View Full Version : I've got these fancy shocks - just wish I kew what the hell to do with them :)

02-16-2011, 04:45 AM
So I have these C-ONE coilovers that I bought here for my Alltrac.

The problem is I don't even know anything about "struts" - and these shocks came disassemble with no instructions at all - plus they are long since discontinued from C-ONE.

So - anyway - it is clear here that I am clueless.

I have these shocks and I am taking guesses as to where they go and how they should be assembled - any corrections would be greatly appreciated, as I want to install these this next weekend.

So - here is the basic lineup of what I have:


So - I am probably all wrong with my asumptions here - I just want to know....

On the right is the taller shock - I think that is for the front.

On the left the shorter guy is for the rear.

Note that I display only one of each - of course i have two of each. Same with the springs - noting that they are different diameters and rates.

I am thinking the "beefier" ones are for the front - and the "skinny" ones are for the rear.

Yet I have these two little "helper" springs - and there ar only two of those - so they only go on one or the other.

I am thinking these go on the rears.

So more pics here:

More detail on what I think is for the rear wheels:


More detail on what I think is for the front wheels:


So I don't really know about these little "helper springs" - I think they go on the rear shocks:


So - idk - how do I figure this stuff all out and assemble these things and install correctly?


Maybe I just bought a bag of goods here?

02-16-2011, 06:05 AM
The struts w/ the camber plates go on the front.

The main springs (longer ones) go on the bottom spring perch. There should be a mid perch that goes on top with the tender spring on top.

PS: Looks like decent shocks but not really "fancy". I think fancy I think like...


Moton Club Sports w/ external reservoir (runs around $4500).

02-16-2011, 07:05 AM
Joey youd think those were fancy too if you were used to riding on a buckboard carriage behind a horse. (age joke. LOLZ).

02-24-2011, 02:03 AM
Well - that's a good point Luni - "fancy is as fancy does" and I just guess it depends on what you are accustomed to.

I think I have figured out how these things go together pretty much with your help here and some reading at to find this link:


This link does show a good photo of the assembled shocks. I was a bit confused because the way I received these - it seems that the "perches" for the tender springs were mixed - one on the front shock and one on the rear when both should have been on the rear. I think these springs go on the top of the rears between the main spring (lower) and tender spring (upper) with two each od the orange colored gasket things on each side of the perch.

When I translated this Japanese website from C-ONE it said the shocks had spring rates of 10kGf/mm front and 8kGf/mm rear and height adjustment of 20mm-40mm. So - it would be great to know what the heck that means! I understand spring rates - but something is missing here.

What I am still a bit confused about - how to adjust the height of these? I thought for a coilover shock you had TWO adjustments - the spring rate and the height.

The spring rate you adjust with the large spanner rinds at the bottom perch - by preloading the spring with some compression. Then - the height is adjusted by changing the length of the strut by threading the lower portion hat connects to the knuckle up or down to change the effective length of the strut.

Yet my shocks do not have this construction to change the length of the lower portion of the strut - they only seem to have the adjustment to change the spring preload.

There are some other nuts - little 2mm thick nuts at the top of the shock - that seem to me to be for rebuilding the shock part it self (pulling out the innards of the shock absorber part) - yet they are all buggered like somebody has been gronking on them before.

02-24-2011, 02:39 AM
With your kit you just use the spanner nut to adjust the ride height. With the ones that adjust with moving the tube they keep the strut at full extension. So those struts you don't have to worry about hitting a large bump and the spring coming off the perch. With your struts I think that is why they added those light weight spring to keep the spring seated in the perch when the strut is fully extended.

When you talk about spring rate also that is only talking about the spring its self. Preload can change where in the curve you are on a spring with a certain spring rate.

Hey joey where is the best place to measure from for adjusting the coilovers? I know using scales and corner balancing is the best way to go with adjustable struts.

02-24-2011, 06:23 AM
That's pre-load, NOT spring rate, you can't effectively adjust spring rate without replacing the spring *LINEAR SPRINGS*

Sounds like you can't change pre-load, that the pre-load IS the height adjustment.

02-25-2011, 01:47 AM
That's pre-load, NOT spring rate, you can't effectively adjust spring rate without replacing the spring *LINEAR SPRINGS*

Sounds like you can't change pre-load, that the pre-load IS the height adjustment.

Thanks for all the info guys.

Yep - I mixed up the concept of spring rate and preload.

The spring rate would be fixed - a parameter dependent on the material that makes the spring, the pitch of the spring, etc. According to the translation of the C-ONE web page above:

ST185 (the RC limited car which is included)
- The front and the rear pyro upper you attach, (front camber adjustment system) 
- Attenuation power stationary type 
- Spring rate: Fr: 98.0N/mm (10.0kgf/mm) Rr: 78.4N/mm (8.0kgf/mm)

So - this would mean - as an example - that the front spring will compress 1mm for each increment of 98.0 Newton of force? Thus if I was to round that off to 100 Newton then for 500 Newton of force the spring would compress 5mm? And this is built in to the design of the spring and is always the same - so long as the spring is kept within the limits of it's maximum ratings?

The "preload" is the amount of compression put on the spring in an "idle state" - such as when the car is supported by jack stands, wheels are off, and there is no load at all on the strut assembly. "Zero preload" is assumed to be that in this position the lower spanner rings are adjusted such that the spring can barely be turned by hand?

My assumption is that the greater the preload on the spring - the stiffer the ride. My assumption is also that for a "city or highway" setup I would want a softer ride for comfort, and a higher ride height so I don't bottom out the shocks or scrape the fender wells with the tires.

For high performance driving, cutting curves on a flat road, I would think I would want a stiff setup with as low a height setting as possible without scraping the tires?

So - if my only way to adjust height is to INCREASE preload then I have the stiffest ride at the maximum height - and the softest ride at the minimum height - the exact opposite of what my assumptions dictate.

Well - it IS what it IS - as my boss likes to say. Yet I did have ne idea I wanted to pass by you all about these C-ONE coilovers - check this quote from the bottom of that web page translation:

* Height span of adjustable range differs depending upon the kit, but evenly it is 20mm - 40mm. Outer case screw cutting section everything is not span of adjustable range.
* The case where the height is adjusted, the tire & the wheel are removed, in jacking-up state the private wrench (2) due to the work is necessary, (the wrench has not belonged). Usual parking when state and jacking-up where the tire & the wheel are installed are not done, it cannot modify the height while travelling.
* Operational feeling and riding comfort there are times when noise occurs unlike normal, by installing the kit.
* Spring rate numerical value: N (Newton) /mm (kgf/mm)

The main thing about this is that it infers to me that the height is independently adjustable - the statement "Height span of adjustable range differs depending upon the kit, but evenly it is 20mm - 40mm. Outer case screw cutting section everything is not span of adjustable range".

Of course - the translation leaves much to be desired - and there are no "instruction manuals" available.

Still - as I mentioned earlier - these shocks have this other "nut" - it is at the top of the shock section of the strut - and all of the shocks have this nut chewed up like it has been turned many times. It is a very flimsy nut - only ~2mm thick.

Here are some pics of the worst one:


This seems to me like it might be a height adjustment - as would it not be possible to adjust the height by RAISING the upper part of the strut to increase the effective length?

Another view of the same shock:


These very fragile looking ~2mm "nuts" seem to have been tuned on many times as they are all chewed up.

In any event - right now I just hope to get these shocks on without fucking with those nuts - but I have a real need to start out with a high ride height - I have P205-60 tires on this car and also a big dip in my driveway - so until I get other suspension/running gear questions out of the way I am more interested in not banging up my nose than hanging curves.

02-25-2011, 02:51 AM
The nuts seem to be retaining a strut insert to the housing. The factory front shocks are that way.

Like it says though, differs depending on the kit.

The ones I've seen that are separately height adjustable have the lower portion of the strut housing as a separate tube that is also threaded. Like these Megans:


See how the lower area is separate and retained with a lock nut on the threaded strut housing? I can't really tell with your pictures but yours don't appear to have that capacity.

02-25-2011, 01:10 PM
Yea, it does say "depends on the kit" - and that top nut does look like it for removing the insert for rebuild.

I'll just put them all on and try to get a fair amount of preload for the time being.

I need to find some spanners for them because I did not get those.

03-05-2011, 01:46 AM
So I'm getting ready to install those things this weekend.

I think maybe now I understand a few things a little better about them - but wanted to run this by anybody with more experience than me (which is about everybody).

Basically - the ride height is a function of the length of the strut - correct?

The "stiffness" of the ride is a function of the amount of preload on the spring - correct?

In my case both the ride height and stiffness are controlled by the amount of preload on the spring - and this also controls the amount of travel the strut has before bottoming out.

If I adjust the bottom perch up towards the top - the strut gets shorter - lowering the ride height - and at the same time increasing the stiffness and decreasing the travel - correct?

The primary concerns are the ride height being right for my tires not bottoming out and the travel being enough to accommodate the type of driving I am planning on (i.e. smooth roads or potholes) and less the "stiffness" because these springs are already allot stiffer than stock and that stiffness will not change so much with adjustments in ride height (within reason) - correct?

With nothing else to go on - a good starting point would be to pre-adjust the things such that they are the same length as the stock struts - correct?

One other note - I have no instructions for putting these things together correctly but think I have figured out where everything goes. Yet for assembly all I have is the BGB for the stock struts. This shows hat I need to tighten the top inside threaded nut through the "swivel bearing" to the threaded end of the top of the shock to 34 ft./lb. If I read the BGB correctly and use my own common sense this must be done with no spring pressure (bottom perch completely loose).

So the BGB has this SST that must not only compress the spring (which I don't need) but also keep the shock shaft from turning while torquing the top nut.

So - the only way I can think to do this is to clamp the shock shaft just beneath the bumper with vise grips and a rag while I torque the top nut. Is there a better way?

03-05-2011, 06:16 AM
Stiffness isn't changed by the preload (unless it's a progressive spring, which is unlikely for coil-overs). The preload is used to take up weight for the suspension for corner balancing the car (linear springs have the same spring rate throughout their travel).

Ride height seems to be your main concern. Focus on that. Sounds like performance isn't really the high point so don't worry so much about the corner balance. If the height is roughly the same you should be fine.

As to the springs being too stiff... well... the only option you really have is to get softer springs (measure the length and inside diameter of the spring and order from any of the major spring manufacturers). As to what is a good spring rate for you... I've got no idea. I don't know what your tolerance is vs how much performance you want.