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My Lowering Saga Now Finished (Thank God)


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After much deliberation and perusing over wanting to lower my Aygo but not wanting to really make it any firmer due to what I feel is a rock solid stock setup (although still unbelievably 'leany' under hard cornering), I plumped for a set of Eibach springs, having used them before and knowing that they are a quality product.

Despite getting a very good quote (£90) from a mate in the trade to fit them, I thought to myself how hard can it be? The rears must be real easy and although the front struts need to come out it could be a pain but hey we can do this!

Prior reading of horror stories re the front top strut retaining nuts seizing still didn't for some reason deter me...

I had sprayed copious amounts of Plus Gas on the top nuts and strut/hub joint for a week prior to doing this job in the hope it would help when I came to remove them. It didn't.

So D-Day arrives and I'm full of beans. First job I think is to loosen off the strut top nuts. Find out that despite my veritable ubiknal of tools (I have been servicing my own cars for 25 years) I don't have a ring spanner with the correct drop/fit for the strut top cap. Traipse around 6 tool stores to finally get one. Nut doesn't budge. Add heat. No difference. Try harder - allen key for the internal strut bore snaps. Get another key. Try again, hex head slips round over allen key. Decision time - theres still some hex material left, do I continue to bugger it further or consider other options - decide to start grinding down outside of nut with Dremmel, using surgical precision not to damage threads of strut - end up taking off 50% of nut - get cold chisel out - bash nut repeatedly - find it frees up. Champagne and cigars arrive.

Move to bottom of leg. Hub bolt stuck fast. Finally free it up, having to undo/do up the nut many times applying lots of Plus Gas to prevent threads stripping. Get nut off, now bolt won't budge. Can't hit end of bolt for fear of damaging threads. Lots of Plus Gas. And heat. Finally manage to work the bolt free. Lots of twisting and turning. Lower back now hurting. Finally get bolt out. Use allen key to spread apart hub clamp. Bash hub down. Siezed. Lots more Plus Gas. And heat. Grit and dirt in eyes. Now starting to swear loudly. Next doors cat looks scared. Get out bigger hammer (always works) end up with pumped biceps like Arnie. See it move 1mm. Humidor gets opened again.

Cue huge effort in getting hub to move to bottom of strut - hit a no go point with about 10mm to go. Have a look around - anti-roll bar is hitting wishbone preventing further drop of hub. Scour Google for help - find an old post from someone that lowered a 107 who said they loosened the ARB nuts - try this - get a bit more drop but not enough. Stop to contemplate. Don't want to remove hub (splitting ball joints) if at all possible. Decided to place jack with vertical pole under strut lower spring cup - jack up strut - hold it there - bash hub down - finally free. Another cigar.

After bashing round top nut with cold chisel the nearside front strut is finally out. Next job, clamp spring up and loosen off the nut holding the top spring cup. A simple affair one would think but oh no. Nut siezed. More Plus Gas, more heat. Try to avoid burning plastic cup covering strut top bearings. Hex head in strut top now looking rounder than the bore of a shotgun. Resort once again to grinding down side of nut, again avoiding damaging the threads of strut. Don't really want to start replacing struts despite damaged hex's. Finally get nut free following use of trusty cold chisel, hammer and gratuitous swearing. Cigar stock now running low. Swop springs which is a veritable walk in the park compared to the previous 5 hours. Now starting to get dark, get strut back in with the associated faff of jacking up lower cup whilst juggling with the hub and decide to call it a day and carry on tomorrow.

Next day - pick up 2x strut top nuts and 2x top cup nuts, taking into account that the other side might be just as horrendous as the first.

Other side exactly the same other than the top cup nut frees off immediately with a bit of heat. By 'free up' I mean I could probably have undone it with my fingers. No rhyme or reason as to why the previous side was a total nightmare. 2 hours later and the front end is done.

More on the rear - smiling gleefully thinking this will be easy - simply remove the rear shock mounting bolts/nuts and drop the beam. Realise that the design of the rear shock nut (shrouded by the beam) only allows an open ended spanner onto the nut. Start sweating. Things look rather rusty around the area. Decide to use heat before even attempting to wield a spanner. Pray to the God of Motor Mechanics that the nut will come free. It doesn't. Try again, spanner rounds off nut. Try to ease the bolt head - it won't. Try again, socket rounds off bolt head. More swearing and shouts of 'I'll never buy a used car again' echo around the quiet rural street. Next doors cat retreats slowly to the safety of a nearby bush . Stop and contemplate. Back pain now rears it's head. Look for options. Pull on springs out of desparation and find that they aren't under much compression. At a point now of doing anything to get these f&*%&ing springs out. Reach for pry bar. Shield eyes. Lever out bottom of spring - out it pops. No drama. Get Eibach spring - fit top rubber and put bottom rubber on beam. Locate top, spray copious amount of Plus Gas on bottom rubber and coax spring onto beam using pry bar. Would have been a 15 minute job had I not tried to remove the lower shock bolt/nut. More swearing, interspersed with madman-esque smirks of 'job done'. Cigars now gone, reach for Jay-Dee instead. Consider buying shares in Plus Gas despite it's apparent usefulness (or lack of) and contemplate the realisation that if I ever need to replace the rear shocks then new lower bolts/nuts will be required as Mrs Grinder will be taking their scalps. The figure of '£90' was also echoing round my head but I found solace in the fact that, had I taken up this rather generous figure, even if the quotee would have stood by it I would still have needed extra nuts for the front end and would have likely been without the car for even longer.

Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to share this with anyone considering this job which on any car I've done in the past has been a relatively simple affair. Whether Toyotas robots decided to bolt up the car using total disregard for 'normal' torque figures or whether these cars are prone to siezing/rusting I am unsure but it certainly seems to be Russian Roulette as to how difficult the simple act of lowering an Aygo can be. Bear in mind that although a 56 plate, this car has only done 45k miles.

The end result I am happy with although if I am fussy I would like the front to have come down another 5mm or so. Despite the car being dead level, the gap on the front now looks more pronounced than the rear, probably due to the reduced arch gap overall but I have to agree with the 30mm all round drop that Eibach claims. As for driving, it is definitely stiffer but not as much as I had feared, and certainly not by the 20% or so that aftermarket springs normally give. Cornering is significantly improved, with roundabouts being a thing of joy now. Passengers can't believe how much speed can be carried on the skinny tyres.

A few pics, if nothing else to show me that it is 'job done'. Note that the car has 20mm wheel spacers, which I will cover in another thread.




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Well done, I know where to come now when I want mine done... :clap:

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Hi, i am impressed with your perseverance and you well written story, nice job mate!

Regards Mike169

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It's not just a tailpipe trim as finding them specifically for the Aygo is tricky due to the downward pointing angle of the stock pipe. I cut off the stock pipe and put on a 90 degree bend before adding a 'normal' straight tail trim. The one Raistlin posted says it is for the Aygo but then goes on to say it is universal and should be welded. I wasn't convinced it would exit at the correct angle/location so I just did my own one. I did a thread for it here:


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Great write up, I love your penchant for champagne and cigars :lol:

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Did you get the steering geometry cheeked after doing the suspension . Peter

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Didnt really see the point as the only obvious adjustment on the whole car is front toe. I'm sure it will live with a 30mm drop and I didnt fancy paying £45 for someone to spend 30 minutes on it and say 'its ok'. Car drives just as it did before and zero tramlining.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello, Enjoyed your post. I currently have a very standard Aygo. It is probably the most fun car I have had out of many faster and bigger. And considering I used to race motorbikes this is saying something. The only problem I find is the tyres roll too much, I assume it is the tyres as the suspension actually feels very stiff. Though I imagine it's not very sophisticated damping. I know it is a "city car" for grannies and teenage girls, but I don't want to swap it for a boy racer car. I just wanted to know how well this affected the handling regarding roll etc? and if you now get a sore ****. I have looked at better shocks/coilovers but I doubt I'd want to spend that much...

Also, is there a hole when you debadged the rear window? I started to do my toyota one and quickly changed my mind. :|

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello, Enjoyed your post. I currently have a very standard Aygo. It is probably the most fun car I have had out of many faster and bigger. And considering I used to race motorbikes this is saying something. The only problem I find is the tyres roll too much, I assume it is the tyres as the suspension actually feels very stiff. Though I imagine it's not very sophisticated damping. I know it is a "city car" for grannies and teenage girls, but I don't want to swap it for a boy racer car. I just wanted to know how well this affected the handling regarding roll etc? and if you now get a sore ubik. I have looked at better shocks/coilovers but I doubt I'd want to spend that much...

Also, is there a hole when you debadged the rear window? I started to do my toyota one and quickly changed my mind. :|

As I said in my initial post, the ride IS harder and I will not try to mask that, but with all honesty (and I am picky) it really isn't much different in that it's still hard as per the stock car. However, cornering is greatly improved, especially on long fast sweepers and I am very happy with the result given that I was primarily after the lowered cosmetic effect. It's only now that the limitations of grip given by the stock tyres can be truly assessed which is why I am now after some wider ones.

In all, I would say go for it. I really didn't want a ride harder than stock but although the Eibachs do give this, the other benefits they give outweigh it. If I had to try and put a figure on it, I would say that the ride has stiffened up by about 10% in normal driving but cornering has improved significantly, likely due to the lower ride height (CofG) combined with the 10% increase in spring rate.

I initially thought that the stock dampers were causing the firm ride but after fitting the Eibachs I think that this isn't the case and that the stock springs are simply very hard. Why Toyota did this I will never know, maybe it was simply to try and control what is a very light car, or maybe the lightness lends itself to a harsh ride by default. BTW, if it's of any help re suspension experience, I have come from years of riding sportsbikes such as ZXR's, Busa's, ZX10's, TZR's (going back now!) as well as driven just about every std/modified car on the planet bar £200k+ unobtaniums.

Even given that I am on stock alloys/tyres, I do not think that tyre roll is an issue with the Aygo. I would suggest that coilovers would be far too harsh although like anything it would depend on how well they are designed/manufactured for the vehicle in question. I have had experience with Spax (which were absolutely !Removed! awful) through to Bilstein/Ohlins/Tokiko/HKS/Gaz (on my Diablo replica), H&R and many others but although IMO price normally dictates quality with suspension, I have found that they are all generally designed with track use in mind hence a firm ride. This doesn't mean that they are incompetent, far from it, but we have to be realistic with what a road car needs to achieve. That said, Lotus seem to habitually hit the nail on the head with suspension ride V control on a light weight road car but I digress.

As for the rear glass Badge, there are no holes. I used dental floss to cut the Badge off then used copious amounts of nail varnish remover and Autoglym glass polish to clean it all up. Bit of a pain but well worth doing.

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  • 5 years later...

Hi Nathan, Superb reportage on the lowering job. I'm surprised you didn't end up with nicotine poisoning....as I've bought the springs it's now my turn but I have a map of do's & don'ts, thanks for that!

What replaced the Eibach springs by the way? Later icon pic of the car must be with the 60mm drop...do you have any pix of it as it is now?

Also wanted to point out that you appear to have had a fair old coat of Vaseline on your lens......

I agree about Lotus BTW, they used Spax red on the OE Elise, with option of Lotus Sports Suspension which was a yellow Spax adjustable shock.

They all used to wear and make a strange billiard-ball clack-clacking on rebound.

On my current Elise 111S I fitted Nitron 46 track adjustables, very good on track but I think I specced harder springs and I find it too harsh on the road, so will try something more compliant.

The later stock Bilsteins were lovely on the road, but one let go so I 'upgraded' to the rebuildable, adjustable Nitrons.

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Holy thread resurrection!

Reading this thread reminded me re the rear shock bolts that we spoke about - I didn't drop the rear beam to fit the Eibachs as I thought. I managed to remove the original springs and get the Eibachs in just by brute force.

It also reminded me that when I did try to get the shocks off, I made a faux pas in that I was attempting to undo the nut that is located inside the beam - these nuts are CAPTIVE! So it would never have come off. It was only when fitting my coil over kit that I realized that to get the shocks off you remove the BOLT not the nut haha. They came off pretty easy.

Yes still have the Vogtland coilovers on. Can't quite remember what drop I settled on but I think it's around 50mm rear, 60mm front. It sits lovely but it is a pain especially with my added splitter. I have to be really careful with it but I can't bring myself to raise it :)

I did make a thread on the coilover conversion, you might be able to find it somewhere but the pics may have disappeared as they were on photobucket I think.

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Thanks Nathan,

Chronopost have apparently passed at least once, Monday, but as it was snowing, and the door to this place isn't visible from the track, and I'd actually just gone back to my nice warm bed, they failed to make contact.

Let's hope next time they knock on the door.....

They are supposed to be trying again tomorrow so I'll leave a note on the mailbox.

Pretty good really, I had another parcel posted in Paris, on 8th, which is not going to be here till the 15th...six weeks!

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The springs have arrived looking like new condition. They can't have been on the car very long, I'd guess?

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Good to hear all OK 🙂

Yeah they hadnt done a lot of work! I found the thread where I later fitted the coilovers:

...which was 14 months after this thread so yes about 7k miles on the Eibachs tops I reckon.

Thanks again, good to hear another Aygo gets some use out of them 🙂


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Hi Nathan, I do have a question about the lowering.

On many cars the tracking is knocked out of kilter, depending on the design, but this can and often does induce very rapid tyre wear, and can be extremely dangerous.

I bought a Lancia Delta Integrale from a guy who had lowered it 'for rally use' (a bit odd in fact, as most rally cars are higher than road trim) but the point is, I assumed he knew what he was doing...

The first day, on the autoroute, with my wife, and at high speed, I heard a 'flapflapflap' noise and instantly realised it was a tread stripping and slapping the road at each revolution! I didn't touch the brakes, just off the power and coast to standstill, got out, and on the front right, the entire width of the tread had stripped off the steel belt of the carcass! I then recalled the seller had mentioned very heavy tyre use.....which he hadn't equated with the fact he'd never checked the tracking! ANY extra toe-in or out will do this to an extent.

So....was your tyre wear heavier after the lowering?

If it had to be altered, do you recall how much and in which direction? Ie, in, or out?

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Tbh you're asking me questions from years ago bud!

Pretty sure I didnt check tracking after fitting the Eibachs as the drop isnt significant. Most road lowering kits are the same deal - 25mm or so isnt an issue on 99% of cars.

I believe I had it checked after the coilovers were fitted but even then I think I was told the toe was fine and it wasnt adjusted. If anything they would have given it a little positive camber but it's not adjustable and in any event it was well within limits.

Never had any noticeable uneven tyre wear with either setup.

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I recall you decided not to check at the time. but wondered what it was like after the 7k miles. The previous owner of the Lancia Integrale told me he'd been getting about 5000km out of the fronts, which is insane and should have told him something.

I have put the rears on, no problems at all, removed the bolts from the bottom of the shocks so the arms dropped to max, at which point you can simply lift them out. I see how you could easily think the nut was the way to do this, they do not look like they're welded!

I think I was lucky in that the suspension was changed in Feb 2019, all bolts are new. I put them on with a good coating of anti corrosion grease.

All told, 1 hour! OK with a bit more searching for tools, it's still chaos here.

I'm going to take it to a buddy's garage, I can't even find an 18mm tool to remove the tower top nuts on the front struts!

It looks most peculiar with the snout up in the air!






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So...the front units.


After risking being pulled by the French BiB so as to do ths at a pal's place where he can find his tools and has a lift, a pit, etc, I found he was out, and the 18mm cranked ring spanner wasn't sufficiently cranked to do the job. I borrowed an Imperial one which fit, but I don't want to risk rounding off the top tower nuts.

Back home, I realised that in fact it's simple to remove the two plastic panels, the screen gutter, which involves removing the wiper arm, and the second black plastic panel underneath, to fully expose the shock top nuts to the open air, where a quick attack with an air wrench with a decent hex 18mm socket will have them off super quick. Assuming they aren't totally corroded in position. This is a job where you really need a proper HD Impact wrench. Though my air impact wrench is still AWOL I realised I have a Battery powered thing, which is more or less a toy, but once the initial sticktion is broken with something a bit more butch, it does speed things up a lot. Great for wheel nuts but you need to finish them off with some serious torque.

Simple question.

WHY don't manufacturers use assembly grease for this sort of thing?

I suppose the reason they don't is that once the guarantee is expired, what do they care? They would be losing money on the concession's allowed time, and replacement parts, so it's not really in their interests. I always replace suspension fixings with either 'anti-corrosion grease' or copper grease.

Total lack of humidors and cigars here, and I don't favour JD, BUT.....I do have several different Irish Whiskey's to choose from. I don't smoke either...


I'm going to remove the plastic panels so I can access the shock top nuts properly to avoid the horrors that Nathan had to deal with.

Call me lazy....☺️.

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Not my finest day but it helped fill the lockdown time.

 The antiroll bar has somehow managed to get itself ABOVE the driveshaft, when it's normally below.. Obviously, with the strut removed, the hub rocked forward, and when I moved it back to vertical it got confused...
My trusty old Halfords red trolley jack managed to break, too. The stirrup strap thing that pulls the hydraulic ram piston up and down just snapped..

If I ever do this again, which I doubt, it's infinitely easier if you use a balljoint splitter and remove the hub from the wishbone.

I had a Nathan-like experience trying to get the foot of the strut back into the hub carrier, but in retrospect this was mostly due to the antiroll bar being in the wrong place.


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After resting my damaged arm for today, I will lurch back into action tomorrow.

My ex Mil tank mechanic buddy couldn't make it this morning, but meanwhile I saw THIS

which, if you cut out the unnecessary waste of time removing those plastic shrouds, which is only done to simplify removing the strut top nuts, is a simpler way to change the KYB struts, as it doesn't involve removing hub from driveshafts., just from the track control arm and the balljoint.


So, if I can find a balljoint splitter (in the barn somewhere) I should be able to do this tomorrow, with a bit of rapid overnight healing!

Removing the driveshaft presented more of a problem, as the hub is flopping around.

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I don't believe that second video...they appear to do the job with both driveshaft and balljoint done up....which I think is simply impossible. If you try this you would need to remove the antiroll bar, otherwise you can't get the wishbone low enough to get the foot of the strut in the socket....I have tried it, it's impossible.


This may explain why Autodoc shot the job again on a Peugeot 107, which seems to be the clearest tutorial so far.

The only nutty part in #3, the Peugeot, is that they remove the wiper panels and arm, which #1 shows clearly is not neccessary at all. So ignore that bit!


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You need to be careful with online 'how to' videos. I saw one about changing an indicator bulb on a 2004 Renault Megane, in which they claimed you need to remove the whole front plastic nose, and then the headlamp unit.

I believed the makers of the clip, though thinking Renault designers were out of their minds.

I had in fact noticed what looked like a bulb-changing access hole at the front of the wheel arch liner....and checked access, but for some reason it didn't feel possible, all explained when I watched the stupid video.

I discovered later you can, of course, do it via the inspection/bulb access trap! Most amusing.....

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1 hour ago, Hal Mercier said:

I don't believe that second video...they appear to do the job with both driveshaft and balljoint done up....which I think is simply impossible. If you try this you would need to remove the antiroll bar, otherwise you can't get the wishbone low enough to get the foot of the strut in the socket....I have tried it, it's impossible.

Its not impossible because I have done it.

And I didnt remove the driveshaft, ball joint or ARB.

You just need to think outside the box.

If the wishbone wont go down, the strut needs to go up.

Of course, you need to tread very carefully with whatever method you use to load up the strut.

Or, split the balljoints/remove arb/driveshafts. Its less riskier, but far more hassle imo.

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