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Old 29th June 2009, 23:10   #1
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Talking My OHC VTEC - Lowered, Stiffened, FFE'd and Now with ITBs!!

Multiple posts...

Always felt that the OHC could do with better handling. Fixing the floaty feeling at triple-digit speeds, reducing body roll and fixing the uninspiring handling were a bigger priority than increasing power. After all, what good is power without control?

The thread created here (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...igh-speed.html) was instrumental in guiding me in the proper direction. Lots of stuff was discussed. Strut braces, coilovers, aftermarket springs, stiffened shocks and even aerodynamic wings (by me only! )

After calculating my budget, options, others' opinions and experiences from other people who had taken the jump, it was decided to get stiffened shocks and aftermarket springs. The other option was Hotbits coilovers, but the cost was prohibitive and they were an overkill for street driving. Options available for aftermarket springs were Pedders and Eibach.

After a talk with Viper, it was decided that OEM shocks would be stiffened, and springs would be changed to Eibach Pro-kit. The car keys were left at his office sometime last week with the following things in mind: Stiffen OEM shocks and put new springs. A little while later, he called to inform me that my car had the following problems: VTEC wasn't working. AC wasn't working. Silencer had totally rusted. Oil leak from/around the engine.

I had noticed that lately, I didn't feel the kick that's usually felt with VTEC. Didn't think about it most of the time since the regular cam profile was enough to beat other cars. The VTEC problem was traced to the VTEC solenoid being choked up, requiring cleaning. Oil leak was traced to a faulty O-ring from somewhere around the engine and was replaced. Since the silencer had totally rusted and I had a few green colored papers with Gandhiji's photo to spare, I decided to go for an FFE.

The AC problem was first diagnosed as a missing AC belt. Upon examining it further, it was discovered that the idler pulley was nowhere to be seen. This, incidentally, happened on the way to Viper's office when I redlined at Marine Drive. The vibration, and perhaps a loose idler pulley, resulted in a grinding sound from under the hood. This was the idler pulley disintegrating and falling off the car ...
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Old 29th June 2009, 23:18   #2
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Default The Four Seasons Story

Eibach springs had been chosen and the same were to be procured from Four Seasons in Tardeo, Mumbai. I had earlier contacted Methods, Bangalore and a Ramesh Kumar had given me a Mr. Reza's (Four Seasons) number and told me to call him for the springs. I called him in the evening and he told me he was out of town. I got a Lalit's number from him and was assured that he'd take care of my springs business. Called this Lalit a few minutes later. He told me that he was currently out and couldn't check if they had the springs in stock or not. He told me he'd call me the next morning about them.

With no call the next day, I called him in the evening, only to be told that he'd call me back in a few minutes, then being ignored and my calls not picked up. Didn't think much about it then. The next day, I called Lalit and he told me that Reza would take care of this once he was in town in a couple of days.

All this time, the rest of the work on the car was done and the stiffened shocks were lying, ready to be put on the car. With parking space a scarcity in South Mumbai, it was decided that I'd pick up my car and get it back when I had the springs with me. The stiffened shocks were left at the garage.

Reza then came back and told me that I had to wait for a couple of days since they didn't have the springs in stock and he'd have to order them from Methods. Was promised that the springs would be with me on the 22nd. On the day, I learned that the truck carrying the springs was supposedly stopped at the Karnataka border due to missing/problematic paperwork. The next date given to me was the 25th. Called Reza. And surprise! He didn't pick up my calls. 10 of them. Sent stinking emails to Eibach Germany and Ramesh at Methods. Within a few hours, got a call from Reza saying that he had been in a bike accident and couldn't fetch the springs. He'd be sending the springs the next day.

Next day, same issue. He was at a doctor's clinic/hospital and a woman picked up his phone. Frustrated beyond belief, I sent another email to Ramesh. He then replied back saying that the springs would be delivered on the 26th. Then got an SMS from Reza asking for my address. Finally got them on the 26th at 4pm. The order was placed on 14th of June. The springs were air-freighted to Mumbai. This, after being told that they were stuck at Karnataka en-route to Mumbai on a truck...
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Old 29th June 2009, 23:33   #3
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Finally headed back to Viper to get the springs and shocks fitted. 26th, being a Saturday, and me reaching at ~2pm, there was no way the work would be finished before today. Left the car and headed home in a train, hoping that I'd get the car on Monday. And so I did. Reached the garage at 5pm and found my car being taken for a test. Waited for a couple of minutes and the car turned up. And it was low. Very low... Alignment was remaining so I was advised to not manhandle the car. On the way home, and the few minutes that I got a chance to upshift from 1st gear, I found that the ride had become quite quite stiffer. Body roll was gone. The ride was much more planted. The feel of the car had changed completely.

The FFE was custom-made by Viper Performance and is a 4x2x1 configuration. Was advised against 4x1 since I wasn't into drags and the low-end torque would be lower than stock. The sound is bassy upto around 2k RPM. After that, it opens up and is quite loud. Video and sound-clip of the exhaust will be uploaded tomorrow. The low & mid range torque has gone up noticeably. And with VTEC fixed, the top end is back to its own violent self. Cruising in 4th gear at speeds of around 20kph is possible and the car pulls cleanly when throttle is applied. Once in the optimum powerband at/after 3-3.5k, the car sprints faster and the tacho needle climbs higher faster than before and without any unease or blip in torque. Redlining a VTEC has never been so much fun for me.

Exemplary service by Viper and thoroughly shoddy and lethargic service by Four Seasons. I'd like to thank all the people who contributed in the other thread. All inputs were valuable in helping me choose this path. Money well spent on a car I love so much. Special thanks to Jitu and Jignesh/Viper for answering 3*10^238756 questions of mine. The second stage of mods on this car are now quite clear to me and should hopefully be done in the coming few months...

Will post a better review of the suspension once I've got the alignment done and done a few kms. Better pics will also come tomorrow morning.
Attached Thumbnails
My OHC VTEC - Lowered, Stiffened, FFE'd and Now with ITBs!!-06292009004.jpg  


Last edited by pranavt : 29th June 2009 at 23:37.
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Old 29th June 2009, 23:55   #4
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The experience you've posted with sourcing springs is typical of accessory/parts vendors in India. The biggest problem is that there's a very large gap in what they advertize and what they actually stock at any time. And to make matters worse, their distribution network is amongst the most unprofessional/shady.

Switching over to the suspension job- how much has the ride height dropped by? And do you find it streetable ?
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Old 30th June 2009, 00:01   #5
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Yes, very streetable. The ride-height has dropped by about 1.5" at the front and 1.2" at the back. I'll take measurements tomorrow morning and report back with ride-height and ground-clearance. If anyone could post ride-height and ground-clearance of a stock suspension'd OHC, all the better.
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Old 30th June 2009, 00:01   #6
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Congratulations bro. Its strange for FOUR SEASONS to act that way. Ive always heard of them to be always up to the mark. Good Service etc.
VTEC not working. Ive not heard that before. But your lucky it got fixed so easily.
Idler pulley. Could you explain more on this.
Eibach springs are these stiff too..?? You also mentioned your car is very very low now. That means these are lowering springs. Why when the city is anyways so low.
Could we get a break-up of your suspension set up.
Apart from this do you plan on using Strut braces too or are you happy with the handling.
On our roads stiffened shocks. We want a review on this.

ITS TIME FOR A MUMBAI TRACK DAY!

Now that your car is done. You could join us for the drive next sunday.
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Old 30th June 2009, 00:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danlalan View Post
Congratulations bro. Its strange for FOUR SEASONS to act that way. Ive always heard of them to be always up to the mark. Good Service etc.
Search for Four Seasons on the forum. Many others have had problems with them. That was one point which I used when dealing with FS and Methods.

Quote:
VTEC not working. Ive not heard that before. But your lucky it got fixed so easily.
Viper says it's not uncommon to have a choked up solenoid. Not very common, but you never know what the car has been through before you bought it.

Quote:
Idler pulley. Could you explain more on this.
When servicing the car at Solitaire Honda, I had asked for new AC and timing belts. They told me they had re-torqued the belts and they didn't need replacement. Perhaps they left the idler pulley loose and didn't tighten the nuts properly after working with the belts. The sound that I heard was scary. And to hear it when redlining, even more so. I didn't have the balls to open the hood, fearing something much more catastrophic. But since the car behaved exactly the same, I forgot about it.

Quote:
Eibach springs are these stiff too..?? You also mentioned your car is very very low now. That means these are lowering springs. Why when the city is anyways so low.
Progressive. Stiffer by about 30%. Lower by about 1.2-1.5 inches. Lowering the car wasn't important or even thought of. It's just a consequence of buying stiffer springs like these. Pedders lower the car too.

Quote:
Could we get a break-up of your suspension set up.
14.6k for the springs. Not to mention, doing business with Four Seasons. Not clarified with Jignesh about the cost breakup yet, a couple grand are still to be paid since we didn't meet today.

Quote:
Apart from this do you plan on using Strut braces too or are you happy with the handling.
On the agenda, yes. Might get them fitted for a test, then decide. More interested in an anti-roll bar, though that will have to be custom-made.

Quote:
On our roads stiffened shocks. We want a review on this.
Just did a sober 15km drive. You will feel the bumps on the road a bit more than stock suspension setup. But the feel is much better and firm. And loads of fun when cornering. Still need to do a proper run with them after alignment though, since that should give more confidence to push harder.

Quote:
ITS TIME FOR A MUMBAI TRACK DAY!

Now that your car is done. You could join us for the drive next sunday.
Mumbai track day eh? Driving 3-4 hours to a track sounds fun
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Old 30th June 2009, 01:35   #8
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what is stiffening of the shocks?
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Old 30th June 2009, 02:28   #9
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Read the thread I've linked to in the first post...
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Old 30th June 2009, 05:03   #10
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Finally alls well that ends well you should say!!!!
Wrong things are people seldom come our way but they make us more tough and hard-hitting to get what we aim for.

Cheers for the job done...cant wait to see ur ride!!

As for the Track day...you can drag start at the innagural of the Bandra-Worli Sealink bridge today....kidding!!
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Old 30th June 2009, 10:51   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunilb View Post
Finally alls well that ends well you should say!!!!
Wrong things are people seldom come our way but they make us more tough and hard-hitting to get what we aim for.
Oh, I'm very good at forcing people to do work...

Quote:
Cheers for the job done...cant wait to see ur ride!!

As for the Track day...you can drag start at the innagural of the Bandra-Worli Sealink bridge today....kidding!!
Thank you. Perhaps all us BHPians can go there and claim that we've been sent by the developer/architech to test out the grip of the road and stuff and do a few races there.
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Old 30th June 2009, 16:21   #12
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Nice report. Great to hear that you're satisfied with the results. Do update us after a highway drive.

1. How exactly are standard shocks stiffened? What is the procedure, and the pros / cons (broadly)?

2.
Quote:
The ride-height has dropped by about 1.5" at the front and 1.2" at the back.
Whoa! That's a substantial amount. Don't the wheels touch? I'd be surprised if she doesn't scrape even more than before.
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Old 30th June 2009, 18:14   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Nice report. Great to hear that you're satisfied with the results. Do update us after a highway drive.

1. How exactly are standard shocks stiffened? What is the procedure, and the pros / cons (broadly)?

2. Whoa! That's a substantial amount. Don't the wheels touch? I'd be surprised if she doesn't scrape even more than before.
@1: AFAIK, the shocks are opened up, oil of a different viscosity put in place of the original oil and welded back. I'll update the thread in a couple of hours. Promise! Pros? Cheaper, with great results. You can reviatlize your old shocks since you don't need to buy new ones to do this. Perhaps Shan2nu who has also done this can contribute. Cons? Can't think of any. Don't know how reliable these will be, but I had a look at them today when one of the wheels was removed for puncture repair and the welds look fine and just like OEM condition.

@2: Doesn't scrape as much as you would normally assume. Since the suspension is stiffer, it doesn't compress a lot when you get inside the car. Some of the illegal big speed bumps will scrape the car but a light foot and a bit of care around those is enough. Plus, I drive alone, so the car doesn't go lower than it is already, owing to the stiffness.

By the way, got the alignment done and got a chance to flick the car around some turns on an empty back-road. The car feels very very planted, gives you confidence and urges you to push the car at triple-digit speeds even though your mind tells you otherwise. The damping is very good for Indian roads, better than what you'd expect with such stiffness. At the same time, body roll is gone. Love the way she handles

Last edited by pranavt : 30th June 2009 at 18:18.
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Old 30th June 2009, 18:48   #14
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The only issue with shocks done locally is that thy dont last long. So please keep an eye for oil leaks and such stuff. With stiffer springs you shocks will take quite a beating. Make a note on how long they last.

The drop is ok, you dont get any springs with less drop.
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Old 30th June 2009, 18:53   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
Yes, very streetable. The ride-height has dropped by about 1.5" at the front and 1.2" at the back.
Are you sure? I've got Eibach's on my OHC as well, AFAIK it's 30mm=1.2inch drop both front and rear.

And congratulations !! but do post better pics - looking forward to them!

Last edited by manveet : 30th June 2009 at 18:54.
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