Car: Suspension was installed on my 2002 Civic SIR with front and rear JDM Type-R suspension including sway bars, K24A2 with 242 hp and 221 tq, 205/50/16 Continental Extreme Contact DW summer tires on 16×7 Enkei DM5 wheels.
Product: The Progress coilovers came well packed and with no missing parts. The instructions are directed at a professional installer and leave many gaps for the amateur owner to figure out. Since these products are mainly directed at auto enthusiasts who prefer to perform the work themselves, an improved step-by-step instruction or online video would be appreciated and is expected in this day and age. The parts are easily assembled prior to installation and of very high quality; it really feels like a professional product with beautiful welds and high strength materials.
Installation of the rear coilovers was easy for me, but I had my mechanic install the fronts. One of the problems of a RSX/EP3 generic product is that they are always designed foremost for the RSX, leaving a few problems for us EP3 owners to figure out. The front coilovers require the longer RSX tie rod ends to fit the EP3, something not mentioned in the instructions and adding additional cost to the parts list, so be aware.
Adjusting the vehicle height with the car on the ground and raising the front or the back with a jack is easy. With camber dialed in at -1.5 front and rear and the EP3 lowered about 1.5” below EOM specs, it leaves a nice 2 finger gap between fenders and tires. The system can go substantially lower as well, likely another 1 inch or more, but I prefer function over form.
The suspensions ride is firm but with excellent rebound and damping for most roads and provides a real sense of confidence and communication. Smooth pavement feels like the OEM Type-R suspension (which it replaced) or more likely the Mugen set-up as it is a little stiffer then the R. On less than ideal roads you feel every camber change and crack or expansion joint, but not harshly, but this may not be true if your running a thinner sidewall then I. It’s when constant imperfections exist on the road that the stiffness makes itself felt and a possibly softer spring rate could have improved the commuter ride. The shocks react better at high speeds and absorb much of the higher frequency road imperfections and really making the suspension shine. The spring rates are high and do not bounce, and reduce front and back body dive noticeably when accelerating or braking hard. No noise or vibrations are transferred to the cabin and the coilovers themselves are very quiet since they utilize the OEM hats for a plastic on metal contact, rather than most “pillowball” coils with metal on metal. If yours are not in good condition, this again would be an additional cost for the install, and due to this set-up, the coilovers do not have an adjustable camber/caster plate option.
One peculiar note is that my mechanic said that while the parts are great quality in the box, he was unsatisfied with some general looseness in the front coilovers once installed with everything torqued down. He did not elaborate further and I will check on this next time my car is up on hoist. Not sure if this is a build issue, a bracket out of spec, or an overly large bolt hole, but I will keep an eye on it. At the moment it does not seems to cause any adverse effect, but time will tell and these are rebuild-able through Progress.
Overall the product is as advertised by Progress; a high quality product that is focused on sharpening the RSX/EP3, easily adjusted for height, initially very good build quality with re-buildable fronts, and a truly made in America product, California to be precise.