CLICK HERE all of you curious about suspension setups and their costs/reliability.

ek forever guy

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#1
This is a copy/paste from my thread originated on Honda-tech. I'm not as active here as I'd like to be but I hope you all find this quite useful. If you think this is something the mods should sticky, maybe PM a few of them.
________________________________________________________________

Okay, so for years I've seen perpetual posting like this:

"What suspension do I get?"
"What's good for my car?"
"Is this suspension setup good?"
"How low can I go on this?"

Well, I'm here to provide you my personal insight based on what I've witnessed on these forums mixed with my personal experience with suspension on my personal car, a 2000 DX hatchback, and my various friends and my brother who used to have a DC2 on a few different setups. This thread is aimed at 92-00 civic owners as the suspensions are all very similar and are what I'm familiar with.

I'd like to cover a few basic things, you can scroll down to read my budget recommendations and brands to avoid.

*****Remember, this is all based on my subjective opinion, if you don't like it that is your prerogative. I'm not posting "fact" when recommending suspension setups, merely suggestions based on my observances over the years I've spent on this forum.*****

1) Suspension is suspension. Suspension capabilities aren't going to vary or be different enough from car to car to really matter for recommendation purposes. We don't need to know that you have a black 1993 VX to help you pick a suspension nearly as much as we need to know what your budget is, your goals for the car, and so on.

2) Money is money. When making purchases for your car consider the length of ownership you intend for the car. If you're like me and don't ever see yourself getting rid of your car, think about the cost of that part over a longer period.

3) I'm telling you right now that my brother and I have both learned the hard and expensive way that buying the more expensive, higher quality product the first time is a lot better than trying to cut corners to do more to your car sooner.

The number one tip I have for you for car part buying is Patience. Waiting a few weeks to buy a better part will make you infitiely happier in the long run. Selling a crap part for 1/2 what you paid for it to buy the product you really needed is not fun. I've done it a lot and I'm tired of it. I went from fake wheels, cheap suspension, etc to having volks, recaros, Progress CS-II, Function7, etc because I learned the hard way. It took me a tad longer to save up for it all, but in the end it's 10 kinds of worth it.


Budget recommendations for suspension setups:

1) If you can't afford to spend $600 on your suspension, it is my personal belief that I am doing you justice by telling you to find a new hobby. If you find that much money to be too much for suspension you really need to focus more on paying your bills than dropping your commuter.

2) Adjustable damping means nothing. You really think you know how to program a shock better than a reputable racing component manufacturer? What you "like" isn't necessarily going to be safer or handle better than the appropriate damping matched to a spring rate. So many people buy a product based on how many levels of damping it has.

3) Cheap setups with expensive features. They're pointless and useless for 99.9% of drivers out there looking to have some performance. Cheap coilovers with high end features like camber adjustments, pillow ball mounts, oil reserves, etc are just that. Cheap cars slapping extra junk on an already junk part so teeny-boppers will cream their pants and buy it with their mom's credit card.

4) Don't let the shiny colors sell you a product.

Setups:

(I know there are a bajillion other products to choose from, I'll discuss those at the end.)

$600 range

Koni SRT + Spring/coilover sleeve of your choice.

OR

Progress CS-II

Koni- Lifetime warranty. Plain and simple. You can pick from a plethora of springs and coil sleeves that suit your driving needs.

Progress CS-II- I use these currently and enjoy the everliving out of them. best budget suspension period in my mind. 1 year warranty, great company, great product. I've put 10,000 miles on them and 5 autocross races and they work like brand new. Available in 250/350/500lb spring rates.

Edit: As a side note Eibach also offers some good options with the pro-kit and sport-line kits for those who just want a moderate drop and to close off some of that wheel gap.

$800 range

Koni/Ground control

That's it. There is no other choice. It is hands down the best suspension for the money. Lifetime warranty on the shock and coil sleeve, pick your rates and easily the most used and most sold performance shock in the world. Koni has drivers all over the country with track records using their products. Anything else in the price range can't be justified over this setup. The only thing that comes close is Tokico Illumina shocks paired with ground control coilovers. Tokico also offers a lifetime warranty and a superior product for a similar price at the koni shock. The emphasis on ground control for use with these shocks is merely the ability for the individual to pick the spring rates best suited for their needs and tastes.

Another consideration would be PIC Apex at $835. Good company, not a lifetime warranty however.

$1000+ range

The only choice in my opinion at this price point is AMR. Small company, lifetime warranty, custom valving and spring rates to suit your needs. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L
coil-over. About $1200 for honda-tech users.


Iffy companies:
Omni - Reputable, good drag racing stuff, not bad.
Tein - My brother had 2 different tein setups on his car and the SS was the best. The basic was utter garbage. He was astounded by koni/gc when he finally sold his SS for $1100 and got a better suspension setup for $800.
skunk2 - they have made strides recently but they have a reputation for overpriced parts (for what they are) and blow shocks and too stiff spring rates. Their LCAs are notorious for torn bushings, the new model supposedly addresses that. However for $190 you should hit yourself with a hammer for not buying Function7 instead. PIC makes a good affordable LCA that I would trust. They make outstanding bushings.
Buddy Club - Much better stuff out there for the money.

Bad companies:
Function&Form - They have made strides, but they appeal to the kiddies who want to slam their cars and don't care about much else. I've seen numerous posts over the years about leaking shocks being shipped to them, or leaking immediately afterwards. 1 year warranty.
Ksport - Can't tell you how many broken/leaking/etc ksport I've seen here. For that kind of money there are much better options.
D2- Comes out of the same factory as ksport. As far as I know they're identical in construction.

Good companies:
Koni
Progress
AMR
PIC
Eibach
Tokico
PIC


____________________
^Bottom line^

****This article is aimed at persons aspiring for functional cars for daily driving/weekend autocross or road racing. I have included tips for people who want to slam their cars in the details.****

In my opinion I believe there are essentially 3 choices for the enthusiast driver:

Progress CS-II@$600
Koni/Ground control@$800
AMR@$1300

I merely believe that the positives outweigh the negatives of similarly priced products and therefore these are the best choices. PIC even offers a $1100 coilover, but when you're spending $1100+ for a suspension wouldn't you spend the extra $100 for the lifetime warranty of the AMR?

Thanks, I hope this helps many of you pick your suspension.

-Adam
 

ek forever guy

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#2
Here are spring rates for common racing products for those of you who are curious:


The P = Progressive, which means the spring rate changes dynamically over the compression.
The L = Linear, where the spring rate remains roughly the same over the compression

96-00 EX factory 165F/80R (P/P)
99-00 Si (EM1) factory 201F/99.8R (P/P)
CTR factory 240/240 (L/P)
APEX'i WS 447F/178R
Eibach ProKit 290F/190R (P/P)
Eibach Sportline 310F/275R (P/P)
Gold-line GL 2.5" drop 320/190 (P/P)
Gold-line GPS 1.25" drop 275/160 (P/P)
Ground Control Coilover 380F/280R (P/P)*
H&R OE 280F/190R (P/P)
H&R Sport 330F/280R (P/P)
JIC FLT-A2s (USDM) 504F/336R (L/L)
Koni RSK Suspension kit 154-205/270 (P/L)
Neuspeed SofSports 260F/150R (P/P)
Neuspeed Sport 280F/180R (P/P)
Neuspeed Race 485F/395R
Omni-Power Adjustable Sleeve Coilover 448F/336R (L/L)*
Omni-Power Street Coilovers 448F/336R (L/L)*
Omni-Power Sport Coilovers 539F/448R (L/L)*
Omni-Power Drag Coilover 810F/810R (L/L)*
Omni-Power 6-Way Damping Coilovers 539/448/336 (L)*
Progress Coilovers 350F/250R (P/P)
Progress Lowering Springs 320F/200R (P/P)
SkunkWerks Coilovers (old) 400F/300R (L/L)
Skunk2 Coilovers (new) 500F/400r (L/L)
Sparco needed
Spoon Full Coilovers 300/240
SSR Cup 392/280
SSR S1 448/448
Suspension Techniques 10-15% more then stock (P/P)
Tanabe DF-210 10-15% more then stock
Tanabe NF-210 5-10% more then stock
Tein HT 1119F/448R (L/L)
Tein HG 365F/129-196R (L/P)
Tein SS 448F/224R
Tein Flex 504F/280R
Tein RA/RE/RS 783F/559R (L/L)
Tein S. Tech 235F/140R
Tokico Illumina Kit 250/123 (P/P)


For daily driving comfort on moderate drops I recommend 350-450 Front and 250-350 rear rates.

Anyone who wants to tuck tire you need at least 400lb rates. Any lower you'll easily need 500lb rates.

here's a conversion table for Kg/mm to LB/in

kg/mm to lbs/in
-----------------------------
16 = 896
15 = 840
14 = 784
13 = 728
12 = 672
11 = 616
10 = 560
9.0 = 504
8.5 = 476
8.0 = 448
7.5 = 420
7.0 = 392
6.5 = 364
6.0 = 336
5.5 = 308
5.0 = 280
4.5 = 252
4.0 = 224
3.0 = 168
2.0 = 112

****FOR YOU PEOPLE WHO WANT TO SLAM YOUR CARS****


For anyone wanting to slam their cars and have it last, you need to get a good master bushing set, preferably hard rubber. And AT THE LEAST Koni/ground control with front extended top hats and rates of 600lb+ front and 400+lb rear, maybe higher depending on your wheel/offset.
 


civexspeedy

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#4
Can a mod please sticky this?

I'll be using it for reference in like 90% of the threads made on this forum anyways... might as well.
 


ek forever guy

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#5
Can a mod please sticky this?

I'll be using it for reference in like 90% of the threads made on this forum anyways... might as well.
haha. Thanks. This forum is especially flooded with lots of "What do i do?" traffic.

Seems like a lot of the folks on this forum are younger and have less money at their disposal. It is my opinion that they, frankly, have no business lowering their cars unsafely.

I'm a broke college kid too, I just save my money and buy quality parts (volk, recaro, etc.) after waiting 5 months to save up for them, lol.

Anyone on these boards can afford quality. It's merely their concept of time and value placed in buying the correct and higher quality part the first time. Or buying a shoddy product and spending a fortune in damaged suspension components, alignments, replacing it with more cheap suspension parts that hopefully are better, etc.

Many people would find that if they bought a quality product the first time it's often cheaper in the long run since it lasts and they spend a lot less capital on repairs and replacements for bad goods.
 

MistahJuice

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#9
Alright cool, I'm assuming the ride shouldn't be too bad at all seeing as how the cs2s all have progressive springs. I don't think i'll mind stiffer spring, just drive around with lots of friends and junk hence the 4 door so wanted to make sure.
 

ek forever guy

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#10
Alright cool, I'm assuming the ride shouldn't be too bad at all seeing as how the cs2s all have progressive springs. I don't think i'll mind stiffer spring, just drive around with lots of friends and junk hence the 4 door so wanted to make sure.
The ride is very tolerable. It's a good mix for a daily driving/autocross combo. I do wish the front were a bit stiffer, 400 or 450. A front swaybar, however, has alleviated my issues with the front softer rate.
 
#11
damn dude. you are a beast ekforeverguy. what part of GA are you from. I am a college kid myself. Your write up has pursuaded me to change my views from springs to coilovers. I was looking something cheap to fit my budget but now that you mention I think I'm gonna go with koni/GC setup. I've had a thread about this for the past couple of days. I definitely


Vote for sticky
 

ek forever guy

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#12
damn dude. you are a beast ekforeverguy. what part of GA are you from. I am a college kid myself. Your write up has pursuaded me to change my views from springs to coilovers. I was looking something cheap to fit my budget but now that you mention I think I'm gonna go with koni/GC setup. I've had a thread about this for the past couple of days. I definitely


Vote for sticky
I'm out in West Georgia. I'm a senior at UWG.

I learned the hard way that saving your money for a few more weeks or even a month is well worth it in the end. You'll be a lot prouder of your car with idolized parts on it. They're idolized for a reason. Expensive parts are expensive for a reason, too, they are often tremendously higher quality. I never realized it until I owned a set of Volks. Makes my old konigs look like garbage.
 

Sleeper EG8

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#13
I was just reading this yesterday on HT.Definitely helped me decide which suspension I'm going with.

Sent From Inside My EG8
 

CHILD

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#15
For the people who ride slammed, they shouldn't expect any suspension setup to last. More times than not, people have problems because they expect parts to function even if they aren't used in a functional manner.
 

ek forever guy

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#19
its just like most quality wheels, you get to a point where you're just paying for the name.
I've had Konigs, Rotas, and Enkeis. They all pale in comparison in quality to my Volks. You really get what you pay for when it comes to Volks at least. I can't say the same for other $1000+ a set wheels, but holy s**t. I had no idea how high quality volks are. They make every other set of wheels I've owned look like garbage in terms of fitments, quality, finish, etc.

They always balance at .25oz on each wheel every time. They weigh 11.1lbs. Show me a cheaper wheel that is remotely similar in quality. Even my enkeis weren't that balanced.
 

CHILD

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#20
paying for the name, the volks are good but they dont cost the thousand + that people pay for them. The US manufactures and US distributors mark them up really high (supply and demand). Learned this first hand after going to japan. Same with suspension, Zeal, JIC, HKS hipermax dont cost 1500-2000 dollars...they are properly priced like the Progress CS. We get stuck paying for the name here, whether if its a quality product or not
 






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