New Suspension- and the Solano Stroll

As I wrote before I decided to install ground control coilover kits and KYB AGX shocks onto the EV. I did just that last week. The install went quite easily, using these pages for reference.



The only thing I found a bit unclear in the above linked direcions was how to reattach the ball joint to the lower A arm after it has been removed. When you pull out the two 17mm head bolts as specified, you can swing the whole upright out of the way then lever the lower arm down to pull the shock out.

Lower A arm with ball joint bracket removed:


It’s easy enough to set the bracket back into the A arm, then thread the bolt through the hole in the bracket. The bolt that comes in from the top (just under the shock mount bolt) is a bit tricky as the way it’s sprung the bracket tends to swivel itself down away from the hole in the top of the A arm. I realize this all will seem a bit vague if you’re not looking at it in front of you.

So, I used a scissor jack and an awl to push the bracket back up toward the hole through a small hole in the bottom of the A arm.

DSCN3316The blue screwdriver is holding the bottom of the shock absorber out of the way. The side-bolt on the lower arm has been inserted, the awl on the jack is pushing the bracket (which is hinging on that first bolt) so that the top bolt can be threaded into the bracket.

It worked well enough.

DSCN3318The big white zip tie is holding the ABS wire bracket to the shock absorber, since the shock did not come with the mounting tab on it. I am confident this will be good enough. This mounting tab is the only difference between “for cars with ABS” and “for cars without ABS” shock absorbers.

It was a bit scary beating on the spring perches of the brand new shocks- it’s not tricky or difficult, just a bit hair-raising the first time. So I made this video showing how I did it, just so you can see it’s not that big a deal 🙂

See Full Size

The Ground Control people sent me all the same spring rates (I asked them to decide what would be best for my application) I think it’s 350 all around. Or maybe 375. The rear spring perches are sung off the ground, the fronts are preloaded maybe 1/2 inch. Probably could have had higher rate in the front, but I think it’s OK.

After installing the shocks I got an allignment- I hadn’t gotten it alligned since installing the steering rack either, so it was quite off. The difference in rolling resistance after getting the allignment was very noticible and impressive. It coasts beautifully now.

Moving on- I got an opportunity to take the car out for this year’s Solano Stroll parade right here in town- A friend of mine hooked me up with some folks from the Chamber of Commerce, I offered to give the Albany Citizen and Youth of the year a ride in the car down in the parade. So I washed and waxed the car up and took it out- It worked out great.

DSCN3127DSCN3130DSCN3132DSCN3137And even with an extra 300 LBS on the back of the car (it’s not a 4 seater, you know) the rear suspension wasn’t behaving too badly. Good! Good!

Later that day my friends and family threw me an amazing surprise birthday party. It was great.

Posted on September 21, 2009 at 2:20 pm by Henry · Permalink
In: EV Miata

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  1. Written by dave schutz
    on May 6, 2010 at 6:50 pm
    Reply · Permalink

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