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C4 VTS fast road build, inc lowering guide

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planet_saxx   
Sat Jul 21 2012, 12:15pm
Member No: #26660
Joined: Jul 20 2012
Location: Grimsby, Lincolnshire
ok as a new member i was a little suprised to find there is no lowering guide. for some it will be a first time experience so a little advice may be appreciated

please note i am a handy mechanic, i have done the following at home with all tools available from halfords, machine mart and other local car tool suppliers. nothing too special was required...



please note this was the first time i have done any work on a C4. the car is my own.

time taken wa 3.5 hrs including having 2 cups of tea and playing fetch with the dog

this is not a 100% must step by step guide. its simply how i lowered my C4.

firstly would like to point out its a 2005 vts with 89,000 miles so we are not working on a low mileage car (this is more realistic for your average joe).

start with a car at standard height.



pop the hood


i started by removing the 16mm nuts that secure the wipers



penetrant spray...


i could not get the wiper arms to pull off so used a balljoint splitter.


with the wiper arms removed. we now need to look at the long plastic wiper motor/linkage cover from below the windscreen.


i started by lifting the soft floppy ends, they are tucked under the front wings.


pop the edges of the plastic cover off each side.


with the cover gently removed (a little forceful persuassion required)


plastics as i removed them.


next moved onto the strut top bolts 21mm



not a lot of room to get a socket onto the 21mm strut top nut. i removed each 10mm bolt securing the wiper linkage.


with the linkage pushed forward it allowed me to get the socket on the nut.


but this leaves no room to get the gun to the socket.


so i closed the bonnet and had plenty of room to get a socket extension in there. dont remove the nut. undo it and leave a few threads left on.


.....
planet_saxx   
Sat Jul 21 2012, 12:31pm
Member No: #26660
Joined: Jul 20 2012
Location: Grimsby, Lincolnshire
with the strut top bolts broken loose time to crack the wheel nuts loose too.


i believe these are the jacking points, but i am not happy as i do not want to make a mess of the sills.


i chose to jack up here, used some wood to cushion the weight of the car to the jacks.


next we need to remove the droplink bolt 16mm and the two 18mm strut leg/hub bolts.


after lots of use with a wire brush and plenty of wd40 these come loose (to my relief)


now onto the two 18mm bolts to the hub.


with those undone you can now remove the strut top nut. this will allow the leg to be dropped out of the wheel arch.


here is where the buzz gun helps if you have one. if you dont have a gun for heavens sake use spring clamps!


old standard and new apex 35mm springs.


rebuilding is a repeat of the removal then to repeat the other side

note on the other side one of the droplinks was causing a few grey hair moments...



i managed to pull the broken bit out then broke another when i tried again!


given that i tackled the bottom droplink bolt instead and won


planet_saxx   
Sat Jul 21 2012, 12:47pm
Member No: #26660
Joined: Jul 20 2012
Location: Grimsby, Lincolnshire
leg in place looking funky with yellow spring.


with the bolts double checked and the wheels back on, car lowered back to the ground (front lowered only).


at this point i am 2 hrs into the job.

now with the car jacked up at the rear (by the jacking points on the sills)


undo the one retaining bolt for the damper. 13mm inner 16mm outer bolt. bit of wire brush and wd40 first


if you have someone spare, have them place weight onto the rear wheels. allowing the gentle use of a crow bar the rear spring will pop out.

this bit can be a battle. i have spring clamps but they fouled the chasis, suspension arm and axle. so i didnt use clamps.



rear springs.


leaving the lower spring cup/bush in place, remove the upper one by pulling it. it may have fallen out.

place the upper bush/cup onto the top part of the spring and take note of the bush/cup-spring location shown here.


with the spring in place refit the damper bolt. i found lowering the jack and making the wheel bring the suspension back in place made this easy.


with the car now lowered and sitting pretty.



apex springs 35mm. more close to 40mm after measuring

the old standard springs still look good after 89,000.


enjoy, and please feel free to add anything i may have missed
1 User said Thank You to planet_saxx for this Post :
 Biohead (21 Jul 2012 : 16:26)
wozza   
Sat Jul 21 2012, 03:44pm

Member No: #2
Joined: Aug 12 2006
Location: Manchester
Have to be careful with undoing the rear suspension on the VTS.

You can accidentally ruin the rear sensor for the xenons if you do not disconnect it first as it is attached to the axle.

Not a fan of the wheels though, can see why you want to change them. They aren't even as nice as the OEM Resolfens.
planet_saxx   
Sat Jul 21 2012, 04:50pm
Member No: #26660
Joined: Jul 20 2012
Location: Grimsby, Lincolnshire
Sensor for the xenon? Please speak english
wozza   
Sat Jul 21 2012, 05:29pm

Member No: #2
Joined: Aug 12 2006
Location: Manchester
There are 2 sensors to control the auto leveling function of the xenon headlights. One is at the front, the other is attached to the rear axle towards the middle of it.

It can be extended too much if the dampers are disconnected, the result is it wrecks the sensor. So if that has happened, what will happen is that xenons will give an error message on the MFD. Then the sidelight and dipped light status symbols on the display will flash. The xenons won't turn with the steering wheel no more and will basically just point at the ground right in front of the car.
Ham   
Sun Jul 22 2012, 03:16am

Member No: #69
Joined: Jan 10 2007
Location: Derby, England
Nice how too, car does look better, but i'm with Tom on the wheels. Should be like that from standard like the Xsara VTS is lower than the rest of the range buy quite a bit.
FakeConcern   
Sun Jul 22 2012, 03:49am
Member No: #24127
Joined: Feb 05 2012
Location: Bexhill on Sea
Nice car, good colour. Like the write up, but I think I'd only bother to do mine if a spring broke. Regarding the headlamp sensor, see pics of it here - Click Here - When I had to change mine.
Regarding the throttle response, I fitted a BMC panel filter. Makes a bit of difference, not much though. Have you tried it with the ESP turned off as that seems to change all sorts of things not only traction control at low speed?
planet_saxx   
Sun Jul 22 2012, 05:57am
Member No: #26660
Joined: Jul 20 2012
Location: Grimsby, Lincolnshire
wozza wrote ...

There are 2 sensors to control the auto leveling function of the xenon headlights. One is at the front, the other is attached to the rear axle towards the middle of it.

It can be extended too much if the dampers are disconnected, the result is it wrecks the sensor. So if that has happened, what will happen is that xenons will give an error message on the MFD. Then the sidelight and dipped light status symbols on the display will flash. The xenons won't turn with the steering wheel no more and will basically just point at the ground right in front of the car.


now he tells me

never mind if its broken i will fix it. i did look at that on the axle and presumed it may be some sort of brake bias/load sensor.
planet_saxx   
Sun Jul 22 2012, 06:00am
Member No: #26660
Joined: Jul 20 2012
Location: Grimsby, Lincolnshire
FakeConcern wrote ...

Nice car, good colour. Like the write up, but I think I'd only bother to do mine if a spring broke. Regarding the headlamp sensor, see pics of it here - Click Here - When I had to change mine.
Regarding the throttle response, I fitted a BMC panel filter. Makes a bit of difference, not much though. Have you tried it with the ESP turned off as that seems to change all sorts of things not only traction control at low speed?


i will try fiddling the esp on and off

i think i will stick with a uprated panel filter.
planet_saxx   
Mon Jul 23 2012, 12:34pm
Member No: #26660
Joined: Jul 20 2012
Location: Grimsby, Lincolnshire
tried turning the esp on/off, feels no more connected to the road

good news is there should be something new for the car coming wednesday

i also spoke with gmc motorsport today about a few things. decat, remap, induction and throttle responce. first thing john (gmc) suggested is i take the charger off my saxo and fit it to the c4 . NO CHANCE (supercharged saxo being built by the way )!

i was advised rather than plant the throttle, chase it. this type of car, ecu/technology isnt what i am used haha.

decat... i will make one. john has never seen any car not respond to one and thinks a 7% gain can be had. i am on the case!
Rich_Eason   
Mon Jul 23 2012, 02:43pm

Member No: #90
Joined: Jan 29 2007
Location: Bristol
planet_saxx wrote ...

tried turning the esp on/off, feels no more connected to the road


The difference I found with it off is that the car tended to torque steer/ tramline more as you accelerated hard.
Sonny   
Thu Jul 26 2012, 09:55am
That's why a brother whos a mechanic is good to have
C4Darren   
Thu Jul 26 2012, 11:03am
Member No: #13754
Joined: May 18 2010
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
Would be interested to see the result with a decat, along with the lovely burble/pop noise I'm sure a few of us wanna see the gains
planet_saxx   
Thu Jul 26 2012, 01:00pm
Member No: #26660
Joined: Jul 20 2012
Location: Grimsby, Lincolnshire
Rich_Eason wrote ...

planet_saxx wrote ...

tried turning the esp on/off, feels no more connected to the road


The difference I found with it off is that the car tended to torque steer/ tramline more as you accelerated hard.


thats the road/chasis you are feeling. thats what i want, to feel the car not the computers numbing everything.

not sure how to do a multiqoute if thats possible on this forum?
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