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EG/EK and DC2 Camber Kit Install

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Old 12-03-2005, 06:35 PM
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EG/EK and DC2 Camber Kit Install

Civic/Integra Camber Kit Install

If your Civic is lowered, buy a camber kit. I know people try to do things on the cheap, but your suspension is one area you should never cut corners on (no pun intended). If you choose not to install a camber kit and lower your car, you are disrupting the vehicle balance as intended by Honda. Some people feel this is a benefit with negative camber (the upper portion of the tire tucked inwards) as it allows them to drop the car even more than usual without rubbing and what they feel to be "better turn in." Changes that are not intentional and not calibrated are never recommended. Sure, race cars run negative camber for better turn in, but at the expense of their tires. I don't know a single race car that uses the same set of tires for an entire race, let alone an entire week. I doubt any one of us has that kind of money. If you do, it's still not a good idea to go without a camber kit. Your straight line acceleration is affected as is your braking distance. Both areas are diminished because negative camber lessens the amount of tire (contact patch) that touches the ground. Less tire = less acceleration. Less tire = longer braking dinstances. These examples, of course, don't even begin to cover the "twitchiness" or vague steering you can encounter with por alignment setings.

With that introduction, I will not recommend any one camber kit over another. I myself am running an SPC camber kit for both my front and rear, but there have been improvements since I purchased mine. In this installation you will see that the camber kit also has caster adjustment which mine did not offer. Also, some basic camber kits may not offer this. I firmly believe it is worth it to buy a reputable camber kit that does offer caster adjustment. When all is said and done with my car and I have upgraded everything I want, I will revisit my suspension and purchase a new front kit like the one detailed below. This installation is for the 1996-2000 Civic chasis, but at the end I will include information regarding the same procedure on an EG or DC2 chasis.

Recommended tools:
Impact gun with 17mm and 14mm impact grade sockets
14mm wrench
Hammer (bigger than a claw hammer but smaller than a sledge - we use one we call Thor)
Two adjustable wrenches that will open to at least 22mm

Recommended extras:
2 cotter pins in case yours aren't included
2 rear upper control arm outer bolts

Assuming you have raised the car off the ground and removed the wheels, I will jump into the important matters. All of your suspension will be worn. I highly recommend air tools, a torch (for heating not cutting) and extra OE suspension bolts just in case. I always have extra lower control arm bolts on hand as they are generally long enough and strong enough to be used anywhere in the suspension.

The first step in removing the front upper control arm is to remove the cotter pin from the castle nut. Easy and done - you may have to use a new cotter pin as they are usually rusted and difficult to straighten completely.

Next, loosen the 14mm nut holding the ball joint to the steering knuckle, but do not remove it completely. Once it is loosened, use your hammer against the back edge of the steering knuckle (facing the rear of the car). A couple of good solid whacks with a medium sized hammer and the ball joint should free itself from the steering knuckle seat. I advise: NEVER strike the ball joint directly. Even a couple of mild hits and it will collapse on itself ruining the threads and any chance of reusing/reselling it. Once the ball joint has freed itself, finish removing the nut. You left it on to make sure the control arm didn't go flying into your fender or the steering knuckle to fall outward and pull the axle with it.

After that, start removing the 14mm bolts holding the front upper control arm (UCA) to the shock tower. For an EK, they are on the sides of the shock tower. You may have to remove the batery for easier access to the passenger's side and loosen and shift the clutch resevoir (if applicable) for easier access to the driver's side.

With that, the UCA is free to be removed. It may be a tight fit to wiggle it out of place, but those are the only three areas that need to be addressed before removing it. As a general rule, the front suspension is rarely siezed and everything should come out smoothly. You will reuse the bolts holding the UCA to the shock tower, so clean any rust or debris off and coat the threads with Anti-Seize.

After removing the stock UCA, compare it to the camber kit awaiting installation. In order to keep your car safe before you get it aligned, try to match the ball joint location on the camber kit to the stock ball joint location (camber and caster). You will still need to get the car professionally aliged afterwards, but having it set to stock specs is much safer than random settings. As always, make sure everything is tight (torqued to manufacturer's specs) before installing the camber kit on your car.

Installation is the reverse of removal. I start by putting the inner portion of the camber kit in first, get the bolts threaded in, then get the ball joint nut started. Finish torquing the bolts to Honda specifications, then reinstall the cotter pin. The cotter pin should go in between the grooves of the "castle nut" to ensure it cannot spin and loosen itself. Congratulations, the front is done.

The rear have just as many things to loosen, but will always take twice as long (at least) as the front. Expect everything to go wrong here just so you won't be disappointed. Actually, removing the inner bolts holding the rear UCA to the body won't be ifficult, but save those for last.

Start by trying to impact the rear UCA outermost bolt out of the trailing arm. DO NOT use a breaker bar or you will snap the head of the bolt off faster than you can say "I wish I went to Honda and got new bolts already." An impact gun will not break the bolt, but depending on how seized it is, it may not loosen it either. Here's where the torch comes in. Heat the head of the bolt until it is RED hot but be careful not to touch it. Try impacting the bolt out. If it comes out freely, terrific. I not, try tightening and loosening the bolt a little at a time. Sometimes the force going both directions is enough to start movement and get the bolt out. In the case it brings the bushing with it and begins to seperate the trailing arm, cut the bolt and use the new ones you're glad you already bought. Once the outer bolt is removed, take out the bolts mounting the UCA to the body. These will come out with little or no resistance.

Just as you did with the front, compare the mounting points of the stock rear UCA and the camber kit to get close to the factory settings. You'll want the car to be as safe as possible while you're driving it to get it aligned. Once it's set, lock it down with the two adjustable wrenches. You'll have to be careful as one side of the camber kit will be "reverse threaded" meaning tightening is to the left. Don't worry, only one side of each camber arm will be like this.

After you have it close to factory spec, installation is the reverse of removal. Don't tighten the inner bolts completely yet. You'll want a littl play as you line the outer mounting point up. Torque the bolts to Honda specs and celebrate a job well done. Remount your wheels and drive it to get it aligned as soon as possible. Because you used your eyeballed factory settings, they will be out of whack. Save ourself the headache and start this project ONLY IF you are sure you can get the car aligned right after. If that means saving up money for an extra couple of weeks or not starting it until the weekend when the alignment place is available, so be it.

EG and DC2 owners:

Get preapred for a more involved procedure.

The rear is identical in practice regardless of the differences in control arm length, but the front presents a unique experience. First, the UCA mounting bolts are actually nuts. The studs will stay attatched to the UCA as you remove it. However, the shock should also be removed to make things easier. Connecting the two mountng points on the EG and DC2 UCA is a metal band that unfortunately runs behind the shock. In order to get it out and the new kit installed, it is required to remove the shock assembly. Fear not, though. It is an easy procedure and also presents the idea of doing both the lowering and the camber kit installation at the same time.

Loosen the two 14mm shock mounting nuts from the top of the shock tower, but do not remove. Next, remove the 14mm bolt from the upper portion of the shock fork or the 17mm nut and bolt from the lower portion. You can remove the whole assembly from the LCA if it's easier and it just might be safer as you don't run the risk of stripping out the shock fork. Do only one as your preference decides. With the shock removed, finish removing the UCA nuts from inside the engine bay to remove the UCA. Re-installation is the reverse of removal but might prove to be a cumbersome task of balancing the shock while aligning all the nuts and studs. This is just another reason why EK hatches own.

Last edited by phunhaus; 12-04-2005 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 12-05-2005, 03:39 PM
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damn another nice write up
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:37 PM
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this is one write up that needs to be seen, bump
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:15 AM
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very nice thread.it helped me out alot.just what i was looking for.
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camber, dc2, eg or ek, install, kit

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