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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
COIL SPRING INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS
01-UP LEXUS IS300

I used the pictures and edited the instructions from an old set of Hotchkis instructions. If I get a chance i'll replace the pictures with some better ones...
time The process should take 30-60min per strut,
if you have all the necessary tools and hardware required.

Difficulty: 5/10

------ FRONT COIL SPRINGS ------

tools REQUIRED TOOLS
• Coil spring compressor (External Style)**
• Jack stands
• Floor Jack
• Wrenches or Sockets: 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm
• Allen wrenches or Hex sockets: 5mm Torque wrench

**Note:
Simple screw type Coil Spring Compressors can be borrowed for free (with deposit) from all major auto parts stores. Be sure to obtain an External Style Coil Spring Compressor, Internal Style will not work for installation purposes.

INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS

1) Securely block the rear wheels of the vehicle.

2) Use a 10mm socket or wrench to loosen and remove the two small nuts holding the electrical box to the strut mounts on the driver’s side.

Remove the two nuts on the passenger side as well to remove the heat sync. THIS ITEM MAY BE HOT! Move both components off to the side and retain the stock mounting hardware. This should expose the strut mount nuts on each side.




3) Use a 12mm socket or wrench to loosen and remove the nuts securing the top of the strut. Retain the nuts for later re-installation.




4) Loosen but do not remove the front wheel nuts before jacking the car up. Use a jack to slowly raise the front of the car and support it on jack stands.

The struts will slowly drop free of the holes in the body, but will not fall out. You can now remove the front wheels.

From this step on it is best to work on each front strut separately. Instructions are identical for both sides.

5) Use a 10mm wrench or socket to loosen and remove the small bolt holding the brake line to the strut assembly. Use a 10mm wrench to disconnect the ride height sensor from the body on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Make note of the position of the ride height sensor, it'll be useful when you're ready to put it back on.

Retain all hardware for later re-installation.




6) Use a 14mm wrench and a 5mm Allen wrench to loosen and remove the nut holding the top part of the end link to the sway bar. Retain the hardware for later re-installation. You may want to give it a shot of WD40 or PB Blaster before attempting to remove.




7) Use a 17mm socket or wrench to loosen and remove the bolt holding the lower end of the strut to the spindle. Retain this hardware for later use.




8) Use a 12mm wrench or socket to remove the small bolt holding the top of bracket mounted to the spindle in place. This bolt is just behind the lower end of the strut. Retain the hardware.




9) Use a 17mm socket to remove the bolt holding the lower end of the sway bar end link to the spindle. This bolt passes through the bracket that the bottom of the strut mounts to.
You may have to use a “wobble” extension to get a socket past the steering tie rod. The strut assembly and mounting bracket should now be free for removal. Retain the stock hardware.




10) Secure the strut assembly in a coil spring compressor (these can be rented from most major auto parts stores). Remove the top plate from the strut and retain it for later re-installation. Use a paint marker or similar tool to mark the top plate and coil for alignment purposes.




11) Use a flat blade screwdriver or similar tool to remove the plastic dust cover concealing the top nut on the strut. Compress the coil to take tension off the top plate and use a 17mm socket to remove the nut. Retain the nut for later re-installation.




12) Remove the upper strut plate with the dust cover boot. Remove the stock bump stop from the strut or the dust cover if it’s lodged inside. Release the tension on the coil and remove the stock coil. Retain the top plate and dust cover.

Its a good idea to replace the stock bump stops with polyurethane, most spring kits will include replacements, but if not you will want to retain the stock rubber bump stops.




13) Slide your new bump stop over the top of the strut with the narrow end towards the bottom of the strut. Place your new spring over the strut shaft and locate the tail of the coil in the stamped recess on the spring seat. Place the top strut plate and dust boot over the spring.




14) Collapse the coil so that you can start the nut on the end of the shaft to hold the strut top plate in place. Use a 17mm wrench to tighten the nut. Make certain to align the strut top plate and lower spring seat using the white marks you made earlier. Torque the hardware to 35 ft/lbs. Replace the dust cap over the hole in the top of the strut. Release the tension on the spring slowly, and make certain the spring lines up with the spring seat properly.




15) Remove the strut assembly from the coil compressor and lift it back into the vehicle. Slide the lower strut mount bracket over the spindle with the bottom end of the strut inside the bracket. Secure the bracket with the stock screw at the top behind the strut mount using a 12mm wrench to tighten the bolt. Torque the screw to 25 ft/lbs.




16) Re-install the end link. Slide the stud on the end link through the bracket and spindle. Use a 17mm wrench to tighten the stock nut onto the stud. Slide the lower strut bolt through the bracket and the bottom of the strut. Use a 17mm socket or wrench to tighten the nut and bolt. Torque both nuts to 30 ft/lbs.




17) Re-attach the end link to the sway bar. Use a 5mm Allen wrench and a 14mm wrench to tighten the end link. Tighten the end link hardware to 25 ft/lbs.




18) Use a 10mm wrench or socket to re-attach the brake line to the strut using the stock screw. Torque the hardware to 15 ft/lbs. Use a 10mm wrench to re-attach the ride height sensor on the driver’s side if you’re installing that side. Torque the hardware to 15 ft/lbs.




19) Push the top of the strut up to the hole in the body. Slide the studs through the holes and secure them by starting the nuts onto the studs. Do not tighten the nuts at this time!

20) Repeat steps 5-18 for the opposite site strut and recheck all hardware for tightness.

21) Replace the front wheels, and use a jack to slowly lower the vehicle to the ground. Pay attention to the strut tops to make certain the studs are lined up with the holes in the body. With the full vehicle weight on the struts, you may tighten up the top nuts. Use a 12mm socket or wrench to tighten the nuts. Torque the hardware to 35 ft/lbs.




22) Use a 10mm socket or wrench to re-attach the electrical components from step 2 to the studs that you removed them from. Torque the hardware to 25 ft/lbs.




23) Re-check all hardware for tightness. With the front installation complete you can now move on to the rear spring installation!

Thats it for the front, now on to the rear!
____________________________________________


------ REAR COIL SPRINGS ------

tools REQUIRED TOOLS
• Coil spring compressor (External Style)**
• Jack stands
• Floor Jack
• Wrenches or Sockets: 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19MM
• Allen wrenches or Hex sockets: 6mm Torque wrench

INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS

1) Securely block the front wheels of the vehicle. Remove the trunk interior to gain access to the upper shock mounts in the rear. Lift out the carpet and spare tire cover components. Use a 10mm socket or wrench to remove the four tie-down loops in the trunk.




Remove the trim clips indicated by the arrows. There should be four on each side with two along the rear panel and two mounted just behind the fender well. Unscrew and remove the two plastic tie down mounts located at the lip of the trunk. The interior panels should now be loose for removal.




2) Use a 14mm socket or wrench to loosen and remove the nuts holding the tops of the struts in place. Retain the hardware for later re-installation.




3) Use a jack to raise the rear end until the wheels are off the ground and use jack stands to support the vehicle. Remove the rear wheels. From this step on it’s best to work on each strut separately.

4) Use a 12mm socket or wrench to loosen and remove the bolt holding the top of the strut inside the rear fender well. Retain the hardware for later re-installation.




5) Use a 12mm socket or wrench to loosen and remove the long bolt and nut holding the rear sway bar end link to the rear suspension arm.




6) Use a 19mm socket or wrench to loosen and remove the bolt holding the lower end of the strut to the suspension arm. Use the 19mm wrench to then remove the bolt holding the lower suspension arm to rear sub frame. Use caution as the strut is not held in by anything at this stage, and may drop out as the arm is disconnected!



7) Place the stock strut assembly into a coil spring compressor. Use a paint marker or similar marking tool to make a set of alignment marks on the upper and lower spring seats.




8) Compress the coil and use a 17mm wrench and a 6mm Allen wrench to loosen and remove the strut retainer nut. Release the coil and lift off the top strut plate “hat” and stock spring.




9) Remove the stock bump stop. The stop may be on the strut shaft, or lodged inside the upper strut plate “hat”. If it’s stuck inside the hat just shake it a bit to dislodge it. If you have replacement bump stops, retain the metal hat from the stock bump stop and slide the your new stop into the plate. Slide the complete bump stop assembly over the end of the shaft with the narrow end of the stop pointed towards the bottom.




10) Drop your new spring over the end of the strut. Line up the end of the coil with the stamping in the lower spring seat. Slide the upper spring seat “hat” over the end of the strut.




11) Compress the spring and slide the large cupped washer over the top of the strut with the cupped edge turned upwards. Align the spring seats using the marks you made earlier. Use a 17mm wrench and a 6mm Allen wrench to tighten the top nut. Torque the hardware to 35 ft/lbs.




12) Slowly release the spring compressor. Make certain the coil seats properly to the upper spring seat/strut top plate. Remove the strut assembly from the compressor for re-installation.

13) Slide the base of the strut assembly into the lower suspension arm and lift the arm back up to the sub frame. Reconnect the arm using the stock hardware and a 19mm socket or wrench. Torque the hardware to 80 ft/lbs.




14) With the suspension arm re-attached, you can now slide the stock hardware though the arm and lower strut end. Use a 19mm wrench or socket to torque the bolt to 60 ft/lbs. Re-attach the end link bolt through the arm. Use a 12mm socket or wrench to torque the hardware to 30 ft/lbs.




15) Re-attach the small bolts holding the strut to the inside of the fender well. Use a 12mm socket or wrench to tighten the bolts. Torque the hardware to 30 ft/lbs.




16) The studs on the top strut plate should be sticking though the holes in the trunk. Start the nuts onto the studs, but do not tighten them yet.

17) Repeat the removal and installation process, steps 4-16, for the opposite strut. With both struts rebuilt and in place you can re-install the wheels. Use a jack to slowly lower the vehicle, and watch the strut tops to make sure they slide through the holes in the body. With the full vehicle weight on the struts you may use a 14mm socket or wrench to torque the nuts to 35 ft/lbs.




18) Re-check all hardware for tightness. Finish the install by putting the trunk interior back into place.



THAT'S ALL FOLKS!!
 

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Nice post, I will rep you when I can, since I just repped you a day or two ago.

Now, I have to find the cojones to do it myself.

I'm usually good for a few stripped and broken bolts.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
thanks guys, i can't take the credit though, just scanned the pics in from some hotchkis instructions i had laying around and added my own 2cents to the instructions.
 

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Formerly known as 01WaIS
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nice post!! very nice work on the DIY, very specific, a retard could do it with these instructions!! +rep
 

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Discussion Starter #7
uschardcore said:
thats such a great guide +rep man. 15 posts since '04? you must be a hunt and pecker ;)
I've spent 2 years preparing these instructions!! ;)

jk...nah not a pecker... :suspiciou
just didn't remember my password until recently!
 

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Great writeup man, thanks for taking the time and sharing. Definantly appreciated. +rep 2 u
 

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Awesome write up. Didn't take any shortcuts on writing this one up man!

There's been a lot of DIY threads on spring installation, but I think you can make this a definitive one.


One question: what is a "stock rubber bump stop"?
 

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rep++ i will be doin my own coilovers this summer and this will surely help!
 

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Threadlocker
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just an FYI, i didn't see this in the writeup, but might have missed it.

if you are using hand tools (aka no impact wrench) you really need to loosen the center bolt of each assembly before you raise the car. this is especially true for the rear. just pop them slightly so that they can be removed easily once out of the car.
 

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Just rent the spring compressor from a local auto parts store. It's usually ~$40 deposit and you get your money back upon it's safe return.
 

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thanks for this thread, wanna save money on professional installation and looks like these instructions will do that for me. ima new member but +rep aha
 
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