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hello everyone, before *attempting* this DIY (at your own risk) you must have already completely the “ DIY: Front Sway Bar Removal - (warning picture heavy) “. The reason for removing the front sway bar is that 8[SUP]th[/SUP] generation civics did not come with a factory front sway bar, therefore the suspension from an 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen will not have the mounting brackets for the end links (which would connect the OEM shock to the actual sway bar). Once the front sway bar removal is complete, the coilover installation is pretty straight forward if you’ve done it before. If you have never installed coilovers before it is much easier then installing lowering springs, which would involve the use of a spring compressor to fit your new lowering springs onto your OEM shock assembly.


Disclaimer - Please read this, it saves my ass from any trouble and explains the context of the DIY
This is a step by step process on how I successfully installed 8[SUP]th[/SUP] generation coilovers on a 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen civic. This “DIY” (do-it-yourself) is a detailed explanation on how I did it, MYSELF.
I do not take any responsibility for potential actions performed due to this write up. If you decide that you have learned enough, have enough experience, and have the proper tools to do this install…..your are doing so at YOUR OWN RISK. This DIY will be written in first person (as myself) or in the third person (One must, one may, one should…..). Sometimes I will say “you can, try this…, get someone to, etc.” but that will only be for basic tasks, tasks that I know you cannot screw up on or break anything if you *attempt this DIY* at your own risk.




Pre- DIY **Notes** (Including safety) - PLEASE READ ALL before starting:

- When using jack stands, always insure the car is on a levelled flat surface. At times, one may be working underneath the car, within the trunk compartment and within the wheel well area. It is very important that the car is levelled because I have personally witnessed a car being dropped on the floor. All it takes is a little push or force (will be using a crow bar in this DIY) + uneven work space for a cars weight distribution to instantly be transferred and a scary unsafe situation arises….

- When removing the front coils and rear springs, one MUST use a jack to support the lower control arm.

-If the car has a locking lug nut set, please retrieve the locking nut key in the glove box and/or trunk prior to starting any steps.

- The car should be parked in an area with good lighting and possibly some cover just in case of bad weather (if work is done outside)

- Before jacking up the car (with the key in the ignition), roll down both front windows, fully open sunroof, open trunk and pop the hood. Later in the DIY, it is necessary to place the key in the accessory position (to unlock steering wheel) and turn the steering wheel all the way to the left/right. If you remove the key, you might have to open the door and step back into the car to find the slot. I would advise to keep the key in the ignition, but not on accessory that way you don’t kill the battery.

(While completing the installation, the car will either be on a hoist or on 4 jack stands. One should never enter a car while on a hydraulic hoist OR jack stands for obvious safety reasons. By popping the hood, opening the trunk and rolling down the front windows AT THE START….one will have access to the entire car without ever opening up a door. )


- Turn off the car, apply the emergency hand brake and put the car into gear.




DIY: 8[SUP]th[/SUP]gen coilovers Installed on 9[SUP]th[/SUP]gen Civic SI


Step 1. Start off by going into your glove box and retrieving your owner’s manual. Search through your manual and locate the designated jacking points. On the side of the car (where the side skirts are normally located) you will find the 2 jacking points. The rear jack point is about 1 foot before the rear wheel well and the front jack point is about ½ foot after the front wheel well. You may be able to use the tow hooks as a jacking point (explained bellow) but you still need to learn the location of the side frame jacking points because that is where you will be placing your jack stands….

**Side note about using tow hooks for jack points:
One can always jack up their car using the tow hooks, but depending on what kind of jack stands and floor jack you are using, this may not raise the car up enough to slide the jack stands underneath the side of the car. Looking at the front of the car (laying on the floor obviously) you will be able to see the two front tow hooks. They are located just in front of the wheels and slightly towards the center of the car. They are simply a looped black metal bar about 1.5-2” big. You can place your jack on each of these two tow hooks to lift up each side of the car one at a time. The rear tow hook location is obvious; it’s underneath the rear bumper directly in the middle of the car (and should be in plain view). Since the front has two tow hooks that are located more towards the wheel and the side of the car, when jacking up from those points the side of the car is able to lift up to a good height. Now, since the rear tow hook is placed in the middle of the rear and farther away from the side frame rails, when jacking up from the rear you will most likely not achieve the height necessary to slide the jacks underneath the rear side of the car.

I found a picture of the big jack (it’s actually huge) and it’s on the front drivers side tow hook.
I did not use the tow hook as jack points, I just forgot that I took this picture to show people.





Step 2. Now, actually jack up the car (however you choose) and place the 4 jack stands in the location shown in the manual as the jacking points.

I decided to use monster truck jacks (just kidding) because it gave me more space to work under and around the car.




Step 3. Use a 19mm socket to remove your lugs nuts from your wheels. The rear wheels should not move and should be locked up, this is because your applied the emergency hand brake. The front wheels will start to spin when you go to remove your lug nuts. I have a very detailed explanation about tranny lock and how to remove your front lugs successfully in my “ DIY: Front Sway Bar Removal - (warning picture heavy) “ thread. Basically, when you spin one of your wheels towards the front of the car, the other wheel will travel in the opposite direction towards the back of the car (this is the tranny lock when our 9[SUP]th[/SUP]’s are in gear). Either ask someone to assist you and hold onto the rim while you loosen/break the lug nuts free, or just try and do it yourself.






Step 4. Once all of lugs nuts have been removed, you can remove the wheel and place it off to the side. Do this for all 4 wheels at the same time




Step 5. Now that the car is on a hoist or 4 jack stands and we have removed the wheels, you can begin to dismantle the plastic wiper housing. This will allow access to the 3 bolts that are securing the front coilover in place.

Begin by removing the rounded plastic cap on the start of the wiper arm. I don’t have pictures of this round cap, but you simply use a flat head screw driver and lift it off. Once removed, it will reveal one nut that holds the wiper arm in place. (Same procedure for the other side)






Step 6. BEFORE removing the nut, either take a picture of the wiper position or mark the glass with a piece of tape. The bolt that the wiper arm sits around is similar to a gear. The wiper sits at a certain resting position and once you apply the wiper switch the gear rotates and moves the wiper. When you go back and install your wiper, you won’t know how far up or down the regular position was unless you looking at another 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen civic.

It would also be a good idea to note which wiper arm was left and which arm was right. It saves some time figuring things out when you start to wrap up your install. (Same procedure for the other side)







Step 7. I would recommend threading the wiper nut back onto the bolt, just because it won’t get misplaced later on. Now we need to remove that flat round plastic cap. If you look closely there is a small opening for a flat head screw driver to tuck inside. Do not attempt to pry it off from one of the clean edges (you will scratch, bend and possibly crack this piece. It’s also $5 to replace from Honda). Using the proper sized flat head and a little bit of pressure, pop the flat plastic piece up and out.
(Same procedure for the other side)






Step 8. At this point, you hood should have been already popped (from the Pre-DIY) but not open. Now open your hood and locate the plastic trim piece that runs along the side of your fender. This piece goes from the washer fluid container area, all the way along the side the fender and up to the plastic cowl we are trying to remove. At the top of the ‘side’ plastic, there is a plastic push clip that secures it and the cowl to the car. We need to remove this clip in order to free the cowl and allows us to have more room when working is such a tight area. There are “special” tools we use a Honda to remove these clips and it definitely comes in handy if you own one. If not, then you can simply use a small flat head screw driver, or a mini pick. ( Same procedure on both sides)

Here is the tool im referring to. It slide right underneath the plastic clip and provides even pressure all the way around the lift the clip out of place. With a screw driver or pick, you might break some of those plastic clips but it very common and always happens.



The third and fourth one work the best if you do not have the clip removing tool ^^




Here is after the plastic clip removed





Step 9. In this step one of the pictures turned out really bad so I decided to delete it. It was the picture of the piece you need to remove….i only got a decent picture on the location where it was removed from.

It’s a rectangular piece that sits directly to the right of the wiper nut (in terms of the picture). It held on by little plastic clips and it’s very easy to remove. Just grab the piece and give it a little tug, it should just pull right off. ( Same procedure on both sides)






Step 10. . The curved plastic piece that sits on top of the wiper nut area must be removed. Again, this is very simple. This piece doesn’t have any plastic clips that get removed or securely ‘click’ into anything, it just has several pieces of rectangular plastic that tucks into the pillar and into the other side of the plastic cowl.

Begin by grabbing the plastic portion that is closest to the fender. You can see in the picture it is held together by two rectangular tabs. Push the plastic cowl towards the center of the car (DO NOT pull it directly up) and it should unclip fairly easy. ( Same procedure on both sides)






Step 11. Once the push the plastic cowl towards the center of the car, it should look like the picture above ^^^. The other side of this plastic piece is just tabs also, and once you’ve unclipped the fender side, you can simply lift the plastic cowl out. ( Same on both sides)





Here is a better view from the top…





Step 12. The main purpose of removing the plastic cowl pieces is to gain access to the nuts that hold the front coilovers in place. One of the three coilover nuts is picture below. It is located directly down and to the left of the wiper gear and nut.





Step 13. The second nut for the coilover is located directly down the circle hole in the cowl. Early one of the steps was to remove this round flat plastic piece with a screw driver.





Step 14 . The last and final (3[SUP]rd[/SUP]) nut that hold the front coilover is located in plain view. If you go back to step 8, we removed that clip that held on the ‘side’ plastic piece to the regular plastic cowl. The last and final nut is located directly behind that area.






Step 15. At this stage, the process of removing the OEM suspension and installing the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen coils actually begin. As stated in the disclaimer, am I not responsible for any actions performed whether directly stated or implied due to this ‘DIY’. From this step forward i will only speak in first person (as myself) or in third person (one may, one should, one could). I will not state (you should, your* car, etc.)

- step 15. When viewing the wheel well area, the end links should not be present. They were removed in my “DIY: Front Sway Bar Removal – (warning picture heavy) “ . All that is left in order to remove the front OEM shock assembly is the 3 nuts at the top of the coil (which mount through the body and are located under the plastic cowl) and 2 large strut bolts, located behind the rotor area.

During the actual removal of the 2 strut bolts I used an air impact gun. For the purpose of taking pictures and showing the location of the bolts I used a wrench for demonstration. The wrench is on the upper strut bolt and the second strut bolt is located about 3 inches directly down.






Step 16. One must remove the small plastic clip that holds the ABS line to the OEM shock. It is very important that one pays close attention to not damage, kink or tug on the ABS line….it is sensitive.
One can use their fingers or needle nose pliers (carefully) to squeeze the inside tabs of the ABS clip in order to let it slide out of the mount bracket. It is also important to not damage this clip because it is re-used to clip in the ABS line to the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen coilovers.





Here’s a nice picture of the ABS click removed, the ABS clip bracket that one must reach behind to squeeze the 2 plastic tabs and the 2 large strut bolts that need to be removed


 

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Step 17. This ‘DIY’ is simply on how I removed my 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen suspension and installed 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen coilovers. It does not include steps on how to properly and safely set the spring pre-load, damper settings or camber adjustment. My 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen coilovers have been set to standard spring pre-load and my own damper settings (I only adjusted camber from the top mounts once they were full installed).






Step 18. BEFORE one can remove the strut bolts, one must place a jack underneath the lower control arm. The only thing that is holding the suspension assembly upright is the OEM shock and those 2 large strut bolts. If one attempts to remove the strut bolts without using a jack to support the lower control arm, it will put tremendous stress on the bolts and OEM shock bracket. It is even possibly to partially strip the threads because the bolts transfer the pressure and weight to the small threads of the bolt.

One must place a jack beneath the control arm and simply lift up the control a tiny bit (like 2-3 cm).

Sorry this is not a good picture of the jack, but it’s the only one that didn’t turn out really dark





Step 19. Once the ABS line clip has been removed, one can proceed to remove the upper strut bolt. Once I removed the upper strut bolt, I took the opportunity to remove the brake line bracket from the mount.

In this picture, locate the lower strut bolt (is half way unscrewed). Directly above the lower strut bolt is the bracket that the brake link bolts to. Directly to the right of the lower strut bolt is the brake line and the oval bracket that you must unscrew.






Step 20. Both strut bolts should be able to be removed quite easily once the bolts are broken free (sometimes its hard to first get it started, using an impact gun is key). If the bolts reach half way and they still seem to be struggling to loosen up, that means the jack is either too high up or not high enough. If the jack is too high then there will be pressure applied on the bolts upward and the strut housing will not allow the bolts to slide/loosen out nicely. If the control arm is not lifted enough by the jack, then the assembly will be pulling downwards on the bolts and same scenario will occur.

The main goal is to have the strut assembly and OEM shock ‘holes’ to line up nicely and allow the strut bolts to loosen up freely.
Here is a picture of both strut bolts removed and the jack is now lowered down a bit. One can notice that the standard position is pulling down, that is why the jack is used





Step 21. At this step, one can get their 8[SUP]th[/SUP] generation strut bolts ready. The 9[SUP]th[/SUP] generation strut bolts are 22mm, while the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] generation strut bolts are 17mm. This means that our regular 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen strut bolts will not fit through our 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen coilovers. One must go to Honda and purchase 4 front strut bolts and 4 front strut bolt NUTS. (the rear will be covered later).






Here is a picture of the comparison of the 22mm 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen bolts and the 17mm 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen bolts side by side





Step 22. At this step all that is left to remove the OEM shock assembly is the 3 nuts on the top of the body (under the plastic cowl).

I know for a fact that I took pictures of all the steps, but now that im double checking my memory card and my computer, I can’t find at least 7-10 pictures. I might have deleted them by accident when I was deleting useless pictures by the row on my computer. Sorry for the inconvenience of no pictures, but the steps are pretty straight forward…..

In order to remove the 3 nuts holding the top of the OEM shock assembly, one must use ratchet and remove the nuts. The task of removing the top nuts is a bit easier with the assistance of another person holding the OEM shock up, towards the body. That is so that when you loosen the top 3 nuts the OEM shock will not start to drop.


Step 33. Again, this is part of the pictures I must have lost, but very simply steps.

In the above step the top 3 OEM shock nuts were removed and now one may fully remove the shock assembly from the car. Removal of the 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen suspension is now complete

Step 34. The process of installing the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen coilovers is about to begin. One must use the assistance of another person to hold the coilover in place and upright. One can now re-install the top 3 shock nuts (located under the plastic cowl).


Step 35. Using the floor jack again, and keeping an eye on the strut holes of the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen coilovers, One must slowly begin to raise the jack until the holes from the assembly begin to match with the coilovers. This will allow the bolts to be screwed in by hand and then fully tightened using an air impact gun. (Basically the same process of removal, but in reverse)


Step 36. Install the two 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen strut bolts (17mm). One will not mistake the two bolts because the 22mm 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen bolts will not even fit inside the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen sleeve. Tighten the bolts using an air impact gun.
One may now reconnect the ABS line clip. On the Buddy Club N+, the bracket for the ABS line clip is on the opposite side. No worries, just make sure the ABS line runs behind the coils and clips into the bracket.





Step 37. Once the ABS line is tucked behind the coil (might not apply to all coils) and clipped in securely, one may go ahead and screw in the brake link bracket. The mounting position is the same on both 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen shock and Buddy Club 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen coils





Step 38. At this point in the ‘DIY’, the installation of the front coils are now complete. The rear strut and spring installation is a bit different…

Here is what it should look like when you remove the rear wheels





Step 39. Similar to the installation of the front coils, one must place a jack beneath the rear lower control arm to support it from dropping down. The front was only necessary to raise it a few cm’s but the rear must be raised a bit. When a car is lifted off the ground, the spring is no longer under compression and the control arms are pushed down by the spring. With the jack, once must raise the lower control so that the rotors and brake and sitting in the upright position.



Step 40. To remove the OEM strut, one must remove 1 lower bolt. The nut is welded on, so there is no need to worry about it. An impact gun can simply be used to remove the bolt (once the jack is placed underneath to realize the stress and pressure)

The bolt is located directly to the right of my brother’s finger tip.




Step 41. The trunk should already be open, if you read and followed the ‘Pre-DIY’. One must pull back the fabric trunk liner to access the top of the strut. The fabric liner is held in by a few plastic clips. It is possible to pull them out by hand, but using a small screw driver will save some time.

In order to remove the top nut that is pictured, one must use an air impact gun. If using a regular wrench or socket wrench, it will simply spin the strut around and around, accomplishing nothing.
Once the bottom bolt is removed (the previous step) and the nut located inside the trunk is removed….the strut can now be removed.

One can now lower the jack completely. It is time to remove the rear spring and slide out the strut. When I was removing the spring and strut, we first attempted someone putting downwards pressure the brake calliper and rotor while the other person removed the spring and strut…..but that didn’t work. The lower control arm needs to be significantly lower in order to remove the spring/strut.

One must use a crow bar for this step. One must place the far portion on the chassis and the middle portion on the lower control arm. By using the end closest to the person, apply significant weight downward which will cause the lower control arm to move down. While this is being down, one may ask another person to quickly remove the OEM spring and strut from the car.






Step 42. . One must take note the position of the rubber washers and rings that is located on the OEM strut. These will be re-used on the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen coilovers. Here is a picture of the spring removed (the strut was removed immediately after)




Step 43. At this step the OEM 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen rear suspension has been successfully removed.

The 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen civic springs have a small diameter at the top. If the larger 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen setup is installed without no new parts/changes, it would not sit snug and drivers would notice clunking and vibration in the rear.
The part needed to fit the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] generation coilovers is the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] generation rubber top hat. This part at Honda is called a “Rear rubber isolator” and costs around $18 each. One must purchase two of these parts and here is the part #: 52691-SNA-A01



Notice how the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen rubber isolator fits perfectly in the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen setup (makes sense right?)




Step 44. The inner portion of the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen rubber isolator has a little plastic piece that must be removed. Removing this inner plastic piece will allow the rear isolator to fit perfectly flat on our 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen chassis. I drove a month and half without it removed until I figured out it has shifted slightly due to this piece in the middle that does not allow it to sit perfectly flush

With a grinder, knife or saw…..remove the bottom portion of the rubber isolator. This will allow for the piece located in the center to fall right out. It is very difficult to simply remove the inner portion but much more effective to just cut the bottom out.






Step 45. The bottom of the old 9[SUP]th [/SUP]gen spring will have a round rubber piece threaded into it. One must this rubber piece by spinning it and re-install it onto the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen springs by the same method







Step 46. I removed the dust boot on my 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen coils to give them a good cleaning. I used a bench grinder with a wire brush wheel attachment. If access to a wire brush wheel is not available, one can simply us a wire brush and clean their threads by hand

Also, remember to apply anti-seize to all threads. This will allow for easy height and coil adjustment in the future!

 

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Step 47. Comparison of stock OEM ( HFP Si) 9[SUP]th[/SUP] gen suspension VS 8[SUP]th[/SUP] gen Buddy Club N+ coilover setup




Step 48. I don’t have any picture of installing the rear springs or struts, I apologize. The process if the same as the removal of OEM suspension but in reverse.

Here’s a quick re-cap in reverse:
- use a crow bar to put downwards pressure on the control arm, while doing so another person can slide in the near spring assembly
- one can use the same technique to then install the new strut
- one must make sure the rubber grommets and metal washers are re-used and place the same manner (for underneath the car, the rubber ‘icecream cone’ points up. In the trunk area, the top of the ‘icecream cone’ must point down)
- tighten the strut nut in the trunk area
- one must place a jack beneath the lower control arm and raise the jack until the holes the suspension assembly match with the hole of the strut
- re-install the rear strut bolt
- lower and remove the jack


Step 49. Congrats, you have reached the end of this ‘DIY’. Here is what the rear setup should look like







There it is son, we have successfully completed the “ DIY: Front Sway Bar Removal “ and now the “ DIY: 8[SUP]th[/SUP]gen coilovers on 9[SUP]th[/SUP]gen Civic Si “
I apologize in advanced for any confusion that I may cause due to those pictures I can’t find….

Thank you for your time, and your welcome!
 
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