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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 Universal Fit Blogging

When A-Spec and HFP Suspension Kits Are Discontinued, What To Get Instead?

Updated as of December 2017:

With the popularity of this posting, we have added the Koni STR.T Dampers and popular spring options as pre-built combos on Heeltoe! Find links to them here:

2004-08 TL:¬†Heeltoe Automotive “A-Spec/HFP Evo” Coil-Over Damper Set, 2004-08 Acura TL

2004-08 TSX:¬†Heeltoe Automotive “A-Spec/HFP Evo” Coil-Over Damper Set, 2004-08 Acura TSX


Updated as of December 2016:

Times are tough for the Honda/Acura Enthusiast looking for a conservative drop, comfortable ride, but highly enhanced driving experience. The A-Spec & HFP kits from Honda/Acura were awesome but short-lived, solutions with factory quality you could count on. Then the Neuspeed Supercup Kit was a fantastic option, and promptly itself became discontinued in 2015.

NOW what do you do if you long for that “factory sport package” feel in your Honda Accord, Acura TSX, TL, or other naturally sporting Honda sedan?

Heeltoe has settled on the “next-best” answer… Combine a set of Koni STR.T dampers with a set of Tein HighTECH springs.

Koni STR.T Damper:

Tein HighTECH (HTECH) Spring:

This high-quality combo offers the long stroke and long life of a Koni damper, with excellent body control balanced with proper damping to soak up everyday road hiccups. It also features a slightly firmer spring than stock, with minimal lowering range.

So while this is decidedly not an A-Spec kit it will function excellently and keep your Honda/Acura performing better than new for years to come!

– Marcus

#HTinyourcorner


Legacy Post from January 2016:

The Acura A-Spec and Honda Factory Performance suspension packages for popular Honda and Acura models are the perfect suspension tuning parts for the conservative enthusiast. But as they become unavailable, what is the next-best package?

What made the A-Spec kit great for people with a conservative performance goal in mind for both lowering and for sport, was that it utilized springs that were similar to stock in ride height and firmness. The dampers were better at controlling body motions. The combination was great for someone with worn factory suspension but was looking to replace the part with just a bit more athletic ability.

A last look at the much-loved Acura A-Spec Suspension package.

So, with the A-Spec kit gone…what is the conservative-minded enthusiast’s best bet for minimal lowering with great improvements in weight-transfer management and reduction in float as compared to stock suspension? And all that at a reasonable cost?

We would say, the Neuspeed Supercup Kit featuring German-made Sport springs and Sport/Yellow Shocks from Koni are the ticket!

For a little more of a lowering rate, the Neuspeed Supercup Kit is an A-Spec suspension on ‘roids.

Yes, there are a couple of compromises.

  1. The A-Spec kit came with new upper top-hat mounts pre-installed from the factory. Many viewed this as a great value feature, and the value was certainly there. Our counterpoint is that the upper mounts on these cars really do not wear from the factory. Replacement is something better done out of convenience rather than necessity (incidentally, Heeltoeauto.com does offer an Upper Mount Option on Neuspeed kits, as we know many customers do like replacing these parts oftentimes).
  2. While the Neuspeed Supercup Kit does come with a Race or Sport spring option, the Race is too aggressive for conservative drivers. The Sport is a great choice, however, the 1.5″ average lowering is a bit more than some drivers are looking for. Heeltoeauto.com holds that 1.5″ is a very reasonable lowering range for the average Honda or Acura. It is a compromise, but one worth considering.

Of course, if someone really did not want to lower their Acura but wanted all the sport and control benefit of an A-Spec kit, simply grab a set of Koni Sport replacement dampers!

The Koni Sport dampers do offer a relative degree of height adjustment, but more importantly, they have adjustable dampening. This allows a driver to tune in just the right amount of rebound for their particular tastes. Plus, as they wear, these dampers can be firmed up. They are extremely high quality, and with this tuning feature, can effectively last longer than most drivers will ever need them to.

Yes, the passing of the Acura A-Spec (and likewise, Honda Factory Performance) suspension kits is an unfortunate reality for enthusiasts. But thanks to Neuspeed and Koni, we are not without suitable alternative choices. Heeltoeauto.com is here to advise every customer on their specific needs, so don’t hesitate to¬†contact us¬†today for a consultation!

Categories
Chassis You Can Do It! DIYs

Using Acura Type-S/Type-R Upper Shock Mount Bushings with Koni Yellow Sport Shocks

Acura TL Type-S bushings will enhance the road feel of your Acura because they are much firmer than base-type rubber bushings. They actually have a metal insert molded into the part making them act much like a rigid mount, while the rubber sections act as vibration and impact dampers. It is really a neat bushing design. Honda uses these bushings on all their higher-level performance applications, from the S2000 to the NSX and the Integra Type-R!

However, there is a mod needed to use these bushings with the venerable Koni Sport shocks. Since the Koni shocks have a larger 12mm shaft diameter than most stock Honda/Acura shocks do (10mm), and that means the hole in the metal insert that fits over the shaft needs to be drilled out in order to fit.

Match the size of the shock shaft and open the stock hole from 10mm to 12mm (a little smaller than 1/2″).

It can be tough to hold the bushing while drilling, so be careful! You can chuck the bushing in a bench vice to hold it while drilling to hold it by the edges. It takes some time and patience, and a sharp bit helps a lot as well.

We can say the mod is worth the effort since the combination of high-end Koni shocks and enhanced road feel of the bushings is a great combo!