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Chassis

Progress Group CSII/CSIII Spring Rate Guide

Progress Group coilovers are configurable with a variety of spring options for all different sorts of use profiles. Here is a blog to help understand what the different spring rate selections will do for you!

ALWAYS CONSIDER the following:
* Primary vehicle use
* Secondary vehicle use
* Weather and road conditions
* Driver skill & experience

CONSIDER…
For the sake of comparison, typical OEM spring rates for these applications are approximately 220#/in front, and 110#/in rear. With the numerous Civic & Integra applications, there is a range of spring rates, and these C.S. (Competition Series) systems are significant-to-dramatic upgrades from your OEM damper and spring calibrations.

SHOP: Once you’ve decided on a spring rate choice for your car, shop Progress Group CSII & CSIII Coilovers on Heeltoeauto.com

CSII Non-Adjustable Damping

D-SERIES/Single cam applications

350/250: Best ride for a daily driver. Great for commuting. The front may bottom out if set up too low.

350/350: A good compromise, less understeer & more fun. A modest concession to ride quality. This may be choppy for some drivers with short wheelbase models; Civic Hatch and CRX.

350/450 or 350/550: Offers minimal understeer, quick turn-in, less roll, fast & fun, with the 55 rears being even better for a good for drag launch. Rides rough on bumpy or poor roads.

B&K-SERIES/Twin cam applications

450/350: Best ride for a daily driver. Fun and well-mannered. Modest understeer. Recommended for street/performance & daily drivers.

450/450: Good compromise, less understeer, less roll & more grip.

450/550: Minimal understeer, awesome handling, quick steering response, good for drag launch. Rides rough on bumpy or poor roads.

550/550: Good for track cars equipped with a front end spoiler or splitter. Also for street cars running super-wide wheels & tires and low ride heights. At this point, you should know you are signing up for a huge compromise in ride quality. Very stiff!

Here is MORE DETAILS about these combinations:

** STREET-PERFORMANCE
FRONT HEAVY setups (350/250, 450/350 etc.)
Good for Daily Drivers (DD), poor weather and road conditions because these setups do not upset the ride on the highway and during cornering. The softer rear suspension tracks nicely and rides better because it is more compliant. These calibrations ride well on uneven road conditions if set up at a reasonable ride height around 1.0 in.to 1.5 in. less than OEM (12.5 in.). Expect a dramatic improvement in handling capability and steering response. These setups will still have some mild understeer, less than OEM but still easy and forgiving to drive every day and in all weather conditions. This is the choice for sport-tuned Daily Drivers.

** STREET-SPORT
SQUARE setups (350/350, 450/450 etc.)
These setups are a compromise between ride quality and all-out handling. Some impact on ride quality makes for less understeer and faster vehicle response. The stiffer front springs also help prevent bottoming out. This combination is plenty stiff, and NOT recommended for true daily drivers (TDD) on poor roads, or drivers rolling a lot of commuter miles. Good for ‘fun cars’ driven by more experienced drivers.

** AUTOCROSS-TRACK & DRAG SPECIFIC
REAR HEAVY setups (350/450, 450/550 etc.)
Much more aggressive. This calibration has more grip, and is intended for use with ‘performance/track’ alignment settings and sticky tires. If ride quality is a major concern, don’t go here because the stiffer rear springs make for an uncomfortable (and choppy) highway ride. This is a more balanced and LESS FORGIVING setup intended for enthusiast TRACK days and AUTOCROSS events. These combinations will also launch well for mild drag applications on DOT tires. Expect a HUGE improvement in handling capability. This would also be a great low-budget setup for new (road racing) drivers going to a (track) DRIVING SCHOOL or TRACK events.
Faster chassis response, less forgiving, and MAX GRIP in most cornering situations. The chassis balance will be very close to ideal, having minimal understeer with ‘track-oriented’ alignment settings and good UHP tires. This is a BIG compromise in ride quality and will require more DRIVING SKILL to drive at the limit (on the track please!) NOT RECOMMENDED for wet/snow/poor weather and road conditions.

ALWAYS CONSIDER the following:
* Primary vehicle use
* Secondary vehicle use
* Weather and road conditions
* Driver skill & experience

CONSIDER…
For the sake of comparison, typical OEM spring rates for these applications are approximately 220#/in front, and 110#/in rear. With the numerous Civic & Integra applications, there is a range of spring rates, and these CS-II systems are significant upgrades from your OEM damper and spring calibrations.

CSIII Adjustable Damping

The above infor for the CSII mostly applies to the CSIII, although there is some additional capability with the CSIII that allows for higher rates than the CSII. Here are some notes for the CSIII’s expanded range.

550/450 – 550/550: Very stiff front and softer rear for poor roads and bumpy race tracks. Good for track cars equipped with a front end spoiler or aero-splitter. Also for street cars running super-wide wheels & tires and low ride heights. At this point, you should know you are signing up for a huge compromise in ride quality. Very stiff!

550/650 – 550/800 – 650/650 – 650/800: These setups are aggressive for track-only applications on smoother tracks with race tires or UHP shaved tires. At this point you should have some track experience and have some idea about what you are getting into. Call in and we can discuss these track-only setups and select one that best suits your application and specifics.

* FRONT HEAVY setups (350/250, 450/350 etc.)
Good for Daily Drivers (DD), poor weather and road conditions because these setups do not upset the ride on the highway and during cornering. The softer rear suspension tracks nicely and rides better because it is more softer & more compliant. These calibrations ride well on uneven road conditions if set up at a reasonable ride height around 1.0 in. to 1.5 in. less than OEM (12.5 in.). Expect a DRAMATIC improvement in handling capability and steering response. These setups will still have some mild understeer, less than OEM but still easy and forgiving to drive every day and in all weather conditions. This is the choice for sport-tuned Daily Drivers.

* STREET-SPORT ‘SQUARE’ SETUPS (350/350, 450/450 etc.)
These setups are a compromise between ride quality and all-out handling. With some impact on ride quality, you will have less understeer (more neutral balance) and faster vehicle response. The stiffer front springs also help prevent bottoming out. This combination is plenty stiff, and NOT recommended for true daily drivers (TDD?) on poor roads, or drivers rolling a lot of commuter miles. Good for ‘fun cars’ driven by more experienced drivers.

* AUTOCROSS-TRACK & DRAG SPECIFIC
REAR HEAVY setups (550/650, 550/800 etc.)
Much more aggressive. This calibration has more grip, and is intended for use with ‘performance/track’ alignment settings and sticky tires. If ride quality is a major concern, DO NOT go here because the stiffer rear springs make for an uncomfortable (and choppy) highway ride. This is a more balanced and LESS FORGIVING setup intended for enthusiast TRACK days and AUTOCROSS events. These combinations will also launch well for mild drag applications on DOT tires. Expect a HUGE improvement in handling capability. This would also be a great low-budget setup for new (road racing) drivers going to a (track) DRIVING SCHOOL or TRACK events. Faster chassis response, less forgiving, and MAX GRIP in most cornering situations. The chassis balance will be very close to ideal, having minimal understeer with ‘track-oriented’ alignment settings and good UHP tires. This is a BIG compromise in ride quality and will require more DRIVING SKILL to drive at the limit (on the track please!) NOT RECOMMENDED for wet/snow/poor weather and road conditions.

Check out this cool CSIII Unboxing Video on our YouTube Channel!

Categories
Chassis You Can Do It! DIYs

DIY: Progress Rear Sway Bar Tutorial, 2009-14 Acura TSX / TL, and 2008-17 Honda Accord

Install Tech : 2009+ Acura TSX (2009+ Honda Accord) : Progress 22mm Sway Bar (also applies to 24mm sway bar)

62.0105 22mm bar: Link Here!

62.0107 24mm bar: Link Here!

Anti-sway bars go by many names. Sometimes they are referred to as anti-roll bars, roll bars, or sway bars…but they all do the same exact thing: tie the left and right suspension together so that the car corners flatter.

The sway bar is basically a spring that mounts to the left and right suspension somewhere, then is secured to a solid part of the chassis. It works like a torsion bar, by twisting. Naturally, a larger bar is going to be harder to twist so it is desirable to upgrade the sway bar from stock size to improve handling.

The rear sway bar is the most commonly upgraded suspension part in a front-wheel-drive car, following shocks and springs. The rear sway bar helps make up for FF cars’ tendency to push, or understeer, into corners. Upgrading the rear sway bar noticeably improves handling on most cars without compromising ride quality. This part is easily the most bang for the buck you are going to get out of your Acura/Honda suspension.

We have felt that the stock 2009 TSX suspension is indeed very well set up, and the chassis is noticeably more rigid than the outgoing model. And while it feels balanced through turns there is a distinct feeling that the rear end is just following what the front of the car is doing. With the addition of a larger rear sway bar, the car feels flatter and more confident than before in turns. The rear seems to help “steer” the car around turns better. This is not the same experience we’ve had in the past, where a rear sway bar will “fix” a front-wheel drive car’s tendencies. Instead, this bar helps make an already nimble and balanced chassis feel even better!

The drill bit you’ll need for the next step is a 13/32″, or 10mm. We figure a 7/16″ bit should work just fine as well!

Here’s the point at which some people say “oh, I have to drill? I don’t want to do that for [insert lame reason here]. Is there a bar that doesn’t require drilling?” Yes, there are some. They are either too small to make much difference or will cause the bracket to tear off.

Don’t puss out; buy the bar and drill the hole! I can always tell a poser when they don’t want to open a hole up 2mm for the fear of making a permanent, irreversible change to their car. The reward is in the improved function of the car. Enjoy running laps around lesser TSXs!

Categories
Chassis Heeltoe Explains You Can Do It! DIYs

Welcome to last week: Sway Bar Bushings Go Bad If They Aren’t Lubricated

I know, I know. Many of the old school Acura people have been telling us for years that they have noisy suspension traced to worn rear sway bar bushings. I always figured it was an issue with installation or grease. And while I know for a fact I was right on some of them (primarily the ones where new installations were claimed to be noisy), the bushings themselves are prone to creating noise after extended periods of use.

I have had two customers come in after a few years in service with noisy bushings. And now I know what the problem is. The polyurethane bushings on popular rear sway bar upgrades can wear out if not regularly lubed and cause a noise.

These bushings require periodic lubrication. The bushings included with the popular Progress rear sway bars definitely do come with high-grade silicone grease. Likewise, Prothane bushings that many people buy to replace these bushings come with good grease as well. The bushings are designed with a ribbed pattern on the inner surface area that holds the grease to provide reduced friction and therefore miles of noise-free smiles.

But, the grease evacuates eventually. Depending on the climate, mileage, driving conditions, and driving habits, the grease ends up getting expelled at some point. Now, without grease, you’d expect noise. However, the noise does not set in right away! The groves provide an air gap between the bushing and bar. The friction is not maxed out at this point, so there is no noise.

What the grease REALLY does is prevent friction that causes wear on the bushing. The friction of metal against rubber or urethane…harder material wins every time.

The inside of the bushing gets polished and then you have full surface area contact between the bushing and the bar. This is a high-grip scenario and this is what causes the squeaking-squawaking noise. So, the key to preventing noise is to grease the bushings.

On this customer’s car, we replaced the worn CT Engineering bushings they had with some new Prothane ones and recommended they re-lube the bushings annually. This does require removal and reinstallation but thankfully it is pretty simple to accomplish. These bushings are spec’d out at 22mm ID but the bar itself is actually a bit larger (22.2mm or 7/8″, which is the case for Progress and CT even though they advertise their bars in metric). Get 7/8″ bushings for “22mm” bars, and 15/16″ bushings for “24mm” bars.

The installation is perfectly ok as many people do it, but you can see how the bushing doesn’t quite encapsulate the bar completely…

22mm bushing o a CT/Progress “22mm” bar that is really 22.2mm or 7/8″ in size.

And the best bet, provided you have a grease gun, would be to get a bushing with a zerk fitting on it to grease the bushing without removing anything. I think if this needed to be done at a more regular interval it would be worth considering, but given that they don’t need to be lubed all that often We think the regular bushings are just fine.

So, you guys told me so, the bushings do wear out and need replacing if the grease gets all squished out. However, simply re-lubing the bushings with the appropriate grease from time to time should prevent this concern.