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.