DIY: DTS Tuning SX Coilover Install


San Diego, CA
2014 Subaru WRX
DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any damage you do to your car or yourself, this is simply a documentation of what I did for my car and should not be construed in anyway as step-by-step instructions. :thumbsup:

Now onto the install, this is my first suspension install on a MKV GTI but I was lucky enough to have on hand a bunch of fellow car nuts that had done suspension work on various cars. I also want to thank everyone that has done DIYs in the past, I read through multiple different DIYs before attempting my own.

I opted to do my install without pulling the axles after reading a few of the DIYs out there, I felt confident that I had a method for removing the stock strut that worked well for me in the past with other Macpherson style strut/shock combos.

I started with the rear because I wanted a morale boost for what I knew would be an interesting front install.

I started by removing the 18mm bolt/nut combo that holds the control arm to the hub, make sure to put a jack under the control arm as the control arm is under pressure and will spring downward. I did notice however that it wasn't under as much pressure as most people mentioned and I was able to fully let out the jack without the control arm hitting the floor. At which time I removed the stock spring with the rubber grommet on the TOP of the spring. This grommet will NOT be reused.

Then remove the two 16mm bolts that hold the top of the shock to the body of the car.

Next was the 18mm bolt holding the bottom of the shock to the hub assembly, the whole shock should now come out of the car. Remove the black cap on the top of the shock assembly and you will see a nut that holds the shock mount to the shock itself.

Now using an 18mm crescent wrench and an adjustable wrench, remove the center nut on the rear shock mount. The adjustable wrench holds the center tab which keeps the shock from spinning while you loosen the nut. It is NOT a good idea to grip the silver shock inner itself as any damage or marring can cause your shocks to leak.

Install the OEM shock mount onto the DTS rear shock, this photo shows the included new dust sleeve and bump stop as well.

Using a crescent wrench and a 6mm allen socket install the new nut onto the new shock assembly. In this picture I used a t-handle allen to get the nut past the nylock.

Reinstall the new shock assembly and bolt to the car using the 2x 16mm bolts. Make sure to install the shock before the spring or you wont be able to torque the lower 18mm bolt. I made the mistake of doing it the other way and had to pull out the spring to torque the lower bolt.

Next take your new DTS tuning rear spring and place the perch on the top of the spring. The spring is rounded on the bottom last coil and flat on the top last coil, the top is flat so it sits flush with the perch.

When installing the new spring/perch combo make sure the bottom of the spring is installed so the notch in the rubber grommet is where the end of the lower spring coil is.

And the installed combo

Next lift up the control arm so and install the 18mm bolt/nut combo to attach it to the hub. Rears complete! Make sure on the driver side to disconnected the HID leveling arm before dropping the control arm, sorry I didn't get a shot of this.

Now onto the fronts...start by removing the 18mm sway bar linkage nut, then swing the linkage out of the way.

Next I sprayed PB Blaster around the collar that pinches the strut. Then, using a jack I lifted the control arm, raising the hub and compressing the spring. I then installed spring compressors and tightened them by hand while the spring was already compressed.

Next I removed the pinch bolt which is a M14 12PT and 18mm nut but since i couldn't get a hold of a 12PT bit I used a 3/8" extension (square part) which did the job just fine of holding the bolt while I removed the nut. Again if you have a 12PT bit or can source one, its probably the best bet, but honestly you can do it without it.

Using a crowbar I pried open the clamp slightly and inserted a 3/8" -> 1/4" adapter as my "strut spreader" again they sell a tool made specifically to do this but I couldn't find one in time for my install, turning the adapter 45 degrees spreads the strut. My adapter is craftsmen so I was confident if I broke it I could get it replaced, please don't blame me if you break yours.

Next the three 13mm bolts which are under the rain tray that hold the strut to the body were removed, sorry no photo.

While having someone support the bottom of the strut, I lowered the jack on the control arm and the strut slipped right out of the clamp. Because the spring was held compressed by the spring compressor there was minimal downward force and we were able to angle the strut and remove it from the car. SUCCESS! You may opt to do it a different way but this way worked for us. Again in no way do I recommend you attempt this, try at your own risk.

Unscrew the top hat nut from the stock assembly and remove the top hat, since the springs compressors were already on, we saved more time not having to compress it off the car. The DTS kit comes with a small plastic cap which comes on the front strut assembly. This cap needs to be installed on the BOTTOM side of the stock top hat assembly.

Now using the new nylock nut install the OEM top hat onto the DTS strut/spring assembly. Again new dust sleeve sand bump-stops are included so your OEM ones are NOT needed. Its easiest to install the top hat with the collar all the way down, we did not need to use a spring compressor at all to install the top hat. The finished product

Next I applied anti-seize to the strut clamp to facilitate removal of the strut in the future if necessary. The new strut assembly slipped easily into the clamp and the guide on the bottom of the strut did NOT need to be modified in anyway as often needs to be done on Racelands, VMaxx, etc.

The new hub/strut assembly was raised using a jack and bolted to the car using the original 13mm bolts. I figured everyone is capable of reinstalling the components so I stopped taking pictures. Reinstall the pinch bolt, install the sway-bar linkage after both sides have been completed.

On the driver side you will need to again remove the HID leveler. On other DIYs the lever arm has been removed using a 10mm socket/crescent. On my car the arm was a ball joint and rather then risk damaging it, I removed the 10mm nut on the BOTTOM of the control arm which holds the leveler bracket to the control arm.

I also realized that in my sleepiness I forgot to take a picture of the installed front strut and all of its glory; but, I'll be adjusting the final ride height after the springs settle soon so I will get a photo at that time.

This completes my DIY guide. Again this is how I chose to do it, if you have access to other tools, or opt to use another method it is entirely up to you. Please make sure to be careful.

To read my thoughts on the DTS SX coilovers please see my other thread.

And to make "Deezz_Nuttz" happy, my crappy before/after shots. Minimal room and poor lighting, better shots to come.

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What's a User Title?
So Cal

where did you get those spring compressors with a locking clip?

all those pics and no before and after.


San Diego, CA
2014 Subaru WRX
I actually borrowed them from a friend I want to say they are Craftsmen from Sears. The locking pins make me feel a lot safer that they wont come flying off the springs.


GTI 3yr Veteran
Queens, New York
Very Nice

The back looks like a piece of cake. But the front.... wtf

Questions: How many miles were on the car when you put the coils on? Did you replace any stock parts?

Reason I asked is because Im about to goto coils and I been on just springs for a while and Im hearing a lot of squeaking..... so just wondering if it would be a good idea to replace bearings, etc


San Diego, CA
2014 Subaru WRX
17,000 miles on the car, didn't replace anything. Fronts will definitely take 2 if not 3 times as long as the rears, be prepared.


Passed Driver's Ed
Thank you very much for making this DIY. I thought i was going to torch my car
after trying to find the triple square and the tool to remove the strut. My little 1/4 adapter did the trick.


shhhh i'm hunting wabbits
Baton rouge la,
awesome rite up.. the 3/8 extension really does work for that tricky 12pt m14 bolt.. i'm glad i ran by this thread.. THANK YOU! lol
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