How To Fit S13 Coilovers

by Staff | Last updated 6th May, 2016 | Posted in Guides

This is a complete guide for how to fit brand new coilover suspension to the Nissan S13 (including 180sx, 200sx and 240sx).

Nissan s13 coilover suspension fitting guide

Suitable applications for this guide:

  • – Nissan 180sx (s13 jdm)
  • – Nissan 200sx (s13)
  • – Nissan 240sx (s13 usdm)
  • – Nissan 200sx (s14)
  • – Nissan Silvia (s14 jdm)


Please note that following this guide is entirely at your own risk. The 180sx Club is not responsible for any personal injury to you or to a third party and neither is it responsible for any damage done to your vehicle while attempting to follow this guide. The 180sx Club provide these workshop guides for experienced mechanics to use, if you are not confident that you have the correct skills then please take your vehicle to your favourite professional garage to complete the work.

Most imported Nissan 180sx and Nissan Silvia s13’s will have already been fitted with a set of aftermarket coilover suspension. From talking to many owners of these imports it seems quite common for the coilovers to be poorly suited to our lesser quality roads, so replacing them becomes a priority.

I found that my own car’s JIC Magic coilovers were leaking and not compressing properly, so I felt it was time to change to a replacement set. I have written this guide to help other owners get through this job as quickly as possible. Feel free to add comments.

If you would like some help in choosing which coilovers to buy, our S13 coilover guide was written just for you.

What will you need?

– Socket set

– Breaker bar

– Impact gun

– Axle stands

– Wheel chocks

– Hammer

– 2 x Trolley jack

– Replacement set of coilovers


We decided to start with the rear suspension first.

Jack your car up from the rear

We chose to use the hefty rear differential as the jacking point.

Brace the car

Put the axle stands on the inner chassis rails (or anywhere hefty) and put the wheel chocks in front of the front wheels.

Nissan s13 coilover suspension fitting guide

Pop your boot and look at the rear strut towers. If you have a rear strut bar then you must remove this, then undo the two 12mm nuts holding the top of the coilover in place.

Slacken off most of the pressure from the 12mm nuts, but leave them with a few rungs of screws still exposed so they are supported from the top.

Nissan s13 coilover suspension fitting guide

Go under the rear arch and locate the bottom of the strut. It is secured by a 17mm (?) bolt, this will need to be hammered by the impact gun so go grab yours and give the bolt the good news over and over until it starts spinning on the thread. Now use a heavy duty ratchet or breaker bar to work the nut off.

I love the noise of impact guns early in the morning..

Nissan s13 coilover suspension fitting guide

Remove the two loosened 12mm nuts from the top and extract the entire strut assembly.

Wiggle it around until it clears the varies holes then you should be able to remove it fairly simply.

Nissan s13 coilover suspension fitting guide

Inspect your old coilover

It looks dirty, let’s get that new gear on there!

Nissan s13 coilover suspension fitting guide

Refit the new coilover in the exact reverse of how you removed the old unit.

This is very easy just do what you have done in the steps above backwards 🙂 Be sure that when you are offering up the new coilover it is facing the correct way, as it will only go in one way. Some simple trial fitting should show you which is the correct face.

Nissan s13 coilover suspension fitting guide

The rear suspension has been changed now let’s replace the fronts. Start by breaking the seal on the three 12mm nuts on each strut tower but don’t remove them fully yet.

This is just like the rears but with one extra 12mm nut.

Nissan s13 coilover suspension fitting guide

The front struts have two 17mm (?) bolts holding the lower section to the hub. Attack these with the impact gun them remove them with your ratchet.

This is slightly more fiddly then the rears due to the location, but it’s still not too hard going.

Nissan s13 coilover suspension fitting guide

Take off the rear bolts and then the three 12mm top bolts and remove the strut. Refit the new front strut in the reverse order of how you removed the old one.

Now repeat this for the other side and your new coilovers are good to go 🙂

Nissan s13 coilover suspension fitting guide

Tune your suspension.

Tweak your ride height, camber and damping if they are available on the model of coilover you have purchased. There will be another guide written for suspension tuning!

Nissan s13 coilover suspension fitting guide

Credit due to Morf who took the lead in doing the job and showed me how to do it 🙂 He also posed very patiently while I took lot’s of pictures so cheers!