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No write-up available, I'm afraid. I'm the former Spyderclub moderator, so welcome here!

You'll need the Bilstein locknut wrenches, or similar that fit. If you use big pliers, you'll regret it. Those lockrings won't look the same.

The best way to do it is on a set of race car scales. That way you can get the corner-weighting the same. This is VERY important, as these cars are light and therefore very sensitive to suspension adjustments. The way these cars brake, turn-in, and handle through the corners is only going to be worse if the car isn't weighted properly.

Adjust, drive the car, then re-weigh. If you can't drive it, at least roll it and bounce it a bit before rolling it back on the scales. The Spyder MUST be rolled onto the scales, the swing-axle suspension requires this.

Good luck.

If you could get your car to the lower Hudson Valley, NY, I can do it. I can also tweak the alignment if it's off.

Last edited by DannyP

Danny....I don't understand what you are saying. The way I read your response it sounds like you can change the weight on each wheel by adjusting the Bilstein's. If you're saying that you need to move some weights around to achieve perfect weight distribution, then I do understand.

I know my Spyder will have adjustable coils over the shocks. This will be my first car with this.  The lock nuts are huge so I suppose the wrenches are too. How difficult is it to get those wrenches in there ?.......Bruce

If Greg installed the spring perches at the top, it's pretty easy. If they are on the bottom, the exhaust REALLY gets in the way on a type1. On Subaru I have no idea.

You really shouldn't need to move things to balance the car. I did add a remote fire bottle in the RF corner to get that last 10 pound difference erased... The rear was equal but the RF was 10 pounds less in my old car.

You can change the cross weight(diagonally) so no, all 4 wheels aren't adjustable, but I was able to get Mike's Vintage Spyder dead nuts on by adjusting only the rear coilovers.



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Last edited by DannyP

Thanks for the Replies.  I'm in CA so getting the car to NY isn't going to happen, but appreciate the offer!

Attached are some pics of my setup. Guessing its very similar to everyone else.

So to lower the car I should get some scales.  But to actually do the lowering; do I Unscrew the Top LockNut; move it up.  Attached is a pic of what I mean.


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Correct. Loosen the top lock nut, thread it upwards, thread lower nut up until you get the desired height, spin lock nut down to meet lower nut, while holding lower nut from moving tighten the lock nut down onto it, go for a drive, remeasure and repeat as necessary.

Unweighting the spring a bit by jacking up the car a touch, makes moving that lower nut up and especially down, a tad easier. Just make sure you drive the car before measuring your height.

Last edited by Carlos G

Michal, how much are you looking to lower your car? If it’s more than an inch I’d suggest you do it at the torsion bars and save the spring pre-load off fine tuning/corner balancing.

I’m sure you can find a local high-performance race shop in your area with a set of corner balance scales like Danny uses. Having an expert helping you get sorted is a plus. And you can have them do it with you in the car, which can balance your weight into the equation.

MichalM,  You didn't say the reason why you wanted to lower the spyder, but I suppose you do know that changing the existing rear ride height from 'as delivered' from your builder will change your rear wheel alignment and there is no adjustment to return it to the 'as delivered' geometry.

On a swing axle (like you have), lowering the rear via adjustable coil over springs (or torsion bars) will change the rear wheel camber; a 1" change in ride height will make a significant change.  To a lesser degree, toe-in will also change.

I'd be surprised if your spyder was delivered with a misadjusted ride height, why do you want to change it?

Setting chassis balance and setting ride height are different subjects with different reasons to pursue.  Balancing, as described by Danny, requires scales.  It is fun to do, although you'll probably find you are close enough now to not actually mess with it.  You do need scales under each tire.  The perfect outcome would be to end up with all 4 tires loaded with the same weight.  But that will not happen for you.  As shown in the picture from Danny, the front end of a spyder is lighter than the rear end.  (Technically speaking, the center of gravity is rear biased, but no need to be technical with physics and metrology).  In your situation the best you can do is get the two front tires as close to each other as possible and the two rear tires as close to each other as possible (as shown in Danny's picture).

Focus on getting the two rear corners to weigh the same.  If one rear corner is heavier than the other, decide which one you want to adjust.  If you want to adjust the heavier corner, screw the coil spring adjustment UP, which will unload pressure on the scale under that corner.  That will do 3 things:  Lower rear ride height, transfer more weight to the other rear tire, and remove weight from the diagonal front tire + increase weight on the other front tire.

My suggestion would be to choose one rear corner to adjust and never touch the other corner.  If you don't get as much change as you wanted from the adjustment, make more adjustment on the same corner.  If you got too much, take it out of the same corner.

This method will allow you to get both rear corners to weigh the same to as-exact as you want to get (limited to within the scale's accuracy).  But getting the front corners to weigh the same as each other is a different issue; you have no adjustment for front corner balancing.  So after the rear is balanced, what you see in the front is what you get.  The only thing you can do in the front is remove weight from the heavy corner and/or add weight to the light corner (like a fire extinguisher as Danny mentioned).

Now that you have done all of this, it all goes out the window when you plop your 200 pound self on the left-hand side!  Short of reconfiguring to a single seat center drive cockpit, there's not much you can do.  So if it were me, I'd drive the wheels off what was delivered and trust your builder has provided a well sorted chassis optimized for spirited on-road enjoyment.  If you want to do track time or autocross or other competition, then . . . . .

@RS-60 mark posted:

Now that you have done all of this, it all goes out the window when you plop your 200 pound self on the left-hand side!  

That’s why I suggested having a race shop do it, so they could balance it with him aboard.

Then again, for street driving it’s “good enough for the girls we got out with,” as they say.

There’s been a pro suspension company at every MC track day I’ve gone to. They always adjust with you, in gear, aboard. But then pre-load, ride height, rebound and compression affect a MC’s handling a lot more than they do a car’s.

@dlearl476 posted:

That’s why I suggested having a race shop do it, so they could balance it with him aboard.

I'd be interested in watching the shop get LF+LR = RF+RR on a typical production spyder, while the driver is sitting behind the wheel.

I suppose you can get 200 Lb of lead for ballast today on Amazon for about $2658, but concrete blocks are pretty cheap.     Or you could carry a spare engine in the passenger seat. 

It turns out that Spyders are built with a side/side static weight distribution of pretty much 50/50 along the centerline (as exhibited in Danny's picture, which I must presume was taken without the driver). There is not a suspension adjustment to move the driver's  additional 200 Lb to the centerline, thus the alternative is to add ballast to the right of the centerline in order to "balance".

Personally, that's an alternative I wouldn't consider for myself.  Unless I was racing it's not that important.  And if I was racing I'd have built the car with a static right-hand weight bias to start with.

Last edited by RS-60 mark

Yes, car was weighted without the driver. Without individual front beam adjusters, you can't weight the car properly WITH driver. Mostly, I run solo, at 200 pounds. The car handles great but is probably a bit better when my 115 pound wife is with me. Just that little bit more even.

It may not be the truth, but it is my opinion balancing the car as I do makes it handle close to the same when turning left OR right, which at the end of the day is the goal. If it feels the same left or right, it's easier and better for the driver.


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