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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read this and did some searches before posting.

My 16yo daughter just bought her first car - a mostly unmolested 88 HF. My main concern about the car is the ride quality; you really have to hang on when driving over bumps, especially on the highway. It doesn't feel safe and I think we'd really just like to bring the suspension back to stock for the least cost (to her) possible.

It appears to have Tokiko blues with some type of adjustable coil overs. I might try salvaging the shocks if possible; at least one of them looks blown. When the PO bought it, he said it was lowered several inches.

I wanted to know if there is a guide somewhere that shows which springs and struts from different years and models are compatible w/ the HF. I was planning to check some wrecking yards and possibly purchase the entire spring/strut for each wheel.

And one stupid question. The videos I've seen call for spring compressors to safely release the retaining nut on the shock or strut. Why can't the nut be removed before the car is jacked up, and then jack it up to relieve spring pressure? I think that's how I've done this in the past but it's been a while.

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Easiest route is to just get a set of coilovers. The thread you linked is quite old, not all of the manufacturers mentioned for the various parts are still in business. Coilovers have come a long way. Honda Civic/CRX suspension is all pretty much the same from 88-00, differences for the struts and springs are based on vehicle weight. One thing you have to check prior to purchasing is what rear lower control arms you have (where the strut attaches at the bottom). I think you have eyelet struts, and the arms have a hole in them that it slides into, and then a bolt goes through and connects them. Will look similar to my picture below. If that is the case, then be sure to shop for coilovers that state they are eyelet style, or ITR (Integra type R) style.


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Also, post more pics of the car. Very lucky to find an HF in good condition, and 88 is the most desirable year because that's the lightest chassis produced.
 

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I read this and did some searches before posting.

My 16yo daughter just bought her first car - a mostly unmolested 88 HF. My main concern about the car is the ride quality; you really have to hang on when driving over bumps, especially on the highway. It doesn't feel safe and I think we'd really just like to bring the suspension back to stock for the least cost (to her) possible.

It appears to have Tokiko blues with some type of adjustable coil overs. I might try salvaging the shocks if possible; at least one of them looks blown. When the PO bought it, he said it was lowered several inches.

I wanted to know if there is a guide somewhere that shows which springs and struts from different years and models are compatible w/ the HF. I was planning to check some wrecking yards and possibly purchase the entire spring/strut for each wheel.

And one stupid question. The videos I've seen call for spring compressors to safely release the retaining nut on the shock or strut. Why can't the nut be removed before the car is jacked up, and then jack it up to relieve spring pressure? I think that's how I've done this in the past but it's been a while.

View attachment 1370


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I’ve removed the top nut in the manor that you’re suggesting and it can be an issue as well as dangerous. On a factory setup the spring has to be compressed significantly to install the strut mount and nut. Lowering the control arm down by the floor jack can be an issue because it doesn’t have enough travel to allow the spring to be removed when not compressed. Conversely on a car with lowering springs or coil overs there is less compression due to the lower spring height and it may not take much compression to remove. Regardless best practice is to remove the strut assembly and compress it then remove the top nut.
 

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I read this and did some searches before posting.

My 16yo daughter just bought her first car - a mostly unmolested 88 HF. My main concern about the car is the ride quality; you really have to hang on when driving over bumps, especially on the highway. It doesn't feel safe and I think we'd really just like to bring the suspension back to stock for the least cost (to her) possible.

It appears to have Tokiko blues with some type of adjustable coil overs. I might try salvaging the shocks if possible; at least one of them looks blown. When the PO bought it, he said it was lowered several inches.

I wanted to know if there is a guide somewhere that shows which springs and struts from different years and models are compatible w/ the HF. I was planning to check some wrecking yards and possibly purchase the entire spring/strut for each wheel.

And one stupid question. The videos I've seen call for spring compressors to safely release the retaining nut on the shock or strut. Why can't the nut be removed before the car is jacked up, and then jack it up to relieve spring pressure? I think that's how I've done this in the past but it's been a while.

View attachment 1370


Thanks
Nice looking 88. I bought my one owner 88 HF almost 1 year ago and that suspension needed attention as well. Had original shocks(blown), and springs, bushings.
Depends on what direction you want to go with the car. Tokiko's are good shocks, and springs depend on what ride quality you want. KYB also makes OEM replacement for the car that can be used with OEM springs if you want to keep car somewhat original. Ebay item.
I had a set of Koni's with OEM Si springs, that I had from racing my 88 Si, that i put on the HF. I also put on the Si rear OEM sway bar with stock OEM front HF bar. New bushings front and rear, and the car handles quite well. Kept the OEM size tires and rims.
I bought a floor spring compressor from Harbor Freight to change my springs. Around $150 when I bought it. Somewhat over kill but a lot safer than other choices. Don't try the nut loosen on the car you suggested. You have a nice looking car, spend the money for a decent tool for the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Easiest route is to just get a set of coilovers.
Does coilover mean the spring and dampener are manufactured and sold as a single unit? The ones I see on ebay are so cheap, and for this one, no specs on the dampening so it's hard to know how they compare with OE in terms of ride quality, not to mention product quality.
 

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Does coilover mean the spring and dampener are manufactured and sold as a single unit? The ones I see on ebay are so cheap, and for this one, no specs on the dampening so it's hard to know how they compare with OE in terms of ride quality, not to mention product quality.
The coilovers you find on Ebay usually are cheap and the springs included with those will sag in short order, and the adjusters will rattle.
Honestly for a 16 year old's first car, I'd go for the OEM approach. Some new KYB's or similar, plus OEM style springs. I bought some new OEM springs for my 88 Si when I ran it at solo events, probably still have a few pairs if you want to go that route.
You might be able to find salvage yard parts for this, but for sure the shocks will be blown, but the OEM springs and hardware would probably be useful. Sometimes see theses on ebay.
Check the trailing arm bushing as well, if has not been replaced, then they're toast.
Baker's link on Coilovers explains them well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
probably still have a few pairs if you want to go that route
I might be interested in that... how do you pm on this site?

I found used springs and shocks for $300 at a wrecking yard. They claim the shocks are ok. Honda no longer carries new springs. Les Schwab quoted me about $350 for only new springs, not including labor.
 

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I might be interested in that... how do you pm on this site?

I found used springs and shocks for $300 at a wrecking yard. They claim the shocks are ok. Honda no longer carries new springs. Les Schwab quoted me about $350 for only new springs, not including labor.
The only way to check to see if shocks are ok is to pull the spring off and see if there is any pressure still in the shock. Not to say anything about the wrecking yard, but my guess is they would say everything they sell is "ok".
New KYB's on Ebay now are $200. New springs are hard to find. I believe I have a new front pair, and a used OEM rear pair. Your Tokiko's may be using the stock hardware so you may be good there. I'm out of town now for 2 weeks, I can check on springs when I return.
$300 for wrecking yard set is too high in my opinion. I'd go for the $200 new KYB's on Ebay. There are a couple of sets currently listed. I may grab one set for myself to replace my high price Koni's for when I sell my HF.
When buying the shocks, 88 has a specific rear shock. 89-91 uses a different design. Fronts are all the same. Good luck.
Click on member name and start conversation for PM. I think that's correct.
 

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OP, stop being cheap and buy something that's worth it. Go to autozone and buy the suspension if you want something that 'just works'.
 

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OP, stop being cheap and buy something that's worth it. Go to autozone and buy the suspension if you want something that 'just works'.
Yea, Autozone has a KYB for $90 for one front shock. I think even with todays math, 4 KYB's on Ebay for $198 shipped is still a better deal. That's the one I'm buying.
 

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Who knows if they're actually real. At least with Autozone if there's an issue they'll replace them without a fuss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think my plan for this weekend is to remove all of the springs and struts and then make a closer inspection of the bushings and other components for replacement. I've found reasonably priced front and rear springs at Autozone and Napa, but I I'm leaning toward OE springs if I can find them. She's not in a huge hurry to drive the car so will just leave it on blocks for a few weeks.
 

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I really doubt Honda will have anything in stock. They stop making parts 10 years after final production, and then it's whatever is left in the warehouses.
 

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Who knows if they're actually real. At least with Autozone if there's an issue they'll replace them without a fuss.
I agree Autozone stands behind their products. I bought a new main relay for my HF from Autozone. Chinese unit was all they had available, and it failed within 30 days. Replaced that unit with another one. That also failed. Found a Beck Arnley unit on Ebay. Been running well ever since with that one.
Any info on Fake KYB's out there? None of the feedback I've read from Ebay suppliers of KYB's mentioned anything about this. Interested if you have any info on this before I buy a set.
 
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