Handling Modifications

Hello people, I have a car, a 2005 civic coupe. The engine is weak and it will never be fast but I still want to enjoy it so I want to make it handle like it's on rails, but I still want a relatively comfortable ride when I'm not pushing the car.
People online say fwd cars need
>coilovers
>sway bars
>suspension bushings
>camber adjustment arms
I just don't know what exactly, especially what thickness of sway bar and how much camber. has anyone here raced a fwd, or done any handling modifications? any info is good, thanks

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Start with wheels and tires. They don't need to be expensive just don't get some cheap broke ass rep brand. Brakes can be addressed with OEM+ pad and rotor set that's fits or if you want to go beyond I believe some bigger factory brakes either from an si or Acura can be transplanted. There's not much you can do with the front end of these cars due to the design and for the most part, I wouldn't want go much lower than an inch over stock. A simple shock and spring combo would be more than enough, I don't believe in putting on a cheap set of coilovers; you get what you pay for.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      dixcel make some great pads. their z type pads are rated for both street and track use and from personal experience they can withstand constant hard stops without ever fading. a LOT of dust however, your wheels will be black in no time.
      they're also not cheap. but like many things in life, you get what you pay for.
      not sure what model OP's car is (i.e. EP3, EM etc.) so use their part finder to see if they have your pads

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      this and an alignment. I personally like zero toe rear and a hint of toe out in the front. makes the car a little twitchy at higher speeds but not a handful, and the benefit is way more darty and responsive to turning inputs. should help tire wear as well. I would also try to max out camber with your stock suspension, maybe get camber bolts, I'm not sure how much you can get on that specific platform but I would see what folks are doing. most alignment places won't do this if you want it to spec, you'll probably need to find a performance oriented alignment shop if you don't know someone with access to a rack.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Start with wheels and tires. They don't need to be expensive just don't get some cheap broke ass rep brand.
      I picked up some 15 inch alloys from an ep3 (picrel). They're much lighter than the steelies that came from the factory, and I don't really want to spend money on new wheels, since 4x100 is a hard size to cater to these days according to my local wheel shops. I'll look into tires in the spring, but I'm thinking something more sporty but still able to handle the rain since it gets very wet here. And the brakes is also a good idea, I read the rear drums can be swapped to ep3 disks or canadian Acura El.

      Nice car fren, if it’s really the special edition stick shift that’s sick, was one of the first cars I was trying to find in my hunt a couple years ago.

      It's just a pic off Google, my actual car is scratched up and not a sunroof model lol

      dixcel make some great pads. their z type pads are rated for both street and track use and from personal experience they can withstand constant hard stops without ever fading. a LOT of dust however, your wheels will be black in no time.
      they're also not cheap. but like many things in life, you get what you pay for.
      not sure what model OP's car is (i.e. EP3, EM etc.) so use their part finder to see if they have your pads

      good advice

      Start with tires, new wheels if you planned on doing that anyway for muh aesthetics
      Then make sure the bushings are in decent enough shape, a car that old may need new rubber bits to avoid sloppy steering
      Sway bars are a great plan, stiffen the rear bar to reduce understeer
      You can probably find information from model specific forums
      Double check the design of the steering column and if there's a damper inline, consider replacing it with a solid metal piece. Notoriously necessary in Subarus

      Thanks for all that advice, fren, are poly bushings worth it?

      this and an alignment. I personally like zero toe rear and a hint of toe out in the front. makes the car a little twitchy at higher speeds but not a handful, and the benefit is way more darty and responsive to turning inputs. should help tire wear as well. I would also try to max out camber with your stock suspension, maybe get camber bolts, I'm not sure how much you can get on that specific platform but I would see what folks are doing. most alignment places won't do this if you want it to spec, you'll probably need to find a performance oriented alignment shop if you don't know someone with access to a rack.

      >I personally like zero toe rear and a hint of toe out in the front.
      Good advice. Adjustable rear camber arms are quite cheap and easy to install I think they go all the way to -6. For the front though, I think it's camber plates needed and they are a little expensive.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >are poly bushings worth it?
        depends on the goal
        they're going to roughen the ride, so if you want a "relatively comfortable ride" like you mentioned then skip it

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          good idea, I'd rather save my spine.

          this is the worst fwd platform to modify for handling. Mostly due to the front steering rack placment and geometry. You can cope and get a steering rack slider insert from SHG motorworks, but its too little too late. Save up and buy any other economy car that has the steering rack in the right place, and an engine that dosent explode every 170k
          >t. has driven every single car on the 7th gen civic platform modified and stock, and have owned a 2004 civic ex coupe

          Best mod imo is sell and buy an rsx though you can go for other mods like trade for rsx, or sell and buy a fit which is far more rewarding as well

          I was thinking about this for a while now, but what I don't like about the tax is that it weighs much more, and the suspension is exactly the same apart from the type S having minor differences and a 5 bolt wheel stud pattern. But maybe it is worth it just for that K series...

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            It is worth it and there's more support for it everywhere. The k20 gives you a good benchmark for performance whereas a stock civic can barely push itself to the limit of its own tires. Rsx also has better resale. All you'd have with your civic is a clapped out civic of a gen nobody wants

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Seriously considering an rsx now, but the problem is they're all auto and base models in my area going for 6000k+

            the rsx still has the gay steering rack and geometry, stop being a moronic mexican and either get a not honda of the same vinatge, or a newer honda with the steering rack in the right place. plus the k20 is a generic economy engine with nothing special about it

            I personally think the steering is good, very direct and sporty since it's a rack and pinion.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            the rsx still has the gay steering rack and geometry, stop being a moronic mexican and either get a not honda of the same vinatge, or a newer honda with the steering rack in the right place. plus the k20 is a generic economy engine with nothing special about it

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >plus the k20 is a generic economy engine with nothing special about it
            Yeah except its better than anything honda had previously put out. There doesn't seem to be any other 4 cylinders putting out 350hp naturally aspirated, and that stock civic engine surely isn't even cracking 180

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >There doesn't seem to be any other 4 cylinders putting out 350hp naturally aspirated
            What Honda had a 350hp NA engine?

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Any fully built k20

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            So you meant
            >There doesn't seem to be any other fully built 4 cylinders putting out 350hp naturally aspirated
            Which is just wrong. There are 300-400hp NA 2.3L Ford Lima engines and those are SOHC with no VVT. K20s aren't some godsend like you think.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Could you link some of them cause I'm having trouble finding them and I've never heard of the lima engine outside of dirt oval stuff. Also the k series IS a godsend when you can find them anywhere worldwide and make 450hp on an ebay turbo kit for $1000. Other 4 cylinders aren't nearly as well supported or available. I can't go and find an awd swap kit or 600hp capable transverse transmission to bolt up to just any engine. The k series isn't the most capable engine ever, but its definitely the most accessible horsepower at entry level price point for 4 cylinders

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >fully built
            unless you're class spec racing that's a total fricking waste of money, you could just buy/build a 550HP vette for that kind of cash.
            Any NA engine can make whatever power if you can spin it fast enough. It takes a lot of work to make a block spin 11,500RPM for a 2 liter to push 350.

            Could you link some of them cause I'm having trouble finding them and I've never heard of the lima engine outside of dirt oval stuff. Also the k series IS a godsend when you can find them anywhere worldwide and make 450hp on an ebay turbo kit for $1000. Other 4 cylinders aren't nearly as well supported or available. I can't go and find an awd swap kit or 600hp capable transverse transmission to bolt up to just any engine. The k series isn't the most capable engine ever, but its definitely the most accessible horsepower at entry level price point for 4 cylinders

            stop being a highschool fan boy and grow up
            you're not brown, are you?

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            the k series is a dogshit engine for chimps

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Where is picrel

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        If you upgrade your brakes focus on the front, rears are nice but not worth the hassle since the majority of braking force goes through the front tyres. You can also end up with the situation where your rears will lock up far sooner than your fronts will due to weight shifting off the rears, which (although kinda fun) isn't great if you are actually trying to go fast as you will just end up oversteering through corners. Think pulling your handbrake when you brake heavily.
        Polybushes are so-so, probably dependant on the chassis. I'd say avoid especially if it's your daily, they don't do all that much for handling but they do destroy your ride quality, even on stock shocks and springs. They also need regreasing every so often, so if you go this route install grease nipples at the same time as you install the bushings, turns a whole day job into a 5 min one. Get good ones as well, street rated with grooves inside to help retain the grease, follow the installation instructions to the letter, and only use silicone/teflon grease.
        Going to echo what other anons have said, go for a stiffer rear swaybar, preferably adjustable. Of all the mods I did to my (now dead) shitbox the swaybar was by far the most effective. That said, it had torsion beam rear suspension so not sure how much of a difference it will make for a IRS setup like your civic, but I don't think I've ever heard anyone say not to go for a stiffer swaybar.
        Can't comment on shocks and springs as never upgraded mine, but as I understand it:
        cheap coilovers < stock suspension < good lowering springs/shocks < good coilovers.
        Don't bother with maxspeedingrods or stance+ shit, it won't help. Also lowering only helps to an extent, on a macstrut car (like your front suspension) lowering the car fricks with the geometry quite a bit, so don't go overboard. Some cars have different front suspension to correct for this on sportier models, so can be worth swapping if this is the case.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Idiot here. What kind of wheels actually help performance, and what are for stupidity/looks?

      Eg. Is the "sport" trim aluminum wheels from the manufacturer generally better?

      And do I need the fancy wheel nuts to prevent theft?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        The tires do most of the work, and that factor already being sorted out(width, size) just leaves weight as the independent factor left for the wheel.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Widest wheels possible that fit. Widest tires that fit, neutral to mild stretch based on driver preference. I am a mild stretch enjoyer. 200tw for track or competition, ecs/ps4 class tires for street larping. Everything else is junk

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          The stupid ones are the ones that have offsets that don't fit your car instead of maximizing the wheel well, don't clear real brakes, and are heavier than they need to be. Good cast wheels like enkeis or konigs are fine, a lot of noobs like to obsess over forged but unless you're already very good and your car is already maximized you will be better off buying cast and spending $2000 more on track time

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Idiot here. What kind of wheels actually help performance, and what are for stupidity/looks?
        i have a hard time imagining the wheels affecting your performance unless you're some superstar racer. Just don't buy anything over the top

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Nice car fren, if it’s really the special edition stick shift that’s sick, was one of the first cars I was trying to find in my hunt a couple years ago.

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Start with tires, new wheels if you planned on doing that anyway for muh aesthetics
    Then make sure the bushings are in decent enough shape, a car that old may need new rubber bits to avoid sloppy steering
    Sway bars are a great plan, stiffen the rear bar to reduce understeer
    You can probably find information from model specific forums
    Double check the design of the steering column and if there's a damper inline, consider replacing it with a solid metal piece. Notoriously necessary in Subarus

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    this is the worst fwd platform to modify for handling. Mostly due to the front steering rack placment and geometry. You can cope and get a steering rack slider insert from SHG motorworks, but its too little too late. Save up and buy any other economy car that has the steering rack in the right place, and an engine that dosent explode every 170k
    >t. has driven every single car on the 7th gen civic platform modified and stock, and have owned a 2004 civic ex coupe

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Best mod imo is sell and buy an rsx though you can go for other mods like trade for rsx, or sell and buy a fit which is far more rewarding as well

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      if youre asking strangers on the pisshole of the internet what parts improve handling youre not ready. you need to buy a car worth running and autox/track it for years and learn what your car sucks at and what each part does and what rates you need to change to get the desired result

      and yeah buy a car actually worth running
      8th gen si should also be added to the list

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >People online say fwd cars need
    Just get tires. That alone can basically get you the numbers that those mods promise without the uncertainty.

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    First thing that car needs is a RWD swap

  8. 2 months ago
    Hotwing

    eBay turbo

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Buy a Miata, C4/5 Corvette, 3 series BMW.
    That is and always will be an economy car.

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >People online say fwd cars need

    They're on the right track. If you want a relatively comfortable ride you're eigher gonna spend a small fortune on coilovers or you'll have to get them revalved which is also expensive. Coilovers invariably have crazy stiff dampers, even on their softest settings. Get the best dampers you can (Bilstein, KYB, Ohlins) and lowering springs to match. Lowering springs tend to be a little stiffer than stock, but not a whole lot. Dampers have a bigger effect on ride quality and handling. Stiffer springs will mostly just make the car feel more "responsive" to driver input as it spends less time leaning over before turning, diving before slowing down, and squatting before accelerating.
    >>sway bars
    Yes, especially in the back
    bushings
    Replace every single last rubber bushing and ball joint you can find with either an OEM part or a high quality aftermarket one. If you're a wrenchlet ChrisFix on youtube has an excellent guide on how to perform a full suspension rebuild on a Del Sol which is probably an identical process on your car.
    adjustment arms
    Eh, it'll help but it's not crucial. I'm fairly sure camber is already adjustable on your car. Leave this for last. Some things they missed include getting front and rear strut tower bars. They say it's a meme but they made a noticeable difference on my car. And more important than any of the aforementioned: Get lightweight wheels with grippy tires. Make sure they're street performance tires, semi slicks for road use are a complete waste of money. It's worth going up an inch in wheel size for a narrower sidewall, which will also help the steering feel more responsive.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >which is probably an identical process on your car.
      Lol, no. The Del Sol has a completely different suspension. Double wishbones vs struts/torsion beam.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Did they really ditch the double wishbones specifically for this Civic and only this Civic? what the frick Honda

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          There's a reason these are the most hated Civics by Hondagays. Aside from the shit suspension the D17 was more problematic than the prior D16 too.
          t. ex hondagay

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Space egg also ditched the double wishbones for a torsion beam, but at least that makes up for it somewhat with neat looks.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            That's because that's just the euro version of the 7th gen Civic. Here's a version that was sold in both the US and Europe.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Just look at this happy lil' shit knowing full well it's better than the Fit that replaced it.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            If the fit came with a k series this thing would have been MOGGED into oblivion

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Fit is taller, and longer overall and not offered with two doors.
            Also the EP3 had Mcdonalds struts all around, not just on the front only.
            It's okay to accept that the Fit is an absolute downgrade over the EP3 that everyone ignored until it was too late and they weren't available for 5k anymore.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >the EP3 had Mcdonalds struts all around, not just on the front only.
            Stop the slander, the ep3 had multilink/DBL whisbones in the rear. It's the exact same suspension as the rsx/dc5 Integra, except they had 4 lug pattern pre-facelift
            8th Gen civic got rid of the double wishbone rear for a coil spring trailing arm suspension and mcfertys up front

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Those still had independent rear suspension. 8th gen coupe/sedan also retained double wishbones/multilink rear, only the space egg had a torsion beam rear end.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        https://i.imgur.com/oq6UOII.png

        Did they really ditch the double wishbones specifically for this Civic and only this Civic? what the frick Honda

        What are you talking about? The suspension in the rear is called a double wishbone, exact same as the rsx and the element though...

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Send a pic of the underside, now I wanna know for sure

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous
          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Huh, interdasting. So you're already on coilovers? In that case I'd keep them if you're alright with the comfort level, and ignore what I said about struts and lowering springs. The rest still applies.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Ok so I only bought used coilovers for the rear, because I had issues with it bottoming out after loading the trunk, with these it levels it out. And I DID notice a big difference in handling, it almost oversteers if I throw it into a corner but it's very unstable at speeds, one bump and your in a ditch for sure...

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Buy a matching set for the front. The oversteer you're feeling will be mostly gone, but can be brought back with a stiff rear sway bar.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            It's either I buy a brand new set of teins or I find someone who is selling ONLY rears which is going to be hard. Anyway, Im actually seriously considering getting an rsx now though lol

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Make sure to fold the back seats down to lower your center of gravity. Helps massively and it's free.

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    op, I had an EM2
    best handling upgrades where a sway bar, and new endlinks, and bushings.
    stiffer suspension helped out too.
    i sold my pic related bar a few years ago for $160

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      thanks fren, definitely going to change all my worn bushings out now.

  13. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    do not listen to anyone here. if you buy 200tw tires, this thing will handle better than you need it to without any other mods.

  14. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Get a strut bar

  15. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Get a cold air intake and some kind of cool muffler system

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