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ShakotanBoogie

XT 4WD lowering/suspension upgrade - WITHOUT coilovers!?

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So I am getting ready to tackle lowering my 1987 XT turbo. This car already has a full five lug swap with normal struts and came with the infamous Civic coilover sleeves.

 

Long story short: the Civic sleeves ride like rump roast. I'm not trying to go ridiculously low, and I don't like these cheap coilovers anyway, so I am putting together a plan to lower the car properly on good old regular springs and shocks. Yay!

 

Now, I intend to start by flipping the tophats on the rear shocks to get an inch or so; then I will slap some roundy-round universal springs on there. According to member 2K4 STI in the infamous lowering pic thread, 2.5" ID springs with an 8" free length are perfect to replace the stock rear springs and get a nice drop. He said 250lb springs were too harsh, so I intend to try 200lb or maybe even 175lb.

 

For the fronts, I've managed to find a pair of GD Impreza Tein S-Tech lowering springs. If I am not mistaken, these should fit right on my XT6 front struts without modification. These are 252lb springs, slightly on the stiff side but a damn sight better than the coilovers.

 

If this all goes together as planned I should have a pretty decent lower-than-stock setup that doesn't ride like complete rump roast! Does anyone have any commentary to add, or have I missed anything?

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 A little clarification, please, before I know if a minor portion won't work:

 

What do you consider to be the "tophats on the rear shocks"?

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The two-bolt mount plate at the top of the shock that contains the spring. I have read in many places that it can be flipped with minor modification to drop 1" or so, and I see how it would be done.

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I tried this on my 88 XT, and the top of the shock interfered with the top of the wheel well (sheetmetal).  The contact point is underneath an internal stiffener joint, so drilling a clearancing hole was not practical.

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According to Huck, it can be done:

 

Now back to the car, if you have an AWD and flipped the top mount over you?ll need to ?massage? the area above the strut, right where the 2 nuts went on the strut assembly. There is a hole directly above the vertical strut bolt (about the size of a quarter) that shows another layer of metal above it, that ?next? layer is where you need more clearance. I used the 12? ?? drive extension, and the 2 pound hammer to ?massage? it?.I actually ?Massaged? a hole in it! ?probably easier to just drill it out to start with. I am probably going to pull the trunk lining out to see where this hole is, and close it up with some silicone, at a later date.

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I feel like I read somewhere you could use Legacy coilovers or something if you have an XT, wouldn't it just be easier and more reliable to just run some Tein or BC Racing coilovers for it?

 

I could be wrong though.

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