How to Adjust Coilovers Without Spanner Wrench: Best Tips

How to Adjust Coilovers Without Spanner Wrench? To adjust coilovers without a spanner wrench, use a pipe wrench or adjustable pliers with care to avoid damage. Ensure the car’s weight is off the suspension for easier adjustment.

Adjusting your vehicle’s coilovers without the proper spanner wrench can be a bit of a challenge, but with the right approach, it’s certainly manageable. Enthusiasts who find themselves in this situation might seek alternative tools that can mimic the functionality of a dedicated spanner wrench.

It’s crucial to handle this adjustment with the utmost precision to maintain the integrity of your coilovers and achieve the desired suspension setup. A firm grip and a gentle touch are required to turn the coil adjustment rings without causing any harm.

Remember to lift the vehicle properly, ensuring complete suspension relief before attempting to make any changes. This task, although delicate, is crucial for fine-tuning your car’s handling and ride height to your individual preferences and driving conditions.

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Understanding Coilovers

For car enthusiasts and DIY mechanics, getting the perfect ride height and suspension setup is crucial for both aesthetics and performance. Coilovers play a critical role in tuning a vehicle’s suspension, allowing for adjustments to be made with precision.

But what happens when you don’t have the specialized tools like a spanner wrench to make these adjustments? Before diving into how to adjust coilovers without a spanner wrench, let’s delve into coilovers’ components and their purpose to ensure a safe and successful modification.

Components Of Coilovers

At the core of each coilover, the system is a set of integral parts that work harmoniously to provide the desired suspension characteristics. The main components of a coilover include:

  • Spring: This component supports the weight of the vehicle and absorbs bumps on the road.
  • Shock absorber (or damper): This part dampens the spring’s motion to prevent excessive bouncing and keeps the tire in contact with the road.
  • Adjustment knobs: These allow for tuning the damping rate for better control or comfort.
  • Mounts and bushings: They secure the coilover to the vehicle’s chassis and reduce noise and vibration.
  • Threaded body: It offers height adjustment through the spring perch, which moves up or down.

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Purpose And Function Of Coilovers

The primary purpose of coilovers is to provide adjustability for a vehicle’s ride height and damping. Here’s why they’re an essential upgrade for driving enthusiasts:

  1. Ride height control: Adjusting the coilover’s length changes the vehicle’s stance, affecting aerodynamics, center of gravity, and wheel fitment.
  2. Improved handling: By fine-tuning the damping rate and spring preload, drivers achieve better cornering performance and stability.
  3. Customizing comfort: Adjustable settings can lead to a stiffer or softer ride, catering to either performance or daily driving needs.

Understanding these components and their functions is critical because it provides insight into the mechanisms you’ll be working on. With this knowledge, adjusting coilovers without a spanner wrench becomes a task that, though challenging, can be managed with alternative methods and a bit of ingenuity.

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Alternatives To Spanner Wrench

Coilovers are a critical component for any car enthusiast looking to fine-tune suspension performance. Adjusting coilovers is often done with a spanner wrench, but what happens when that special tool is nowhere to be found? Fear not, as several effective alternatives can help you adjust those coilovers with ease.

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Using Adjustable Pliers

Adjustable pliers offer a versatile solution for those without a spanner wrench. Their serrated jaws and adjustable opening allow them to grip onto the coilover’s collar with a firm hold. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open the pliers to a size just larger than the coilover’s adjustment collar.
  2. Gently clamp down on the collar.
  3. Rotate the collar in the required direction to adjust.

Although a convenient alternative, caution is required to avoid damaging the collar with the pliers’ teeth. Wrapping a cloth around the collar before using the pliers can help provide additional protection.

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Utilizing A Strap Wrench

A strap wrench is another tool that can fill in for a spanner wrench. Here’s how to use it:

  • Wrap the strap around the coilover’s adjustment collar.
  • Hold the handle tight to ensure the strap has a firm grip on the collar.
  • Pull the handle in the direction of the required adjustment.

A strap wrench provides a non-marring grip, making it an ideal choice for those concerned with preserving their coilover’s finish.

Fabricating A Makeshift Wrench

For the DIY enthusiast, fabricating a makeshift wrench can be both a fun and efficient solution. Use the following materials:

Materials Instructions
A piece of metal (such as a flat bar) Cut to length and drill a hole to match the size of the collar’s notch
Old belt or leather strap Attach to the metal for a better grip and leverage

This approach requires a bit more effort but provides a custom tool that’s designed to fit your coilovers perfectly. Remember to measure accurately and to take caution while using homemade tools.

Step-by-step Adjustment Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to adjust coilovers without needing a spanner wrench. Coilover adjustment is crucial for achieving optimal suspension performance whether you’re tuning your vehicle for track days, daily driving, or just seeking that perfect ride height.

With the right technique, you can easily modify your coilovers for the best results. Follow this step-by-step adjustment guide to seamlessly tweak your suspension without specialized tools.

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Loosening The Locking Collar

The initial step in adjusting your coilovers is to loosen the locking collar. This collar is responsible for securing the spring perch and must be released before any adjustments can be made. Typically, a spanner wrench would be used, but in its absence, a few creative alternatives can suffice.

To begin, find a sturdy object that fits into one of the notches on the collar. This could be a screwdriver, a small steel pipe, or even a hammer handle. Make sure your makeshift tool is durable and can handle the force required to loosen the collar without slipping or causing damage.

  • Place your tool securely into the notch.
  • Apply firm pressure in a counter-clockwise direction.
  • Tap lightly with a mallet if necessary to initiate movement.

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Turning The Spring Perch

Once the locking collar is loose, it’s time to turn the spring perch. The spring perch, which holds the spring in place, is what you adjust to change the ride height.

  1. Grip the spring perch itself or use a tool for better leverage.
  2. Rotate the perch clockwise to compress the spring and raise the vehicle, or counterclockwise to decompress the spring and lower the vehicle.
  3. Make the adjustment in small increments, frequently checking the vehicle’s height and alignment to avoid over-adjustment.

Re-tightening The Locking Collar

After dialing in your desired height, re-tightening the locking collar is essential to ensure your adjustments stay in place. The collar prevents movement of the spring perch under the vibrations and stresses of driving.

Here’s the process: Align the tool you used previously with the notch on the collar. This time, turn the collar clockwise until it is snug against the base of the spring perch. Check that there is no play or movement by attempting to rotate the spring perch slightly. Once tight and secure, your coilover adjustment is complete!

Remember, regular maintenance checks are necessary as adjustments may settle or shift over time, especially during the early days after making changes.

Safety Precautions And Best Practices

Adjusting coilovers is a task that’s essential for achieving the perfect ride height and vehicle handling. However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and follow best practices, especially when you don’t have a spanner wrench at hand. Ensuring a safe and successful adjustment requires attention to detail and adherence to recommended procedures. Let’s dive into the necessary precautions and techniques to adjust coilovers while mitigating risks.

Before attempting any suspension work, it’s paramount to confirm that your vehicle is in a secure position. This not only protects your car but also ensures your safety during the process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to securing your vehicle:

  • Park the vehicle on a level, firm surface to prevent any movement.
  • Engage the parking brake to further ensure the vehicle won’t roll.
  • If possible, chock the wheels that are not being worked on for added stability.
  • Use a jack of appropriate rating for your vehicle’s weight to lift it.
  • Place jack stands under the vehicle’s designated lifting points and lowers the vehicle onto them.
  • Give the vehicle a gentle shake to make sure it’s completely stable on the jack stands before proceeding.

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Personal safety is equally important when working on your car’s suspension. The right safety gear can prevent injuries from falls, flying debris, or accidental slippage of tools. Make sure you are equipped with the following:

Safety Gear Purpose
Gloves Protects hands from sharp edges and lubricants
Safety Glasses Shields eyes from metal shavings and debris
Sturdy Footwear Prevents foot injuries and provides better grip
Long Sleeves and Pants Minimizes skin exposure to potential hazards

Stay vigilant and maintain a clean workspace to prevent tripping over tools or components. Ensure good lighting so you can clearly see what you’re working on, and always keep a first aid kit within reach in case of minor injuries.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Customizing your car’s performance with coilovers is an exciting step in vehicle tuning, but adjusting them without the proper spanner wrench can lead to several pitfalls. Understanding these common mistakes is crucial to maintaining the integrity of your suspension system and achieving the desired ride quality.

Over-tightening The Locking Collar

When adjusting coilovers without a spanner wrench, applying too much force can result in over-tightening. This excessive pressure may deform or damage the locking collar. Keep in mind that the collar doesn’t need to withstand the full force of your might; it simply needs to be secure enough to hold adjustments in place without moving.

To avoid this mistake, gently tighten the collar using an alternate tool with a grip appropriate to your coilover’s specifications. If the collar is not turning smoothly or if you notice any resistance, stop and reevaluate your method. Use steady, even pressure to mitigate the risk of over-tightening and ensure the longevity of the coilover components.

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Damaging The Threads During Adjustment

The absence of a spanner wrench can sometimes lead to improper handling and inadvertent damage to the threads on your coilovers. Since coilover threads are precision-machined for accuracy in adjustments, any nick or burr can cause significant issues in future adjustments, potentially jeopardizing the performance of your suspension.

Using tools not designed for the operation, like pliers or pipe wrenches, can easily mar the threads. Instead, source a tool that fits as closely as possible to the intended spanner wrench, cushioning it with a soft material like a rubber sheet or old leather belt to prevent direct metal-on-metal contact.

  • Ensure the surface is clean: Dirt or debris can lead to thread damage. Clean the area thoroughly before adjustment.
  • Exercise care and precision: Adjust slowly and cautiously to avoid slippage and potential thread stripping.
  • Avoid makeshift tools: Select a tool that is as close to the appropriate size as possible and avoid using anything that might chew up the delicate threads.
How to Adjust Coilovers Without Spanner Wrench: Quick Tips


Frequently Asked Questions On How To Adjust Coilovers Without Spanner Wrench

Can You Adjust Coilovers Manually?

Yes, manual adjustment of coilovers is possible using alternative tools like pipe wrenches if a spanner wrench is not available.

What Tools Replace A Spanner Wrench?

Locking pliers, pipe wrenches, or adjustable wrenches can serve as temporary replacements for a spanner wrench.

To see/buy/read How to Adjust Coilovers Without Spanner Wrench visit Amazon.

Is Adjusting Coilovers Without A Wrench Safe?

Adjusting coilovers without the recommended wrench can be safe if done carefully with suitable substitutes and proper knowledge.

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Which Coilover Adjustments Require No Tools?

Some coilover systems feature knob adjustments for damping that require no tools, but spring preload typically needs a spanner wrench or substitute.

How To Maintain Safety While Adjusting Coilovers?

Secure the vehicle properly with jack stands, use the right substitute tool carefully, and always follow the coilover manufacturer’s instructions for safety.

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What Is The Proper Adjustment Technique For Coilovers?

The proper technique involves evenly adjusting the spring perches to raise or lower the vehicle to the desired height, keeping alignment in mind.

To see/buy/read How to Adjust Coilovers Without Spanner Wrench visit Amazon.

Can Diy Coilover Adjustment Affect Ride Quality?

Improperly adjusted coilovers can lead to poor ride quality, uneven tire wear, or unsafe handling, which is why precise adjustments are crucial.

What To Avoid When Adjusting Coilovers?

Avoid using excessive force, uneven adjustments, and neglecting to check the vehicle’s alignment post-adjustment to prevent damage and misalignment.

Do You Need To Realign After Coilover Adjustment?

Yes, a full alignment is recommended after adjusting coilover height to ensure proper vehicle handling and tire wear.

Steps To Take After Coilover Adjustment?

Post-adjustment steps include checking for any loose components, ensuring all are torqued to spec, and getting a professional alignment for optimum performance.


Adjusting coilovers without a spanner wrench is completely achievable. With a bit of creativity and the right tools, you can maintain ride quality and performance. Remember, safety is paramount—never compromise it for a quick fix. Embrace the challenge, and your vehicle will thank you for the personalized touch.

Keep driving smoothly!

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