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Awful Suspension - Need Help From The Experts

Discussion in 'Wheels / Suspension / Tires / Brakes' started by Rage-DCA, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Rage-DCA

    Rage-DCA Junior Member

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    Hello everyone. I would appreciate any advise you can pass on.

    I have a 1997 Honda Civic EX Coupe with 175K miles. I've put about 30 to 40 thousand a year on it since I bought it in 99 (preowned). I drive it right now for my job and need to for another year. Later, I am planning on modding it when it becomes my second vehicle so I can take it to the strip some day. Its my first car so I'd love to turn it in to something bad a$$ someday.

    At the moment though, it is completely stock. I purchased tires and rims for it recently and it made the car a bit more stable but it became worse over the past 20K miles. It sways a lot around 50-60 MPH and faster. I usually do not top 80 MPH because I fear what might happen. When I say it sways, it isn't too bad when its a nice summer day with winds below 5 MPH. But if I get hit with a 15 - 25 MPH gust, I have to be very careful just to stay in the lane. It rides rough but from what I have experienced in a new Honda one of my friend's owns, it may be normal. My car does sound awful though if I hit a pot hole.

    It could be partially related to the breaks. I have the front discs under warranty and take the car in every few months because the breaks seem to stick or something. When I slow to a stop at an intersection, the car shakes forward and backward like the breaks are breaking harder and then softer every other second. Rotors were replaced recently. The pads were replaced in the past two months for the third time in about 6 months. I am kinda hard on the breaks, but not that hard. My last set of rotors lasted me a year and half, so I'm thinking its something else. Of course, Merlin says they are fine.

    It could be related to the shocks. I have never replaced them so they are the OE shocks. I was looking at Bilstein HD shocks possibly. Maybe even go with their sports shock. Googling Bilstein brought up a lot of people having good things to say about them. Not sure what to do on the springs if I do change the shocks out. I have the stock sized rims and wheels on the vehicle so I don't know if I can drop the car any at the moment due to lack of funds.

    I also am planning on taking it in to get an alignment done in case thats the problem. If possible, it would be great if someone might tell me the best order to go about doing all of this. I don't own a shop and don't have a whole lot of money at the moment but love to play. What do you recommend? Where should I start first? Do you recommend I read some things? Any help would be great. I'll look forward to your advice. If you need any more info, just ask. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    yeah, sounds like you need an alignment if your rotors are new
     
  3. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Bilstein's a good brand.

    Definitely take your car to get aligned- but at that age and running larger/heavier wheels, I would go ahead and invest in a polyurethane bushing kit. Your stock bushings are most likely totally worn out, and dead shocks plus heavy wheels definitely don't help the matter any at all. A bushing upgrade isn't necessarily easy or cheap, but if you're planning on putting more money into the car later, it's a damn good investment.

    Get new shocks and springs, then make sure your brakes are in good shape. It sounds to me like you have a problem warping rotors combined with bad bushings/joints.
     
  4. Rage-DCA

    Rage-DCA Junior Member

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    Questions on the suspension bushings...Would the total kit work (# 8-2008)? How much would you estimate the labor to run if I took it to a mechanic? What would be needed to do this myself?

    Oh, do you have any recommendations on the springs? I found plenty of brands, but I don't quite know what spring rate, diameter or length to go with. I saw some Tein springs that drop 1.3 in the front and 1.4 in the rear but I have stock sized wheels so I'm not sure if I would have the clearance.

    Should I get the wheel alignment done after shock replacement and bushing replacement (each time)?

    Again, thanks for all your help.
     
  5. Allied_Forces1

    Allied_Forces1 Junior Member

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    You maybe need to change the all bushings and get new wheel bearings. Maybe struts too! and an alignment probably wouldn't hurt either.
     
  6. liquid00meth

    liquid00meth Senior Member

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    sounds to me like you have to make sure your brakes are working properly (calipers aren't sticking, and nothing is warped) and then:

    1.) New shocks/struts.
    2.) Bushings.
    3.) inspect tie rods and such for condition.
    4.) alignment.
     
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