get the best quality. Also, make sure that the coilover is right for your vehicle model.
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