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Old 26th December 2012, 15:24   #1
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Default Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

I have a Civic which is 2 years and 10 months old. It was being used by my dad from the day it was bought till June 2012. I of course have driven it extensively in this period but couldnt call it MY car until June of 2012.

For the last 2+ years, the car has had amazing ride comfort. The only issue has been ground clearance. It gets worse when the car is loaded. The suspension bottoms out and doesn’t absorb the bumps well. With 4 or 5 people in the car, the thuds are very loud and easily identifiable inside the cabin.

I took possession of the car in June and the first thing on my list was the suspension. The Civic has a couple of flaws like a lethargic engine, but the suspension was most important to me.

Didn’t do too much research as a couple of good friends mentioned the Tein suspension and after reading up on it, decided to go for it. Special mention to Arush of Autopsyche, Delhi who gave me the final push. His strong recommendation was the turning point and I decided to get it done on my return to B’lore.

Came back, went to Red Rooster Performance, met Mr. Leelakrishnan and had a chat with him. He put me in touch with others from RRP and after finalising with Mr. Sudhir, I went to RRP one fine day and left my car.

I opted for the Tein superstreet with the EDFC. The EDFC is a very expensive piece of kit for what seems simple but I was very keen to have it. Keeping the suspension at only one setting for all situations would have not made much sense so even though the EDFC was 30k or so I decided I had to have it.

EDFC is an acronym for Electronic Damping Force Controller(AFAIK). It is basically a small box which sits inside the car, below the steering wheel. It comes with an on/off button. Then there are 2 sets of up/down arrow keys which are used to adjust the front and rear suspensions separately. You can have one setting for the fronts and another for the rears. Then there are three buttons marked P1, P2 and P3. These are preset settings. I normally keep P1 as 0-0 (0 for front and 0 for rear) which is the stiffest setting. P3 is 16-16, the softest. P2 is somewhere in between and I keep changing P2 as and when I want to. So, at the push of one button, I can set my car’s suspension to my requirement.

Went back after 2 days or so and picked it up. Sudhir and another technician came with me on a short drive around RRP to show me the way the suspension works. After a quick demo where I could feel the difference between the softest and the stiffest settings on the Tein, I drove back home. Left whitefield around 6:00 pm and due to the painful peak hour traffic, I reached home only at 8:00pm without having actually tested the suspension. My initialy feel was that the softest setting was quite stiff. Car was not absorbing the bumps as nicely as the stock suspension.

Since that day, I’ve driven the car extensively. I think I’ve covered about 6k kms over all types of roads. National highways, State highways, city roads, good city roads, terrible city roads and some really bad broken kuccha roads.

My opinion:

Initially I felt the softest setting was bad. It was quite noisy and I wasn’t really comfortably. Every pothole or speedbreaker made itself known with a thud inside the cabin. I resigned myself to the fact that the suspension isn’t meant to be used in the softest setting. Most of the time, I am alone in the car and the ride was noticeably stiffer. After I got the suspension changed, I continued using the Conti CPC2s for a couple of days. I find that the suspension is very sensitive to tyre pressures. RRP told me to use 28psi in all 4 tyres and I found that was the best for ride comfort. Even 1-2 psi above that and I could feel the difference.

I changed the tyres a couple of days later to the Michelin Primacy LCs. Went from 205/65-15 CPC2 to 195/65-15 Primacy LC.

The ride comfort was my only sore point. I lost the butter smooth ride of the Civic and every time I drove my dad’s Civic(which has a stock suspension), I wished I could have the cake and eat it too.

However, this story takes a very interesting turn. I sent my car for a service at 48,500+ kms on December 24th. The SA called me up and told me that the last service had been done at 35k kms and the 40k kms service was still due which is important as many things are changed at that point. (This happened due to the change in ownership and a little confusion between my dad and me. The last service was done in March at 35k kms. Since then, the car has done 13k+ kms which sort went unnoticed by us.) I told him to go ahead and do it and a few hours later he called me back to say that one engine mount had got spoilt and he had to replace it. He said it would cost me 8k but later on got it done under warranty.

After this, the car just glides over bumps and potholes at the softest setting. I have driven the car for just 20kms or so since this service, but I am absolutely ecstatic. The thuds and other noises, which annoyed me so much when the suspension was at it’s softest, have disappeared. This makes me think that the engine mount was spoilt for a long time and we never noticed it or thought about it. This is where I would give some negative points about RRP. They should have noticed it. The car was with them for more than 2 days and the engine mount had such a bad impact on their own product and installation.

Now, my car feels like a stock Civic at the softest setting.

The biggest biggest advantage (till I got the engine mount changed) was the ride comfort at full load. I normally keep the suspension at the stiffest setting when I have 4 or 5 people in the car and if it feels a little hard, I soften it a little. But with 5 people in the city, the car is just awesome! The car which earlier used to thud and crash and bottom out over every single pothole or speedbreaker with 4 people now just glides over everything Bangalore can throw at it. And yes, the scraping over speedbreakers has reduced by 70% at least.

This suspension has basically changed the entire character of the car.

Handling:

Inspite of the body roll and soft suspension, the Civic was a very good handling car. Now, it’s even better! The steering clearly firms up when the suspension is stiffened and the car is sharper and more agile than before. I especially noticed this on my drive from Pune to Bangalore when we encountered some ghat sections outside Pune. The car also requires marginally less steering input while taking corners or turns and feels quicker.

Body roll has disappeared. The simplest way of testing this is to wildly swing the steering wheel from side to side on an empty road(like how they show in Hindi movie chase scenes) at speeds of 30kmph at different suspension settings. At the softest settings, the body roll was quite evident and the steering also felt a little light and vague. At the stiffest setting, it felt like a sports car! Yes, I exaggerate, but having spent over a lakh of rupees, please allow me to indulge!


I haven’t had an opportunity to take it to track yet but from what I can make out on the road, the handling has improved by leaps and bounds. The car is also more stable at high speed. At speeds of above 120, the steering would lighten up and it was a little scary as I didn’t feel as connected to the road as I felt at 80kmph. But now, with the suspension towards the stiffer side, that vagueness has gone. It may appear at a higher speed than 160kmph ot so but I have not experienced it yet.

Cost: The retail price is 1.4 lakhs for the Tein Super Street with EDFC. I got a small discount from RRP. Yes, it’s ridiculously expensive. People tell me all sorts of things. “You could have bought a Tata Nano, you could have bought 2 bikes, you could have bought an R15, etc…etc…”. With due respect to all of them, I would like to say that this is worth it. It transformed my car. I enjoy the butter smooth ride comfort and also the razor sharp handling(didn’t I say I’m allowed to indulge in my use of superlatives?) when I need it. My car doesn’t scrape over the speed breakers you see in Bangalore. Most of the speedbreakers are dispatched without a second thought. My instincts are still a little conservative and I cringe when I see a big hump but my car doesn’t even touch. At full load, I do scrape some big speedbreakers but not like earlier where it used to feel like I was excavating the road beneath.

If you have a Civic which is having a mid-life crisis(or you might be having one!), do consider this. Engine mods can wait. They don’t add much anyway. The R18 engine is not detuned for India so engine remaps, CAI, air filters and exhausts can only do so much. This suspension upgrade is highly recommended from me.

My research into various mods for the Civic’s engine reveals this: The only thing worth doing for the engine is to TC it. If that is too much, get a free flow exhaust to improve the low end. Anything else is not going to change your car drastically.

Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 28th December 2012 at 09:11.
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Old 28th December 2012, 10:08   #2
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Default re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

going live

If you can add some pics of the console switch and installation if possible, it will help

Thanks for sharing
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Old 28th December 2012, 10:23   #3
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Default re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

Nikhil how does the electronic damper control work? Is it magnetic or hydraulic?

Also, along with engine mount, was the strut mount changed as well? The engine mount problem in teh Civic is normal but I have not heard of it directly impacting ride and suspension. The strut mounts may have been changed causing the discernible difference to be felt.
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Old 28th December 2012, 11:54   #4
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Default re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

These are the pics.


Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic-img_2076.jpg

Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic-img_2074.jpg

Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic-img_2059.jpg

Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic-img_2056.jpg

The EDFC is a clear-ish pic. It was taken with a flash at night soon after I started driving back from RRP.

The others are just random pics of the suspension strut.

@Viddy - Dont know if they have changed the strut mounting. Didnt check that on the bill. Will check next week as I have already submitted the bill to my office.
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Old 28th December 2012, 12:21   #5
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Default re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

Hi,

Interesting mod! A few questions:
1. The damping controller adjusts rebound or compression damping?
2. The springs seem to have been changed as well. are they stiffer than stock?
3. As the controller only adjusts the damping, and not spring rates, is the rear suspension still kind of bottoming out under full load when the car is stationary? ( as with the stock civic springs)
4. I assume the springs must be stiffer- is the ride quality stiffer than a stock civic at the softest setting?

Happy Adjustable driving!
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Old 28th December 2012, 13:34   #6
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Default Re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhawcash View Post
Hi,

Interesting mod! A few questions:
1. The damping controller adjusts rebound or compression damping?
2. The springs seem to have been changed as well. are they stiffer than stock?
3. As the controller only adjusts the damping, and not spring rates, is the rear suspension still kind of bottoming out under full load when the car is stationary? ( as with the stock civic springs)
4. I assume the springs must be stiffer- is the ride quality stiffer than a stock civic at the softest setting?

Happy Adjustable driving!
Woahhhh! Too many technical questions! My brain just shut down.

Let me have lunch and get back to you!
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Old 28th December 2012, 13:42   #7
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Default Re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

Congrats Nikhil! Many thanks for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
This makes me think that the engine mount was spoilt for a long time and we never noticed it or thought about it.
The engine mounts wouldn't affect ride comfort. You've probably gotten used to the stiffer ride (happens over time).

Quote:
Inspite of the body roll and soft suspension, the Civic was a very good handling car. Now, itís even better!
Quote:
Body roll has disappeared. The simplest way of testing this is to wildly swing the steering wheel from side to side on an empty road(like how they show in Hindi movie chase scenes) at speeds of 30kmph at different suspension settings.
Quote:
I havenít had an opportunity to take it to track yet but from what I can make out on the road, the handling has improved by leaps and bounds. The car is also more stable at high speed.
Can just imagine the fun you had on your Bangalore-Pune trip with the enhanced dynamics.

The best thing about the Civic is the mod-friendly nature of the car. A couple of slap-on mods and the car becomes just so much fun to drive. Going by your report, the Tein super-street appears to offer a great setup. But I'm going the Koni + stock springs way. Akshay1234 says his Accord with Konis is as stable as the Laura vRS at high speed and that's saying a lot! It's much cheaper & I have an allergy to additional electronics.

How is the handling on bad roads? Some stiff after-market suspensions offer poorer (than stock) grip on bad roads because they aren't able to damp & keep the wheel planted on the uneven road.

Quote:
They donít add much anyway. The R18 engine is not detuned for India so engine remaps, CAI, air filters and exhausts can only do so much.
You can get 10 - 20 horsepower & better low end torque . My cars going in for another modification soon. Wait for the thread.

You should really get the exhaust & intake that I have. They'll transform the low - mid range behaviour.

Quote:
My research into various mods for the Civicís engine reveals this: The only thing worth doing for the engine is to TC it.
I have the car ready & the money. What I don't have is a tuner who can give me reliability. Period. And you really can't have an unreliable Honda, even if it's turbo-charged.

Congrats again & happy driving!
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Old 28th December 2012, 14:27   #8
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Default Re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhawcash View Post
Hi,

Interesting mod! A few questions:
1. The damping controller adjusts rebound or compression damping?
2. The springs seem to have been changed as well. are they stiffer than stock?
3. As the controller only adjusts the damping, and not spring rates, is the rear suspension still kind of bottoming out under full load when the car is stationary? ( as with the stock civic springs)
4. I assume the springs must be stiffer- is the ride quality stiffer than a stock civic at the softest setting?

Happy Adjustable driving!
1. No idea whatsoever.

2. Springs are not stiffer than stock.

3. Yes. If the suspension is at the softest setting and I start loading up the car, I can see the rear start to sag. If I stiffen it up before I start loading, the effect is reduced but is still visible.

4. Ride quality at softest setting is equal to the ride quality of the OEM Civic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The engine mounts wouldn't affect ride comfort. You've probably gotten used to the stiffer ride (happens over time).
No. We have 2 Civics in our house and after back to back drives I was convinced that my car with Teins was stiffer at the softest setting but after having the car serviced and doing some back to back testing with the stock Civic, I can safely assure you that the ride comfort on softest = ride comfort on stock Civic.

As Viddy said maybe the strut mount was also changed. Dont know. Will look at the detailed break up of the bill and post back here.

The Konis will also be damn good. My main reason for the Teins was that I wanted to retain the ride comfort. I may be a TBHPian and call myself an enthusiast, but deep inside me is an old man who wants a comfortable car over city roads! :P

Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 28th December 2012 at 14:28.
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Old 28th December 2012, 15:00   #9
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Default Re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

Quote:
.... after back to back drives I was convinced that my car with Teins was stiffer at the softest setting but after having the car serviced and doing some back to back testing with the stock Civic, I can safely assure you that the ride comfort on softest = ride comfort on stock Civic.
Turns out like most mechanical bits, Hydraulic dampers have a break in period. so maybe they loosened up after a while.

Also, you have spring preload adjustments to play with!
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Old 28th December 2012, 15:02   #10
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Default Re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

Lovely reading your experiences with new suspensions, as a fellow Civic owner i can relate to most of the stuff.

I had seen these suspensions earlier on a Fortuner and thought they were a waste of money, obviously the guy did not like the Fortuner's suspensions and had these installed and few months later wanted to sell the car. My reaction was "What a waste of money". Thankfully now i get the benefits of having something like this at least in Civic. Whats happens to the warrenty? Might wanna get this done once i am out of it.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 20:16   #11
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Default Re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

Entire Honda range in India suffers from the same malice of soft suspension. Any idea if this mod can be done for a Honda City too?
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Old 2nd January 2013, 20:45   #12
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Default Re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

The busted engine mount would have increased engine vibrations and overall vibrations and noise when hitting a bad patch/pothole. A fully worn out mount would mean your engine is similar to being directly mounted onto the chassis, probably why you felt a lot of difference with the new mount. Though I'm a little puzzled that the difference was that drastic and affected overall ride quality. You should have asked somebody sitting in the rear seat about the before/after. They probably would not have experienced as much of a difference as you did, in the drivers seat.

All said and done, for Indian roads this is the best MOD for a daily-drive civic, and though we pay a premium compared to the US, it is totally worth it. Also, the dampers can be re-configured, so it is akin to a lifetime warranty I guess. Congratulations and enjoy the ride.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 20:48   #13
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Default Re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
I told him to go ahead and do it and a few hours later he called me back to say that one engine mount had got spoilt and he had to replace it. He said it would cost me 8k but later on got it done under warranty.
I believe engine mount problems are quite commonplace, caused primarily due to the bad roads we have to drive on- most of the time anyway. The ASC changed my engine mount, I think, around the 40k Km mark. He gave me the mount back, it had completely worn off So your experience is definitely not an anomaly.

The drive improved significantly after that........

Cheers.
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Old 3rd January 2013, 09:33   #14
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Default Re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

Good mod and good review put up. Thanks.

My cousin replaced stock suspension with Teins on his Fortuner and swers by it. He says that the ride has changed for good and it is money well spent. He was very happy going by road from Bangalore to Cochin for Christmas. He hardly drives the car, but enjoys the ride.

Any idea if it is universal and a straight fit for all cars?
Would the ride comfort improve for a stiff suspension car like the Fiesta Calssic?
How much did you end up paying for it?
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Old 3rd January 2013, 11:46   #15
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Default Re: Tein Super-Street suspension with EDFC for the Honda Civic

Good mod. i too considered Teins for my car. But it looks too expensive given the amount of driving I do. Most probably I will go for Koni FSDs with stock spring.
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