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Old 03-24-2003, 08:25 AM   #1
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Lowering springs/shocks install with pics on 5th Gen :o)

Thursday I did the Install of my new Tokico Shocks and sport springs in my garage. It took a total of 3 hours and I had all the tools I needed before beginning which helped speed the process.

Car: 2001 Honda Prelude 5 speed (non-SH)

Suspension set-up: Tokico Performance (blue) shocks / Tokico sport (red) springs (1.5" drop)

Tools required:

1.) Strut Spring Compressor - got mine from Autozone for $40 and I can return it if I decide not to keep it.
2.) Large ratchet with extensions and sockets in 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm
3.) hydraulic floor jack (preferred) or another suitable jack
4.) at least two (2) jack stands to hold car once it is raised with jack.
5.) TORQUE WRENCH (a very good investment and required for safety)

Proceedures(pics at bottom of page):
1.) Break nuts free on front wheels
2.) Raise front end and place on jack stands
3.) remove front wheels
4.) Remove damper fork (wishbone), one bolt holding it to lower arm and one pinch bolt holding it to the stock shock assembly, once these bolts are removed the fork slides off the shock
5.) remove the 3 nuts holding the shock into the shock tower from the engine bay side
6.) work the shock assembly out of car (you may need to pry downward on the suspension upper arm to allow the shock to clear the lower arm and come out).
7.) use the spring compressor to release the tension on the springs and remove the end nuts on the assembly (you will need a 6mm? hex head and a 14mm closed end wrench to accomplish this). be sure the spring has no tension on the end cap before removing this nut!
8.) take apart the shock assembly and note the order of the bushings, washers.
9.) there are rubber bump stops on the shaft of the shock that you should shorten by an inch or so, these stops are what keep your car from bottoming out if you overcompress the springs on a large bump, etc.
10.) assemble the new spring on the correct shock and put the bump stop on the shaft and the dust cover (dust covers should also be shortened an inch). put the end cap back together on the new assembly (in the correct order) and snug the end nut as well as you can
11.) put the new assembly in the car and match up the lower fork grove on the shock with the orientation of the lower fork (you may need to rotate the spring slightly but since it was not under tension on my application I did this by hand)
12.) Once the shock is in tighten the 3 upper shock tower nuts by hand only. tighten the pinch bolt in the fork to 40 ft lbs torque (must use a torque wrench). tighten the lower through bolt (lower arm to fork bolt) to 47 ft lbs.
13.) lower the car and tighten the 3 upper shock nuts to 25 ft lbs

*Repeat proceedure for rear of car...(you will need to remove the bolt in the rear trailing arm and swing it down and back in order to remove and insert the shock assembly, otherwise it's about the same as the front except there is no fork, the shock attaches directly to the lower arm with a through bolt.

Pictures below with steps included (again)

Proceedures (with pics):
1.) Break nuts free on front wheels
2.) Raise front end and place on jack stands
3.) remove front wheels
4.) Remove damper fork (wishbone), one bolt holding it to lower arm and one pinch bolt holding it to the stock shock assembly, once these bolts are removed the fork slides off the shock (damper fork attached to shock(blue) note that the driveaxle goes through the fork)

5.) remove the 3 nuts holding the shock into the shock tower from the engine bay side
(front tower with nuts/shock removed)

6.) work the shock assembly out of car (you may need to pry downward on the suspension upper arm to allow the shock to clear the lower arm and come out).

7.) BEING VERY CAREFUL, use the spring compressor to release the tension on the springs and remove the end nuts on the assembly (you will need a 6mm? hex head and a 14mm closed end wrench to accomplish this). be sure the spring has no tension on the end cap before removing this nut! (spring compressor)


(removing end cap nut)


8.) take apart the shock assembly and note the order of the bushings, washers.
9.) there are rubber bump stops on the shaft of the shock that you should shorten by an inch or so, these stops are what keep your car from bottoming out if you overcompress the springs on a large bump, etc.
10.) assemble the new spring on the correct shock and put the bump stop on the shaft and the dust cover (dust covers should also be shortened an inch). put the end cap back together on the new assembly (in the correct order) and snug the end nut as well as you can
11.) put the new assembly in the car and match up the lower fork grove on the shock with the orientation of the lower fork (you may need to rotate the spring slightly but since it was not under tension on my application I did this by hand)

12.) Once the shock is in tighten the 3 upper shock tower nuts by hand only. tighten the pinch bolt in the fork to 40 ft lbs torque (must use a torque wrench). tighten the lower through bolt (lower arm to fork bolt) to 47 ft lbs.
(front shock installed ready to lower car)
13.) lower the car and tighten the 3 upper shock nuts to 25 ft lbs

*Repeat procedure for rear of car...(you will need to remove the upper control arm, 2 nuts hold it from the trunk side, swing the arm down and around till the shock will clear, in order to remove and insert the shock assembly, otherwise it's about the same as the front except there is no fork, the shock attaches directly to the lower arm with a through bolt.
(rear shock tower bolt location)


(rear hub with rear trailing arm detached- DO NOT REMOVE THAT LOWER ARM, IT WILL EFFECT ALIGNMENT!)


(rear shock assembly installed)


(the finished product, springs should still settle for a few weeks, drop in this pic measures 1" from stock height)

Compliments of JLUDE, 2003...all you Lude owners are welcome...for those with other cars the procedure is similar but not exact. I found that my steering wheel is slightly off center after the lowering but the car tracks perfect straight line with hands off the wheels still...I plan to have the alignment checked soon which is recommended after lowering anyway. :yea:

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for anyone attempting this install themselves. However it is a very simple procedure for those with decent skills in working with cars.

questions/comments encouraged
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Old 03-24-2003, 10:23 PM   #2
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lookin awesome jesse!!

since u are my new modding partner in crime for suga, i'll know who to come to for my suspension hehe...
~ bri
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:14 AM   #3
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Just wanted to post that this is a good write-up, JLude.

If I could add anything, it would be about the notching on the strut assembly. These have to line up so that the wishbone has the proper distance and seating. One of my struts wasn't lined up properly, and the old upper strut bushing wasn't receptive to rotating into alignment. A few grinds later, I removed the notch on one side.

I'd advise to anybody to consider replacing the upper mounts and maybe even the factory bottoming bushings. The new struts won't include the bottom out bushings.

Also, one trick to getting the whole assembly in/out without having to significantly move/hold the control arms is to slot the spring against the upper arm and unscrew/screw it out. Sounds weird, but it worked like a charm. You basically force the spring to get caught on the upper arm within one of the spring gaps, and unscrew it.
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:54 AM   #4
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good write-up and pics
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:53 PM   #5
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^^^ Ditto, looks real good. Kudos to you!
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:25 AM   #6
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Wow this is a great thread for newbies like me... More power JLude!

How long does this take if you were to get it done in a shop? and around how much?
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero1Lude
Wow this is a great thread for newbies like me... More power JLude!

How long does this take if you were to get it done in a shop? and around how much?
personally, i'd say I could do it in about an hour more than it would take a shop with a lift and air tools. It's way easier once you've done it a few times.

your first time doin it i'd allow an entire day, just because you don't know exactly what you're doin yet.

a shop would charge maybe 2 or 3 hundred for this, i'm sure you can find shops that charge more than that.
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Old 08-23-2006, 06:06 AM   #8
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these guys always motivate me to get off my bootay and do it myself!
good job and thanks for the post!
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Old 08-23-2006, 09:28 AM   #9
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i'll be honest, drop doesn't look good according to that picture. But thats my opinion. Looks too similr to stock even if it still needs to settle 1/2 inch more. i'd say a 2inch + drop would have been worth the $$ instead if getting a 1-1 1/2 inch drop for the same amount.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:16 PM   #10
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A shop will want 2+ hours of labor to do the swap. They have these spring compressors that are air powered which will easily drop a half hour of just fooling with the compress and uncompress process.

Plan a day to DIY, be happy if you finish in half. Once I figured out how to do the first side (a few hours), the second took about an hour.

I noticed a lot of people are doing at least 1" drops as standard practice. Do you need any sort of camber/caster kit for that application?
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:17 PM   #11
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you notice more of the rear dropping lower than the front by chance?
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Old 08-25-2006, 06:31 AM   #12
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Bloody hell.

How is it that this thread can be so old, yet only now is getting noticed??

Great write up...This needs to be in the resource thread.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:13 AM   #13
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Any chance of these pictures working again on this How To? I need to check something with regards to installing the rear shock.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:07 PM   #14
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Hamadiscool has a similar write up, just search for threads created by him. I'll see if I can dig it up

Here it is
http://preludepower.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270244
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:29 PM   #15
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pics are dead!
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:14 PM   #16
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pics are dead!
Well duh, they are about 5 years old. Just giving you a hard time.
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:57 PM   #17
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can anyone reup the pics for this?
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:19 PM   #18
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:40 AM   #19
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You A-holes are going to make me put these pics back up aren't you? 5 1/2 years later!
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:12 AM   #20
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You A-holes are going to make me put these pics back up aren't you? 5 1/2 years later!
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:30 AM   #21
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Thank you!!!!!!!
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:12 PM   #22
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Is that sub box made out of particle wood?
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:18 PM   #23
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Is that sub box made out of particle wood?
Yup, 3/4", it's stronger than plywood and that was before I carpet covered it but I haven't had a sub in my car since 2005. Amp powered components and 6X9's in the deck are perfect and save weight. Believe it or not that sub box had excellent resonance. Deep, full bass with no distortion at all frequencies it could handle. Girls used to sit in the back just to get a full body massage.
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:05 AM   #24
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Good writeup, Jesse. After seeing exactly how to do it on a lude I might do this myself now.
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:33 AM   #25
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To resurrect an old thread:
Thanks for the write up. I didn't think it looked hard, and from you're write up now I know it isn't.
These are the exact same springs and struts I have, but haven't installed yet. How is the ride? Too stiff too rattly? How well did they hold up over time?

Oh and Just to nit-pick the tool you called a: "6mm? hex head" a is an "allen wrench an Allen key or and L-Key" the bolt is an "Allen bolt" there are a few different types "Flat allen (shaped like a cone usually conter sunk to sit flush), Allen cap (rounded "spherical shape"), allen head (cylindrical shaped), and allen shoulder bolt (flat cylindrical with a machined "shoulder" and short threads)." "Hex Head" is any normal 6 sided Bolt Head. Hence "hex (six) head." There's also 4, 8 and 12 sided bolt heads. 4 Sides are common 8 and 12 are specialty bolts. The germans like to use them on their machinery.

Just didn't want anyone running out and buying a wrench for a "6mm hex head," and ending up with a regular open/closed ended wrench in 6mm instead of a 6mm allen wrench.
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2000 Honda prelude BASE, Full exhaust Sus-Teq F&R Swaybars, Polly bushings, custom end-links, Tokiko Shocks and Springs. 17" Enkei EVO5 (old style) 215 40zr17 S-Drives (slow and steady)

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