Drivers side lower on my FN2 - Civinfo

 
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 17th February 2017, 15:36 Thread Starter
 
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Drivers side lower on my FN2

Good afternoon all.

A long time viewer, have finally signed up after everyone seemed so helpful!

I recently had an issue where my car leans slightly on the right (roughly 10mm). Was a lot worst before I had new shocks and suspension put on but is still a tad annoying.

After I pulled up outside work today, I gave the wheel arch a pull up with my hands and it then sat properly which seems very odd. Am going to check it when I leave tonight and see if it has dropped again.

Has anyone experienced this before or know what might be the cause?

If anyone needs more information I'll do my best to answer.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 17th February 2017, 18:25
 
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My old Vectra loved to break springs, I've gone through a whole set until I switched to aftermarket springs. I could always tell by the sagging end which one was broken. But as you've had suspension work done, one should think any mechanic would have noticed a broken spring or a bent control arm, so that's an odd one.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 17th February 2017, 19:18 Thread Starter
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Yea, the mechanic said the previous shock absorber was leaking and he though it may have been the suspension but turns out the suspension was fine but I had new ones put on anyway.

So I checked my car now, and its still sitting level. Soon as I put weight on the right wheel it sunk again...

I have seen control arm mentioned on other posts when someone has asked a similar question to mine... Would that do what it's doing with mine if it were broken?

Thanks for your reply also!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 18th February 2017, 17:36
 
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Well, I'm a bit suspicious about your mechanic, to be honest. The shock absorber is normally not the part that carries weight, although there are a few special shocks that had some sort of pneumatic spring built in to counter sag on the rear end with heavy load or trailer usage. So I'm not sure why he thought a leaking shock could be the cause.

Looking at a conventional suspension there aren't a lot of parts that could be responsible for sagging. The control arm, the part that carries the wheel could be bent. It can't be broken, then the car would be undrivable. A failing ball joint of the control arm, but 10mm is a lot. A broken spring, the most likely part. A lot less likely but still possible, a spring that isn't broken but lost tension over time, mostly manufacturing defects. The shock absorber top mounting, but that couldn't amount to 10mm sag. On a very rusted car the strut mount could be bent or broken, but by the looks of yours that can be ruled out. Maybe the rubber mount on the control arm, but doubtful it that could be responsible for 10mm. And last a damaged control arm mount, maybe bent by a clipping a curb or a deep pot hole.

I guess what you are describing is the friction of the shocks. You can decompress the spring a bit and the friction of the shock will hold the position. As soon as some dynamic weight is added, the spring will return to the normal tension and level.

As a potentially failing suspension can be quite dangerous, I would suggest to have it looked at again, maybe at a place that specializes in alignments and suspension, these guys should not take long finding the cause.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 20th February 2017, 19:05 Thread Starter
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Hmm, well I've taken it to a friend of a friend who's a trusted mechanic.

He thinks the previous garage have put a standard Civic suspension spring on and that's why it's a lot softer and isn't taken as much weight as the other springs.

Would this make sense? As its the only spring that has changed, and the only side it's dropped off slightly. Are the normal Civic springs generally different or softer?

Many thanks!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 20th February 2017, 19:33
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if it is a aftermarket or different loading then yes it makes sense
id tend to change springs in pairs
but if you got the gear you could always strip both sides and swap the springs from side to side to see if it sudenly sits lower on the opposite side
as allready said the shocker provides the damping rather than controlls the hieght
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 20th February 2017, 20:00
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlMills View Post
He thinks the previous garage have put a standard Civic suspension spring on and that's why it's a lot softer and isn't taken as much weight as the other springs.

Would this make sense? As its the only spring that has changed, and the only side it's dropped off slightly. Are the normal Civic springs generally different or softer?
Yes, that would make perfect sense, it is basically the same like having a spring loosing tension like I wrote above. To be honest I have no idea if you can identify the different types of springs by simply looking at them, but what you could do is measuring the thickness and distance between the spring wires and compare to the other side. If there's significant difference it's obvious there has been a wrong spring installed.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 20th February 2017, 20:10
 
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Then again I'm wondering, if your mechnanic had your shocks replaced, he would have to decompress and take of the springs. Didn't he notice these were different?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 20th February 2017, 20:27 Thread Starter
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Well he replaced both shocks due to one leaking, and from what I can see there isn't any leak coming out so hopefully he did replace them!

As for the replacement spring, I'm not sure what he was thinking. I was under the impression that you always change both... I'm now of the conclusion that it must be the spring from what I know, it was an inch and a half lower and now its 10mm after the spring swap.

After looking at my receipt I've noticed something... They have my reg down wrong and says my car was a Honda Jazz... Would that mean the parts they were ordering could be wrong due to that?

Jesus I think I need to take the car and receipt back
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 20th February 2017, 20:43
 
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 20th February 2017, 22:13 Thread Starter
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Yea, I've read a few of those but it wasn't like this before so it wasn't normal for me. I know its leaning so it'll hit my OCD... I've seen a lot of peoples Type R's over time and haven't seen it before. I'm guessing swapping the old opposite spring with the same one, should even it out as it isn't the whole side of the car like in some of those posts, its only the front right.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 21st February 2017, 08:52
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlMills View Post
After looking at my receipt I've noticed something... They have my reg down wrong and says my car was a Honda Jazz... Would that mean the parts they were ordering could be wrong due to that?

Jesus I think I need to take the car and receipt back
Well, under these circumstances I would be raising hell at this shop to get them fix this. Also I would not recommend your idea of swapping the old opposite spring with the same one that's sagging. It will impair the handling of your car. With softer springs on the front turn in will be slightly better, but you might get a quite nasty snap oversteer when cornering under brake. It's a cause of weight distribution, under brake the nose will dive in deeper then it should, leaving not enough weight and therefore grip on the rear. It might even get unstable braking hard in a straight line. It's a Type R and it should handle like one
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 21st February 2017, 09:48
 
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Originally Posted by Vyse View Post
Normal.
I've read through these links. They are not conclusive, some sag on one front side, some on one rear side, some on the whole side, others are level. This is not inherent to the car, otherwise there wouldn't be any level ones.

Honestly, I don't think it is normal. With the Vectra I've owned before sagging was "normal", too. But there was a reason to it, it was known the springs Opel used in that car were incredible low quality and very prone to breaking. And it could be fixed for good by simply getting cheap aftermarket springs installed, which were better quality wise.

At best it shows it is not a problem rarely encountered, and some dealerships don't like to deal with it, as they use different excuses. Personally I'm not buying into this. A sagging car means wrong weight distribution which can lead to bad handling. Also, if a broken spring is the cause it is outright dangerous. The spring can turn into its seat, especially in the front and push out the broken bit which can slice the tyre open, leading to a sudden decompression I certainly don't want to encounter while driving on the motorway. There are several incidents recorded for the Vectra, which in turn leads to a very thorough check of the springs at TÜV/Dekra (our kind of MOT). Therefore I would always look into the cause of sagging, as most likely it is a sign of some failure or at least abnormal wear of the suspension.

Also for the record, I got curious and checked mine, although not a CTR and less then 1k miles. I put the car on a level surface , checked with the spirit level, and then measured with the sprit level from the top of tyres to the wheel arch. The measurements are almost perfectly level on front and rear.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 21st February 2017, 11:30 Thread Starter
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I checked the website the garage gets its parts from, and when I put my plate number in, it shows as a Civic 2.0 petrol but nothing about it being a Type R. Would this explain it? Could the spring put in not be of the same standard as the other 3, or perhaps the same stiffness?

Only thing that confuses me is the ride height is lower in the new one, but only after pressure is put on that corner and I can manually lift it myself and sits correctly. Could this be because it's a softer coil?

After the car was curbed in the car park, the shock took damage and I didn't realise after a couple of weeks that it had. Would a damaged shock in turn damage the coil spring? And that's why my car was an inch and a half lower, and now the wrong spring is on it's only 10mm but still wrong because it's not of the same Type R standard?

So many questions I know! And I just want to say thank you to all that have taken your time to reply
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 21st February 2017, 15:37
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlMills View Post
I checked the website the garage gets its parts from, and when I put my plate number in, it shows as a Civic 2.0 petrol but nothing about it being a Type R. Would this explain it? Could the spring put in not be of the same standard as the other 3, or perhaps the same stiffness?
I'm new to Civics, so I might be wrong here, but afaik there weren't any 2.0 petrol besides the Type R, so I guess it should be right.

Quote:
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Only thing that confuses me is the ride height is lower in the new one, but only after pressure is put on that corner and I can manually lift it myself and sits correctly. Could this be because it's a softer coil?
Yes, most likely.

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After the car was curbed in the car park, the shock took damage and I didn't realise after a couple of weeks that it had. Would a damaged shock in turn damage the coil spring?
The shock wouldn't damage a spring, but curbing might of course. But bringing curbing into the game a bend control arm again gets a lot more likely. So this begs the question, did the shop do an alignment, and if yes, was a lot of correction of camber and/or toe necessary? Sometimes a bend control arm is not obvious to the eye, but the alignment measurement should make the problem visible.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 21st February 2017, 16:51 Thread Starter
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Hmm very useful info thank you, so should I get a 2nd coil fitted and make sure its the same one? I've read a lot they should be changed in pairs on the same axle to keep ride height the same.

Or should I got to a different garage and get it checked over? There is a Honda garage nearby, I seem to be getting burnt with the local ones
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 21st February 2017, 17:32
 
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About the change of springs, yes most of the times one would change both sides at the same time. The reason for that is, a spring will loose a bit of tension over time and distance driven. So it is best practice to change both, to prevent having the changed side sitting higher than the side with the older spring.

Your case is the other way around. So that's not your problem, either it is a wrong spring installed or you still have further suspension damage not fixed like a bend control arm.

Personally I would do the following steps:

Check your receipt of the shop that changed the spring. Did they charge for an alignment, is an alignment protocol available? If yes, was there a lot of correction necessary? If yes, did they advice checking or changing the control arm?

Check with the shop which changed the spring if they installed the right part. If they can't confirm what part number they used, ask for an explanation for the sagging. Mention the wrong reg number and wrong type of car on your receipt and the possibility of a wrong part. If they don't have an acceptable explanation, raise hell.

If no alignment was done and the shop can proof it's not their fault, I would go for a specialized alignment shop. Let them check the alignment, ask specifically for checking for curbing damage and a bent control arm. Ask them about the sagging, mostly those shops can test springs and shocks on a test bed.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 21st February 2017, 18:24 Thread Starter
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I can't see anything on there regarding alignment. But I have cross referenced the part numbers on the receipt with their supplier and they check out to be for my car, if I put the wrong reg plate in on the receipt and then a part number it states that they won't fit that car. Meaning that the parts on that receipt are for a civic not a Jazz (thankfully)

I've been in touch with the trusted mechanic friend of a friend, and he's called around his suppliers regarding the issue and he was told that they do stock different suspension coils with different stiffness, and that the sag could be due to it being softer than the other 3 and therefor being lower.

But I think I'll follow your advice at get it checked out, I'll see if he can do an alignment for me. I'll keep you updated!

Thanks again 😊
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