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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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A 355nation How To presented by
05RadoXtreme

Project Name
How To install QA1 coilovers

Project Description
Learn how to install or replace coilovers, and modify your chassis for QA1 coilovers.

Skill Level
Moderate

Project Vehicle
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Colorado Xtreme
Year: 2005
Engine: 3.5L
Power windows: Yes
Sun Roof: Yes

Tools Needed
5mm Allen wrench
13mm socket & wrench
15mm socket & wrench
17mm socket
18mm socket
3/4" socket
9/16" socket & wrench
13/16" socket
Flathead screw driver
Adjustable wrench
Pry bar
Grinder
Jackstands
Jack
Gloves and Safety Glasses
Compressed air make this project way easier and faster

Project Time
Approximately 7 hours with one person. The more people, the better. I called Pops in to help for a little bit.

Parts List
  • QA1 Proma Star Shock, Single Adj -DS501
  • Bearing Kit
  • Stud Top Conversion SS110SDM --BE SURE TO GET THE 110 STUD, NOT THE 112- (If you get the 112 stud top, you will run out of threads and not be able to properly tighten down the bushings to the shock cap)
  • QA1 spring- #12-500
  • Spanner wrench kit
  • Spacers
  • SSK Upper Spring Perches (These are optional, but recommended) $60
  • SSK Spherical Bearing Spacers (These are optional, but recommended) $60
  • (2) Fastenal #0142793 - GR8 flange 1/2" NC x 3" bolts $3.86/ea
    A Metric equivalent would be:
    Class 10.9 Steel Flange Head Cap Screw, M14 Thread, 1.75mm Pitch, 70-80mm Long
  • (2) Fastenal #0167011 - GRG flange 1/2" NC nuts $3.21/ea
  • (2) SSK Spherical Bearing Spacers $60/pair


You can run this setup without the SSK Spherical bearing spacers, but you will have movement in the front as the bolt is not thick enough for the mounting tabs on the lower control arm, shown in the picture below.



Note: QA1 has updated a majority of their part numbers in 2011, so when ordering make sure to call Naake. They are full of information and are more than willing to help. QA1 did not update the shocks, they only updated their part numbers. The DS501 is identical to the previous DR5885B shock.

Spanner wrenches in the bag are used to adjust the ride height once installed.



Project Cost
Approximately $650*
*Your price might vary depending on your location for QA1 shipping


*It might be a good idea to measure your fender-to-ground height before starting to get an idea of your ride height before installation so that you can adjust it back when you are finished.

Installation Procedure
  1. Jack the front of the vehicle up and place it safely on jack stands, use the 3/4" socket to remove stock lug nuts. Then remove the wheels. (I was replacing the rear shocks as well, so that's why the rear was jacked up)


  2. Remove brake caliper using 13mm socket, hang it safely to the side and be sure to support it with something, like a zip tie or a bungee cord. Be careful to avoid letting the caliper hang and possibly damaging the brake line.

  3. Remove the spindle and rotor, let them hang off to the side. I supported mine with a jack, be sure not to damage the ABS cable by stretching it.

  4. Remove the sway bar mount from the lower control arm, this makes it easier to move the lower control arm around. I should have removed the sway bar to make it easier to get to but I didn't.

  5. Use the 9/16" socket and an adjustable wrench to remove lower shock mount. Be careful as the shock may be under pressure, mine moved about 1/4" when I removed the bolt.

  6. Pop the hood and use a 15mm socket to remove the 3 nuts on the top of the shock. You can get one of them inside the fender well, and the other two from under the hood. The more socket extensions you have the better, there isn't much room to move the socket if you don't have many extensions.

  7. Slowly remove the stock coilover by pressing down on the lower control arm to get it out of the way. The stock coilover should come right out with little effort.

    Steps 3, 5, and 6 shown below:


  8. Remove the stock upper shock mount from the stock coilover.

    **THIS IS DANGEROUS SINCE THE SPRING AND GAS SHOCK ARE UNDER PRESSURE**

    I headed to Autozone and got a Rent-A-Tool spring compressor for $50, made the job much easier and safer.

    After the spring compressor is in place and the spring is compressed, use a 5mm allen wrench and a 9/16" wrench to loosen the spring and shock.


  9. Grab one of your new QA1 coilovers and remove the 2 nuts, 2 bushings, and 2 metal mounts from the top.

    *I went with an SSK upper spring perches. You will also need to remove the black QA1 spring perch pictured below for this process. The SSK spherical bearing spacers are also a very smart and needed investment. The ones that come with the kit work, but you will need to force open your lower shock mounts. I did not get the SSK spacer kit, but I will upgrade ASAP.*


    You can see the differences in perches below. I would highly recommend the SSK upper spring perches, they are made so much better than the QA1 perches.
    (Black= QA1 and Silver=SSK)





    Place the SSK spacer on the top of the coil, and then place the stock shock cap, then tighten down the top of the shock. Adding a small bit of grease to the rubber bushings will help eliminate any squeaking later on.



  10. This is the fun part. Be safe while doing this. Use the grinder to trim away roughly 1/2" of the bump stop and 1/4" off the lower shock mount. This allows the QA1 to travel freely and mount properly without snagging on anything. I included a pic of what to trim away. I will grab some better pics of what it looked like after I was done trimming.




    Here are a few pics of what it looks like after the grinding and trimming. You want to make sure you trim down and inwards so that the shock can move without hitting the shock mount. You can also hit the raw metal with some spray paint to prevent rust.


  11. Install the new coilover. Make sure the shock has enough room to cycle properly. If you cut away too much, its ok as long as you are not going crazy with it, the extra room will benefit later when you adjust the height of the coilovers. This is where the Fastenal hardware comes into play for the lower shock mounts. The lower shock mount bearing has a smaller opening and DOES NOT allow you to use the factory lower shock mount bolt. I included the part numbers that I got from Fastenal just in case anyone needs them.

    I recommend installing the coilover with the damper adjustment knob facing inward, towards the motor. This allows you to easily reach in and twist the knob, instead of fumbling around the swaybar to adjust it.

    Heres a pic of the knob facing inwards.



    Now you work backwards and put everything back together, reversing the above steps.

*Make sure to keep an eye on the ride height for the next couple of weeks as the spring settles, the vehicle will slowly squat.

Here are just a few notes from this project:

  • QA1 gives these specs on the Single Adjustable coilovers like I installed:
  • There are 18 clicks of dampening adjustment on the single adjustable coilovers.
  • 0-6 clicks--Drag racing
    [*]2-8 clicks-Nice ride and smooth handling
    [*]8-12 clicks--Firm ride and improved handling
    [*]13-18 clicks Aggressive handling
  • You can send them back to Naake for servicing. They replace the seals, fluids, ect and put them on their dyno to make sure that they still hold true to their original specs. This should be done every 35,000-50,000 miles depending on how much abuse you give them. For single adjustable shocks, their price was $85ish per shock for servicing, and around $100ish for double adjustable.
Here is the link to download the newest catalog for more information.
QA1 Catalog Request & Download | Drag & Street, Circle Track & Industrial Catalogs
 

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FYI.. For those that want to also do the rear shocks...

(2) QA1 TC1661P Stocker Star AL single adjustable shock 13.50" compressed/21.00" extended
(Request with upper T-Bar mount and Steel Races)- $139.00 each (set on four clicks)

Note: the new QA1 part number is TS801

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https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cwfivnsIPvd-FUJUQF8hrJ556SviwxM6uf-o0JiPcBA/edit?usp=sharing

QA1 Part Number Cross Reference:
https://www.qa1.net/tech/documents/PartNumberCrossReference.pdf
 

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Why?...'Merica!
Joined
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3,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
FYI.. For those that want to also do the rear shocks...

(2) QA1 TC1661P Stocker Star AL single adjustable shock 13.50" compressed/21.00" extended
(Request with upper T-Bar mount and Steel Races)- $139.00 each (set on four clicks)

Note: the new part number is TS801
I might be getting those after a while, we will see how these Monroe air shocks do once it's lowered. I love these QA1 coilovers, the ride is amazing.
 

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This is one fine how-to.
Great job 05RadoXtreme!

The QA1 coilovers are key to me in enjoyment of my truck.
I could never go back.

I was concerned that the ride would be stiff..
After a few months when the springs had settled-in the ride was better than stock.

.
 

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Why?...'Merica!
Joined
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3,134 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
This is one fine how-to.
Great job 05RadoXtreme!

The QA1 coilovers are key to me in enjoyment of my truck.
I could never go back.

I was concerned that the ride would be stiff..
After a few months when the springs had settled-in the ride was better than stock.

.
I've only had mine in for a week and it rides better than stock :th_woot:
 

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When I had my QA1's installed I failed to get a fresh copy of the soft isolator piece that sits under the perch.. My originals were in decent shape so we re-used them.

I want to replace them soon though, so if the SSK perch were available I'd buy a set.
 

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Congratulations on completion. :thumbup:
Go for a drive.
 

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I wonder if the dimensions can be made public so I can see about making a set in the future when I make it I to the QA1 realm....
Here ya go...

Well, I'm was experiencing the usual issues out of my QA1's - split upper bushings, bowed out washers, sagging lower mount - so I decided to solve the issue. PM'd Ron a drawing, gave him a call, and here you have the result...

This is based entirely off of twgiffin's drawing, but as short as I was comfortable making it:


Thanks Ron for the great work!
 
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