Well, I guess I should, but I don't intend to be its full time wrench:
I just want to get the brace in this weekend.
Then sway bars from Intrax next week. Then maybe H&R OE Sport
springs, if need be.
I'm not trying to turn the thing into something it's not, I do need
to get it to turn in sharply and stop rolling over on its front tires
Do these things even have any front sway bar as stock (LX).
dude, you need to look at the oem equipment before installing
aftermarket stuff like that. these have sway bars as standard - and
honda know more about the roll characteristics of their vehicles than
some of these aftermarket monkeys and their "drill to fit" aftermarket kits.
as for springs, the ones you mention will lower you about 20mm. if you
want looks, most people won't notice 20mm. if you want handling, you're
better off spending the money on decent rubber. better yet, buy a civic
or integra - accords are too big heavy to be messing about with this stuff.
...If it does, they're made of linguini.
The car could be used to plow snow it understeers so poorly. Stiffer
sway bars will most dramatically lessen the plow with the least
increase in straightline ride harshness.
Honda didn't expect me to drive the thing 40miles a day.
I do not. I want it to stop understeering like a pig. I will
entertain any suggestions.
I think a 20mm reduction in cg and roll centers would do a world of
good, without costing me any tooth fillings over NYC highways.
They're only a consideration at this point anyway, after I stiffen the
chassis and tighten the roll characteristic.
And the last thing I need to do is scrape the crap out of even more
expensive tires: The thing corners on the outside front sidewall. I
can only imagine what it will be like with both tires working.
I had an Integra, 1992 3-foor LS 5-spd, from new for 13 years.
I still miss it.
This is now the horse I rode in on, my commuter for the next few
years, and it needs to be stiffer if I'm not to be miserable.
I thank you for your input.
buy why spend all this time and effort on an accord? get a prelude if
you want accord running gear.
is that a lot or a little for you? i drove 1000 miles this weekend with
my oe springed and sway-barred civic. would that be a problem for you?
then there's something wrong with your car. you need to examine the
bushings, the shocks, and most of all, steering geometry front and rear.
it's /very/ common for alignment shops to set with too much front
toe-in - it accelerates tire wear and makes the steering "easy".
1. if you can notice 20mm difference in ride height handling, god bless you.
2. if you think h&r oe sport springs, which are considerably stiffer at
the rear, are /not/ going to cost you fillings, god bless you.
get the alignment set right.
so why can't you commute in an integra? "2ner" parts are much more
for what it's worth, i've got several different civic sway bar sets in
my garage, and i've messed about with this stuff extensively. yes, sway
bars can be great, and by and large, i'm a supporter of their use. but
they definitely make for harsher straight line ride, and some of the
aftermarket stuff is garbage. most of the ricer kiddiez for example use
over-stiff rears and weak floppy fronts under the mis-impression that
the over-steer this causes allows them to corner faster. it doesn't -
particularly when it causes one of the rears to lift as you will see at
any race track where these kiddiez mess about on the weekends.
bottom line, use sway bars that are appropriate for the vehicle - this
means appropriate to the weight distribution front and rear, and which
match the springs. for an accord, this means either using sway bars
from an acura or from a prelude. aftermarket stuff is usually
inappropriate and "designed" by people that don't know hondas well
enough. get the steering geometry set correctly - that's thrust and
front and rear toe - it's 4 wheel adjustable on the 99 accord. i have
the rears set per the book and the fronts set to zero toe. with decent
rubber, it corners like its on rails and i have stock sway bars. look
into shocks as well. some of the high end aftermarkets can affect
cornering substantially. bilsteins are great for improving steering
response on the front, but your passengers will complain if they're on
the rear as they're a bit harsh. i prefer kyb agx if i need to play
with my suspension, kyb gr2's for normal road use.
I have the Accord. Other than high speed cornering it's a great car.
I don't have either the time or inclination to become a used car
trader right now, and in the foreseeable future I intend to
performance mod a 70s Alfa and will want and need a reliable commuter.
Not a lot (and one way), in a car that can turn.
There's nothing wrong with the car, just miserable. It's been looked
at: It plows. It wasn't engineered for me.
Not to be rude but, if you can't, you shouldn't be advising me.
Again, they're the last ditch option, and if they offend me I'll ditch
My concern is not alignment related, it's roll stiffness related.
Because I have an Accord.
There is no shortage of Accord parts for my intention.
They have no appreciable effect on dual side bumps such as expansion
I'm not them and that's not my intention.
Do you have any direct experience with Intrax?
My car wouldn't corner on rails if I dropped onto train tracks.
Bottom line: I'm "stuck" with the Accord for a couple of years.
I don't enjoy it's high speed turning characteristics. I don't want
to spend a fortune nor become a slave to the tool box.
1.1) Chassis brace from a TL. Forget what I paid, ~$150
1.2) Sway bars from Intrax, 27mm front, 19mm rear, existing mounting
points. ~$250 plus $60labor
Then, maybe, mildly lower it with stiffer springs.
~$750, and should get the job done.
it'll still plow with sway bars if you don't address the problem. the
body won't roll as much at the same time, but it'll still plow.
er, i'm speaking from experience dude. sorry if i'm not telling you
what you want to hear. you'll notice the difference of the stiffer
rears, but that's not the same as height-affected roll dynamics.
you said "it plows". that's an alignment and tire problem, not a roll
stiffness problem. sway bars can't make you corner faster because they
don't keep more rubber on the road. all they can really do is affect
the body roll dynamics, especially in fast transitions.
but it's big and heavy. big and heavy means poorer cornering - basic
not true. almost no bump, let alone expansion joint, is same height
both sides. if it's not, then the sway bar /is/ doing to affect the
straight line ride.
so why fit aftermarket equipment?
no, i have experience with a bunch of different ratings of honda and
mugen sway bars.
then something's wrong! and it isn't the sway bars.
while you don't have to spend a fortune, you /do/ have to do work if you
want to improve this vehicle.
It does Not have an alignment problem, it has new Continental tires.
It's 600-800lbs lighter than a BMW 3series, about the same weight
distribution. The BMW comes standard with wrist-sized sway bars.
Nonsense. Sway bars do not appreciably affect straightline ride, and
the mm difference between left-right side expansion joint height is
You can't feel 20mm in ride height but 2mm on the road surface is
dramatic to you?
Because the stock fitments are not to my satisfaction.
So why slag what you don't know?
What's wrong is it rolls over onto the outside front sidewall.
...So what? I don't car about Civics, Integras, or Preludes.
FWIW, I got a new F350 SD truck at work last year. It had Continental
ContiTrack (sp?) tires and it had a big problem: when it hit any roughness,
even a patch in the pavement, at freeway speeds the truck would shake wildly
for about two seconds. I took it to Ford and they replaced all 4 tires with
new identical tires... problem fixed. They said that was very common.
You can easily check the tire wear. Put a strip of masking tape from
sidewall to sidewall on each front tire, then drive a mile or so on
reasonably straight road and look at the wear pattern on the tape. The way
the tape wears is the way the tires will wear.
If both outside edges are worn, the wheels are toed in too much. If both
inside edges are worn, the wheels are toed out. If the wear is inconsistent
from one tire to the other, or if the wear is okay and the feel is still
screwy, you need to get an expert to figure out why. Camber and caster will
affect the balance between stability and steering force. (Camber affects
tire wear a lot less than you'd think; the tire wears like it was shaved
evenly with a slight bevel - no edge wear.)
who says it doesn't have an alignment problem? what are the readings
from your last alignment?
which model tire? [some continentals are abysmal.]
sway bars affect roll, not cornering - they don't affect the contact
and how much wider are the bmw tires??? and what's the quality
difference? and what about the 5 series? you've got to compare like
they do if the left/right bump is not exactly the same.
you need to drive in california some time!!! if we had millimeter
differentials over here, we'd get out of the car and start kicking the
tires so see if something was wrong if the road suddenly got that smooth
20mm is ~10% of total travel, and within the sag of oem. if the spring
ratings are the same, you'd not notice this above a small change in tire
and 2mm is /not/ a reasonable estimate of differential - it's more like
20mm, which you /do/ feel.
what's rating difference between what you're proposing and stock?
i'm not slagging what i don't know - i'm discussing what i /do/ know.
1. oem are more precise fit than aftermarket - that i know from messing
with other people's sway bars. and
2. your aftermarket bars are not going to be stiffer than oem unless
that's why i discussed your oem options. mugen are suppliers to honda
for race equipment.
and that's your problem - it's tires, not sway bars. there's no way
that should be happening. a sway bar can't cure that - it doesn't
affect the camber or scrub geometry - all it does is stop the body
rolling relative to the road surface.
but you want equipment that fits! the oem i cited is stiffer than that
aftermarket stuff you're talking about. and civics and integras have
many more "upgrade" options available than accords.
Your stock '99 Accord will probably beat the mod'd Alfa around any
street course, assuming equal horsepower, and the Accord will probably
have more of that, too.
Newer Accords are even better, or would be on better than stock tires.
You may have to learn different driving technique. Yes, the Accords
are front-heavy, and that never goes away entirely, but they are
generations ahead on technology, and properly driven are vastly
superior to those old Alfas, which couldn't even beat the old BMWs, I
presume the new BMWs are also much improved.
OTOH, I've never thrown the Accords around at high speeds. I did
throw my 1979 Alfetta all over the place, on its stock skinny tires.
It slid around in well-balanced control, but that's NOT the same as
making good time. Tire technology is much better now, among other
things, than back then. What happens if you put modern tires on an
old Alfa? I daresay something would crack, hear me now and believe me
later. No finite element analysis then for cars, and it wasn't built
or tested to those kinds of stresses. Even my 1979 was really just
the very best 1959 technology available.
Wait, actually I did throw around a 1999 CL-6 a bit, a few years ago.
It really wasn't happy, it seemed to me, it held the road, but there
were funny creakings when I stopped, that discouraged further
experimentation along those lines. Yes, the Alfa was happier at that
sort of thing, but did NOT hold the road as well. More fun, but worse
Less weight difference than that, I think.
Aren't all BMW still rear-wheel drive and almost 50/50?
Betcha they come with lower profile tires, too.
List the numbers side by side, I have no idea which models you're
Sounds like wrong tires. Have you tried lower profiles? What kind of
turning are you doing, cranking it full over at 80mph? Hint - Accords
aren't designed for that, BMWs, even street 3xx's, pretty much are (or
were, I haven't followed them for 10+ years).
Does anybody rebuild Accords for high-speed racing? Fast and furious
Civics, sure, tho I have no idea how good or bad those really are.
And you need this on your COMMUTER car?
My man, I'm still an Italophile at heart, but you're never going to
make an Accord handle like an Enzo, ... which seem to be cracking up
here in Los Angeles at an unacceptable frequency anyhow! Better trade
the '99 for an old BMW, and be ready for major disappointment at how
an old Alfa compares to either.
I'll be looking for 180 out of the 2liter Alfa, easy, really; 10.4
Borgos, hot cams, big valves, header and Webers, should sound like
half a 308. Accord's at 150 out of 2.3.
...Or I may go with a G1 S2000. I'd like to do the Alfa myself,
thinking a year out either way.
I'd recommend my car highly to 98% of the public, I won't have another
one when this is gone.
Looking for sound, feel and style, not an autocross racer.
Fun is the objective,
You're right, 3000 vs 3200 on an 1999 323, but the BMW is a cloth
manual seat window crank unavailable stripper at that weight, in the
real world the 328's about 3500.
Not 50/50. Very nose heavy, twitchy in the rain and useless in snow.
Rubber bands stretched over tuna cans. A significant percentage of
BMW dealers' net profit derives from selling $1000 replacement wheels.
Not an option given the roads I drive. There is truly a bathtub sized
pothole on my approach to the George Washington Bridge, for two weeks
Uninvolved cell-phone addled goat herders driving Town Cars, or
princesses driving TSXs, are a constant hazard.
No they were not designed for that, but they can be modded to stiffen
American Touring Car series.
Yes. Greater control and predictability are elements of dynamic
safety, and improve this driver's satisfaction index.
I know an Accord will never turn in like a 355, but it could be and
will be a good deal sharper and more stable.
New Accords get 164 out of 2.4, and the area under the curve is much
broader. And then there's the six! But glad to see you have the
Go test drive the new model. Seriously. You can feel the improved
balance in two seconds. Just so you know.
I admit it, I bought the Alfa after hearing another one zip by me on
the street in too low a gear, it sounded FANTASTIC! Oh, and the
classy brochure! Stock Hondas have zero of that.
Yah. Well, an old Car & Driver recommended boy racers go out and buy
an old VW Microbus, 66hp, you can play boy racer all day long, and
nobody even knows it! Me, driving in modern Los Angeles, there is no
fun. Sniff. Just TMC. Sniff.
You talking Accord coupe? OK, that's a little lighter, but don't they
street at 3200, plus or minus air and such?
I had the wrong tires on my 87 Accord way back, it would practically
roll off them turning the corner at 20mph. High profile, but putting
on something like the then-stock Michelins that all went away. But
seriously, if you want handling, sticking with high-profiles is going
to be a serious limitation.
Do that in LA and you're a statistic, no matter the vehicle.
I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused.
I admit it, I'm older than I used to be. Time was I'd take any new
car out and toss it around a few corners to see how it drifted, I
learned that in (and before!) my Alfa. Now, if I have a high-speed
emergency, I'm less prepared. Fortunately my car is MUCH better
prepared. Looks like in five or ten years we'll have dynamic
stability on new cars. In twenty we'll probably have complete
autopilots, might be illegal to drive manually much after that, at
least in the city. I miss the old Alfa, sort of, if not the scheduled
I'll just envision you doing the Lincoln Tunnel like in Men In Black.
Took me all of 20minutes and that's because I rewound a cassette tape
during the process.
The strut mount nuts aren't even used, there are two studs on each
strut tower dedicated to the bar, stock Accord is a tubular bar from
each tower to the cowl, the TL bar has a integrated additional
Those four, four nuts on the cowl and a bolt mounting the fuse box to
the bar, and Bob's your Uncle.
Result is a palpable increase in structural rigidity and steering
precision: I forget how much I paid, but the thing is great value for
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