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Coilovers for a mk1/2/3

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'Cheap' coilovers are not available for the mk1/2/3 Polos because of the suspension setup they have. Most companies require you to send off your struts to be converted into coilovers. The cheapest ones you can get are through Jackson Tuning on the forum which are manufactured by Gaz. These are around £600. Weitec, HnR and FK also manufacture coilovers also but they are all around the £600/700 mark.

Your best bet if you want to lower your car cheaply is either buy a shocks and springs kit or make your own coilovers (but thats not advised unless you know what your doing!!

If anyone wants to add any further information on mk1/2/3 coilovers please feel free.

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AdamP

Not to be attempted if you are not an experienced welder!

Preparations:

Buy 2x coilover conversion kits from Rally Design or Burton Power or similar.

Buy suitable length and rate springs (8" 220lb-ish for handling, 7/6" 200lb for slammage).

If you've never replaced the shocks you'll need new, shorter inserts (see PhilJ for budget or Avo etc for performance).

Paint. I used satin black hammerite, but any metal paints will do.

Tools:

See http://www.clubpolo.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=65689 for tools needed to remove struts.

Dremel with cutting discs (preferably 32mm dia ones).

4.5" angle grinder with grinding discs, cutting discs.

Wire brush attachment for grinder/drill etc.

Welder (130amp gas with 0.8mm wire minimum!).

(Lathe

20mm morse taper)

1) Remove struts from car. Seperate all parts including removing dampers (hubs can be left in place). Process described in http://www.clubpolo.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=65689.

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2) Using 4.5" angle grinder and cutting disc, cut the original spring cups from the struts. Being careful not to cut into the strut itself!! Then grind back the remainder until you can slide the threaded tube over.

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3) Remove the paint and rust from the tube part of the strut and steering arm with a wire brush attachment.

4) Using dremel and cutting discs (will take a few!), cut through the weld on the *top* of the steering arm. Do not cut into the strut itself and remember that you want to remove as little actual metal as possible! The bigger the gap between the steering arm and the strut, the more difficult it will be to weld!

5) This is the point where you need to set up a jig! How you do this is upto you, but you need to keep the arm in the same horizontal place as it was before. I used a workmate and a piece of threaded bar. Having done this, cut through the weld on the bottom of the steering arm.

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6) Decide how much lower you want your steering arms (I chose 2.5", but it's upto you really!), and support the steering arm in the correct position. I used a nut on the threaded bar and some pieces off wood.

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7) Now it's time to crack out the most dangerous tool of all, the welder. Remember that if your steering fails, you're screwed! You MUST get the settings perfect on the machine to get plenty of penetration without blowing a hole in the tube. Blow a hole in the tube and its new strut time i'm afraid! On my clarke 151TE I turned the wire feed up to 8-9, the power to 2 max (almost full power, probably around 130 amps). This gave me a lovely consistant weld with enough penetration that you could see the weld just about to poke through inside the strut.

Firstly tack weld. Double check! Then weld fully, thinking about the pain you will go through if it goes wrong!

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8) Measure the distance between the steering arm and the threaded part at the top of the strut, and cut down the threaded tube to a suitable length (I used a hacksaw... doesnt need to be accurate).

9) Place the threaded tube over the strut (you may need to grind the old steering arm welds down a bit more to get the threaded tube over), making sure you can still do the shock absorber cap up tight!

10) Weld the base of the threaded tube to the strut, remembering prior advice!

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11) Bore out the 10mm hole in centre of the top cap with a 20mm (or the diameter of your shock tube) morse taper. Any machine shop / engineering firm will do this for you in 20 secs.

12) Strip any rust and flaky paint from the struts and paint them. Careful not to get paint in the threads!

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13) Re-assemble, placing the shock in the tube, wind the spring seat right down, place spring on seat and top cap on the top. Then place the ORIGINAL SPRING TOP on and bolt the top mount on the top with the normal castlenut. The topmount will not turn unless the suitably shaped original spring top is in there.

14) Stand back and admire, put them on your mantle piece.

Or put them on the car.

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jamiedub

Have you got a link to the adjustable coilover kit you used as . just so i get the correct one

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harris.racing

I recently did this for a guy at work but he supplied the threaded tube and adjuster rings..ill ask him where he got them tomorrow :)

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jamiedub

Rally design or burton power . Springs and tube cost 100 all in,

I'm Hoping to do this with a set of gaz shortend dampers

When i get moneys lol

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MaxGT

I've got all the bits too, 2 springs and adjustable spring seat set came to just over £100, not bad for a set of front coilovers for an 86C Chassis!

Jamie, where you getting the shocks from?

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jamiedub

Well either Phil J or i've been looking on the AVO website and they provide a part number but no price, just need to give them a ring a see what they say.. This wont be for a while as I'm brasset atm from this conversion and other things .. Sometime just after Xmas i hope to get them sorted and finished

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ska_wars

What, if any is the advantage of moving the steering arms down? Does it have much affect on ackerman angles?

I currently have KW dampers on 60 springs but tempted to convert to coils so I can play with spring rates :D

EDIT: Isn't 220lbs quite stiff, I'd thought of getting more around a 160-180...

Edited by ska_wars

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Cymro

Lowering the steering arms means you can lower the car more. Drivers steering arm is the issue as it hits the servo. But Being too low will also catch the hole the arms go thorough.

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harris.racing

Also will help reduce the increased bump steer due to the angle of them

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erixtar1992

would these springs

http://www.burtonpower.com/parts-by-catego...5-inch.html?p=3

work with these

http://www.rallydesign.co.uk/product_info....nfktllquubp1nu3

also I'm not sure on what spring rates. i want to run mine about 90mm or so, and it needs to be pretty stiff as i dont want any scrubbing!

i dont care about ride quality I'm only 20 :lol: , i want it to be good for handling though. my old polo was pretty solid

Edited by erixtar1992

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MaxGT

Right, i've mustered the energy and will power to type for you eric :lol:

id personally get it all from rally design, they're service is amazing!

Are you keeping your ARB? I've got 7" 250lbs for mine which are going to be very stiff with the front ARB, i'd probably get 7" 220lbs if i could order them again.

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MaxGT

Adustable seats

http://www.rallydesign.co.uk/product_info....15m40udcsfv0eh7

Springs

http://www.rallydesign.co.uk/index.php?cPa...15m40udcsfv0eh7

Just keep scrolling through till you find the correct springs, I'd go for 7" 220lbs personally.

They also now do rear conversion kits, which would be ideal for converting a nice set of dampers, far better than buying a set of mk1/6n TA coilovers!

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MaxGT

Yep they'll be fine, pretty stiff too!

Rally design is awesome, pretty cheap and awesome quailty, litterally next day delivery, whatever time you order!

I ordered mine at 10 Oclock at night, they were on my desk at 10 in the morning the next day!

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erixtar1992

awesome!! I'm so tempted to order them now since your buying my engine :lol: just means i have to get the struts off of the silver coupe and i dunno where to start lol

i dont think theres anything else ill actually need is there?

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MaxGT

Nope, just adjustable platforms and springs,

Dampers could do with being uprated, and propper shortened jobbies to take the extra travel, otherwise you might end up with the shaft going through the bottom!

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erixtar1992

right, ordered the seats, and the 225 7 inch springs. cheers for the links mate!

didnt realise they added VAT on at the end though! bastards! came to £103 in total.

ill probably paint them myself in hammerite bro, gives me something to do and saves a bit of cash as now I'm going to be skint! :lol:

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harris.racing

I was working on a car the other day with adjustable platforms and the adjustable tubes wernt even secured in place, just sat on a circlip on the damper body, the spring tension holds it in place, and it comes with a c spanner for holding the tube whilst you adjust, but it depends on the diameter of the polo strut body in comparison to the adjuster tubes you've ordered

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MaxGT

Yeah its not neccessarily got to be welded on, but i'd rather it was :-)

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erixtar1992

never thought of that! i spose its the same kinda thing as the philj rears!

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harris.racing

It's only the same in the way the spring seat sits on a circlip, still has a threaded adjuster

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MaxGT

You'd still have attatch a stop somehow, so you might aswell just weld it on!

Getting mine powdercoated in an awesome colour 8-)

  • Like 1

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harris.racing

Oh yeah weld is better anyway.

Powdercoat threads? Get them galvanised first?

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MaxGT
Oh yeah weld is better anyway.

Powdercoat threads? Get them galvanised first?

Nah not the threads dude, i'll probably wrap that part up!

Zinc coating will be an option, but it might be expensive!

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