DIY: KW V1 (Variant 1) Coilover Suspension Adjustment
- Custom-made wooden ramp if you are really low
- Car jack
- Jack stands
- OEM Audi lug bolt wrench
- 2 KW coil wrenches (rear and front)
- 3/8" allen wrench (a.k.a. hex)
- 3" ratchet extension
- WD-40 (or PB Blaster)
- Shop towels
- Tape measure
It really depends on your skill and experience. Difficult first attempt; should be easier next time. Block off at least 3-4 hours.
How-to guide with pics:
Loosen the lugs on the wheels you plan to remove soon. They will need to be loose enough so you can remove them while the car is in the air on the jack stands.
Since my car was too low, the car jack would not fit under the front end of my car. I had a board cut up for me at a hardware store into 1' wide blocks. The tires measure approximately 9" wide, so it was perfect. The first level of the ramp is 1.5" in height from the ground, and the second level of the ramp is 3.0" in height from the ground. This gave me the needed clearance to get the car jack underneath.
With the car on my custom wooden ramp, I was able to get the car jack underneath the car. SAFETY FIRST: Before you start to jack anything up, make sure your car is in park, and your emergency brake is on (while you are on the little wooden ramps, or on the ground if you don't need the wooden ramps). You will find the proper hard metal that's maybe 8" long behind the front wheels for the front, and in front of the rear wheels for the rear. Typically these are beat up already, since your car has been on a lift or jack before, which is fine. Once the car is up high enough, slide your jack stands onto the jack metal area underneath the car (right beside your car jack). Very slowly, release the pressure in your car jack, allowing your car to slowly put all the weight on the jack stand. I used 3-ton jack stands, but that probably isn't necessarily needed (you could use lower weight stands I'm sure). Once securely on the jack stand, remove the car jack, and repeat until you are on all 4 jack stands. If you only have 2 jack stands, do your fronts first, then your rears.
Using your OEM Audi lug wrench from your trunk tool kit, pop the center cap off, and remove your wheels.
Now for the "fun" part. My goal here was to raise my car up approximately one inch in preparation for the winter. This DIY can also be used to lower your car, just make sure you check your measurements, and also make sure you are spinning the coil parts the correct way.
The red/bold font is for a reason. I thought I knew what I was doing, but made the critical error of accidentally lowering my car one inch in the front without realizing it until both front coils were "done," wheels were put back on, taken off jack stands, and put back onto the ground. I wanted to cry. I am now "over" my mistake, and simply wanted to share this waste of time and energy so people actually take note of what you are doing.
KW coilover kits come with 2 coilover wrenches. The larger one is for the front, and the smaller one is for the rear.
Front driver's side, more zoomed in:
Spray the hell out of your the coil silver spirals and the purple coil perch with WD-40 or PB-Blaster. Let it soak in a bit, then wipe it clean with a cloth. You want the purple coil perch to be as dry as possible so the coil wrench does not slip out. It's ok to have the lube on the silver spirals though, probably want it lubed actually. Try to get all the dirt and grime clean before you attempt to spin the purple coil perch knob.
Taking the large coilover wrench, fit it into the notches in the purple coil perch.
To raise the car up (winter-mode we will call it), move the coil tool to the right (knob goes up, higher towards the car).
To lower the car down (summer-mode), move the coil tool to the left (knob goes down, closer to the ground).
My front FTG (fender-to-ground) measurements were 25.0" FTG while lowered (summer-mode). The following picture is a measurement of the summer-mode coil setup. It measured 2.25" from the bottom of the purple coil perch to the end of the silver spiral threads at the bottom. Write your measurements down before you start adjusting, so you can revert back at a later time if you want.
Turning the coil tool will be a pain in the ass, as you can only do partial turns, and it will just take some time and patience. If it's properly lubed up, it will be a lot smoother. You will eventually get in a groove, and better understand how to quickly turn and find the grooves with the coil tool.
To totally slam it (slam-mode) to 24" FTG, you will want to lower the purple coil perch down so only 1.25" of spiral is between it and the end of the spirals.
For winter-mode, I raised it to its max height. I might not go as high next winter, but I'm definitely not changing it this year. Some people argue against raising it at all, but I live in NH, and the roads here are absolute shit - potholes, frost-heaves (large bumps in pavement due to the temps), snow, ice chunks, etc. I figured I'll play it conservative this year at least. Anyhow, I raised it up to its max height of 25.75" FTG, and the measurement from the purple coil perch to the bottom of the spirals was 3.0".
Once the fronts are where you want them, put the wheels back on, put the car jack under the car, raise it a little, remove jack stand, make sure the wooden ramps are under your wheels (definitely needed if you just lowered it or are low), slowly release the pressure off the car jack, lower the car into the wooden ramps, remove car jack, put car in reverse, slowly drive backwards off the wooden ramps.
Front is complete.
Without question, the rears are much more difficult to adjust than the fronts. Take a deep breath, and get ready for some fun times. Another thank you goes out to AZ members "DRAKLORE" and "schizzy" for helping me when I ran into trouble with the rear adjustments.
This is what we are working with.
Fold the little piece of carpet-like fender material up, because you will need to have access to get your coil tool up in there.
The following pic shows the purple coil perch "knob" as it was (at the very top of the spirals). This is how I had it for my summer-mode when it was lowered, and 24.5" FTG.
***Take note: for the rears, we are turning our coil tool wrench in the opposite direction than we did in the front.***
To raise car up (winter-mode), move the coil tool to the left (knob goes down towards the ground).
To lower car down (summer-mode), move the coil tool to the right (knob goes up towards the car).
As you can see in the pic, we have to use 2 tools to do this job (technically 3 tools including the 3" extension piece on the end of the hex allen; but one "tool" per hand we'll say). First, a 3/8" hex allen wrench has to fit up in the center of the black cylinder with spirals on it. The overall goal of putting the allen up in there is to keep it from moving. The 3" extension piece really is key, because it allows you enough mechanical force to hold the black spiral piece in place. When you turn the coil tool, it will want to move, so you are constantly fighting the black piece, and trying to keep it still in place.
I raised my car to the max height, by moving the knob to the lowest level of spirals possible. Winter-mode:
The rears are now approx 26.0" FTG. All ready for winter now:
Once your coil purple perch is in place where you want, throw your wheels back on, and put it back on the ground.
Rears are complete.
Many people have advised me that a proper torque wrench would be good, so the lugs can be put back onto the wheel with the proper torque... so that would be a good idea too. If you don't have one, the OEM Audi lug wrench will work for now (that's what I used). Just make sure you really put some muscle into the lugs so they won't fly off while driving later.
Now would be a good time to get an alignment - it will be worth it.
The rears are truly a "pain in the dick" as one person said I believe in another thread. Now that I've done it once, the next time will definitely be easier. This took me way longer than I anticipated - easily 10 hours over an entire Saturday day/night. I estimate now that I know what I am doing, and have pictures/measurements for reference, it will be much easier. I estimate it will take me 3-4 hours to adjust everything next time.
For people interested more in my KW V1 review with more pics:
For those interested in my true rear coil adjustment terror and freaking out:
For every pic I've taken of my car (including projects) to date, see my Photobucket page (link in signature also):
I hope this helps. The reason I wrote this is because KW doesn't seem to offer actual real instructions (barely anything in English); and I did not find anything of substance (or with pics) online prior to my adjustments.
Let me know if I need to edit anything please, and I will. Hope this helps a few people.