SHigSpeed Install

 

The purpose of this document is to fill a gap I've seen in most of the technical install notes I've seen to date, and to go over one of the products provided by Scott Higashi.

I've known for some time that I wanted to install a new suspension in my car, but every time I'd researched it, I found that what I wanted was going to cost somewhere between $2000 and $4000, depending on how extravagant and prosperous I was feeling at the moment. With that in mind, it took me a very long time to convince myself that the time was right to put down some serious cash for a suspension.

Some of my goals(and the reason it was going to cost a reasonable amount of money) were to have, at a minimum, adjustable compression and rebound dampening, along with adjustable camber to make up for any change in ride height. I wanted this adjustability so that I could learn more about the behavior of the car as I made small tweaks, and so that I didn't have to cope with something that was "almost" what I wanted. I hit a few track events(once in a great while), and try to go to autocrosses when I can. I don't have aspirations of going professional or devoting this car to racing only(yet), so it needed to have that balance of liveable real-world and race-track qualities. That, and I'm just ridiculously picky about how my car feels on a day-to-day basis. I've never understood why cars don't come as adjustable as your most garden variety motorcycle from the factory, much less even the most novice classes of race bikes. A car has to fit a driver just as well as a motorcycle has to fit the rider, but, such is life for the teeming masses of plebes and bourgeois bohemians in their accords and exploders.

A lot of the things I'd been seeing for under $4000 would adjust the rebound and compression together(more or less on both at the same time), or would adjust only the rebound. I had myself convinced to go with rebound only, after reading the available articles on setting up a car, which stated that adjusting the rebound would give me the most bang for my buck. Enter Khiem, whose stock struts I was going to borrow as cores until I could give him mine. My original interest in Scott was for the pillow ball mounts that Khiem had told me about. However, Scott made me an offer for basically what I was going to order, for less money, with more features, all from one person. Here's what I ended up getting:

And here's what they look like when they get to your door:

The top left is evidence of Scott's great packaging(the white thing in the top is the top layer of foam that's on TOP of the paper and other foam. After spending 10 minutes picking out and reading strange California news clippings ;) you get the thing in the top right. At this point, I had multiple coworkers watching me unpack the box, and I was in danger of getting drool on my new struts.

The lower row is a close up of the nicely machined and assembled pillow ball mount for the rear struts.

I should mention that Scott was great about communicating with me, and put up with my seemingly endless stream of emails that I was sending him. I've been nothing but pleased in dealing with him, and no, he didn't pay me to say that either.

So, on to the actual installation notes, now that you know how I came by these nifty items. There will be pictures of this procedure, someday, when I get my film developed. The one weekend I decide to work on my car is of course the one weekend the girlfriend just couldn't LIVE without my digital camera. It's amazing how many people will use your digital camera, especially girlfriends.

A few climatic notes: it's 92 degrees outside, about 80%+ humidity, and around noon. I've already made one trip to Home Depot to acquire grinding bits. I of course picked up a new air-powered drill just in case I couldn't make do with my die grinder. No really, I wasn't JUST buying tools for my shop because I didn't have that one yet.

So, start with a fairly complete tool set. I actually set out tools as I had to retrieve them, then took note of which ones I used.

Of course, the air tools aren't necessary(although I'd hate to try using an electric angle grinder for this job), but they make life a lot easier, and will save you a LOT of time. Craftsman makes some VERY good 175psi 120V compressors for around $300. Get your Craftsman Club Card, and at least once a month, you'll get 10% off.

Click the map to the right to go to the section for that area. Informationally, it took me about five hours, discounting food and bio-breaks, to do this job. I only acquired one cut, completely failed to drink any beer(why it only took five hours), drank about 3 gallons of water(a half gallon to do the left side, by which time it was 2:30, and 98 degrees out, and the rest to do the right side), ate one philly cheese steak, and drank six cups of coffee.

Thanks for visiting, and hope this was helpful.
-Barry

All information on this page is copyright 2002 and is the property of Barry Hobbs. All trademarked names are the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. Reproduction by any means is prohibited unless permission is obtained in writing from Barry Hobbs. You may however print this page, or other notes pages, for your own private use.

Rear Passenger Side Front Driver's Side Front