A few weeks ago we got the funds. I ordered parts. This weekend we started ins talling them.
We have a number of challenges. In the last race we had no end of trouble getting the front alignment straight. The right front really wanted to have -4 degrees camber. We bought some adjustable upper control arm mounts, but they wouldn’t hold a setting. Literally the day before the race we “fixed” it over and over. Any forward movement with turning would cause it to reset to -4 deg. So I set the alignment and stuffed the adjustable mounts full of JB Weld and let it cure overnight. It held! Our front camber was -1.5 deg on the RF and 0 on the LF. Still not ideal but drivable.
All hail JB Weld which got us through the last race.
We also had disastrously bad brakes in the last race. We replaced pads every few hours all weekend. During the last hour one of the rotors was so badly warped that the steering wheel felt like a jackhammer whenever we were braking.
After the race I got the specs from the shop manual and measured a bunch of things on the frame. The shock towers were 0.5″ too close together at the top but were correct at the bottom That explains lots. When we disassembled the front end the RF shock rod had a 5 deg bend in it! A few of our bushings are more like dust than rubber.
Our old front shocks (one rod bent and one basically loose in the housing)
We have installed new front shocks. I shopped long and hard and the best deal on stock replacement shocks were the Koni SRTs for $63 bucks each. We got those on. We also installed the adjustable upper control arms. With those we should be able to correct for the 4 degrees and set both sides to about 2 degrees negative. The only adjustable upper control arms we could find were for the late ’80s civic, it looks like we’ll get a bit of caster out of them as well. That’s good because the extra caster offsets the camber loss when the wheels are turned under cornering. Yay. BTW I don’t trust these adjustable suspension bits anymore, so I fully expect to set them, and then make a bracket that holds them in place and maybe use JB Weld to hold that in.
Tedd got new calipers for the front from the pick and pull in Newark. It was harder than we thought. Though it seems like 90% of these Hondas have the Nissin calipers the race pad manufacturers only sell pads for the Akebono calipers. Thanks to Tedd’s intrepid search we now have Akebono calipers installed!
We still have to replace the rear shocks, the front rotors, maybe front wheel bearings, and the pads all the way around. Then bushings. We have lots of labor intensive bushings to replace.