Time to take out the trash!
With about 250,000 miles on my Miata, things are tend to be broken. Nothing is more broken than my suspension was, I was bottoming out on the freeway over bumps. Trash is exactly what they were. Since I didn’t want to make the Miata uncomfortable, but still wanted some performance, I decided to go with Megan Racing EZ Streets.
SB Garage was running a group buy with a great price, so I went down and picked some up. These guys were pretty cool, so check them out! They even gave me a bunch of vinyl!
I brought these babies home and opened up the box to see more boxes!
Don’t they look pretty? Well before you get started, you will need just a few tools:
- Ratcheting wrench
- 10 mm socket
- 12 mm deep socket
- 14 mm deep socket
- 14 mm wrench
- 17 mm deep socket
- 17 mm wrench
- 19 mm wrench
- MacPherson strut spring compressor
- Car jack
- Jack stands
These should be things you have around the house, but if you need a spring compressor, you can visit your neighborhood O’Reilly’s for a free rental!
The rears of the Miata are way easier to swap than the fronts, so I would suggest starting with the rear. Put some wood blocks in front of the front wheels, then jack up the rear of the Miata by the rear differential housing. Remember to place jack stands at the rear jack points for safety. Next remove the wheels and you should have full access to the bottom of the suspension.
Now it’s time to remove some of the padding in the trunk. Pop open the trunk and remove the spare tire, rolling back the carpet will show the passenger rear strut top.
Removing the three plastic tabs on the left will show you the metal plate that protects the gas tank filler neck, the plate comes out after removing four bolts. Behind the filler neck is the driver side rear strut top.
You now have two options. Remove the two 14 mm nuts that hold the strut top to the car first, or last. Having a friend will make this a lot easier. If your friend is helping you, leave the nuts until the end. Doing this yourself, I find it easier to do it first. Now you can remove the 3 bolts that hold the suspension in place.
The first will be the bottom of the rear endlink (14 mm), then remove the top control arm bolt (14 mm), and finally the bolt that holds the bottom of the suspension to the bottom control arm (17 mm). You may need to hold the bolts with a 14 mm wrench while you torque off the 14 mm nut on the other side.
If you’ve already removed the top mount nuts, you should be able to remove the strut. If not, have someone hold the strut while you remove the nuts. Placing the EZ Street coilover in is very simple. Just insert the top into the hole and bolt it on.
After the top is on, reconnect the top control arm and endlink. At this point you can adjust the height and the pre-load of the coilover. I increased the preload by about half and inch and I raised the rear about an inch and a half. This gave me a pretty stock look.
Torque everything back on tight and now we can move onto the front! Now, the fronts are going to be a lot harder. This is because the front suspension is longer and does not come out of the car easily. I found the easiest way to remove the front strut is to disassemble it, and for this you will need the spring compressor. Put the car in gear, enable the emergency brake, jack the car up, place the jack stands in place, and remove the wheels. You now have access to bottom of the suspension. You really only need to take out the bolt that secures the front suspension to the lower control arm. I also removed the endlink nut, but you really don’t need to do that.
You can now put the spring compressor on the front strut. You should try to place the bolt side on top and place the compressor on each side of the strut. Make sure you have enough room to turn the head of the bolt, if you got the compressor from O’Reilly it will be a 19 mm head. Take some time to compress each side evenly. Once you’ve compressed it as low as it can go, you can now remove the top hat. There is a little plastic plate on top of the top had, just pop that off with a screw driver. Under the plate, there is a 17 mm nut, go ahead and torque that off. Once that is off you can remove the two 14 mm nuts that hold the top hat on.
To remove the strut from the top hat, you may need to step on the front control arm to get more space. You should now be able to wiggle the strut and the spring out. This is what the deconstructed strut looks like:
Fortunately, putting the EZ Street front strut in is a lot easier than taking the OEM front strut out. Just place it in and bolt up the top hat.
Now again with the front strut, adjust the preload:
And the height:
To start the adjustment, always loosen the smaller collar first. Turn the big top collar to increase preload and unscrew the lower strut mount to increase ride height. Make sure to tighten the small collar after you’re done adjusting. Now torque the 17 mm bolt back on while holding the 17 mm nut on the other side. Once everything is tight, throw the tires back on and enjoy your new ride!
It looks like I need to adjust the front strut a little bit to lower it a little bit, but that’s the best part about having coilover suspension. You can always adjust it until it’s the way you like it!