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HOWTO: Adjust Ground Control or RK Sport Coilovers

Written by Wild Weasel

This was written specifically for the j-body but I've included it in the General Automotive section as Ground Control makes kits for many makes and models and the advice here should apply to most if not all of them.

With regard to the j-body crowd, these instructions are written with the Ground Control style of screw-tightening collars in mind, though for the most part will apply to any adjustable coilover set. Keep in mind, however, that to the best of my knowledge Ground Control and RK Sport are the only companies who sell proper sleeve kits for our cars and only KONI and TEIN sell struts that are capable of keeping them under control. If you have anything else then I highly recommend that you do some research into what your suspension should be doing for you and DO NOT INSTALL them on your car.

There are also some high quality full assemblies available such as the TEIN Super Sports and the RK Sport ProStreet coilovers. My above comments are aimed toward the kits that are meant for you to install on the struts of your choice. If you become aware of any other kits being properly engineered for the j-body, please make a note of it in the guestbook (link at bottom) and I'll look into them and amend this page if necessary.

First off, before adjusting anything, make sure everything is properly cleaned. I use brake cleaner on mine. You don't want any dirt in the tightening screw threads, in the allen socket, or in the sleeve threads. If you ignore this advice, you'll run into problems in the future when things start seizing up. I've seen it happen first-hand and can essentially render the whole set to garbage.

Step 1.

Lift the car. If you lift both sides of the front or back together, the suspension will drop down further since the load is taken off the sway bars. This makes it easier to work and much easier to clean the bearings.

Check your manual for the proper lift points for your car and always make sure the car is properly supported by jack stands when working underneath it. Since you'll have both hands between the tire and the wheel well, the last thing you'd want is for the car to drop down, crushing your arms.

Step 2.

Thoroughly clean the adjustable assembly, including sleeve, collar, and tightening screw.

Step 3.

Loosen the tightening screw with an allen key.

Step 4.

Turn the collar to where you want it. I generally start from the very top with the top of the collar flush with the top of the sleeve, and count full turns down from there.

Step 5.

Tighten the tightening screw with an allen key. BE CAREFUL HERE. Tighten the screw until you can't rotate the collar by hand anymore. From here, you now only need another 1/4 turn or so for it to be locked. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN or next time you might just find yourself rounding out the hole with your allen key.

Step 6.

Put the car back on the ground.

That's all there is to it. If properly maintained, your coilovers should give you years of reliable service.


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