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780 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following guide was written after installing suspension on an 89 CRX, 91 civic, 95 civic and 97 civic, so should cover fitting for all models from 88-00, as far as i know there are no major differences between each model. Also i don't accept responsibility for DIY installation.

Please excuse the grammar as I'm only an engineering student, not English student :cool:

14, 17, 19mm sockets
14, 17, 19mm spanners
wire brush
spring compressors

Note: wiggle is an engineering term do not confuse it with a pole-dancing move!! :'(


Jack the car up and securely fit the axle stands, away from the wishbones so they don't hinder the work required.

Remove the wheel

Find the two bolts that will be removed, the first is the one that connects the fork to the bottom of the damper, spray plenty of WD-40 on here. The second bolt connects the fork to the lower wishbone, this fork travels either side of the drive shaft and is approx 8 inches long, so very easy to find. Make sure you get plenty of lube on each end of this bolt.

Using the 17mm socket and spanner undo the lower of these two bolts, you may need to use your foot as they will be stiff, don't worry about using too much force as they wont brake, they will probably be a bit rusty inside. Having undone it, use the punch and hammer to tap this bolt out, don't worry if you get the punch stuck in the hole, it will wiggle free eventually.

Using the 14mm socket undo the second bolt, this will need to be pulled out, and has a captive nut so no need to worry about the other end. Now wiggle the fork until it falls off the damper, you may need to tap it with a hammer if its quite rusty.

Remove the fork.

If the brake pipe is connected to the damper at any point, remove this now as it could get damaged if left connected. To do this just remove the 10mm bolts and it will hang in the air.

Now undo the two nuts in the engine bay (near the strut brace) and watch your feet as the old strut falls to the floor. Simple!

Fitting is the backward version of removal. Make sure you wire brush and clean the bolts unless replacing them with new ones. Here is a helper for locating the fork correctly, slide the fork onto the damper (when the damper has been bolted into the top of the strut), then locate it onto the wishbone, fit the wishbone bolt but don't do it up. then using your knees lift the wishbone up until the fork sits flush to the lip on the damper, then locate the upper bolt. Don't fit this bolt before hand as it locks the damper in place!! If the bolt is difficult to get in then the damper is not in place and you may need to jack the wishbone up to get it to locate correctly.


The back is even more simple, then the front. Having jacked the car up and secured her on an axel stand, remove the wheel. If you look at the damper it is connected to the top of the strut and the lower control arm (LCA) which connects the wheel hub to the chassis. The damper should have a fork that goes either side of the LCA.

Let this bolt soak in plenty of WD-40 for 5 minutes as they have a tendency of snapping if not. Undo this bolt and retract it.

Now push down on the hub and lift the fork over the LCA so it is sat to one side.

Again if there are bolts securing the brake hose to damper undo thee so the hose stands free.

Remove the two nuts that secure the top of the damper to the strut. Found inside the boot behind the plastic side trims, usually have a small plastic panel to remove in front of them.

The damper will fall out.

Again fitting is the reverse of removal.

Spring removal/fitting

The following is only necessary if fitting uprated springs, or complete units that don't have the correct Honda Top hats.

Having removed the unit, loosen the large nut on the top of the damper, DON'T remove it as it will cause huge damage to you or anything near, just loosen it. :(

Using the spring compressors, compress the spring evenly, with one on each side of the spring. Compress it until the tophat is free from the spring.

Now remove the large nut on the top, there may be another one below, if so remove this as well, so that you can remove the top hat. Make sure to lie these out in the correct order so they go back together correctly.

Carefully unwind the compressors and remove them from the spring.

If fitting a lowering spring, put it onto the damper the correct way up and fit the top hat and secure it with the nuts, these often don't need to be compressed due to the length of them, they are shorter then normal springs.

If fitting a spring and damper kit then you may need to compress the spring to fit the top hat. Make sure to secure the top hat firmly before releasing the spring compressors.

They we go, there isn't much more to it! :D just make sure to do all the bolts up tight as they are rather important!!

Suspension information
Coilovers- these are the best/most adjustable suspension you can get, they can come in variants of one, two and three way adjustable, this just means how many things you can adjust to suit your driving, height, rebound, damping rate.

Sports kit- these are racing dampers and springs, these can have adjustable dampers which makes them more versatile.

Lowering springs- these are just springs that you replace the standard ones with, the cheapest way to lower your car. they are an affordable way of enhancing your handling, but don't go too low as you dampers won't be able to cope.

Coilover springs- DON'T TOUCH!! :( these are often the cheapest upgrades available but they are universal and aren't matched to your car, so will give bouncy handling and may make your car handle worse then before.

I have tried all the above and coilovers are the best, with coil springs being the worse!!

Good luck.

And here is the completed product:

Bloody hell that's long!! :$

But is should be OK, even for the novice!

780 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
back bolts, which ones??

rubber bits??

ahh do you mean holding the brake caliper on? if so they have little plastic caps in the ends, which you can pop out with a small screw driver (these are the bolts that hold the caliper onto the hanger)

15 Posts
crxhugh said:
negative camber = good

positive camber = bad

there you go alec all done :D
Dont forget to take it to a garage anyway unless you have an uber expensive laser alignment kit sat around. (Or pikey up some string) If not, say goodbye to your tyres and mpg as i found out :S

1,513 Posts
camber?? isnt the suspension on the ek special so that the wheel doesnt camber as much under compression

the wishbone at the bottom and the bar/wishbone at the top. as in 4 pivots.


the diagram shows the normal wishbone and the top wishbone that has a hole for the shock to poke through.
surely the wheel stays a lot more square on the road under compression. rather than with a normal mcpherson single wishbone where the wheel will increase camber considerably under compression.


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