S13 Hatch Suspension Changes

Whew, another week has flown by! I’m really having a hard time finding a free moment to carve out a blog post lately, but I suppose being busy is a good thing in many ways. I spent a bit of time in the garage over the past week beginning some suspension updates I have been wanting to make on my hatch.

Though I’ve already gone through and refreshed the suspension on my hatch a few times over the years, my tastes and preferences have changed a little bit since then. After installing a number of NISMO suspension components on my coupe when I assembled it last summer, I have been wanting to swap out a lot of the parts on my hatch to match. I haven’t driven the coupe more than a handful of miles, but the ride quality and lack of squeaks and creaks from the NISMO bushings have me convinced they’re the way to go for a street car.

I received an order from RHD Japan including a number of the upgrades I’ve been wanting for the hatch for a while. The NISMO items consist of their S14 front lower control arms, power brace, steering rack bushings, subframe bushings, rear knuckle bushings, engine and transmission mounts, and rear lower control arms. I also decided to pick up another Cusco Type OS strut tower bar since I miss having one in the bay- but more on that in a future post. I’ve got just about all of these NISMO items on the coupe as well, aside from the front and rear lower control arms. After electing to go the cheaper route by adding those bushings and Moog ball joints to the stock arms on my coupe, I decided to just bite the bullet and safe myself some headache by buying the full control arm assemblies this time around.

I began by tearing into the front suspension first. I need to drop the rear subframe and take care of some improvements at the back of the car as well, but I am going to try to complete all of the tasks on the front end before I do that. We’ll already be into March next week and the weather is beginning to warm up a bit. The last thing I want to do is tear the car down too much and get discouraged. By only sticking to a few tasks at a time, hopefully I can keep the motivation flowing.

I’m now left with the front suspension completely removed from the car. After inspecting everything, I immediately wanted to replace just about everything and start from scratch. However, after investigating the cost and rationalizing a bit, I realized this is not necessary and would be pretty irresponsible. Most of the components up front are still in great shape, so I’ll just replace the few key items I set out to take care of in the first place and leave everything else alone so that I can have the car ready by the spring.

The main change I wanted to make up front is the switch to S14 front lower control arms and knuckles. I’ve read that this adds about 7mm to either side of the front suspension, which I hope will eliminate the need to run a spacer up front on my 17x9j +22 TE37- but we’ll have to see how everything sits once I am done. I was able to source a used pair of S14 front knuckles for the swap that need a fresh coat of paint before I can install them.

Anyway, that’s just about all of the progress I made this week. I am waiting on a few more parts to arrive for the front end before I can reassemble everything, but my goal is to have the front suspension back together by mid-March so that I can then begin the refresh on the rear suspension.

I’ll have some more photos and details on everything involved in the coming weeks as I make some progress. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great weekend!

Damon

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4 Responses to S13 Hatch Suspension Changes

  1. Orlin says:

    Very nice work man. You always convince me to get better parts when I’m considering buying not the best. Speaking of that, have you considered going full S14/S15 subframe in the back? It should vastly improve the car. I’m considering pulling the trigger.

  2. Andrew says:

    Still love seeing you post on the blog and IG, love great car articles

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