Thursday, June 11, 2009

Steering Knuckle Comparison

Bigger = better when it comes to brakes. The rotors and calipers are larger on the Integra, so putting the knuckles on the Civic seems like an easy brake upgrade. We took the steering knuckles from the Civic and the DC Integra off and put them side-by-side.
Unfortunately it was obvious that there was little chance that the Integra knuckle would work as it was. The top ball joint was almost 1.5 inches inboard of the Civic ball joint location. That translates into LOTS of positive camber. We went to the wrecker yard and got a DA (90-93) Integra knuckle in the hopes that it would be a closer match. It was, but not as good as we hoped. The uprights also get taller as you go from EF>DA>DC. The DA is about .25" taller than the EF, and the DC is about .125" taller than the DA. Taller means that the camber curve gets more agressive.
Here's the camber comparison if we bolted the knuckle onto the Civic at stock ride height:
EF Civic knuckle (88 Civic DX)= 0°
DA Integra knuckle (91 Integra LS)= ~0°
DC Integra knuckle (95 Integra LS)= +5.2°
These measurements are approximate, as I based them on the distance from the top of the lower ball joint to the upper ball joint hole. Ideally the measurments would be from the center of each ball joint, but I think the error is less than .25 degree.
It's not all bad. Lowering the car will create some negative camber. Ideally we'd have -2° to -3° (I think). I've read about people taking a torch and bending the upright to correct camber. It's a pretty cheesy solution, but that's what makes it LeMons worthy. I'm going to do a bit more research on it.
I'm going to double check my measurements and then put the DA Integra knuckles on the car for the time being. (edit - doublechecked the DA knuckles and they're closer than I measured earlier. I'll post better numbers later)

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