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How to front coilovers

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TR8todd Avatar
TR8todd Todd Kishbach
Mass, USA   USA
1977 Triumph TR7 "Rally Fraud"
1978 Triumph TR8
1979 Triumph TR7
1980 Triumph TR8    & more
I just finished modifying a set of front struts and spring buckets for Mr Cook to accept 2.5" coilover springs. Took a few pictures along the way and thought I'd share the way I do them. Sure you can just buy the adjustable collars and sit them on top of the existing perches, but then you would not be able to spin the perch all the way down and replace the springs without removing the struts. Coilovers allow you to dial in ride height, and change springs in minutes. They also allow you to corner balance the car easily. First step is to completely disassemble the strut assembly and grind off the spring perch. Leave the ring that welds to the tube. Later you will grind that down so its just thick enough to allow the sleeve to go over it. If you remove it completely, the threaded collar will move around, and you don't want that. Next part, clean up the tube down near the metal tab that holds the brake line to the brake hose. Cut a piece of 1.5" black pipe(gas pipe) about 1.5" long. Cut a vertical slot in it so it can be opened up and slid around the tube. Clamp the piece tightly to the tube using pliers and then a metal hose clamp. It has a smaller inner diameter than the outer diameter of the tube, so it will not completely close again. Good enough because the metal tab will probably be in your way anyway and this gap allows make room for the tab. Slide the adjuster collar down onto the tube to locate the proper height for the gas pipe. The adjuster will sit on top of the piece of pipe once its welded in place. You want the collar to end up just below the top of the tube. Weld it in place, Don't worry about making it look perfect. A jagged top edge will help keep the collar from spinning once there is weight on it.

Next step is to make a top mount. I start with another piece of gas pipe about 1.5" long. This time I use 2" gas pipe. It has an outer diameter just over 2.25" and serves to locate the 2.5" inner diameter spring very well. Weld it to the upper spring cup. Clean, paint, assemble, done. Takes about 3 hours if you have the right tools. Gas pipe can be bout in 12" nipples at any big box store for a few bucks. Cheapo Ebay coil overs work fine, but the springs are junk. Throw them away and use just the sleeves. In a pinch the springs will work out in the rear, but they are too stiff. Maybe another day I'll make another post on how to make rear adjustable spring perches. Here is a bunch of pictures.

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TR8todd Avatar
TR8todd Todd Kishbach
Mass, USA   USA
1977 Triumph TR7 "Rally Fraud"
1978 Triumph TR8
1979 Triumph TR7
1980 Triumph TR8    & more
more pics


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TR8todd Avatar
TR8todd Todd Kishbach
Mass, USA   USA
1977 Triumph TR7 "Rally Fraud"
1978 Triumph TR8
1979 Triumph TR7
1980 Triumph TR8    & more
top mount, make sure you weld the inside and not outside where the spring rides.

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18593210 Avatar
18593210 Silver Member Wilbur Cook
Austin, TX, USA   USA
1977 MG MGB V6 Conversion
1980 Triumph TR8 "BLUE GOOSE"
1981 Triumph TR8 "CHESTER"
Can the flat roller bearing from TSI be used in the of top strut .? What about the other parts from the old set up? Looks like you did a lot of work to get it all sorted out. I'm looking forward to receiving the struts so I can paint them up and make them look nice. Need some pictures of top of the strut and whatever else . thank you.

TR8todd Avatar
TR8todd Todd Kishbach
Mass, USA   USA
1977 Triumph TR7 "Rally Fraud"
1978 Triumph TR8
1979 Triumph TR7
1980 Triumph TR8    & more
The top of the strut assemble is made out of multiple pieces. The piece with the 2" pipe welded to it is just the spring locator cup. The stock spring is much larger in diameter and it sits around the cup not in the middle like the coil over spring does. There are several pieces that go above this cup including the top mount that bolts to the body. The roller bearings sit in between this cup and the top mount. The top mount is fixed to the body and does not spin when you turn the wheel. The cup spins with the rest of the strut and spring package. The fine people at Triumph figured grease between these two parts was satisfactory. Anybody that has driven a wedge with an older suspension knows that these two parts bind up together. Turn hard right in a parking lot and the steering will pull to the right after that. The roller bearings help the two parts move smoothly against each other and prevent the binding. Everything should be self explanatory when you take them apart. Just make sure you use spring compressors before you go an impact the shock nut off. You can do it without them, but you have to be real fast or you could get seriously hurt. No need for the spring compressors ever again once the coil overs are on. Just jack the car up, spin the nuts to the bottom, and the spring will hang free. Undo the top nut and allow the shock piston to drop. Remove the spring and slide in a different one. Pull the shock shaft back up into place and bolt it in. Spin the perch back up in place.

18593210 Avatar
18593210 Silver Member Wilbur Cook
Austin, TX, USA   USA
1977 MG MGB V6 Conversion
1980 Triumph TR8 "BLUE GOOSE"
1981 Triumph TR8 "CHESTER"
Thanks that covers most of my questions. My son has his front suspension apart for powder coating. I better look at his before doing anything. We have a good set of coil spring compressors. I need to take some pictures of his TR8 up on jack stands now and send them to you to show amatures at work. Quite impressive. I will probably see for myself as I go along. Gonna really be nice.

18593210 Avatar
18593210 Silver Member Wilbur Cook
Austin, TX, USA   USA
1977 MG MGB V6 Conversion
1980 Triumph TR8 "BLUE GOOSE"
1981 Triumph TR8 "CHESTER"
I received my new struts that you built. I sanded them and etched the parts with POR15 prep. then I painted them today. I think they look very good. I partly assembled them and I'll take some pictures and post. Thanks TODD.

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18593210 Avatar
18593210 Silver Member Wilbur Cook
Austin, TX, USA   USA
1977 MG MGB V6 Conversion
1980 Triumph TR8 "BLUE GOOSE"
1981 Triumph TR8 "CHESTER"
Here are the newly made struts freshly painted with POR15 chassis black. Now I gotta take the struts apart on the car. And then reassemble all.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-04-19 06:40 PM by 18593210.


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TR3barton Avatar
TR3barton John Taylor
Greenfield, MA, USA   USA
Todd,

Good Morning !!

Please what is the rate of the front springs in the above coil over mount?

Thanks John

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18593210 Avatar
18593210 Silver Member Wilbur Cook
Austin, TX, USA   USA
1977 MG MGB V6 Conversion
1980 Triumph TR8 "BLUE GOOSE"
1981 Triumph TR8 "CHESTER"
HI JOHN. The springs Todd sent me are #200. He said to try them first and If I wanted the suspension stiffer I could easily go to #225 or higher. Looks like a great change for an overly soft suspension that I now have. Car has 44,500 orginal miles but the years have weakened the coils and made the ride very soft. cheers

TR8todd Avatar
TR8todd Todd Kishbach
Mass, USA   USA
1977 Triumph TR7 "Rally Fraud"
1978 Triumph TR8
1979 Triumph TR7
1980 Triumph TR8    & more
Hi John, you can probably get away with a spring as soft as #150. #200 is about right for a sporty driver, and is the softest I've ever installed on anybody's car. #250 starts getting a little rough. #300 is for really spirited driving and decent for autocrossing. 10" will work up to #225, above that you need to go to an 9" or 8" spring to get the desired ride height. Once you get above 300 you need to go to an even shorter spring. I have a pair of 6" #450 and a pair of 6" #550 that saw some track time at Lime Rock. Bear in mind the front wheels of a stock TR8 will carry at least 650lbs each and the rears will see 550 each. Those weights only go up with passengers.

18593210 Avatar
18593210 Silver Member Wilbur Cook
Austin, TX, USA   USA
1977 MG MGB V6 Conversion
1980 Triumph TR8 "BLUE GOOSE"
1981 Triumph TR8 "CHESTER"
That is great info.

TR3barton Avatar
TR3barton John Taylor
Greenfield, MA, USA   USA
Thanks !!

18593210 Avatar
18593210 Silver Member Wilbur Cook
Austin, TX, USA   USA
1977 MG MGB V6 Conversion
1980 Triumph TR8 "BLUE GOOSE"
1981 Triumph TR8 "CHESTER"
Up date on progress. I took the drivers side strut off today. Harder than I planed on but finally got it off at 9:00 PM. Looks good hoping to do right side in the morning.


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TA215 Anthony L
Phoenix, AZ, USA   USA
Would love to see the final product. Hard to find a tr7 with a proper stance.

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