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GUIDE: Fitting Subframe Alloy Locking Collars

LuPix_S15

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Ok folks,

I've always wondered how the metal subframe collars were fitted to an S15 so when I did mine the other day with a mate, I took the chance to take pics so hopefully, those who wanna give this a go will know it's not too difficult. I purchased my set of subframe alloy collars from Driftworks :)


Jack the car up and get the rear section on axle stands. Then ensure you put a jack underneath the diff centrally.

Well first pic below shows what the stock subframe front bush looks like when the nut and bracket holding it in place is removed from underneath:





Basically there are two front subframe mounting points (where the rear suspension bolts to) and two rear mounting points (more central and closer to rear of diff). We got to work by loosening all the nuts/bolts for the brackets on the front mounting points so there's enough room to prise the subframe and bush down so the top collars can be slipped in place. Don't remove these nuts/bolts entirely in case the subframe might fall off!! Well, we were paranoid about this anyway :wack:




As above pic shows, use 14mm socket to loosen the bolts that hold the bracket to the sides of the car and a 17mm socket to loosen the main nut which holds the bracket to the subframe etc. Do this for both sides of the front subframe mounting points. At this point you must ensure the diff is still being firmly propped up by a jack (as mentioned at beginning). Once all nuts/bolts are loosened then VERY SLOWLY drop the jack holding the diff. Only by a couple of centimetres. It's unlikely the subframe will drop cos of the bushes so use a pry bar to prise the subframe downwards - on both sides. You should then have a gap that's big enough to slot the top collars like so:





Next to finish off the front mounting points by fitting the bottom collars (completely circular collars without the cut-out section) jack the diff up so it should then move the subframe back up and leave you more thread to get the bottom collars underneath the existing bushes. Then completely remove the nuts/bolts for the bracket, slot in the bottom collars and then put brackets back on underneath:




If you have the same issue as my bottom collars then this is a real tight fit which means they don't go on flush against the stock bush. So get another jack and force the bracket to be pushed against the new collar plus bush etc until it's all nice and flush - sorted!! :)




Tighten all the nuts/bolts for brackets and the front subframe is now completed. Moving onto the rear mounting points, these are not as fiddly because there is no bracket. So again, with the car on axle stands and separate jack holding diff, take off the brace (or whatever it's called) that joins the two rear mounting bushes for the subframe. Once this brace is removed, put the original nuts back on the threads - in case the subframe might drop out (but it shouldn't!!). Once the nuts are in place, drop the jack a few centimetres and then with pry bar, prise downwards the bushes so there's enough of a gap to slip in the top collars like before. Then jack the diff up again and fit the bottom collars, put the brace back on, nuts back on and it's all finally done!! :cool:




I'm hoping I got everything right but please feel free to comment/correct.

Nice1 - J

BTW - I know the underneath of my car doesn't look as nice as Dean's and yes, it really needs a good session of jetwash and underseal!! :p
 
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not a bad lil write up tbh

i now feel better knowing sombody has a rustyer s15 than me
only got a lil bubbling on rear archs :p
 
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Front bushes look the same as mine. Perhaps I should have another go at fitting my set.

Do they make that much difference to the drive?
 
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Nice write up James! :thumbs: I undid all the nuts/bolts and the subframe didnt fall off haha - could hardly move it even with a prybar when trying to slot the top collars in :)

Dan - makes loads of difference mate, the front and rear of the car feels somewhat more connected lol :wack: only negatives are a bit of a harsher ride and some diff whine/vibration but who cares about that? :D do it!
 

LuPix_S15

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Cheers guys :)


lol Si - yeah I know I'd deffo win 'the most rusty' S15 award on the owners club :rolleyes:

Dan - yep hope that confirms you have an original subframe bush etc. Give it another go mate.

James - my mate and I are a little paranoid about stuff dropping off whilst working under the car so took extra precautions although I did remember you telling me it won't drop off haha :wack: Getting a bit more vibrations now and then from diff but it's not overly harsh to me and backend does feel tighter. So much so it's making the front feel more sloppy so can't wait to get ARB's sorted :thumbs:
 
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I am on there for the coilovers mate yeah! Im just seeing how things go at the moment for the ARBs.... you know what its like though, i will more than likely buy the ARBs too :wack: lol
 

craig8585

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Good write up James, I'll add it to the useful threads as the link we have doesn't seem to work anymore :)
 
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Hopefully when I do get mine fitted, the car will feel a bit more like my old 180sx. With poly bushes in the subframe, hubs and front and rear lower arms, DW CS1's, whiteline anti roll bars, a full compliment of rose jointed arms, and a rear roll cage it used to handle really positively.
At the minute I don't feel my silvia handles as well as the 180 did, but I have only got DW CS2's fitted at present. I don't want to go quite as far as I did with the 180, as in I don't want a cage, but hopefully the extra bracing on the spec R will make up for this :)
 

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Good write up, my locking collars were a PITA to fit, especially getting enough room to slot them in.

They make a big difference, whole back of the car feels more firm.

The ARBs are also a good addition, just make sure the car is level when you fit them or you will tighten them up on a twisted chassis.

You do get a guide with the apex locking collars when you buy them but I like this one, good job.
 

LuPix_S15

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Cheers guys and thanks Craig for adding this to the useful threads :)


Yeah the rear end is deffo tighter and when you push around corners you feel this more than ever... so much so I'm in desperate need to get the front end tighter as it feels much more sloppy now!! :wack:
 
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Have put mine in and can hear the increased cabin noise, more whine and the odd clunk. Have yet to do a skid to see if they have made a big difference.
 
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you wanna get alloy sf bushes, i can't see how locking collars can make that much of a difference because you still have the rubber sf bush there so your still going to have play in the rubber.

Fitted alloy sf bushes to mine and the difference is immense! however diff now clunks like a basterd when going around every corner (cusco 2 way) and the whole car vibrates at 3000 rpm however feels nice and tight. If your drifting this is a must. When you come out of the corner the car is predictable now.

Also with the alloy diff bushes also there is hardly any axle tramp. As soon as you press the pedal the car moves instantly
 

craig8585

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The locking collars have the same effect as solid bushes and they do make a big difference. They clamp solid between the subframe and the chassis so the bush doesn't really do anything when they are fitted. Alloy bushes are obviously better than locking collars though as they insert into the subframe like bushes do, rather than being sandwiched between the subframe and chassis. I was going to go for uprated subframe bushes but may aswel just go for solid ones as the locking collars don't give me any grief. Just the added noise, which I like anyway! :)
 
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Just did a skid and the car feels really good now. The back feels like its actually connected to the car and its way more predictable, and a hell of a lot more precise when you want more/less angle.
 
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What are solid alloy sf bushes like to drive on the road? I'm going to be upgrading my bushes soon, i am currenltly already using locking collars. I thought that they might make the ride a bit to harsh on the road and was thinking of just going uprated polybush instead is this the case?:confused:
 

craig8585

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No harsher than with collars. They both hold the subframe solid.
 

DeanS15

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i'm gonna fit my poly subframe bushes soon, i found collars a bit too noisy but a great upgrade. hopefully the polys (which are pretty tough themselves) should give a similar/same improvement in handling whilst insulating against some of the noises :)
 
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