If anyone is interested, here's a DIY I made for how to make your own short stroke coilovers.
Have an old car with spindle-and-hub front suspension? Want to go low without losing too much suspension travel? Here's how.
I see on so many forums where people buy an old car and want to go low but aren't sure how because there are no off-the-shelf lowering springs for the car. Some of these people just end up cutting their stock springs or finding similarly-sized springs for other cars that will sort of work. While these options do get your car lower to the ground, these solutions still have too soft of spring rate, inadequate dampening from stock shocks, and quickly run out of suspension travel. Riding on bump stops is not fun OR cool, people.
NOTE: this guide is based on a 1986 Toyota Cressida, but will work on lots of spindle-equipped cars like AE86, Celica-Supra, X8 Cressida, etc
Here is what I used:
**(2) KYB AGX shock insert for 1991-1995 MR2 rear (KYB part #765016)**
(1) TechnoToyTuning weld-on coilover kit
(1) TechnoToyTuning camber plate set
(2) TechnoToyTuning bearing upper hats
(1) Techno Toy Tuning roll center adjuster kit
** – The MR2 shocks are 2″ in diameter. If your housings are a different size, you may need different inserts, however I've heard that many cars use this size.
Here's how a the hub/brake rotor/bearings/spindle go together
So it's rotor, seal, bearing, hub, bearing, claw washer, nut, castle cap, cotter pin, axle cap. If you want to install new bearings and/or brake rotors, now is the time!
Old and nasty! Remove the calipers, axle cap, and spindle nut. Be careful not to let the outer bearing fall out or it will get dirty.
Then just remove the four bolts and dust shield, disconnect the brake line, undo the two bolts for the steering arm, remove the three nuts at the top, and the whole thing should come right out.
Pay no attention to the cut brake line in the above picture, this strut cam off a junkyard car. DO NOT CUT YOUR BRAKE LINES
Now get yourself some spring compressors and squeeze that spring down, give the main nut a whack with an impact gun and now your spring is off.
The best way I've found to get the gland nut off is to turn the strut upside down in the vice, clamp the vice down on the nut, and turn the whole strut. Once it's off, you can remove the shock insert from the strut housing.
Here's the stock-sized shock that came out next to the MR2 KYB's.
The stock shock has a body length of 15.5″, whereas the MR2 shock is 14 3/8″ long, so the housings will need to be shortened 1 1/8″. Also, the gland nuts that come with the MR2 shocks are a much coarser thread than the Cressida ones, so you'll have to reuse those.
Now with your housings disassembled, put it in the vice and cut off the stock spring perch. Be careful not to cut the actual housing tube though.
Then grind the weld smooth
Now on to the fun part.
Start by making a cut in the housings
This end contains the threads for the gland nut
The housings needed to be shortened about 1 1/4″. Measure twice, cut once.
Do a test fit with the shock in the housing to see if you might need to take off more. Always err on the side of needing to cut more. It's far easier to remove material than to add it.
Once the housing is to your liking, prep the surfaces for welding. I used a bench grinder with a wire wheel.
Pro tip: NEVER weld on your housings with the shock inside. You will destroy the expensive shocks you just bought.
Once the housing is one piece again, smooth the welds down and position your new spring perch so that the top of the red threaded sleeve is just a hair lower than the top of the strut housing. Otherwise you won't be able to put your gland nut back on.
Once it's all welded together, clean it up and prep it for painting.
And here they are fully assembled!
Then as they say, installation is the opposite of removal.
I hope this helps somebody with their project. Just say no to blown shocks on cut springs – suspension travel is your friend!