A few mods I just made.

The very first time I installed urethane bushings I was very happy with the result. That was back in '98 and the car had a stock suspension and wheels. Over the course of time I’ve suscessfully converted the car to 5-lug with modified ITR knuckles, TL 12" ft brakes, and rear ITR brake and trailing arms, and installed Koni yellows and Eibach sportlines and an ITR 22mm rear sway with 16" prelude SH wheels.

While the Toyos on the car (205/45VR16) wore pretty evenly since I do my own alignments and practically all the camber,caster and toe on ft and rear is adjustable, I’ve always wondered about the urethane bushings since I’ve never regreased them. Since I had another car to drive I decided to one day take it all apart. Didn’t surprise me but the urethane stuff was totally shot. Not only did all the grease vanish but so much dirt was in there that as the bushing was becoming offset the other side was being filled in with dirt. Whenever I put the car on the lift and moved the wheels and tires I never felt any play. Even trying to push on the bushings with a pry bar showed no movement but they were completely gone after I disassembled them.

I gave a lot of thought as to what can be done to address the issue. This time I wanted to get rid of all the rubber bushings. The only stuff left is the rear upper arm, rear toe arm and rear trailing arms. I know that there has been a lot of debate about the ES trailing arm bushings. While a lot of guys had mentioned about the binding issues I did made a lot of inspections. The OEM bushing has air voids on the ft and rear of this bushing. The top and bottom provide the support. This creates a issue with the fore-aft movement. I believe Acura designed this to allow the suspension to give rearward upon a drastic surface condition change as in a bump or pot hole. This bushing also gets a slight twist on a lowered car to further help wear it out quicker. Not to mention that it lowered cars are usually driven harder than stock cars. Before I installed another set of bushings I did take the car onto my alignment machine where I was able to lift the vehicle in the air with the car still on its suspension. This gave me an idea about the position of the trailing arm bushings. Since the vehicle is lowered and the upper arm is spaced out further, the trailing arm bushing was pushed inward since the main shaft was located with the bolts and the trailing arm was positioned further out. Of course I can’t bring in the trailing arm since the lower arm isn’t adjustable and the option of raising the vehicle isn’t there. The ITR trailing arms were purchased new when I did the 5 lug conversion. The trailing arm bushings on them only lasted 4 years and 70k miles. Whenever I worked at Acura none of the cars trailing arms were ever so short lived. I though about the OEM replacement bushings but I thought about giving the ES bushings a try. Fortunately, I still had my DA trailing arms and I did purchase the larger bushings. I installed them one day and removed the rear ITR trailing arms and swapped out the hubs so the remaining 5 lug setup stayed.

The remaining upper and lower arms I installed a new full ES master kit but this time I strategically analyzed the ideal location for the zerk (greaseable) fittings. I really didn’t want to take apart my suspension for greasing them and I thought that this would be the best method. On the control arms there resides compression and elongation forces. Compression forces are the ideal location for these fittings, IMO, since the fitting won’t be disturbed. If I installed the fitting on the elongation area it would be the source of weakness and potentially break. I did also have the intention to make sure that the fitting wouldn’t be facing towards the bottom to avoid the possibility of damage from debris from the road. Fortunately, I was able to kill 2 birds with one stone. All the jerk fittings on the front lower arms were installed on the top side. The ones on the ft upper arm pivots ended up on the under side and the rear lower arms also ended up on the top with the exception of the shock mounts which were installed on the center. I was even able to install zerk fittings on the ES trailing arm bushings. The OEM shaft was buffed clean and reinstalled onto the ES trailing arm bushings. The shaft has full 360 deg rotation and side to side movement to allow the toe to compensate now.Tilt on these bushing were still to be determined.

Since ES doesn’t make a rear upper arm bushing set, I was able to source a set from Prothane. I installed then and installed zerk fittings on them as well. While the rear suspension was apart I was able to compare the rear toe arm bushings. The rear toe arm and the rear upper arm bushings are pretty similar. The upper arm bushing is 40mm wide while the toe arm in only 30mm wide. The rear upper arm on the outside uses a sleeve at the trailing arm. The rear upper arm uses a shaft on the inside to bolt to the body. The rear toe arm uses a sleeve on both ends. Currently, no one makes a rear toe arm bushing but I think that it might be soon coming to a change. I’m going to contact prothane for a custom set since it will only need a few modifications to the rear upper arm bushings in order for it to work. I do realize that a hand ful of companies do make a set of rod end style links for the upper and toe. First off the ratio of the upper and lower arm allows for the engineered camber change to happen during suspension movement. Lenghtening or shortening these links changes this camber change which can be hurt you more than help you if there was any indifference in lenghts from side to side as this may cause the imbalance in camber/toe when the suspension undergoes travel. The car already has a slotted hole for adjusting toe. For these reasons I’m out on using these links and only prefer to use the custom toe bushings I’m conducting some research on.

Back on to the progress. The vehicle is now put back together. I didn’t use the grease that was provided in the kit. I instead used 3M silicone paste. I bought enough of this stuff to load into a small grease gun since I can now grease all my bushings periodically (every oil change or 3000 miles). I prefer to use this grease since it has lower viscosity than that provided with the kit. The alignment specs are as follows

Ft spec
caster L: 2.5 deg R: 2.5 deg
camber L: -0.4 deg R: -0.4 deg
toe L: 0.03mm R: 0.03mm
RR spec
Camber L:-1.0 deg R:-1.0 deg
toe L:0.04mm R: 0.04mm

The vehicle handles better than it has ever. I just replaced the tires after the suspension since it was worn to 2/32. The ride is now a little more bouncier due to easier movement of the suspension so I did firm up the valving of the Konis. When the rear was being adjusted I removed the shims and bolts for the rear upper arms to see how mush deflection the rear upper arms would allow for. To my surprise I was able to get -3.5 deg on the right side and -3.2 on the left side so the ES bushings in my vehicle don’t seem to create bind as most people have mentioned. IMO, case solved. While everyone talked about the issue with the ES rear trailing arm bushings creating bind I would think that this would be enough evidence that the durometer of this bushings can “give” enough to provide the necessary camber change and the lateral and rotational movement allow for the toe change to remain in effect.

Seat on the pants impression. I’ve driven a lot of high powered FWD,RWD and AWD vehicles and each vehicle behaved differently, especially when driven hard, so they all have to be taken to each of their limits differently. As most know out of all cars FWD cars can be the most forgiving in driving to the limits. This also brings up another issue with FWDs. Most of them don’t handle as well as a RWD since their tendency to understeer. Out of all FWD hondas I’ve always had a liking to the handling of the DA. To me it seems much better planted than the DC2/4 or even the Ludes or Accords. Well after the bushing change the car now behaves as stable as a RWD car under acceleration. The rear seems to well planted that it seems to me that gravity doesn’t even matter. The car hugs the road so well that I can now take high speed highway overpass curves with a much higher level of confidence. The tires no longer squeal when driven to their limits. They now growl when taken to the limit which is at a lot higher speed on the same turns.

I wish I was able to use the G-tech pro to measure the improvement in the handling. The plastic ball to suction cup mount broke and I’m waiting for the new one to arrive from Tesla.

My last set of tires lasted 35,000 miles of hard driving. I ran Toyo Proxes FZ4 in a 205/45R16 and have been very happy. This time I switch to Toyos newest Proxes 4 also in the same size.

The suspension isn’t finished yet. I plan on running some HKS coilovers on it. The HKS Hipermax are an aluminum coilover that can be rebuilt from HKS USA. Out of all HKS coilovers I’ve come across I’ve never had a set require rebuilding but its good to know about the service being available. Currently the only set available is for a DC2 ITR. While the front will fit with the DC2 drop forks the rears will need function-7 lower for the ITR. I don’t ever plan on running a rubber suspension bushing on the vehicle. I also have plans on the 04 TL 4 piston brembos fitting on the front with 16" wheels. I plan on running 16" X 7"-42mm offset OZ Ultraleggerra wheels with the Toyos to complete the suspension. The 16" type-SH wheels unfortunately don’t clear the TL brembo setup on the 5-lug setup I’m currently. Lets hope the Ultraleggerras won’t have the same issue.

Once, the suspension is complete I’ll work on the GT30R install.


Nice write up, think that you could maybe take a couple pictures of the zerks? I installed the es kit with an oem ta bushing and both my dad and I were thinking that zerks would be a good idea. I still have some ways to go with my suspension, but for now it has the es hyperflex kit, oem ta bushings, eibach sportlines on tokico blues, and I just installed the st rear sway bar yesterday. Also sometime this week I will be getting eibach rear adjustable upper control arms and fuzion zri tires. I didnt see you mention anything about the sway bars, but from what I have seen so far I would have to say the rear swaybar is worth every penny and then some. It completely eliminated the problems I was having with understeer, but being 19mm is not too stiff. I am somewhat anxious to try out those tires as I have 195 60 r14 cheap all season tire on now. Anyways that was an informative write-up and I am really interested in the idea of grease zerks. I also want to hear how well that ta bushing holds up for you.

If you think it handles nice now, try it with the front camber at -2.5 degrees and the rear camber at -0.5 degrees. It will make a world of difference.

thats a lot of writing, im sorry that i am too lazy to read it all to give you the answers you deserve. :salute:

^ if you wearn’t so lazy you would realize he’s not looking for answers, he’s providing some very good info.

If you could take pictures of the parts with the zirk fittings that would be awesome. I am getting ready to install the ES master kit in the extra set of suspension parts that I just got powder coated. And installing zirk fittings makes a lot of sense to keep things lubed properly. Although I have the prothane RTA bushings, and already installed in the trailing arms.

I’ll post the pics up when I get a chance to put the car on the lift again. The car is due for a state inspection so I’ll be bringing it in anyways. I’ll just have to remember to take the camera to work work with me.

darin-d: I’m running the OEM rear 22mm rear ITR sway bar. I’m not 100% happy with my install tho. I did make a couple custom plates to mount the sway bar to and removed the OEM DA rear sway bar mounts. The bar is also held in place with 22mm ES universal bushings. I plan on installing a new set of these bushings but with zerk fittings on them. The front ones will also get zerks in them but I still need to figure out if the bar is a 22mm or a 23mm. I’m going to leave the front one alone. I’ve heard that the suspension techniques front sway bar is 19mm which is smaller than stock. Currently, I enjoy the neutral balance I get from the OEM front and the ITR rear sway bar. However, I would like to elliminate the rear end link with a rod end setup from a-spec racing. This will increase the rear sway bar control. Using this will probably require me welding in an ITR rear crossmember and installing the ITR bar onto it. I will have to get a little creative here since the rear crossmember isn’t a direct replacement into the DA chassis. So your still on 14s? Dude you need to ditch them and move up. I’ve hated the 14s when I had them. Too lose. I felt a lot of confidence when I switched to the GSR 15s but there was still a small tire on the ground. I’ve been very happy with the 16s and plan on keeping them for a while.

Bender-san: I see what you mean by the -2.5 ft and -0.5 rear camber. The ft being so negative will move the contact patch inward and increase the “darty” feel of the vehicle. Though this will enhance the ease of turning into curves, it has very poor forward directional control and reduced straight line traction for acceleration and braking, both of which are very important to me since it is my daily grind. This vehicle remains on the street primarily and by that I also need to have the tires last as long as possible while still having a decent ride. Don’t get me wrong the vehicle upsets the drivers of a lot of other vehicles when I can out handle them significantly. Even with the shot bushings I’ve had ITR owners give me their “what the hell” look when this vehicle passes them on the outside of the curve. I prefer to have the car feel tight so it needs to be pushed into the turn rather than a loose car that will easily move into the turn. To me having a tight feel enhances the feedback of the road conditions. For this reason I’ve further increased the steering inclination angle by bending out the knuckles to compensate for the negative and getting to the target camber vs. an adjustable upper arm or pivot. The rear setup at -1.0 makes the rear feel much more planted during corners and keeps the tail from being too happy. With a -0.5 deg rear camber, my LSD will keep breaking the tail out too much and that isn’t what I want. I do take a lot of high speed highway curves and keeping the tail where it belongs becomes very important.

JDM1nt2B: I thought about powdercoating the suspension but I decided not to since with the body kit I’m running and the muffler its impossible to see it anyways. I did disassemble my rear ITR calipers and had them powdercoated. The brackets are black but the calipers are red. I just got back with them. Now I need a couple new clips a seals and will be back to business. The Prothane RTA bushings are a direct replacement to the OEM ones. I believe that they have a outer shell that presses into the rear trailing arms. The shaft also has a couple of c-clips that hold its location in the bushing. I thought about using their bushing but its been my experience that prothane uses too hard of a durometer for nearly everything they sell. My prothane engine mount inserts practically vibrates my mirrors to where I can’t see who is behind me unless I find the sweet spot in the RPM that allows me to do so. Not saying that they aren’t worth it, heck I’m using their stuff, but I’m not so sure about making the ride any rougher than it has to be.

Now here is where I’m kinda wondering the direction for me to go. HKS sells the Hipermax II for the ITR and the 96-00 civic. The ITR uses a F9/R7 (kgf/mm) and the 96-00 civic uses a F8/R5 (kgf/mm) setup. I know that my car is closer wieght wise to a 96-00 civic than an ITR. The civic also uses the same type of rear lower shock mount. The front I can make use of the DC drop forks. I’m wondering if I should go with the ITR Hipermax and change out the rear lower arms or go with the civic Hipermax and keep the suspension as is. The difference in price will not be an issue. I’m already purchasing an expensive set of coilovers.

archivethis ?

:corn: Subscribed. :salute:

This is bad-ass. A lot of the same mods I am waiting to do. :up: :manual:

WOW! How exactly did you bend the knuckles? Did you just heat them up with a torch and bend them? Where did you bend them at, just above the bearing bore?

Awesome work. :clap: :up: :drool:

I’ve been very busy at work lately. I’ve had a bunch of issues aside from the cars I work on. So I’m sorry if I haven’t gotten back about the pics. I’ll be taking the car to work and taking pics tomorrow. So far I’ve made a lot of hard runs on the car. I’ve taken into the tripple digits and so far the stability of the car surpasses that of my RWD car since I haven’t done much with the JZA80, suspension wise. The DA was going to be the test bed for the zerk install and so far having driven about 1200 miles I’d say I won’t install any more poly urethane bushings unless I install zerks on them as well.

ricecake: Do not use a torch to do this. Heating a cast item will destroy it. The malleability drops significantly and the metal will go thru a hardening process when cooled. This increases the embrittleness and will be a problem with the harmonics endured to the suspension. Bending the knuckles is something that is done with a hydraulic press. The same one you would use to press in wheel bearings into knuckles. I know the stregic locations of where the arc needs to be supported to press and change the arc for the knuckle. I also end up using a method of measuring the assembly to help figure out the amount I need to alter the knuckle. I’ve done this process for over 25 hondas and none of them have ever had any issues what so ever. Showing someone how to do this would be rather difficult. I’m not so sure as to how to even discribe the process. It would be easier to explain in person while I’m doing it since a picture says a thousand words but being in person is infinite. If you are willing to see it I’ll show it but first I need to measure the camber before and determine the amount I need to change or alter the knuckle. This procedure seems very complicated but its not. I normally charge $300 for this but it includes a 4 wheel alignment before and after. Since most camber kits cost $200+ install and a 4 wheel align runs about $70 and most guys don’t complete the work to your satisfaction, seems like a no brainer. The amount I charge I can usually gaurantee that I can get the car to align to spec improve handling and reduce tire wear.

Here are a few threads about my work on SF.com


I’m not trying to get any business out of this. I really don’t even have much time to do any work on other cars lately since I’ve been working a lot lately and after hours the supra owners bring me way more business than I can handle. I’m just stating what I do and what one should expect to spend. There maybe someone out there who can perform the same work I do but I’ve been working on cars for over a decade and still haven’t run across one who understands suspensions at my level.

Anyways, back to the subject. I should have pics posted this weekend.


Carchitect - The factory camber settings allow for up to -1 degrees front and rear. If you want it to handle well and still have good tire wear, set the front to -1.5 and the rear to -1. I have -2.9 front and -1.5 rear, but that’s to make it handle better for autocross racing.

chsscott: I like having the front at -0.5 camber and the rear at -1.0 camber. Since I have 16" and might need to switch to 17" once the TL 4-pot brembos go on my tire is a whole lot more square than a 14" or 15" tire that most DA owners use. A 14" or 15" tire to me handles like a donut due to this. While it allows the suspension to reduce more unsprung weight with a smaller wheel the tire simply doesn’t provide me the traction I need. My other car has a 275 foot print and is RWD. It really spoils me with its traction. The DA is my daily driver. It sees about 70 miles everyday so a -1.5+ will result in a tire life of around 10k miles which is not what I want. Not to say the traction will be extremely crappy especially during braking.

Just shot some pics and I’ll have to get home and download and post them.


I don’t have problems with the braking in my car. You won’t notice much, if any, irregular wear at -1 degrees.

That’s kinda what I thought about not heating the knuckles, but I din’t think of using a press. :bang:

Man I wish you were closer.

this is a nice thread, gotta read the whole thing later

This pic is the inner bushing for the front lower control arm. The fitting is a 90 deg. 6 MM X 1.0 MM fitting

The fitting is directly on top of the arm. I used a 5/32" drill bit followed with a tap to cut new threads on the arm. The poly bushing in this location is 3-piece so I ended up drilling a hole in the middle bushing so the grease can find its way into the sleeve.

This is the shock poly bushing. This one also has a 90 deg fitting in it but I installed at a 45 deg angle to reduce the chances of axle interferance. This bushing is two piece so I ended up notching both sides and fit the notches to the fitting.

This is the ES TA bushing. The one that everyone on the web swears about how it binds and I’ve been able to prove how it doesn’t. The fitting is a 8MM X 1.0 MM straight fitting. you can also see the fitting on the rear lower arm. It is a 6MM X 1.0 straight fitting.

A close up of that same TA bushing

The left side of the same TA

This is the left lower arm. The fitting on the outer side is a 45 deg 6MM X 1.0 MM. You can also use a 90 deg fitting on the non-ABS models. I just wanted more clearance from the ABS sensor wiring. The bushing is 3-piece so it will need a hole in the center bushing. You can also see the shock mount fitting here. Same as the right side, its a 6MM X 1.0MM straight. The bushing is 2-piece so it will need to be notched.

This is the inner bushing of the rear lower arm. The fitting is a 90 deg 6MM X 1.0MM fitting. You can also see my ITR 22MM rear sway bar install. The mounts are holding for now but if they tear I will be welding a new rear ITR rear crossmember.

This is the front upper arm pivots. The fittings are 45 deg 6MM X 1.0MM. The bushing is 1 piece so you will need to drill thru it.

This is the rear upper arm with the Prothane rear upper arm bushing set. The fittings face each other and that is why you can’t see the outer one but you get the idea.

The rear upper arm bushing set from prothane comes with a sleeve and a shaft. The sleeve goes where the outer goes and the shaft goes where the inner goes. Both the bushings are the same 2-piece and come with a cadmium plated outer sleeve to press into the arm. You will need to disassemble the outer sleeve and bushings and press the sleeve into the arm. The hole is then drilled and tapped to allow the fitting to thread into it. The bushings need to be notched and squeezed into the outer sleeve and lubed for the inner sleeve and shaft to go in. The snap rings keep the shaft centered.

Since I had the trailing arms off and I’m looking for a toe arm bushing. I came to the conclusion that the Prothane rear upper arm bushings can be modified to fit the toe arm. The are 10MM wider than the toe arm bushing so if the shell width was reduced 5MM a side it will work for the toe arm. The only problem is the Prothane bushing kit comes with 4 bushings and 2 sleeves and 2 shafts. We will pretty much need 4 bushings and 4 sleeves.

I hope this helps out a lot of guys when they decide to do their suspensions.


So far my rear sway bar install hasn’t had any problems but I’ve heard about how the ITR rear sway bar ends up tearing out the rear crossmember.



Joe: thanks for the pics. I have the ES master plus TA bushings, and was going to install zerk fittings, but never got around to it. (Had to get them in before a business trip the next day)

This is wonderful! Thanks for the pics, and information. I will be taking the suspension apart in the next few months, and will do this.

carchitect - I have a question/observation. You mentioned that your first install of the ES master kit was sans zerk fittings. Then you replaced them when they fell apart with a new ES master set adding zerk fittings. Correct so far?

Anyway, I noticed from your pics that you have the ES master set in RED. Was your first set a Red set also? The reason I ask is ES claims in their sales pitch that the BLACK sets have a graphite content and better lubricated. Wouldn’t the BLACK sets hold up better?

“Question: What is the difference between the
Energy Suspension ® red and black polyurethane components?

Answer: Both are our Energy’s HYPER-FLEX™ performance polyurethane formulations. Energy has impregnated selected black polyurethane components with graphite–to add a lubrication property. Additionally, both Energy Suspension ® red and black polyurethane components are engineered differently than OEM rubber components–to be free a floating and non-binding design. This allows for the additional durometer (firmness) of the components, which adds to the performance improvement of the vehicle overall.”

Thanks for the great pics. :rockon:

Wraith: My first set was black and I too thought that the graphite composition wold help with lubricity in the event that the grease were to dry out. I was wrong. It seems to me aside from the color both bushings are the same. I think that one can use the black to be more sneaky with what he/she is running and might allow one to get away in a few races w/o having points penalized. I bought the red this time so I can see the condition of the bushing easier. A tear in red will show up easier than black. The zerks are the latest mod I’ve done. This was because I’ve taken apart the upper arm bushings once before since they were noisey. This time I took apart all of them with the intention of lubing them but instead I ended up with what you see here. I basically ended up doing what I should have done the first time around.