The following review comes to us via King customer Andy Thompson - thanks Andy!
Skunk2’s Pro-C Coilovers are a solid choice for an all-inclusive, mid-level suspension offering features beneficial to track-specific applications.
Why I Chose Pro-C
I initially set out to find an authentic suspension that offered modern coilover features and chassis-specific production. Although many with newer vehicles will not have this issue, my dated EF chassis has quite limited aftermarket choices. So the Pro-C was one of my only choices.
Skunk2 designs and tests all of their products, specific to application. This is important because the coilover actually matches the intended chassis it was designed for, instead of a coilover that was originally designed for one chassis and has been translated to fit others.
I wanted a fully-inclusive suspension that had springs matched to struts, versus a two-piece spring and strut combination from two separate manufactures. I wanted fully independent adjustability in spring rate, dampening, and ride height. The Pro-C smartly offers ride height adjustability independent of spring rate. With many older suspensions, changing ride height also adjusts the spring rate as a negative side effect.
I was also interested in an inverted mono tube strut to maintain a larger oil capacity while offering strength and responsiveness. The Pro-C does not offer inversion, but still uses a mono tube design versus an OE style struts twin tube design (which can feel unresponsive in performance applications).
Here is a comparison of the EF OEM suspension versus the Pro-C:
The Pro-C offers a relatively simple and effective valving system. Removable keys on the top of the strut easily control dampening. The keys are retained to the top of the piston rod via rubber o-rings, which allow them to be left in place during driving.
Many lower quality suspensions advertise 36-way adjustability, which is fine, but can be quite frustrating to keep track of and count out when readjusting damping. With Skunk2 offering 12 points of adjustability, it gives the user enough range to dial in damping with meaningful differences between each click. I currently have my suspension set at 3 in the front and 5 in the rear, for casual street driving.
CNC Machined Aluminum Strut housing and Spring Perches
If you live anywhere with rain, snow, or dirt; aluminum threading and perches are a huge deal. A common issue with lower quality aluminum and steel struts is corrosion, and trying to adjust spring rate after any amount of time usually involves ditching the spanner wrenches and grabbing a punch and hammer. The Pro-Cs are made of 6061-T6 aluminum, which is a tempered grade. This makes the threading much more corrosion-resistant and spring rate adjustability a feature that persists despite your weather or road conditions.
I have two summer seasons on my coilovers, in which they still adjust with ease after road grime is wiped off. I personally apply silicon lubricant to threading to repel water (although road grim builds up quicker but is easily removable).
Contrary to what is advertised, these coilovers are by no means comfortable. With almost no spring load and low dampening settings, you will still be feeling every crack in the street. On the other hand, the feeling is confident, and there is a total absence of slack in the system. That said, make sure the rest of your suspension system and bushings are up to par-- if not, expect the soft spot in your system to be amplified.
Clearances with UCA
Although this is not a coilover specific issue, some double wishbone suspension setups with front camber kits may run into clearance issues with certain degrees of camber. On my EF, I am running an irrational 4.6 degrees of camber in the front, in which occasionally my front knuckle knocks against the springs and spring perches of the coilover on larger bumps.
If you’re a Honda enthusiast looking to get involved in some motor sports such as local auto cross events or open road racing events -- while still being able to drive your car on the street -- this is definitely a great choice.
If you’re planning on driving your car every day or commute long distance to work, the Pro-C may not be for you. Or consider purchasing the Pro-C with lower spring rates.
I am constantly tinkering with my suspension and plan to try a different set of springs for summer 2015. Thanks for reading.
Detailed look at the Pro-C:
See more Skunk2 Racing products at the King Motorsports online store!
Way back Wednesday- we are going to post the entire Mugen AT Civic Group A parts catalog. We think you'll be amazed at the depth of the parts Mugen made available. You could literally build a turn key competitive Group A Civic from this catalog.
Right-click on an image to see it larger.
The Mugen Group A Civic leads the way. The Group A series was hotly contested by Honda and Toyota with Honda typically having the upper hand...
Mugen Group A Civic engine parts. Forged Mugen pistons with special material connecting rods. There were a few iterations of the connecting rods through the years- some beautifully polished. The Mugen oil pan was a work of art! It strengthened the block and added oil capacity and helped eliminate windage resulting a a 5 hp gain all by itself. The Mugen 30/50 cams were very easy on the valvetrain and had a very sophisticated profile to work with the PGM-FI system.
Part 2 of the Mugen Group A Civic engine parts list- smaller diameter pulleys and the adjustable PGM-Fi ECU and controller. The Mugen hard rubber engine mounts were sold for both race and street cars and made a great improvement! Keeping the engine and engine oil cool was very important- anything over 225 degrees oil temp caused the engine to loose HP.....
Because FIA Group A rules state you must use the factory upper exhaust manifold, considerable time was spent developing the secondary to make the most power. Chromoly lightweight flywheel and AP racing clutch.
One of the big advantages Mugen had over the competition in Group A was a wide range of alternative gear ratios and final drives. With this gearing you could always keep the engine in it's fairly narrow power band. The Mugen Limited slip has been a mainstay of all Honda competition cars all the way back to 1973....
Moving on to the Mugen Group A Civic suspension parts. Here's where things get really interesting. Mugen Showa dampers and upper camber plates, and the really trick front reinforced knuckles designed to be used with an adjustable sleeve that gave even greater camber adjustment. All the different front torsion bar diameters made it easy to dial in the handling to suit the track.
Here we have the quick ratio Mugen steering box (RHD) and 21mm front sway bar. The Mugen rear trailing arms were made specifically to help keep the correct suspension geometry. Mugen made three rear springs rates available, However most opted for an even higher rate linear spring.
The Mugen Group A rear axle with adjustable Panhard rod. The Mugen internal sway bars really worked well and we sold quite a few to street and race enthusiasts. Check out those Mugen 15" wheels......!!!!
We have covered how Mugen made the AT Civic go and handle, so how did they make it stop? 4 piston AP calipers and full floating front brake rotors, single master cylinder and rear disc conversion with all the needed brake lines.
Here's the Mugen brake proportioning assembly and yes- the FIA required a hand brake.....
The Mugen Group A fuel system. A custom ATL 90 liter fuel cell with pump and swirl tank. Don't forget the Mugen gauge cluster with 10K tach. And Mugen SW-36 steering wheel to grab onto!
Lastly the Mugen aluminum FIA roll cage.....
Add up all those Mugen parts with a few hundred hours of labor and this will be you!
John Hinrichs really likes his Honda CR-Z. Apparently he also really likes Mugen.
For his fourth major Mugen modification on his CR-Z, John opted for a set of Mugen 17x7 GP wheels in Gunmetal. As with his other mods, John worked directly with King Motorsports President and CEO, Scott Zellner. Scott: "The color of the Gunmetal GP's are a perfect compliment to the Black CR-Z." John is equally happy with his purchase, "I love the way these wheels look!" After each upgrade, John usually sends a picture and a note, or stops by to show us the results, as he did recently with after the GP wheels were installed.
John's other Mugen mods are the Mugen 5-Way Sport Suspension, Mugen Carbon-Fiber Air Intake and Mugen Cat-Back Exhaust.
** We just got this note and review from John Hinrichs - Thanks John! **
This afternoon I was able to take my CR-Z out for its first fun drive since I picked it up from KMS. I've driven 30 minutes home, eaten dinner, made myself comfortable on my couch and there is still a big goofy grin on my face. As much as i love the car itself, I have to give credit for this persistent smile to the Mugen suspension and exhaust you installed.
The factory suspension on the CR-Z was skewed to the comfort side. Nice for running up and down the interstate, but when it came to corners the car would roll to the outside before it set into the turn. With the Mugen system the car just turns in.
Before I set off, I set all four shocks to 5 (full hard). On the way to my choice bit of road, an area of backroads just south of Friess Lake, I rode over miles of lumpy concrete highways, chewed up blacktop side roads, and more than a few potholes. The Mugen suspension let me know exactly what kind of surface I was on, but it was never harsh or abrupt.
The roads I set out to drive are not the newest. A patched, narrow, blacktop ring of roads that wind around and over the wooded hills of the area -- including a beautifully tight little switchback (which is a rare thing in southeastern Wisconsin). The car just devoured it, staying flat and collected throughout. Even in places where the corners were pieced together and uneven, the tires were held down tight, following the rough pavement without any hint of the skittishness that comes with a tire bouncing over the bumps I knew were there.
After driving the 7 mile loop once in each direction, I pulled over to set the shocks to full soft. Five minutes later I was driving the loop for a third time just to listen to my car. The stock exhaust note isn't non-existent, and the Mugen system isn't overly loud (I don't get complaints from the neighbors when I get called out to work at 2am like i do with my CRX), it just dials up the bass a couple notches. In the last few weeks of commuting it has never been intrusive or droning. I didn't even have to adjust the volume on the stereo. But on these roads, full throttle from 4k to 6k RPM, the sound echoing off the trees was incredible. It makes me want to find a tunnel just to listen.
Oh, and in regular highway driving I'm up 2 MPG since the new exhaust was installed. Win/win.
Thanks for everything,
Review and announcement by Scott Zellner, President & CEO of King Motorsports and SCCA Road Racing Champion:
In stock form, Honda's new CR-Z is both under-dampened and softly sprung. This combination really masks the sporting characteristics of the CR-Z.
The Mugen 5-Way Adjustable Suspension Kit was designed with both street and occasional track use in mind. The result is a more controlled ride with much less lean, dive and squat. Each damper adjustment changes both the compression and rebound calibrations so you can tailor the suspension for any driving environment.
The average ride height reduction is 1” front and rear for an aggressive stance, lower center of gravity, and better aerodynamics. This kit comes pre-assembled which makes installation quick and easy.
This kit is without a doubt the best handling upgrade you can make to your new CR-Z.
King Motorsports is proud to be the sole provider of these Mugen CR-Z suspension kits in North America. They will be in-house and ready to ship the first week of November.
Follow us on Twitter (@KingMotorsports) or Facebook to be the first to know!
In the meantime, be sure to download our exclusive Mugen/King CR-Z wallpapers.