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Project Integra - Stage 2 Front Bushings, Brakes and More

Stage 2 Breakdown

Front Bushings


& a few bonus parts

In Stage 2 I swapped out more worn out parts, trying to get the car ready for some track day fun or in some cases just to make it safe to drive. As I covered in the Intro and then in more detail in Stage 1 the decision was made to use Hardrace to replace most of the worn out bushings on the Integra.

On the lower control arms and compliance bushings hardened rubber was chosen. A mix of pillowball and hardened rubber bushings were used up front, one reason for the mix was to stay on budget and also for a little daily driving comfort For the Hardrace upper control arms that were installed in Stage 1, the bushing were pillowball. As you might have noticed in the pic above while installing the lower control arms I found that I needed to also replace the lower ball joints. Which I now waiting on since they are currently backordered.

As you can see the the OEM bushing were done, both having tears and cracks it easy to see the difference between the two. I've been installing parts as they come in, which is some cases causes me to install/uninstall and reinstall parts multiple times. Its more work but it allows me to test drive the car after each part is installed. By installing parts as they come in it allows me to really feel the difference each change makes vs just installing everything all at once. It was interesting how the new lower control arms effected the steering by both lightning and quickening the steering response and effort. Steering inputs felt more direct and precise. I will definitely be doing an alignment after all the front suspension components are installed.

The compliance bushings and swaybar endlinks were next to be delivered. After the install I was expecting to "feel" more of a difference but in truth the lower control arms provided a bigger difference in handling response. Knowing that the car is headed for track day events and so far all the other suspension components have been worn out they still needed to be upgraded.

Everything has been easy to replace only needing a basic set of hand tools. As with most things it just takes a little bit of knowledge and the confidence to try. Being able to do everything yourself is very rewarding, the pride in knowing that the results are from your hard work the term "built not bought" holds even more meaning. I'll have wait on making a decision regarding the front swaybar setup until I'm able to do a couple track days to determine which direction I want to go up front but until then I'll just run the stock bar.

With most of the front end handling addressed it was time to move on braking. In the past I've run both stock calipers with race pads and full BBK, an argument can be made for either route depending on numerous factors which I sure will forever be debated in forums. For me here was my reasoning for the route I went on this specific project build.

Weight vs Performance vs Price were my determining factors for why I went with the Wilwood DPHA setup. I have had good experience with Wilwood's in the past running a BBK on my last Honda. The downside to the BBK in this build is the need for a larger wheel and larger rotor both of which will add weight. Because the Integra is going to be a momentum its going to be about keeping the weight low where I can, especially on the corners. The Wilwood DPHA kit is not only an upgrade to 4 pistons but it also enables me to utilize the stock sized rotors, which allows me to save on the cost of replacement rotors and also makes it so I'm able to run a 15" wheel both of which will save me a lot on weight.

The DPHA kit uses the stock brake lines if wanted but again I didn't want to trust that those 25 year old brake lines would handle the stress and pressure to slow me from 100mph on the track without failing. A set of Stoptech SS brake lines replaced both the front and rear brake lines. Brakes are a place I'd rather have to much then not enough. At the track the Wilwoods make to easy to swap pads allowing me to be able to drive to the track on street pads and then swap over to a dedicated track pad. In the past for track pads I've run the Hawk DTC-60 pads up front, these pads will be my starting point for track days. I'll get more into the rear setup once all the parts come in.

I'll be running Centric rotors for their extremely low cost and the availability to get them quick and easy. For the cost the rotors are almost disposable, if they last even a handful of track outings then they will be more cost effective then running the more expensive rotors. Now the Centric rotors will have to hold up and be safe, I'll have to keep an eye on the rotors to determine if it will be necessary to spend more on higher end rotors. To stay on budget the Centric rotors should work fine.

Installation of the Wilwoods went easy, getting lucky that the retainer screws on the rotors weren't frozen, which is typically the hardest part of the entire install. I used the 2 person method to bleed the brakes and to swap over to Motul DOT 4 RBF600 brake fluid. After bleeding all the old fluid out of the system it was time to bed the brakes.

Following the bedding process, I took the car out to test the brakes and after a couple panic stops I was very disappointed in the braking performance. I know in the past I didn't really care for the street pads that Wilwood provides in their kit but the brakes just didn't grab the way they should have so I went back and bled the brakes and through the process to re-bed the pads. I found a good place to test where I was able to jump on the brakes, testing the 60-0 and wow what a difference that made. After the second round of bleeding and bedding the brakes really came alive.

On any project build there is always something extra that pops up. Unexpected or unplanned things will always come up and sometimes its ends up being a good thing. I picked up a Circuit Hero 3pt Strut Bar (unplanned for this Stage) on sale.

I've been on the hunt for another 2 (or more) 949 wheels to go with the ones I already have. This leads to me to another unplanned purchase, which was having to get a pair of wheels and tires to get me by due to wearing out my stocks and not being able to find a some 949's at a good price.

More on both the Circuit Hero Strut Bar, the Kosei wheels, finishing up the rear brakes and whatever happens to pop up to finish out Stage 2 of this build.


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