Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 1:49 PM
You are in the Speed Shop Tuning and Modification
What is this discussion about?
Performance Mods, Suspension
#5 of 24 Sorry, I don't buy it -
Mar 27, 2005 (6:21 am)
OEM shocks are built to a "lowest bidder" tolerance and rarely have anything near the gas pressure of a normal aftermarket strut or shock.
I think "wimpy" is a good word here. It's like the guys who are sold on using stock brake pads and spark plugs, because "that's the way the factory wanted it"...although, for example, Car and Driver did a brake system test on a WRX and run of the mill performance brake pads made the car stop 17 feet shorter from 60-0.
I agree that the "one size fits all" attitude doesn't work when selecting shocks, struts, springs, brake pads, or tune-up parts, but a little research goes a long way.
#6 of 24 integdrk - Need aftermarket shocks
Mar 28, 2005 (4:26 pm)
Do NOT use the stock shocks with ANY of the aftermarket springs out there. I made the same mistake 5yrs ago and re-installed my factory shocks when I put H&R OE springs (.75-1" drop) on my Integra GSR. I like you, did not consult a tech forum except maybe 1 or 2 people I met at the autocross race events that owned Integras. They had the same setup so I thought it would be fine for me too. Boy was I wrong.
The front driver shock broke first about 3mos later and the other one went about 6 weeks after that. They were making noises and were not able to properly dampen the oscillations of the higher spring rates. Now the H&R OE Sports spring rates are only 276lb/in. front and 220 rear compared to the '94-01 Integra springs that are 212F/117R. It just so happens the Neuspeed Sports springs have the same spring rates (it 's always been suspected that H&R makes the Neuspeed springs). If your Neupseed RACE springs are anything like H&R Race springs, then your new spring rates are: 583F/450R!! That's almost 3 times stiffer up front and 4 times in the rear! The stock shocks will not be able to handle these springs and will start deteriorating slowly. The failure will be gradual and you probably won't notice it for several months. If your OEM shocks have many miles on them, they 'll fail quicker. My stock shocks only had 15k mi. on them but I felt the deterioration quickly because I was racing (auto-x) the car at the time (still do). My times were gradually getting worse (slower) so I was able to tell the shocks were failing even before there were any noises coming from them.
Do your self a favor and get some Koni Yellows (Sports) adjustable shocks. You can get them for $499 shipped. The best mod you can do to your Integra for the money. Shocks play a more important role in handling than the springs. This way you pay for installation only once, not twice like me, if you 're not doing it yourself. You should also invest in a 22mm rear sway bar. Integras come with small 14mm rear sway bars. The larger sway bar will decrease body roll dramatically and noticeably improve handling. That along with the Konis will transform your car into a great steetable handling car.
I have some more advice for you. I 've been through several suspensions in the last 5yrs, and do not recommend the Neuspeed Race springs for the street or if your car is a daily driver. The car will sit way too low, although the Konis can help that. They have different spring perches on the shock body. I recommend installing the springs on the top ones to raise the car a little. You will be rubbing, bottoming out over speed bumps, scraping on the curb while parking, etc. Ride will be very crappy as well because of the relatively high spring rates. I would try exchanging them for the Neuspeed Sports springs if I were you. Do not buy cheap shocks like Tokiko blues (Tokiko Illuminas - adj. shocks are ok but Konis are better) or KYB AGX crap. The Koni is the best bang for the buck and they can be rebuilt, revalved or shortened in the future by Koni America or Truechoice Inc.
Integras do not have much suspension travel as it is. Installing race springs with such a dramatic drop will have you riding on your bumpstops and can you can also bottom out and damage your shocks, aftermarket or not. The best thing to do for our cars (for the street) is to get the Ground Control coilover kit with your choice of 350Front/400Rear or 400F/450R springs (GC sells the Eibach race springs - high quality 2.5" inner diameter springs) so you can adjust the height, or get the H&R/Neupseed Sports springs (or Eibach Proline), in that order. These are just your spring options. For shocks you want to get the Konis or Tokiko Illuminas if you can't afford the $40 higher price of the Konis but I wouldn't go cheap. You want to do this once and you want to do it right.
#7 of 24 Re: Sorry, I don't buy it - [driftracer]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Mar 30, 2005 (4:58 pm)
OEM shocks may be built to a "lowest bidder" tolerance but I suspect that few aftermarket outfits can economically do the engineering that the manufacturer does with one of its vehicles.
Usually the aftermarket product is sold for a range of different vehicles, unlike the OEM spec item that's engineered for a specific platform. I'm a bit suspicious of a one size fits all part.
#8 of 24 I agree on the one size bit -
Mar 30, 2005 (5:06 pm)
#9 of 24 Re: I agree on the one size bit - [driftracer]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Mar 30, 2005 (5:09 pm)
I liked the matching shocks to the springs comment above too. Now you're talking real money, lol.
#10 of 24 Actually, several tuners
Mar 30, 2005 (5:46 pm)
like H&R, Koni, and Bilstein make matched coil spring/strut combos, and they're still about half the cost of an entry level coilover setup.
#11 of 24 spring/strut combo vs entry level coilovers
Apr 06, 2005 (1:21 pm)
Yes, but the best bang for the buck, especially for Honda/Acura (this question was about an Integra), is the $330 Ground Control coilover kit with the $500 adjustable Koni Yellows. The GC kit which includes your choice of Eibach race springs, allows you to install any length spring you want and any spring rate you want. You can experiment with various spring rates or spring lengths if you want as often as you want [ $55/spring] provided they 're within the Konis' valving range. H&R and most matched spring/shock (non-adjustable) combos are $560-650 but there is usually no adjustability. For a couple of hundred $$ more you can have a good coilover setup with one of the most respected, most reliable, single adjustable performance "street" shock which (for a fee) can also be rebuilt and/or revalved with race valving or custom valving according to your springs, or converted to double adjustable shocks. The flexibility of the Konis is truly great. The only thing you don't get is the threaded shock body as you do with the more expensive coilover setups.
#12 of 24 E-350...Can I change the ride??
Apr 28, 2005 (6:04 am)
I got a great deal on an '03 Ford E-350 that I wanted for a tow vehicle for a small camper. After a trial run, I love the van and the space, but the ride is stiff as anything! Is it too big of a deal to change the heavy duty suspension which is causing me to bounce uncontrollably in the rear of the van? Also what about the seating? Being an old school van, it has no configurability for the rigid seats, (it's a 12 seater,) and I wouldn't mind a "sofa seat." It's just me and the missus and two 70# dogs. Got any ideas?
The option is to trade for a large SUV as the prices are pretty good right now...
#14 of 24 Re: E-350...Can I change the ride?? [hppyfngy]
May 01, 2005 (6:09 am)
I don't know much about vans but I would think the suspension principles are the same as in any other car. I would ask the dealer you bought it from why the car "bounces uncontrollably" in the rear. That shouldn't happen. Maybe the shocks need to be replaced or maybe they have some other softer shocks they could install instead of heavy duty shocks. The springs would probably have to be replaced as well with ones that have lower spring rates.