Front Coilover Removal

This page outlines the process of how to remove the front coilovers on an 87s4.....a mysteriously intimidating job, or so it looks! My car has the original BOGEs on it and they have seen a majority of their life on the roads of Long Island and NY...the car has 83,000 miles now and I could tell they were getting a bit "wishwashy". Time for a replacement.

First, a thanks to Jim Bailey at who answered a couple of my questions on what really has to be removed to complete this job. I already had the brake calipers and rotors off my car for another project (red repaint) therefore the time to complete the removal on one wheel was appx 40min...the other side was under 30! Obviously, supporting the car, removing the wheels and brake components will add some time. I would set a side appx an hr for each side.


The front coilover WILL drop/thread through the upper A-arm on this car (87S4....earlier models may not...YMMV)

The upper A-arm DOES NOT have to be removed ... again YMMV..this page is for an 87s4...pre 87 may be different!

The 2 bolts on the caster and camber adjustments(pictures to follow) and the associated bracket dont have to come off.... unless you need the room to manuever the lower control arm out of the way...this may occur if you are on a lift. My car was supported via the jack points with jack stands and as i look back at it now, i didnt need to remove the bolts.

Relative to some of the other work i have done on the car, this was actaully a VERY EASY JOB!!!!!!

HOW TO DO IT.......

support and block the car appropriatley.......

remove the wheel(s)........

remove the calipers(perhaps hang them with wire from the wheel well).....

remove the rotors (2 phillips screws..impact driver may be needed).....

then............ use the pictures below as a guide.


...the upper bolt is what passes through the shock, bracket and achors it to the lower arm. As seen you will counter hold at this end and turn at the other. Removing the lower sway bar bolt may be a good idea as it will allow you more freedom of movement when the time comes to swing the lower control arm out of the way.


after the nut has been removed from the long bolt and the metal shield removed, this is what you will have. You need to knock the lower bolt through the shock and its attatchment bracket. A few taps on the end of a screw driver worked nicely...the only thing holding the shock in now are the 3 bolts up in the engine compartment...simple enough i know, but you have to get the shock out of there first!

if you end up removing the 2 eccentric caster camber bolts under the control arm you may want to remove the front air defelector on the arm itself.....2 10mm bolts that you will have to counter hold. Just loosen them up and the rubber sheild will come free. Note the sway bar droplink is gone.


these are the eccentric caster and camber bolts on the lower ball joint bracket. Depending on the room you have to work with you may have to undo these and remove the lower control arm from the lower ball joint bracket. Check first before you do..and if you do, try and mark their postion so you can keep your settings when you bolt it all back up again. I marked mine with an EXACTO knife. Although i did remove them, i found later i had plenty of room to swing the lower control arm out of the way.

using a cheater bar on the 2 bolts (see above) under the lower control arm

inorder to swing the lower control arm out of the way, the 4 bolts holding it have to come may need a cheater bar. This shows the aft area where 2 of them are located. (note the greasable sway bar bushings yes, i will clean off the eccess grease : ) )

the other 2 are up front. Now, the other trick is that the tow bracket is part of this assembly and as you see below, it has to be moved out of the way so the control arm can be freely removed.

remove the AFT bolt, seen here....counter hold on the other side.

...and just loosen the front one and it will swing down out of the way. I was also retensioning my timing belt which is why the coolant catch is there.

all 4 bolts from lower control arm are now removed and it will simpley droop down!

now, if you can do this, you dont have to undo the two caster/camber bolts seen a few pictures UP. The way i had my car lifted and supported, the whole arm assembly had room to drop, then swing out of the way. It may be a good idea not to move it any farther than you have to so as to not place any unneeded stress on the joints. This is a great time to check the health of your various joints...upper lower ball joints..tierods...upper A arm. There is essentially no weight on them now and they should all move without any binding or slop. As you can see the shock is just sitting there waiting to drop! 2 more steps....

removing the 3 upper shock bolts...its tight and you may have to take out a fender bolt which helps to hold a wiring harness bracket in place.

once the 3 bolts are remove the whole assembly will drop....only to be caught by the hole in the upper A-arm. Not to worry, it does step

if a picture could be worth a 1000 words, this is it! To remove the coilover, rasie the entire upper A-arm assembly to horizontal. At this point the coilover will drop free or.....the spring coils may have to be threaded through the opening slightly.....either way, YOUR DONE!!!

repeat for the other side...

.Once i get to the install, i will outline those steps as well. It should be pretty straight forward also?

A page on the rear coilover removal is in the works, its even easier!! .. both can be done in just about an hour. This whole coilover replacement procedure is a defintie DIY project!