Heard this one before? "One of the best things you can do to improve the handling of any car from the '90s is to add a set of modern-day coilovers." Yeah, it's about as big a trope as there is among gearheads, but it's true. Not only is there a good chance your stock shocks are donezo, but if you plan on doing any sort of performance driving a lowered stance and stiffer damping will most definitely help keep your car planted.
For our 1995 Honda Civic Si, we wanted to throw on a set of coilovers that were street friendly and didn't require much in terms of damping and rebound adjustment. Many of you may think that a "good" coilover suspension system means all sorts of adjustability, and while that might be ideal for the track, it's pretty annoying for the street. Just like an E-Z Bake oven, we wanted a set that allowed us to "set it and forget it" and that's exactly why we chose the Function and Form Type Ones.
We pulled the Civic into our tech center to get ready for its suspension makeover. Before we put it on the lift, we loosened the nuts for the front and rear suspension top hat mounts.
After that it was time to put the little "ceviche" in the air. This was also a great time to see to see what else needed to be replaced. Turns out, almost all of our bushings were shot, so we ordered a complete replacement kit to handle with the coilover install.
Once we took off all the wheels it was time to get into the nuts and bolts of each spring and damper assembly and pull them out from underneath. We loosened the main bolts at the bottom of each shock - the ones that bolted to each control arm - and the stock units just slid right out.
Things were going extremely well until we came across one bolt that just did not want to budge so we had to pull the entire rear lower control arm to get it out.
This was fine because we ordered some beefier units from Function and Form anyway. After hitting the stubborn bolt with a blowtorch, we finally got it to break loose
As you can see, the Function and Form rear lower control arms are not only beefier looking and lighter than stock, but they came with new bushings as well. You can order these in a few different colors but we wanted to keep things mellow on this build, so flat black was perfect.
It was time to open up the box and see what was included in the Type One coilover kit. We were super impressed that Function and Form included little things like a tape measure to make sure all your ride heights were set correctly.
After measuring out the proper pre-load and ride heights it was time to put together the front shock forks and get these coilovers bolted into place.
Once we slid the coilovers in their places we bolted them back up. We had to button up the front brake lines and good old-fashioned zip ties seemed to do the job perfectly.
Once the front was complete it was time to move on to the rear.
We bolted the rear into place at the top of the strut mount, then it was time to slide into place the Function and Form lower control arms.
PRO TIP: It's easiest if you connect the shock to the lower control arms last so you can just slide the arm into place.
With everything in place it was time to check every nut and bolt with a torque wrench.
After things were tightened and double checked, it was time to put the wheels on and take this bad boy around the block to let everything settle in.
PRO TIP: Check all the nuts and bolts with the torque wrench again right after you drive it around the block a few times.
Once everything was all done it was time to head to the alignment shop to make sure everything was still in spec.
I have to say, we were beyond impressed with the way the Function and Form Type One's performed on the street. The little ceviche was so smooth it almost felt like a car 20 years newer. No joke, the Type Ones are basically our new favorite coilovers for the street. No nonsense, no rattling, no rough ride, tons of response, and they won't break the bank.