09 Subaru STI Cusco Coilover Install

I put together an STI coilover install write up for my friend last year but we ended up never using it. Since I put quite a bit of work into it, I felt like I should at least put it up now so somebody out there might get something out of it.

As stated, this took a while to do with all the nifty pictures and all, please don’t reproduce this without my permission or bad things will happen to you! Bad things!

From 8/24/08:
Front Coilovers
First off, I know these pictures don’t show the stock coilovers. During the actual install, we totally forgot to take pictures, so we just went back after the cuscos were in to show where all the nuts and bolts are. Hope this helps!

1. Jack up the car and take off the wheel (obviously).
2. Take off the bracket for the brake line and the ABS sensor, and pull them out of the way so they won’t get in the way of taking off the bigger nuts and bolts.
frontshowingABS
frontshowingbrakeline
3. Take off the 2 big bolts and nuts. They are NOT the same, the lobed one is the camber bolt with a washer and it goes on top.
frontshowingcamberbolt
4. Underneath the hood are 3 small nuts holding the shock in, after these come out, there’ll be nothing holding in the suspension.
frontshowingcamberplate
5. Very carefully take out the stock suspension, make sure the ABS wire and brake line aren’t in the way. It’ll be very bad if you start yanking on them. Don’t yank on them.

Congrats! The stock suspension is now out! Now to put in your shiny new coilovers.

1. Line up the coilover’s threads up on top, put them through the holes in the body and put the nuts in very loosely, just enough that the coilover won’t fall if you let it go, we’ll tighten them down later.
frontshowingcamberplate
2. Line up the 2 holes on the bottom of the coil, slide the bolts though and put on the nuts, but make sure they’re loose. What we want to do is give as much positive camber from the camber bolt as possible. The Cuscos sit VERY low if you put them in without adjustments, and there’s enough negative camber / caster that if you put the camber bolt in with negative bias, your wheel might actually rub against the springs when you U-turn. Not good. Adjusting the camber bolt creates some much needed clearance between the coilover and the tire. The Cuscos come with a camber plate up on top anyway, so you don’t need to worry about looking like the only dweeb with a STi running positive camber.
frontcamberbolt2
3. Make sure the camber bolt’s lobe is pointed outwards, away from the engine bay. Remember, the washer goes on the top bolt. Tighten both the bolts down. Hold the bolt side down with a wrench, and tighten the nut. Service manual says 129 ft-lb.
4. Go back up top and tighten down the 3 small nuts. 14.5 ft-lb. Make sure the camber plate adjustments are facing the right direction, the strut should be able to slide left and right perpendicular to the fender.
frontshowingcamberplate2
5. Mount the brake line and ABS wire back onto the strut, I just hand tightened them with a ratchet, but if you’re anal, it’s 24.3 ft-lb.
6. Put the wheels back on, lug nuts are 73 ft-lb.
7. Pat yourself on the back, front coilovers are in! Not too hard right?

Rear Coilover Install
1. Again, jack up the car and take off the wheels
2. There’s going to be 3 bolts, use a 6 point head for the 2 bigger ones on the outside (rear lateral link and strut). You’re going to need a breaker bar and possibly a long pipe for more leverage. These are insanely tight, using a 12 point might strip the bolt and then you’ll have some real problems. The smaller bolt is the end link, take that off too.
rearshowing3bolts
3. Take out the carpeting in your trunk, there’s going to be two little plastic pieces covering the top of the suspension, take those out to expose the nuts.
4. Take out these two nuts, make sure you don’t drop them!
rearshowingtop2bolts
5. Force the arm down and carefully wiggle the stock coil out.

That was a little harder than the front, but nothing you couldn’t handle. Install time.

1. Slide in the new coilover, we’re going to start with the bottom first. Match up the holes for the rear lateral link, strut, and endlink (this is the one with the smaller nut), and put the nuts and bolts through, but don’t tighten them yet!
rearshowing3bolts2
2. Take a jack, and start jacking up the corner from the nut sticking out right behind the bottom of the rotor. This way you can slowly raise the shock and navigate the threads until they poke out of the two holes in the trunk area. Have a buddy guide you if you have somebody helping you.
rearshowingjackfromhere
3. Tighten the two nuts in the trunk area, 22.4 ft-lb
4. Tighten the two larger nuts / bolts on the bottom (strut and rear lateral) 89 ft-lb for both. Do not tighten the end link yet!
rearshowingtqspecs
5. Mount the wheels back on, lower your car, tighten the lugnuts, 73 ft-lb again.
6. Shimmy under your car and tighten the end link bolts 33.2 ft-lb. Why the hassle? They need to be tightened under load and that’s not happening with the car on jack stands.
7. Grab a coke and a smile, you’ve done it!

Go ahead and drive around slowly with the windows down. Make some U-turns and listen for rubbing. If nothing’s wrong get an alignment!

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