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Superior Roadholding?

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by Panther550, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. Panther550

    Panther550 Member

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    Alright what i'm wondering is which of Hondas '88-'00 cars grip the road the best, although for the sake of simplicity i'm not going to get into things like spring rates, shocks/struts, ride heights, and aftermarket aerodynamics cuz all of that stuff can be customized to a drivers specifications. What i am considering is chassis weights, wheel bases, and stock aerodynamics.

    Chassis Weights:

    '88 CRX Si - 2017 LBS.
    '92 Civic Si - 2326 LBS.
    '93 Del Sol Si - 2394 lbs.
    '94 Del Sol VTEC - 2491 lbs.
    '94 Integra RS - 2529 lbs.

    Wheelbases:

    '88 CRX Si - 90.6 in.
    '92 Civic Si - 101.3 in.
    '93 Del Sol Si/VTEC - 93.3 in.
    '94 Integra RS - 101.2 in.

    Ok, now assuming that each of the cars listed have the same spring rates, shocks/struts, etc. (suspension characteristics) then the '88 CRX Si should corner the best right because it weighs the less and therefore there is less strain put on the suspension during cornering, right?

    Now what i stated about chassis weights i've kind of thought to be true for quite a while and only recently started thinking about wheelbases, so that's what this post is for (to help me understand).

    Now i understand that cars with shorter wheelbases also have shorter turning diameters, right? So they turn quicker. However, and this is what i started thinking about today, with a shorter wheelbase the vehicles stability on uneven road conditions would be a lot less than a car with a longer wheelbase, that's my theory.

    This is how i came up with that:

    e.g '88 CRX Si - wheelbase 90.6 in.

    Now picture the car driving on a straight road and it hits a bump in the road which is 5 in. above the normal road surface. At the apex of this bump the sine of the bump/wheelbase would be 0.000961983 degrees (i think). Whereas if a '92 Civic Si hit that same bump the sine of the bump/wheelbase would be 0.000860372 degrees. Meaning that the Civic Si would have better stability than the CRX while moving over the bump in the road.

    Does that make sense? If that's right and you then consider just how many bumps in the road you travel over during a regular day, and if you're travelling at high speed or hit those bumps in corners (where stability is already slightly compromised) then those bumps have a greater negative effect on the stability of cars. So then a Civic Si or Del Sol, although heavier, may actually handle better at high speeds on the street, in corners and on straights.

    Now this next part I'm basically pulling out of my ass cuz i don't really have any direct knowledge of aerodynamics. But what i'm thinking is that because the Civic Si is a hatchback whereas the CRX and TEG are both fastbacks and the Del Sol is a coupe, I'm assuming that the Civic Si would create a bigger vacuum of space behind it than the other cars. That much i know. What i don't know is would that bigger vacuum also negatively affect the stability of the Civic Si.

    If so then by a process of elimination would not the Del Sol and Teg have superior stability and cornering ability.

    Can someone verify or disapprove what i have here. And give me a reason as to why.
     
  2. racintweek

    racintweek Senior Member

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    i have never driven a Teg or EG to its limits so i cant comment on those

    you didnt mention EF Civic but, i have driven both EF hatch and crx.
    i think that the crx is a little "twitchy" compared to the hatch, which prob has something to do with the different wheelbase(crx ~5" shorter)
    Crx has less body roll the but tends to understeer more than the hatch

    hope that helps
     
  3. nfn15037

    nfn15037 Senior Member

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    Well can you define "vehicle stability"? IMO, vehicle stability is whatever the driver is comfortable with. As a race car, you can get all those cars down to ~2000 lbs, so with equal weight, I would say whichever car you could stuff a larger tire under will "hold the road" better. But in reality, this is much too broad of a question and is comparing apples to oranges. Build whichever car you want for what class you want to race in.

    If you truly are referring to street driving, then you will never be going fast enough to worry about cornering stability, bumps in corners, or aerodynamic factors.
     
  4. Panther550

    Panther550 Member

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    Ummm, I drove my mom's '95 Integra LS on the freeway going 145km/hr (i don't know what that is in miles maybe 80-85) and my back end nearly swerved out when i hit a bump on a nearly straight road.
     
  5. nfn15037

    nfn15037 Senior Member

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    Well then there is some other issue there. I have driven probably 300+ laps at Sebring, one of the bumpiest tracks around, it even rivals Boston roads and their bumpiness and I have had zero problems on the back straight at over 140 MPH in my 95 Integra. I am not going to lecture you on driving conditions and speeds, but if the car really is nearly losing control on straight, dry roads at 80 MPH and small bumps, you have some other problem like shocks or something along those lines.
     
  6. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Yup- your mom's shocks are blown or something is loose. My Civic has the same suspension geometry as the 94-01 Integra, and I never had a problem at extralegal speeds and bumps, even through turns- even when my suspension was totally stock.
     
  7. Panther550

    Panther550 Member

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    hmmmm.....

    Does that mean then that wheelbase has no direct relation to a cars stability?

    Also i read somewhere that '88 CRX Si's were equipped with something called "rear wheel steering" or something like that and that that was what made '88 Rex's feel twitchy. Does anyone know if you can remove the rear wheel steering components.
     
  8. K2e2vin

    K2e2vin Senior Member

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    theyre pretty much built in. you can try to put something in the area where the toe control arm moves(that is what causes the rear wheel steering). all 88 EFs, JDM cars, and USDM Type-Rs have rear wheel steering.
     
  9. Panther550

    Panther550 Member

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    Wait, if rear wheel steering is in all jdm cars and usdm ITRs as well, why don't I hear people saying that the usdm ITRs are twitchy? Does it actually make the '88 EF8's feel twitchy? And if the EF8's do feel twitchy how fast do you need to be driving to really notice it?
     
  10. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Wheelbase does have a bearing on how "twitchy" a car feels- shorter wheelbase generally = more twitchy. But if an 88 CRX feels uncontrollable to you, there's something wrong.
     
  11. K2e2vin

    K2e2vin Senior Member

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    when going straight the rear-wheel steering doesnt have a affect. its only when you turn and hit the brakes you notice the rear wheel steering(and then proceed to "drift" into a fire hydrant :( )
     
  12. nfn15037

    nfn15037 Senior Member

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    ALL Hondas and most all cars with independent rear suspension have some amount of "rear steer" built in. When the suspension compresses, the toe changes, hence rear wheel steering. You might be thinking of the RWS system on some Preludes in the US and others in Japan and other markets, which is not what we are discussing here, that is an active system which really changes the rear steer with a computer, sensors, and hydraulics.

    And I agree with Calesta on this one, none of these cars fall into the "twitchy" category in my mind. Put some 1000lb rear springs and 750 front springs on a CRX and it still wouldn't be "twitchy".
     
  13. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    No, that would just be like driving a CRX with tie rods in place of shocks/springs. :lol:
     
  14. 92dxhatch

    92dxhatch Senior Member

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    you can make any of these cars with stability and handling. stock, i know a 92 civic is pretty good, my hatch when it was stock had alot of body roll, but upgrading your suspension and putting some anti-sway bars, makes it feel much better, it really helps if you have the tires that can grip. i also had a crx, and it didn't feel twitchy, maybe a little more understeer, but a good ride. really all cars that were mentioned are a good start, you need to figure out what you want to do, then figure out what car is better for your needs. and so on.
     
  15. Panther550

    Panther550 Member

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    Well this is what i'm thinking now (revised a lot)

    I'm thinking about buying a CRX (don't know though if i want an '88 w/ RWS or an '89-'91) and then i'm probably going to swap in a D16Z6 just because: 1. It's a lot cheaper than swapping in a B16A. 2. I can still run my car on cheaper lower octane gas while i save up to buy a supercharger. 3. There are a lot more parts for D16Z6 engines than a6 engines. 4. On straights (in the city) i don't really drive all that fast, it's in the corners where i have fun. 5. the Quaife quck ratio steering kit has a LTL of 2.831 versus the '92-'95 civic which has a LTL of 3.25. 6. Plus i'll have more money to spend on suspension parts after swapping the z6 than i would with the B16.
     
  16. 92dxhatch

    92dxhatch Senior Member

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    sounds good bro, seems as you know what you want, that's good, because there are so many who don't. anyways, if you want suspesion, research it, please don't just buy the cheapest thing you can find, and when you throw on springs, buy new struts as well, really, think about what your doing and do it right, because if you do, you'll have less of a chance of replacing it every time you hit a bump. it will be more money, but well worth the money in the long run, think of you car as an investment, do you want to buy something cheap so it can fall apart in a year, or spend the money, and have it last for decades. good luck
     
  17. MikeBergy

    MikeBergy Blah blah blah....

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    Why are you asking this? Why are you fixated on stability? As far as aerodynamics go, all of these cars are like blunt bodies moving as low speed through the air. There is like a .000000000002% difference in aerodynamic drag on the cars you have asked about, and NONE of these cars use aerodynamics to affect the stability of the car; if you want a stock car that uses aerodynamics to create downforce, then look into buying a ferrari, because that technology is not cheap [I guarantee Honda is not going to do CFD analysis on a $15,000 car] . As for wheelbase, all things else being equal, the longer the wheelbase, the larger the MOI, and so the less movement you are ultimately going to get. But wheelbase length negatively affects the chassis' torsional rigidity, so there is a trade off there too. The cars you selected are all so similar in body shape and size, you really HAVE to look at the components of the supension in order to say which is better. Ultimately, the lower the weight of your car, the less damping in the chassis you will have, and that will make things feel a bit bumpier, so...well, there is a lot of things going on, and your quest is very broad. You need to break it down into chunks, and look at things in a more specific manner. For example, instead of comparing specific CARS, look at components and see how varying components will change the way a car reacts, ie, how will changing a spring rate affect the performance of my suspension? What about shock valving? Will a faster damper work better than a slow one? For what conditions. You also have to take into consideration what the driving conditions are. There are so many parameters and so many different driving styles, that it is impossible to say that one thing is absolutely better than another. If there was a car that was best for every possible condition, all cars would look the same.
     
  18. MikeBergy

    MikeBergy Blah blah blah....

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    I think you mentioned octane in another thread you started. The standard b16a does not have that high of compression. What is it? 10:1? Plus premium is like 20 cents more per gallon than regular, on average. For the 13.2 gallon tank, you'd save like 2.60 per tank; i just don't see why you are letting that drive your decision. I can see the initial chunk of change associated with swapping in a b16a into your car being a big deterrent, but a good suspension is not going to do you much good if you don't have the get-up-and go power.
     
  19. Panther550

    Panther550 Member

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    First I already know about spring rates and damping force and how they affect a cars stability in different conditions. Thats not what i was asking, I was trying to figure out which car had a better base to start out with. I already know about components and such that's why I wasn't asking. And I'm sure the difference in downforce with the cars I listed is greater than what you assumed to be true.
     
  20. Panther550

    Panther550 Member

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    I don't think you grasped what I'm looking for in a car, and actually the difference per tank is greater for me because I live in Canada where the difference from 91 octane to 87 octane is about $4.50 canadian. Now I know that might seem about the same difference is you convert the canadian dollars to US. But also understand that I only make $9 an hour canadian and I'm going to college and my parents aren't loaded so I can't fall back on them. And it doesn't matter if the standard b16a doesn't have that high of compression, if it needs 91 octane to run it's all the same to me.
     
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