The Hop Not kit/kits should be installed by qualified personal only. Please take every precaution to ensure a safe install. Proper tire blocking, eye and hand protection for yourself and others will yield a successful install. Read the instructions completely and make sure you have a good understanding of the install process before starting. Please contact us should you have any questions about the install or would like additional information and / or pictures.
The use of a two post lift aids in accessibility but, is not required. The install can be done with the car supported on jack stands. Begin by raising the car to a comfortable working height. Install jack stands and remove both rear wheels. To aid in the installation, unbolt the exhaust pipe on the side you are working on. This will provide additional clearance for installation. Please follow all instructions and reference the related pictures. Stage 1 is referring to the machined spacer kit and Stage 2 is referring to the stabilizer kit. The adjustable sway bar end link may be added to either kit. Remember to perform the Stage 1 install to one corner at a time. The rear cradle has 4 rubber mounts/bushings, one at each corner. You must have all four machined spacers installed with moderate torque (50-75 ft/lbs) before the final torque is applied. All torque values will be called out in the install steps. The use of a torque wrench is highly recommended! Our products are designed to be a true bolt on kit …so there is no need to be concerned about dropping the cradle from the car or rear suspension alterations.
The following descriptions are provided as a brief summary. Please review the complete installation instructions and pictures for step by step details.
Start at the front passenger side cradle mount. Remove the OEM (18mm socket) bolt, slide the supplied sleeve over the bolt and reinstall. Tighten the bolt enough to hold the center spacer in place (25ft/lbs is fine, DO NOT OVER TORQUE!) while you pry off the triangular shaped lower plate. It will be difficult to remove this plate, but be patient, work carefully and it will come off. Once the plate is off, remove the OEM bolt and supplied sleeve. You will reuse the OEM bolt. Trim the rubber dimples off the bottom of the front mount and about 1/8” from the inner area of the OEM steel sleeve (see picture) with a razor blade (Please wear hand protection when using any type of razor blade) this will allow the raised portion of the machined spacer to seat inside the sleeve of the OEM mount and bottom against the inner part of the sleeve where you removed the triangular plate previously. Test fit the machined spacer often while trimming the mounts rubber. Ensure you have a good solid fit with no gaps or spaces between the mount and the spacer. Before installing the machined front spacer, remove the 18mm nut / bolt from the lower compression link and turn it around and reinstall it with the bolt head facing the cradle mount, then install the front machined spacer (the smaller units) with the special large OD flat washer included with the kit and the OEM bolt. NOTE – You should not be able to place a feeler gage or a razor blade between the top of the machined spacer and the bottom of each mount tab. If you have gaps, continue to remove rubber as required until you achieve metal to metal fit at these surfaces. If you still have a gap and feel that the area is clean enough, please contact us before attempting to drive the car- Tighten to 75 ft/lbs at this point. Now go to the passenger side rear cradle mount. Remove the OEM bolt with the 18mm socket. There are no rubber dimples to remove here. Remove about 1/8” of the rubber from the inner area of the mount sleeve as you did on the front (reference install pictures). Also, clean the stamped letters off the face of the inner sleeve and the rubber all the way to the outer edge as shown in installation pictures. A dremel tool or a small angled head grinder is very helpful for this step; just don’t remove material from the inner sleeve, only the rubber and letters from the face. Again, test fit the rear machined spacer several times to ensure a solid fit with no gaps. NOTE – You should not be able to place a feeler gage or a razor blade between the top of the machined spacer and the bottom of each mount tab. If you have gaps, continue to remove rubber as required until you achieve metal to metal fit at these surfaces. If you still have a gap and feel that the area is clean enough, please contact us before attempting to drive the car -
Reinstall OEM bolt and torque to 75 ft/lbs. Repeat steps for driver’s side. Please note that the driver’s side front mount is very close to the fuel fill hose. Please exercise extra care so as not to damage the fuel fill hose. Once all four machined spacers are installed, torque all 4 mounting bolts to 135 ft/lbs.
Warning– Stage 1 machined spacer kit must be installed as a full set. The front spacers are a different design than the rear. Never drive the car without all 4 spacers installed. Installing less than the full set will allow the rear cradle to move at the mount or mounts without the machined spacers and may result in failure of the rigidly mounted ones. Please contact us if you have any questions.
NOTE to the installer: If you are not the owner of the car receiving the Hop Not kit, please make sure that the two (2) triangular plates removed from the front cradle mounts stay with the car. They will be required should the owner ever want to remove the Hop Not kit and return to 100% stock (will require our “return to stock rubber strips”).
Stage 1 must be installed prior to installing Stage 2. It is not possible to install Stage 2 on a vehicle without first having had the machined spacers installed because Stage 2 replaces the rear machined spacers previously installed in Stage 1. This is only an issue if trying to install Stage 2 as a stand alone upgrade because you will lack the required front machined spacers. Reference above warning concerning cradle movement without all 4 spacers installed. Stage 2 kit comes with the 2 front machined spacers and 2 rear spacer bracket components so all 4 corners of the cradle are covered. Stage 2 can be added at any point after Stage 1.
Follow safe lifting and blocking procedures previously mentioned and remove both rear wheels. If installing the Stage 2 kit after Stage 1 kit has been installed, no additional trimming of rear rubber cradle mounts is required. If installing the Stage 2 full kit, then prepare the rear cradle mount as described in the Stage 1 instructions. Remove the previously installed rear machined spacer and replace it with the supplied spacer bracket component. They are marked LH or RH. Insert the locating pin up through the existing hole in the rear cradle, next to the mount. Insert the OEM bolt and torque to 135 ft/lbs. Next, remove the nut and bolt from the lower sway bar end link and the nut only from the rear suspension link (see attached pictures). Install the hub bracket (they are marked LH or RH) using the OEM hardware. Snug the upper nut first ensuring a flat fit and then snug the lower bolt / nut. If you have oversized aftermarket sway bar end links there may be a clearance issue between the inner beveled washer and round flat washer and the lower end link mount. If you find that the end link contacts or does not allow for the hub bracket to fit properly, then material will need to be removed from both the beveled and round washer as needed. Note the placement of the beveled washers- they are color coded and must be reinstalled in their original position. Ensure that these beveled washers are parallel with the bottom edge of the hub bracket. The inner washer will align itself, but keep both washers pulled away from the corner while tightening the nut. Now torque the upper nut/bolt to 75 ft/lbs and the lower nut/bolt to 45 ft/lbs. – Attach the stabilizers to the lower hub bracket first. The lower stabilizer bolt/nut comes preassembled to the hub bracket and must be removed to install the stabilizer. Install the stabilizer onto the rear spacer/bracket. Ensure that the stabilizer is installed with the small sticker with “UP” on it is to the rear. (You may find that you must slightly raise/compress the rear suspension/brake assembly in order to allow the rear attachment of the stabilizer to the rear spacer/bracket). Torque upper and lower stabilizer bolt/nuts to 75 ft/lbs.
It is normal for the rear stabilizer to be very close or even touching the rear suspension link or inside of the tire. This is due to the cars suspension hanging down while suspended in the air. Clearances will increase dramatically once the car is lowered back onto the ground and the suspension is compressed. It is recommended to recheck torques after several hard runs.
Adjustable sway bar end link:
Raise front of car and place on jack stands. Remove front passenger side wheel. Using 21mm socket, remove upper and lower nuts holding OEM sway bar end link. Save the OEM nuts, they will be reused. Install the Hop Not adjustable sway bar end link. If your link was disassembled for shipping, reassemble it and adjust the overall length to stock length plus ¼”. This length is intended to be ¼” longer than stock as measured from center to center of the studs and should be compared to the stock link prior to install. DO NOT EXCEED ¼” longer or shorter. Using a 10m wrench to hold the end of the stud and a 21mm wrench, tighten the nut. The 10mm wrench can be removed once the nut becomes tight. At that point, torque the nuts to 75 ft/lbs. One can achieve similar results with sway bar end link ¼” longer on the drivers side vs the passenger side. Testing has shown that ¼” longer end link on passenger side yields slightly better hook up and a rise of the front end only when the rear tires bite. While ¼” Longer on the drivers side seems to provide a little more front end rise as running through the gears with a little less improvement in traction.
List of basic tool required:
Torque wrench, floor jack, jack stands (rated to safely hold car), impact wrench, spray penetrant (WD40), safety razors, hand and eye protection, 18mm socket, 13mm socket, 21mm deep well socket, 18mm combination wrench, 10mm combination wrench, pry bar.
1. Raise car and place securely on jack stands. It is safe to use rear differential housing as a jack point if wood is used between the housing and the lift device.
2. Remove both rear wheels.
3. Spray WD40 on top of lower plate to help in the removal.
4. Starting with passenger side front cradle mount, remove OEM bolt using 18mm socket (or 18mm impact socket and wrench).
5. Install supplied sleeve tool onto OEM bolt and reinstall into front mount. Tighten to 25fl/lbs to hold the center spacer in place. Note, over torque will damage sleeve tool.
6. Pry off lower plate. This may prove difficult. Use of a pry bar wrapped to protect your paint will be very helpful.
7. Trim the rubber dimples off the bottom of the front mount and approximately 1/8” from the inner area of the OEM steel sleeve with a razor blade. You will use several razor blades during this step. Change them often and use hand protection to prevent from getting cut.
| || || || ||Removing the rubber will allow the raised portion of the machined spacer to seat inside the sleeve of the OEM mount and bottom against the inner part of the sleeve where you removed the plate earlier. It is important that enough material be removed to ensure a flat metal to metal fit between the top of the machined spacer and the bottom face of the mount. Check the fit often during this step. Using a hand held deburring tool to remove the rubber is optional and requires a steady hand, but works well with a coarse bit at slow speeds. || |
8. Prior to installing the front machined spacer remove the 18mm bolt and nut from the compression link located right next to the mount. Turn the bolt around so the head of the bolt is facing the mount and the nut is further away. Torque this nut / bolt to 60 ft/lbs. Do this prior to final installation of the machined spacer.
9. Install the front machined spacer (smaller spacer) with the supplied special large OD washer and the OEM bolt. Tighten enough to pull the mount / cradle / spacer up against the bottom of the car. Torque to 75 ft/lbs at this point.
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10. The side view above right shows spacer installed. You should not be able to fit a feeler gage or razor blade between top of the machined spacer and the bottom of the metal tabs on the mount. If there are any gaps, refer back to step 7 and remove additional rubber as required until you achieve a flat metal to metal fit at these surfaces. If you still have a gap and feel that the area is clean enough, please contact us before attempting to drive the car.
11. Moving on to the rear cradle bolt on the passenger side. Now is a good time to unbolt your exhaust pipe / muffler and let it hang out of the way. Remove the two 13mm nuts and washers and slip the rubber mount off the hanger and let it hang. Doing this will give you additional clearance that you will appreciate later. If you have an aftermarket cat-back exhaust, this is mandatory.
12. Now, using an 18mm socket, remove the rear cradle mount bolt.
13. No dimples to remove at the rear mount, just remove approximately 1/8” of the rubber from the inner area of the mount sleeve like you did on the front mount. Also clean the stamped letters off the face of the inner spacer (perfect job for that dremel tool) and the rubber all the way to the outer edge as shown below.
| || || || ||NOTE-Test fit the rear machined spacer (Stage 1) or spacer bracket (Stage 2) several times while removing the rubber. As with the front, a good metal to metal fit is required. Don’t worry if it’s not pretty; just don’t get carried away and over cut the area. The inner edges of the OEM sleeve are important, small amounts of rubber will compress as long as it doesn’t interfere with the metal to metal fit between the spacer and the mount. || |
14. For STAGE 1 kit, Install the rear machined spacer with OEM bolt and torque to 75 ft/lbs. (135 ft/lbs once all four spacers have been installed)
For STAGE 2 kits, install the spacer bracket. Note that the rear spacer bracket supplied with the Stage 2 kit has an alignment arm that fits into a hole next to the cradle mount.
| || || || ||Torque rear spacer bracket to 75 ft/lbs. Once all machined spacers (Stage 1) or machined spacers and spacer brackets (Stage 2) have been installed. Final torque all cradle mount bolts to 135 ft/lbs. Go back and recheck torque after several hard launches. || |
15. STAGE 2 stabilizer hub bracket assembly to vehicle:
Begin by removing the bolt and nut that secure the rear sway bar lower end link and ONLY the nut from the rear suspension link.
16. Install the hub bracket (They are clearly marked LH or RH) onto the suspension link bolt and insert the lower sway bar end link bolt through the lower hole. Snug the upper nut until the hub bracket is flat against the suspension links mounting surface. Then insert the lower sway bar end link bolt through the hub brackets lower hole and snug up the fasteners. Now torque the upper nut to 75 ft/lbs and the lower bolt/nut to 45 ft/lbs.
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17. The lower stabilizer bolt / nut come preassembled to the hub bracket and should now be removed to install the stabilizer. Note the placement of the beveled washers. They are color coded on the ends and must be reinstalled in their original position. Ensure that the beveled washers remain parallel with the bottom edge of the hub bracket. The inner beveled washer will align itself, but keep both washers pulled away from the corner while tightening the nut. The beveled washers will try and turn in the direction you are tightening. Continue by installing the upper Stabilizer bolt/nut. The stabilizer has a sticker on it with “UP” on it. This end goes to the spacer bracket, while the other end goes to the hub bracket. NOTE- you may have to place a jack under the rear suspension and raise it slightly to get the upper stabilizer to line up with the spacer bracket. Torque both upper and lower nuts to 75 ft/lbs.
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NOTE- If you have an aftermarket exhaust system on your car, you may experience an interference condition between the upper stabilizer bolt and your exhaust pipe. If you do have this condition, remove the bolt and remove ½” from the bolt. Run a die over the threads and reinstall.
18. It is normal for the stabilizer to be very close, if not slightly touching the rear suspension link and the inside of the tire. These areas are only this close due to the rear suspension hanging in the air. The clearances will dramatically improve once the suspension is compressed as the weight of the car is returned to it. Remember to recheck torque on all hardware after a few hard runs.
Special thanks to Scott Harris, a valued Hop Not customer who took the time to document the install process in great detail and his willingness to share with others.
Well done Scott!