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Old 12-09-2017, 02:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Budget suspension upgrades for the Commuter

In short - I'm piecing together a coupe set as a super budget suspension upgrade with SI sedan sway bars . I'm going to run through the options I've considered and disregarded. I would like to end with asking if any of you have issues with this plan.

Car: 102k mile DX sedan - MT

Commute: 100 miles daily. Flat highway backroads. 65mph.
(Florida- our roads don't get trashed with cold weather.)

Bought the car last month. It was well maintained. The front end is still tight. The tires were a crap standard touring-tier offering at the end of their life.

Updated the tires to Continental Purecontact's. Theres just not a lot of offerings at 195 65r15. Fortunately, these tires really improved the handling characteristics and road noise of the car.

For suspension upgrades for a commuter, here's some standard OEM options

(link)

DX/LX/EX Sedan: 140/145 lbs/in
DX/LX/EX Coupe: 170/200 lbs/in
Si Coupe: 200/230 lbs/in


Actually, its this below (see math here)
  1. Sedan: ~142.5f/~157.6r - 24.2/10 (swayb)
  2. Coupe: ~170.9f/~201.8r - 25.4/11 (swayb)
  3. Sedan Si: TBD/TBD - 27/17 (swayb)
  4. Coupe Si: - 200f/230r - 28/17 (swayb)
  5. HFP (info here)
Non Coupe OEM options

For retail options, piecing a SI set together was cost prohibitive and long gone are the days when low mile 8th gen SIs would sell their stuff for cheap. In fact, well worn used SI stuff commands a high price on ebay. Pass.

The HFP looked like a great option @ $600(ish). However, the rear may need camber correction even with this kit (link). If true, thats either a shim kit to raise the rear, a ingalls camber adjuster or SPC rear control arms.

The redshift HFP killers offer an even lower ride that is, in some regards, improved over the HFP set. It looks nice if you want to drop the car. Frankly, I just don't care about lowering the car and I don't want to spend even more than the HFP set.

Coupe option

According to several sources*(see below), the coupe came with a firmer suspension than the sedan, and the coupe suspension can be had for nearly half of the HFP option (total) if you look. The coupe option is just less desirable than the SI or HFP stuff. I just bought a front set of assembled OEM struts new (open box) for under 130. Plus, the coupe offers some performance improvements over the sedan springs and dampers.
(link)
To achieve sport coupe performance, the Civic Coupe has the following exclusive suspension tuning compared to the 2006 Civic Sedan:

Front spring rate increases 20 percent
Rear spring rate increases 28 percent
Sport tuned front and rear damper settings
Solid front 25.4 x 3.5 mm tubular stabilizer bar (up from 24.2 x 3.0 mm)
Solid rear 11.0 mm stabilizer bar (up from 10.0 mm)
The coupe suspension is a mild improvement that can be had for less. From my calculations, I can put together some OEM new (open box) assembled coupe struts, rear coupe springs, and KYB rear shocks for about $350. Nice. Also, I won't have camber issues with the rear tires.

Couple that with SI sedan (27mm/17mm) sway bars (not the SI coupe sways @ 28mm/17mm) , and this would be rather nice on long highway drives. Wow - these bars are cheap.

The thought with these bigger sway bars is to further limit the body roll without compromising my ride quality in the way stiff lowering springs can. This approach comes with some important limitations. While I will gain some handling advantage (turn in) with these larger bars, this improvement ends when either the inside tire lifts or when the outside wheel is overloaded. Neither of these issues is going to pose a problem in my commute. I'm commuting 99% of the time while enjoying the occasional turn. I'll enjoy the highway stability more.

Well, thats my plan. What do you guys think?


----------------
*
Honda
To achieve sport coupe performance, the Civic Coupe has the following exclusive suspension tuning compared to the 2006 Civic Sedan:
Front spring rate increases 20 percent
Rear spring rate increases 28 percent

Motortrend
The Coupe gets stiffer springs and shocks than the four-door, but even the Sedan EX circles the skidpad at 0.82

Edmunds 2006 Civic review
[The coupe] has firmer suspension tuning than the sedan


Last edited by scott4; 12-11-2017 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check out the 2014 Civic Si OEM RSB. It's 20mm and can be had for $40-50.

Part# 52300-TR7-A51

LEFT: 2006 Si OEM RSB

RIGHT: 2014 Si OEM RSB

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Old 12-09-2017, 08:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wel4wop707 View Post
Check out the 2014 Civic Si OEM RSB. It's 20mm and can be had for $40-50.
If I'm going over 17mm, I want to reinforce the bracket [1][2]. Where can you buy those brackets? Redshift isn't selling them anymore and Progress wont sell them separately.

Depending on the added cost of those, I'd consider it for sure. If not, the 17s will be ok.

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Old 12-09-2017, 08:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm on my 2nd FG2 and there isn't any problem running the 20mm OEM RSB without the brackets. On my first Si I had an Eibach RSB which I believe was 19mm and I had that set to maximum stiffness, however that did tear through though. Good luck with whichever route you go.

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Old 12-10-2017, 03:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Rear Wheel Spring Rates?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wel4wop707 View Post
...an Eibach RSB which I believe was 19mm and...however that did tear through though.
This is the snip that bugs me. I'm just going to skip it and stay at 17mm unless I can find a bracket. I should probably consider a DIY one.

I am curious about rear spring rates on these cars




This post suggests the OEM rear wheel spring rates are set up soft for ride comfort and understeer (link). A lot of people are choosing to fix stock understeer with a thicker rear sway bar. What may be a more practical option for my particular budget choice is to dial in the appropriate wheel rate with stiffer rear springs. Since this car has a MacPherson front, and a non coilover arrangement in the rears (spring separate from shock), Its not entirely straightforward to make this calculation.

These cars have a 60/40 f/r weight distribution. I'd like to calculate weight transfer under cornering, but I'm a little hung up on some problems. First, you want more spring rate in the front because the roll-axis inclination points down towards the front with MacPherson strut fronts. I'm keeping the stock height, so I'm less concerned about where the roll center goes nuts when the front control arms are "below parallel." Second, the rear springs are in a different location (spring perch inboard of the damper). I don't have the rear info handy, but this value is easy to figure out by getting under the car with a ruler. Lets say its not 1:1.

Now, if the coup rates are 170/200, and the car has understeer built in, it may or may not be better to just put in the OEM assembled Coupe fronts (170) with SI rear springs (230) and Koni orange rear dampers. I can't find any threads that have shared any practical experience here. At best there is this thread discussing coilovers (not the same for the rears). The MacPherson fronts make this calculation a little imprecise.

I wonder if anyone has any practical experience here? Its the same money for me to put in coupe or SI rears. Maybe someone has some info handy.

Last edited by scott4; 12-10-2017 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 12-10-2017, 05:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott4 View Post
(link)
  1. Sedan: 140f/145r - 24.2/10 (swayb)
  2. Coupe: 170f/200r - 25.4/11 (swayb)
  3. Sedan Si: TBD/TBD - 27/17 (swayb)
  4. Coupe Si: - 200f/230r - 28/17 (swayb)
  5. HFP (info here)
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott4 View Post
(link)
To achieve sport coupe performance, the Civic Coupe has the following exclusive suspension tuning compared to the 2006 Civic Sedan:

Front spring rate increases 20 percent
Rear spring rate increases 28 percent
Sport tuned front and rear damper settings
Solid front 25.4 x 3.5 mm tubular stabilizer bar (up from 24.2 x 3.0 mm)
Solid rear 11.0 mm stabilizer bar (up from 10.0 mm)

The math doesn't line up perfectly. Lets double-check.
(Honda Link)
(Archive) (link)
Civic Coupe Exclusive Suspension Tuning
To achieve sport coupe performance, the Civic Coupe has the following exclusive suspension tuning compared to the 2006 Civic Sedan:

Front spring rate increases 20 percent
Rear spring rate increases 28 percent
Sport tuned front and rear damper settings
Solid front 25.4 x 3.5 mm tubular stabilizer bar (up from 24.2 x 3.0 mm)
Solid rear 11.0 mm stabilizer bar (up from 10.0 mm)

Civic Si Exclusive Suspension Tuning
To achieve razor-like performance, the Civic Si has the following exclusive suspension tuning compared to the 2006 Civic Coupe:

Front spring rate increases 17 percent
Rear spring rate increases 14 percent
Track tuned front and rear damper settings
Solid front 28.0 mm stabilizer bar (up from 25.4 mm tubular)
Solid rear 17.0 mm stabilizer bar (up from 11.0 mm)
Heavy duty front wheel hub and bearings
Heavy duty front and rear lower control arms
Coupe Si: - 200 front / 230 rear (looks accurate here)

Y x 1.17 = 200
Y = Coupe front spring rate
Y = 170.94

Z x 1.14 = 230
Z = Coupe rear spring rate
Z = 201.754

A x 1.2 = 170.94
A = Sedan front spring rate
A= 1.42.45

B x 1.28 = 201.754
B = Sedan rear spring rate
B = 157.62

The first group of figures isn't correct. The list should say
  1. Sedan: ~142.5f/~157.6r - 24.2/10 (swayb)
  2. Coupe: ~170.9f/~201.8r - 25.4/11 (swayb)
  3. Sedan Si: TBD/TBD - 27/17 (swayb)
  4. Coupe Si: - 200f/230r - 28/17 (swayb)
  5. HFP (info here)

------------------------------------------------------------

Looks like the coupe rear rate got softer in 2008 -

Source 1

2008 Civic changes...

* New rear upper arm that decreases the amount of rear camber from -1.5* to -0.75*.

* For all 2DR models the rear spring has changed to the 4DR spring (lower rate).

* DX models now use the LX/EX Coupe (SVA) damper, not the Si Coupe (SVB) damper.

This was all done because of the camber change that was necessary to prevent abnormal tire wear (especially prevalent on Canadian market cars). The camber change caused less rear grip, so the engineers had to soften the rear... Perfect example of Honda's insurance lawyers defeating the engineers I suppose. However, my contact has driven both back to back and said that while the new setup is definitely more conservative, its not horrible. He bets that most drivers would not be able to pickup the difference.

BTW, I still don't know if the new rear upper arm has a unique part number or if it will use the existing number.

Anthony "Mario" Crea
NNJR-SCCA
(Source 2)
Quote:
Originally Posted by honda93 View Post
Don't forget, all non-Si Coupes are now running the non-Si Sedan rear springs for 2008; so the number for the rear spring on 2008+ cars drops from 200 lbs./in to 145-150 lbs./in

Anthony "Mario" Crea
NNJR-SCCA
------------------------------------------------------------

Part Number Check

2006
Coupe Front Spring R - 51401-SVA-A02
Coupe Front Spring L - 51406-SVA-A02
Coupe Front Strut Assy R - 51601-SVA-A04
Coupe Front Strut Assy L - 51602-SVA-A07

Coupe Rear Spring - 52441-SVA-A01
Coupe Rear Shock Assy - 52610-SVA-A05

Sedan Front Spring R - 51401-SNA-A13
Sedan Front Spring L - 51402-SNA-A02
Sedan Front Strut Assy R - 51601-SNA-A25
Sedan Front Strut Assy L - 51602-SNA-A25

Sedan Rear Spring - 52441-SNA-A21
Sedan Rear Shock Assy - 52610-SNE-A03
2007
Coupe Front Spring R - 51401-SVA-A02
Coupe Front Spring L - 51406-SVA-A02
Coupe Front Strut Assy R - 51601-SVA-A07
Coupe Front Strut Assy L - 51602-SVA-A15

Coupe Rear Spring - 52441-SVA-A01
Coupe Rear Shock Assy - 52610-SVA-A05

Sedan Front Spring R - 51401-SNA-A13
Sedan Front Spring L - 51406-SNA-A13
Sedan Front Strut Assy R - 51601-SNA-A25
Sedan Front Strut Assy L - 51602-SNA-A25

Sedan Rear Spring - 52441-SNA-A21
Sedan Rear Shock Assy - 52610-SNE-A03
2008
Coupe Front Spring R - 51401-SVA-A02
Coupe Front Spring L - 51406-SVA-A02
Coupe Front Strut Assy R - 51601-SVA-A07
Coupe Front Strut Assy L - 51602-SVA-A15

Coupe Rear Spring - 52441-SVA-A01
Coupe Rear Shock Assy - 52610-SVB-A05

Sedan Front Spring R - 51401-SNA-A13
Sedan Front Spring L - 51406-SNA-A13
Sedan Front Strut Assy R - 51601-SNA-A25
Sedan Front Strut Assy L - 51602-SNA-A25

Sedan Rear Spring - 52441-SNA-A21
Sedan Rear Shock Assy - 52610-SNE-A03
2009
Coupe Front Spring R - 51401-SVA-A02
Coupe Front Spring L - 51406-SVA-A02
Coupe Front Strut Assy R - 51601-SVA-A07
Coupe Front Strut Assy L - 51602-SVA-A07

Coupe Rear Spring - 52441-SNA-A02
Coupe Rear Shock Assy - 52610-SVB-A05
...... cut....


This info already doesnt work with the claim that coupes got a softer rear in 2008. The coupes got the exact same PN for their rear damper (52610-SVB-A05) as the SI in 2007-2008. Why the hell would they want to use a SI damper in the rear for a soft spring?

There are too many inconsistencies with this info. This doesn't make sense.

Look below. A change happened in the rear suspension 2009 for coupes. Who the hell knows what spring rate it was, but it required an SI damper. I do not think that suggests a softer spring.

SPRING, REAR
Part Number: 52441-SVA-A01

Honda Civic 5AT DX 2D 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5AT EX 2D 2006, 2007, 2008
Honda Civic 5AT EXL 2D 2008
Honda Civic 5AT EXLN 2D 2008
Honda Civic 5AT EXN 2D 2006, 2007, 2008
Honda Civic 5AT LX 2D 2006, 2007, 2008
Honda Civic 5MT DX 2D 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5MT EX 2D 2006, 2007, 2008
Honda Civic 5MT EXL 2D 2008
Honda Civic 5MT EXLN 2D 2008
Honda Civic 5MT EXN 2D 2006, 2007, 2008
Honda Civic 5MT LX 2D 2006, 2007, 2008
SPRING, REAR
Part Number: 52441-SNA-A02

Honda Civic 5AT EX 2D 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5AT EXL 2D 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5AT EXLN 2D 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5AT EXN 2D 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5AT LX 2D 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5MT EX 2D 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5MT EXL 2D 2009, 2010
Honda Civic 5MT EXLN 2D 2009, 2010
Honda Civic 5MT EXN 2D 2009, 2010
Honda Civic 5MT LX 2D 2009, 2010, 2011
SHOCK ABSORBER ASSEMBLY, REAR
Part Number: 52610-SVB-A05

Honda Civic 5AT DX 2D 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5AT EX 2D 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5AT EXL 2D 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5AT EXLN 2D 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5AT EXN 2D 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5AT LX 2D 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5MT DX 2D 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5MT EX 2D 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 5MT EXL 2D 2008, 2009, 2010
Honda Civic 5MT EXLN 2D 2008, 2009, 2010
Honda Civic 5MT EXN 2D 2008, 2009, 2010
Honda Civic 5MT LX 2D 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 6MT SI 2D 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 6MT SI-HPT 2D 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 6MT SI-N 2D 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honda Civic 6MT SI-ST 2D 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Honda Civic 6MT SI-STN 2D 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Honda Civic 6MT SIHPTN 2D 2010
SHOCK ABSORBER ASSEMBLY, REAR
Part Number: 52610-SVA-A05
Honda Civic 5AT EX 2D 2006, 2007
Honda Civic 5AT EXN 2D 2006, 2007
Honda Civic 5AT LX 2D 2006, 2007
Honda Civic 5MT EX 2D 2006, 2007
Honda Civic 5MT EXN 2D 2006, 2007
Honda Civic 5MT LX 2D 2006, 2007


Good grief. This info doesn't work with an alleged change to softer springs for coupes in 2008 at all.

Last edited by scott4; 12-11-2017 at 01:38 PM.
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