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The Definitive Cheap Ebay Coilover Thread (Jamex) With" how to"guide

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by 16Klappe, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    Right, whos fed up with "ebay coilover" threads ? - Everybody !

    Are they any good ? - Yes !

    Are they easy to fit ? - Yes !

    My girlfriend wanted to lower her car, she was really worried about the ride quality being ruined but couldn't justify the money for expensive coilovers so she bought some Jamex coilovers from ebay (£225) they came the next day and Prawn and I banged them on today ! Its really awesome having a girlfriend who wants to do things to her car, she is such a winner ! :wub:

    Standard photos of the car -

    [​IMG]

    Right, a rough fitment guide...

    First things first we put it on a two post ramp, makes things SO much easier !

    One of the first things to do is to use an air gun (or a 21MM drop spanner and a 7MM allen key) to loosen the top mounts on the shocks, it will be harder when the wheels aren't on the ground.

    The rears - (should take an hour...)

    Get the car in the air, and don't bother taking the wheels off. Undo the two 16MM bolts which hold the top of the shock absorber (located here, in the upper wheel arch)

    [​IMG]

    Then the lower bolt, again two 16MM nut and bolt. We used a transmission jack under each wheel to take the pressure off the beam then slowly let them both down.

    [​IMG]

    The springs will just pull out once the beam has been lowered, then take the rubber cups from the top and put them in the new springs. I popped them in and they seemed loose, I turned them until they reached the top of the spring and locked in place.

    Then clean up the spring seat on the beam, the adjustable seats won't want to sit on there very well otherwise !

    Then put the adjustable seats on and tighten down the seat with the nut and washer supplied. (19MM)

    Swap the rubber cups from the top of the old shocks, and put them on the new ones. We used a set of vise grips on the shocks strut to stop it turning, good if you don't need to refit them but not good if you want to ! We cut an inch (the first notch) off the bump stops, but not too much otherwise there won't be enough surface area for the bump stop to push down on.

    Pop the springs onto the new seats before you put the lower bolts for the shocks in, otherwise you won't be able to get them into the locator at the top.

    Bolt the new shocks in at the top, then we pushed the beam up (one side at a time) and popped the lower bolts that hold the shocks in and tightened them up.

    [​IMG]

    We set the rear coilovers at their lowest, then had to adjust it up so the spring seat was an inch and a half up from the bottom of the unit.

    The rears were DONE ! Bar dropping it on the floor, going for a drive then leveling and rechecking tightness...

    [​IMG]

    -

    The fronts are not quite so easy but not hard at all ! (Should take 2 hours to remove and fit, then allow an hour for driving to settle them and leveling off)

    Take all the wires/hoses off the sides of the struts. They will all just pull off, but you might have to unscrew the pad wear sensor on the near side.


    The top mounts should be loose, so get it up in the air and both wheels off.

    There is an 18MM pinch bolt that clams the hub to the suspension strut, undo that and tap it out, leave the nut screwed onto the bolt when you tap it first time becase you shouldn't damage the threads then. We had to use a hammer and a drift to push it right through and it took a fair bit of force !

    [​IMG]

    We took the drop links off (realllly easy, nut and bolt on the top and a bolt which goes into a thead on the lower arm on the bottom) to gain access, then put a chisel/bolster into the bottom and hammered it up to seperate the hub from the strut.

    With me holding the bolster into the bottom, and Prawn bashing the top of the hub down the hub will pull
    down from the strut. It will end up like this...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then undo the top mount fully and pull the strut out !

    [​IMG]

    Then using some spring clamps close down the spring on the struts and take the top mount out, then be reallllly careful and unscrew the spring clamps and refit the top mounts to the new struts.

    We used a vise grip to hold the damper still whilst we undid the top nut.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Refit is the complete reversal of removal, the only problems we ran into was getting the hubs onto the new shocks. There is a tab on the shocks with a hole for the hub bolt to go through, that was a right pain to line up ! Other than that it was all plain sailing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Fitting the new drop links was easy, for setting them up we did them so there was about an inch of thread showing. The ARB rubbed on the drive shaft so we made them shorter, we had them at their shortest and found that to be perfect. Although we did note the standard plastic drop links were shorter than the adjustable ones supplied.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We set the coilovers to their lowest then raised them two inches, with the spring seats two inches from the first thread the car sat with the highest part of the front arches at 24.5". We found that to be perfect height, no rub scrub or hasrhness and perfect clearance for full lock and tires on standard 16" wheels.

    The verdict ?

    They are really good for the money, very smooth and quiet, ride much nicer than Prawns which is Weitec all round with Eibach ARB's. Which is why he's bought a set too ! Highly reccomended, and I very much doubt a set twice as expensive could be twice as good for road use ! So they haven't had the long life test, and they haven't been used on a track. But at that price who cares, if they last a couple of years then they will be a good buy. And the won't get used on a track either, so if you want to blast around town with a slammed car and don't want to spend a fortune look no further !


    Yeah yeah yeah, who cares...What does it look like ?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks Prawn, you are a true dude ! We couldn't have done it without you, and it almost makes up for all the times I've spent hours on your car just for a few mins driving it haha !

    A chance for a sticky, to put an end to pointless topics?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2010
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  3. jdas03
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    jdas03 Member

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    Nice thread, lots of good info there! i have an S3 would they work well on that, improve handling for track and road or is standard s3 better? seems really good for the price!
    #2
  4. Ian W
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    Ian W Active Member

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    Can't argue with the results, Looks good.
    #3
  5. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    Good write up Jarrod, nice one son :)

    Can't wait to get mine on next weekend!
    #4
  6. A3Tom
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    A3Tom Smell my finger.

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    That looks excellent, nice write up too :)

    I have to say I'm tempted to put my 16's back on my car after seeing a few lowered A3's running on them, I think they look great! :)
    #5
  7. wnjuk
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    wnjuk Member

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    Excellent write up :applaus: I'll be looking to lower mine at some point this year and this will definitely come in handy!
    #6
  8. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    I would like to see a test, with a bucket of water on your lap, perhaps drive over a recently plowed filled? Is this unreasonable?
    #7
  9. kaizokuninja
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    kaizokuninja Member

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    Looks good!
    Be good to have a link, not that i am lazy and haven't looked but to the specific ones!!

    =D
    #8
  10. c_dog
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    c_dog Member

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    Is that the standard finger injury resulting from car work in pic 9?
    #9
  11. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    Haha, there's always one ey James :p

    In all seriousness, I took it out for a little drive, along roads I regularly take to Jardo's workshop, and it's noticeably MUCH smoother than mine on weitecs. Admittedly it's probably somewhat down to having 16's with massive profile tyres compared to my 40 profiles on 18's, but still, it's an impressive improvement.

    For the money, I'm really very impressed
    #10
  12. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    Cheers for the thanks guys, I thought it was about time somebody put a bit of thought into one of these threads ! My girlfriend wasn't happy, first time I've seen her for two weeks and she'd driven 200 miles to see me and I spent a good hour on the laptop writing that up haha !

    Heres a link to the ones she bought - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/JAMEX-Coilove...arts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM?hash=item35a48fb74c

    I'm certainly thinking of doing different write ups for different things, the amount of work and upgrades we do on Prawn A3 we could have made our own bloody forum haha ! If this ones well appreciated and stops a few of the topics then I'll spend a bit of time and do a few for the other things we get up to !

    Again though, thanks Prawn you truly are a connoisseur of all things awesome !

    *edit* Oh, and no that isn't any car injury...That is an S&M car injury....
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
    #11
  13. Plunky
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    Plunky Member

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    [Jan 24, 2010]
    good write up mate! i have thoe coilovers on mine aswell, cant fault them at all! only problem is the roads at the minute!
    #12
  14. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Feb 18, 2010]
    So the cars done a few miles and its settled down...

    A rear top mount failed but thats nothing to do with the shocks really, bar thats it's all been spot on! Still a very smooth ride and very easy to re-adjust once they had settled, good job Jamex!
    #13
  15. tazzy baby
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    tazzy baby Rookie

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    [Feb 18, 2010]
    So you recommend them then for peeps on a budget like myself,,

    :applaus: good work on the write up top job
    #14
  16. 4NT
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    4NT Terminal Douche Bag!

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    [Feb 18, 2010]
    I don't even belong to the 8L bit but wanted to say good thread! So many other people say a massive no to budget coilies too.

    lookin good! :hubbahubba:
    #15
  17. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 18, 2010]
    Nice work, thanks for the comprehensive pics and description. STUCK :icon_thumright:
    #16
  18. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Feb 18, 2010]
    Sweet! Glad it can be of use to people!

    I've got lower arms and rear discs and pads to do next so I'll knock up a how to for those as well.
    #17
  19. Dani_B19
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    Dani_B19 Audi-sports own special child.

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    [Feb 18, 2010]
    Wonder what these would be like on a lardy arsed s3!
    #18
  20. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    [Feb 18, 2010]
    Nice one mate, excellent write up and pics, looks good with the drop too.

    Looking forward to more threads.
    #19
  21. arsenal_69r
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    arsenal_69r audi a3

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    [Feb 25, 2010]
    may i just ask why you cut the bump stops of? (first notch) as i fitted some yesterday and didnt see why this was needed?
    #20
  22. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Feb 26, 2010]
    We cut the bump stops so we could get it at its lowest, just as a precautionary measure in case they hindered the slammage!

    You could probably get away without them though :)
    #21
  23. arsenal_69r
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    arsenal_69r audi a3

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    [Feb 26, 2010]
    fair play :icon_thumright:
    #22
  24. DJ_Troopa
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    DJ_Troopa K1 Driver

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    [Feb 27, 2010]
    x2
    #23
  25. Olly P
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    Olly P My other cars a mk2 Golf GTi

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  26. Curt
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    Curt Member

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    [Mar 2, 2010]
    Top notch - cheers for this. Will be following this at the weekend :icon_thumright:

    Am I right in thinking if I get new strut top mount kits that I won't have to dismantle my old shocks and springs?
    #25
  27. arsenal_69r
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    arsenal_69r audi a3

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    [Mar 2, 2010]
    that is correct, will also save u some time to :icon_thumright:
    #26
  28. DaveA3
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    DaveA3 Audi A-Trizzle!

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    [Mar 11, 2010]
    how is this kit holding up btw? still going good?
    #27
  29. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Mar 13, 2010]
    Still going perfectly at the moment, it's only been on for about 6 weeks though!

    I do however know of several cars that have been running them for AGES, the ones on Plunkys car were fitted July 08, and audi1.8Tdan fitted his early last year and they're still fine a year later.

    Fitted the rear ones to mine this evening, had a spare hour so thought I'd get them on there at last having been sat in the garage for over almost 2 months!

    Stuck them on at the lowest possible setting, and to be honest, it's really not all that bad height wise, although I'm sure it'll settle a bit. Ride wise, it's definately smoother already even with just the rears on, and there's no noticeable body roll either, so win win really.

    I'll post pics next weekend when I get the fronts on and get it levelled up.
    #28
  30. ALPINE
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    ALPINE Yes its diesel, now cry u lost

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    [Mar 13, 2010]
    man i need to goto specsavers...
    #29
  31. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Mar 13, 2010]
    Sorry I haven't been able to pull the goods out the bag for you Prawn, but what with my dad being a massive axe wound I don't really want to go up the workshop haha!

    But yep, these are still fine. My girlfriend drives the car 30/40 miles a day and they are still as good as the day they were fitted, still smooth but quite firm and sporty feeling.

    Good times :)
    #30
  32. Curt
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    Curt Member

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    [Mar 17, 2010]
    Just want to say another quick thanks for this again. I fitted JOM's to mine (the cheapest £169 ones), but have to say they look identical to the ones you fitted. Here was my working station:

    [​IMG]
    :D

    Have to say I'm very impressed, from what people were saying about cheap coilies I thought I was going to lose my teeth... But it's hardly any harsher IMO, just nicely firmer and better in the bends. Thanks to Zeeeebo also for the review, it swayed my decision. Anyone else pondering, just do it! Can't go wrong.

    One thing... I have dropped mine to a similar height to yours/your girlfriends, maybe slightly higher, but I'm getting slight ARB rub on left hand bends. Will the adjustable drop links help? As I really don't want to raise it. It's running standard 16" Sports too. Cheers :)
    #31
  33. zeeeebo
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    zeeeebo Lifes one big laugh

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    [Mar 17, 2010]
    glad to see you got em all on ok curt:) glad i managed to perswade you! i would def buy them again!
    #32
  34. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Mar 18, 2010]
    Glad it was of use to you! Its a pretty simple fitment anyway, nothing too hard if you know what you are doing :) The standard drop links are actually shorter than the adjustable ones, so maybe try swapping back to the standard ones and see if that changes it, if not then just play with making the adjustable ones longer and shorter.
    #33
  35. Loupigs
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    Loupigs Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    An update after 3 months of having them - all good. Ride is spot-on, even on longer journeys with or without passengers, although I desperately want more lows especially on the rear (pointless on 16s?). First encounter with speed bumps didnt go so well but I'm used to it now and love how much faster I can go round corners :p Only prob was the OSR top mount bust through but that's not the coilies fault. Would recommmend putting new ones on all round whilst you've got the car in bits, mine's on 100k now so was probs getting a bit worn and would have been less hassle to replace them first thing.

    Big love to Prawn and my Jardo for working their butts off for me.x x x
    #34
  36. 123holah
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    123holah Member

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    [May 3, 2010]
    great thread pleased to hear the update and all is going well! i think that has put my mind at rest and i will be getting some soon!
    #35
  37. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [May 3, 2010]
    Lou: Didnt we wind the back of yours up about 10mm before we left the workshop? I'm SURE we wound it up a tad.....

    Could be potential to drop it more! If not, just take the adjusters out totally!
    #36
  38. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [May 4, 2010]
    Yeah, we raised it up a bit :)
    #37
  39. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [May 4, 2010]
    then get it wound down for the poor girl boyo! Mine are as low as can be on the rear, and I still want it a bit lower :( Have to keep a toolkit and jack in there to make it look right :)
    #38
  40. warrenlord
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    warrenlord Member

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    [May 4, 2010]
    wish this goes for the 8p too lol, h&r are expensive!!!
    #39
  41. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [May 5, 2010]
    Yeah, I think I will this weekend.

    We've got a new grille, the black angle eye headlights are in the UK so fingers crossed they will be delivered today and then its in for respray in the next week or so!

    Debating what to do badge wise, I'm saying Lou should debadge the rear and just keep the rings, then chrome rings on the front with a black surround?
    #40

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