How To: 2008 STi HKS Hipermax III Sport Coilover Install

After running a full season last year on some Cusco Zero2-E coilovers, we decided to upgrade them for a competition set. The Cuscos where great on the street and for daily driving, but fell short out at the track with full race tires.

HKS Hipermax III Sport:

These are HKS’s top of the line, off the shelf competition coilovers which features inverted monotube dampers for both the front and rear. They are 30-way adjustable of the dampening and come with pillow-ball top hats which offers additional camber adjustments up front. With independent ride height adjustability, this allows for separate adjustment of spring pre-load. And if that wasn’t enough, these babies also comes with helper springs.

They come with the following spring rates: Front 12KG/MM, Rear 10KG/MM.

They are a pre-assemebled from HKS, ready to be installed on the vehicle. However, you still want to double check to make sure that all the hardware and perches are tight before putting them on the car.

Front Install You need the Following:
19MM Socket (6 point)
19MM Open end Wrench
12MM Open End Wrench
14MM Deep Socket
14Mm Open End Wrench
17MM 6 point Socket
17MM Open end wrench
Breaker Bar
Torque Wrench.
Jack Stands
Friend (if his name is Jack, then you will have 2 Jacks)
WD-40 or some other pentration oil
And misc. extensions


1) Jack up the front suspension, and then lower it back on jacks and make sure the car is secure.
2) Remove the front 2 rims
3) Spray penetration oil on the lower suspension hardware

4) Remove the 2 lower bolts from the OEM strut that attach it to the hub.

5) Remove the bolt that holds the brake like to the OEM strut, along with taking off the bolt that holds the ABS sensor wire.

6) There now should be nothing attached to the lower strut and it should be hanging free. Proceed to remove the 3 top hat bolts and remove the strut from the car.

7) Get your new HKS Hipermax III Sport Coilover

8) Put the top hat bolts into the chassis so that the camber adjustment is facing toward the center of the car. and tighten them to OEM Spec.

9) Insert the lower 2 strut bolts into the hub and tighten them to OEM spec.

10) Insert the bolt that holds the ABS wire to the strut.

11) Insert the bolt that holds the brake line to the strut.

12) Now double check all the hardware you just tightened to OEM spec. and make sure that it’s all installed correctly. Also, make sure the ABS and brake line do not rub the rim or any other moving suspension/brake component.

13) Now repeat the same steps on the other front side.

Rear: Unlike the front, both the rear corners need to be done simultaneously.

1) Jack up the back of the car and secure it on Jack stands

2) Remove rim and spray hardware with some penetrating oil.

3) Remove rear trunk mat to expose the side plates that sit over the top of the rear top hats.

4) Now remove the side plates exposing the top hats. These plastic plates are a bit tricky, so just be patient and don’t break them.

5) By this time, the penetrating oil will have had enough time to help loosen up the hardware. Now remove the bolt that holds the strut to the lower suspension arm (this is where the breaker bar and cheater bar are almost a must!). Also remove it on the other side of the suspension.

6) Now remove the lower sway bar end link bolt. From both sides the driver and passenger side.

7) The lower rear suspension should now look like this.

8) Remove the rear top hat nuts.

9)This is where it gets tricky. The rear strut is now going to be loose from all suspension components, but will be hard to take out. This is why you have to take off both the left and right lower sway bar and shock mount bolts. You have the 2 options,
9.1) Have your friend apply pressure (by standing) on the outer brakes, so that the lower arm moves enough down for you to take out the rear shock.(the car MUST BE SECURED ON JACK STANDS). DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!
9.2 Recommended way that takes longer is to remove this bolt out from the lower hub.

10) Grab your new HKS Hipermax III Sport Rear dampers and put them into place. Tighten the 2 upper nuts that connect the strut to the inside chassis.

11) Put a jack under the rear suspension arm and bring the arm to where you can insert the rear lower bolts. Tighten to OEM spec.

12) Now do the end link lower bolt. Followed by OEM spec tightening.

13) Now double check everything and make sure nothing has been over looked.

14) Replace all the rear interior pieces that you removed.

15) Install the rims back on the car and lower it.

16) With the car now on the ground get under the car and make sure nothing is making contact with moving suspension components or the rims.

17) Take the car out for a SLOW drive, to make sure that you don’t hear any rubbing or clicking from loose components.

18) If everything checks out, take the car to a alignment shop and have the alignment performed ASAP! We do not recommend driving farther than the alignment shop after the coilover install as this will cause poor tire wear, and poor and even possibly unsafe handling.

19) The coilover dampening come pre-set on 15 clicks out of the 30. I personally found this a little harsh for street driving (your roads might be smoother than our beat up Utah roads, so they might be ok for you). If you need to soften up the suspension, do the following, turn the knob clockwise to set them to full stiff, and then count back to -30 for full soft, and go from there. Always adjust the dampening based off full stiff.

Our impression so far . We have done so far 1 high speed auto-x on these. The car was in 100% full street trim. All season tires, street pads, and the coilovers set at -20 from full stiff front and back(what we run on the street).
Even on our street setup I was amazed on how well the car did. It was instantly noticeable that the coilovers weere designed for track use. It took me a couple runs to get used to how they drove at the limit (limit of the all season tires), but the lap times were quickly dropping. The track was a little damp and I ended up getting the car sliding sideways over the rumble strips. I instantly got ready for the car to start jumping violently, as that is what the Cusco’s used to do. However once the tires hit the rumble strips it stayed completely neutral and smooth. I was able to maintain 100% control and pulled out of the slide like nothing happened.
At the end of the day the lap times where posted and I was amazed. Running only .3 seconds slower on a 108 second course (compared to other vehicles in the class), placing 5th overall at the end of the event. The cars that I lost to were all on race tires, and were being adjusted by the drivers for the tire pressures and so forth (I just left the car the way I drove it in ). So overall, I am very impressed by the performance, especially for the first track time.

More info to come as the season starts.

801-748-4910 ext 1006

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