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caverman 03-28-2013 10:32 PM

My QA1 coilover install
Sorry if this is a re-post or if there are those out there that think this basic enough that it doesnít need to be posted but when I was searching around trying to see what was involved or any tips/tricks about QA1 installation I couldnít find anything. So, I figure if I had the questions or wants to see some info there has to be someone else out there in the same boat.

The installation of the QA1 is pretty straight forward. However if youíve never done it before then maybe this will help. For me pictures are worth 1000 words. I will say I wish I wouldíve take more pictures but in moment I was pretty focused on the install.

Tip #1 Ė (A MUST DO!) Purchase and use the QA1 Thrust bearings ( Take it from me who thought they wouldnít really be necessary. They are! The ability to adjust your height with or without them is like night and day. I tried without them and ended up doing the job all over again to install them. Iím actually really surprised QA1 doesnít just supply them and charge $20 more for their setup. I ended up buying the kit with their spanner wrenches because the wrench I had was short and didnít fit as well. The ones from QA1 fit right, are thin, and have a long handle for leverage.

Tip #2 Ė make sure to get some anti-seize from your local parts store to put on the threads of the shock. This is listed in their instructions and even says something about voiding the warranty if you donít use any. However what they donít list is that it needs to be fairly thick. You really shouldnít use spray on Lithium grease. Itís not thick enough. Again, this is one of those things where I donít understand why QA1 doesnít supply a little packet with each shock. I paid something like $2.50 for a whole tube or I couldíve got a small packet for about $1.50. Thatís retail prices. Why not just put a small packet with the shock and charge $5 more for the set.

Tip #3 Ė put anti-seize on all the shock threads. Then lower the spring perch way down low. This will allow you to install them pretty easy. By having the spring go down as far as it can on the shock, you can then get the top shock mount to go through the frame pretty easy. Once you have them bolted up and before you put back youíre tie rod you can easily adjust them (especially because you installed the Thrust bearings like mentioned in tip #1).

Tip #4 Ė Make sure to pull the top mounting shaft out of the shock. I had to put the nut on the end to have something to grab onto. They are stiff so donít be afraid to pull on them. Once you pull them out they will remain out.

caverman 03-28-2013 10:32 PM

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Here is a picture of what I started with. I replaced my A-arms with a set of tubular ones and I also added the QA1.

caverman 03-28-2013 10:33 PM

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This is the QA1 with Anti-seize on it. Make sure to put it on all the threads. You can wipe off the excess later once you get the height set to where you want.

I also have a picture of the way the install. The smaller end sits on the spring perch. The thin metal washer goes in between the spring perch and the locking nut.

The Thrust bearing will come with two thin metal washers per side plus the Thrust bearing. The metal washers go on top and bottom with the Thrust bearing in between. I put some bearing grease on the Thrust bearing to help keep the rollers in place. As you can see from the picture they fall out pretty easy. One of my Thrust bearings came with all of the little rollers out and I had a heck of a time getting them all back in. I also recommend not opening the bag until the very last minute and when you do so make sure you do it over a bucket to catch the little rollers if they come flying out.

Take a look at this picture to get an idea of basically how to install them. With the shock shaft pulled all the way out and the spring perch down to the very end youíll have the easiest install. I initially tried to set the spring perch about 1/3 of the way up but that also takes away about 1/3 of your mounting shaft. Without the Thrust bearings youíll be real tempted to do this because the spring perch is so hard to adjust up without them. However, with the Thrust bearing and Anti-seize itís really pretty easy to make the adjustments.

Even though I was using a lift, I brought the car all the way down so that I could use a jack to push the lower control arm up. I had a friend work the jack while I used a light and a pry bar (didnít want my fingers in there) to help maneuver the shock shaft through the frame hole. Once there is enough threads showing through then put the rubber bushing on and then the nut. Then hit it with an air wrench from the engine bay to get it pulled up.

Once thatís done you can continue to use the jack to help get the upper and lower ball joints in place. Make sure to watch your rubber boot over your ball joint before tightening up the crown nut. Mine came out of place and I had to take the nut back off, back out he ball joint again (using a shop hammer) and redo it again. Funny because Camaro Performers magazine just did an article doing tubular arm install on a í68 and I was in the picture where they messed up the boot and it was off as well. Iím sure they figured it out once they went to grease them.

The lower bolts that come with the QA1 are larger than stock. This means you will either use the stock small bolts or youíll have to drill out your A-arms for the larger bolts. I chose to drill out my holes and use the larger bolts.
Also, I put the bolts in the lower shock mounts to help hold the shock in place but I didnít put the nuts on until the end. That allowed me a little play to maneuver the shaft up through the frame when we were jacking it up.

caverman 03-28-2013 10:36 PM

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Here is my stance for now. It took me about 3 times of making my adjustments, put the tires back on, put it on the ground, and then bounce the car a little.

Right now I think it's sitting about right. If it settles a little I'll go back and adjust it up some. I ended up with the car about 1" taller than it was with the Hotchkis springs I had. Plus with the Hotckis springs my passenger side was about .75" lower. Now they are almost equal.

chevy dude 05-05-2013 07:44 AM

Just curious,how does your Camaro ride now vs before the install?I'm considering the same setup as you have for my 69 Camaro.Is the suspension feel more softer or firmer?

Mr. Nasty 05-05-2013 08:13 AM

Looking good I have the QA-1 on my 68 its a nice set up and its firmer.

caverman 05-06-2013 08:02 AM


Originally Posted by chevy dude (Post 6506705)
Just curious,how does your Camaro ride now vs before the install?I'm considering the same setup as you have for my 69 Camaro.Is the suspension feel more softer or firmer?

It's a little less firmer than it was but that's because I have the coilovers set on a 4 (out of 10). Probably the best thing about them is the ability to adjust the ride height. However, if for some reason I would like a little firmer ride I can just turn the wheel and reach the adjuster knobs and make a setting.

I'm hoping to get it out to Power Tour for a day or two at the end of the month so I'll know a lot more about their ride then.

I would definitely recommend them though.

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