Suspension Mods Part II - FD2R

After enjoying the FD2R a couple of years with the initial series of mods on the engine and suspension, the itch came around again. What if anything has changed with the FD2R modding scene?

The suspension.

After a few hard years, the Teins sprung a slight leak and so began the search for a replacement. Would spending even more money accomplish this? That's for sure but how about spending less money? Suspension damper design especially passive designs have evolved as far as they can, the only way they can go forward is electronic valve control or magnetorheological control like magnetic ride control.

Price? Prohibitive. Any aftermarket kits? Not that we know. One other option is to spend even more money on Ohlins or even a Mugen kit hoping they would make a huge difference to the Tein MonoFlex. But the other way to go is find a similar quality, much cheaper alternative. As there was more stuff we'd like to try, we could perhaps save some from the suspension side.

There has been forum chat and we heard that even the Japanese have been buying their kits from Taiwan and rebadging. One of these better known Taiwan brands is BC coil overs. BC stands for Bor-Chuann and their Taiwan website is www.bcec.com.tw. They have several model lines and there are apparently three that would fit the FD2 Civic Type R. Two mono-tube designs and an external canister twin tube design. The two mono-tube designs BR, BM both have 7 kg/mm springs all round and differ by having an inverted mono-tube design in the BM series. The ER series with the external reservoir canister is a twin piston design but has spring rates 8 kg/mm all round. The local agent website is www.fongkim.com.sg.

The original spring rates of the FD2R is 4.8 kg/mm in front and 6.5 kg/mm and with the Teins the spring rates went up to 7 kg/mm all round which is exactly what the BC BR coil overs are rated at. It is also curious as to why BC have adopted identical spring rates all round which like the Teins is unusual enough by itself.

We know some FD2R owners would never consider anything less than a Japanese brand. Since the BR design was readily available and at less than half the cost of the Teins it was a no-brainer so they were fitted first to sus out the damper characteristics before any other mods. The BC units are similarly fully adjustable for ride height, spring preload and damping. These are also pillowball mounts and we were concerned with noise. Pleasantly they are as quiet as the Teins which is just a touch noisier than the OE FD2R suspension. The 30-position damper force can be set really hard, which is too hard for normal use or can be set to full soft which is a bit too soft. When set on the hard side, 18-20 clicks above full soft, the ride is about as firm as can be tolerated on normal roads. While this might be fun to enjoy the sharp reflexes of the suspension but it is a bit too much for everyday use.

Backing of to just 12 clicks noticeably improves the ride with a small impact on handling sharpness. The suspension is now allowed to have greater wheel travel abut the damper effect is still there. However the greater fluid movement through the valves is heard as a slight gushing sound when going over road humps. Its not irritating and only happens when the suspension is made to work very hard otherwise it is silent (but oddly reassuring). There is no mention of secondary micro-valves to alter the damper's response to sharp high frequency road imperfections but it seems the BC dampers have excellent damper performance perhaps better compression absorption of road humps though the Teins display slightly better ability to ignore small surface irregularities. On the balance the BC's and Teins are closely matched but the BC's do an excellent job for half the price.

Read about Rose-joint suspension

Read about Roll Center Adjusters

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