So I've been wanting to lower the front end of my car for a while now, and had these FK lowering caps lying about, waiting for the sun to come out for me to fit them! It's only a 5-10mm drop, but that's all I was after! Whilst I was at it, I was going to put new drop links, topmounts and bearings at the same time, since it's all coming off.
First off, loosen wheelbolts, then jack car up and lower back on axle stands then remove wheels and put them safely aside(or under the car for those who don;t trust your axle stands.
Undo the top part of the drop link and take it off, then stick a jack of some sort under the lower arm to support it. On Xenon equipped cars like the S3, you need to undo the height level adjuster arm on the passengerside lower arm, it's a 10mm bolt, spray with some WD40, as it will be pretty rusty going from my example.
Now as I'm the lazy type and don't have all the correct tools to hand, I used a cordless impact gun to undo the strut top bolts. So a 21mm and impact gun using pulsing motion as opposed to just holding it there with finger on the trigger.
Once loosened, just extract the bolt and upper cap.
Now lower the complete arm with strut attached using the jack you have placed below the arm. (no pics of this)
Then you need to use a pair of spring compressors to compress the spring underneath, you only need to compress it so the spring is free to move 1mm either way, with no load of the spring plate.
Now here's the tricky bit, I realised my 21mm socket won't reach the second bolt, so I tried with my wheel nuts extended sockets, but the plastic sleeves on them was in the way too, so a trip to Halfords to buy a 21mm deep socket. We are in business!
So raise the arm back up using the jack, supporting the strut, so the top part of it lines up with the strut hole. It will only go up so much as the spring compressor threads will be in the way. Once in position, using my impact gun again and the 21mm deep socket, the second bolt was a piece of cake!
Once the second bolt is out, lower the arm again and extract the top mount rubber, bearing and spring plate in that order.
Old top mount rubber and OEM spec new one side by side.
New bearing on left, old bearing on right.
Difference between FK and OEM upper spring plate/cap.
So I lined up all the new parts together to see if it all fits! No they don't!! lol Now FK do not list these lowering caps for the S3, so I went with TT ones, since they are pretty much the same. But fitted to the new strut top rubbers, they was unable to move freely, so I used the old strut top rubbers, with the new bearings and lowering caps which works a treat!
Obviously fitting i reverse of all the above.
Took it out for a drive and everything is tight as it should be., height difference is subtle, so you probably won't notice it, but there seems to be a small improvement in front end bite. which was what I was after.
Now I need a lie down!