HSD FAQs

Top 5 installation tips!

•Dampers are electro-plated for good resistance against natural elements, however we recommend the threads and adjusters are coated in a suitable lubricant (such as Silkolene pro chain lube or Copper grease). Corrosion may occur if threads are left unprotected, which can make it difficult to adjust at a later date (Corrosion warranty is invalid if protection is not applied).

•For coilover setups, please ensure you have 0mm spring preload. The spring seat locking collar needs only to hold the spring captive.

•Height adjustment should be made by winding the damper in/out of the bottom bracket.

•Adjustments should be made with the supplied C spanners. When you are happy with your settings a suitable drift and hammer should be used to ensure all locking collars are completely tight.

•If you experience any rattling/knocking noises torque the top nut of the noisy side damper with an impact/air gun for 1 second. The top mount bearings will take some time to break in, you may experience "pinging" noises from the springs until they do - this is perfectly normal.

 

Preparation:

Before jacking the vehicle, measure the distance from the centre of the wheel to the wheel arch on each corner. Write these measurements down as a reference point for height adjustment after fitting the coilovers. It is important to adjust the height evenly front and rear to maintain safe handling characteristics.

The vehicle must be on a hard level surface to be jacked safely. Use a trolley type floor jack (not a scissor jack) and support the car with axle stands. Do not attempt to fit suspension using only a jack, as the car will not be sufficiently stable. Serious injury or death may result from improper preparation in this regard.

It is best to install the front pair first and then the rear pair, rather than having the entire car supported by jack stands. Ensure that the jack stands are located in a suitable location as specified by the vehicle’s owner’s manual.

 

Installation:

1. Remove wheels

2. Remove original coil/spring assembly  (do not undo the top nut on the original shock absorber, as the spring may be under tension).

3. HSD coilovers are shipped with the base height set to the minimum. To determine the maximum base height, remove the base and inspect the length of the thread inside the base. At least 20mm of the threaded section must remain in contact with the thread on the damper body. In most cases it is best to adjust the base to this maximum height and then adjust the height again after all four coilovers have been fitted.

4. Adjust the spring pre-load. This varies depending on what vehicle you are fitting the coilovers to:

Standard Fitments

The spring pre-load should be set by winding the spring seat up until it touches the spring and just holds it securely without any movement. Ensure both sides are set equally by measuring the distance between the top and bottom spring seat, if the point at which the seat retains the spring is slightly different don’t worry, just set both sides to the same measurement and so both springs are held securely.

Fitments with separate spring and shock rear suspension: Nissan Z33 350Z, BMW E36, BMW E46

The front is as above, so rotate the bottom spring seat until the spring is just held securely with no movement, ensure both sides are matched by measuring between the bottom and top spring seats. If the point at which the spring is held captive is slightly different from side to side don’t worry, just match them by measurements so that both sides are held securely.

The rear of the E36/E46 is slightly more complicated due to the separate spring and shock design, however still very easy to setup. Set the damper to the correct length needed to hold the spring captive when adjusted to ride height. Use a jack to raise the hub into position and attach the damper. Ride height is effected ONLY by the spring adjuster.
 

Optional Helper Springs

If your kit uses optional helper springs then you have two options:

Option one is to simply remove the helper springs and follow the above instructions for Standard Fitments.

Option two is to use the helper springs, if you wish to use the helper springs then set the spring pre-load by rotating the bottom spring seat up until the measurement between the bottom and top spring seats is the length of the spring plus 35mm (i.e. 190mm spring + 35mm = 225mm measurement from top spring seat to bottom spring seat. Note: Springs length will always be equal, and in round increments, any slight variance will be due to measurement technique, always set both sides equally), this will allow some droop in the suspension without excessive travel. Note that if you want to run the car very low, you will most likely need to remove the helper spring from the coilover unit and set the pre-load differently to suit.

Note: These are the recommended pre-load settings, changing them will give different handling characteristics, you should only use different pre-load settings if you understand what you are doing. If you need any assistance, please do contact us!

5. Bolt the top mount into place before fitting the base. It may be necessary to use a floor jack to raise the hub when fitting the base.

6. Once the pre-load has been set accurately, ensure the ride height is set equally on both sides of the car with the coilover base adjustment. To determine the ride height, measure from the lower spring seat to the top of the base as described in the height adjustment section. (See below)

7. After setting the height, tighten the top nut on the damper with an air/impact gun for 1 second. Any longer will damage the suspension! A full wheel alignment will be required once the height has been set.

8. After 30 miles of normal driving, double check all measurements. If anything has changed then go through the height adjustment process again to make any necessary corrections.

Height Adjustment:

Height adjustment should be carried out only with the coilover base. The spring seat should only be used to hold the spring in a captive state. Once the coilovers have been fitted and pre-load adjusted, the ride height setting should be double checked to ensure both sides are equal. To adjust the height, loosen the lock nut on the coilover base and rotate the entire coilover assembly, screwing it into the base to adjust the height downwards. Note: On vehicles with separate spring and shock rear setups (350Z, E36, E46) the rear height adjustment is made with the separate inboard spring seat adjustment, please refer to step 4 above for making rear ride height adjustments.

After making your height adjustment, tighten the lock nut before fitting the wheels and checking the height again. Be sure to roll the car backward and forward enough to allow the suspension to settle before measuring again. 

Once you have driven the car for 30 miles of normal driving, jack it up and check all nuts, bolts and adjusters are still tight and double check all measurements. If anything has changed then adjust appropriately to correct.

Damping Adjustment:

The HSD damper design has a 16-step adjustment from softest (full anticlockwise) to hardest (full clockwise). Both bump and rebound damping are adjusted together. The initial setting is the softest setting (full anticlockwise), which will allow the dampers to settle in and should provide a firm but comfortable ride. We recommend leaving them on full soft for around 100 miles of normal driving to allow the coilovers to settle. After around 100 miles the coilovers will have settled and will be ready for accurate adjustment. Depending on the racetrack or course, harder settings may deliver sharper handling response. Also, if harder springs are fitted, it will be necessary to increase the damping rate. For a softer ride or improved grip in wet conditions, a soft setting is recommended.

The adjustment dial located at either the top or bottom of the damper comes with an adjustment knob for easy adjustment. Be careful not to apply too much force when adjusting the dial as it is possible to break it. Do not use any other tool than the supplied adjustment knobs, as excessive force from a spanner or allen key could break the adjustment mechanism.

Other Notes:

Nissan rear coilovers: The bottom mount for Nissan rear coilovers is slightly off centre, they should be fitted so that the longer side of the bottom mount bush faces in towards the hub, giving maximum clearance between the hub and coilover.

SW20 MR2 front top mounts: We consider the SW20 front top mount as too small to allow for a strong fully adjustable camber plate, as a result we supply them with eccentric top mounts. The primary purpose is to run more negative camber, this has a beneficial effect on front end grip and as a result a big improvement on overall handling. To set the suspension up for increased negative camber, align the top mount so the shock is leaning further in towards the centre of the car. If you’re less concerned about outright handling and more concerned with tyre wear, then you can align the top mount for reduced negative camber, on a lowered car this will help overcome increased inside tyre wear. We don’t recommend this for optimal handling, but it will increase tyre life. To set the car up for reduced negative camber, align the top mount so the shock is leaning further out away from the centre of the car.

Warnings:

• Coilovers contain pressurised gas. Do not dispose of in fire. Please consult a specialist recycler to dispose of the product safely.

• Do not attempt to machine or modify any part of the Coilovers

• Do not grip the shaft with any tool, as any mark on the shaft may cause leakage and damage to the seals

• Do not use an air-powered impact gun to tighten bolts or nuts. The torque settings set out in the Vehicle’s workshop manual should be adhered to in fitting the coilovers

• These Coilovers are designed for racing use only and may not comply with rules for road use. HSD Europe will not accept responsibility for any damage or injury resulting from use of this product on public roads.

• These fitting instructions are only a general guide, as the specific design of the Coilovers may vary from model to model and may also be changed without notice for improved performance.

• When fitting the coilovers, ensure that there is no contact or interference with the tyres, body or other suspension components

• Ensure all brake lines, ABS sensor wires and so on are secured with the correct fittings. Do not leave these lines unsecured as abrasion against moving parts may cause brake failure.

• When setting height and camber, ensure that the tyres do not contact the body, coilovers or other suspension components at any steering angle or at any point in the suspension’s compression or droop. Any contact could cause abrasion, resulting in a tyre blowout.

• If snow chains are fitted, only rubber-net type chains should be used, as steel chains are likely to interfere with the coilovers and cause damage.

• If there is any unusual noise, strange steering behaviour or handling abnormality after fitting, stop driving the car immediately, remove the coilovers and return to the supplier if any fault is found.

• Periodically check for any loosening of nuts or lock nuts. Also check for any fluid leak from the shaft seal. A leaking damper should be repaired or replaced immediately.

• Take great care when fitting the coilovers to avoid personal injury. Wear gloves and eye protection and be careful not to let the locking wrenches slip while tightening or loosening.

 

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