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Old 05-04-2015, 11:45 AM   #1
Dijie
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Default Honda aluminum lower control arms and classing clarification

I'm going for STS classing with the '95 Integra GSR.

So I can't really make up my mind on what the SCCA classing rules mean for the replacement Honda aluminum lower control arms. I'm talking about these: http://image.superstreetonline.com/f...control-arm-17

Under section 14.8.H.1 it says:
H. Camber kits (also known as camber compensators) may be installed. These kits consist of either adjustable length arms or arm mounts (including ball joints) that provide a lateral adjustment to the effective length of a control arm. Alignment outside the factory specifications is allowed. The following restrictions apply:
1. On double/unequal arm (e.g., wishbone, multi-link) suspensions, only the upper arms OR lower arms may be modified or replaced, but not both. Non-integral longitudinal arms that primarily control fore/aft wheel movement (e.g., trailing arm(s) or link(s) of a multi-link suspension) may not be replaced, changed, or modified.

Most (if not all) aftermarket lower control arms do not change any suspension geometry and wouldn't affect my camber. However, the aftermarket arms are obviously modified, providing a lighter arm and multiple sway bar attachment points. (Multiple sway bar attachments points appear to be legal under 14.7, correct me if I'm wrong.)

I know the general rule of thumb with SCCA rules is: If the rules specifically say that you can change the part, then it's ok. If the rules say nothing about it, then don't touch it.

I am assuming the following: Since the rules do not mention anything about allowing ALL suspension changes until SM, that would mean that the aluminum Honda lower control arm replacements would put me in SM. (Section 16.1.E - "Suspension components are unrestricted as long as they use the original attachment points.")

I'm looking for confirmation on my assumption.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:03 PM   #2
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Good question some of those rules are stated in a difficult manner.

For STS you can change either the lower or the upper control arm to a non-stock adjustable one (only one additional form of camber adjustment allowed) but not both. So long as you retain the stock mounting point.

Most people with hondas in STS opt for the adjustable lower control arm in the rear.
Some hondas have extreme amounts of camber in this class (especially front), so don't be afraid to do what you can to get it where you want it.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:46 PM   #3
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Sts has got to be a crazy tough class nowdays with the miata and civics all playing together. I'd almost say hell with it and just go sm since gonna be so hard to place against miatas and civics.
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:47 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, guys!

I just wanted some aluminum lower control arms so that I could fit in with the rest of the cool Honda kids. *sad face*

Haha! :-P

Those arms do give some advantage, but I am far from being able to use what advantages they give. The stock arms are perfectly fine for now. I'm going to give all of my suspension bits new hardened rubber bushings so this will make for some nice handling improvements. It's getting a bigger rear sway, too.

I'm definitely going with camber kits front and rear as I will be going lower, at least one inch. I'm getting a Ground Control coilover kit and I need to give them a call today to figure out what I want for custom spring rates and drop.

I drove all last year on stock hardware. It was miserable! So much body roll! But on the other hand, I now know what I want and need to do to improve handling. I think "baby steps" is good for me. There will be enough changes for me to get used to. Staying STS keeps me from making too many changes at once. Plus my budget is happy that I'm not going SM. I don't know that I could resist a carbon fiber hood and a Type R wing replacement. *grin*

I agree, it's going to be hard to be competitive with the Miatas (darn those awesome cars!) If I wouldn't have biffed a few cones at WIR, I would have been much higher ranked - I was driving STS in the MR2 that day. You know, I really can't win either way... stay stock, be frustrated with my car all year, and get trounced by Ben's Fiesta ST in HS or go STS and get trounced by Miata's. I think I have a better chance against the Miatas. *sigh* Haha!

If I like the direction that my car is going in after these changes, then a move to SM will be in the cards. I just don't need to be buying all the spherical bearings, carbon fiber pieces, and aero kits off the bat. I'd probably ruin my car because I would go waaaay too far with it. STS limits me to sane levels of changes. :-)
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:21 AM   #5
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Do one change at a time to see the improvements and do some fine tuning. Sometimes they aren't improvements, but when modifying a car there is a lot to be learned.
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Old 05-05-2015, 10:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hille View Post
Do one change at a time to see the improvements and do some fine tuning. Sometimes they aren't improvements, but when modifying a car there is a lot to be learned.
I'm with you there. My focus is suspension/handling improvements. My OEM bushings are dry and cracking, so new bushings are a must. I run full poly on my Saturn wagon and I like the way it stiffened up and I like the way it rides, so I have a pretty good idea of what I'm getting into there.

I'm most looking forward to trying out stiffer springs. I found out the stock rear springs are 95 lbs/in! No wonder I have such terrible body roll! (For comparison, the stock Type R rear spring is 250 lbs/in.)

Stiffer springs and a slightly lower center of gravity sound really good to me. I can see rolling around on that combo for a week or two to get used to it, do an autox, then add the bigger sway bar to the mix.
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:06 PM   #7
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Imo a stock gsr could do well in stock class. I don't see a reason that a gsr couldn't run with fiesta. I would have started with bushings and went from there. I watched your car at lapping day and it seemed like something just wasn't right about your suspension.
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Old 05-05-2015, 03:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plainrt View Post
Imo a stock gsr could do well in stock class. I don't see a reason that a gsr couldn't run with fiesta. I would have started with bushings and went from there. I watched your car at lapping day and it seemed like something just wasn't right about your suspension.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on what wasn't quite right about the suspension. Every bit of information helps me.

Austin and I would laugh over the pictures he took of my car on the track with the massive wheel gap from all that body roll. Funny, yes... not so funny when it's frustrating as hell to drive at the limit.

I replaced the stock shocks with Koni Yellows last fall and it made a HUGE difference. So what you saw at US Air was an improvement over last year! Pretty sad... I do need to run a better set of tires than the BF Goodrich Sport Comp 2's. They are a great street tire and I would buy them again for street use, no hesitation. But they were really bad for autox/HPDE use.

I'm going to hold off on the Ground Control coilovers for now. I'll give just the new bushings a try first. I already ordered the sway bar and subframe plate. Frankly, I'm looking forward to playing around with that!

I still think the stock rear spring rates are waaaaay too soft. My buddy Andy has a stock 2000 Celica GTS and his spring rates are 136f/168r. I think Honda did the 200f/95r spring rates to make the car safer on the road for all drivers. Make it an understeer pig so the kids don't kill themselves when they hit the VTEC on a cold, rainy night. :P

My car is very low miles, but it's 20 years old. Sometimes age does weird things to cars. Ask me about how I disassembled and reassembled my axles to replace the CV boots because they split open 2 weeks into ownership. Ugh, what a mess... Thankfully that's the worst I've had to contend with so far. The upcoming bushing replacement may rival that, though. At least there won't be horribly smelly grease involved!
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Old 05-05-2015, 05:01 PM   #9
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You haven't smelled anything horrible that compares to having to burn out old bushings that will be putting up one hell of a fight.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:45 PM   #10
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LOL Tom! When I did my wagon's bushings, we had one hell of a BBQ. :-D

I was really grateful to have a friend with a proper oxy/acetylene torch that day.
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