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Project EP3 Civic Si, Suspension Upgrades with Whiteline! 

by Mike Kojima

 

So everyone into Hondas just about universally ignores or even hates the dumpy EP3 Civic. The EP3 represents, to most Honda fans, the generation of Civic where Honda lost their brand identity and started to make cookie cutter shitboxes. 

Who can blame them; the much loved sixth generation EK was the peak of the Civic's development. It was good looking, lightweight and featured excellent handling with 4 wheel, multi-link suspension. 

The seventh generation EP was Honda's first step to decontent the Civic to make it cheaper to produce and bigger. The EP was supposedly designed to appeal to a theoretical early 20's, single, female, college graduate named "Buffy" who just got her first professional job. (Can you believe this is the BS the PR guys spouted at the cars intro?).

Well, it was obvious that Buffy was not a car enthusiast. The EP had dumpy, boring styling. McPherson struts took the place of the multi-links in the front suspension and flaccid handling and understeer was the name of the game. Honda Civic fans were heartbroken. To top it all off, the front steering geometry was designed for ease of fitting a steering column with no regard for bump steer. 

As a result, the EP3 is the least desirable of all the Civics and probably why we got ours for so cheap. On the positive side, the EP is the least likely Civic to get stolen! One of the EP's worst traits is its handling, and we will do our best to improve it.

Previously, we have paved the way for better suspension by upgrading our EP3 with RSX Type-S parts, a 5-lug conversion, and bigger brakes. Now we are going to install some Whiteline bits to give our cars handling a needed boost. 

To read more about Project EP3 check here!

To help get the EP3's large amount of body roll under control, we got a set of antisway bars from Whiteline.

The Whiteline bars are much larger in diameter than stock and add considerably to the overall roll stiffness. They also add more roll stiffness to the rear in proportion to the front to reduce understeer that the EP3 has in droves.

 

The front Whiteline bar is 24mm in diameter. This is one mm in diameter more than the stock 23 mm bar. This makes the Whiteline bar about 20% stiffer than stock.
 

The rear Whiteline bar is 24mm in diameter- up from the stock bar's 15mm in diameter. This makes the rear bar about 5 times stiffer than the stock bar! 
 

Both the front and rear Whiteline bars are 2-way adjustable. Going to the stiffer, inner position makes the bar about 20% stiffer than the soft position. 
 

Although we are going to use a set of Fortune Auto coilovers on our car that have camber plates, we also wanted to install these Whiteline camber bolts to the struts.

The bolts allow for 1.5 degrees of camber adjustment. We like to use the camber plates to set the steering axis angle and adjust that to minimize the scrub radius, which is critical on an FWD car. This is especially important for one with a lot of bump steer like the EP3. Too much scrub makes bump steer feel worse. 

 

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Comments
MaysEffect
MaysEffectlink
Monday, May 29, 2017 5:28 PM
Do the offset bushings have placement markings to ensure the holes are oriented correctly when refitted? Or are they adjustable once in place?
Julian ITR
Julian ITRlink
Monday, May 29, 2017 6:55 PM
"However, Ichishima's answer took me by surprise. He doesn't think the DC5 is as good a base as the CL7. In fact, he admits to be unimpressed with the DC5 as a base for modifications. 'It's based on a van', he says, 'it's a Stream Coupe !'. Similarly the EP3 to him is a 'Stream hot-hatch'."

Is there really no way to combat the front bump steer curve other than by trying to minimize scrub radius? What about those steering rack riser brackets you can buy?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, May 29, 2017 7:33 PM
MaysEffect-They don't have markings, you just have to clock them correctly when installing them.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, May 29, 2017 7:36 PM
Julian ITR- The EP3 and DC5 share the same horrible steering geometry and they both suck in that respect. There are some weird things going on with the rear as well. We are going to do some stuff to attempt to improve the front end in a later installment. It is going to be a compromise fix rather than a cure which would be so invasive and expensive no one would do it.
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