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1997 Honda Civic EX
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I recently acquired a 97 EX Coupe with a built/sleeved motor and a built transmission. The previous owner was very conservative with everything else however. I am in the process of figuring out what to do with the suspension and brakes. I have a new car that is my daily so I want to make this as race oriented as possible as the 97 is merely a toy for me. I wondered what people like as far as a dedicated racing setup for the suspension. The car has an older 'drag' gen 3 turbo kit on it and it won't do for me as I am looking for much more power out of the car. I plan on being around the 500hp mark once I do my new turbo setup and wondered if there is a suspension setup that would handle that kind of power well in a drag scenario and also road racing. I enjoy the twisties much more than drag racing but I will be hitting up my local drag strip from time to time with the car also. I welcome all input here as I would like to get it right the first time. Price is not a big consideration here, I don't mind paying for quality gear. Thanks in advance to everyone for any insight.
 

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1997 Honda Civic EX
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Discussion Starter #2
I will be doing front and rear tower braces, lower chassis bracing, control arms, all new bushings, a traction bar, etc. Basically if it can be done and has any benefit I plan on doing it. What I am really looking for is racing coilover setup info and experiences from other guys with EK's in the 4-500hp range that do something similar with their cars to what I will be doing with mine.
 

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The "best" suspension will cost significantly more than your car is currently worth. So I dont think youre looking for the best.

A very good, tried and true setup is Ground Control springs/perches with Koni Sport shocks.

Also, forget the tower braces and shit. Its a waste of time. If youre running suspension stiff enough to need more chassis rigidity you would already have a roll cage and probably wouldnt be asking these kind of questions.
A quick search would have returned a million threads recommending the ground controls with koni sports.
 

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Love the Civic
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What are you doing with you car?

With out that info you are just making threads to get body counts.
 

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1997 Honda Civic EX
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Discussion Starter #5
No I am not making threads for body counts and I am not interested in any forum drama, I'm here for information and nothing more. I am also not looking for information on setups from 3 years ago, I would like to hear what guys are running right now today and some searching turned up little on what I'm after. I also outlined exactly what I will be doing with the car in my initial post but even though I was chastised when it's clearly there I will outline again

My car will be in the 4-500 whp once I'm done with the turbo setup and I will be doing the following

limited drag racing at local 1/8th mile and 1/4 mile tracks
'road racing', hence the need for good brakes and such

I have considered a roll cage but that doesn't make sense for me in a street car as I don't want to drive around in a helmet because quite frankly driving a full cage car on the street without a helmet is just not smart. Anyone who believes differently tell me how your head feels after you bash it into your cage during an accident on the street without a helmet on. That is what makes me want to get the structural rigidity I want without doing a cage.
 

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1997 Honda Civic EX
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Discussion Starter #6
What the car is worth means nothing to me. This is a toy and I don't mind spending the money for the best gear. If you are running some of this that is more than my car is currently worth please share your experience with it as to be frank, I can afford it. I don't want decent suspension, I am looking for the best but before I drop that kind of cash I want to hear from guys running it and their experiences.



The "best" suspension will cost significantly more than your car is currently worth. So I dont think youre looking for the best.

A very good, tried and true setup is Ground Control springs/perches with Koni Sport shocks.

Also, forget the tower braces and shit. Its a waste of time. If youre running suspension stiff enough to need more chassis rigidity you would already have a roll cage and probably wouldnt be asking these kind of questions.
A quick search would have returned a million threads recommending the ground controls with koni sports.
 

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Love the Civic
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Word, I wasnt looking for drama either, I meant for the sake of argument, make yours.

Argument isnt confrontational unless we are uneducated.

I think with the power you are looking to make and events you are attempting the balance between street and track will be hard. I would look at body reinforcement, like stitch welding, if a cage isn't in your future.

I dont know much about suspension on a race car level. They run some seriously cool stuff out of the eibach camp, and tein as well, but you are looking well over $1000.00.

Since I am gunna be running way more street then track, I am going Koni Orange, GC, extended top hats, just under a grand. Comfy but grippy.
 

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A lot of very fast autocross cars have run on Ground Controls with Koni Sports. It is a setup that works on well built street cars an race cars alike.

Now if money really is no object you can get something that is true double adjustable with no crosstalk, precise/repeatable adjustability, and little to no hysteresis. To get these things I would look at something like Motons for a bolt-on "coilover" solution, or a custom made setup using Penskes.
Another option in between the big bucks needed for Motons and the budget Koni Sports would be to revalve and shorten some Koni Sports for your application or maybe even run Koni Race "Reds". Either that or get Bilsteins and have them revalved and/or modified to be adjustable, they can be revalved very easily unlike the konis.
 

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1997 Honda Civic EX
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Discussion Starter #9
My daily is a '13 FB6 with buddy club racing spec coilovers that are set pretty aggressively so a harsh ride doesn't bother me lol. I know some people want a 'nice ride' in a street driven car but with this 97 I want it as aggressive as possible. Definitely chasing performance with the suspension rather than ride quality. I had not come across the motons, thanks for that. I had a few local guys also suggest a custom setup using penskes as well. To put this in perspective I'm fine spending several grand on a quality setup as I love a car that handles like a dream. I have wondered if anyone has gone as far as a custom setup with ohlins? I have done several of my bikes with ohlins forks and an ohlins rear unit and it is just night and day over revalving/springing forks and a penske rear shock or the like. I have had more than a few bikes that had well over 4k in suspension alone.

A lot of very fast autocross cars have run on Ground Controls with Koni Sports. It is a setup that works on well built street cars an race cars alike.

Now if money really is no object you can get something that is true double adjustable with no crosstalk, precise/repeatable adjustability, and little to no hysteresis. To get these things I would look at something like Motons for a bolt-on "coilover" solution, or a custom made setup using Penskes.
Another option in between the big bucks needed for Motons and the budget Koni Sports would be to revalve and shorten some Koni Sports for your application or maybe even run Koni Race "Reds". Either that or get Bilsteins and have them revalved and/or modified to be adjustable, they can be revalved very easily unlike the konis.
 

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You could probably spend 10k on your suspension if you went with motons and spherical bushings everwhere. And then you still have brake wheels and tires to worry about.

Doesnt make a lot of sense if you dont have a particular class youre trying to be competitive in IMO.

Eventually youre going to get to a point where the chassis rigidity isnt going to be stiff enough for the suspension to make a difference. Old touring cars used to run pretty soft suspension and they had roll cages in them. A stock civic with a couple strut bars is going to be pretty floppy.

I still think you would love ground controls and koni sports:
Ground Control - Honda Tech Special Kit
 

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BATSLOMAN GIVES NO FUCKS.
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so tried and true and proven things from 3yrs ago should be ignored? well shit, now I gotta learnt to reed agin n do dah maffs stuff
 

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Nothing is more important then shocks. Spherical Bearings and a big rear bar are nice to have too. Tower braces, chassis bracing, and traction bars are a waste of money.

However, there is no best setup, just the setup you can afford. Koni Sports(or revalved to races)/GC is the easy button. JRZ, HVT, Koni 3011/2012, Whitener Racing Shocks(Bilsteins), Penske, etc if you want to be a baller and spend up to $1500 a corner on shocks.

There is also not going to be a setup that is great for both drag and road racing, at least not without significant changes.
 

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1997 Honda Civic EX
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Discussion Starter #13
I figured there would need to be some suspension changes between road racing and drag, I was looking for a setup that could handle both situations well with adjustment. I'm not looking to set any world records with the car, just make a killer setup that can handle what I want to do. I have only done drag in a limited capacity, most of my racing time has been twisties which I prefer. I just wanted to see if anyone here had a comparable power setup and had excellent suspension that handled both tasks well.....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No, they shouldn't be ignored. Technology doesn't go backwards though, shit gets better through time. I figured maybe some killer gear had hit the market since most of what I have read here and was looking for first hand accounts from the people who actually have and use it, not people with basic stuff who use their cars as a daily and track it on the weekends. This car is absolutely nothing more than a toy for me, it will be driven on the street in a limited capacity but only going to local meets among other things. I have 2 other cars, 2 motorcycles and a truck for dedicated street duty. Instead of criticism from people who don't have what I'm looking for some first hand experience with top quality suspension gear would be great......


so tried and true and proven things from 3yrs ago should be ignored? well shit, now I gotta learnt to reed agin n do dah maffs stuff
 

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1997 Honda Civic EX
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Discussion Starter #15
The motons seem awesome from what I've read, thanks again for that info. I will try and track down someone local with the GC and Koni setup just to satisfy my curiosity since it is so highly regarded. I tend towards really high end goodies but if something amazing could be had for a lot less money then that always allows me to spread money around that was saved to other toys.

You could probably spend 10k on your suspension if you went with motons and spherical bushings everwhere. And then you still have brake wheels and tires to worry about.

Doesnt make a lot of sense if you dont have a particular class youre trying to be competitive in IMO.

Eventually youre going to get to a point where the chassis rigidity isnt going to be stiff enough for the suspension to make a difference. Old touring cars used to run pretty soft suspension and they had roll cages in them. A stock civic with a couple strut bars is going to be pretty floppy.

I still think you would love ground controls and koni sports:
Ground Control - Honda Tech Special Kit
 

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koni yellows and gc springs are pretty top quality. unless your budget is over 3k for the shocks alone you're going to have trouble beating it.
not sure what else you're looking for here. sure theres new tech out there. If youve got 15k for just your suspension on a "street toy" then pick up some spherical arms from kingpin machine and some nice quad adjustable shocks from moton/montioncontrol/dms/jrz and so on.
 

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1997 Honda Civic EX
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Discussion Starter #17
To be honest there is no budget with this build, I will keep putting money into it until I'm satisfied. Car is being stripped all the way down to bare metal, shaved and tucked bay, full repaint inside and out, all new weatherstripping, tucked wiring, etc. I will be doing everything myself except the body work and setting up the suspension, I have a friend that owns a race shop to help me set the suspension up. By the time I'm done I will replace every nut and bolt on the car. I already have a local custom interior shop coming up with some designs for a complete custom interior except the front seats, will be using Recaros for that but the custom shop will be covering them to match the rest of the interior.


koni yellows and gc springs are pretty top quality. unless your budget is over 3k for the shocks alone you're going to have trouble beating it.
not sure what else you're looking for here. sure theres new tech out there. If youve got 15k for just your suspension on a "street toy" then pick up some spherical arms from kingpin machine and some nice quad adjustable shocks from moton/montioncontrol/dms/jrz and so on.
 

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I've upgraded from koni SPSS3's to a Bilstein setup from Whitener Racing Shocks. Xotic CRX on here has too. Inverted fronts and quick-change rear springs. The setup costs a little over $1000 and gets you all the performance of a pimp monotube save for adjustable damping. His shocks have won several solo national championships as well as a NASA TT championship so it is proven effective.


 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for sharing, looks like a pretty nice setup.


I've upgraded from koni SPSS3's to a Bilstein setup from Whitener Racing Shocks. Xotic CRX on here has too. Inverted fronts and quick-change rear springs. The setup costs a little over $1000 and gets you all the performance of a pimp monotube save for adjustable damping. His shocks have won several solo national championships as well as a NASA TT championship so it is proven effective.
 

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96,97,00 civic
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Don't forget rear sway bar. The stock on is okish but there leaves much to be desired. When ricetastic and I used to autocross our civic we ran a big rear way and no front. Worked great and made over-steer very easy. THat said for a street car I would keep the stock front on and get big rear sway to help the car neutralize they have a good tendency to under-steer
 
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