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brad mole

Tutorial - Fitting Coilovers On A Polo 9n/9n3/fabia/ Ibiza Mk4 Etc.

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brad mole

Here is my guide for fitting a coilover kit to a vw polo 9n3, however I've been told this same kit and tutorial will work for a few other models such as the ibiza mk4 and fabia. Anyway, the kit i bought was the v-maxx with shortened drop links, this cost me just under £400

There are loads of tools you need for this job and i never thought to write them down as we used them, so i cannot be helpful on this part, all i can say is that most of the tools are common enough and you should have lying about, however there is one that catches a few people out, so if you dont have it, find one before you start. I think its called a multi spline socket, looks like a torx bit but with more teeth.

Before:

bradmolephotography.jpg

Firstly, jack the car up, use axel stands, or lift as we used, remove the bolt at the bottom of the shocks.

bradmolephotography1.jpg

It should now look like this.

bradmolephotography2.jpg

Now do this on the other side if you have both rear wheels of the car jacked up off the ground. take the weight of the axel though as once you remove the 2 bolts the axel will drop.

bradmolephotography3.jpg

Remove the springs if they haven't already bounced out, keep the rubber bits that are on the top of the springs for later, and should look like this.

bradmolephotography4.jpg

Now bolt the new spring adjusters into place like so.

bradmolephotography5.jpg

Adjust them by screwing the top piece around

bradmolephotography6.jpg

Remove the 2 bolts holding the shocks on the car, do this on both sides and they should just fall out.

bradmolephotography7.jpg

Like so.

bradmolephotography8.jpg

Now it starts to get a bit more comlicated. We put the shock into a vice, and attached some mole grips to the centre piece at the top to stop it spinning while we unscrewed the nut.

bradmolephotography9.jpg

Once unscrewed the bottom of the shock should fall out, keep everything as it is as the bit in the vice needs to go back on the new shock.

bradmolephotography10.jpg

Old vs new.

bradmolephotography11.jpg

Tighten the new one up in the same way with the new shock in.

bradmolephotography12.jpg

woop.

bradmolephotography13.jpg

But remember to put the plastic cap on the top after.

bradmolephotography14.jpg

Now put it back on the car the same way it came off, 2 bolts.

bradmolephotography15.jpg

Should look like this from below.

bradmolephotography16.jpg

Do the same for the other side and you should have something like this?

bradmolephotography17.jpg

Now get the rubber bits from earlier when you removed the old springs, and put them in the top of the new springs.

bradmolephotography18.jpg

This bit is a little awkward with just 2 people, you need to put the springs in place (remember the rubber bits go at the top, they should fit nicely to the car) and lift the axel so you can put the 2 bolts through the new shocks

bradmolephotography19.jpg

It should now look like this? tighten up them bolts and thats the backs done.

bradmolephotography20.jpg

Now lets move on to the fronts, the hard bit.

bradmolephotography21.jpg

firstly, unclip the tubes/lines that are attached to the old strut, or ones that might get in the way, they should just pop out.

bradmolephotography22.jpg

Next we need have removed the drop links which would be where his hard is in the previous pic. And a close up of where it was, we just removes the top part of the drop link, and done the bottom later, i'd reccomend taking the whole drop link off first. They are annoying little things, they have a torx bit inside of a socket, i hacksawed my drop links off because they were rounding the torx bit, but watch you dont saw through the bar the are connected to.

bradmolephotography23.jpg

This is where that funky multi spline tool thing comes in handy, it looks totally rusted in the pic so you cant see the teeth, but there it is anyway, remove that.

bradmolephotography24.jpg

A view from the other side once its been removed, now remove the bolts from the top of the strut in the engine bay, there should be 3 for each strut. we left one in just to keep it in place, but i think it would have been easier removing all 3. After this its a right pain to get the strut out, where the strut sits into that bit we have just taken the bolt out of, you need to prise it open a bit to get a bit of movement with the strut, we used a chisel underneath. Take the steering lock of so you can move the disk etc. Then its a case of pulling and fiddling around to get it out, it seems impossible but you will get it in the end.

bradmolephotography25.jpg

Once its out, put it in the spring clamp and tighten it up, but be careful, these things are dangerous. Now remove the bolt off the top, its got a dogey allen key in the centre,

bradmolephotography26.jpg

Keep everything as it is because once again it all needs to go back on the new strut. This is the part you need, that black bit int he centre is off my new strut, it should fit snug in there.

bradmolephotography27.jpg

Now put it on the new strut and tighten it up but remember that dodgey allen key bit in the centre, use your old nut for the top as it seems better than the ones you get with the vmaxx kit.

bradmolephotography28.jpg

Here it is, all tigtened up, woop, remove it from the vice, be careful.

bradmolephotography29.jpg

Put it back on the car and tighten the 3 bolts up in the engine bay to keep it steady (as you can see my old drop link is still on, because i left it till the end).

bradmolephotography30.jpg

make sure it is all lined up, give it a bit of lube and try and force it back in, it will be tough so we used an axel stand underneath and lowered the car onto it very slowly which bashing it into place and keeping it right. Tighten up that dodgey multi sline tool and were almost done. Re attach them tubes etc onto the new struts.

bradmolephotography31.jpg

New drop links on....and thats one side done, now go do the other side and good luck.

bradmolephotography32.jpg

After:

bradmolephotography33.jpg

thanks for looking and i hope this has been helful, please let me know if i have got anythign wrong and i will change it. i will update this with some better pics once they have settled and have been adjusted lower. thanks, brad mole

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milothesodapop

Chrz brad great guide will help me when i do mine i have a few q's 4 you.

Is it essential to have a spring compressot to do it and also how have you found the comfort and handling I've heard that vmaxx isnt brilliant but would like someone who really knows how they are on a 9n.

Chrz

ps. Where u get them from

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Guest danny_CZ

hi, I also bought a v-maxx for my 9N and I'm going to fit it next week.

would you please tell me, how much did you lower your car? i suppose that height on the "after" pic is not the lowest possible level... or is?

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milothesodapop

I'm just fitting mine atm and the front passenger side was ok to do but on the drivers side I'm having trouble.

Basically to get the strut out of the wisbone/hub I'm using a hammer to push the wishbone down, the passenger side is nearly our but the wisbone wont go down anymore as the driveshaft is hitting the subframe where the front wishbone bush mounts on the drivers side, did you have this problem brad and have you any solutions I'm wondering is there is another way other than making the wishbone go down any help much appreciated

cheers

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brad mole

sorry guys i haven't been on here in aaaages lol

hi, I also bought a v-maxx for my 9N and I'm going to fit it next week.

would you please tell me, how much did you lower your car? i suppose that height on the "after" pic is not the lowest possible level... or is?

its obviously too late now but no that wasnt the lowest setting, it was just like that while it settled in then i lowered it more, and more, and more and then couldnt go anymore but still wanted to go lower lol

I'm just fitting mine atm and the front passenger side was ok to do but on the drivers side I'm having trouble.

Basically to get the strut out of the wisbone/hub I'm using a hammer to push the wishbone down, the passenger side is nearly our but the wisbone wont go down anymore as the driveshaft is hitting the subframe where the front wishbone bush mounts on the drivers side, did you have this problem brad and have you any solutions I'm wondering is there is another way other than making the wishbone go down any help much appreciated

cheers

yeah i had the same problem mate, we were on with that one side for about an hour just totally confused how it wouldnt come out, we just carried on with it and tried a few different methods then eventually it just ping'd out lol

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milothesodapop

cheers m8 i just detached the wishbone from the hub in the end only problem now is i have a horrible skreetch wen i go over hard bumps lol

only approx 50mm dwn i have a suspicion of the arb hitting the driveshaft so need to cut droplinks do you happen to know how long those v-maxx ones r

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graham d

Hi Guys,

I'm having some issues getting the fronts out!

we've tried and tried and they will not budge, its almost like we need another inch maybe 2 to come out of the holder! no amount of lifting/twisting will do it!

Any advice?

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dhunnav31

Great guide. but if anyone can help with the rear coilovers, it the car at its lowest setting will the spring sit at the bottom with thread showing above or will there be thread showing below?

thanks

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carlhazell13

hi mate i got FK's fitting soon do you NEED the shortened drop links?

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lewisbriggs92

i was wondering if you had/could measure your back axle for me as i think mine might be bent as it took a nasty knock. i have a 1.2 02 polo. i have measured from what i suspect to be the brake callaper bracket. i have jacked the car up and meausred from the inside lower hole to the other side and got 1325mm so was wondering if u lot got the same.

cheers, lewis

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reedy1
Chrz brad great guide will help me when i do mine i have a few q's 4 you.

Is it essential to have a spring compressot to do it and also how have you found the comfort and handling I've heard that vmaxx isnt brilliant but would like someone who really knows how they are on a 9n.

Chrz

ps. Where u get them from

no it is not essensial too have spring compressors .. but its strongly recomended because standard springs pritty much explode when u take the top nut off and can go anywhere... normally tend too go towards you with a large amount of force... we done one once for a laugh and it went about 5ft in the air..

you can get a set of cheap ones that do the trick that u close in with a spanner for like £15 from most car part shops...

just a note aswell for the FAQ ... too get the strut top nut off there is actually a correct tool too do it instead of using molegrips on abit of threaded bar which isnt too clever lol the tool is called a crank spanner .. again available at most tool/motor shops ...

31bIEJTYj-L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

theres a hole in the middle of it that you put you are allen key through ..

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M7R

those drop links are too short if I am honest, they should be as vertical as posible, otherwise they will be putting in side loadings and not working quite right..

I also wouldnt undo both of the rear bottom shock bolts, and allow the beam to drop, as although it makes getting the springs out easier you also need to be careful that the only thing now stopping the beam dropping further is the flexy hoses. (the bolt is also harder to get out as it is under tension from the spring pushing down, and the shock stopping it going any further.

for the rear jack the car up, take the wheel off, then put a second jack (or the main one if the cars now sat on axel stands) under the rear shock and jack it up so it just takes the weight, then undo the bolt and it will come out alot easier.

then drop the jack down, take it out of the way, push down on the beam - a foot on the hub works well - and pull the spring out - an assistant helps, but it can be done by 1 person on theor own, esp if you have some spring compressors. rebuilding is the reverse, then repeat on the other side.

for the fronts everyone has missed a HUGE trick! where doing it on a lift makes it harder, down side is you need 2 jacks.

again jack the car up and get the wheel off, then put a second jack under the lower arm.... undo all the gumph from the strut, unplu the abs, and move the wires out of the way..

the undo the main bolt through the strut, and put a bit of wd40 etc round the strut to soak in...

now put your spring compressors on the springs, and start slowly jacking the lower arm up, as you compress the spring wind up the compressors a little more (putting the spring compressors upside down helps - see pics for what I mean - as you are compressing the spring with the weight of the car, so and then just winding the compessors by hand to take up the slack.

while you are jacking up the lower arm undo the arb bolt from the strut (a impact gun makes this a doddle) and when its level and not under stress it will just push out easily.

once you have compressed the springs and removed the drop link, its now time to remove the strut from the hub..(note i have NOT yet removed the top mounts bolts... there is a reason for this! it helps stop the trut dropping in the next phase).

place a bar - the handle from a jack is perfect for this! - under the spring platform, and then lower the jack under the arm, and the main jack untill the bar is JUST taking some of the weight, it is only there to stop the strut dropping when you hit the hub.

now the strut is stopped from dropping, take a BIG hammer and hit the top of the hub, alternate from each of the cast ribs, and the hub will start to drop, keep adding a little wd40 and moving the hub down the strut... you can walk it all the way down and off the strut with out the drive shaft hitting the sub frame.

once its clear undo the 3 bolts holding the top mount on, jack the car back up and take out the strut, then undo the top mount - again an impact gun helps, and works better if you slacken the compressors a little to add some tension to the top mount to stop the damper shaft spinning.

This way works really well, I have done my mk4 golf like this a couple of times, the wifes polo, and never had a problem.. I am now down to a hour-ish per side for a strut swap.

DSCF3279.jpg

DSCF3280.jpg

(spring compressors on up side down.. just watch they dont get stuck on the body work when jacking the lower arm up)

the jack handle is best placed between the lower arm and the steering rod, this helps stop it slippings... but if you get it right it shouldn't move at all.

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Marc9n3

Bump so its easier to find when I need it

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Gaz

I've done a couple of these and I found it far easier to change the front legs if I dropped the subframe as it allows more clearance to get the spring/shock setup in and out. You don't need to use spring compressors either. (Except to assemble the spring/shock/topmount)

I had that same problem with the drop links. The torx head on the bolt broke so I ended up sawing through it.

I got some of those aftermarket short drop links from philJ but the were too short. The ARB fouled on the inner arches, but my car wasn't low enough for them (but too low for the standard ones!) Apparently mondeo ones are a bit shorter than standard ones, so a good middle ground. But I never tried them.

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rtuk

anyone know what size multispline socket you need for fitting need to know asap

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M7R

Not sure on spline size, soda law is just put wheels back on wife's a couple of hours ago.

For drop links uses ford escort ones from the mk5/6 these are the correct length if it's lowered more than about 20 30mm,

As for dropping subframes that sounds likes a huge faff! More bolts to re torque etc and more chance of the front end being out of line when reassembled.

For undoing the bolts and arb bolts etc, best bet is get a impact gun either air or battery, I got a battery one last year best £130 ever spent! Suspension changes are a doddle

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bickerton

It's m14 I think, usually a size larger than you'd get in a standard set. If you don't have it and a machine mart is close by they sell a vw wheel hub splone set for about £15 I think

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rtuk

Cheers guys will have to go shopping tomorrow

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