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Suspension swap Mk1/2/2.5 using meister R

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Suspension swap Mk1/2/2.5 using meister R

Postby Mazda Mender » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:38 am

All MX-5 / Roadsters have coilover suspension. Many owners replace the standard coilovers with aftermarket adjustable versions or swap the coilovers between the models. This is a how-to guide to remove and replace the coilovers. The car shown in the pictures is a Mk 2.5 but the process is the same of Mk1/2/2.5 with the following differences:
(1) The Mk1 uses a different drop link set up, which are bolted on by 2 x 14mm bolts and nuts, whereas on the Mk 2/2.5 they are all-in-one units which is held by an allen key on the end while bolting up tight with nut only;
(2) On the Mk 1 and MK 2 the front upper ball joint that goes through the upright top of the hub is bolted up tight with a castle nut and a split pin goes straight through and bent over. On the MK 2.5 it is a longer shaft from the ball joint through the top of the hub upright and is locked up with a nylon lock nut and a R clip;
(3) The MK 2/2.5 will also have a fair bit of trim to be removed in the boot to get to the upper most nuts that hold the suspension in place.

Note: If you are following this and working on a Mk2/2.5 I do recommend that IF the OE drop links are still in place, you must check the condition because they can be a nightmare to remove if not new, so they do need to be checked before any work begins so you can get them ordered ready, if they are fudged then order some blue print versions not OE items (this will be the only time I will recommend aftermarket units for the Mx/Roadsters) as they are far better, and just cut the old ones off as you will see in the pics, don't mess as you will be messing for a long time and you will end up throwing spanners up the street and filling a swear box...

This how-to is designed as a step-by-step guide. However, neither the author nor mazdamenders.net can take responsibility for any injuries or damaged caused by following this guide.

As with most things on the Mk1 and Mk2, if you can hold a spanner, you can replace your coilovers. It is not a difficult job to do, so long as everything goes according to plan. You need to be prepared though, the suspension nuts and bolts are exposed to the elements and can therefore be difficult to undo and there is, of course, always the risk that one could snap. To minimise the risk of this happening, take your time. I would recommend, jacking the car up the night before and applying plus gas (or similar) to all the nuts and bolts mentioned in the guide.

Remember do not go under a car supported on just a jack, always use axle stands on a flat, hard, solid surface and to ensure that the wheels remaining on the ground are chocked with appropriate wheel chocks.

Tools you’ll need:
Breaker bar ( ½” drive preferably)
Ratchet ( ½” driver preferably and a smaller one with a 10mm socket)
Range of extension bars for ratchet
Sockets (to fit ratchet and breaker) – 17mm, 14mm, 12mm
Ring spanners – 17mm, 14mm, 12mm
Club hammer or something else similarly big
Set of drifts
Axle stands
Wheel chocks
Copper grease
Long nosed pliers.

Note: This guide does not cover the dismantling of the suspension strut / coilover.
Note: If replacing like-for-like you wheel alignment should not be affected. If you are replacing suspension with lowered suspension etc. you should have your alignment checked at a recognized garage – a full 4-wheel alignment is a must on our cars to get the most out of them.


Okay, so now here comes the guide:


These are the suspension units we will be fitting this time, but it is the same for any bar setting the ABS bracket on these units.....

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Mk 2/2.5 boot shown but everything is in the same place on the MK 1 but there is not as much trim to be removed ,to remove the trim lugs all you need to do is pull the center bit out lightly which will come out about 1/4 of a inch? and stop and then the rest of the body will be loose to just be pulled out......

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Remove the boot carpet
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And the board that clips to the jack
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Having released the trim panels and removed the carpet you should now be able to remove the trim from the boot.
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On the left hand side of the boot is the storage box. This is held in place by a single trim screw in the bottom and needs to be removed:
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With the storage box removed you can now remove the last piece of the trim:
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You are then left with the filler and breather pipe shield to remove. This is held in place with 4 x 10mm head bolts (Mk 1) and 3 x 10mm head bolts(Mk 2/2.5).. The easiest way is with a small ratchet with an extension and 10mm socket on the end:
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Once the shield is out of the way you are left with two options - either to undo the fuel filler and breather pipes or not. Personally I recommend undoing them both as it provides much greater access to the nearside rear suspension top mount bolts, some do remove the filler pipe a breather pipe, which is a personal option if you still find it to tight, personally we have never found the need to, but we don't have banger fingers :wink: ...
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You will need to undo both. You should find, if the everything is standard, which is usually is in this area, that you have a circlip and a jubilee style clip to undo.
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For the breather pipe, use either a pair of long nose pliers (see picture below) or specialist clip removal tool.
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With the pliers forcing the two ends together slide it off the end, towards the fuel tank
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You should then be able to remove the breather pipe tubing from the fuel filler end.
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NOTE: This time around we had to leave the filler pipe in place because while doing this "how to", the kind owner in question forgot to mention that he had just filled her right to the top before starting this, so we ended up with the lovely smell of petrol everywhere when we went to crack the seal on the pipes, so we left it in place after getting covered in it.(thanks A O) :roll: :doh:
The Disclaimer:-
This post is a natural product made from recycled electrons. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects, the articles/answers/comments are provided for information purposes and they are not intended to substitute informed professional advice, I or mazdamenders.net cannot personally be hold responsible for any damage occurred from following this procedure or any injuries from it. Proceed at your own risk.


Mk 1 Eunos 93 black V.S II 1.8 ,
Mk 2 .1/4 Roadster 99 black & gold V.S 1.8 being rebuilt,
Mk 1 Eunos 90 1.6 (claimed by daughter)
MK 2.1/4 Blue V.S Roadster 1.8 99 ...being rebuilt

http://www.mx5oc.co.uk/ http://www.mx5nutz.com/forum/ http://miata.net/ http://www.autolinkuk.co.uk/
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Re: Suspension swap Mk1/2/2.5 using Meister R

Postby Mazda Mender » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:59 pm

Now all the trim is out of the way, on the driver’s side (assuming RHD car of course!) , behind the spare wheel you should see a recess where the suspension strut connects to the car.

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Using a 1/2" drive ratchet with a 14mm socket and short extension bar undo the two flared nuts securing the suspension unit to the body.
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Replace one a couple of turns with your fingers and put the other to one side.
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Now time to move to the Left hand side and you need to repeat the process. Even with the fuel pipes removed the access is a little more restricted.
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Don't forget to put one of the nuts back on a couple of turns by hand.


Now time to move to the front of the car. With the car on the ground, pop the bonnet (securing appropriately).
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You now need to undo the suspension top mount bolts so that the front suspension units can be removed from the car. If you have a strut brace this will be removed as part of the process. As with the rear suspension, standard units use a 14mm flared nut which is easiest to remove with a 1/2" drive ratchet with 14mm socket and extension bars
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with all the nuts undone and removed, remove the strut brace (if you have one).
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with the strut brace removed and if you don't have a strut brace to remove, put one of hte nuts back on with you fingers a couple of turns. It is important to fully remove the nuts and put back by hand whether or not you have a strut brace
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The Disclaimer:-
This post is a natural product made from recycled electrons. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects, the articles/answers/comments are provided for information purposes and they are not intended to substitute informed professional advice, I or mazdamenders.net cannot personally be hold responsible for any damage occurred from following this procedure or any injuries from it. Proceed at your own risk.


Mk 1 Eunos 93 black V.S II 1.8 ,
Mk 2 .1/4 Roadster 99 black & gold V.S 1.8 being rebuilt,
Mk 1 Eunos 90 1.6 (claimed by daughter)
MK 2.1/4 Blue V.S Roadster 1.8 99 ...being rebuilt

http://www.mx5oc.co.uk/ http://www.mx5nutz.com/forum/ http://miata.net/ http://www.autolinkuk.co.uk/
User avatar
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Re: Suspension swap Mk1/2/2.5 using Meister R

Postby Mazda Mender » Sun May 25, 2014 6:38 pm

RIght, time to get into the real work now and get into the wheel arches.

Starting at the back, loosen the roadwheel nuts and jack the car up. Support the car on axle stands, ensuring that the front road wheels are chocked securely.

DANGER! NEVER work on a car supported by just a jack. ALWAYS use appropriate support such as axle stands & wheel chocks where needed.

Remove the wheels and place under the car, out of the way.

Start by removing the nut and bolt combo that holds the upper wishbone to the hub. Undo the nut using a 14mm ring spanner and socket on a 1/2" drive ratchet (of course, another size rachet will do but I find for these jobs that this is the best size). You may find you need a breaker bar to start it off - just be careful not to snap the bolt!

Remove the nut but leave the bolt in situ for now.
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Next crack the 17mm bolt that goes through the bottom of the damper. You will need a 17mm socket on a breaker bar to start it off and than a ratchet for the lower shock bolt. Note that the nut is captive inside the lower wishbone so take extra care as if the captive nut loosens, it’s a more difficult job to sort and one you can’t leave, Take is easy, going back and forth, using plus gas etc. If necessary – better to take you time and get it out than to have to start grinding wishbones! Leave it in place for now:
If you have problems with the captive nut becoming loose and the bolt just spinning and not undoing, there is a tip and trick that can be done, just ask and we will help :handgestures-thumbup:
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Now you can start to remove the bolts:
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Assuming you are replacing the drop links, you can now just cut the droplink in half
DANGER! REMEMBER to take appropriate safety precautions when using the grinder to do this, ensuring the use of appropriate PPE
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Now remove the 17mm bolt from the bottom of the suspension upright that you cracked before:
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And now drift the bolt from the upper wishbone which you removed the nut from previously. The easiest way is the knock it through with a hammer and drift it out (either with a dedicated drift or an old screwdriver with the end cut off):
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The hub should now be able to be separated from the upper wishbone
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The suspension unit (spring and shock) should now be easily removed:
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Now time to cut the droplink off. To do this, work carefully with a grinder and cut the nuts off, taking care not to cut through the wishbone bracket

DANGER! REMEMBER to take appropriate safety precautions when using the grinder to do this, ensuring the use of appropriate PPE
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Wishbone bracket for droplink, with the droplink having been cut off.
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old and new, side-by-side
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The Disclaimer:-
This post is a natural product made from recycled electrons. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects, the articles/answers/comments are provided for information purposes and they are not intended to substitute informed professional advice, I or mazdamenders.net cannot personally be hold responsible for any damage occurred from following this procedure or any injuries from it. Proceed at your own risk.


Mk 1 Eunos 93 black V.S II 1.8 ,
Mk 2 .1/4 Roadster 99 black & gold V.S 1.8 being rebuilt,
Mk 1 Eunos 90 1.6 (claimed by daughter)
MK 2.1/4 Blue V.S Roadster 1.8 99 ...being rebuilt

http://www.mx5oc.co.uk/ http://www.mx5nutz.com/forum/ http://miata.net/ http://www.autolinkuk.co.uk/
User avatar
Mazda Mender
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Posts: 12749
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:18 pm
Location: Pie land,North west
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Re: Suspension swap Mk1/2/2.5 rear

Postby Mazda Mender » Sun May 25, 2014 6:56 pm

So you should now be left with sometihng that looks like this. Now it's time to start building back up:
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Smear some copper grease on the top of the top mount -this will help to prevent squeaking
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Push the top of the damper unit into the hole, levering the bottom wishbone down if required.
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Once the top of the damper is into position, get one of the nuts onto the top mount to hold it in place. Just a few finger turns is fine – don’t bolt it down yet! This is easiest if you can get someone else to do it whilst you hold the damper in place.
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This should now leave you with the damper hanging free. Now, if you haven’t checked the alignment of the top mount and bottom damper bolt hole, now is your opportunity to twist it round into position with a sturdy piece of bar .
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Once you have the alignment right, put some copper grease into the captive nut.
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And into to metal tube in the lower damper bush. This will help prevent the bolts from seizing for next time you have to do any work
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As we are replacing the drop link in this how-to, you now need to put copper grease on the threads of the new drop link. You would do the same if you were using the old drop link too!
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Next attached the drop link to the lower wishbone. For the mk2/2.5 you need either an allen key (OE) or a thin spanner (some aftermarket) to hold the ball joint in place whilst you tighten it down.
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Now, using a scissor jack (the one from the boot usually), put it under the bottom wishbone (near where the hub attaches to the lower wishbone and use it to lift the wishbone up, remembering to guide the bottom of the damper into the lower wishbone and the top of the hub into the upper wishbone.

Top Tip..... Do not tighten everything back up to stop dead tight once all bolts /nuts and drop link are in place ,leave them loose until everything is in place, while the scissor jack is in place and putting the damper under pressure ,jack the wishbone/damper so it is under load conditions and then tighten all bolts/nuts to torque or doulbe Grrrr, please use common sense while doing this, doing it this way will stop the suspension sitting high when finished as a lot of owners make the mistake of tightening everything up while everything is hanging down loose which will make the suspension sit to high. :handgestures-thumbup:
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Replace the bolt that connects the top of the hub into the upper wishbone, this is where your old cut down screwdriver comes in very handy again as a guide for aligning up to be able to push the bolt back through.
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And put copper grease on the nut and the bolt head for protection
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And now put the lower wishbone bolt in to connect the damper at the lower end.
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Now using the jack to get everything into position, and a little bit of manual manipulation, you need to connect the top of the drop link to the anti roll bar.
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That's everything done in this wheel arch but there's a bit more to do in the boot. Best to do this once you have finished doing both rear dampers though and once the car is back on the floor!

Firstly start by tightening the top mount nuts.
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And don't forget some copper grease to minimise seizure
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Before replacing the trim, double check that you have reconnected the fuel filler and breather tubes!
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The Disclaimer:-
This post is a natural product made from recycled electrons. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects, the articles/answers/comments are provided for information purposes and they are not intended to substitute informed professional advice, I or mazdamenders.net cannot personally be hold responsible for any damage occurred from following this procedure or any injuries from it. Proceed at your own risk.


Mk 1 Eunos 93 black V.S II 1.8 ,
Mk 2 .1/4 Roadster 99 black & gold V.S 1.8 being rebuilt,
Mk 1 Eunos 90 1.6 (claimed by daughter)
MK 2.1/4 Blue V.S Roadster 1.8 99 ...being rebuilt

http://www.mx5oc.co.uk/ http://www.mx5nutz.com/forum/ http://miata.net/ http://www.autolinkuk.co.uk/
User avatar
Mazda Mender
Site Admin
Posts: 12749
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:18 pm
Location: Pie land,North west
Contact:

Re:Front Suspension swap Mk1/2/2.5 using Meister R

Postby Mazda Mender » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:55 am

Now time to do the front suspension units. These are a bit more involved than the rear ones and potentially a bit more brute force is needed but as with everything on these little roadsters, if you can wield a spanner you can do this!

NOTE: If you have ABS, the first step is to disconnect the ABS bracket from the damper. These are held on by a small 10mm bolt.
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Now, the next thing to do is to disconnect the upper wishbone from the hub. On the mk2 we are using here this is held on by a nylon locking nut. On the mk1 it has a castle nut and split pin. The former isn’t too tricky. The castle nut ideally needs the split pin removed however this can be a real pain if it’s not been touched before. I tend to use a pair of long nosed pliers and a small drift to get it out. Of course, there are occasions when it just won’t budge, in which case use the drift and the pliers, wrap the split pin down so that the standard socket can fit over the nut (it’s a 17mm) and using a breaker bar undo it and snap the split pin. Then drift out what is left in the ball joint. If you have to go with this, it will take some leverage but it will snap!
Anyway, in all instances, using a 17mm socket and breaker bar start to undo the nut.

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Once it has cracked you can get a ring spanner or ratchet on it to undo it.
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Remove it completely and then put it back on a couple of turns.
NOTE: It’s crucial that you take the nut off and then put it back on as you need it to be loose. The thread it attaches to is the ball joint and putting it back on helps keep you safe when you split the joint – the last thing you want is to have it split but not be able to get the nut off!
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Now move onto the bolt attaching the damper to the lower wishbone. Again, use a breaker bar to get the joint cracked
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Once it has cracked you can revert to the ratchet – it makes it much quicker!
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Then it time to cut the drop link (mk2 / 2.5 only!).
REMEMBER – SAFETY FIRST!!
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Everything should be loose now so time to start removing bolts. Start by drifting out the lower damper bolt
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Then it’s time to crack the upper ball joint:
Video on how to crack/split the top ball joint from the up right....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=713AyfKqODY

This will give you something that should look like this:
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Undo the nut on the bottom of this joint and the upper wishbone / hub should split apart
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With everything free, it’s now time to remove the damper 

With a long metal bar positioned as below
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And a couple of feet, lever the two wishbones down and remove the wishbone
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Now that everything Is out of the way, you need to finish grinding off the drop link, by cutting off the nuts that secure them
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That’s it – time to build back up!

As ever, start with some copper grease on the top mount to prevent squeaking!
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Manoeuvre the damper into place – you are likely to need your feet again here!
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Get a second pair of hands, if possible, to attach a nut to the top of the top mount once it is in position
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And take the opportunity to adjust the alignment of the bottom of the damper (if possible and necessary)
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Top Tip..... Do not tighten everything back up to stop dead tight once all bolts /nuts and drop link are in place ,leave them loose until everything is in place, while the scissor jack is in place and putting the damper under pressure ,jack the wishbone/damper so it is under load conditions and then tighten all bolts/nuts to torque or doulbe Grrrr, please use common sense while doing this, doing it this way will stop the suspension sitting high when finished as a lot of owners make the mistake of tightening everything up while everything is hanging down loose which will make the suspension sit to high. :handgestures-thumbup:

Get some copper grease on the bolt for the lower wishbone
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And attach the new drop link, remembering to put copper grease on the threads, note the old cut down screwdriver for helping as a alignment aid.
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Using the scissor jack under the lower wishbone, raise the wishbone up and align the lower wishbone with the bottom of the damper. It’s useful to have an old screwdriver of similar to help with this
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Position the bolt in place and tighten, using a ring spanner and a ratchet
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If you have ABS don’t forget to reconnect the ABS sensor to the damper.
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And make sure every nut and bolt has some copper grease on for protection
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That’s it – you’re done. Get the wheels back on and the car back on the ground. Once you’ve done this, you need to tighten the top mount nuts in the engine bay, including replacing the strut brace if you had one.
And remember, ENJOY IT!


These next couple of pics are to show you the differences between the MK 1 to the Mk 2/2.5 ( please note that the MK 2 as a split pin to like the Mk 1 below) also take note of the difference in drop links and drop link brackets on the MK 1 they are held in place with two 14mm bolts and nuts.
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The Disclaimer:-
This post is a natural product made from recycled electrons. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects, the articles/answers/comments are provided for information purposes and they are not intended to substitute informed professional advice, I or mazdamenders.net cannot personally be hold responsible for any damage occurred from following this procedure or any injuries from it. Proceed at your own risk.


Mk 1 Eunos 93 black V.S II 1.8 ,
Mk 2 .1/4 Roadster 99 black & gold V.S 1.8 being rebuilt,
Mk 1 Eunos 90 1.6 (claimed by daughter)
MK 2.1/4 Blue V.S Roadster 1.8 99 ...being rebuilt

http://www.mx5oc.co.uk/ http://www.mx5nutz.com/forum/ http://miata.net/ http://www.autolinkuk.co.uk/

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