Replace The Shocks And Springs on a Lotus Elise
The Elise and Exige have a double wishbone suspension with coil-over shocks (aka dampeners). This guide is specifically made for those vehicles but would be very similar to any other double wishbone suspension vehicle.
This is one of the easiest modifications you can do to the Elise. There is no need to compress the springs and they are all only held on by 2 bolts.
- A Hydraulic Jack and Jack Stands or a Lift
- Torque Wrench
- 17mm socket and ratchet like My favorite: GearWrench
- 17mm opened-end wrench
- A Breaker Bar
Lift the Vehicle
You'll need to lift the wheels off the ground. I'd suggest removing the engine belly pan and putting the car up on jack stands.
Remove the Wheels
Finish removing the lug bolts you loosened previously, and set the wheels aside.
Remove the Lower Shock Bolt
Start with the bottom bolt. I used a 17mm socket and an extension to make things easy. Keep in mind its a nut and bolt, so you'll have to use a 17mm wrench on the opposite side.
Remove the bolts and set them aside, there should be a washer on each side.
Remove the Upper Shock Bolt
The top bolt is much the same, except you'll have less space to work. Use a 17mm open-end wrench on one side and ratchet on the other.
Note that the front shocks uses additional spacers between the ears of the mounting points and the shock.
Remove the Shock and Spring
The shock (dampener) and spring can be removed as a single unit, so just wiggle them out.
Install Your New Shocks
Install your new shocks in place, replace the appropriate washers, spacers and slide the bolts back into place. Torque the bolts to 45 ft-lbs.
If your new shocks have a remote reservoir you'll need to mount those as well.
Re-Install the Wheels
Place the wheels back onto the hub, centering them over the holes in the hub.
Now screw in each lug bolt by hand as far as it'll go. Periodically wiggle the wheel to help seat the screws as far as you can by hand.
I usually tighten the bolts with a wrench at this point, holding the tire with my thigh.
Then when the vehicle is back on the ground, use a torque wrench to tighten the lugs down to 77 ft-lbs.
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