Monthly Archives: February 2009

STILLEN Rear Camber Arms & Toe Arms Installation Plus Sway Bar Installation/Adjustment

STILLEN G35 350Z Camber Toe Adjusters Arms Alignment


One of the most popular modifications to a G35 or 350Z is a lowering kit. With a wide array of options from Eibach, Tein, KW, and others… the fortunate owners of these vehicles can set their cars up at virtually any height/stance they desire. One of the down sides to the suspension on the Z33 platform is the lack of alignment adjustment built into the factory suspension. From the factory these cars come with insufficient adjustment capabilities for the front camber as well as little to no adjustment for the rear camber or toe.

Due to the lack of factory adjustment STILLEN has developed new upper control arms with camber adjustment capabilities, as well as rear camber and toe arms. To show just how easy it is to install these parts three members of the STILLEN marketing team decided to tackle the job on a Saturday in one of their driveways. Josh Biggers (vehicle owner), Mike Ullrich (house/garage owner) and Kyle Millen were able to install everything and make adjustments to the sway bar within 4 hours using regular floor jacks and hand tools. Also, stopping regularly to document the process with photography.

We hope that this little article encourages you to try this type of installation for yourself. Working on your own car can be fun and rewarding, as well as save you money. Having G35 performance parts will enhance your driving experience. Also, you will have a better understanding of exactly what your car is doing while your driving. Suspension is a very important part of the car and if the modifications are not performed properly the results can be dangerous. If you feel that any of this is beyond your capabilities we strongly recommend that you leave this up to a professional.

Throughout this article you will see bright red STILLEN adjustable sway bars. Josh had installed the sway bars prior to the components we were adding on this day. We will go into a little more detail on sway bar settings later.

Step 1: With the rear wheels removed we were able to get a good idea of where to start. It really does not matter if you change the front or rear suspension components first when doing the complete kit. We just started in the rear because we knew that would take the longest. We figured we would knock it out first.

OEM G35 Camber Toe Arm


Step 2: To aid in removal of the rear camber and toe arms you will need to loosen some of the underbody panels as well as the sway bar mounts. This only takes a few minutes and makes the installation MUCH easier.


Step 3: Once you have all of the surrounding obstructions out of the way you are ready to begin removing the rear links. We recommend marking your current camber eccentric cams so that you have some type of reference when you install your new camber arms. Keep in mind that the factory hardware will be re-used so you will want to make sure that you keep track of it and make sure it is out of danger.


Step 4: At this point you can begin removing the factory camber arms. You will want to keep the factory toe arms on the car to support the rear suspension.


Step 5: Once you have the rear camber arm removed you can begin removing the rear toe arms. The toe arm bolts go through the chassis and connect to a threaded nut already installed on the backside of the chassis. You will not need to worry about putting a wrench on that nut as the chassis is designed to prevent it from rotating. Simply remove the bolt and pull the toe rod out.


Step 6: One you have the factory components out of the car we recommend lining them up side by side. Try to align the mounting holes on your STILLEN arms in the same position as factory. This way your car will be similar to the way it was before you began the work. This little bit of time spent aligning these holes will make your re-alignment MUCH easier.


With the factory and STILLEN camber arms side by side you can clearly see the major improvements in construction as well as alignment capabilities. Utilizing laser cut mounting clevis’ precision welded to CNC machined steel connecting rods and finished off with heim joints and high mis-alignment spacers these camber and toe arms offer incredible strength and a wide range of adjustment. Also, on the toe arms we use a higher quality, poly urethane bushing to replace the O.E. rubber bushings.

Step 7: Now you can begin installing your new STILLEN suspension components. Our recommendation is to start with the chassis mounts first and then move to the spindles. These mounting points will not move and it is much easier to start with them mounted to the fixed locations first. Also, we recommend starting with the toe arms first, then installing the new camber arms second. Because of the location of these parts it is much easier to start with the toe arms then do the camber arms after.


Step 8: Once you have finished installing your camber arms you will want to make sure that your witness line on the eccentric camber adjusters is in the same location as factory. Again, this is to help with the re-alignment. Now you are ready to re-attach all of your sway bar mounts and factory under trays. Also, we recommend going around and doing a “nut and bolt check” making sure that all of your hardware is secure.

At this point you are ready to get an alignment done on your car. Let your technician know that you have aftermarket suspension components installed on your car to allow the car to be properly aligned. With these components installed you will be able to achieve any desired suspension settings.

Well after long last, here is the in-car footage of a couple of stages from the 2008 Dunlop Targa Rally in New Zealand.  Special thanks to Streetfire.net for providing the camera equipment.

STILLEN Ford GT Targa Rally New Zealand 2008

These videos are both from Day 1 (of 6 days) of the rally, and are full stages, giving you some of what it’s like to be part of such a neat event such as this.

I am VERY critical of headlights and tail lights because it is very rare to a find a set that I would actually consider to be of high quality. I have seen A LOT of cheap and cheesy lights that leak, crack, fog, or just fall apart and I can’t stand that. So, when Anzo came out with these new lights for the Toyota Tundra I told them that I was going to be very critical and I would not hold back. Long story short…I am VERY impressed with these lights. Fit and finish is absolutely perfect. The clarity of the lights is very nice. In my opinion, these are more of a safety feature than an aesthetic improvement.

To start with I took some shots of the stock lights for comparison.

Now to the work itself. The tail lights are pretty straight forward and easy to figure out.

Before you actually remove the light you’ll want to disconnect the wiring harness from the frame rail. These lights come with a complete wiring harness that clips right into the factory connectors. Don’t worry about damaging the little black clip that mounts into the frame. Anzo provides you with a new one, just be careful with the connector ends.

Now you can unbolt the light from the bed rail.

The lights won’t immediately fall out because there are two little pressure clips around the back of the light that need to be unclipped first. To do this just give the lights a firm tug and they’ll come right out. Here is a picture of the clip from the inside (the little white thing).

Once you have the factory wiring harness and tail light out of the way you are ready to install the new Anzo tail light. Go ahead and feed the wiring harness through the openings and install the tail light. I recommend inserting at least one or both bolts to secure it in place. The clips should hold it, but I wouldn’t risk it. Once the light is supported jump back under the truck and plug in the connectors.

Here is a picture of the clip that will hold the wiring to the factory mounting location. I have to admit, it really impresses me that these are included. I did not expect that.

The passenger side is exactly like the driver’s side so I don’t see the need to repeat the step by step instructions. However, I do have some comparison pictures.

Once you have finished up the install this is what it looks like.

Overall I am VERY impressed and happy with these lights. The installation was very easy and straight forward. The lights are MUCH brighter than standard. I tried to get a comparison shot of their reflection on a white wall inside the shop but it didn’t turn out very well…The flash took over the shot. I have a third brake light ready to install as well. Unfortunately Anzo has two third brake light options (one smooth and one with 4 screws) well, mine mounts with 4 holes and they sent me a smooth one. So, as soon as I can get the new one I will put that on to finish it off. Here is a teaser shot of the third brake light.




Article and photography by Kyle Millen

A few years ago the DOT (Department of Transportation) cracked down on all of the replacement light manufacturers due to their non-compliance.  After that a few companies have risen up and shown themselves to be of superior quality.

Because of the history of poor fitting, sealing, and cracking problems I have seen over the years I was skeptical about the overall performance and quality of aftermarket lights.  Recently we started working with a headlight manufacturer known as Anzo and they were confident that I would be nothing less than impressed.

Anzo USA Logo



We figured we’d put them to the test…

Why did I take the time to write up a full installation article of this project? Well, it’s simple. I’m scared of wiring. I hate wiring things. I am comfortable building engines, wrenching on suspension, and basically EVERY other part of a vehicle. But, wiring is not something I’ve ever felt comfortable with. So, I figured that if I can do this, anyone can.

To remove the O.E. headlight you must first remove the lower panel. That is a bit of a pain to get off. There are two little button clips on the inside (image below) and there are two additional pins that have to come out of their mounting locations on the other side. These are TIGHT and require a firm tug to remove them.

Tundra Headlight


At this point I got smart and decided to tape up my front bumper to protect the paint. I highly recommend this as you will be leaning the headlight against it quite a bit. When you are ready to remove the headlight unbolt the two 10mm screws on top and the one on the outside of the headlight (attached to the fender.) Removing the headlight is pretty straightforward however there is a little clip built into the factory light that is locked in by a metal brace. Just release that clip and the headlight basically falls out. This step does take some maneuvering and tolerances get pretty tight. Take your time and be careful.


Go ahead and remove all of the clips from their lights. Just leave the light bulbs inside the headlight housing as they will not be re-used. I did pull out my bulbs first and happened to notice that the amber bulb that is always on gets REALLY hot!!! Up to this point I have not made any modifications to my lights and the truck only has 25,000 miles on it. You can clearly see that the bulb is burning in its mount.


Once you have the old headlight out of the way you will need to begin preparing your new Anzo light. Begin by wrapping together the red wires then the black wires (red to red and black to black.)


Next, locate the parking light connector. This is the smallest of all of the connectors. It uses a tiny little bulb and is located in the top corners of the headlight housing. Go ahead and strip the protective black plastic shell and the electrical tape. This will expose the green and white wires. Once you’ve done that, go ahead and splice in the wiring to the new headlights. Red wires go to green and black wires go to white. Anzo recommends just wrapping them up and connecting them with electrical tape. I don’t personally think that’s good enough so I went ahead and soldered them together. Then I wrapped them all up in electrical tape. I would have used some heat shrink tubing but I didn’t have the right size handy.


At this point you will want to make sure that your halo’s and lights are fully functional before bolting everything back into place. Go ahead and clip everything back together so you can confirm that everything is working.


Once you have confirmed that everything is working perfectly go ahead and re-install the headlights and proceed to the other side. Here are some more comparison pictures.


And some completed pictures…


And some outdoor night time pictures…(With the hood up ‘cuz you know, that’s how EVERYONE drives at night…Gimme a break, it was midnight by the time I finished.)

 

Article and photography by Kyle Millen

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