You will have a hard time hating anything about the Acura TSX, a well rounded sedan that can do a little bit of everything. Tote the family around in refined comfort, or do a bit of spirited driving in occasional spot track duty, the TSX can truly do it all.
In fact there’s still a large segment of Honda and Acura enthusiasts that still love the first generation TSX, known more for it’s handling capabilities and is raced by international teams such as Buddy Club and AAI Motorsports.
Powered by a 2.4 liter version of the K24 as well as an optional 3.5 liter V6, the TSX delivers silky smooth revving and a great balance of top end power and low end torque. Today we’ll be showing you how to install lowering springs in a Acura TSX, more specifically a 2004 Base model.
This vehicle is already equipped with a set of KONI shock absorbers and TEIN Stech springs, giving the vehicle an aggressive stance. We’ll be installing a set of HTECH springs for comfort, as this customer wants to switch his lowering springs for a set of spring rates that will help keep him comfortable without losing his competitive edge.
The part number we’re removing today is SKA64-AUB00 and the part number we’ll be replacing it with is SKA64-BUB00. In case you are scoring at home, or even alone, the spring rate for the STECH TEIN springs is 347 lbs/in for the fronts and 151 lbs/in Rear. These STECH springs lower your vehicle 1.7 inches, which should settle to just under 2.0 inches depending on the condition of your shock absorbers.
Before we begin make sure that you have all the tools required for this install, here’s just a few :
- 17mm socket
- 19mm socket
- 12mm socket
- 17mm open ended wrench
- 14mm socket
- Breaker bar
- Spring Compressor
As always, when working on your vehicle make sure to take the proper safety precautions to prevent injury. Take a look at just a few of our safety tips here.
Begin our how to install lowering springs in a Acura TSX guide by jacking up the front of the car and securing with jackstands. Remove your front wheels first as the fronts are significantly easier than the rears.
Now with your front wheels removed, you can loosen the 14mm bolt that holds the lower suspension pickle in place to your shock absorber.
This 14mm bolt runs the length of this lower pickle, and removing it now makes things a bit easier when you undo the lower 17mm bolt and nut.
Remove this lower bolt and nut, and your suspension fork should now be able to freely slide up or down.
Slide the suspension fork down and off your shock absorber which should give you free reign to the shock itself.
Now begin to undo the nuts located on the top of the shock tower, make sure to hold your suspension so that it doesn’t fall to the ground.
There are three 14mm nuts that hold the shock in place, remove these and move onto the two 12mm nuts that are located next to the shock absorber upper mount. Once you have these removed, the shock should be free to remove.
Undo the top nut using a spring compressor, and make sure to wear all the proper safety equipment. Because this shock absorber is under tension, improperly removing the top nut can cause serious injury, if not death.
Once you have the top nut removed, you can slide off the upper mount and access the spring as well as the dust boot.
With the dust boot removed, this is what you should see. If you are removing stock springs, now is the time to remove your bumpstop and cut it so that you don’t bottom out traveling over speed bumps and the like.
Reassemble your front shock, making sure that the metal stopper is in place and that you have the dust boot installed correctly. Slide the new spring over the shock, and now you must re-install the top mount by lining up the marks under the top mount. Make sure you properly line up this portion of the install, or the shock will not slide into place right and you will have to do it all over again.
Using your spring compressor, reinstall the top mount and align the strut mount properly for the correctly aligning install of this shock. Compare the old units with your new ones below.
Now you’ve got to put the front shocks back into place, slide them up and into the shock tower up front and gently spin on the 14mm nuts. Do not tighten at this stage, but simply let the shock hang. With the newly installed shock in place, you can now slide up on the suspension fork / pickle and line it up with the slots located on the back of the shock.
If your shock does not line up with the suspension fork, stop now and remove the entire shock assembly. Your shock must slide into the groove of the suspension fork for proper installation. Do not tighten or operate your TSX with a mis-installed shock as it could lead to injury or even death.
Tighten whichever front corner you are working on and reinstall the lower 17mm bolt and nut, repeat the process for the other side and you are done with the fronts now. The next part of our how to install lowering springs in a Acura TSX is the rears, which can be slightly more difficult depending on your setup.
To access the rears, lower the front of your vehicle and use two chocks to prevent the front wheels from moving. Make sure to put the car into gear and if you have any doubt whatsoever, check out our Top Ten Safety Rules when working on cars Guide.
The first order of business in the rear of your Acura TSX is to remove the rear upper trailing arm, which is secured to the hub assembly by way of a 17mm bolt. Gently push up on the upper arm as to not disturb the rubber bushings located in the rear subframe.
Next loosen the lower bolt that holds the rear shock in place, this should get you a little bit of breathing room in back of your Acura TSX. Now it’s time for the upper nuts, which are two 14mm nuts located behind the passenger seats.
Fold down the passenger seat in back of your Acura TSX, and you should be left with the sides of the back seat that must be removed for you to access the nuts.
This is the side of your Acura TSX backseat that must be removed. There’s a large plastic arm that slides into the groove of the chassis, push up on that arm from the back of the seat and pull away to reveal the upper strut mounts in back of your TSX.
Undo these two 14mm nuts and your lower shock should be free to remove. Now here comes the hard part, because you will be trying to finagle the rear shock out of the control arms in back of your TSX. Use care and do not rush here, because you can easily damage the fender or any of the control arm components if you try to strongarm your shock out of place.
We prefer to move the top of the rear strut mount towards us, which should allow you to pull the shock from the complicated maze of rear arms in your TSX.
With the rear shock removed, you can now undo the top bolt to the shock. Make sure you take the same precautions as the front shock, because you can get injured just as badly if not more by the rear shocks.
With the top mount removed in the rear of your Acura TSX shocks, you can now remove the old springs and access the dust boot and bumpstop.
Now slide the dust boot off and inspect the shock for any damage to the rod or the shock. If you are removing stock springs, cut your bumpstop so that you aren’t smashing the top of your shock over every speed bump.
After your bumpstop is modified, slide the dust boot back in place and make sure to align the upper mounts in rear now. You will want to align the rears properly, because putting the rear shocks back in place is a major bitch and you don’t want to do this job twice. Take your time and align the top mount so that you can now reassemble your rear shocks in reverse order.
With all that done, you can now carefully figure out the steps in sliding your rear shock back in place. Again make sure to go slow so that you don’t damage your fender or paint. Once the shock is in place, the upper mount should be slid into place first.
With the upper mount in place, hand tighten the 14mm nuts which should hold it to your car. The lower mount should be rotated correctly so that you don’t have to mess with it, slide the lower mount into the hub assembly and tighten the 19mm bolt. Reinstall your rear upper trailing arm and reinstall the 17mm bolt, and lastly torque the 14mm upper mount nuts to spec.
You have just the other rear side left, and you have now completed the spring install in your Acura TSX. Enjoy our how to install lowering springs in a Acura TSX Guide? Check out more articles and DIY tips uploaded everyday at My Pro Street!