R50/R53 :: Hatch Talk (2002-2006) Cooper (R50) and Cooper S (R53) hatchback discussion.

R50/53 - R50/53 Installed a lift kit today.

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Old 02-23-2019, 06:16 PM
Husky44
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Installed a lift kit today.

Replaced the factory struts with Bilstein B4s today.along with Ireland fixed camber plates. Reused the factory springs. Car sits about 1-1/2" taller now. I liked the old stance, but now I have a huge fender gap and it sits noticeably higher from the drivers seat.

Ride seems good, only got in a short test drive. I need to do the rears tomorrow.

Hoping this settles quite a bit. In Mustangs, springs determine ride height, dampers don't have any impact on height. The old struts were shot, but I wouldn't have expected this much height change.

I really don't want to have to mess with getting the struts back into the steering knuckles again, but if things don't change, I may be looking for lowering springs and different dampers.
 
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:10 AM
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Clicking on this thread,
I expected to see something like this:




Hopefully they will settle --- I've read some previous threads where that was the case.

Maybe someone with personal experience can weigh in.

I've yet to do the struts on my car and they're overdue as the previous owner installed Vogtland lowering springs but kept the OE shocks.

I've got a set of Bilstein B6's ready to go on probably in March when in gets warm.
 
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:31 AM
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I was expecting to see a photo by OP similar to this. No photo to humor us so I have to find one. Harder than I thought.




 
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:47 AM
Husky44
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I know I needed pics, but didn't have an opportunity to take any last night.

Any of the above would be good representations of what I felt like I had. Hoping it looks better in the morning light.
 
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldboy Speedwell View Post
Clicking on this thread,
I expected to see something like this:




Hopefully they will settle --- I've read some previous threads where that was the case.

Maybe someone with personal experience can weigh in.

I've yet to do the struts on my car and they're overdue as the previous owner installed Vogtland lowering springs but kept the OE shocks.

I've got a set of Bilstein B6's ready to go on probably in March when in gets warm.
This person obviously wanted a monster truck but couldn’t afford one.
 
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Husky44 View Post
Replaced the factory struts with Bilstein B4s today.along with Ireland fixed camber plates. Reused the factory springs. Car sits about 1-1/2" taller now. I liked the old stance, but now I have a huge fender gap and it sits noticeably higher from the drivers seat.

Ride seems good, only got in a short test drive. I need to do the rears tomorrow.

Hoping this settles quite a bit. In Mustangs, springs determine ride height, dampers don't have any impact on height. The old struts were shot, but I wouldn't have expected this much height change.

I really don't want to have to mess with getting the struts back into the steering knuckles again, but if things don't change, I may be looking for lowering springs and different dampers.
I suspect that there's something else going on here. Are you absolutely sure that everything got reassembled correctly?

I've installed under tower plates on two cars now....IE plates on a r52 a few years back along with Koni struts....and most recently another brand of plates that are essentially the same as the IE ones along with b4 struts. Both times, the ride height change after installation was virtually indistinguishable. In theory, height should only change by about a 1/4" (the thickness of the IE plates).

Were your old strut mounts completely shot and ripped?....I suppose if that's the case, then your pre-install ride height could have been crazy low because of that. 1 1/2" of ride height change just seems excessive from my experience and makes me suspect that there's something else going on. The dampers don't really have any bearing on ride height.

I will say that when I installed the b4's on my car, I had a hell of a time getting them to slip down into the knuckles. It was a TIGHT fit compared to other struts I've used. Did you get them to go all the way in? If not, that would definitely cause a ride height issue.
 
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:46 PM
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+1 for what FastLane wrote. Make sure the strut is all the way seated in the knuckle.

Springs settle, shocks break in (seals?). Since you’re reusing your springs there is no settling that will happen.

The B4 struts are pretty stiff initially, but after 500-1000 miles they have a great firm ride.
 
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:48 PM
Husky44
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OK, looking at pictures, I may be exaggerating... but from the driver's seat, it feels noticeably taller.

BEFORE:



AFTER (trying to get as close as possible to the same shot; camera is a little lower this time, I think, which might make the fender gap look bigger?)


Struts are definitely seated in the knuckle fully. What a PITA. Glad to hear I'm not the only one that found these a challenge to get into the knuckle. That's why I don't really want to do it again!

Original mounts were in surprisingly good shape. No tears, not deformed. The dealer told me during the PPI that the towers were mushroomed... Not by much, if at all. Had no problems getting new plates in without having to do any 2x4 straightening of towers; you have to put a straight-edge on them to see any deformity (the PPI was money well spent to give me a heads up on the kind of service I could expect from the local dealership :( )

Things look a little better in the light of day... It's not like I've got extra $$ to burn to change out everything if I don't like it.
 
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:08 PM
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Okay, that looks to be more like the difference between brand new struts vs old worn out ones.

Just think of it as the height the car was when it was brand new! It’ll likely drop a little over time.
 
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Old 02-25-2019, 05:37 AM
Tgriffithjr
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Looks good to me.
 
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Old 02-25-2019, 07:36 AM
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Totally normal like new back in 2004.



Just not too exciting until I decided to invest couple of thousands to make it more fun as a daily driver as none in my family want it.



Desire is almost bad **** now but still only has a 15%.

 

Last edited by pnwR53S; 02-25-2019 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:23 AM
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Excuse my ignorance.....but why would anyone want to raise a car that's made to hug the roads and handle like a gokart? Seems counter productive to me...unless for some crazy reason you are going to put off road tires on it or something....which also seems like a horrible idea.
 
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by iqraceworks View Post
excuse my ignorance.....but why would anyone want to raise a car that's made to hug the roads and handle like a gokart? Seems counter productive to me...unless for some crazy reason you are going to put off road tires on it or something....which also seems like a horrible idea.
+1
 
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