Project DC2 Integra: Starting the Journey Toward Better Lap Times with KW Suspension

Project DC2 Integra: Starting the Journey Toward Better Lap Times with KW Suspension

by Mike Kojima


If you've been paying attention to our DC2 project car, then you know in the last installment we took our car to Buttonwillow Raceway (CW13) to record its baseline lap times and to get some driving impression of its 150,000-mile suspension and tires. Surprisingly the old DC2 was not horrible and not the slowest car entered in Global Time Attack's first ProAm event of the year. 

A lot of this had to do with the skills of our test driver, Karla Pestotnik, but it also spoke well of the DC2's innately good design and excellent stock balance. The old Honda “fun to drive” factor that seems to be missing from most of the cars they produce nowadays. 

However, Karla was complaining of the old, “weak in the knees stock suspension”.  Our car was equipped with state of the art suspension circa 1995- Koni yellow single adjustable shocks and Eibach Pro-Kit stock replacement springs.  Although this was the hot setup then, it pales to what modern coilovers are like now. 


Our DC2 Integra Project at the ride height we got it with, (with Koni Yellow shocks and Eibach Pro Kit Springs, a 1.2″ drop from stock) getting ready for its baseline laps around Buttonwillow Raceway's CW13 configuration. Be sure to check out our video for our impressions and base lap time.


The poor Konis were well-worn, so adjusting them didn't make much difference, leaving the chassis wallowy and blowing through the travel at track speed. The stock DC2 springs are around are about 3.5kg front and 1.7kg rear. This is a pretty amazingly soft rear spring rate for an FWD car! The Eibach Pro-Kits are 5.2 kg front and 3.8 kg in the rear, lowering the car about an inch and a half, but with a front harder bias. This would probably lead to understeer with a modern set up.  


We went out with the old and in with the new, thoroughly modern, KW Variant III coilovers.


The Variant III is KW Suspension's line of ultimate daily driver coilovers. The springs on the DC2 Variant III are progressive for a smoother ride potential and to reduce noise and vibration. The springs are custom wound to use the factory rubber isolated upper mounts. 

This does not affect handling on the multi-link suspension equipped DC2 as much as it would a McPherson strut car, as flex in the factory mount does not affect the lateral location and the geometry of the front suspension like it would in a strut. 

Since much of the noise of a coilover is transferred through pillow ball mounts into the cabin, rubber isn't a bad idea in this daily driver application. 


The front Variant III coilovers sport a spring rate of around 6.3kg (this is preloaded at ride height and gets stiffer under compression since the spring is progressive). This is almost two times stiffer than stock, but overall a reasonable spring rate. This is also considering the suspension is multi-link and the motion ratio of the front suspension is around .6, which considerably reduces the wheel rate. 


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