APEXi World Sport damper system 96-00 Civic - D-series.org

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Old 01-16-2004, 01:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
piscorpio
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APEXi offers this height adjustable coilover system as a "street" or entry level performance suspension, offering sportier handling without an overly harsh ride. Usually the kit can be had for around $800, so it represents a great value for someone wanting a quality suspension, with a spring and shock combo specifically designed to work together.

I have used this coilover kit, for close to 3 years, so this might be considered a bit of a "long-term" test if you will.

Installation is very straightforward, if you have installed/uninstalled springs/shocks before, there are no surprises here. Fitment is on par with OEM parts. Brand new, the parts look nothing short of beautiful, the black and golden color scheme seem to ooze class. I have even used this kit on an earlier generation of Civic (92-95, 92 specifically in my case), but it requires some shaving down of the rear LCA bushings. Otherwise, it seemingly fits and functions just as well as it did in the 96-00 Civic it was designed for. (Although, it does seem to be stiffer in the 92 Civic, perhaps this is an illusion created by less sound deadening material??)

Going from stock springs/shocks, to the APEXi WS's was a noticeable difference. Ride stiffness was noticeably increased, but not to the point of being harsh. Handling felt much more crisp, and the ride comfort is near what it is stock, but you may feel some little bumps that you didn't before. The extra stiffness is most noticeable on heavily potholed streets or unusually rough terrain, where it can become a bit jarring, moreso than a soft OE suspension, but still very livable. I have not experienced any noticeable sagging, and the ride feels just as crisp as it did upon first installing it. Never has it felt bouncy, nor has it ever felt dangerously on edge, even when driving in snow, handling still remained very predictable. Overall, you can feel the road better, and it creates a sporty yet stable feel. (Highway speeds during gusty wind, can really display the extra stability, and perhaps the lower ride height contributes to the added stability as well.)

Height adjustment, although not necessarily easy, is a simple task. Simply loosen the smaller "collar" from the larger one, and use the spanner wrenches to rotate them, adjusting the height lower or higher. Clearance can be an issue with the spanner wrench, in certain areas it can be a tight fit. I often found that one of the collars on a particular side in the front, would take a bit of patience to adjust. Space can be restricted, and make it difficult to latch the spanner wrench on properly and also make it difficult to turn for a full sweep. The result being I would need to make a series of very small turns. For the most part, it is not a difficult process, it is simply time consuming. Typically, my height would be adjusted for a subtle drop, never going lower than it would take to nearly eliminate wheel gap, although there is plenty of threading to suggest you could go lower still. Since I never used these coilovers for an extreme drop, I could not suggest nor discourage using them for such purpose.

Quality appears to be top-notch, what you would expect from APEXi since they are a fairly reputable company. However, be aware, these coilovers are an entry level system, so some compromises are inevitable.

Obviously ride stiffness is one compromise, the spring rates on this system may be less than favorable for auto-x conditions or other similar use. I believe the rates to be 9kgf/mm in front and 3kgf/mm in the rear, so please consider this if you intend use it for auto-x or similar track racing, as you may prefer something stiffer. Second compromise is construction. Not that the build quality is second rate, quite the contrary, it appears very durable and sound to this day. However, the shock body is not constructed of aluminum, so if you are in an area where weather conditions are conducive to rust (see road salt), you may start to see signs of corrosion on the coilover threading, as well as the springs. I noticed this after a couple of winters here in Chicago, but my car was never parked in a garage and was always street parked, nor did I take particular care to keep the threads clean and lubed, so I was perhaps asking for it. I would suggest taking time to lube the threads, an occasional wd-40 shower at the least, especially if the coilovers will be exposed to the elements. (Perhaps some anti-sieze? I am still debating what the best lube would be, please feel free to add your suggestions) The springs I suspect show rust due to paint chipping caused by dirt between coils, and perhaps rotation or movement during height adjustment could have caused some scraping at the top and bottom ends of the coils. The rust has not affected functionality, and the collars still turn freely to allow adjustments. Likewise with the springs, I hardly expect them to rust away to nothing within this decade, so it is more a matter of cosmetics in this case.

I am very pleased with this kit, and would not hesitate to purchase it again for another application if the need arose. If you too decide to buy this kit, I hope you enjoy it as well, remember to maintain them well, keeping them clean and the threads protected by some kind of lubrication. Such simple steps could probably prevent the corrosion I experienced, but hindsight is 20/20. I hope this review is helpful to anyone shopping for a new suspension setup, and good luck!


Whew, that was long, time for a beer break guys....happy Friday!
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