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Old 04-10-2014, 02:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How low for top hats?

So the DropZones that came with the del Sol have served their purpose (were actually pretty good for the old style [450f/350r]), but they're all officially blown with no way to rebuild.

So I'm going to go the GC/Koni Yellow route, also in 450f/350r with about a 3" drop. I've seen a lot of posts about how "you can't be too safe" or "depends on spring rate", etc but nothing equating a formula (if there even is one).

So even with the Honda-Tech rate four top hats is about $400. At that spring rate with that much drop is it worth getting all four, just fronts, or would I be wasting my money on them altogether? I do autox this car pretty hard so if that's a factor do consider it.

If there is a formula for this that I have somehow missed in my searching please link me to it.

Thank you!
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Old 04-10-2014, 03:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default How low for top hats?

You want your springs snug against the top hats with the shock fully extended. That way you dont bottom out the shocks.

$400 plus the gc/koni setup you might as well go with a full coil-over that you can adjust spring preload and ride height separately.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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With a 3 inch drop you will need top hats. That is quite low.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You're going to want them with a 3 inch drop. I'm running a much higher ride height than you and I'm glad I have them(granted, I have to deal with ruts ice racing).

Don't forget it's fairly easy and almost free to fab your own extended top hats if you are handy with a welder...
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NeonPinHead View Post
You want your springs snug against the top hats with the shock fully extended. That way you dont bottom out the shocks.

$400 plus the gc/koni setup you might as well go with a full coil-over that you can adjust spring preload and ride height separately.
Thats true. Thats 1k worth of coilover right thurrrrrrrrrr
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WrongWheelDrive View Post
Don't forget it's fairly easy and almost free to fab your own extended top hats if you are handy with a welder...

x2 you just need some pipe and use the oem top hats
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Or ebay tophats!
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonPinHead View Post
You want your springs snug against the top hats with the shock fully extended. That way you dont bottom out the shocks
BULLSHIT.

In no way will it keep the shock from bottoming out during travel. It will only try t keep the spring in proper seated location, like using Eibach's Tender Springs setup.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Or ebay tophats!
thats what i did.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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BULLSHIT.



In no way will it keep the shock from bottoming out during travel. It will only try t keep the spring in proper seated location, like using Eibach's Tender Springs setup.

Hey calm your balls. They will keep it from bottoming out as often or riding around on them like that the whole time. Giving you more more room to work with.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It won't keep it from bottoming out. It'll just keep the car from crashing back onto the springs.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonPinHead View Post
$400 plus the gc/koni setup you might as well go with a full coil-over that you can adjust spring preload and ride height separately.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammo115 View Post
Thats true. Thats 1k worth of coilover right thurrrrrrrrrr
I s'pose, though most coilover setups out there are junk for the most part. And anything worth its salt is around or over $2K so...

I'll look into the homefab versions. I won't be getting my arc welder up here 'til May, so if I can hold off 'til then I'll give it a go.

Thanks for all the input!
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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with my koni yellows and neuspeed springs, i only have like 2" of travel with extended top hats. Wish i would of went with coilovers. also a good trick, put a zip tie around the shaft and lower the car or drive it and see how much the zip tie moves up
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snailslow View Post
with my koni yellows and neuspeed springs, i only have like 2" of travel with extended top hats. Wish i would of went with coilovers. also a good trick, put a zip tie around the shaft and lower the car or drive it and see how much the zip tie moves up
2in of travel in bump should be a acceptable amount(I wouldn't want any less) if you have enough spring under it. The zip tie trick it a great way to tell if you need more travel.

I'll second the "most coilovers are junk" a pair of koni yellows on sleeves outperforms 99% of them.

I'll see if I can find the pictures of the backyard extended tophats my friend made for his civic, might be of some help to you.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Deleted: WrongWheelDrive beat me to it.

Last edited by Mitchness; 04-11-2014 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:55 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Apparently they dont offer my pic coil-overs anymore so i cant make a recommendation but they are not junk. How do you prove a suspensions performance anyway? Track time? I think thats more to speak for the driver... Otherwise whats the question? Reliability, ride quality, etc???
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:08 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I like how koni's a rebuildable/revalveable(sp?). And they are a proven setup. Unless you got the bread for jrz or kw, I think koni/gc is best for the "affordable" price range.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:14 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonPinHead View Post
Apparently they dont offer my pic coil-overs anymore so i cant make a recommendation but they are not junk. How do you prove a suspensions performance anyway? Track time? I think thats more to speak for the driver... Otherwise whats the question? Reliability, ride quality, etc???
Shock dynos.


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Originally Posted by SOHCitTOem View Post
I like how koni's a rebuildable/revalveable(sp?). And they are a proven setup. Unless you got the bread for jrz or kw, I think koni/gc is best for the "affordable" price range.
This. Proven, reliable product by a reputable company that has great customer service.

Konis been around forever and will continue to be around. What happens when the coilover company of the week goes under and you need your dampers rebuilt?

I just put 50k miles on a set of koni yellows. They saw track curbing, rallycross, ice racing, winter frost heaves, and dozens of autocrosses. I'm just now thinking about getting a rebuild, although they still work well enough that I've been placing at the top of events. And for 150 a shock(after parts and shipping), I can get my rebuild race valved, and those will keep up with the big-dollar coilovers. Or I could go to a big national race where the koni truck will be(on-site service FTW!) and they'll do a regular rebuild for the cost of parts.

I've had a few friends who had issues with their shocks for one reason or another. They call them up, and before you know it they are sending a replacement your way. And they'll valve your shocks any way you want them.

These are some of the reasons I recommend Koni to others, nothing else provides this much bang for the buck combined with A+ service, in my opinion.

To get back on topic, here's some homemade tophats.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I think that eventually a set of KWs will find its way onto my CRX.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mitchness View Post
So the DropZones that came with the del Sol have served their purpose (were actually pretty good for the old style [450f/350r]), but they're all officially blown with no way to rebuild.

So I'm going to go the GC/Koni Yellow route, also in 450f/350r with about a 3" drop. I've seen a lot of posts about how "you can't be too safe" or "depends on spring rate", etc but nothing equating a formula (if there even is one).

So even with the Honda-Tech rate four top hats is about $400. At that spring rate with that much drop is it worth getting all four, just fronts, or would I be wasting my money on them altogether? I do autox this car pretty hard so if that's a factor do consider it.

If there is a formula for this that I have somehow missed in my searching please link me to it.

Thank you!
Where did you see the price of $400 for GC top hats? I bought mine not too long ago, and payed around $260 shipped for mine. Look around, and you'll find them cheaper.

THMotorsports has packages through Honda-Tech, when I was looking it was like $1020 shipped for Konis, GCs w/ custom rates, and 4 extended top hats. That is probably the easiest, 1-stop-shop way to get the whole package.

I ended up spending the same amount total, but only because I was able to get my Koni's for $425 shipped. Add $340 for GCs w/ custom rates, and $260 for the extended top hats. And that comes to right around to $1k.


Now as far as drop goes, for 3in, you will definitely need them I was dropped right around that much, and my rears were pretty much sitting on the bump stops. The ride was really bad....pretty much any bump I hit I felt. As soon as I installed, it was like a completely different car. And I'm running 440f/440r spring rates. And I would highly recommend GCs over eBay top hats. The bushings are great quality, and same with the bump stops. You don't have to reuse your old OEM ones.


Here's a pic for reference of my height when I was at the lowest.





Edit:
If you know someone with welding skills, you could have a set custom made like WrongWheelDrive did. My brother has an Accord, and since no one makes extended top hats for his car (you can't use Civic ones because the Accord fronts have 3 studs, not 2), he had a friend build some for him. Ended up costing about $120 for a pair. He only needed the front though, because the Accord rear shocks are much longer than Civics, and actually come with extended top hats from the factory.


Last edited by rustycivic2000; 04-11-2014 at 09:39 PM.
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