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Old April 12th, 2015, 02:33 PM   #1
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Suspension refresh questions

Let me preface by saying I've never worked on suspensions before so I apologize in advance for the dumb questions. For context, the car is my DD but I'm really hoping to get some autocross laps under my belt in it.

I'm going to be installing coilovers and upper control arms all around in a few weeks. I'd like to refresh everything while I have it apart but I'm not sure what that entails. My car has 148k miles, mostly in Ohio(rust), but still seems to be rather tight handling wise.

I had my wheels off this weekend and inspected all four corners. The lower control arm bushings are cracking and starting to dry rot all around. Can I replace just the bushings? If not, are there better options than OEM? How does the autozone part compare to OEM parts?

I didn't notice anything else visually deteriorated. What other parts should I be inspecting and replacing?
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Old April 12th, 2015, 03:33 PM   #2
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I just typed a long post and it got refresh and deleted. Anyway:
replace the arms with the bushings, not worth the hassle to replace the bushings.
Have a least one set of spare bolts, you may have to cut some.
Be sure to set the upper control arms in the neutral position before tightening.
Have some patience, lots of pb blaster, etc and your favorite beverage.
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Old April 13th, 2015, 03:45 PM   #3
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Bump. So just replace the lower control arms and I'm good?
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Old April 15th, 2015, 11:23 PM   #4
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You need a second person to stand on the wheel for removal of the shocks. Buy more beverages
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Old April 21st, 2015, 05:42 PM   #5
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i too live in ohio (cleveland area so prob worse rust than u if ur in cbus) i recently did all four shocks/springs. i replaced with koni yellow/tein h tech. ride is prob 35% stiffer than stock, id call it very comfortable as aftermarket suspension goes. I was able to replace everything by myself with a little help from a mapp gas torch, some pb blaster and some middle of the road air tools. hardest part was getting the rear upper arm off to replace w an adjustable camber arm, no broken bolts though.

i did buy new top hats and assorted bushings/dust covers/hardware and assembled the whole thing before tackling the job, this way i was able to just remove/replace the whole shock/spring assembly. everything for the top hats was about $200 shipped, worth it imo.

remember to preload the suspension with a jack then tighten everything starting from top to bottom, and use antiseize.

a tip with camber adjustment that worked for me, with the rear wheel off and suspension under no load, put a small level vertically on the rotor face. this will give u a good approximation of stock camber adjustment, take note of the bubble position and when you get everything put back together do the same thing w the level, then adjust ur camber arm(s) to approximate the original bubble location. you will likely still need an alignment for toe, but for me this kept my camber almost identical to how it was originally. then again the htech doesnt drop much in the rear.
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