[V6-12v] Suspension upgrade notes

Clive Young cyoung1661 at rogers.com
Mon Jun 13 10:14:26 EDT 2005

Hi Guys 


Just finished upgrading my suspension on my 90. I am not going to go into a
long drawn out step by step as I believe there are tones of those on the
net, but here are a few notes I made that may be of interest to someone.


1.                   I have a 95 90 sport and the only rear shocks that
would fit were the Bilstein sports. I tried to get BOGES for my car but this
year only had special boges which are unavailable. The BOGES I originally
ordered were2” too long and would not compress the spring in the adapter (
housing )

2.                   Make sure you use a dremmal to clean up the threads
thoroughly before taking the retaining nut off the top of the rears. Mine
had 10 years of rust on there and I did not do this properly.

3.                   I had to grind the nut off the top of the old shocks to
get them out of the adapter ( see note above ). The nut came off to the part
of the rust then binded. This could have something to do with the 1mm thread
pitch BOGE uses on their shocks, causes to bind and strip easily as it is
way too fine.

4.                   Also dress the threads on the tie rod for the front for
the same reason. Especially if you have aftermarket tie rods which corrode
FAST. I had no trouble with the originals after 10 years but my aftermarket
ones were badly rusted up on the threads after 1 year !  

5.                   Use a small 2 arm puller  to press the tie rod end out
of the strut housing, takes about a minute and is the easiest way I have
found to do this. Other wise you may destroy your tie rod ends
 good time to
replace but you will need an alignment afterwards.

6.                   the lower strut bolt on the front ( there are 2 ) will
not come out all the way as it will hit the brake caliper 
 good safety
design to stop the bolt coming out , or bad assembly to prevent a quick bolt
removal.. it could have come from the other side so you only have a nut to
take off 
.you choose. Anyway undo the top 17mm bolt on the caliper carrier
and loosen the bottom one and pivot the whole assembly enough to get the
bolt out. A lot easier than removing the caliper.

7.                   By far the hardest part is getting the cap off the old
strut assembly and be warned I have not found it available separately
anywhere. The Bilstein came with new ones and a handy tool for doing it up !
I took mine off last year with two pipe wrenches a blow torch and a sledge.
I put anti seize on it then so this time it was a piece of cake with a bench
mounted 5” vice and my pipe wrench. 

8.                   Clean up all bolts and threads with a wire wheel . It
makes reassembly easy and less risk of binding and strpiping. 

9.                   Do your self a favour and use anti seize everywhere 
See note 7 .


It took me 2 hours to do the rears and 5 hours to do the fronts. It should
be noted I have an air compressor with air tools I have had all the
assemblies out before and experience ( even once ) is always valuable. This
is a do-able project for anyone but you need to take your time ( spring
compressors are dangerous ) get organized and stay organized . 

If anyone has any questions I would be glad to answer them and I have a few
pics if anyone wants to see them 
after all, you do all that work and you
can’t see a thing !! 


 A strange thing I noticed that may be worth mentioning. The reason I did
this project was , well, I like projects
 but also I had an interesting
performance characteristic of my car. When I purchased it the front drivers
strut cartridge was completely collapsed. I replaced the with Munroe
sensatrac inserts for $50.00 to get the car operational while I figured
things out . I noticed the fronts would be smooth on a pot hole or crack in
the road but the backs would rattle my back teeth if I had anything more
than say a toothpick ? . I expected this as I had put Munroes on the front
and had the original sports on the rear. 

      When I ordered my Bilsteins I could not even compress the rear shock
by hand, but on my original boges I could easily, just like the replacement
Boges I ordered. In fact I compressed them both by hand and see if thet
would come up at the same rate ( they did ) I thought oh no it is going to
be even harder with the Bilsteins , the strange thing is they are not ..
Even though they are firm as they are sport shocks they are not nearly as
bad as the originals
 and I thought it would be the springs that effected it
. One thing that could be affecting it is that the Bilsteins were about ¾ of
an inch longer over all so I may not be preloading the rear springs as much
. Makes for a nicer ride regardless of the reason.I have heard guys say the
performance is way better with the bilsteins but was a little skeptical as
BOGES are not a shabby shock either but I must say you can feel the
difference . They are not exactly KONI coil-overs but I have a couple of
roundabouts where I live and the car does handle itself quite well on these
with hardly any body roll
. All I have to do now is get rid of those 15”
wheels and those “ balloon tires “ and I’ll be all set . 


Have a great week guys.






















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