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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:28 pm
Posts: 1170
Location: So Cal, USA
Multi part post on suspension upgrade.
Project in progress, 1987 MK1 Turbo Sprint.

Most all of us know that aftermarket springs for the Turbo Sprint here in the
US are basically non existent.
This is my 3rd project car and 4th set of custom springs.
I have used 2 spring companies, National Springs, which is local to me and
Coil Spring Specialtes
They are not cheap, as each are custom made, topping $400/set for
front/rear and lead time is about 6 weeks.
After the first few sets, I opted to go full race on this set at 50% increase
on front and rear. Specs and samples were sent.
6 weeks later, I recieved the product.
Over budget, I opted to paint the springs myself rather than powdercoating.


2 cans later, I had a satisfactory product to begin the retrofit.
The springs are much thicker than stock, with the front being almost 2mm thicker
and the rear about 1mm thicker.


Time to begin the install. We will be focusing on the front strut assembly for this post.
Remove the front strut, gather all parts, and bring them to the strut spring compressor.
I had ready some polyurethane spring isolator bushings, new KYB stuts, NOS Porsche 944 bump stops,
and new strut mount kits from Napa.

Springs were put in the spring/strut compressor and dissasembled.
All parts and bushings were cleaned up and readied for re-install with the new parts.
All old parts were inspected and deemed reusable. The bearings were regreased using
a needle greaser. Be sure to flush out as much of the old grease as possible.

Most parts seemed ok for reuse, but I had new strut mounts ready just in case.
The bearing is different, and so is the rubber. The new strut mount components are not interchangeable
with factory parts. Comparison as seen here. If you do use the new parts, be sure to take apart the bearing and add plenty of fresh grease, pack
it good, as it comes out of the box with just a wee bit of grease in the bearing.
Interesting note, factory steel bearing is ball bearing, as aftermarket bearing used a needle type set up
with no secondary thrust washer.


After all parts are readied, put the new spring in the compressor.
You want to make sure its level, and even. A few rags will help prevent scratching up the new finish.
Start by installing the upper isolation bushing and the tophat mount as seen here.
Make sure the top of the spring is seated in the notch.

Next you want to place the bearing on top, then the thrust washer, then the top metal mount, the big round rubber
bushing, then the strut mount plate that has the 2 mounting studs.
Line up the top of the compressor on the studs and lightly compress the spring a bit.
It's important to make sure the holes line up so that the threaded part of your new strut will fit through without
obstruction. This may take several tries, and if the threads don't come through easily, you will picker up the
mount parts if you force the rod through by tightening the top center nut.

Now you want to compress bit more and insert the strut assembly after you have everything lined up.
Don't forget your bump stop. I have upgraded some HD rubber stops from a Porsche 944.

Once you have successfully inserted the threaded portion through the top, you need the top metal piece.
It's notched, so be sure to line it up correctly over the threaded portion of the rod.
You may not have the rod all the way through, but that's ok, as long as there's a good portion of the
threads showing. Now put on the lock washer, and thread the nut. Now use a socket and ratchet to
pull it through all the way and tighten till hand tight. If it binds up too much then you have to start over
because it's not lined up and if you force it you will deform the bearing or other components.
If everythings good, then use an impact gun to fully tighten the nut on the rod.

Now you can release the spring slowly and make sure spring centers on the bottom of the new strut
and the end of the spring seats in the notch.

Once everything is snugged up, release all tension on the spring and remove completed strut assembly.

In this particular case, the red poly isolators did not work like I pictured at the bottom spring seat and were
removed. Also the old bushings deemed reuseable, exhibited excessive play at the upper portion
of the strut mount. Though they seemed ok visually, they did in fact have excessive wear and
necessitated replacement with the new strut mount kits.

Both assemblies were taken apart and then put back together with the new parts, less the
red isolator bushings.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:08 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:24 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Oregon City, Oregon
Awesome post, very well done. :thumb2:

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:40 am
Posts: 873
Location: End of days ranch Bouse az
what about the front and rear bushings in the sway bar / control arms and rear spring plates ???? and rear locator bar ????

it doesent have to be surrounded by water to be a island and dont forget it's a 3cyl Blow,Suck,Bang

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:28 pm
Posts: 1170
Location: So Cal, USA
Info on the front bushings can be found here

The rear spring plates on the axle were left stock.
I had problems lining up the springs in the notch,
as the cut end of new springs were 180degreess off
compared to the stock springs. They lined up ok on the
cradle of the axle but not on the body mount. I contacted
the spring maker who was unaware of the difference,
but insisted that due to the spring rate I selected
and wire size to make the coils that that was why
the cut end of the spring was off 180. According to
their info, the upper seat was repositionable (not fixed).
After going back up on the lift and removing the springs,
the upper bush fell out. ( I had thought it to be a fixed
upper seat due to all the mud from the previous owner, I
didn't even realize the upper seat was actually a big
removeable rubber bushing.) After repositioning the bush,
the springs sat correctly in the notch.

After endless searching for a correct length panhard rod
that doesn't exist I came across a company that could
make a custom one shipped for about $100, less than most
off the shelf units that you see in catalogues like Jegs.
This was a feat in itself as all the panhards listed did
not include length and trying to contact manufacturers to
get the length of panhards listed by retailers was not easy,
and also fruitless as nothing was even close to correct length.

You can see pics of the new panhard here, as well as a custom
fab strut tower bar.

I have not got to installing the rear bushings yet, as the
whole axle needs to be dropped to press out the old
bushings in the leading locater arms. Don't even know
if the replacements will fit, but eyeballing them looks

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:37 pm
Posts: 784
Location: Palmdale, Ca
Just an fyi an adjustable Holden VS Commodore panhard bar fits. You can find them on eBay but they're from Australia and would cost more than $100 after shipping. Also an R33 Skyline tower bar will fit if you open up the center a little. Those will most likely come from Japan or China like mine did but I lucked out and found a used Cusco bar and it cost me $145 shipped. It's a great looking tower bar. I still have to open up the holes and repaint/polish it but it'll look really good. There's a lot of good info on the redline forum too. That's how I found out about those. Panhard bar and Tower bar I didn't have to lengthen the adjusters on the tower bar I got. I'm going to have to have a panhard bar made soon too. What did you have your made out of?

1987 Chevrolet Sprint Turbo under construction

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:58 pm
Posts: 15
Location: pakistan
how much it effect replacing panhard bar with stock 1 on Mk1

1.5 G15a MK1 Suzuki

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