You have already seen the results of Project86’s latest little makeover, this is how we got there. I am a firm believer that rims and a proper drop are what makes a car. I loved everything about the
Scion FR-S Toyota 86, except the rims. I think they are just terrible. If they had made them a single color they would have been much better. So before I even had the car I called our friends at Mackin and secured a set of 18″ Gram Light 57 Xtreme in winning blue.
To get rid of the ugly wheel gap I decided to go green, specifically Tein. I decided on the Tein Flex series damper because I wanted to get a setup that had the camber plates in the front and dampening adjustment. The flex didn’t break the bank either, they can be found for a little over $1,600. I also like that they are JDM. They will allow you to drop your car up to 1.8 inches in the front and 2.8 inches in the rear.
I didn’t want to “dump” the car, as I want to take it to auto crosses and the handling would go to shit if we did. There is still plenty of room to drop the car lower from what I am at if “dumping” is your thing.
For the install I took a ride up to see my friend Doug at East Coast Garage in Tampa. Doug used to be a mechanich/sales guy at the old Racing Zone Autohouse in Orlando and had his own shop in Orlando for a while. He has recently moved to Tampa and brought back East Coast Garage.
Tein Flex Features:
• Steel Construction
• Twin Tube internal construction
• Ride Height adjustable via threaded body and spring seats
• 16 way adjustable dampers, compression and rebound combined
• Pillow ball upper mounts for increased steering feel
• Upper camber adjustment on front for strut type vehicles
• Larger piston diameter for strut type front and rear (22mm)
• EDFC (Electronic Damping Force Controller) compatible
• Powder coated brackets with Teflon coated shock body for heavy duty rust prevention
• 1-year Manufacturers Defect Warranty
The very first thing we did was to set the coiolvers to the inital height we wanted. There are 3 collars on the coiolvers. The top one sets the preload, the middle one locks the preload and the bottom one sets the ride height. We choose to leave the top collar that locks the preload alone and bring the bottom two up to it. This is easily done by holding the strut and spinning it. Once they are all up you can tighten them using the tools Tein provides. You can see where we set the coils in the picture below. You can also see them next to the stock ones.
This will lower the car a little over 1 1/4 inches. This also leaved the preload on the springs from Tein intact. We preset the dampening using the little tool from Tein to 10 on the rears. For the fronts we did 10 on the passenger side and 13 on the driver side to account for the drivers weight.
The next step is to get the car up on the lift or jacked up and supported via jack stands, and take off the wheels. The install was really a breeze, especially if you have someone who has installed hundreds of sets of Tein coilovers. We choose to tackle the rears first. Access to the rears on the 86 is really easy. Remove the bottom trunk cover and then all you need to do is pull a few pop tabs from the lining in the trunk and remove them.
Once you do that you will see the top two nuts that secure the rear struts and you can remove them. Next go under the car and remove the 17mm nut on the rear control arm that holds the strut in. Also remove the nut to the outside of control arm. Once this is done you can lower the control arm which will allow you to pull the stock setup out.
Now slip your preset Tein coilover back aligning the top studs into the factory holes. It helps if you have a helper to hand tighten the nuts to hold it in place. Hell this would be impossible with one person. Then tighten them all the way to 22 ft lbs.
Next you move the control arm back up into place. Doug had a special tool for this, if you are doing it on jackstands you could use a jack. Make sure the holes line up and re insert the bolts and tighten the nuts to 59 ft lbs. Repeat on the other side and When you are all done it should look like this. Then you can reinsert the rear panels and bottom cover. You are now done with the rear.
Next we moved on to the fronts. The first step is to remove the swaybar end link from the strut. It is the nut show at the bottom left of the strut below.
Next you remove the brake line from the bracket holding it to the strut assembly. The last step is to remove the abs line from the strut. It is held in with a little clip. Once the clip is off the assembly open it and then transfer it to the Tein unit. You remove this by popping it out with a screw driver, carefully. Once off the line set it aside to be swapped onto the Tein unit. Now remove the two bolts holding the strut in. Once that is done you can carefully tilt the brake caliper/rotor setup away from the car. It is heavy so do it slowly.
Now the whole assembly is only being held in by the 3 nuts at the top. Have one person hold the strut and remove them. Now you can slide the strut out. The fronts are side specific, but it would be impossible to put them in wrong. Now just insert the Tein unit into the holes and add the nuts back and tighten to 114 ft lbs.
Now you can go about reversing the removal process. Repeat on the other side, put your wheels back on and you are done!
Here are some pics from after the install. I will do a review of how it handles later after the alignment.