03 WRX Wagon Spring and/or Strut Install
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This is a discussion on 03 WRX Wagon Spring and/or Strut Install within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the Tutorials & DIY category; I installed Prodrive springs on my 2003 WRX wagon. In the process of using some of the posted instructions, I ...

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    03 WRX Wagon Spring and/or Strut Install

    I installed Prodrive springs on my 2003 WRX wagon. In the process of using some of the posted instructions, I screwed up one of my struts and so I bought some new ones and installed those too. To help others avoid the $130 mistake I made, here is a detailed install guide.

    Disclaimer: If anything goes wrong it's not my fault. Blindly follow these instructions at your own risk.

    Car:
    2003 WRX Wagon

    What is installed:
    Prodrive Springs
    KYB GR-2 struts: GC fronts, GD rears

    I'm going to start with the front end:
    1. Jack up car. Obviously, apply parking brake, put car in gear, chock the wheels, etc...
    2. Secure the car on jackstands. It's easier if the entire front or back is up, i.e. both front wheels off the ground at the same time.
    3. Remove wheels and open hood.
    Last edited by Bart; 04-02-2005 at 12:26 PM.

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    4. Loosen the 17mm strut top nut while the strut is still mounted to the car. Especially if you're using hand tools, this is the critical step I missed.

    5. Mark the orientation of the strut mount. Mine had an 'M3' on the mount and I simply marked the strut tower with an 'M3' to match.

    6. Remove the three 12mm strut mount attachment nuts. Note that if you're car is like mine, the passenger side strut mount attachment bolts have the horn mounted on top with two additional 12mm nuts. Note that the horn bracket nuts are non-locking and the strut mount attachment nuts are locking and you will want to make sure you use the right ones when you reassemble.

    Picture of left front strut tower showing strut top mount with 12mm nuts removed. Note the bast*rd 17mm nut in the middle of the strut top that you should break loose while it is still on the car.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0.jpg  
    Last edited by Bart; 03-24-2005 at 07:43 PM.

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    7. Unhook the speed sensor line and brake lines from the strut by removing their 12mm nuts. Move them out of the way.

    8. Remove the two 19mm strut attachment nuts. I first hit them with the PB Blaster then I applied Mr. Breaker Bar and they came loose without much drama. You may need to jiggle the strut and/or tap out the bolts with a rubber mallet.

    9. Remove the strut from the car.

    Picture of strut attachment showing speed sensor line on left and brake line on right. Note the two 19mm attachment bolts in the center of the pic.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1.jpg  

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    10. With the strut off the car, compress spring so that it doesn't fly off and gouge out your eyeballs when you remove the strut top. I used my $8 Harbor Freight spring compressors. Note that you do not need massive compression on the spring. I think you will be okay just by simply compressing 2 adjacent coils slightly towards each other. Put the spring compressors on opposite side of the spring.

    11. Remove the 17mm strut top nut. If you forgot to loosen the 17mm strut top nut while the strut was still on the car, now is your chance to reinstall the strut and take care of it. If you did break that bast*rd nut free, now you will need to stick a 6mm hex wrench in the strut top bolt to keep the strut from spinning while you remove the 17mm nut with your socket. You can jerry-rig something or you can use a O-socket (like GearWrench) which is what I did. It should come off relatively easily. You should not attempt to break the nut loose from the ridiculous gorilla torque with which it was assembled using the hex key and socket. If you do attempt this, you too could split the weak-ass bolt in half and dork up your strut like I did.

    12. Remove the strut top mount and the upper spring perch and the spring.

    Your spring/strut/mount unit is now disassembled.

    Take your new spring/strut/mount and reassemble. Note that you should tighten the 17mm nut all the way. I did not need spring compressors to install my Prodrive springs, but if you're not using shorter (lowering) springs you may need to compress the spring to get them back together.

    Also note the orientation of the top spring perch for reassembly. The overhead view is what helped me.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails spring_geo.gif  

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    13. Take your reassembled strut/spring/mount unit and stick it back in where it came from. Bolt up the 12mm nuts to attach the mount to the strut tower. Note the orientation of the strut mount that you marked (the 'M3') before you removed it.

    14. Attach the strut to the hub with the 19mm bolts. Make sure you insert them in the same orientation that you removed them. Also make sure that you insert the eccentric camber bolt on top.

    15. Note that both the camber bolt head and the strut are marked. You can either return the camber bolt to it's original setting (if you noted it before removal), or you can set it at max negative like I did. You can see max negative by turning the bolt and watching how the hub/disc rotor moves.

    16. Reattach the speed sensor and brake lines. If you're replacing your struts, they may or may not have 12mm attachment points like your originals. Mine did not so I zip-tied the lines to the strut.

    Closeup of zip-tie arrangement and picture of new strut/spring installed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 4.jpg   5.jpg  
    Last edited by Bart; 03-24-2005 at 08:58 PM.

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    17. Torque 19mm nuts to spec. I used 175 N-m.

    18. Reinstall wheel. Torque lug nuts to spec. I used 95 N-m.

    19. Repeat process for other side.

    20. Lower car.

    21. Torque 17mm (or 19mm in the case of my new KYBs) strut top nut to spec. I used 55 N-m. Note that if you did not fully tighten the 17mm nut before it may spin when applying the final torque.

    22. Torque strut mount attachment bolts to spec. I used 29 N-m. Do not overtighten.

    Done. Now do the rears.
    Last edited by Bart; 03-24-2005 at 09:00 PM.

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    23. I have a wagon so I didn't have to remove the seats. I did however have to remove the little strut tower cover and peel back the sound proofing to expose the strut mount cover and 12mm strut attachment nuts.

    24. Remove the 12mm nuts and the metal cover.

    25. Once again, loosen the 17mm strut top nut while the strut is on the car. I needed a deep socket for the rears.

    Pic of rear strut top mount with metal cover removed showing peeled back soundproofing. Note the 'OUT' marking on the strut top mount.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 6.jpg  
    Last edited by Bart; 03-24-2005 at 09:01 PM.

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    26. Remove brake line from strut. On my car this used a clip that had to be pried out to release the brake line instead of 12mm nuts like the front struts.

    27. Loosen the 19mm strut attachment nuts. Again, I soaked these with PB Blaster and applied the 'Black Mamba' breaker bar. These were on harder than the fronts but still yielded to the Black Mamba.

    28. Remove the strut taking care not to snag the brake line and do your thing.

    29. Reassemble, again fully tightening the 17mm nut. Note that the rear struts have a rubber bumper not just around the top of the spring (like the fronts) but also on the bottom spring perch that you will need to transfer to your new struts. Again note the orientation of the top perch and strut top mount like you did for the fronts.

    30. Reinstall. Do not forget to reattach the brake line with the clip. Attach the strut top mount to the strut tower with the 12mm bolts noting the 'OUT' orientation. Ignore the metal cover for now. Attach the strut to the hub using the 19mm bolts, again installing in the proper orientation. No camber bolts back here unless you've installed aftermarket ones. Torque to spec.

    Closeup of brake line and clip. Pic of new strut/spring installed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 7.jpg   8.jpg  
    Last edited by Bart; 03-24-2005 at 09:05 PM.

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    31. Reinstall wheel. Do the other side. Lower the car. Torque the strut top bolt to spec. Reinstall metal cover and torque strut mount attachment bolts to spec. Reinstall soundproofing and cover (in wagon).

    32. Cleanup.

    33. Rock and roll on your new suspension.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 11.jpg  
    Last edited by Bart; 03-24-2005 at 09:07 PM.

  11. #10
    Registered User STiguy's Avatar
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    I really need to get a set of springs on my car
    LISC #1
    05 STi - 300whp 331wtq 1/4 - 12.7 @107.4 (SOLD)
    06 Evo IX 370whp 386wtq (Under Construction)

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    Sticky...

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    Last edited by Bart; 03-25-2005 at 07:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart
    31. Reinstall wheel. Do the other side. Lower the car. Torque the strut top bolt to spec. Reinstall metal cover and torque strut mount attachment bolts to spec. Reinstall soundproofing and cover (in wagon).

    32. Cleanup.

    33. Rock and roll on your new suspension.
    Thought it was lower on prodrive springs ??? back dont look lowered at all
    2003 ASPEN WHITE WRX
    ------------------------
    Stage 2 !!!!

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    It lowered from 387mm to 355mm in front = 32mm (1.25 inches) drop
    It lowered from 376mm to 355mm in back= 21mm (0.8 inches) drop

    B

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    Registered User Redline927's Avatar
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    this thread helped me a lot....you should make the step where it says jack up the car and have both sides off the ground in BOLD....lol woulda made it easier if i payed attention to that

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