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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


I just got KSports the other day and wanted to write up a picture guide for those of you that need/want a visual reference. DMac did a great write up, so if you are looking to do coilovers yourself, make sure you look at both threads. Plenty of good information!


Opening the box reveals a lot of parts. From left to right we have the rear shock, the rear spring, the front coilover, a bag of misc. parts, and a bag containing your end-links.


Here is the misc parts bag all laid out. Believe it or not, most of this stuff is not needed.


Front floor to fender height - 25.25" This is with Eibachs. Keep in mind the weight of the Diesel makes my drop larger than on a normal gas Cruze.


26.5" in the rear. The Diesel doesn't weigh more in the rear, so this is right in line with Eibachs on all Cruze models.



Get your car up on Jack Stands and remove the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For the front, you'll need

  • 17mm crescent
  • 18mm crescent
  • 18mm ratchet
  • 24mm ratchet
  • T40 torx
  • #5 Allen wrench
  • Mallet


Pick a side (driver's side represented here) and remove the brake line. It should pop out with minimal force.


Using your T40 torx and a 18mm box wrench, remove the upper sway link.


You can just rotate to the side


I used an impact, but here your 18mm cresent on the bolt side, and a 18mm socket on the nut side and remove the nuts holding the bottom of the strut in place


Up top, remove the plastic covers over the top nuts, and remove the 24mm nut holding the strut in place. Everything should drop down at this point.


Remove the bottom bolts from the strut. I used my mallet/hammer. The tapered ends means striking the bolt won't damage the threads. You can pull out the stock strut at this time.


Set the struts next to each other. You need to transfer the top-hat from the stock strut to your new coilover


KSport supplies a lubricant for you to apply to the aluminum sleeve that your top-hat bearing will rest on top of. Be generous, you only need to coat 2 of these


To remove the stock top-hat, you either need a spring compressor or an air-gun. The spring isn't under a lot of pressure, so removing the stock 24mm retaining nut is easy with a gun. I would term it SKETCHY with a hand ratchet, so better to be safe and lock that spring down if you don't have air tools. Reassemble it on the coilover. KSport recommends that you only snug the spring in place. No-preload required.


Before we install the new strut in place, remember to install your new endlink. KSport's endlinks are adjustable, use 17mm nylon thread lock nuts, and a 5mm allen keyed bolt. It's all a HUGE pita. Removing and installing the endlinks are the most time consuming portion of this install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)

put the new strut in place and insert the bolts. They insert from the front of the car. Orientation is important here, as there isn't a lot of room on the front side for tools. Re-install the 18mm nuts. It should be noted that KSports have an ovaled upper mount, allowing camber adjustments with the stock bolts. I chose to maximize my negative camber for the initial install until I can get an alignment.


Use your floor jack to push the strut up into place. Reinstall the top plate mount and the 24mm nut.


Before you can tidy up, you HAVE to do the other side. The sway bar is a HUGE amount of force, and if the suspension is not the same on both sides, you'll have a horrible time trying to install the endlink into the strut. However, once you have the other side done, go ahead and put your brake line back in place, and bolt the endlink to the strut. This takes care of the front.

In the rear, you'll need

  • 15mm ratchet
  • 17mm ratchet
  • 18mm ratchet
  • 21mm ratchet
  • Vice-Grips
  • pry-bar


Start off by removing the bottom shock bolt on both sides. It's a massive 21mm sucker!!!


To avoid disassembling the Z-Link, simply use a prybar to pop the rear springs out. Put the foam pads back on their perches.


18mm socket to remove the upper shock mounting bolts.


Using Vice grips at the highest point on the shock shaft, remove the 15mm top nut holding the upper mount in place. Transfer to the KSport shocks. Important!!! Set your desired damper setting before installing the shocks to the car. You will not be able to adjust once mounted. (Pro-Tip, most owners recommend 2-4 clicks from full hard)


Bolt shock back onto the car
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Set your rear spring in place on top of the trailing arm pad. Note - I did NOT use the spring height adjuster. I do not want more height in my Coilover system.


Using my floor jack on the center of the rear torsion beam, I raised the suspension into place, carefully aligning the new springs into their proper locations.


The KSport shocks are too short at their minimum length to reach the proper mounting location. Their height needs to be adjusted


Threading the shock out an inch or so, align up the mounting hole and put the 21mm bolt back in place.

At this point you're done with the initial install. Coilovers will require some adjustment, so get your wheels back on and lets see where we stand...


Ok, this looks GREAT! But I am actually sitting on my front tires. We need to raise the front up. Jack up the car, remove a tire, and extend the strut cartridge. I ended up putting about an inch into my front ride height.


Final ride height - 24.5" ground to fender in the front


25" in the rear


Before



After

If you are getting some noise in your front end (common with KSports) then I've been told that you have to tighten the INNER 24mm nut with the car sitting on the ground. Remove the top plate and give that inner nut a good torquing.
 

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I have to say that it looks really good.:bowing:

I would be concerned about the quality of ride.

You were sitting on the front tires. Then raised it 1".

So you have 1" of suspension travel in the front. How does it ride? I don't think I could get away with that short of travel in the front in my area, at least if I were drive into the city.

If it rides anything like the Hondas I see rolling around the area, I don't think I could do it. They hit bumps around here and you can see the body of the car move.
 

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Very nice write up!

The car looks real good!

I too am wondering how harsh the ride is with those coil overs?

I could never get away with lowering my car in this area, the roads are just to poor.
I'm so jealous of how clean your car is, I wish my car still looked brand new underneath, darn road salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The ride is amazing. I had no idea! It rides so much better than the Eibachs did.

With my Eibachs, I was running a stock height strut that was lowered 2" and cut bump stops. The car crashed over large bumps. It bottomed out everywhere onto the bump stop.

Large bumps do bottom the tire out into the fender liner. You could run less drop. People like to level the car out front and rear. I may still raise mine some more. But if I had known that the car would ride this good, I would have installed KSports a LONG time ago! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I may have alluded to this in post #4, but my KSports were making a lot of noise. I first tried tightening the coilovers. I tried adding a shim to the shaft (less play). I added a rubber seal on top of the shaft. I pulled them out and fully rebuilt them. To this point, one of my shaft spacers was in upside down.

* Lesson #1, pay attention to the spacers when building the strut. It has a conical end that will fit on the shock shaft in only one direction!

Finally, I uninstalled the end-links and the noise was gone! Maybe I am not tightening them enough?

Well, I dam near broke them, thats how much I tightened them down. But when my car was still making constant clanking noise, I called KSport in frustration.

In their troubleshooting steps, they asked if I had lengthened the endlinks at all. Well, if you recall from this picture:



I was running the links fully collapsed. This was causing the sway bar to rest on the frame of the car. This leads me to my last tip:

* Extend those end-links! The stock end-link is 12", but I think a 10" bar is more than enough:


Noise all gone, and a couple of tips to you do-it-yourselfers. When *everything* is adjustable, just setting to the max settings is not the most ideal!
 

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Fantastic write-up! Thanks for taking the time and posting all the pics, as well as your troubleshooting the sway bar links!
 

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Awesome write-up! I am getting my ksports mid next week and cant wait to do the install. As they are my first set ever, your write up certainly puts me back on the side of confident!
 

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Danny5 just pissed off every cruze member who just bought Eibachs :eusa_clap:
 

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+1 for the writeup and awesome detailed pics. If I ever get the chance to throw down on some of these coilovers, I would. Or the Bilstein set.
 

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Thanks again for the great write-up Danny5. I would add that you should start from 1" above bottomed out with the coil adjustments. The coils are a lot easier going down then trying to push them up. I too did not put in the rear adjusters and i like the way my cruze sits.

FYI it took me about 4 hours to install and I am very happy. I think i will go up on the front another 1/2" or so.

**** UPDATE: I did not put the adjusters in the rear, and my fronts are 1 1/8" from bottomed out. I am running 225/40 R18's and the car sits perfect with no rubbing. The ride is great and the handling is much improved!
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Let's talk about end-links. :D


I made this link clickable so you can see the detail.

The problem is the noise I was getting when I first installed my coilovers. I disassembled and reassembled my suspension multiple times. Perhaps, in my mistakes, you can find your own wisdom. You see, in my exuberance, I really cranked down on those end-links. I cranked on one so much, that I noticed that I couldn't tighten it up, and figured it was "good enough"

What I had really done was strip out the end-link, and this meant it started making noise. Just a little here and there, but it eventually, as all stripped bolts do, got much, much worse.

After a month of dealing with the noise, I disconnected the sway bar, determined the end-links were to blame, and ordered some Ebay Cobalt shorties. They're steel, they're 10" long, and more importantly, they are very inexpensive. I paid less than $25 for a pair of these shipped to my front door.

As I was removing the KSport links, I ran into that dreaded stripped bolt...



So it had to sit like this for a week until I would get time to have a friend try to cut it off. In the end, we cut the nut off the link. It was definitely NOT pretty in there...



Threads on both the bolt and the nut were trashed. And while the end-links are hardened steel, the supplied hardware isn't quite as beefy as the stock, requiring me to drill out the strut mount to 11mm.

Bigger steel bolt, and a much better design? I am sold. The car rides solid again. So, for all of you installing soon, don't over tighten these bolts. They are not quite so tolerant. :D

Yah... My bad... :lol:
 

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Hey so I got the ksport Coilovers used. Guy didn't have the endlinks but I only paid 500 for the kit. I need endlinks but ksport told me 3-4 weeks. You said cobolt shortys work? Are they adjustable? And what about these white line endlinks I'm hearing about? Would definitely appreciate the help before I order something that doesn't work
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey so I got the ksport Coilovers used. Guy didn't have the endlinks but I only paid 500 for the kit. I need endlinks but ksport told me 3-4 weeks. You said cobolt shortys work? Are they adjustable? And what about these white line endlinks I'm hearing about? Would definitely appreciate the help before I order something that doesn't work
Well, you should be able to see the picture I posted above, right? The Cobalt Short link is pictured there. It's not adjustable, but 10" is pretty smack dab for the correct length. I am all about finding replacement parts that are inexpensive, and a set of these links is less than $25.

Aren't the Whiteline links well over $100??? Too rich for this guy! I am not fine tuning my sway bar here, I just need a dependable daily driver. :D
 

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Ok thanks for the info. The ksport coilovers are great! And your write up about them helped me tremendously since I had no paper work. I'm sitting about 25.25" to the fender and only rub on a really big dip. Can't park in the driveway anyfmore but it's well worth it.
 

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Yea the stock cruze non diesel look like fe5 (or fe3 I cant remember anymore) cobalt end links! Bwoody had some adjustable ones I put on my cobalt I didnt get the upgraded chromoly and it broke 13 months later....
 
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