MR.G's Highway Star

Mr G

MR G
Staff member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#61
back in the summer I fitted some BC Coilovers I went for a spring rate of 9/12kg rather than the standard 7/10kg as I've heard it wasn't great for the weight of the van.
The reason I wanted to install coilovers was 1. Go a little lower
2. Handling
To install the coilovers I did it in stages when the wife wasn't looking. First up the front.
Jack it up and remove the wheels.
Revive the 2 bolts that hold the strut on to the hub and undo the drop link from the strut. Take off the brake hose. IMAG0238.jpg

Next up take out the bolts that hold In the fuses and relays so they can be pushed aside to gain access the the 3 bolts securing the top of the strut.
IMAG0237.jpg
Here is and after shoot with the new coilovers installed but you can see the 3 nuts I'm referring to.
IMAG0244.jpg Remove the 3 nuts and remove the old unit.

Fitting is the reverse but you need and extra Jack to raise the hub up to make installation easier.
When I removed the old unit I noticed it revealed an untreated area of the arch that was covered by the bigger original unit. So I grabbed some spare underseal and squared it away
IMAG0239.jpg IMAG0243.jpg

Coming up next the rear.
 

Mr G

MR G
Staff member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#62
The rears.
Jack up and remove the wheels.
Remove the 19mm nut and bolt securing the suspension arm to the hub,make sure there is a second Jack under this taking the tension of the spring, once the bolt is out lower the Jack/arm and the spring will become loose.
IMAG0247.jpg
You may have to loosen the bolt at the other end of the arm so it drips down enough to get the spring out
IMAG0248.jpg
Now on to the rubber spring perch, this is held on by a 12mm bolt inside the perch.
IMAG0249.jpg

Now to remove the shock undo the 2 17mm? Nuts and the top of the shock
IMAG0251.jpg
And then the bolt at the bottom
IMAG0252.jpg
Remove the shock.
After this I got carried away and forgot to take pictures.
Install new spring perch. (I wound my spring seat collar all the way to the bottom and then put the spacer I too, this gives you the maximum height available on the coilovers.) Under new spring using the old lower rubber spring seat and refit the out arm bolt (using Jack to aid)
Refit wheel and lower down to check ride height, if happy Jack up remove wheel and offer up new shock, secure using the 2 top nuts, and with the suspension hanging, adjust the length of the shock to fit and refit the bottom bolt. Wheel on lower the van.
Job done.

Initially I set the shocks to 15 clicks out of 30 front and back. And after a camping trip this made me feel a little sick they are now set on 25 out of 30 front and back and it is a lot better. Yes the ride is firmer and the van looses a bit of its passenger comfort but u don't care as I'm the driver and I like to drive. It now handles a lot better and the tyres are now show g themselves as the weak point.

While I was doing the rear I also changed the drop links as these are a pain to get to with the suspension in the way.

The end result is this.
jae17-26.jpg
 
Last edited:

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#65
Hi @Mr G - you were more successful in changing the rear struts than me - I couldn't get my rear springs out and in attempting to do so, I loosened the bolt shown in your picture (and arrowed in the copy below).

My local garage did the springs in the end and it was at this point that I discovered that the bolt is for adjusting the rear wheel camber so it was off to the local tyre show to get my mistake corrected.

Might you need to do the same?
temp.jpg
 

Mr G

MR G
Staff member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#66
Hi @Mr G - you were more successful in changing the rear struts than me - I couldn't get my rear springs out and in attempting to do so, I loosened the bolt shown in your picture (and arrowed in the copy below).

My local garage did the springs in the end and it was at this point that I discovered that the bolt is for adjusting the rear wheel camber so it was off to the local tyre show to get my mistake corrected.

Might you need to do the same?
View attachment 1336
Yeah that's the camber bolt, the arm won't drop down low enough to get the standard springs out. When changing the suspension it's usually best to get the alignment done anyway.
I've been messing with other bit under there for the last few week so not had the alignment done.
Now I've finished I'll probably take it in next, it was starting to chew the inner edges anyway and I've never had the alignment done. Front is off too as the steering wheel is off. The handling is better no but you can feel that the geometry is off somewhere.
 

Mr G

MR G
Staff member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#67
Popped to Luton today to get the alignment done (what a shit hole). Took it to Tyre City after a recommendation. One of the younger guys got it on the ramps and came in to show me what adjustments need to be made. He told me that there was no adjustment on the rear.....anyway after I pointed out the camber bolts, one of the more experienced guys jumped in that had done the Elgrand before. They could only get rid of so much camber due to it being lowered but now it's all done.
Roughly £120 all in 3x£40 per adjustment or they do a package, £150 for 8 alignments in the next 2 years so I went for that.
IMAG0562.jpg
IMAG0565.jpg
 

Mr G

MR G
Staff member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#68
Today I ordered some new wheels, Although the current ones I've grown to like (probably wouldn't have bought them myself) they only just about pass the 5m test and are starting to look a bit ropey, with corrosion around the studs the odd bit of curb rash and the clear coat on the chrome looking hazy. they may have been on the van 10+yrs. these can now be my winter wheels.