Honda / Acura Suspension
Performance is a fledgling and
largely appearance-oriented market. As the customer becomes more
sophisticated and the market matures, we will begin to see consumers
demanding more performance improvements to go along with their
"slammed look". After all, the main reason for lowering a vehicle is
to lower the center of gravity, thereby improving the handling and the
stability of the car.
Good suspension geometry doesn't just "happen". Sure,
lowering your car improves handling, but if done improperly, it can
create a host of other problems. Consumers won't be satisfied with all
of the side effects they are experiencing by using the inferior lowering
techniques that are currently so popular. Most of them don't even
realize that coil-overs were originally designed for balancing the
vehicle, NOT lowering it!
Cut springs and "lowering kits" may offer the "look"
they are after but not the handling. The handling net gain, if any,
using common techniques is marginal due to the suspension geometry
damage they inflict. They essentially cancel out any benefits gained by
lowering the vehicle to begin with!
Our SUPER LINK for the rear and SUPER TRICK
STEERING KNUCKLE for the front give "the look" with
guaranteed better ride and handling. And absolutely no adverse
Honda engineers worked hard to develop a suspension
that would perform well under a variety of conditions, (mostly where
high ground clearance is a requirement). The geometry design (like that
of any other vehicle) has its wheel travel limitations. Cut springs,
lowering springs, coil-overs (when used for lowering), drop forks and
drop arms, although different to one another, all have exactly the same
harmful effect on suspension geometry because the suspension is running
at the very edge (or outside) of its design limit. At this point the
handling gets weird and can even be dangerous. Things like "Bump
Steer" and "excessive negative camber gain" are all symptoms
of improper lowering techniques. Excessive negative camber is
responsible for a reduced tire contact patch area and rapid uneven tire
wear. Reduced tire contact patch area = reduced traction = poor
cornering ability = unhappy customer.
We're all familiar with the unsightly (and costly in tire wear) stance
of a poorly lowered car with excessive negative camber. The wheels look
something like this: / \ instead of like this:
| | .The dynamic effect (when the suspension is moving) of severely
angled suspension components is not corrected by a camber kit. Severely
angled suspension components create huge changes in camber angles when
the suspension moves. Let's say your car is lowered 2 1/2 or 3". The
alignment was undoubtedly set with the car empty. Now you have 3 buddies
cruising with you down the street. The vehicle weighs say, 700# more
than it did empty. Your car could be riding as much as 1" lower than
when the alignment was set. You have already generated some negative
camber even before you hit a bump or enter a corner! Some of your tire
contact patch along with its traction is already lost and the insides of
your tires are wearing away with every single revolution they make, even
if the static (not moving) wheel alignment has been corrected with the
use of a camber kit.
Simply put, when the vehicle hits a bump, it steers itself (not
necessarily in the intended direction). A change in the toe setting
(alignment) as the wheels move up and down is referred to as bump steer.
This condition is responsible for the twitchy handling you may have
experienced during transition from the straight line into a corner and
can be the reason for most high speed instability problems. Zero bump
steer is ideal.
When a vehicle is lowered improperly, the steering tie
rods become angled upward as they connect to the steering knuckle. This
angle creates an increase in "Toe In" as the suspension travels upward
(as in hitting a bump). The result is the necessity for steering input
by the driver just to keep the vehicle in a straight line. At speed this
can amount to a whole lane change!