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This is in response to a question posed in the thread about cutting the strut perches and how to do it without puncturing the chamber.
http://www.mx6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91823

AFAIK the Illuminas are the best strut made for our car. So until Tokico decides they want to make perchless struts for our cars, in which case everyone will buy them, we're going to have to keep on cutting them up.

Here's what you do to make sure you don't run into the problem you were just mentioning:

You start out with this:




The perch is held on to the strut itself via three welds. The weld itself goes all the way around, which is why it's ok to rest the coilover on it, but there are three places to which the perch is attached. You can see them better on the stock strut, since I'm piecing this together with pics I have laying around:


Notice here as well that the stock strut welds do not go all the way around. It is because of this that I do NOT recommend cutting the perches off your stock struts. Get perchless struts or cut the perches of good struts like these Illuminas.

When cutting the perches, use a dremel, get a fibreglass reinforced cutting blade or three, and using a slow speed, 1 or 2, score the three metal pieces in a straight line horizontally a couple millimeters above the weld. The cut itself is going to widen that line, so it's good to give yourself some leeway so you don't comprimise the integrity of the weld itself. You do NOT want to cut into the weld itself.

You will see that the metal pieces don't actually really touch the shaft of the strut, except for where it meets at the weld. This is to your advantage.

After you've scored the metal, turn up the speed on the dremel and (wearing protective eyewear OF COURSE) go over the lines while pressing down a little and deepen the cuts. Take your time with this and stop to check between once-overs to see how far down you've cut into the perch.
When you're nearing all the way through (read: do not cut all the way through) stop, and proceed to the next piece.

After you've done that on all thee pieces, pick up the strut, turn it upside down, and hit the perch around the upper rim with a hammer, pushing the perch towards the top of the strut, and after a couple of whacks the thin metal you left behind will break and the perch will come loose.
Wiggle it up and off of the shaft and you'll be left with this:


Notice the cuts. You'll then be left with a strut that looks like this:


Notice that the cut you can see is above the weld, and has not cut into the shaft assembly at all.

Now just slide your coilovers back on there, make sure they sit on the welds ok, and toss em back on your car. C'est magnifique. They'll look something like this:


I've been riding with this setup for almost 7k now with no problems. As long as you're careful with the cutting, you should be ok. I'm running DropZone coilovers and I removed one of the two spindles in the front for a little extra lower. The ride is just fine, I need to replace my lower control arms and adjust my camber, but other than that, no problems. Rides like a lowered car. And yes, it really does make a difference in how low it can go. I got almost an entire other inch lowering it. Here, just look at it now, you'll see what I mean:



So there you have it.
Any questions? PM me or email me anytime.

~David~
 

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