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1991 EF Civic
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys im trying to get some advice on how to set up my suspension for road racing. What height should I set my coilovers at, what toe, what camber? This car is tack only, thanks for the advice.:3dbiggrin:
 

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Need more info.

Chassis? Spring rates? Bars? TIRES?

Even then, an answer will only get you in the ballpark. There are no magic numbers for suspension setup :)
 

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1991 EF Civic
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Discussion Starter #3
Need more info.

Chassis? Spring rates? Bars? TIRES?

Even then, an answer will only get you in the ballpark. There are no magic numbers for suspension setup :)
I have an idea on what to do as far as alignment. Its the height that has be confused... Its a 91 Hatch 350lb front 250lb rear. Tires are ecsta XS.
 

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Road racing? Know your ride height first before anything. I would like to stay 3 inches off the ground, install polyeurethane bushings, front and rear "thick" stabilizer bars ...then worry about alignment geometry. Go negative front and rear camber for best cornering. Good luck
 

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1991 EF Civic
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Discussion Starter #5
3" off the ground measured from what part of the car? Right now my header plate under the car is at around 2" from the ground.
 

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I prefer to measure from wheel center to top of the wheel arch, that way it takes the tire size from the measurement and measures only the suspension position.

If you are racing in some sort of sanctioned event though, they most likely have a rule regarding minimum height (from the lowest point on the car) so that will be you lower limit. So if you are building the car to race, the rulebook should be your first stop before, well, anything. Don't even look at the car until you read the rulebook cover to cover. If you're just doing HPDEs or something of the like then obviously things are wide open.

Based on your low-ish spring rates, tire selection, and generality of the question I'm going to assume it's the latter and that you're just getting your feet wet. With those rates you'll need to keep it up a little higher, I would say don't go any lower than ~12.5" from wheel center to fender lip. You'll have to play with it to get it right based on how smooth your track is and how much cornering force you're generating, but the important thing is to keep it off the bumpstops for the most part. You're ore likely to end up too low than too high.

For camber, start with ~ -2.5* front and -2* rear. You don't need a ton of static camber since you are not on r-comps and are on a dwb suspension that has dynamic camber. Adjust as needed by checking tire temps until you are relatively even across the surface of the tire.

For toe, start with zero. You can play with it in small increments (+/- 1/16") to really fine tune the feel of the car. Toe is, in my opinion, the most subjective area of adjustment but is also the most effective for getting that last bit of "just right" for the driver.

Also remember that you have to check the alignment (especially toe) EVERY TIME that you change the ride height, as it's dynamic. Check and adjust in the order you see above... ride height, then camber, then toe.

Have fun and don't worry about it too much. Take notes on every thing you change and record how it affects the car and on what parts of the track. As you progress you'll learn what works and where.

Lastly, if you decide to get serious... the best mod you can buy is a good datalogging setup, ie AIM/Race Technology/Racepak/etc. Having numbers is always the fastest route to knowing what works.
 

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1991 EF Civic
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Discussion Starter #8
I prefer to measure from wheel center to top of the wheel arch, that way it takes the tire size from the measurement and measures only the suspension position.

If you are racing in some sort of sanctioned event though, they most likely have a rule regarding minimum height (from the lowest point on the car) so that will be you lower limit. So if you are building the car to race, the rulebook should be your first stop before, well, anything. Don't even look at the car until you read the rulebook cover to cover. If you're just doing HPDEs or something of the like then obviously things are wide open.

Based on your low-ish spring rates, tire selection, and generality of the question I'm going to assume it's the latter and that you're just getting your feet wet. With those rates you'll need to keep it up a little higher, I would say don't go any lower than ~12.5" from wheel center to fender lip. You'll have to play with it to get it right based on how smooth your track is and how much cornering force you're generating, but the important thing is to keep it off the bumpstops for the most part. You're ore likely to end up too low than too high.

For camber, start with ~ -2.5* front and -2* rear. You don't need a ton of static camber since you are not on r-comps and are on a dwb suspension that has dynamic camber. Adjust as needed by checking tire temps until you are relatively even across the surface of the tire.

For toe, start with zero. You can play with it in small increments (+/- 1/16") to really fine tune the feel of the car. Toe is, in my opinion, the most subjective area of adjustment but is also the most effective for getting that last bit of "just right" for the driver.

Also remember that you have to check the alignment (especially toe) EVERY TIME that you change the ride height, as it's dynamic. Check and adjust in the order you see above... ride height, then camber, then toe.

Have fun and don't worry about it too much. Take notes on every thing you change and record how it affects the car and on what parts of the track. As you progress you'll learn what works and where.

Lastly, if you decide to get serious... the best mod you can buy is a good datalogging setup, ie AIM/Race Technology/Racepak/etc. Having numbers is always the fastest route to knowing what works.

Perfect, thanks for your help. Im not looking at any specific class, here in PR we would call it autocrossing but I guess in the states you guys call it Time Attack. Basically I built the fastest car I could afford and just wana have some fun with it. :chinese:
 

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My car...or my truck
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Fast driver mod is the best way to go about these sorts of things....that and corner balancing
 

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1991 EF Civic
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Discussion Starter #12
Fast driver mod is the best way to go about these sorts of things....that and corner balancing
The car is not streetable. This is not a case of me spinning out and blaming the car. Im simply trying to figure out what to set alignment at once I get it towed to a shop. I have driven on the track before, my current track car is a 1993 Z28 Camaro which I can manage pretty well. I dont think driving a 1700lb FWD Civic is going to be an issue requiring amazing driver skill, im just trying to find decent grip and have fun :TU:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1MqI_MGLL4&list=UU6iZzTCxu6lruXGzG18EFzg
 

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Presuming your suspension is installed to your specs (bushings are good, shocks are fresh, spring rates are what you want, sway bars are or are not installed to your liking, etc....), set your ride height, get it corner balanced, then set alignment....negative camber helps, too much is too much, gonna have to find out what works for you. I think a 1.5-2.5° is ideal, but I also drive on the streets so....a lot of race cars run toe in and toe out, as a rule on the streets, that's a no go as it burns up tires fast. For your race car, you have to decide if you have a tires budget before you make that decision

I still say fast driver mod is the single best upgrade one can do to a car....done correctly, your Civic should walk on that pig Camaro of yours lol....lighter, better handling, power to weight, should be a lot more fun on the track
 

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Brokedick Millionaire
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Koni double adjustables, 5.5-6" ride height, 550-700 front springs, 700-1000 rear springs, 32mm rear sway bar, change tube thickness and lever ratio as needed. Hoosier A6's...

Basic Honda SCCA/NASA setup that my customers run...
 

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what he said.....I'm technically a customer of his too!

on my scca racecar I've got koni racevalved yellows, 500F/700R springs, big ST rear sway, no front sway.

poly/kingpin bushings (slowly upgrading to kingpin sphericals)

I have nearly the same setup on my steet/turbo time-attack hatch.
 

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McLOVIN
2002 Civic Si
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800 Posts
Koni double adjustables, 5.5-6" ride height, 550-700 front springs, 700-1000 rear springs, 32mm rear sway bar, change tube thickness and lever ratio as needed. Hoosier A6's...

Basic Honda SCCA/NASA setup that my customers run...
What chassis is this in? A dwb 92 - 00 Honda running 700 - 1000lbs out back seems like a lot. I only say this because on the 02 - 05 civic and 02 - 06 rsx, 700 - 1000lbs is the norm, but that's due to the rear suspension geometry being garbage.

I understand the need to rotate the rear though so it makes sense.

Good info guys.
 

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Brokedick Millionaire
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40,267 Posts
What chassis is this in? A dwb 92 - 00 Honda running 700 - 1000lbs out back seems like a lot. I only say this because on the 02 - 05 civic and 02 - 06 rsx, 700 - 1000lbs is the norm, but that's due to the rear suspension geometry being garbage.

I understand the need to rotate the rear though so it makes sense.

Good info guys.
88-2000...the chassis you have mentioned are JUNK :taz:

Changing the LSD from a gear style MFactory/Quaife to a "MAGIC" plated MFactory unit also effects the rear spring rates.

Rotate the ass, pin the gas pedal to the floor and HANG ON!!!
 
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