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ECS Coil-over Suspension MOD (part 1 of 3)

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The whole scope of this project was to attempt to make the factory ECS suspension system as close to a coil over system that a person could do without losing the ECS feature.

A HUGE "Thank you" goes out to Chris (Anyonebutme) for I was just a "schmuck" with a "crazy idea". He did all the suspension measurement and calculations in this endeavor, without his time and knowledge; this would have of never come to be.

Parts required
4: ECS struts (2: front, 2: rear)
4: Tein Pillow mounts (2: front, 2: rear)
1: Ground Control sleeve kit (Spring info TBA)
4: Tender springs (Spring info TBA)
4: Helper springs (For after all spring rates & lengths have been finalized)
4: Spring dividers (For 2.5 I.D. coil springs) (Can be omitted once spring rates & lengths are established, and springs are welded together)
4: Koyo Torrington NTA-4052 Needle Roller and Cage Thrust Assemblies
8: Koyo Torrington TRA-4052 Thrust Roller Bearing Washers
2: Machine bushings (washers) I.D. 2-1/8" O.D. 3-1/8"
6: Washers SAE I.D. 9/16"
2: Split washers I.D. 5/8
2: M-14 x 1.5 nuts
2: Split washers I.D. M-14
2: 1-1/2"" x 5" strips from an inner tube
4: 2-1/2" I.D. 3-1/4" rubber rings (cut from inner tube)
8: 8" Zip ties

Preparation for assembly
(A list of things that I needed to do before I could assemble the struts)
1: Verify that all the collars and sleeves from the Tein rear pillow mount kit have a 9/16" opening; if not send them out to a machine shop or drill them out yourself to a 9/16" opening.

Also verify that the nuts and split washers included with the kit will fit the rear strut rod, if they do, then you will not need the M-14 x 1.5 nuts and I.D. M-14 split washers that I listed in the "Parts required" list.

Due to lack of a drill press I took these to a local machine shop
NOTE I did NOT gain anything by removing the factory spring perch. I recommend not doing this. NOTE
2: Cut off the spring perch of the front struts

First you will want to knock the crimped cap off the strut using a hammer and a nail punch. This will take some force but refrain from going "full retard" on the poor thing, OK?

You want to cut right above the welds:

I was able to do this in about an hour (both struts) just using my Dremel and Dremel-brand reinforced cutting wheels. The off-brand were breaking and wearing down too fast, it took two brand-name wheels to complete the cutting.

Now test fit the machine bushing to the welds; note any high spots and file them down to create a flat surface using a metal file. This may take many test fittings but is well worth the effort.

An afterthought is to wrap a wire tie around top of the weld to allow a scribe or other mark before cutting.

3: Grind a flat spot on the machine bushing, you will grind the bushing to about half of its width, ending up like so:

This is to ensure clearance with the tire.

4: Spray paint front struts and Machine bushings gloss black

Mask off the strut rod and paint the areas of metal exposed by grinding and filing.

Once done you will have accomplished this:

Now if you are not willing to cut the spring perch off, you can just insert the threaded sleeve like so:

But, you are losing about an inch of thread because the perch is in the way, plus the threaded collar is sitting about half an inch higher than if you remove the perch.

5: Grind bump stops to a smaller diameter to fit between the spring dividers

I just spent time at my bench grinder reducing the O.D. to the point that it could freely fit between the spring dividers.

While you are altering the bump stops you might as well cut them down to the recommended lengths noted on the Ground Control installation instructions.

6: Cut out the various rubber pieces from an inner-tube.

For the rings, I used my old drafting template to draw the circles needed to cut out the rings. The I.D was 2-1/2" and the O.D. was 3-1/4"

Assembling the combo springs
Now you are ready to assemble the struts without having to modify or alter anything else.

I started by pairing up the tender springs and main springs. Not that it matters but I placed the tender spring on the bottom, then a spring divider, then the main spring. Use 2 zip ties to keep these springs together. I placed them 180 degrees across from one another making sure that the ties were located so as to keep them from being easily pinched by the spring.

Finish by placing one of the rubber rings between the main spring and the appropriate top hat.

An assembled spring combo will look like so:

On to part 2

All comments have been disabled on this blog. Comments can be left on part 3.

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Updated 12-12-2018 at 03:05 PM by 2fnloud

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