DIY: ARK Performance GT-F Lowering Springs Installation Guide

TEAM ARK

Authorized Vendor
Hey offroading guys! (a little height joke... :cool: )


Here is a DIY installation guide of our GT-F lowering springs. Please note the color of the springs in the photos is a test color. GT-F springs are orange.


Tools needed:

10mm socket
13mm socket
17mm socket
19mm socket
17mm crescent wrench

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To prepare for the spring installment have your car on the lift or jack stands with all 4 wheels off the ground and have the hood open. If you cannot have all four wheels off the ground at the same time we recommend at least two wheels off the ground. Front as a pair and/or rear as a pair. Remove your wheels and set aside.


Starting in the rear, we must first disconnect the headlight sensor on the driver side by popping the clip out to release the sensor. A 10mm socket is then used to unbolt and remove the cover underneath the lower control arm.

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Use the 17mm socket to remove the linkage bolt connecting lower control arm to the strut. Then unclip the suspension sensor on the strut.

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Next remove the ABS sensor with a 10mm socket.

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Switch to a 13mm socket to remove the bracket for the suspension sensors and position it off to the side.

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Brace the rear lower control arm from underneath for your safety. Then, using a 19mm wrench and impact gun, remove the 2 bolts on the lower control arm connecting the LCA to the strut and the knuckle.

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Pull down rear lower control arm and remove spring.

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To reassemble follow the steps in reverse making sure that the spring is seated flush in the groove on the lower control arm with the rubber mount replaced on top. Be sure to brace the lower control arm before tightening the strut tower and rear knuckle.

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Moving to the front of the car. A 10mm socket is used to remove the brake line bracket on the engine side of the strut. A 10mm socket is going to be used to remove the bracket behind the caliper towards the front of the car.

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Then switch to a 13mm socket to remove the bolt for the bracket above. This allows you to move the wiring out of the way in order to unclip the sensor behind the strut.

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Use a 17mm socket to remove lower strut bolts. We sprayed WD-40 around the strut bolts so that they would slide out easier. The lubricant is optional.

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TEAM ARK

Authorized Vendor
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The nut towards the top of the strut is a tricky one. Grab your 17mm crescent wrench to hold the nut in place while you use a socket wrench with an Allen key to loosen the inner bolt. The link should slide out.

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Unbolt the outer tier rod. First remove the holding pin. A 19mm is the used to remove bolt on steering knuckle. Grab the rotor at 3 and 9 o'clock and mimic left and right turns to loosen the outer tie rod bolt and then pull out.

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We found it safer, easier, and faster to leave the top hat on the vehicle as we remove the strut and spring assembly. Place spring compressors snuggly on the spring as you prepare for the next step. From the engine bay. unbolt the top nut from the strut by using a 19mm socket then tilt the strut and springs assembly towards you. Be mindful of the fender while you pull it out. Remove the top hat from the vehicle by using a 14mm socket to remove the three nuts that hold it in place.

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We used a compressor to compress the spring before reinstalling the top hat. If you do not have a compressor, manual spring compressors must be used. Since we did not remove the brakes from the lower control arm one must carefully clear the fender upon reinstallation so as to not scratch the vehicle itself when replacing the strut with the newly installed spring.

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And that's it! Please consult with your Kia Stinger expert on torque specs on all stock nuts and bolts.
 

JDM_Man

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I thought the springs were orange, are they gold?
 

SKStinger

Active Member
I followed this guide to install Eibach springs on the rear. I plan to do the same for the fronts in a few days and will report back.

It's a great guide, thorough and easy to follow. A couple tips when doing the rears that differ from the guide and will save you time:

1. You don't need to remove the lower control arm covers.
2. The ABS sensor doesn't need to be completely removed, just unclipped and positioned out of the way.

The rears are an easy job even without a lift. It took me 1 hour to do the drivers side and only 30 minutes for the passenger side and this was being very meticulous.
 
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Waynerm002

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Has the springs dropped anymore since you have had them? I'm a little concerned with the 1"+ drop on the AWD and it causing issues with the ECS over time.
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JDM_Man

Active Member
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Has the springs dropped anymore since you have had them? I'm a little concerned with the 1"+ drop on the AWD and it causing issues with the ECS over time.
Factory suspension sags more then 1 inch after some time and ECS still works fine. Hell in my old A4 the factory suspension sagged 2+ inches and ECS still worked perfectly.

I don't think it will be an issue as ECS is designed to operate during all times, not just when the car is level (think cornering or in a skid, its not level).
 

SKStinger

Active Member
Factory suspension sags more then 1 inch after some time and ECS still works fine. Hell in my old A4 the factory suspension sagged 2+ inches and ECS still worked perfectly.

I don't think it will be an issue as ECS is designed to operate during all times, not just when the car is level (think cornering or in a skid, its not level).
Completely agree. My 2010 Audi A4 Avant looks lowered the stock suspension has sagged so much and no issues with ECS.

I also had my 2009 A5 lowered on KW Height Adjustable Springs for 100,000 km's and had 0 issues. That car sat lower than the Stinger will with the Eibach pro kit springs.
 

Waynerm002

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I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing, I'm referencing the Electronically Controlled Shocks, not Electronic Stability Control which is what you guys seem to be alluding to. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

JDM_Man

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I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing, I'm referencing the Electronically Controlled Shocks, not Electronic Stability Control which is what you guys seem to be alluding to. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Yes that was what I was talking about, derp! lol.

But back to the same conclusion, factory suspension will sag just as much if not MORE then 1 inch after some time, and this is factored into shocks when they are built.

However I did ask ARK about this a while ago and they advised it won't cause an issue since its the MOST TAME lowering spring. It only lowers the car 1 inch for AWD (.75 for RWD) vs up to 1.75 inches for AWD (other manufacturers).

If you DID have any doubts though this would be the spring to get.
 

SKStinger

Active Member
I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing, I'm referencing the Electronically Controlled Shocks, not Electronic Stability Control which is what you guys seem to be alluding to. Correct me if I'm wrong.
I was thinking you meant the shocks. Both my Audi's had Audi Drive Select which allows you to control the firmness of the suspension.
 

Waynerm002

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Ok, yep, thanks for that clarification. I think KIA should have given us 3 choices for the suspension instead of 2, with the 3rd being a more buttoned down feel. I'm thinking of getting the springs since the sway bar have been on back order and lowering the height a bit should help with the lean as well.
______________________________
 

JDM_Man

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Ok, yep, thanks for that clarification. I think KIA should have given us 3 choices for the suspension instead of 2, with the 3rd being a more buttoned down feel. I'm thinking of getting the springs since the sway bar have been on back order and lowering the height a bit should help with the lean as well.
You could also grab some Burger Motorsports strut brace replacements (they should be stiffer) and there are some options for chassis stiffing bars.
 

SKStinger

Active Member
I followed this guide to install the front driver's side Eibach spring yesterday. It is still a time consuming job. It took me 3 hours to do the one side. I'm hoping the passenger side will take substantially less now that I know the routine.

Some advice/observations:

1. Apply painters tape around the fender edge to protect the paint from scratches. The clearance is very tight when removing and installing the strut assembly.

2. Make sure you have a compact set of short spring compressors like the ones pictured as there isn't a lot of spring to grab. Mine are long and bulky and I had to use spacers to shorten them. The compressors can't extend into the strut mount area otherwise you won't have room to drop the assembly. Compressing the spring for removal and then refitting the assembly is by far the most difficult and time consuming part.

You do need to compress the spring to remove the assembly. The guide says "fit snugly" but my experience was that the spring needs to be compressed in order to have the clearance to remove the assembly.

3. Contrary to the guide, I had to use a large hammer to dislodge the outer tie rod. From my experience, this is the common way to break them loose. Moving the hub left and right had no impact.

4. The shock spun when I removed and also when I tightened the top hat. So a torx socket is needed to tighten it while holding the nut with a 19mm flat wrench.

5. The vehicle pictured in this guide is a RWD Stinger. The AWD has an added drive shaft on the front axle. It does drop and flex when you lower the hub assembly but it does add some resistance when reinstalling the strut assembly as you have to clear the fender and then tilt the hub back to its vertical position which is where the resistance from the drive shaft can be annoying.

6. Ensure you have the top hat in its final tightened position before attempting to reinstall the assembly into the vehicle. I measured the amount of thread exposed in comparison to the other side of the vehicle to verify that I was tight enough to fit it back on the car. If it's not, you won't have enough clearance and risk scratching your fender.
 
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SKStinger

Active Member
Passenger side front took me 2 hours. Total time: 6.5 hours. 5 hours to install the front and 1.5 hours for the rear.

To add to the above post about the front:

1. When reinstalling the strut assembly it helps to put a spring compressor on to give yourself some more clearance under the wheel arch.

2. The torx socket you need to hold the shock while tightening the top hat is a T10.

The torque specs I used were:
- Outer 19mm tie rod castle nut = 35 to 40 ft/lbs
- Lower 17mm strut bolt = 80 ft/lbs
- Top 17mm strut bolt (allen key bolt) = 80 ft/lbs
- 14mm strut mount nuts = 45 to 50 ft/lbs
- 19mm top hat nut = 30 to 40 ft/lbs. I was left with a 1/2 inch of thread exposed above the nut which is where the nut was prior to removal.
 
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