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UPDATED: STaSIS Street Sport/Koni Coilover Suspension Install - B6 Audi A4

Prior Experience: 5/10 - Much more time consuming than difficult
Cost: Cost of suspension - ~$1,000
Time: 8-12 hours

Discuss this mod - Here
NOTE: All pics are hyperlinked to higher resolution versions.
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install   B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
  Fronts   Rears

I was never really impressed with the stance or ride of my car so I decided to upgrade the suspension. After months of waiting, I finally got my hands on a used set of STaSIS Street Sports for a reasonable price. For those of you who don't know, STaSIS buys this suspension from Koni and adjusts it for the 'optimal' settings for the B6 A4. They mark it up a little for their R&D and call it a STaSIS product.

Background: The first suspension I installed on an a4 was a pain in the ass. It took me entirely too long to install and was very frustrating. I figured this time around it HAD to be easier. I was wrong - mainly because this time I did it on jack stands - not a lift. I decided to do this a different way which I will outline here. It is a mix between some write ups I read online and what is outlined in the Bentley manual. After going through this two times, I feel like this is the best way, with the least amount of steps.

Ready?

SUPPLIES - Although it is not necessary, I suggest you have an air compressor and impact wrench handy. I only used it for one part - but I struggled by hand for a while before I went for the air compressor. You will see what I mean when I get there.

The suspension requires nothing really crazy for tools. Basic socket sets are needed, etc. You should be sure to have a breaker bar and a pry bar. You will need the breaker bar to get some of these bolts out, and a pry bar for the springs and a couple other areas. You will also need to rent some spring compressors from a local auto store. You can get these at Murrays or Autozone, Pep Boys, etc. They are free to rent but require a deposit (~$50).

As always, you should also have a can of PB Blaster handy for those rusted bolts.

Most importantly you need a set of these:

B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

I will start this write up with the front suspension. For the most part I will be following the steps outlined by Capt. Obvious over on Audizine

Front Suspension Install

After you jack up the car (using jack stands right?) and take off the wheel, take a look at what you see. I started on the passenger side, but the pics are a combination of passenger and driver's side. Everything is the same except the auto level sensor on the driver's side.
 

To the right I have circled parts that you need to pay attention to on the top half.

1,2) Steering link bolts
3,6) Control arm bolts
4,5) Shock mount bolts

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 
 

Similarly on the bottom

1) Lower Strut Bolt
2) Auto Level sensor (Driver's side if you have xenons)
3) Sway bar bolt (cant see it from this angle so I drew it in)

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

The first thing I did was disconnect the auto level sensor on the driver's side. I think it was a 10mm nut.

You don't have to remove the sensor, but keep an eye on it though the install to be sure you don't break it. Audi Electronics are expensive!

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

After you disconnect the auto level sensor, you should disconnect the front sway bar. This is not 100% necessary but it will make things easier as the front suspension will be able to drop easily.

This will be easier to do if you use a breaker bar and if you use a jack to jack up the suspension (from the hub, etc) to relieve tension on the bolt.

If it is not relieved of tension the sway bar will pop free - so don't be nervous. The swaybar is actually screwed into a piece of rubber for isolation reasons.

 

Next you need to disconnect the steering link. The steering link actually has two screws - one holds it in place vertically, and the other is used to pinch the aluminum arm around the link.

To disconnect it, first you need to unscrew the top screw, and then unbolt the nut in the front.

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install   B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 
After these two bolts are out, you will have to get the pry bar out to remove the end link. Take the pry bar and tap it in place as shown below. You have to pry until the end link pops out or becomes loose. It may help if you jack up the suspension so that this part is perpendicular to the control arm.
 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install   B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 
 

The next thing you need to do is unscrews the three bolts at the stop of the shock which bolt the whole assembly to the vehicle shock tower. The three bolts you need are actually located under the hood.

One of the three is under a plastic cover that you will have to remove

The three bolts are circled in the picture to the right (driver's side)

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

With the sway bar, auto level sensor, steering end link and upper bolts removed you can now remove the lower shock bolt

 
 

The suspension is now ready to be pulled down from the upper mounts. If this is the first time you have done the suspension, you will see there is a retainer clip where I have drawn the arrow from number 4 in this picture. Since is the second time I have done on my car, there is no retainer clip.

In order to get the suspension down from the upper mount you need to push down on the rotor/hub while you pull out on the top of the suspension.

You may need someone else to stand/bounce on the hub while you pull the entire assembly forward. If you have followed all of these steps you wont break anything here. If you have the retainer clip you will need to use a decent amount of effort.

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 
 

You should be able to get the suspension down and forward to the point shown to the right.

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 
Remove the control arm bolts on either side as pictured below
 

B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

After the control arms are disconnected, you can pull the assembly out.

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

With the assembly out, you need to compress the spring using the spring compressors. Try to compress it as much as possible just to be 100% sure there is no tension on the top. We need to use the spring compressors so that when we remove the top shock mount it doesn't fly off.

Hopefully this is common sense.

After you get the spring compressed you can take off the top shock mount by undoing the single nut on top.

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

NOTE: If you don't have an air compressor you will have to invent some kind of tool to do this. The nut has to be hit hard with a lot of torque to get it to come off without spinning in place. A simple hand tool setup probably could work but it will be difficult to pull off..

After you get the top nut off, you can pull off the top shock mount. It will look like what is shown to the left.

Take note of the washer below the rubber portion of the upper shock mount. Note it orientation and be sure to re-use this on the installation. If you don't use it, you will get clunks when you hit bumps, etc.

 

 

 

After you get to this point, the installation is basically the reverse. You need to follow your coilovers' directions so that you assemble them correctly. Most coil's will use the bump stops from the existing suspension (or modified/trimmed versions of them). Be sure to follow the directions that came with your set.

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

The suspension I am installing (purchased used) came with its own bump stops and dust covers so I did not use the stock ones.

I used the small black bump stops that came with this kit.

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

In order to assemble the suspension you will want to extend the shock as far as possible so that you can get the upper shock tower mount back on. Make sure to tighten the nut on well so that everything stays together when you take the spring clamps off.

In order to get my springs on an get the upper shock mount to fit I had to drop my coilover height.

It is in your best interest to adjust the coilover height the best you can before you put the suspension in. In order to make turning the coilover adjustment easier, I put a socket extension in the opening at the bottom as you see to the left (top).

This gave me a lot more leverage as I turned the coilover perch. When I was at the correct height (approximately) I removed the spring compressors and had a full assembly once again

 

As I already said, the installation is reverse. When you are installing it, leave all of the bolts hand tight until you get everything aligned.

First put the assembly in place and connect the control arms again. Then connect the lower shock bolt. You should be able to push the assembly in place at the top and connect it all up. Be sure to use the jack to help you take tension off bolt and to align things when reassembling everything.

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install   B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install   B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 

Once you get it all assembled with the bolts hand tight, you have to use your floor jack to jack up the suspension to put it under tension (jack it at the rotor or hub). It is very important that the bolts be torqued down when the suspension is loaded - not free hanging. If you do not do it this way, expect squeaks, clunks and limited bushing life,

Be sure to torque down the bolts. I will post the torque specs when I get a minute to dig them up. Be sure to make them tight, but don't over torque them.

After the fronts are done, you can move onto the backs

Rear Suspension Removal

Many people claim that the rear suspension is a lot harder than the front. I think exactly the opposite. The rears can be done in half the time as the front. The REAL problem, is that (unlike the front) the rear coilover heights are VERY difficult to change while installed. After struggling with these for 2 hours trying to get the height right, I decided to remove them to do the adjustment off the car. After doing this 4 or 5 times I know that the rears are MUCH easier than the fronts.

 
B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install   First just remove the rear wheel and observe what is back there. You will notice (if you didn't already know) that the rear suspension is actually not 'coilover' in the traditional sense. The spring and shock are not on top of each other. The spring is towards the front of the car, with the shock in the rear
 
 

This rear setup makes removing the shock very easy. The first thing to do is to remove the two screws at the top of the shock

 

B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

 
 

After the top is unscrewed, remove the bolt at the bottom of the shock. You will probably need a breaker bar to break this bolt loose

 

B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

After the the lower shock bolt is out, pull down on the top of the shock to compress it. After it is compressed you can pull down and out of the wheel well. When you do this it will break the bottom free. Once you rotate it a bit you will see the bottom separate and you will be able to pull the whole shock out.

Note: If you just unbolt the bottom bolt and try to pull the bottom apart you will have little success. Do it as I have said here and you will have no problems.

 

Once the shock it out it is time to focus on the spring. This is typically the hardest part of the install, but if you do it right and take your time it will be very easy. First, I will say that you should absolutely drop the sub frame. Although it CAN be done without doing this, you will just be wasting time. Do it right away and you will have a much easier time.

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

To drop the sub frame you have to locate the four large bolts under the car (two on each side). The bolts look like this

To drop the sub frame you will only need to adjust the 2 bolts on the side you are working on

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

The sub frame bolt towards the rear does not need to come all the way out. You can simply loosen it until it hangs like the picture shown to the left.

Realistically the front bolt does not have to come all the way out either, but it is easier if you just remove the front bolt completely. Go ahead and remove that now.

 
 

Next you should disconnect the screw used to adjust the rear camber. This will give you considerably more room to pull out the rear spring.

You are going to be getting an alignment anyway after you are done with the suspension, so don't worry about throwing this off.

 

B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

After you have removed the shock, dropped the sub frame and removed the camber adjustment screw you should be able to get the spring out. To do this, use a spring compressor to compress the spring. It may be easier to compress the spring with the compressor if you use a jack to jack up the suspension (and compress the spring). This will save you time and allow you to tighten the spring compressor by hand.

After the spring is compressed, you want to have a friend step on the rear rotor/hub to lower the rear suspension and let you get the rear spring out. A pry bar may help

I promise, if you skip any of these steps you will be making your life more complicated than necessary!

 
After the spring is out, you can work in disassembling the rear shock setup. Once again you should use an air compressor and impact wrench to get this off. If for some reason you cannot get your hands on an air compressor, you can use a pair of vice grips and a wrench as I show here
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install   B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 
 

When the shock is out, it will pull apart like this.

Once again you have to use the directions that come with your setup to setup your new shocks

 

B6 Audi A4 - Shocks

 
 

I used the OEM upper shock mount and the bump stop and dust cover that came with my shock.

 

B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

Assemble the shock so that it is ready to install.
 

Rear Coilover Install - "STaSIS Way"

I recently updated the way I installed the rear coilovers. The method mentioned here is the way the coilover manufacturer, Koni, recommended installing them. After doing it this way, I found (as I previously mentioned) that adjusting the coilovers while on the car was nearly impossible. I got sick of pulling out the suspension to adjust the rears, so I figured I would come up with a better way of setting it up. I will show the new way after I show the 'official' way.

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install  

When you have the shock setup, you can move onto setting up the springs for installation.

The STaSIS Street Sports come with an adjustable lower perch which, according to STaSIS, replaces the OEM lower spring bushing. The lower perch is installed by using three set screws to hold it in place (note, my set screws ended up getting stuck in the spring perches which made them a pain in the ass to remove - I wouldn't tighten them too much)

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Spring Perch  

Once the perch is setup, screw on the height adjustment and set it to the approximate height you want.

IT IS IMPORTANT to get this as close as possible the first time! The rears are a PAIN to adjust from this point forward (if you install it this way... which I would no longer recommend). Be sure to grease the threads of the perch real well - I would recommend axle grease

STaSIS adds the plastic 'bearing' with their kit to place between the perch and the spring. You should grease this part very well to help with adjusting them later.

 
 

Next you want to install the spring in the reverse order you took it out. I.E., put a spring clamp on it, get a buddy to step on the hub and slide the spring in place

Be sure the upper spring bushing is in place. Also be sure that the spring is properly seated ont he lower perch - not digging into the threads, etc.

When you get the spring in, you can lift the suspension back up with the jack and start putting all the bolts back in place

 

B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Spring Perch

 
  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Spring Perch  

For adjustment purposes you may want to mark where the perch is so that you can count turns when you adjust it. I used a paint pen

 

Rear Coilover Install - "The Better Way"

Ok so as I already mentioned, installing the springs the manufacturer's recommend way works - but it makes it a pain in the ass to adjust the ride height. I ended up taking the springs out a half dozen times before I got the height right the first time. Then I got new wheels, and I was back to square one.

It is very frustrating to think you just spent a ton of money on an adjustable suspension, and yet you cannot adjust it on the car. I know this is the case for many coilovers, and it is just annoying. I decided to change the way I installed them in order to allow for easier adjusting.

The idea is to get the adjustable spring perch on top instead of on the bottom. The differences are shown below:

 
 

B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

 

B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

  Manufacturer's Way   New, Better way
 

In the original install we used the stock top spring bushing, and the new adjustable spring perch - we removed the stock bottom bushing.

In the new way, we will use all three - both stock bushings, and the adjustable perch.

  The key to installing the coilovers like this is modifying the stock upper bushing so that it will fit inside the adjustable perch. Here is what the upper bushing looks like   B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

 

 

In order to get it to fit in the perch, we need to cut the upper ring off and make the entire diameter smaller.

I used a combination of dremel tools and box cutters to trim the rubber approximately along these lines

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

 

Unfortunately the picture of the finished product is over exposed. I have included it here, hopefully you get the idea - I tried to relevel it so you can see what it looks like.

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install   B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

 

 

After you have shaped the upper bushing, you can grease it up and slip the adjustable perch onto it

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

 

 

Here is what the fit looks like on the inside

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

 

 

 

B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

  After you have it setup, tighten the set screws so the perch doesn't rotate on the bushing, and then grease and assemble the rest of the adjustable perch. If you grease it well, you wont have to worry about the plastic bearing falling off when you assemble the suspension.

 

 

You can now assemble the spring in on the stock lower bushing and then pop the upper bushing/adjustable perch assembly on top. Have someone step on the hub and work the assembly into place.

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

 

 

And the major advantage of doing it his way - look how nicely the spanner wrench fits on the coilover:

  B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 

Rear Coilover Install - Finishing Up

After the spring is installed, go ahead and install the shock

As with the fronts, you just use a jack to get all the bolts lined up. Everything should go together without much effort.

Be sure to torque the bolts correctly - do not over or under tighten them.

Here's the picture with the spring installed the manufacturers way - again, I would no longer recommend this.

 

B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install

 
Once you are set up ... sit back and look at the finished product....
B6 Audi A4 - Coilover Suspension Install
 

Let the suspension settle for a couple days - make your final height adjustments and go get an alignment before your tires wear all crazy.

Here is a scan of my before and after alignment. Don't Skip this step!

That's all there is too it - enjoy your new suspension!



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