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Acura Integra GSR Customizing and Modifying



  • garadosgarados Posts: 321
    Just so people don't give you crap in the future, it's VTEC, not vtech. The only motors that came with vtec were in the gsr's for that generation. So no, you don't have a vtec-equipped motor. If you have any questions, feel free to ask ^_^


  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    That's funny, my wife came home yesterday with a Vtech cordless phone she bought at Walmart (?). It's true! I didn't know they made vtech phones :-)

    How is the Miata doing Phoy?
  • bemathew1bemathew1 Posts: 18
    Not sure I posted this before...put in the K&n filter. Made a DIY Icetake (filter in the stock air box....taking the air behind the turn signals ...take out resonator etc).
    Koni yellows with 400 & 450 Ground controls.
    Car feels pretty good.

    I had some curb damage where one of the OEM wheels is slightly bent. Looking around for some 16x7 or 17x7 wheels.There are some good deals on Honda-tech....Not sure which one to take.There is a Brigs 17x7 wheels which weigh just 14 lbs..for $*50

    Did you all see the new Miata specs and pictures....something’s get better with age???
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Well it's about time! :-) I believe you told us you have the 22mm sway bar installed but not the coilovers & Konis.

    You 're asking the wrong person because if you 've been reading my replies to garados and others, I 'm against using 16" and especially 17" wheels. Probably because to me they 're no good for autocross. The larger wheels will hurt your acceleration, even if they 're 1lb lighter than stock. 16 & 17" TIRES in general are heavier, pricier, and require more power to rotate them than a 15" wheel/tire. Our cars usually handle better with 15". Your car should look pretty good now (a lot better than before) with the 15" wheels if it's lowered 1" or more. The lower stance makes the 15" look like 16" and much more symmetrical in comparison to the rest of the car, etc. See if you can pick up a used set of 15x7" Kosei K1, 38mm offset (45mm works too, I have both sets, one for my Falken Azenis and the other for the Kumho Race tires). They weigh exactly 13lbs. I 've had mine weighed and a couple are 12.95lbs. You should also know that 7" wide wheels track the imperfections of the road more and you have to hold on tight to the wheel. 7" width does improve handling considerably though, but just like every mod you do, it has its good points and its bad. Rougher ride is one of them. I don't disapprove 15x7" I 'm just telling you what to expect.
  • bemathew1bemathew1 Posts: 18
    Thanks Harry,

    I have my auto-x Azeniz tires on an old set of Rota cobras ( approx 13 lb each but 15x6.5).
    I am planning to use these 16" or 17" for my daily use not for auto-x . I have to admit that its mainly for "All show no go" !!!!!!!. At the same time, I don't want those heavy wheels which could Impact the handling and can have rubbing issues on the road. I saw some 17x7 forged wheels in a group buy thread (its a set of Brigs wheels….. 14.2 lbs each. approx 825 shipped). I don’t want to spend that much for a streey use wheel. I think you can get a decent, not so heavy 16x7 for around 500 to 600 or a 15x7 for around $400.

    Expenses are mounting up….its time for changing the Ultimate axis brake pads. If I get a good deal, probably I will go for a rotor + pads deal. Its 70 k miles now and I may want to think about changing timing belt and water pump. I also want a good header + exhaust set up, spark plus and wires…..list is going on

    Harry, good that this thread is alive and going on. Hope that this doesn't go to
    Archives like the Ford probe, Contour SVT you remember those days when
    you used to have some ‘interesting’ discussions with some of them ? he he
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Those guys with Ford Probe GT's used to come into our Integra forum all the time trying to say that their cars are faster than ours, when I had personally raced several Probe GTs and there was no contest. The GSR would always pull on a Probe. I 'm glad you remember those days :-) I don't think I'd have the interest or energy today to battle it out with those guys again. After 5-6yrs I really don't care much about that and I guess I have better things to do that spend hours on Edmunds like I used to.. Remeber there was one Probe troublemaker that kept coming into our thread and Edmunds cancelled his user account and then he reregistered and came back again but the word "Probe" was always part of his UserID/nickname and we always recognized him right away.

    Anyway, how about some of the Rota 16x7 wheels they have out there? And god only knows they have like a dozen different models. Have you looked at them? They usually run around $500 for a set of 16" including shipping. They 're around 15-16lbs I think. I have the Rota Attack 15x6.5" on my '01 Civic, 40mm offset (38-42mm is ideal for the Integra). Had them for 3yrs now. Paid $450 shipped. They 're 12.8lbs each and almost as strong as the Kosei K1 because I hit a few (not a foot deep but..) potholes and they held up ok. You can lift them with 1 finger. They 're really light. I 've put 100k mi. on them, but they 're mostly highway miles. How much is your car lowered now?
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Shifty has slightly changed the name of our thread and has also listed it under the "Speed Shop - Modifications" Forum. This thread shows up on both forums. There are a couple of Integra guys on that forum asking about suspension mods so I 'm "cruising" that board too :-)
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,637
    I didn't change it but I did request it appear in both boards since you guys dispense such usual info. I'm not the Host here anymore. I'm in Speedshop and Maintenance & Repair, so see you there I hope!

  • I just bought a used 95 integra GS-R with only 80000 miles and all stock, and i couldn't be happier with the performance and handling over my old 92 Camry stationwagon. I'm looking into a few basic mods (Intake, exhaust etc.) and was wondering if any of you had any good sugestions on brands or other good mods.
  • 90gs90gs Posts: 107
    First off I'd like to know the specs on this "Vtech" cordless phone; how fast can it dial?, how much does it weigh?, etc.

    I recently bought a 1990 Acura Integra GS 2D w/ ABS. I love this car! It's affordable and very fun to drive. I want to "finish off the handling" but I'm not really sure of the best way to go about it...

    Here's what I have already:
    -HP Tokico springs and shocks
    -Stock alloy wheels (that look pretty scuffed) wrapped in
    Pirelli Directional Tires P500 - P195/60R14 85H M&S
    -A really heavy foot on the accelerator while cornering turns

    1)I've been looking at sway bars and tie bars but I'm not sure what the difference is. DC tie bars seem good but expensive. Is what I pay for what I get? I'm willing to spend the money if I'll feel a difference but otherwise I'd rather spend it on something else. I'm keeping this car for at least 3-4 years. Also, will ABS get in the way of a front tie bar? I also should mention that it has some crap illegal headers on it that I'm gonna have to remove for smog in about a year.

    2) The tires. Since the wheels are scuffed and a little oxidated, I'm pretty sure I'll upgrade to some 5-spoke GSR''s, GSR saw blades or 7-spoke Civic Si's. With that in mind, what tires should I put on them (or have on them) without breaking the bank but still getting the most out of those turns (i.e. stickiness, strong side walls). I can't stress enough how much I love those turns.

    3) Finally, what's the deal with brushings? Are they a good investment in this car that I'm keeping? Remember, I already put the springs/shocks on.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,637
    You want to be careful here that you don't put too big a sway bar and too stiff a bushing on the car---you could turn a firm ride into a punishing one that you may not like day after day after day. A little "squish" in the suspension can give you that "electric wire" feel that makes a car more fun even if it gives up something on the skid pad to a rock hard type of sled.

    Ditto tires---the lower the profile the harsher the ride as a rule, and the wider the tires the more steering effort.

    It would be great if you could drive a car that has the more extreme suspension set ups and see if you really want that on the street.
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    This goes for '90-01 Integras (RS,LS,GS,GSR).

    Tie bars are a good start but usually not too noticeable, especially if you already have other suspension mods. They 're a little noticeable and help a bit on completely stock cars. Tie bars do not hurt and they do help stiffen up the chassis a little so I recommend them. I usually say go for front upper and rear tie bars BUT, not before you upgrade your rear sway bar. Sway bars make a world of difference. They take a lot of the body roll away helping you maintaing more tire patch on the ground which = better handling.

    Comptech makes a 22mm adjustable rear sway bar - tie bar combo and it's one of the best in quality and reliability. It comes with both the sway bar and the rear lower tie bar which is installed in such a way that it serves as a subframe reinforcement. This was one of the first mods I did on my '99 GSR and besides tires, it should be the first mod for everyone with an Integra or FWD car who wants to improve handling and take those sweepers and curves faster and with more confidence. Another popular rear sway bar is made by Suspension Techniques (ST). It is also 3-way adjustable and less expensive than the Comptech but it doesn't come with the tie bar and I personally think craftsmanship (you can see it in the paint - they use a grey flat paint on the bar that looks like you could have painted it better yourself) and materials is in a lower class. The Comptech uses a billet aluminum lower tie bar which is extremely light and very strong. It comes in your choice of colors but I personally prefer the silver tie bar. Very noticeable to drivers behind you as it hangs a little low since it "ties" both Lower Control Arms together, and shows you 're serious about your suspension :-) The sway bar is usually black unless they 've changed that don't know. Check their web site: They specialize in Honda/Acura aftermarket parts.
    DCSports stuff is ok but they 're not known for their sway bars. More for their tie bars which are average but I 'd recommend looking at Neuspeed for your front upper tie bar. Neuspeed makes nice front tie bars and they 're very popular with Hondas & Acuras (got those too..).

    In a few cases a bigger sway bar however can induce unwanted oversteer but only under certain specific conditions. It is unlikely you will experience it on the street especially in our FWD Integras, but it is possible if you drive on the street like a complete maniac. Mainly what I 'm talking about is You should be careful not braking or making sudden changes while going fast in the middle of a ramp or curve because the car could fishtail having a stiffer rear. This is usually remedied and/or controlled with adjustable shocks. I don' t know which Tokikos you have but I hope they 're the adjustable Tokiko Illuminas. Normally the 22mm sway bar is not a danger to anyone on the street. Under real racing conditions (such as autocross/Solo II or road racing/Solo I) it takes a few min. to adjust to, but once you learn how the bar makes your car behave, you 'll drive the car subconciously the proper way and become faster in the turns.

    TIRES: Great inexpensive tires are the Falken Azenis (Sport) and the Kumho MX. They are Ultra high performance tires that last ~20k mi. but they 're the best handling tires you can get for the price and very comprable if not better than other expensive Michelin and Bridgestone Potenzas. These are typically called "summer tires" and are absolutely not recommended for winter use if you get snow where you live. The best thing to do is get '99-00 Civic Si (or GSR, etc.)rims, or an extra set of rims with your winter or all-season tires on them. This way you don't have to mount & dismount tires with one set of rims which can get costly with balancing. Rota makes inexpensive 15x6.5" alloy wheels that are lighter than the Acura factory wheels by ~2.5lbs and they 're 1/2" wider. They 're also popular with Honda/Acura. In any case 205-50-15" is the best tire size for our cars and the one that won't rub or give you any problems. Do not get 16 or 17" wheels as they 're too heavy (unless you pay thousands $$ for forged wheels) and will comprimise handling, steering response, turn-in, and definitely acceleration.

    So after you make the No1 mod which is tires, and the No2 mod which is a bigger rear sway bar (badly needed for our cars), then you can look at intakes. AEM, Injen and Comptech make the best intakes. With Comptech you can get their "icebox" which is like a cold-air-intake (CAI) but safer than the others because it won't suck in water if you go over a few inch deep puddle. Normally the AEM & Injen cold air intake (prefer AEM) is pretty safe unless you get flooding where you live, then get the regular intakes which are also sarcastically called warm air intakes but called officially: RAM air intakes or "short" air intakes. Short intakes take in warmer engine air thus giving you lesser HP gains than Cold Air intakes which have a longer intake tube with the K&N filter much closer to the ground right behind the bumper.
    An exhaust won't do much good unless you have an aftermark intake so take in more air and an aftermarket header to dispose of gases faster. A header is more important than the exhaust and provides better HP gains than just an exhaust alone. All 3 together, I/H/E, make for a noticeably faster car. A free flow Catalytic converter (CAT) also adds to the HP and torque gains but be careful if you have very strict smog inspection where you live. Some free flow CATs may give you problems passing inspections but most claim they 're completely legal in most states for passing emissions inspection and I 've known very few people that had problems with them. Most of the time they 're fine.
    Oh one thing about Comptech I just remembered, they may only sell stuff for newer generation Integras, not older.. Also go to or for the best prices on tires.
    Ok that's enough for now. There is so much too tell but so little time.. Oh btw, Shifty is right, do not install polyurethane bushings. If you don't believe me, come drive in my GSR and tell me if you don't think you 're in a MAC truck. I race my GSR and have a race suspension as well (among other things), but up until last summer I was on rubber bushings and was driving the car around in the street even though it was very rough. Well after I installed poly bushings all around (upper & lower arms + shock bushings, etc.) the car has become almost unbearable. So I went back to my race valved but streetable Koni shocks to relieve the pain on my spine and lower back while driving on the street. Listen to your host Shifty, he sometimes knows what he is talking about.. (I wonder where he learned most of it from? from reading my posts probably! hehe) :-) Ahh, so much to tell so little time hey Joe? :)
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,637
    Everything I know comes from Harry, that's true.
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    com'on you give me too much credit. 1-2% of your knowledge comes from other sources :-)

    BTW, checkout my 2nd race of the year in the pouring rain. The STi' s got the fastest times with their AWD which gave them the advantage in the slippery cold & wet surface. Luckily they 're in a higher class than me.
    I 'm in class E but surprisingly I didn't get killed by any of the WRX's in my class as I expected due to the bad weather (40 deg) and wet surface. My race tires were ice cold too every time I got back from a run! Yep, sometimes it's all about the driver :)
  • Wow, you said a mouthfull but that really cleared some things up for me, thanks! :) I plan on getting the AEM V2 and the comptech suspension upgrades. Do you know anything about high performance ecu's? I have heard that many of them can ruin your engine and greatly lower you gas mileage. And that some just trick you air flow sensors into thinking that your gunning the throttle when your not, so when when you do gun it there isn't a noticeable difference. (venom 400)
    Got any recomondations?
  • 90gs90gs Posts: 107
    Okay, so I wanted to do some research before I responded. First of all, thanks for the help with this. My Tokico's are HP's not Illuminas (stereo was more important than super expensive shocks, plus I have a girlfriend so minus two or three bills a month). Comptech doesn't make stuff for my car :cry: but they did make a blower for my friends type S TL that's pretty impressive. Also I should add that I'm a big fan of stock looking cars (even if it is a stock from a dif. year or model ie, newer/better looking). So Rotas are out of the question. In most cases I'd rather leave my GS looking stock (sleeper mode) than " [showing I'm] serious about [my] suspension :) .

    That in mind here's what I found...
    -Part# ST-52150, desc. Susp. Tech. Anti sway bar system.
    -A black Neuspeed front sway bar (but it's for no ABS, I have ABS, is there a way around this?)
    -Some really cheap sway bars on ebay
    PLEASE comment on the above three findings and suggest the best for my sit. Remember I'm only spending money on what I'll feel. And I don't want the ride to be too much stiffer b/c they haven't fixed all the pot holes where I live. We can leave a little flex.

    The TIRES
    They don't have either of the tires you mentioned, just Falken
    Falken Ziex ZE-512 and Kumho Ecsta Supra 712 & Kumho Ecsta ASX. Another performance shop said dunlop's are good on our cars too. Are dunlops worth the extra buck though?
    Again I appreciate your help with this, I will be asking you about JDM 1pcs in the near future, er' I mean posting it so that anyone can respond! Ha! :shades:
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    don't lower it much, and go with a nice set of Acura alloys in 15" are cheaper, still a bunch of selection, and you can pick up a set of wheels off of ebay from some kid who just put 18s on his Integra...

    Suspension Techniques makes a great product, and they're usually not too radically large to cause flex problems. get what you pay for - I've run Kuhmo 712s on mine and my oldest son's cars - they were cheap, but after 6-8k miles, the chopped up badly (with GOOD rotation and balance practices) and became noisy, also lost grip.

    The Yokohoma ES100 or Dunlop FM 901 are good choices. It's a non-weather car (Southern CA), you could use the Falken Azenis Sports like I just put on my Ion Redline - these things are incredible.
  • 90gs90gs Posts: 107
    I think it's funny how these kids will buy 18" wheels and lower their integ 2.5 inches just so they can screw up their camber and eventually get their ride stolen. Speaking of which is their a diff. between the GSR saw blades & the 5-spokes? Should I just go for the Si 7-spoke, whats a good price to pay for an unscuffed set?

    My car is used to Central California and the weather can be very unpredictable. I don't want to get any San Diego tires (sorry DR!) But both those tires seemed reasonably priced (Es100 &FM901) did you try both of them? Do you have a preference? Also, what speed rating did you get for your Falken Azenis Sports? For now I'll forgive the fact that their on a saturn. :(

    Still need help! Is $250 gonna be worth it for this ST Anti sway system? Is it OK that I have ABS, most of the websites sell ones: "w/out ABS"???
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    1. Leave the front sway bar alone. The bigger the front sway bar the more understeer you 'll have. You want to look into upgrading your front sway bar's endlink bushings only. Go to and look at the Energy suspension kits to see if they make them for your car. You 'll feel the difference.

    2. ST rear sway bar is fine. ST sway bars are a lot better now than a few years ago and they 're reasonably priced.

    3. Stay away from Ebay crap unless they 're big names. I recommend getting a front STRUT bar. I never mentioned front sway bar for your car unless I fat fingered something.. Neuspeed should make a Front Upper Shock Tower bar for you car (same thing as front upper strut bar) or aka: front upper tie bar. It ties your 2 front shock towers together. The GSR comes with one standard. Neuspeed tie bars should be around $99-109 from what I recall. Their tie bars are good because unlike most upper tie bars they mount at 2 different places in each corner. You said you wanted to feel it so I recommend the Neuspeed front upper tie bar. Most other cheap tie bars will not make a noticeable difference. The only other bar you will feel is the SPOON front upper tie bar which I 'm not sure if it fits in your car. It is made for the Type-R but fits all '94+ Integras and '92+ Civics. It may fit your car as well. I replaced my stock strut bar with the Spoon one. Bought it used for $100 but it was like new. It costs $200 new. Spoon makes top of the line stuff but all their products are VERY expensive. I actually didn't feel the difference over the stock one but I didn't expect to because I have a very stiff suspension and polyurethane bushings. I even raced without the bar a couple of times while I was waiting for the Spoon bar and only then I felt that it wasn't there very slightly, but didn't miss it and didn't think it hurt my times. I think it was more psychological than anything else. But on a mildly modded car like yours or with non-adjustable shocks like you have, you 'll feel a small difference with a good upper tie bar. You can always look into the OEM '94+ GSR bar to see if it fits your car. The Acura dealer might know. They 're only about $40-50. It made a slight difference on my brother's '95 LS. Turn-in got a little better and the steering a tiny bit more responsive. Nothing big but every little thing helps.
    The Falken Azenis Sport is being phased out. It's been replaced by another Falken. Can't remember the model right now because it's passed by bedtime but my brother just got a set and installed in on his '98 Type-R. He says they 're at least as good as the Azenis Sport but he won't know if they 're better until he goes racing with me in next week. I 'll ask him where he got them from. You should be able to do a search and do some price comparisons. The Azenis Sport 205-50-15 price range (I have them too) was $65-75. Very reasonably priced and it's one of the top street tires out there now and has outperformed most high priced ZR/WR summer tires for the last 2-3yrs. I can imagine the New Falken that replaces it being a couple of bucks more. You might be able to still find the Azenis Sport if you search hard enough but most likely the SCCA autocross guys have bought them all. It's the most sought after autocross street tire for the Street Touring Street tire class (STS).
    I mentioned the Rota wheels because Honda/Acura 15x6" OEM wheels in half way decent shape will run you at least $300/set. The Rotas are around $400-450 shipped. The Rotas are also 6.5" wide and a couple of pounds lighter than OEM which in most cases makes a noticeable difference when you 're accelerating and turning. GSR wheels are 15.5lbs and '99-00 Si wheels are 16lbs. Most Rotas are 12.8-13.2lbs like the Kosei K1 15x7" which I have on my car (have 2 sets of those, 1 for street w/45mm offset, 1 for racing with a more agressive 38mm offset - pushes the wheel out by 7mm). 2.5lbs of less unsprung weight means 25lbs off each corner of your car. 100lbs all around. I also have Rota 15x6.5" (Attack model) on my '01 Civic EX coupe. They 're fine for daily driving and I have put 90k mi. on them so far. I 'm not saying by any means that the Rotas are a better wheel than OEM. Honda/Acura OEM wheels have superb craftsmaship, polished lip, more durable, etc. definitely better than Rota in most categories. It's just that Rotas like some other brands are an inexpensive alternative to OEM and are LIGHT which is a big plus for fuel comsuption, acceleration, handling, turn-in and steering responsiveness. They 're also not too light as to comprimise the wheel's integrity so they 're fine for every day street driving and like I said earlier, very popular with Hondas & Acuras (I see a lot of Integras with the subzero ones) and have an ideal offset of 40mm (stock Honda 6" wheels are 45mm).
  • 90gs90gs Posts: 107
    Harry, again thank you for the help. Just a few quick things because I'm supposed to be working right now. I looked at the Rotas, and the subzero is alright but they wanted 400-500 for the set! I still got to get all these other suspension mods! Just to check before I dont buy: " front sway bar" that causes understeer is under the engine bay right? Back to rotas: will that extra .5" on the width really be noticed, same w/ 3-4lbs. Thank you Harry
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