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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
3G TL SPC/Tokico/Eibach Install

here's my thread that will document my procedure for installing the SPC camber kit, Eibach 4044.140 lowering springs, and a set of Tokico Illumina shocks (FRONT & REAR SHOCKS DONT WORK).

!! IMPROPER INSTALLATION OF THESE PARTS CAN LEAD TO SERIOUS INJURY. PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND ALL INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS THAT ARE PROVIDED WITH YOUR PARTS. THE USE OF A TORQ WRENCH IS MANDATORY !!



i found something odd, Eibach shows 4044.140 springs will work on a 2003 Accord v6 as well as 3G TL's, this cant be correct because the Tokico shocks i got (2003 Accord) have spring perches that are too big for the 4044.140 springs. i'm gonna find out if Eibach makes a spring that is identical to 4044.140 but slightly larger on the bottom, this way i can keep my Tokico shocks. come 7/5 i'm making some phone calls.


as i proceed i will take pics and post the progress. Please also see my other thread for important information.

Shocks tried:
BU3730 front
BU2934 rear

i'm hunting down the torq specs for all the stuff i touched during this procedure

Step-1 - was to measure the current camber so i can set them back the same way after my springs go in. i fabricated a holder for my digital inclinometer. the fabrication is accuarte to within thousanths of a degree over the length of the holder (approx 19.75" long). the inclinometer measures to tenths of a degree.

i have to get some more info, but i was assuming that the rims should be held at 90° to the ground for best tire wear. i found they were all pretty close to 90° and my left front was cambered out over 90° while the otheres were cambered in slightly (less than 90°). the left front may be that way to account for driver weight, i just dunno if they were that smart...

as a reference, "in" means the topside is tilted inward, and "out" means the topside was tilted away from car. i'll call "in" negative camber and "out" positive camber ("zero" being right at 90°)

here's the #'s with pics
(note the arrows on the meter, they indicate which way to zero or 90)

a little tig'ing and voila, my fabricated holder tool. the ends touch up against the rim lip top & bottom. i covered the ends with some moleskin so not to scratch the rims.


left front - 90.3° or +0.7°


left rear - 89.3°, or -0.7°


right front - 89.0°, or -1.0°


right rear - 88.2°, or -1.8°




Step-2 - jack rear, place a jack stand under rear somewhere for safety, remove tire, get to work.

rear arm bolt - 14mm
ball joint nut - 17mm
ABS bracket bolt - 10mm

i had rear all apart but i could not get the ball joint to release from it's taper using my ball joint service tool (the tool did not fit). i noticed that if the shock is in place, if you undo arm bolt or ball taper the shock will push on the whole assembly down and out slightly. just note if you have to put the oem stuff back you'll need to pull up and push in on the assembly while trying to put the arm bolt back in. i've worked on stuff like this before so i managed, it was tricky, but for those who are doing this for the 1st time it may be very frustrating and difficult.

some pics:

my ball joint service tool that does not work on arms (i need a fork tool)



unplug abs connector



remove abs retainer bolt - undo just so you can move abs wire out of the way while working on camber arm



camber arm - pic of the part being replaced



ball nut, nut lock pin, and a abs connector pop-clip - the lock pin is a self locking type, the side of the pin has a hook that locks into one of the nut slots on opposite side. it was tricky at 1st, but to remove you push in then pry the hook slightly away from nut with a small screwdriver, then pull pin out. the abs pop-clip just pops out, then move the whole abs cable down and out of the way (note how it was routed around the brake line).


new $13 ball joint seperator tool, and a lump hammer to bash it with


pic of how to place the ball joint tool. this 2nd time around i broke the taper before unbolting the arm bolt (make sure you have the ball joint nut removed). a few easy blows to wedge it under, then a few good smacks and the taper will pop (careful swinging near the fender, use your arm as a blocker so you dont hit fender). put the new arm in taper 1st, push it down into the taper and thread the nut, be sure the rubber on the ball joint folds out and not in. tighten nut very tight (i have to look up the torq spec, torq'ing to spec is best, my dealer said 43ft-lbs, but i improvise sometimes :)) until you align the pin hole with nut cutout. put the pin back in. then collapse the arm assembly to shortest position, then use the adjusting long nut of the arm to open the arm, align the rear bolt holes of the arm with mounting bracket as you open the arm. it's tricky, but start the bolt in the left side then start to collapse the arm until the other side aligns and the bolts threads in.


pic of old new


pic of lock pin


what the heck is that? it's in the frame?


anti seize paste - now's a good time to lightly coat the rotor hat surface and studs with some anti-seize


camber arm all done



i lowered the car on wheels, took my camber measurements again. both had to be topside pulled in. i used my 12" AJ over the top of the wheel to adjust the camber to 90° (or zero camber). then i took the wheel off and locked up the lock nuts using 2 AJ's (a 12" and a 10", but 2 10" AJ's will work best in this tight wheel well). one AJ holds the adjusting nut while the other locks the locking nuts.

i use a 1/2" torq wrench from Harbor Freight to torq down the lug nuts to 80ft.lbs., it's a cheap investment to get a 1/2" and 3/8" torq wrench if you plan to work on your own car.

total time for rear camber approx 1.5 hours.

Step-3 - install shocks and springs and SPC camber ball joints
my shocks arrived, they mount ok(but the fronts spring perch is too big for the spring).



you must remove the rear seat to unbolt the upper shock mount. Honda indicates that the c-pillar trim should be removed, but others say no. i'll know for sure shortly. you lift up the headrest and there is a slot where you can put a socket in to remove the bolt on the back of the seat. there is a bolt behind each of the headrests.




6/4/05 - i was not able to work on the front cambers today (maybe tomorrow), but i was able to "blue" my eibach springs. i cant stand parts that have no color :)



6/30/2005 - install front SPC camber ball joints and Eibach springs. i'll add some text detail shortly. if you take it this far i'll assume you have all the right tools for the job. pretty much just some metrics, ball joint seperator fork & hammer, torq wrench, needle nose pliers, and some locktite. it's very very important that the shock tower be aligned with the lower shock alignment tab when swapping springs. note how the shock tower mounting bolts are, a group of 3, a group of 2, and then 1. the 1 is the one that aligns with the shock alignment tab.
i'll add detail describing each group of 4 pics as 1-4.

1-4, simply remove some engine compartment panels in order to unbolt the cross brace. pics 1 & 3 have clips near the window side that you pull forward while pulling up on the panel. pic 2 has some plastic pop clips that latch into some holes hanging from the cross brace bar. pic 4 is the cross-brace, there are a few items that are bolted to it and you need to undo them in order to take the brace off. one way to stiffen that oem brace a tad is to fill the hollow center with some rigid spray foam. then of course, i painted my cross brace blue :)


at this point i have the wheel removed and a jack stand for safety. undo the brake line and ABS sensor lines from the spindle arm. tie a string around the spindle arm to the brake like mount thats up next the shock as this will prevent the trans axle from coming out of the trans. undo the ball joint cotter pin and nut, then break the ball joint taper with the ball fork (now you know why you tied the spindle arm). undo the 3 shock tower mounting nuts from the topside. undo the bolt that holds the shock into the lower shock support fork, then undo the lower shock fork support bolt from the lower a-arm. seperate the fork from the shock, maneuver the fork down to give room to remover the coilover. go slow and be sure to keep track of all the bolts/nuts and label any parts removed for car side and orientation, this is where a digi camera comes in handy in case you forget.


SPC has a in-car ball joint tool, which is like what i have (i have one from Harbor Freight), but i decided that i wanted to do the ball joint work away from the car. the tool i have has a hollow screw so removing the ball joint was a easy setup by simply allowing the threaded side of the joint to go into the hollow center of the tools's screw. i placed a thich washer over the ball joint so that the screw would have a nice flat surface to push against. i removed the upper a-arm. note the position of the upper a-arm, it's kinda stiff in that position, you want to re-install it at about the same position. remove the 2 bolts holding the a-arm in. i then used my ball joint tool to press the oem ball out. one note about removing old joint is that its very tough to get out. i could only do 1/8 turns of the tool's press screw with all my might, but several 1/8 turns later and the ball pops out. because the issue with the SPC ball plates fitting (because not all Acura 3G TL a-arm holes are the same size) i used my digi caliper to measure what i had to make sure the plate was slightly smaller than the a-arm hole. mine fit fine.


next i took my dremel with small cylinder stone and chamfered the bottom lip (the side that the plate gets pressed into) on the inside at about 45°, just a tad so that when i press the plate in it aligns more easily. and of course i had to add some color. i pressed the SPC plate in according to the instructions, then re-installed the upper a-arm.


next is re-assembly. its always easier doing it for the 2nd time because on my 1st re-assembly on driver side i made it difficult for myself, so let me explain the easy way. 1st, place the lower shock support fork back over the axle. then place coilover back into upper mount and add one nut to the topside by hand just to hold it up. then pull the lower shock support fork up into the bottom of the shock, align the shock tab with the slit of the fork, be sure to bottom-out the fork against the bottom of the shock holding it firmly together as you start the bolt and tighten it. the hand tighten the other 2 shock tower mounting nuts. then you'll need to muscle the rotor assembly around to get the lower shock support strut holes aligned into the lower a-arm while placing the bolt through (this could be tricky, and dont forget this bolt has a nut). next orientate the SPC ball joint into the upper a-arm and tighten the upper nut firm. next, you need to orientate the ball taper so that it aligns with the taper of the spindle. you'll need to pull the upper a-arm down and note the angle at which the ball taper needs to be in order to seat easily into the spindle taper. you may need to pull up on the rotor while at the same time pulling the upper a-arm down (i used my knees to pull up slightly on the rotor). once the taper aligns pull the upper a-arm down more so that rubber of the ball joint starts to crush and you can start the nut. hand tighten the nut as much as you can. then try to jerk the upper a-arm down with a few down jerking pulls while at the same time trying to hand tighten the nut more, this gets the taper seated as best as possible before going to the torq wrench. i used 34ft∙lbs on the balls' lower taper nut and then slightly more just to align the cotter pin hole (!! DONT FORGET THE COTTER PIN !!). re-attached any ABS or brake lines. finally, it's all installed. re-check that you installed and tightened everything (a checklist works wonders for this). then you'll need to adjust camber accordingly either your way or bring it to get done.


i filled my cross brace with foam. the trick to using foam is to use a piece of poly tubing and tape it to the tube that comes with foam. dont fill the whole tube at once, start in the center and spray in about 6" worth, let it expand and dry, then fill the ends. if you do the whole thing the ends will seal up and the center wont get air to expand and dry. and a couple of finished pics (with just the front on Eibach springs in). i set my LF to -0.1° and RF to -0.6°. visually it looks like wheel toe is off, i have to devise a way to look at it using some lasers i have.


TIPS & TRICKS
1. setting camber - unless you have full floating floor pads, do this to set camber. after the camber kit is installed and locked down, take a easy ride around the block. park on a level surface. i suggest the use of a digital inclinometer like the one i have, measure the current camber and note it. then figure out how many degrees you need to move it to get to about -0.5° (a slight negative camber is good). then jack it up and remove the rim. then take a 12x12 or a 10x10 piece of flat 5/8 or 3/4 plywood (you'll need to cut a hole in the center so the rotor/spindle nut will clear) and place it up against the lug bolts, measure the camber, then adjust it by adding or subtracting the change needed from the measurement taken before you jacked it up. voila, when it comes off the jack it should be right where you want it.
2. take your time, take pics and make notes of where stuff goes. this becomes very important if you do all at once. i suggest you do one side completely so that you dont make the same mistakes on the other side, this will make the other side go alot smoother.
3. i noticed my wheel locks are not the same weight as my lug nuts (1.4oz to 2.1oz). it's best that your wheel locks be weight matched to the lug nuts. this could cause a slight vibration at highway speeds.

8/16/05 - i just received new Koni shocks and some EBC brake gear :). here's a few pics. i'll have more info on the installations later:

EBC "green" pads. they come with a embedding coating, looks like clay


EBC "sport" rotors. i would have preferred them to have swept cooling vanes, but oh well


Koni "sport" shocks. they have adjustable spring perches, so technically you could drop your car using oem springs


and some very odd Holland instructions



8/21/05
EBC green pads for the rear went in today. the pads had this extra pin on them that i had to grind away. the oem backer plates are not cutout for this "pin".

 

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jinny=guy, avatar=girl
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hehe...

looks like you are planning to be pretty exacting...

when I installed my SPC cambers on my accord, I just used a plumb bob... actualy it wasn't even that... it was a heavy nut on a string draped over the top of the tire. :mhihi:

the camber on my accord was way negative after lowering, so anything was better than that... the plumb bob method was enough to give me good tread wear...

your way looks better :wired:

and for my RL, the guy doing my computerized alignment got everything straight for me...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
jinny said:
hehe...

looks like you are planning to be pretty exacting...

when I installed my SPC cambers on my accord, I just used a plumb bob... actualy it wasn't even that... it was a heavy nut on a string draped over the top of the tire. :mhihi:

the camber on my accord was way negative after lowering, so anything was better than that... the plumb bob method was enough to give me good tread wear...

your way looks better :wired:

and for my RL, the guy doing my computerized alignment got everything straight for me...
i had the inclinometer so i figured i would put it to use. i used it only to get some reference #'s so when i put the new parts in i can set the camber back to where it was before. i may opt to set new #'s but i have to do some homework to find out if 90° (or zero camber) is the best place to be. i'll do all the adjusting with 150lbs in drivers seat.
 

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jinny=guy, avatar=girl
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wow... taking account for the driver is pretty exacting.

:thumbsup:

I used to like to run a little negative all around... but 'cause of treadwear concerns, I never went too extreme
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
kcrumbley said:
Why don't you just take the car and get an alignment ???
1. why pay for something you can do at home? i have the tools/methods to do it accurately. and, if i did not enjoy working on the car i guess i would just let some place do it.....

2. i can repeat any process if i make changes. for example, i just got new shocks so after they go in i'll redo camber/toe checks/adjustments again. i certainly dont like having to make appointments and then having to drop the car off all day at some shop (that for the most part just want to go home for the day) everytime i make changes to the car.

3. for crappers&giggles i may bring the car to be checked once i'm done with new shock install.
 

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I was reading your post on top and found where the problem was with your Tokico shocks and their spring seats being too large. Your set is for 98-02 Accord, 01-03 CL, and 99-03 TL. I'm sure you've done your research, but according to Tokico's site, it doesn't/haven't made shocks for 03-up Accords.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
260 HP said:
I was reading your post on top and found where the problem was with your Tokico shocks and their spring seats being too large. Your set is for 98-02 Accord, 01-03 CL, and 99-03 TL. I'm sure you've done your research, but according to Tokico's site, it doesn't/haven't made shocks for 03-up Accords.
yeah, i bought them via a mis-understanding from the place where i got them. i did not test fit the springs to the shocks until the day i went to install them.....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
just a fyi. i notice some of the pics are not showing, they show as red X placeholders. some of the pics are there if you click the X, some are just not there. this is because ImageShack has changed over the years and it seems they have lost some pics and/or moved some of the thumbnail URL's. i will ask ImageShack wtf.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
good good writeup
thanks for reading this very old thread. i hope if people want to add some performance items they will start like i did. the car handled much better than oem. i regret selling it, but as that commercial says, "life happens".
 
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