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Thanks to my.is member infin8 for this tutorial.
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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Yeah, so I wanted to bump this guide because it has a lot of good pictures.

However, I ran into multiple problems, the main bolts that carry the rear lower arms were easy to take the nut off but the bolts would not come out of the frame, no way to do it without damaging the rubber bushings. Took the alignment bolts out and dropped the arms that way to get the struts out. No biggie just get an alignment right after installation and then a few weeks later.

The links that connect my sway bar to lower control arms up front were entirely sized into the piece, the nuts would not budge and the shaft would spin after about 3ft of breaker bar in the mount, no method to hold the outer end of the bolt, wierd floppy control arm link attached. Cut off the bolts with a dremel and ordered replacements from autozone, should be here tuesday.

Also broke off both of the small retainer bolts that also attach the brackets that hold the lower piece of the strut to the suspension arm, both broke with only a tiny amount of force, going to grind them flat and drill/tap to the same size with grade 8 bolts instead of the piece of shit cheese they used. Assembled EVERYTHING with anti-seize, my car isn't even rusty and I'm snappying/grinding off bolts, this is redamndiculous.

Thanks for the write up, IS is on jackstands till tuesday I guess.. LAME.
 

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+rep to you sir for this helpful DIY thread.
 

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This was a helpful thread but realized many of the torque specs are incorrect.
 

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I just did this today, except I went from lowering springs to OEM springs..

Anyway, just a bit of input on way easier way of doing the front shocks/springs on removal and install.

Undo the top hat bolts and bottom mount bolt only. Unbolt the ABS sensor from the shock and from the spindle!

Unbolt the upper control arm's ball-joint and everything should flop out very easily. I used the ball-joint tool to seperate the arm from the spindle-upright, do not use pitch fork tool as it will rip the boots on the ball-joint.

Took me 20 mins on each side from disassemble to install for the fronts.



That's the exact tool I use, I bought it from Craftsman. Been using it for years now and have saved me countless headaches.

To properly use the tool, attach the tool to the joint you want to separate and give it a 1~2 full turns on the main bolt on the tool from the time it starts to have tension. Using a 3lbs or heavier hammer, give it a light tap on the arm that houses the ball-joint and it should separate with ease.
 

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I just did this today, except I went from lowering springs to OEM springs..

Anyway, just a bit of input on way easier way of doing the front shocks/springs on removal and install.

Undo the top hat bolts and bottom mount bolt only. Unbolt the ABS sensor from the shock and from the spindle!

Unbolt the upper control arm's ball-joint and everything should flop out very easily. I used the ball-joint tool to seperate the arm from the spindle-upright, do not use pitch fork tool as it will rip the boots on the ball-joint.

Took me 20 mins on each side from disassemble to install for the fronts.



That's the exact tool I use, I bought it from Craftsman. Been using it for years now and have saved me countless headaches.

To properly use the tool, attach the tool to the joint you want to separate and give it a 1~2 full turns on the main bolt on the tool from the time it starts to have tension. Using a 3lbs or heavier hammer, give it a light tap on the arm that houses the ball-joint and it should separate with ease.
How about to put the ball joint back on?? Does it need to be pressed in?
 

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I just lifted the LCA up with the jack while the car is on jack stands to mate them back/apply pressure on the ball joint then tightened the crown nut back on it.

it just needs to have a light pressure on the ball joint and the up-right for the ball joint to not spin on you while tightening it down.
 

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For rear control arm lowering ---- dont go for the subframe bolt , dont even think of it' go the camber bolt adjusment

or else oyu'll need a new bolt and bushing not sold separatly from control arm
 

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Step #9 on the fronts needs its own thread. This car is from Arizona and has zero rust on any bolts or anything and that lower bracket bolt WILL NOT come off. I've tried everything. It just spins on the other side where the end link is and there is no way to secure the end link. I think I'll have to go another route, this isn't working.
 

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Step #9 on the fronts needs its own thread. This car is from Arizona and has zero rust on any bolts or anything and that lower bracket bolt WILL NOT come off. I've tried everything. It just spins on the other side where the end link is and there is no way to secure the end link. I think I'll have to go another route, this isn't working.
I usually use vice grips. I don't remember how the stock links look but mine has a 1/3" or so section to attach the vice grip to in front of the rubber boot. I've used chain grips before to tighten the ball joints and links so they don't move. Does yours have a hex on the bolt to hold it while your loosen the bolt? spray some wd40 or pb blaster on the thread to lower the friction to keep the bolt from turning again if you do loosen the bolt. here is the chain vice grip I used sometime. http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/2000x2000/152/15233_2000x2000.jpg?01AD=3tEoJFxRlVR-suUcOK0LbS8YWtATTj543VzoT5w8XOK_EDCyyBI95rA&01RI=7E1A1AAD7B6BF39&01NA= I believe autozone has it. May be worth a shot if nothing short of cutting off the links works.
 

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I just did this and used a regular old pair of vice grips on the opposite side.

Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong, I think most auto parts places call the "bump stop" a bellow. My strut boots (lexus/toyota term: spring insulator) are all torn up so I'm replacing those. $50/side from the dealer, $30 from aftermarket. After a good bit of searching (the internet and my head meats), I found that they are also referred to as strut boots and often come with the "bellow".

KYB Strut Boot-SB101-Shock Absorber Boots - Advance Auto Parts

I noticed there were a few unanswered questions on here about this item so I figured I would share the research. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, though. I'm going to see what the install looks like sometime over the weekend and I'll post results.
 

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So I attempted this, and coming from owning Hondas mostly this was a bit harder. Step 6 didn't work for me ended up stripping the allen wrench bolt. So I had to clamp it to stop it from moving. So I decided to just use an Pitman control arm remover and went that route to remove the front suspension, I found it easier. But the write up still helped me out a lot. Thank you.
 

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Quick Question

First off thank you for this post, very helpful! I can't quite tell when you actually need the coil spring compressor. I am replacing the entire unit. So I'm not really going to be messing with the spring it's self. Will I still need this tool?
 
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