B6 A4 Avant ECS Coilover Sleeve install and review

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B6 A4 Avant ECS Coilover Sleeve install and review

Postby Mikewire on Jan Sun 06, 2013 10:53 pm

Posted this up for all the B6 guys on Audizine, and because there's usually an ECS rep on the forums. I wanted to post it here as well of course, for anyone with a B5 or B6 A4 that may be looking for a solution like I was.

I’m aware this product has been out in the market for quite some time – I recently ran across it for the B6 application. I’m not sure if this has been covered already here in the B6 forum, but I took a few pictures when I installed the coilover sleeves and I thought I would give a quick review and synopsis of my perspective of this specific product.

First, I want to let everyone know why I chose this kit. I have an Avant; it's already lowered on H&R Sport springs, with Koni Yellow struts (and shocks) which made a fair drop, but I always had a little bit of reverse rake due to the fact that these H&R springs are not specifically for an Avant.

Anyway, the reverse rake has always kind of bothered me, and I was going to pick up a set of B5 perches, but they will not fit the Koni’s. Installing an OEM strut is out of the picture, because my car is lower than stock sport height. I thought about getting a set of KW or KS front coilovers, but it was a bit cost prohibitive, and I don’ know of any retailer who would split up a set and sell just the front. And why swap out perfectly good Koni’s? When I saw this setup offered from ECS, for the money, it seemed like a great alternative for me.

With that said, please note that this is the product I chose as a solution. I want to keep this thread on the rails and avoid negativity, so please consider that before posting. By all means, if you don’t like it, then put your keyboard down, don’t post, and don’t install them on your B6.

I applaud ECS for having this aftermarket solution available and for being a great “partner” in the auto industry and also for my becoming my #1 personal online part supplier because of their support and availability.

On to my thoughts/opinion/review:

Here is my A4 Avant before. You can see the reverse rake (not much, but it’s visible):

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This is the front right side (front passenger) height from the ground to lower fender. Measures approximately 25-1/8:

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The kit from ECS includes the following parts. They were nicely bundled and tied up in a plastic bag – after breaking them out and sorting, this is what’s included:

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You can see the inside of the sleeve has a shoulder that sits on the clip that is on the strut:

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And the three holes for the set screws, which keep the sleeve from twisting and/or moving around on the strut:

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This is the strut perch (the flat side). Nicely machined and smooth anodized black aluminum:

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The two coilover wrenches that came with the set. Something to note here: they are two different sizes. I assume this is correct because the lock rings are two different diameters – one large, one small:

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Ok, one thing that bugged me - product ID stickers on the threads of the sleeves. Please ECS, please bag these individually and put the sticker on the bag? Time wasted for removing the sticker and residue left behind – I know…it’s petty, but everything else was bagged and tagged nicely except for the sleeves:

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At this point I removed and disassembled the strut assembly….I won’t go into details, sorry.

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Here is the strut with the standard perch and rubber isolator installed. This needs to be removed.

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It comes off easily with a rubber hammer, pounding downward and moving around the edge of the perch. The C clip on the outside of the strut is revealed here:

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Cleaned it up – I also rotated the clip around in the groove, which will seat it fully in the groove so the sleeve can more easily pass over the clip:

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Just a shot of the sleeve and where it needs to be installed. I lightly greased the inside of the sleeve with some synthetic grease:

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The sleeve just as it passes over the C clip (moving the sleeve to the left):

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Sleeve installed – pushed to where the C clip hits the shoulder of the sleeve. Set screws screwed in - I used blue Loctite on the set screws:

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I took some time to grease the threads and mark how many threads down from the set screw I expected the perch to sit at. This proved to be fruitless at the end of the install lolol.

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Perch installed – a light film of synthetic grease on the threads and inside barrel of the perch:

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Bit of a problem here: The isolator on this perch was not going to fit over the ECS perch – the inside diameter is much too small to fit over the ECS perch . Luckily I had an old set of strut assemblies sitting
around and was able to pull the stock B6 isolators off those and use them on the ECS perches:

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I would say the OEM B6 isolators need to either come with the kit, or the buyer needs to be aware of this issue. If I did not have these extra isolators, I would have been dead in the water with the install, and I would have been set back minimum of 1 week:

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To be fair, this isolator issue only occurred on the passenger’s side. The “B7” stamped on the isolator shown here is the problem – I’m not sure where it came from. Oh well, the B6 isolator worked:

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It takes a bit of work to get the rubber isolator over the ECS perch. It helped warming up the perch by the heater and then working it over the edge. Eventually it slid on and over – I used a bit of silicone spray to help seat the isolator, but it still was not seated properly and was not a really good fit. I figured it would seat when the strut was fully reassembled:

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To keep debris out and off the strut, I cut the bump stops down instead of removing them – left is the shorty, right is OEM stock:

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Using some silicone grease the isolator seated around the spring and into the perch:

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Um, mostly lol. Needs a bit of weight on it to seat fully:

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After reassembling the strut assembly, it was time to reinstall in the car and test out the height difference.

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Wheel on, wheel off, adjust. Wheel on, wheel off, adjust. Using plenty of grease I dialed it in finally:

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Front came down to about 24-1/2 to the bottom of the fender – that takes care of the reverse rake, for sure! (After looking back at this pic, I realized the tape is not at the top of the wheel arch - time to go measure that again lol...)

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I still have to get a couple of pictures from the side to compare, but so far I’m happy with the results.

Edit: Here's a shot from this afternoon post-install. The light isn't very good but you can see the front is lower now.

Before:

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After:

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Re: B6 A4 Avant ECS Coilover Sleeve install and review

Postby YASHA7FOLD on Jan Sun 06, 2013 11:18 pm

Good Lord man you've been busy.


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Re: B6 A4 Avant ECS Coilover Sleeve install and review

Postby padroB5 on Jan Sun 06, 2013 11:39 pm

i belive that is a AWSOME solotion to your problem you had!!!. i agree with you the kit need a lil twiking but you covered everything well!
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Re: B6 A4 Avant ECS Coilover Sleeve install and review

Postby Mikewire on Jan Mon 07, 2013 11:55 am

Yeah lol, I had some downtime after Christmas and was able to get some things done.

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Re: B6 A4 Avant ECS Coilover Sleeve install and review

Postby Ramrod on Jan Tue 08, 2013 11:50 am

Nice work Mike, I hadn't seen that option before.
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Re: B6 A4 Avant ECS Coilover Sleeve install and review

Postby Rennwagen1 on Jan Wed 09, 2013 2:35 pm

I think Mike has sexy hands.

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Re: B6 A4 Avant ECS Coilover Sleeve install and review

Postby YASHA7FOLD on Jan Wed 09, 2013 2:49 pm

He usually had them wrapped in latex. Feel privileged you got to see them.


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Re: B6 A4 Avant ECS Coilover Sleeve install and review

Postby YASHA7FOLD on Jan Wed 09, 2013 2:53 pm

http://youtu.be/EUvgqItrt1c


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Re: B6 A4 Avant ECS Coilover Sleeve install and review

Postby Mikewire on Jan Wed 09, 2013 2:56 pm

You should see my feet! Oh wait...

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