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Not a Newb Member
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I recently upgraded my oem suspension to the BC RSD. There are a couple reviews around, but I found no reviews from someone with track experience. Hopefully this review will help someone.

My car:
2002 Acrua RSX-s
K-Pro & supercharged
For the most part, the rest is stockish (except for the new coilovers)

My experience:
I started doing track events last year. I have perhaps 1200 or 1300 miles on track. I have driven Mid-Ohio, Putnam Park, Blackhawk Farms, and the Nurburgring (not in the RSX).

The BC RSD - First impressions & installation:
The coilovers came packaged well. The build quality appeared excellent. I actually installed some other parts at the same time as the coilovers. I did the BC extended ball joints, rear camber kit, and also front control arm compliance bushings from energy suspension. Anywho, coilovers are easy to install and everything went smoothly.

HOWEVER! I unfortunately had received one rear damper than had an issue. Something internal to the shock was bad and so whenever I drove over a bump, that one made a loud clunking sound. No, it was not the locking collars or loose bolts, etc. Everything was properly installed. Fortunately, Albert at Buddy Club USA was able to help me out and sent me a new rear shock and I sent him the old one. The new one solved the issue perfectly.

I set up the car as follows. For the camber plates, I switched the left and right plate. This allows for some additional caster, although you can't get as much camber. I set the front camber to ~2 degrees and the rear camber to ~1.3 degrees. I used one camber bolt on the fronts, and set the camber plates to almost as much as I could get. I forget what I set rear toe to, but the front was ~1/16" toe out. I have yet to get the chance to measure caster. I will do so when I get the chance. Oh, and it is lowered perhaps 1.25" or maybe 1.375" - I need to find a flatter place than where I measured it at.

On the Street:
So, after installation, I had about a week before I drove on track. As would be expected, the car is much more taught and stiff. Steering response is better, body roll is reduced, etc, etc. On smooth roads, the car feels great! However, rough pavement is a bitch and you need to go slowly over bumps. Where I am from here in the Midwest, the roads are crappy because they get so much damage from the winter freezing and thawing. If I were buying a suspension that was only for the street, it would not be the Buddy Club RSD unless I lived in an area where the roads are nice. However, since I do a lot of track events now, I can lived with the harshness.

On the Track:
What you've all been waiting for. Keep in mind that I haven't tried any other coilovers on track, just the RSD. I can only compare how it feels compared to the stock setup. In comparison to stock, however, there is a night and day difference. The RSD feel amazing! So, obviously they change the balance of the car. As you know, the stock RSX loves to understeer and it is very difficult to get it to rotate at all (read heavy trail braking...). Fortunately, the RSD correct this front bias. I still have both oem sway bars. With this setup, the balance is great. The car will rotate just how I want it to on throttle-lift, and much of the on-throttle understeer coming out of the corners is gone (still there of course, especially since I have an open diff, but much better). I definitely have more cornering grip. Some of this is due to the bit more static camber that I am running now, but I bet most is due to the decreased body roll helping to keep the camber reasonable. I have a picture of my car from last season with stock setup. In a corner, my negative 1.5 deg camber became very positive relative to the ground just due to body roll...

I did just a little bit of playing with the damper settings. Having no idea where to set them to start with, I arbitrarily set them to #5 from full stiff at all four corners. After a little 'incident' in one of the corners...I decided that it oversteering on turn-in too easily. I tuned back the rear setting from 5 to 7. This helped a lot and the car felt great so I didn't mess with it anymore.

So how much did it really help in lap times?
Fortunately, I drove this track 4 days last year, so I had lap time data from my video camera. Cliff notes - the Buddy Club RSD shaved an amazing 4 seconds off my lap times on an approximately 1 minute, 30 second long track!!!

The car last year:
OEM suspension
1.4 degrees front camber
Hawk DTC-60

The car this year:
BC RSD
2 degrees front camber
Porterfield R4
Same power, tires, and everything else as before

So, last year I felt my brakes were slightly stronger, but I technically have two days more track experience for this years event, so we'll call that a wash. I do have a bit more camber and caster this year, which certainly helped a bit. However, there is no way that that saved me an additional 4 seconds! Not only did it save so much time, but the car was easier to drive too! With the stock suspension, it is so soft that you must be very slow with your inputs to the car. For example, on turn in, you have to load the suspension somewhat gradually - you can't just slam it over because you will overload the outside tires. Being able to be quicker (not unsmooth, note the distinction) with your inputs makes the car easier and more fun to drive.

I will note that having the RSD makes it even more clear how much I would benefit from an LSD. You can feel the inside tire slipping or 'skipping' on corner exit. Oh well.

Summary:
Overall, all I can say is WOW, this was a very worthwhile investment. I highly recommend it for the track. To me, the feel of the car is very important. I think I will become a better driver even faster with this suspension due to that fact. The 4 seconds is amazing too!

Here is a youtube video from this weekend for you. Sorry about the audio, my camera likes to pic up wind noise.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WIOBtK4gOA

And here is a pic:
 

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Not a Newb Member
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Keep an eye on those lower brackets.. even if you got the updated ones.

If you feel a sudden lack off feel from the front end and the steering wheel is off-center. I recommend you immediately slow down and check for any worn/damaged components (more specifically, the brackets).

That is just what I noticed before my front brackets failed so keep an eye out for those symptoms. :D
I will indeed. Thanks for the tip Mark! Thanks for your other tips on the RSD setup from that email a while back too.
 

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cone head
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With my tax refund coming soon I'm thinking of picking these up but the quality worries me.. those brackets, holy shit someone is going to get killed if those break at high speeds... I also daily drive my car on not-so-great roads and there's 2-3 train tracks on my drive to-from work.... though it is only about 2 miles.. anyway I'm worried they'll be too stiff for the street.

Anyway why did you use camber bolts, is it because you swapped the top hats? Assuming I don't do that am I going to need the bolts? I have 2 sets now but would really love to dump them. I'm looking for about neg. 2 to 2.5 deg.
 

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Not a Newb Member
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613 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
With my tax refund coming soon I'm thinking of picking these up but the quality worries me.. those brackets, holy shit someone is going to get killed if those break at high speeds... I also daily drive my car on not-so-great roads and there's 2-3 train tracks on my drive to-from work.... though it is only about 2 miles.. anyway I'm worried they'll be too stiff for the street.

Anyway why did you use camber bolts, is it because you swapped the top hats? Assuming I don't do that am I going to need the bolts? I have 2 sets now but would really love to dump them. I'm looking for about neg. 2 to 2.5 deg.
if you swap the camber plates youll gain some caster but lose some camber adjustment. Using the bolts will help you get back to that camber setting that you would like.
Yup. I'm guessing that with the plates swapped and the 1 camber bolt per side, I might be able to get 2.5 degrees negative max. I don't know what you can get without the plates swapped and no bolts because I haven't tried.
 

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Engineering
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25,578 Posts
i was able to get -4.5 degrees with unswapped plates, no bolts
 

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doing stuff
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3,595 Posts
I just purchased a set of these. I've been riding on Mugen SS and finally decided I wanted something more aggressive. I plan to start doing track events as well. I'm wondering how low I can go with these and still maintain track composure? Can I go between between 1 and 2 finger wheel well clearance and be ok?

My setup is 17x7.5 wheels with a progress rear sway. Any other setup advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the thorough write up and I enjoyed your video!
 

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Engineering
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25,578 Posts
you don't want to go very low if you're going to track it.
 

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Semi Kind of Retired
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222,529 Posts
I'll vouch for them and agree with a lot of your review, although mine are for the DC2 integra. So as far as quality goes, the welds and mounting brackets are different so I won't encounter many of the notorious catastrophic failures known to a few DC5 RSD's.
 

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EF9 Track/AutoX
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405 Posts
I drove on these when Rey still had his RSX-S. I felt that both the front struts and rear shock had way too much compression adjustment and not enough rebound to compensate. Unfortunately the Buddy Clubs control both low speed compression and low speed rebound :thumbsdow. The car would hit a bump and continue to oscillate, same effect during cornering. Just my opinion. I think a set of custom valved konis would accomplish a better task than the Buddy Clubs for close to the same price.
 

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f*ck thought
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4,052 Posts
I drove on these when Rey still had his RSX-S. I felt that both the front struts and rear shock had way too much compression adjustment and not enough rebound to compensate. Unfortunately the Buddy Clubs control both low speed compression and low speed rebound :thumbsdow. The car would hit a bump and continue to oscillate, same effect during cornering. Just my opinion. I think a set of custom valved konis would accomplish a better task than the Buddy Clubs for close to the same price.
i think rey had n+
 

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Engineering
Joined
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25,578 Posts
I drove on these when Rey still had his RSX-S. I felt that both the front struts and rear shock had way too much compression adjustment and not enough rebound to compensate. Unfortunately the Buddy Clubs control both low speed compression and low speed rebound :thumbsdow. The car would hit a bump and continue to oscillate, same effect during cornering. Just my opinion. I think a set of custom valved konis would accomplish a better task than the Buddy Clubs for close to the same price.
RSD are rebound adjustable only. compression was set from factory
 
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