lowering springs for a 96 vtec, any suggestions? — PinoyExchange

lowering springs for a 96 vtec, any suggestions?

i am looking for a new set of lowering springs for my '96 honda civic.

what would you suggest and why? i would like to hear comments from people who have actual experience with them. i think i am narrowing my choices to tanabe, spoon, and neuspeed.

thanks in advance. peace! *paw*


  • jason_10
    jason_10 auto enthusiast
    if you plan on racing, get the spoon, for everyday use, get the neuspeed greens. 1.5" drop, and the right isn't that harsh compared to the yellow neuspeed and spoon.
  • try_again
    try_again freedom fighter
    Originally posted by jason_10
    if you plan on racing, get the spoon, for everyday use, get the neuspeed greens. 1.5" drop, and the right isn't that harsh compared to the yellow neuspeed and spoon.

    what's with the green and yellow one's nwy? whats their difference.... and where can i buy these? how much?
  • double post
  • green= 1.5"drop, very suitable for daily driving, ride isn't that stiff compared to the yellow. 2" drop, ride is stiff, good for circuit/drag.
  • try_again
    try_again freedom fighter
    aw so the color diffrentiate from the inches it dropped. alryt i get it,.. i thot it's some kind of a special metal or something.. what du yu guys say abt adjustable srpings?
  • jason_10
    jason_10 auto enthusiast
    adjustable springs=coilovers. orig ones costs a lot. cheap taiwan imitations, they're not worth it. my friend bought one, the ride is so bouncy. sold it after a few days.
  • try_again
    try_again freedom fighter
    i bought it thru net. generic but u.s made. ride is still bouncy. the coilover one's yu say cost too much fr my budget. and it comes in sets already. the shocks and the springs i mean... is there like a adjustable spring only? people say it's really with how good my shock is... what u guys think?
  • shun_sakurai
    shun_sakurai when in doubt, FLAT OUT!
    As far as I know, springs are not adjustable. Shock absorbers are. The usual adjustable variety are coilover types like Jason said. Springs are usually restricted in terms of spring rate.

    Kung may budget, I suggest H&R. A friend got a set of 4 for PhP12k.
  • try_again
    try_again freedom fighter
    Originally posted by shun_sakurai
    As far as I know, springs are not adjustable. Shock absorbers are. The usual adjustable variety are coilover types like Jason said. Springs are usually restricted in terms of spring rate.

    Kung may budget, I suggest H&R. A friend got a set of 4 for PhP12k.

    dude they wudn't be called adjustable springs if they're not adjustable.i have one too btw. what i meant with my last post was there are coilover types that are expensive right. and they come with both springs and shocks. im asking if there such brands that are good that make adjustable springs only. like the likes of eibach koni apex avo and yeah h&r also. lhat ksi sila sets na.. if not hndi nman adjustable.
  • shun_sakurai
    shun_sakurai when in doubt, FLAT OUT!
    Ohh...I see.

    The usual thing I've noticed with coilovers is that they're usually sold WITH or WITHOUT helper springs. Tanabe's Sustec units are an example. HTHs.
  • slamm
    slamm runnin on empty
    One thing about lowering springs and how the ride quality will be, it will usually boil down to the amount of wheel travel the suspension has and the matching of the spring rates with the dampers/shocks. I've ridden slammed cars with matching coilover sets or matching spring and shocks sets and they rode close to stock in terms of comfort (when you hit small uneven surfaces... the stiffness comes out when you hit large potholes).

    Euro with brands progressive rates like H&R, and Eibach are one of the preferred sets i see usually.
  • try_again
    try_again freedom fighter

    recommend me a shock absorber that's a bit cheap that cud most probably have a good ride as a stock. given that i have an adjustable spring(u.s but generic) and a gas filled shock that's kyb only. with 180 psi. btw i adjusted it to only 1 inch drop. still the ride sucks.tnx
  • slamm
    slamm runnin on empty
    Try Again, what's your ride BTW (i think i missed it somewhere along the way)? As mentioned earlier, it could also be with the basic suspension design/travel. Have you trimmed your bumpstops as well?

    Right now KYB Gas Shocks are the cheapest available... the locally distributed Koni's and Bilsteins go to the 15K-30K range for a set nowadays.

    What my friends did was they looked for a surplus Japan coil-over or spring-shock sets from their suking surplus shops (and from some race shops that do engine swaps). It's usually a big ? to get surplus shocks but in this case it may be worth it as if you look at the roads in Japan, they're very nice and smooth (thus, no wear and tear). It's just a matter of looking around and taking your time. :)

    Another thing you can try is those nitrogen filled shocks from Zee (mentioned on another thread)... i was told you can specify the shock stiffness you would want. They make use of your old shocks.
  • try_again
    try_again freedom fighter
    nice yu put up the zee thing. actually i had it fixed their already.
    that's why my shocks 180 psi. its a civic dude.

    im wondering if how much wud that coilover springs cost? (the jap surplus i mean)
    right now i jst want a pretty decent shock absorber. people say the spring doesnt affect much on the ride. its the shock that really matters..not so sure abt this doe.

    there's this kyb agx too btw. im nt sure how it differs from other koni or h&r coilovers available.
  • jason_10
    jason_10 auto enthusiast
    bro how much pa refill ng nitrogen shocks sa zee? i recently bought a pair of gas shocks, but im not happy with the ride.
  • slamm
    slamm runnin on empty
    Buti pa kayo, i still havent had a chance to go there due to time constraints (wanna try it on a near-dead set of Sentra shocks i have).

    The KYB AGX's are good based on the inputs of my friend who got a set before (you can choose between 5 settings). Problem is that they're not available here and importing can be quite costly.

    On the cost of the surplus ones, i'm not sure on the going rate but i think some go for around 10-15K more or less from some engine swap shops who know the value of these things (even if they get them dirt cheap). The price will also vary i guess.

    The ride quality will be dependent both on the spring stiffness and the shocks (amongst some). If the shocks are too soft and the springs are hard, then the ride suffers as the shocks cant control the springs...
  • try_again
    try_again freedom fighter
    thanx. yeah overheard al of em alot of times. seems like quality = expensive. i just hope there are cheaper ones out there ... the stifness btw i dunow how to measure. owel.
  • I had the nuespeed sportlines for my old 93 civic! Really good springs for the price. Nice drop and the ride is not too harsh. I also recomend Tein S-Techs.
  • jason_10
    jason_10 auto enthusiast
    for daily driven cars, ok na yung merwede. close to stock yung ride niya. but definitely recommended for performance driving...too much body roll while cornering, based on my experience.
  • Lowering FAQ

    What are springs and struts? Why do springs effect my ride? Whats the difference between shocks and struts? Why stiffer?

    Ok, first you have to understand the difference between the springs and the shocks and their stiffness. Its not the same thing. You dont want a stiff spring and a soft shock, but you can be just fine with a soft spring and a stiff shock.

    the principal behind it is that as a spring gets smaller, the rate gets higher. The higher the springrate, the quicker and harsher the bouncing of the spring. However, the higher the springrate, the less the spring compresses where it usually would the most on stock springs. This is what causes bad rides and also what gives better performance as in less body roll. Frankly, thats what it gives you.

    The principal behind shocks is that the shock compresses a certain amount (of course) as the spring does, but it really isnt absorbing the "shock" per say. No matter what shock you have, no matter how stiff or soft it is, whatever, its not doing the work, the spring is. The shock works to STOP the spring from the bouncing caused by its compression and decompression. However quick the shock reacts or rebounds will affect how much of it you feel and how much the car moves.
    Why shouldnt I put an aftermarket spring on stock shocks?

    This is why you dont just throw any damned spring on the stock shocks - you all that want a technical answer - this is it. It takes power to stop a progressive rate spring. Your stock springs are not progressive. They are evenly spaced apart. This means when you hit a bump in the road, the entire spring can compress, there are no dead coils persay. It takes a lot less power to stop a non progressive spring. Think of it like you have a 1 foot long spring with evenly spaced coils, you hold it down, and let it go. Now you do that again with a 8 inch tall spring that has all the coils near the top all close together, even touching. THis means that you have a lot less spring pushing it. BUt principal physics says its going to decompress a hell of a lot quicker, thus faster.

    Now, I am a supporter of Eibach, they have awesome quality springs. They are a world renound company. But despite whatever they say, over and over, and whatever your friends or people on this board say, you cant make a shorter, progressive rate spring to work with stock shocks. Its springrate may be at the limits, it may feel about like stock, but it aint. under your car your shocks are working the hardest they have in a while to carry that springload. Now, whatever the claims, however long your friends have had them, is absolutely fabulous, go for it. If they say they are for stockers, then they are. But I have seen prokits blow stock shocks as fast as race springs. It happens easily. However, they are the least likely to do it. So if you are gonna cheap out, cheap out the right way. (I wonder if I could get that published in an oxy moron book...)
    What has more effect on my ride and performance? Springs or Shocks? Both?

    Now, addressing the question of which has more of an effect on the ride. Well, the spring. But the shock has an equal effect WHEN you have the spring. Heres how that works. You know how I talked about the spring absorbing the shock and compressing, and the shock matching it to stop the compression? Well, the same principal applies going into, say, a hard 75 degree turn at 75. What happens? Your spring compresses. You can certainly tell on stock springs, its less obvious with aftermarket springs though. But anyhow, in this instance, the quicker that shock can come out of compression and stop the springs compression, the more even your car will remain. Thus less body roll, and a still yet centered center of gravity. This equals control. Good control. Cant just the spring do this? Yes yes, of course, but even when you put that spring on stock shocks and head to the twisties, your car will still roll. Not as much, of course, but it will fluxuate. You lack evenness and clarity and preciseness. Your crux lies in how well that shock will respond.

    I heard that I can cut and melt my stock springs...is this a good way to save money and lower my car?

    NO!! Since your stock springs arent highly pro rate, you will be cutting off your springrate as you go. You will have a very stiff, often uneven, harsh ride and you will blow your stock shocks. You also can never revert back and if you screw one thing up you are basically screwed alltogether. Its a money trap.
    What are the differences between different brands and genres of springs?

    Well, generally springs, as they get lower, have a higher and higher springrate, which is how close together the spring coils are to each other - but a prorate spring gathers coils together towards the top and spreads out as they move down. The lower the springrate, the softer the spring, the higher the car sits.
    Eibach is the choice spring for many people as they claim compatibility with stock struts, which is not all that far off, however they are still a highly progressive spring, even though they have a relatively lower springrage, and really are still putting a lot of pressure on your struts, its just unrealized since the springs have a lower springrate at the bottom.
    Neuspeed springs and H&R springs are basically the "next step" up. They offer an allright ride, but they are a lot stiffer than eibach springs and a tad less progressive. They still progress down, except the coils are closer together. These offer higher performance.
    There are others, like Suspension Techniques, Intrax, Sprint, BBK, etc. Most of these springs are as high or high of a springrate as the Neuspeeds, but some of them are notorious for sagging or being to stiff. However, The designs can be nice and great for the right application, like using S/T sport springs which are a very small drop.
    Ok, enough technical jargon, what about the actual drop height of the springs...what are some different springs?

    Here are some springs and their average drops (it varys from generation)

    S/T Sport or Neuspeed Sofsport about a 1.0" drop, 3 finger gap
    Eibach Prokits are about a 1.4" drop, 2 finger gap
    Neuspeed / H&R Sports are about a 1.8" drop, 1 finger gap
    Eibach Sportlines are about a 2"+ drop, 0-1 finger gap
    Neuspeed / H&R Race are about a 2.25" drop, usually no gap, depends on strut

    and the catagories for most sport and race springs from other companies (intrax, suspension tech, sprint are about the same drop as neuspeeds.
    Thats nice, but my parents (ROFLOL) dont want me to lower my car, is there anything I can do that they might be OK with?

    Why worry getting your parents car lowered? hehehe JK.Sure, you can go with a minor drop spring like S/T Sport or Eibach prokits. Im sure you will notice the stance of the springs but your parents may not unless they just stare at the car or they always have something to compare it to. Most of all you get rid of a lot of that ugly gap.
    I dont race, I just want people to see me and like my ride. What should I do?

    The thing is, if you want the look and comfort and are not extremely concerned about performance, grab up the prokits or sportlines... they are just a softer spring to put it bluntly.
    Whats up with that guy? Why would you lower a car just for looks? I want the best performance baby.

    In that case, I would say go with Neuspeed springs. There is a noticeable difference in the performance, but the ride suffers more. The best performance springs are the high springrate springs, but your comfort is compromised. If you are really into it, go for some Race series springs, but I mean if you are really into it.
    Ok, you mentioned struts earlier, but what do I need to do about them?

    Well, on just about any car, if you replace your springs, your stock struts arent going to take it near as well, they cant stop the springs. First off, the springs are stiffer...no matter what. THe thing about eibachs is they still they arent uniform and they arent stock springs, and they will be stiffer. Eventually with any spring, especially the very stiff ones like Neuspeed, etc, you are going to blow out your struts...eventually. some people take weeks some months some can go a year but it doesnt matter - Ive seen people blow shocks with prokits just as fast as H&R Race, its still money you have to spend later if you dont do it now.
    Oh crap, what kind of struts are good?

    Some good struts are Koni yellows (the "best" by some) which have adjustable dampers on them (awesome) to match the rebound with the spring you are using or the situation you are in. They also have movable perches, which arent why you should buy them, but if you had to be in a height adjusting need situation, then it might be a nice choice. There are also Neuspeed Konis, which have 5 perches and not just 3. These cost more, but are better geared towards someone who wants to move the perches when paired with Neuspeed springs...
    Before Konis, I had Bilstein HDs which are a non adjustable strut, they are my favorite and I say they are the best N/A strut, perfect for a budget street application, though the Koni Red had a bit stiffer ride.
    KYB is another good strut maker that you hear great things about, but their warranty is null and void past a certain drop, I beleive 1.5. Still, for a lesser drop that you want an adjustable strut on, the AGXs remain a definite best value.
    TOKICOs, well, I say they blow balls. I have grown to hate them the more I ride on them.. no offense to anyone with tokicos but they are best used in a low stress situation, IE with prokits that are on there solely for looks. However, If you choose tokicos for money, I would highly suggest getting the illuminas over the blues, so you can stiffen them up.
    There are a few other options like the Bec Tec ride height adjustable struts, but I personally have not learned enough about them or seen enough people with them for an extended period of time to draw a conclusion.
    How do you know that if you blown a strut or not? Do you feel any difference?

    You will know when your struts blow. Your ride will be come very bouncy as your shocks no longer do their job. You will be very harsh over bumps... even with stock springs you will know. Its pretty bad. Basically what is happening is that your shocks no longer control how much the spring compresses, so when they are gone, your spring just keeps on boucning up and down until it stops. Thats it. All Im saying is that you should know.
    What do you think is the best combination overall?

    Now, as for that, my Ideal functional look and good ride combonation is Neuspeed sport and Koni Yellow. You can get your cars ride excellent with Eibach springs, and you can really get your ride down close to the ground with Neuspeed Race and Koni Yellow. H&R springs would be my next choice, and Bilstein struts respectively.
    BUT I want to raise and lower my car, what should I do?

    IF you think that you might be lowering and raising your car often, like car shows, etc, then something that might suit you better is a coilover setup.

    Now moving on to coilovers- thats a different ballpark. You ask if a spring shock combo can match that performance and ride of coilovers.

    Whats a coilover...you mean those uppey downy thingys?

    The definition of a coilover is a spring threaded on to an adjustable shock body. Thats it.
    Wait a second, I saw some "coilovers" that were just a spring looking thing, there wasnt a strut.

    There are companies that make what are called coilover sleeves. Dont be confused. These are just the spring on an adjustable perch that sits on a strut ,like konis,...but the real coilovers are actually combined into all one unit.
    Oh, those coilover sleeves are a lot cheaper, why not just get those?

    There are many complaints and problems with the coilover sleeves, Harsh ride, slipping threads, blown shocks, etc, but THey do serve a purpose and many people that dont care about the actual ride but want an adjustable perch for the looks will get them. I don't recommend them.
    What brand of coilover sleeves are the best?

    Some popular ones are Skunk 2s, Weapon R, and Ground Control. Most others are generic and made from the same place and have different names on them. Its really up to you, but for the best ride and compatibility, the above listed is the better choice. Best performance being Skunks, best quality and ride being Ground control.

    Will I need struts with coilover sleeves?

    Most definitely, these are some of the stiffest springs you are going to come by when lowering your car. If there is a time when you need struts, this is it. THis is also a good reason why many people go to a full coilover setup instead of sleeves and shocks, because the cost becomes almost equal and you can get so much more out of the full setup.
    Well, if I have that sleeve for 300 bucks and shocks for 300 bucks, why would I want TRUE coilovers?

    True coilovers are the ****. Really. Since height is adjustable and sometimes the dampers are adjustable, and the spring and shock body are tuned very well to each other, these make for a very nice comfortable ride that performs much better than most strut / shock / coilover sleeve combos. However, you have to pay a price, usually a High one, for the all out compression/rebound/height adjustable coilovers. But when it comes to just height adjustable but well matched setups, like Apexi WS, the price you pay is only 100 or 200 more than what you would for coilover sleeves and shocks. Ask anyone with that kind of a setup, and they will tell you, as I do, its worth the money to go all out.
    What are some good Full coilovers?

    This is a mod I will more than likely make in the future. Some popular ones are Tien, H&R, Koni, Neuspeed, Tanabe, and Apexi.

    You talk Coilovers up to be so good, so could a spring or coilover sleeve / shock combo match the performance or ride of a true coilover?

    Well, theoretically, by what Im saying, yes. But there is a difference between the construction of a coilover and a spring and a shock. When you have a coilvoer that is tailored together, never to leave one peice, you gain a rigidness in design for the suspension movement. It changes. The ride is smoother because of how well matched the rebound is, but the performance is at its peak as well because of how matched the compression is. IF the shock doesnt have to work as hard to rebound, your performance increases soley with its ability. With say, sportlines and konis, your compression is set. You can match the rebound, but that may not be your peak performance. That may actually be with a stiffer rebound. Take for instance my konis and neuspeeds. My peak ride comfort is at a 180 degree turn. But if Im taking hard turns, I will set it at 360. What I lack is the fine tuning. Its matched, but not tuned. And then you have another issue to throw in. Height and damper adjustable coilovers... hehe. Now you are talking. Taking an already tuned pair and tuning it even more based on your height adjustment. Its a setup that costs money for good reason. It can be almost flawless. Almost perfect.


    So coilovers really are the best?

    You are right in your thinking, coilovers are the ultimate in ride and performance, but they arent for everyone. If one is out to spend a little and get as much as possible, a spring shock combo has a LOT to offer. And i mean a LOT. If you arent going to be machine setting your stiffness to .002 with a springrate dialed to 250lbs to match with blabla blah blah... you know, not many will go this far...not racing far, not perfect suspension far. This is WHY I push that a spring shock combo will get the job done, as do most of the other suspension "experts" on the various boards around town....so you gotta think about it before you jump into it. UNderstand it. And you will figure out what is right for you.

    The suspension setups-

    Cut springs-
    Pros: dropped look
    Cons: very bouncy and rough ride, blown shocks quickly, no height or damper adjust, uneven springrates

    Just springs-
    Pros: dropped look, good performance
    Cons: rougher, bouncier ride, blown shocks quickly, no major height or damper adjustability

    Springs and Shocks-
    Pros: great ride, best performance, dropped look, no maintenence
    Cons: sometimes bumpier ride in places, no major height adjustability

    Just coilover sleeves-
    Pros: adjustable dropped look, OK performance
    Cons: thread slip, blown shocks quickly, very harsh ride, no damper adjustability

    Coilover sleeves and Shocks-
    Pros: adjustable dropped look, better performance, semi smooth ride
    Cons: thread slip, no damper adjustability

    True Coilovers-
    Pros: adjustable dropped look, great performance, damper adjustability, springs threaded directly on shock
    Cons: some w/o damper adjustability

    Others (airbags and dubs)
    Pros: instant adjustability, smooth ride
    Cons: for show, performance lacks, constant maintenance

    I know what I really want, but how much is it going to cost??

    here is a good breakdown of approximate prices

    Springs: $130-230
    Sleeves: $250-400
    Shocks: $250-500
    Coilovers: $800-1500+

    Wow, thats pretty salty for those coilovers.

    Yes, but add up a spring and shock or a sleeve and shocks...Unless you are cheaping out and only buying springs, then it almost gets up to the price of coilovers. However, if you can save money and you dont need coilovers, then dont get them!
    Well, why cant I cheap out and just buy springs, I can replace my shocks when I get the money.

    You can, go for it, but
    LABOR is usually1 $100-300 depending on setup- this pricing usually is true whether you do Just springs/sleeves, or springs and shocks, or just shocks. This is another reason why you can save money doing it now, enough that you could just go for those coilovers. Puts things in perspective.
    Plus you ALWAYS run the risk of being out that money if your stock units blow. Better safe than sorry is the best way to play it. Instead of hurting your pocket and your car unexpectidly, do it correctly the first time.
    Wow, I didnt know that how you lowered your car was this important. Are there any other adverse effects that I should be aware of?

    Yes, there are. one of the first things is what is called negative camber. As you drop your car lower and lower, your tires angle in towards your car causing wear. The larger the drop the more the camber. The effect is like this if you were looking at a car head on
    When will I get camber, is it a problem?

    Yes and no. Negative camber occurs anytime you change the suspension geometry with springs / struts to make the car sit lower. Usually, a drop above 2" is not affected that much by camber. But you will notice it as you drive harder. The most noticable problem is that the inside of your tires wear.
    Is there any way to prevent problems like negative camber?

    YES! the best and most effective way is to keep your car in allignment and to rotate your tires every 3000-5000 miles. But, if its becoming a terrible problem for you, you can use a camber correction kit. A popular one is Ingalls. Also the rear camber can be corrected with washers on the control arm bolt on MOST hondas, A nice alternative to an expensive kit.
    Should I get a camber kit???

    Wait until you lower your car and get an allignment printout. If the camber reading is within .2-.5 degrees of the stock spec (generally 1.0 to -1.0) then asess your need by looking or the next time you rotate your tires. If its past negative 1.5, then it might be a serious thought to get a camber kit.
    Ok, I decided I need one, Are there problems with camber kits?

    Sometimes, on a few Hondas, people have problems with the kits affecting their control arms. I personally have delt with that problem on my accord. I shaved off a tiny bit of my fender well lip, and a little bit of my control arm. So, If you need to fix the camber problem, there may be more than just a camber kit that you have to add, you may have to move something or change it in a small way to make the kit work to its full effectiveness. That is a bridge that every person must cross when they come to it.

    Have fun! Peace!
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