Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Ride height adjustment for CS2/3 Coil-overs

Setting up your vehicle with the correct ride heights is part of tuning your vehicle and getting the most from your suspension upgrades. When the heights correct, it'll look right, it will ride well, and most of all it will handle it's best. And after a proper alignment, the driveability will be excellent and the tire wear should be very acceptable. Here are a few how-to tips from our shop to your garage.

 The tool list is pretty straightforward, nothing special here. Floor jack, jack stand, wheel socket and 1/2" breaker bar, tape measure, coil-over spanners and the 3/16" allen key. Add a 1/2" torque wrench for tightening the lug nuts when the work is complete. Make notes on scratch paper or use your phone note pad.

 First measure from center of wheel hub up to the fender lip, straight up as shown. Measure and write down all four corner measurments. Why from the center of the wheel? That's the way we do it, so the wheel/tire selection is not an issue, and we can use those dimensions to measure suspension travel witth the springs out of the vehicle. Determine what corners need to go up or down. Our front measured 11.75" and we want 12.25" so we need to raise the front .50".

Loosen the lugs slightly and jack up the first corner that needs adjustment. Put the jack stand in place for safety. Loosen the perch nut using the 3/16" Allen key. There's no need to remove the 1/4" socket head. To raise the corner, raise the perch nut, pressing the spring upward.  How much do I need to adjust? Each full turn is 1/16" movement at the coil-over, but the change in vehicle height will differ with the platform, because the motion ratio of the suspension varies. So 3/8" change at the coil-over is 6/16" so that is six full turns of the perch nut.

After cleaning off the dirt & grime, loosen the small Allen. You can spray the threads with some WD-40 or Boeshield T-9 spray lube as required. Use the two Progess spanner wrenches as shown. The smaller one holds the threaded sleeve, and the larger one turns the perch nut. See the pic (left) for an example. These spanners are set to raise the car. Make the change, lock the Allen down, and reinstall the wheel/tire on the car. Tighten the lugs and roll the car forward and back to settle the suspension at the new ride height.

Re-measure and record the new height. Large changes in ride height may effect other corners, so re-measure as needed after rolling out and settling the suspension. Adjust the four corners as needed and record the height data and number of turns on the perch nuts for future reference. When you are satified with the results, confirm the Allen bolts are snug to lock down the perch nuts. Torque all the wheel lugs just to make sure all the wheels are tight and nothing was overlooked. Torque M12-1.5 lugs to 80ft/lbs. (per Honda shop manual). Check your individual application. It's also a good time to check your tire pressures before your test drive.

Now for the fun part. It's time for a road test! Tip: drive a regular route that you know, the route to work, school or home, so you can compare the change in ride quality and handling before and after the ride height changes. Note that after height changes greater than 10-12mm, the wheel alignment should be checked. The toe-in/out will be the most significant change on most FWD platforms. Proper ride height settings are a huge step toward a solid set-up and maximizing ride and handling. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Free Speed

Wouldn’t you like to go faster for free?
We have spent a lot of time over the last twenty years developing handling products and making suspension recommendations. Most of our suggestions and modifications require some sort of expense, some modest, some more substantial. Here are some often-overlooked and simple suggestions for some free speed...

Inspect it.
Check your engine oil and coolant levels.
Torque the lug nuts. Add a tiny bit if anti-seize compound to the wheel studs before cross-torquing them. Check your tire pressures and while you are airing up, take a look at the tread and inside shoulder of the tires for excessive wear. Rotate your tires and put the best tread on the front axle. Rotate the tires front-to-rear only, and don’t switch sides.

Secure it.
Secure loose items and cargo. It’s no fun to turn into a quick corner to find loose stuff and baggage (your laptop!) zinging across the cabin.  Then you hit the brakes and your lunch or phone slides off the seat into the footwell. Take a few minutes and secure your baggage and loose items in the cabin, console, and trunk or cargo area. Use a box or grocery bin. And remember flip-flops are not racing shoes!

Practice daily.
We all think we’re pretty good drivers because we are enthusiasts. But most of us make a lot of mistakes. Most of us commute and drive daily, so this is our ‘first’ chance to get some driving practice. Set the seat position for alert and safe driving. Adjust the mirrors. Be aware of your hand position on the wheel (both hands!). Be aware of your surroundings by staying alert and scanning around. Avoid distractions, and be ready for the unexpected.

Feel the set.
When you turn into a long sweeping corner, feel the car roll a bit and ‘take a set’ during corner entry. The 'set' is that 'steady state' of traction that is established on initial 'turn-in'. If you hold a steady line, the car stays 'set' and planted. If you over-drive and correct too much, the car needs to re-set and this compromises the grip or traction because it redirects a lot of mass (you entire car). This takes time and ruins your steady line. Learn to hold a steady line through the corner, and then make a 'precise' transition from one corner to the next. Do your braking before corner entry, and accelerate after the ‘apex’ or middle of the corner. If you feel for the 'set' then 'transition' to the next corner, you will quickly learn why 'the line' through the corners is so important.

Be smooth.
It’s a great help to practice being ‘smooth’ with all the driver inputs; steering, throttle, brakes and shifting. Consider that ‘smooth’ driver inputs mean less vehicle speed is ‘wasted’ redirecting the car over and over. Smooth is fast. The best drivers are always smooth and make it look so easy!

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Easy Spring Rate Conversion

We frequently convert spring rates from US to metric units, or metric to US. Here is a quick conversion chart and some easy math to do the job for you.
  • To convert lbs/in to kg/mm, divide by 56.
  • To convert kg/mm to lbs/inch, multiply by 56.
  • It’s quick and easy to remember!

Lbs/ inch              Kg/mm
200                         3.6
250                         4.5
300                         5.4
350                         6.3
400                         7.2
450                         8.1
500                         9.0
550                         9.8
600                         10.7
650                         11.6
700                         12.5
750                         13.4
800                         14.3
850                         15.2
900                         16.1
950                         17.0
1000                       17.9
1050                       18.8
1100                       19.7
1150                       20.6
1200                       21.5