The stock suspension in the EP3 Type R is actually already pretty good – firm, responsive and well balanced. Having clocked in a 1:10.6 time at Wakefield with the stock suspension, it was time to step up the game and tweak the suspension with a set of Hardrace H-S Coilovers.
The install is actually very straight forward but without the right tools it’s going to give you plenty of grief!
Time: 3-6 hours
Technical Difficulty: Easy
Profanity Level: Medium to High to Extreme
Special Tools Required: Tie rod puller
- Jack the car onto jack stands depending on which end you want to start with first. I started with the rear.
- There’s just one big 19mm bolt at the bottom to unscrew. The thread is part of the subframe so it’s pretty easy to unscrew.
- The bolt won’t come out completely as there’ll be pressure pushing down from the top. Hammer it out with a punch or screwdriver. Be wary that the suspension will extend/droop.
- Undo 2 X 14mm top bolts.
- The strut will still be held on at the base, use a flathead screwdriver to pry the bottom from the subframe and wiggle it out.
- Install new coilover (check which side is which) and bolt up the 2 x 14mm top bolts, not full tight as yet.
- The bottom bolt hole will most likely not line up so either adjust the coilover height or compress the unit. I did the latter with the trolley jack and socket extension. Install the 19mm bolt when possible and fully tighten.
- Repeat for the other side.
- Drop the rear and now fully tighten the top 2 x 14mm bolts.
- Jack the front of the car onto jack stands.
- Unbolt the 10mm and 12mm brake lines from the existing strut.
- Because of the unique design for the EP3 and DC5 Type R models, Honda decided to add a bit of headache by attaching the tie rod to the strut.
- Remove the clip by pliers or whatever means works for you, just don’t mangle it as it’ll need to go back in later.
- Unbolt the 14mm tie rod bolt and using a tie rod puller, pop out that sucker. Better to do it now when strut is the strut is still bolted in so there is no movement. And yes you have to use plenty of force for it to pop out… at times the puller itself looked like it was going to pop.
- WD40 the hell out of the two big bottom bolts, you’re going to need all the help you can get. Bolt side the socket size is 19mm whilst nut end it is 22mm. Try to break either end but be cautious not to round the edges. If the nut is just spinning dial a friend as you’ll need a breaker bar each side (it’s what I did for one side). Hammer out the bolts.
- With a trolley jack underneath to support the hub (as it will drop), unbolt the top 3 x 14mm bolts and maneuver the old unit out.
- Maneuver in the new coilover and tighten the top bolts.
- Using the trolley jack, raise/lower the hub to line up the two big bolt holes and fully install and tighten.
- Time for that pesky tie road again! You can only tighten the bolt so much before it keeps spinning, there needs to be force pushing down from the top so you can fully tighten this.
I used chocks of wood on top and jacked up the hub from the bottom which put the pressure on the joint to stop the spinning and fully tightened the nut. Re-insert the clip too.
- Install the 10mm and 12mm brake lines on the corresponding places on the strut.
- If you’re confident everything is on securely, put the wheels back on and drop the car and fully tighten the top strut nuts and you’re done!
- Well not quite, get a wheel alignment! Chances are though you won’t be able to dial in that much camber due to the funky tie rod design on the EP3 and DC5’s. You will need to get a shorter tie rod if you’re planning to run more than -2 degrees camber.
Might need to let the car settle for an hour or so and see what the height is and adjust accordingly via the collars or base height adjustment, will take a while to get it right!
Then after a wheel alignment it’s time to hit the track! Or the next Stance meet…