2002maniac
2002maniac Reader
9/17/09 1:36 p.m.

So I have a '97 Accord coupe with the non-vtec 4cyl and 5-spd.

It is a great car, but extremely boring to drive. Massive body roll, no cornering feel whatsoever. The understeer is a joke.

What should I do to make it more exciting without sacrificing too much comfort?

Here's what I'm thinking: Koni sports and sport springs from nuespeed. Swaybar? Decent tires.

Will I be able to fit 225/50/15 tires on OE 15x6.5 wheels without rubbing?

I know konis are awesome, but are there any other struts close to the same performance/quality level? AGX maybe?

Thanks guys!

Travis_K
Travis_K HalfDork
9/17/09 1:59 p.m.

Id get bilstien struts if you can still get them for it. I just checked tirerack and they still list H&R springs that only lower the car 3/4 inch, id get those if they still have any. Lowering springs kinda suck on cars with struts, they rarely have enough suspension travel once they are lowered. For tires, maybe some BFG G-force sports in 205/50-15 might be nice.

Salanis
Salanis SuperDork
9/17/09 5:13 p.m.

I say that "fun" is less in the car, and more in how you use it. Take it to an auto-x or rally-x, and go nuts.

Tires/wheels are always the best upgrade. Grippy tires and light wheels. 225/50/15 should fit the wheel wells, although a bit wide for 6.5" wheels. Rubbing will more likely be a factor of wheel offset.

Probably though, you'll need to replace shocks. Sway bars are a great upgrade that will make the car corner flatter, without making it more "harsh" on the street.

As for exactly what springs and shocks, that's going to depend on what you decide you're going to use the car for.

Sonic
Sonic Dork
9/17/09 5:15 p.m.

Handling recipe for Hondas: Koni sports, Ground Control coilovers, 22mm rear sway bar, mix, bake, eat.

If you can't swing Konis, go with Tokikos, I never knew anyone who had the AGXs that was satisfied. Ever.

Neuspeed sports are still fairly soft. For a small amount more you can get the GCs and better rates and the ability to cornerweight to get the handling that much better.

2002maniac
2002maniac Reader
9/17/09 6:38 p.m.

This is a daily driver only so I definitely don't want anything too stiff.

I already have a race car.

I just want to be able to push on-ramps and canyons with a bit more confidence.

I'm now on the lookout for aftermarket 15x7 wheels that have a stockish look to them. The last thing I want is to look like a ricer!

Thanks for the advice!

gamby
gamby SuperDork
9/17/09 6:45 p.m.
Sonic wrote: If you can't swing Konis, go with Tokikos, I never knew anyone who had the AGXs that was satisfied. Ever.

Did you mean "dissatisfied?"

Anyway, I'll vouch for the Koni Sport/Neuspeed (sofsport) spring combo. I've had this on my 99 Civic Si for 8 years or so (Sonic put 'em in).

Ride is firm but not jarring. Very little body roll. The setup works great for auto-x and I'm not longing for anything better.

Ride height was able to go pretty low because the Konis for that model Civic had adjustable spring perches (2 heights up front and 3 heights out back).

I can honestly say that the Konis were the best thing I did to that car--and it has a catalog of nice mods on it. They transform a car.

H&R used to manufacture springs for Neuspeed--I don't think they do anymore. The H&R version is almost definitely worthwhile.

Sonic
Sonic Dork
9/17/09 7:03 p.m.

In reply to gamby:

No, I meant what I said. Nobody ever liked the AGXs, always wished they had Konis...People you know, too: Max, Keith, JoeR, etc. They can handle stock springs on a Honda, but not really any more. Once you get Konis, you never get another set of shocks ever again.

2002maniac
2002maniac Reader
9/17/09 7:17 p.m.
gamby wrote: H&R used to manufacture springs for Neuspeed--I don't think they do anymore. The H&R version is almost definitely worthwhile.

Interesting. Both H&R sports and the Neuspeed sports list the same lowering amount (1.75/1.5). I wonder if they're still the same.

Neuspeed does have the best deal on konis and aparrently the ones they sell are different than the standard koni sport. More perch locations and a shorter piston for restored wheel travel.

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter HalfDork
9/17/09 9:21 p.m.

Well, I guess I get to be the one that has to say it.

You can always sell it and buy something else.

Tyler H
Tyler H Dork
9/17/09 9:58 p.m.

I had a 94 EX 5spd and it was a great car. Fun to drive. Sold it to a buddy, and it is still going strong with 325k miles on the orignal engine, transmission and clutch. (!)

I say H22 swap. Mild suspension upgrades...spring/adjustable strut combo with an adjustable rear sway bar. Good rubber on stock rims.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
9/18/09 6:23 a.m.

I'll be the voice of reason.

How about sell it and buy something that is actually fun to drive, like a BMW? For the money you're going to spend polishing that...car, you could upgrade to a better product that will perform the same daily functions. I know, not an exciting response, but my 30-ish years of messing with cars have taught me that sometimes you just need to buy better tools.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla HalfDork
9/18/09 7:19 a.m.

^ Why? So he can spend triple on repairs?

H&R's and Koni's. You will be happy. Try stepping up to a larger rear sway bar as well. Your 97 accord and my 02 Elantra are very close in size and weight. The Elantra loves a 19-22mm rear bar, H&R's and 225 width tires.

HeavyDuty
HeavyDuty Reader
9/18/09 8:17 a.m.

At times I miss my h22 cb7. For a daily I'd keep the Accord tranny otherwise long highway trips can get annoying. At this point the bushing probably could be replaced and Poly sets shouldn't be that bad - I think for mine they were like $200.

I had D2's on mine and I thought it rode great compared to what I took off, which at this point I don't even remember what that was.

I agree with Bobzilla - it's a freaking Honda and it doesn't really take that much money to make it an entertaining enough car and still have the ridiculous reliability of a Honda. A set of wheels and tires, minor suspension upgrades and he'll be fine. Not really any different than what a BMW in the price range of a 97 Accord would need.

SkinnyG
SkinnyG Reader
9/18/09 9:51 a.m.

This accord is local to me - it's kind of fun:

http://www.3geez.com/forum/showthread.php?s=d36dc82ece118fdaff779e4eb1cffcad&t=64572

gamby
gamby SuperDork
9/18/09 6:07 p.m.
Sonic wrote: In reply to gamby: No, I meant what I said. Nobody ever liked the AGXs, always wished they had Konis...People you know, too: Max, Keith, JoeR, etc. They can handle stock springs on a Honda, but not really any more. Once you get Konis, you never get another set of shocks ever again.

Huh. I thought Max like his AGX's. Oh well--moot point to me, since both cars are sitting on Koni Yellows.

To OP--a bigger rear sway will also do wonders for the balance of the car. Why you'd want to explore the limits of a car's handling on the streets is ponderous to me, but that's another topic.

Just do some research about whether or not a larger bar will tear out your subframe. It happens on Civics and Integras, but I don't know about accords of that vintage.

xci_ed6
xci_ed6 Reader
9/18/09 6:35 p.m.

On my '00 accord, the recipe was H&R 'Race' on stock struts, 205 rear/215 front tires. The springs handle fine on the stock struts, it rides almost like stock, and the tires cleaned up the understeer almost perfectly, w/o making the ride more harsh.

digdug18
digdug18 New Reader
9/18/09 11:40 p.m.

From my experience with honda's and acura's, watch out with the rear sway bar, not only is tearout a problem, but as well that the car gets somewhat dangerous in wet or icy weather. They tend to turn/corner/flip alot easier if your not careful in upgrading the rear sway bar. If your not tracking the car, I would strongly recommend that you stick to either a stock rear sway bar or only a R or S series bar's from japan. Some of the eibach bars are too big for the car to remain streetable. As for what strut to go with, go with and adjustable coil over, if you look around you can find a complete set for $600, ksports or something like that. They aren't going to be as good as the koni yellows on the track, but then again, you can dial back the setting and raise the car's height on those long journeys. If your looking for performance, just drop a turbo on there and call it a day, junkyardturbo.com i think it is, or backyardturbo.com. You'll be able to live at a healthy 350hp without doing any major damage to your engine, for $800 or so.

Andrew

2002maniac
2002maniac Reader
9/19/09 12:06 a.m.

My wife thinks the answer is Miata

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
9/19/09 4:46 a.m.
ddavidv wrote: I'll be the voice of reason. How about sell it and buy something that is actually fun to drive, like a BMW? For the money you're going to spend polishing that...car, you could upgrade to a better product that will perform the same daily functions. I know, not an exciting response, but my 30-ish years of messing with cars have taught me that sometimes you just need to buy better tools.

did you mean to post this in the P71 thread?

ErinS
ErinS New Reader
9/19/09 6:45 p.m.

There, I made a fun accord. Go buy it.

confuZion3
confuZion3 SuperDork
9/19/09 6:57 p.m.

Sell it and buy one of those ^^^^^ thingeys.

Otherwise, the shocks, springs, tires, etc. could make things fun. And you'd still have the practicality (not a word I'm really familiar with) of the Honda coupled with is reliability (again, um, not a word I've been acquainted with lately... stupid electrical issues).

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