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Suspension newbie's opinion, Koni/GC

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  • Suspension newbie's opinion, Koni/GC

    I’ve had my Integra for 7 years and have just now found the time and money to start modifying it like I’ve always wanted to. As a newcomer to suspension I thought I’d give a first timer’s review of my koni/GC setup I just installed.

    I researched for several months before finally deciding to go with koni yellows and ground control coilovers. It was basically me trying to convince myself to spend the ~$1000 for the full koni/GC setup with tophats versus the ~$600 for a “full-bodied” coilover like Skunk2, Function/Form, etc. Based on all the recommendations on here and on Honda-Tech I decided to do it right the first time, as people say, and spend the money on the koni and ground controls.

    Once I decided on the koni/GC setup I spent even more time researching spring rates. I wanted a good 2-3” drop, enough to eliminate the fender gap and get close to flush with my 15x7.5 +32 offset wheels. I might autoX the car every now and then but I’m mostly planning on building a fun daily driver. I went with 400 lb/in spring rates in the front and 350 lb/in in the rear.

    I got everything installed, about a 3” drop all around, and my first impression was, is this it? I had prepared myself for a slightly rough ride but it honestly feels like stock except for the much improved handling. Personally I think the ride is more comfortable than stock, but ride comfort is subjective as everyone knows.

    My other car is a stock RX-8 and I had hoped the koni/GC on my Integra would be at least as comfortable as it. The RX-8 can be kind of harsh (in my opinion) on rough roads and hard bumps around here. The koni/GC on my Integra is definitely more comfortable than the RX-8. Granted it doesn’t handle anything like the 8 but that wasn’t what I was going for.

    Overall I am very pleased with this setup. I’m currently riding on old, original, completely shot bushings and 5 year old worn out tires on my stock steelies and I still love the ride. I’ve had a few chances to drive on some twisty roads around here and the handling is very much improved. I scraped like hell on the speed bumps coming into work this morning so I’ll have to raise it up some, but I am really pleased with how everything turned out.

  • #2
    pics please.

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    • #3
      yes pics of the drop would be nice. im trying to determine what suspension to go with as well. this thread helps out alot.

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      • #4
        You shouldn't expect a rough ride with 400/350, those are pretty soft rates, very comfortable street setup - obviously like you said it's subjective, but compared to what many are running it's on the softer side. Also, you can expect the ride to stiffen up significantly if you get yourself some good tires. Cheap, soft walled tires are now probably the softest part of your suspension. New bushings will help the car feel much more predictable. Depending on what brand you go with and how bad your stock ones I wouldn't expect the ride to get much "stiffer" or "rougher" but it should feel much better.

        You started w/ a great setup! Congrats!
        Track Project DB2 #896
        LeMons Project DA9
        My OG DA9, Wrecked, Stripped, R.I.P

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        • #5
          Sways, good tires and bushings.....

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          • #6
            Okay here are some pics.

            This was after the initial drop, about 2-3 inches all around.
            old_wheels_left.jpg

            And this is with my new wheels, 15x7.5 +32 offset with 205/50-15 tires.
            new_wheels_left.jpg new_wheels_right.jpg

            Putting the new wider wheels on makes the car look higher as you can see in these two pics.
            old_wheels_side.jpg new_wheels_side.jpg

            Colin, you're right in that these aren't very stiff spring rates. I did a lot of research on the rates (lots of your old posts were very helpful) and was wanting a pretty soft daily ride that wouldn't bottom out with the drop I wanted. Still, for being stiffer than stock they aren't too harsh at all.

            The new tires did make a slight difference in the ride quality. I put new wheels and tires (Kumho Ecsta ASX) on after my initial post and I do notice a slightly harsher ride.

            New bushings are next on the list for the suspension. It would have been easier to do it all at once but I like doing modifications one at a time so you notice the difference each one makes.

            One thing I have noticed that I was not expecting is that the steering doesn't really like to return to center on its own anymore. After a turn I loosen my grip on the steering wheel expecting the wheels to straighten themselves but they don't really. This was with both the stock wheels/tires and the new ones. Would this be caused by excessive negative camber? I don't have my alignment sheet with me right now but from what I remember the camber was about -2.6 in the front and -2.2 in the rear. Toe has been set to OEM specs but the steering behaved like this before the alignment too.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gekko View Post
              Okay here are some pics.

              This was after the initial drop, about 2-3 inches all around.
              [ATTACH]37129[/ATTACH]

              And this is with my new wheels, 15x7.5 +32 offset with 205/50-15 tires.
              [ATTACH]37125[/ATTACH] [ATTACH]37128[/ATTACH]

              Putting the new wider wheels on makes the car look higher as you can see in these two pics.
              [ATTACH]37133[/ATTACH] [ATTACH]37132[/ATTACH]

              Colin, you're right in that these aren't very stiff spring rates. I did a lot of research on the rates (lots of your old posts were very helpful) and was wanting a pretty soft daily ride that wouldn't bottom out with the drop I wanted. Still, for being stiffer than stock they aren't too harsh at all.

              The new tires did make a slight difference in the ride quality. I put new wheels and tires (Kumho Ecsta ASX) on after my initial post and I do notice a slightly harsher ride.

              New bushings are next on the list for the suspension. It would have been easier to do it all at once but I like doing modifications one at a time so you notice the difference each one makes.

              One thing I have noticed that I was not expecting is that the steering doesn't really like to return to center on its own anymore. After a turn I loosen my grip on the steering wheel expecting the wheels to straighten themselves but they don't really. This was with both the stock wheels/tires and the new ones. Would this be caused by excessive negative camber? I don't have my alignment sheet with me right now but from what I remember the camber was about -2.6 in the front and -2.2 in the rear. Toe has been set to OEM specs but the steering behaved like this before the alignment too.
              Mine does the same thing. I am running -3f/-3.5r, toe is zeroed, 225/45r16, +33offset, right around a 3" drop. When I am coming out of a turn and even during the turn, the steering wheel does not fight back or want to straighten up. My friends prelude does the same thing now that he is lowered. Not really sure what causes it, but I like it. I can go through a turn and pretty much let the car steer itself for the most part.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by japanjay View Post
                Mine does the same thing. I am running -3f/-3.5r, toe is zeroed, 225/45r16, +33offset, right around a 3" drop. When I am coming out of a turn and even during the turn, the steering wheel does not fight back or want to straighten up. My friends prelude does the same thing now that he is lowered. Not really sure what causes it, but I like it. I can go through a turn and pretty much let the car steer itself for the most part.
                Interesting. I did some reading and it sounds like changes in caster can affect the ability of the steering to center itself coming out of a turn. I can probably learn to live with it, or hopefully actually like it like you said. But I would like to know if everyone with a lowered DA experiences this. I've never seen it mentioned on here and to me it is very noticeable.

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