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  1. #1
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    DIY - Koni & Ground Control Civic Install

    Disclaimer: The following is provided as a GUIDE ONLY, and neither myself nor Ozhonda take any responsibility for the outcomes of someone else doing the following. You follow these steps at your own risk!

    Hey guys I searched the whole net for a Koni/ground control DIY for myself, and couldn’t find one, so I thought I might as well finally contribute to our DIY forum.

    Firstly, Jack the car up and place it on jack stands, on flat ground. If you only have two like me, that’s not an issue, place the end of the car you’re working on, on jack stands, and remove the wheels so you’ve got room to work. NEVER WORK UNDER A CAR SUPORTED ONLY BY A JACK.


    Rear Suspension

    Firstly you will need to remove the original shock/spring combo.
    Start by removing the lower shock bolt (2), and the LCA’s inner bolt (1).



    Remove the two bolts holding the strut top in place, ignore the allen key in the shock shaft, only undo the 2 outer bolts.



    Now the shock is free to remove, wriggle it around and pull it free.





    ……………………………………………………………………
    If your new suspension is a complete strut (it comes with the top hats, and is all joined together), install it in the same order, just reversed. Simple!

    When reinstalling, start by just hand tightening the two bolts holding the top hat, so the shock can still wriggle around a bit.

    Go under the car again and put in the lower shock bolt and the LCA bolt, however, don’t do them up all the way to the point that there providing any clamping force, but still to the point that there pretty much fully in.

    Go back and tighten the 2 bolts holding the top of the suspension up to the correct torque, which can be found in a helms manual, or alternatively in an online manual.

    Now lower that end of the car onto the ground so it is sitting at ride height, now its time to tighten the LCA bolt, and the lower shock bolt up to the correct torque.

    Whenever working on the suspension, you should torque the bolts up with the car at its static ride height, not with the suspension fully extended.
    ……………………………………………………………………….




    Now if your like me, chances are you cant just bolt in the new suspension as above, as you will need to reuse the stock shocks top hats and bump stops.

    Its now time to pull apart the shock, you will need a spring compressor.
    Compress the spring so there is no force pushing up on the top hat from the spring.
    Undo the shocks top bolt, using a spanner, and an Allen key in the top of the shocks shaft (See the 2nd last pic). Remember the order that the components come off the shock.

    I didn’t have a spring compressor so I went all ghetto and did it with the jack. I don’t recommend this at all, you’ll need a spring compressor as there’s no way to do this at the front. So go buy, borrow or rent one and make life easier.

    I put the struts back in place and did the top 2 bolts up tight by hand, I then placed the jack under the shock, and jacked it up to compress the unit like so.



    I undid the nut on the top of the shock shaft, then slowly lowered the jack down, it worked a charm. If you do this, try and place the jack, and the bottom of the shaft exactly where the bottom of the shock would naturally sit.

    OK so now you have this:



    The order goes:
    1. Shock
    2. Bump stop
    3. Washer (smaller and thicker)
    4. Dust shield
    5. Washer (larger and thinner)
    6. Spring
    7. Lower top hat bush (has a flat side and a curved side, flat side presses into the top hat)
    8. Top hat
    9. Upper top hat bush (has a flat side and a curved side, flat side presses into the top hat)
    10. Washer (has a bit of a lip which curls up)
    11. Top bolt.

    It’s now time to put together your new shock spring combo following the instructions supplied with your suspension parts.

    The first step was installing the coilover sleaves. This simply involved sliding the sleave onto the shock, so the sleaves ring is sitting on the shocks circlip. I decided to add a thick and wide strip of adhesive foam around the inside of the sleave, just to hold the sleave to the shock really firmly. There’s no real need (the sleave fits very firmly already), but it will stop any chance of the sleave sliding up and down the shock if the wheel gets air borne in any way. Make sure the sleaves inner ring slips over the shocks circlip properly.



    The stock shocks bump stop needs to be cut in half. Cut along the green line, and use the top (thicker) half.



    Slide the white plastic ring on the shock.
    Slide the bump stop onto the shaft.
    You should now have this



    The next step would usually be to install the stock shocks dust shield on the koni's, by placing the (new) smaller thicker washer on the shaft, the dust shield (which first needs the shaft hole drilled out to 12mm), then the larger washer.



    Unfortunaly you cant use the stock dust shields with the coilover sleaves. I went to our local auto parts store and got me some universal dust boots which are made for the steering rack, oddly enough they fitted the shocks perfectly. Go around to any local autoparts store and ask if they have any replacement dust boots for shocks or steering racks, youll find somthing.


    I pressed the smaller washer into the dust boot, it fitted nice and tightly in the 2nd last ring, so I cut the dust boot so that the lip going over the top of the washer was as long as possible. The washer on top will hold it nice and tight.



    You should also add a small washer before putting the top washer on like below (small washer is green). This will reduce the clamping force on the rubber.

    In my case, the rubber on my dust boot was about 3mm thick, I used a 2mm washer, so that the rubber could only be compressed 1mm or so. This means that if the top bolt was compressing everything with 100kg of force, the rubber might only see a maximum of 30kg of force, with the small washer taking up the other 70kg. No matter how much more clamping force is applied, the force on the rubber wont change as your not compressing it any further, the washer is taking the extra force.

    Also to extend the life of the rubber boot, I filed the outer top edge, of the lower washer as in the drawing, so there would be no sharp edges being squeezed into the boots rubber.



    Next you slide the metal tube on the shaft. Ignore the washer on top.



    Slide the bushing that’s in the lower half of your stock top hats over the metal sleave, its on the wrong way in this pic, its meant to have the flat side facing up into the top hat. It’s a tight fit as the bushings hole is for a 10mm shaft, the Koni shaft is 12mm. A lot of people drill the bushing out to 12mm, but there’s absolutely no reason. Since the bushings being squeezed more in the top hat, the bushing will be stiffer, and it’ll hold the top of the shocks shaft firmer than usual.



    Pull out the stock rubber spring isolator from the stock top hat. Replace it with the ones that came with the ground control kit. Slide the spring on the shock.

    Slide the top hat onto the bushing and squeeze the top bushing over the metal tube and into the top of the top hat, face the flat side of the bushing down into the top hat.

    Place the lipped washer on top of this, with the lip facing upward.

    Bolt it all down with the 2 supplied bolts, torque them one at a time. I did them up to the stock shocks torque level as per my manual, because the Koni instructions didn’t state how tight they need to be.

    Now bolt these units into your car! (rubber boot not cable tied down in picture).


    I’ve already covered how to bolt the complete unit back in up near the top of this thread, so I wont go to far into it.

    Basically just:
    Get the shock into place.

    Do up the 2 nuts on the top hat upto correct spec.

    Put in the lower shock bolt and the LCA bolt (do not tighten to the point that their clamping anything)

    Adjust ride height using the adjustable perch and tighten the spring perch with the Alan key, you may need to lower it down to check, and jack it back up to adjust a few times.

    Once the desired ride height is reached, lower the car onto the ground and torque the lower shock bolt and the LCA bolt up to correct specs, as per your cars manual.


    Stand back and admire your hard work from a distance!
    Last edited by Muzz; 24-07-2007 at 06:27 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Front Suspension

    Gather your parts and tools



    Place the car on jack stands and remove the wheels.


    Watch out for cats hiding in the garden!



    Turn your back for a second and itíll be on the car.



    Undo and remove the bolt holding the forks to the LCA arm, ignore the silver plate.


    You may need to tap it through with a hammer and a thinner bolt to get it out.


    Undo and remove the pinch bolt holding the shock in the forks


    Drop the forks off the shock


    Undo the 2 top hat nuts and remove the stock shocks


    Pull apart the shocks, the order of parts is the same as for the rear.


    Tap the rings off the stock shocks with a hammer.


    Install the rings on your new shocks, align the ring so that the pointy bit points through the middle of the indent.


    Force the ring all the way up until it canít move any further due to the bumps in the shock body.

    Now it is a matter of assembling the new shock/spring combo in the same order as the rear suspension.

    The coilover sleave is installed on the shock body.
    The white plastic ring is placed on the shaft.
    The stock bump stops are cut in half, with the top halves put on the shaft.
    The thicker and smaller washer is placed on the shaft, on top of the collar.

    You now have this


    Install the dust boot on the shaft, and then place the larger washer on top.

    Assemble the top hats by pushing in the new larger metal tube into the bushings, and by replacing the stock spring isolator bush with the new ground control item.


    Install the spring and put the top hat on the shaft like so.


    Install the lipped washer (with the lip curving upward), and tighten it all down with the 2 new bolts.


    To install the units in the car:
    Bolt them in place by hand, with the 2 top hat nuts.

    Slide the shock forks onto the new unit. Make sure the pointy bit on the shocks ring (from the stock shocks) points into the gap at the back of the fork, and that the ring from the stock shocks is sitting on top of the shock forks.


    Install the pinch bolt and tighten to the correct torque.
    Bolt the bottom of the shock forks to the LCA, do not tighten yet. (Ignore the silver plate)


    Adjust the spring perch until the desired height is reached, this may need you to jack the car up to adjust, and lower it down to check a few times.

    Make sure both sides are at equal height, I found the best way to measure is by measuring the distance from the bottom of the coilover sleave to the bottom of the adjustable spring perch.

    Tighten the screw in the adjustable spring perch once you have it set at the desired ride height.

    Lower the car down to its static ride height, roll it backwards and forwards a few times to settle the suspension, and then tighten the lower shock fork bolt (joins the shock fork to the LCA) to the correct torque.

    Tighten the top hat bolts up to correct torque.

    Adjust the damping stiffness so that itís equal on both sides.

    Admire your finished work, take it for a test drive! Keep the radio off for now and listen for any unusual noises. Drive it nice and slow to start with take some time to just make sure everythings ok.

    Go get yourself a wheel alignment and call it a day.
    Last edited by Muzz; 23-07-2007 at 09:17 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Reserved for review
    Last edited by Muzz; 17-07-2007 at 08:05 PM.
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  4. #4
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    great post Muzz. with plenty of good pics to boot!

    would have to be the ideal setup for my ED9 crx, now I need to save up and order the same from groundcontrol in the states.

  5. #5
    --kaboom--
    Last edited by string; 17-12-2014 at 08:20 PM.

  6. #6
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    EM1
    nice write up
    enjoyed that

    nice asr brace too *yoink*
    "since we're both asian.. I'll look after you and chuck in King Springs with the wheels and tyres for $1050"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by string View Post
    Nice choice. What rates did you get all I can see is 400 rear. 400 front too? How much did it end up setting you back for the whole lot? Did you get extended top-hats for the front?.
    Hey mate, all up it cost me:
    $690 for the Koni Sport shocks shipped from here - http://www.honda-tech.com/zerothread?id=1358618 (best price around, tell them muzz sent ya)
    $454 for the ground control coilovers shipped - http://www.ground-control-store.com/index.php
    $40 for the 4 dust boots, from local car parts store

    So all up $1184, which is a killer price if you ask me No cheap coilovers around this price could even begin to compete.
    This price would be quite alot cheaper today with our super strong Australian dollar!

    (For those who may be wondering, shipping for the shocks was $124US, and shipping for the Coilover sleaves+springs was $40US. The shocks were $450US, the springs+sleaves were $339US). I was never charged import tax.

    I didnt get the extended top hats, as the lowest ill be going is 35mm maximum, to preserve my roll center and camber curves. Civics dont respond to lowering too well unfortunatly

    Im starting with 400lb front, 300lb rear (7.14kg/mm F, 5.35kg/mm R,).
    The konis are good upto around 600lb (10.7kg/mm) springrates, but as this is a street car, which will often see bumpy roads i chose to start with softer rates, as ill be getting alot of my desired roll stiffness from swaybars.

    Im currently running a 24mm whitline front bar, and have just ordered a custom 32mm hollow rear bar (0.095" wall thickness, 39" long) from http://www.1speedway.com/

    Good compliance for bumps, with a nice high roll stiffness, best of both worlds

    You can order pairs of new eibach springs from ground control in any rates you please for $118 US, shipping on my whole set was $40 US, so probably cheaper shipping for only a pair of springs.

    With this in mind, chances are once i get my swaybar in, which will be highly adjustable aswell, ill probably order another 1-2 sets of springs in different rates, so i can do lots of playing around with 3-4 pairs of springs sporting different rates
    Im keen to test out the high rear spring rate bias, which is very common in the US. The front and rear springs can be swapped at will as there simular lengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by string View Post
    You're mad undoing the LCA bolt at the subframe, the one at the trailing arm gives you heaps more leverage and is way easier to get back in
    Yeah i was thinking of going with the trailing arm-side LCA bolt, but wasnt sure if it'd be any easier. It wasnt hard at all to put back in the subframe-LCA bolt, so ended up doing it on both sides.

    Its alot easir putting the bolt back in with the konis, than trying to put the bolt back in with the stock suspension! the difference being the stock suspension pushes down at full droop still, while with the koni's, the springs arnt exerting any force at full droop. I know how much of an utter bitch that bolt can be with stock suspension!

    Ill add your recomendation into the DIY though, cheers!

    Quote Originally Posted by string View Post
    Also I agree you're way of disassembling the stock strut was madness.
    Pure madness, pure utter madness it was I truly dont recomend it at all, you could screw shit up very easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by string View Post
    Best to just stick it on the floor against a box, have someone stand on it and just undo it with your eyes closed. Stock springs in the last bits of compression have nowhere near as much energy stored in them as people make out. Spring compressors make baby jesus cry.
    That was my origional plan, until i got the unit out. I tried compressing it with my weight. It wouldnt budge at all even under an estimated 40kg of force.

    The thought that the spring was pushing up on the top hat with a minium of 40kg force scared me a little, that nut top nut would fly! So as you can see, i pussied out hard, and went all ghetto with the jack lol. Luckily for me it went nice and smoothly

    Quote Originally Posted by string View Post
    Looking good.
    Quote Originally Posted by mrwillz View Post
    nice write up
    enjoyed that

    nice asr brace too *yoink*
    Thanks guys

    Unfortunatly at the moment i have a broken hub stud in the front (long story), so havnt pushed the setup hard yet I should be getting it fixed this weekend so am dying to go out and have some fun and test it out properly, so far it feels absolutly awsome
    Last edited by Muzz; 20-07-2007 at 05:05 PM.
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  8. #8
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    If i can find some free time this weekend ill be doing the write-up for the front suspension
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  9. #9
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    nice write up muzz interested to see your review.
    '96 EK4 > '99 EM1 > '06 GD3 > '04 CL9 > '00 DC2R > '99 EM1!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by misteR_bilzz View Post
    nice write up muzz interested to see your review.
    Unfortunatly it might be another week or so before i can do a proper review

    There has been a very very slight squeak coming from the rear over the last 2-3 weeks when going over speed bumps. With the new suspension the noise has increased 10 fold. A quick check has revealed a cracked trailing arm bushing.

    I need to replace the bushings and get a wheel alignment first

    EDIT, DIY updated with front install!
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  11. #11
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    update pls !
    CEE CEE DUB U

  12. #12
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    1990 honda integra
    This is by far the best quality price performance kit hands down.
    The guys winning races in the states all use this kit.
    I wonder how soft those rates feel.
    I think a thread should be started on spring rate Front rear, shocks used and comfort.
    Makes you think they charge us $1100 here but you can get em for around $450 US in the states.
    You just gotta try harder in the rear.....i am
    Keep us posted.....im jelous

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