How To: Install BC Racing Coil-Overs in 2010 Camaro SS - PlanetLSX
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How To: Install BC Racing Coil-Overs in 2010 Camaro SS

Writer: Aaron Weber, Photographer: Author

Posted at 6:50 AM / August 12, 2010

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Get your new Camaro closer to the tarmac with a set of adjustable coil-overs.
Get your new Camaro closer to the tarmac with a set of adjustable coil-overs.

BC Racing recently released their BR series single adjustable coil-overs for the 2010 Camaro. Their kits for the Camaro cousins GTO & G8 have been receiving great reviews, so we wanted to put our hands on a set and judge for ourselves. In addition to their price point, these coil-overs have some attractive features. They are solidly constructed and professionally finished including plated metal locking rings. The lower lock ring has a concave face that works to keep the body locked and prevent noise. The shocks are single adjustable, meaning both compression and rebound can be adjusted with a single turn of the knob to the tune 30 different settings. The rear units come with remote extenders for easy adjustment of the rear shock valving. The ride height is fully adjustable with no shock bumpstops to worry about; this means you choose how low your car sits. The ride quality is fantastic and is as good or better than stock if you choose. On the other hand, you can adjust the compression/rebound and tune the ride to your liking. Handling on our car was drastically improved with a good amount of the typical Camaro understeer disappearing after the install. While these cost a bit more than a set of lowering springs, BC coilovers still have a great price point and should be on the mind of any 5th gen owner considering lowering springs.

Experience level required:
Novice Wrencher

Estimated time:
3 hours to install, not including time to adjust ride height

Tools Required:
1/2 drive breaker-bar
1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 drive ratchets
15mm, 18mm, 21mm, 24mm sockets
7mm, 10mm, 14mm, 15mm, 17mm, 18mm, 21mm, 24mm wrenches
15mm, 18mm ratchet wrenches
5mm hex key, T40, T50 Torx sockets
Tape Measure
Lock nut spanner wrenches (supplied with kit)
Small allen wrench (supplied with kit)
Coil spring compressor (optional)
2-1/8” holesaw and drill (optional)
Floor jack & jackstands, or lift

Installation Steps

This installation is a fairly simple one given the construction of the 2010 Camaro suspension. It can be accomplished by one person, but some of the components are a bit heavy and bulky, so a helper is recommended. Start by placing the car on level ground and lifting into the air using a jack and jack stands. Make sure the car is supported by jack stands prior to working underneath the car. Remove your wheels and you are ready to begin.

Front Suspension

The front strut assembly is held in place using a single nut with a round flange mounted in the engine bay and two large bolts connected to the steering knuckle below in the wheel well.

1. Remove the ABS sensor wire by simply pulling the rubber grommet from its slot in the tab on the strut body. On the opposite side of the strut, use a 10mm socket or wrench to remove the bolt holding the brake line mount to the strut body. Move these items to the side as much as possible.

2. Remove the nut connecting the end link to the strut body using a 15mm wrench while using a 7mm wrench to keep the stud from rotating as you remove the nut.

3. Remove the two bolts connecting the strut to the steering knuckle using a 24mm socket and 24mm wrench. These were on there tight! We had to break them loose with the breaker bar before the impact would loosen them. Note, buy better air impact

4. Once the bolts are removed, the lower suspension assembly will hang loose. Support this from below using a stand of opportunity. We used a milk crate.

5. Pop the hood and remove the plastic cap covering the upper strut mounting nut by turning it counter clockwise. Loosen the upper strut mounting nut using a 24mm wrench or socket. We tried the socket first, but the nut was tight on the shock shaft causing it to spin. If this happens to you, use a 24mm wrench on the nut and hold the shaft in place using a T50 torx bit socket. Be ready for the strut assembly to fall out the bottom. It may be held in place with a little friction, but it is best to be prepared.

6. Save the flange and upper nut for re-installation and remove the assembly from the car.

7. Place the strut on a workbench or other suitable working area and install the spring compressors. These are optional but recommended as the factory assembly does not have a large amount of spring tension in the uncompressed state. If you choose to go ahead without the spring compressor, make sure the upper end of the strut is pointing away from anyone or anything important as you disassemble.

8. Place the 24mm wrench on the nut and use the T50 torx bit socket to keep the shaft steady as you loosen the nut.

9. Set the factory parts to the side in the order they were removed and go grab your new BC Racing front coil-over. Assemble the BC coilover according to the BC front strut diagram by placing the BC racing lower washer on first. In our case, it was already installed. Then place the BC rubber ring spring pad and gold colored BC racing spring seat “adapter” on top. Next place the factory top mount assembly on the BC spring seat followed by the factory upper washer and nut. Make sure the factory upper washer flanges point up just as they did originally.

10. Tighten the nut completely using the 24mm wrench and a 5mm hex key to keep the shaft steady; there isn’t a large amount of tension so this operation is fairly easy. You can adjust the coil-over height at this time if you like, but we feel its easier to manage with it bolted into the car.

11. The coil-over installs in reverse sequence of the factory strut removal process. You may notice that the upper flange mounted in the engine bay will sit approximately ¼” above the strut tower with the suspension fully loaded. This is normal. Pay attention to the steering knuckle angle before tightening the two large bolts connecting it to the strut body. The upper hole is slotted for camber adjustment.

12. Thread the BC shock adjustment knob onto the end of the coil-over shaft on the engine bay side by turning clockwise. Finger tight is fine.

13. With the strut fully installed and the suspension unloaded, you can begin to adjust as needed. The lower spring seat is pre-positioned from BC, so it shouldn’t need adjustment. You do not change the height of these coil-overs by changing the spring pre-load. Should you have a need to reset the lower spring seat, tighten the spring seat until the spring is snug. BC recommended pre-load is achieved by tightening the lower spring seat and compressing the spring 5-8mm.

14. To adjust the coil-over height, start by making sure the lower spring seat and the spring seat lock nut are jammed together tightly. Use the large spanner wrench (supplied with the kit) on the spring seat and the small spanner wrench (supplied with the kit) on the lock nut. Tighten the lock nut while turning the spring seat in the opposite direction.

15. Use the small spanner wrench to loosen the lower lock ring that locks the threaded body to the strut base.

16. Place the large spanner wrench on the spring seat and turn to adjust the height. You should see the threads of the strut body turning. Turning counter clockwise lowers the car and turning clockwise raises the car. When raising the height, it may be easier to use the small wrench and turn the spring seat lock nut clockwise.

17. Once adjusted, use the small wrench to tighten the lower lock ring in place. It’s a good idea to double check that the lock nut is still locked tight against the lower spring seat.

18. At this point, its best to reinstall the wheel and lower the car to check the ride height. We adjusted our fronts so that the top of the lower spring seat was 2” above the strut base face and then fined tuned from there. It may take a few tries to figure out your ride height. We chose our ride height by adjusting one corner until we were satisfied. We then transferred that position to the opposing corner and set that corner once. Expect your suspension to settle 1/8” – 1/4” from this setting.

19. Repeat for the opposite front strut and move on to the rears.

Rear Suspension

The rear assembly bolts to the body using 4 bolts connecting the top mount to the body and a single bolt connecting the shock to the lower control arm. A few components need to be removed to gain clearance for removing the spring/shock assembly.

1. Disconnect the swaybar end link from the sway bar by removing the 15mm nut. If the stud spins, hold it in place using a 5mm hex key.

2. Remove the lower shock mounting bolt using a 21mm socket and 21mm wrench.

3. The top mount is held on place using four 15mm bolts. Three could be easily accessed with a ratchet, but one of the back bolts is a bit hidden and we needed a ratcheting wrench. You may want to leave two bolts loosely installed to keep the assembly from dropping out.

4. We now need to loosen the lower control arm so we can gain clearance to drop the spring/shock assembly out. This is done by removing the bolt connecting the lower control arm to the bottom of the spindle. Use an 18mm socket and 18mm wrench.

5. Remove the 2 bolts you left loosely installed in the top mount, grab the shock body, and swing the lower control arm down. You should now be able to remove the shock assembly from the car.

6. Place the spring/shock assembly on a workbench or other suitable working area. Just like the fronts, the spring compressors are optional here. Remove the upper nut using an 18mm wrench and a T40 torx bit to hold the shaft steady.

7. Place the factory parts in the order they were removed and go grab your new BC rear coil-over.

8. At this point you need to make a decision. In order to adjust the shock settings with the rear assembly in the car, you need to cut two holes in the trunk. If you do not wish to do this, you can disregard the related steps, but you will have to remove your rear coil-overs to adjust the shock settings. This trait is shared by many brands of coil-overs and is not unique to the BC units.

9. Take the factory upper mount and place it back in the car. Hand tighten two of the mounting bolts to hold it in place in its original orientation. Place a center punch through the hole in the center of the top mount and hammer the punch to mark the drilling location. Remove the top mount from the car.

10. Make sure you open the trunk and remove the trunk liner from the trunk floor.

11. Locate your drill and a holesaw. We used a 2-1/8” holesaw because we had one readily available; you can likely get away with a smaller diameter. Pre-drill your hole as needed and use the holesaw to cut a relief hole for the shock adjustment.

12. Return to the workbench and assemble the coil-over as shown in the BC assembly diagram by installing the BC lower washer first. Ours was pre-installed. Next comes the factory lower washer, the factory top mount, factory upper washer and finally the BC provided upper nut. Make sure you align the spring pigtail to properly fit into the top mount.

13. Tighten the assembly using a 17mm wrench to tighten the top nut while holding the shock steady using a 5mm hex key.

14. Place the BC shock adjustment knob onto the shock shaft and tighten using a 14mm wrench.

15. Place the open end of the remote adjustment assembly over the adjustment knob you just placed on the coil-over. Use the supplied small allen wrench to tighten the set screw securing the remote adjuster to the adjustment knob.

16. You are now ready to place the new coil-over in the car. Position the coil-over in the wheel well while guiding the remote adjuster into the hole you drilled. Begin to tighten two of the 15mm upper mounting bolts finger tight to hold the coil-over in place.

17. Reassemble the rear suspension in reverse sequence of the removal steps.

18. Go to the trunk. Clean up the trunk floor with a vacuum as needed. We cut up some pieces of foam and used them to fill the void space in the trunk floor holes. Position the remote adjusters as you like and reinstall the trunk liner.

19. The rear coil-overs adjust in the same manner as the fronts. We set our rear coil-overs with the top of the lower spring seat 2” above the lower body face and made final adjustments from there.

20. Adjust your coil-overs, reinstall your wheels, and you are ready for a test drive.

When we started out, the front fenders were 29-5/8” off the ground the rear fenders were 30-3/8” off the ground. After the install and various adjustments, we had the fronts at 28-3/8” and the rears at 29”. This is what suited us; no reason you cannot go lower or higher. The shocks are adjustable from hard to soft with 0 being the hardest and 30 being the softest. 0 is found by turning the knob counter clockwise until it stops. Turn the opposite direction to soften. We started out with the rears at 24 and the fronts at 22 and felt that was a bit too soft, so we are testing further to adjust to our liking. We suggest you take some time to test the shock and ride height settings to your liking. Once you have put a few miles on the car and found a combination you enjoy, we recommend you have the car aligned.

For more product information, please visit BC Racing
www.BCRacing-NA.com

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