Best Suspension Review Project
© 2014 Chris Shenefield and RedShift Motorsports, Inc. All rights reserved.
2006-11, 2012+ Honda Civic
Are they any good at just $230 for all 4 shocks???
Update: front available separately for $190/pair!!
Bottom line? Yes, they are actually quite good. They are a great choice for anyone wanting to lower their car more than 1" who wants to retain good comfort. They will handle any lowering spring on the market (other than the rear Neuspeed Sport or Race springs, where you'll need to pair the Truhart fronts with rear Koni Sports). Will the Truharts last? No idea. But they have a lifetime warranty; so that puts them on even ground with Koni.
And these shocks are the same for the 2012+ Honda Civic. Even though the 2012+ Honda Civic Si uses a larger 16mm lower pinch bolt (at the camber bolt location), these shocks come with 4 sleeved washers that are used to reduce the bolt hole location to 14mm (what all 06-11 Civic and non-Si 12+ Civics use). They have all the necessary brake line brackets for any year and even the 12+ Civic front swaybar tab welded to the front strut body (that obviously 06-11 Civic guys won't use). But yes it is the same part number for all 06-11 and 12+ Civics, Si and non-Si. Interesting. Note that as of the writing of this review (11/21/14), Koni has not made an STR.T front strut for the 2012+ Civics.
The front struts are shorter than the Koni STR.T (which are stock length), and this can be a good benefit when lowering the car more than 1". If you lower the car 1.5", then it becomes a little more important. If you lower the car 2.0", then it becomes almost critical and the Truhart front struts have huge value. And btw the front lower spring perch is the same location as the stock strut; so they won't lower the car at all (important to retain correct height in front).
The rear Truhart shocks are very similar to the rear STR.T shocks but not identical. The biggest difference in rear shocks is the rebound damping. Low velocity rear damping is identical (hanlding will be similar) but above 5 in/sec the Koni gets stiffer. This affects how the shock handles higher rear spring rates. So, the Truharts are actually "weaker" than the Koni STR.T.... unfortunately they aren't right for the Neuspeed Springs either, and they aren't great for coilover sleeves like Ground Controls for any rear spring rate higher than 300. The GC standard rear rate is a 250; so you can run the GC coilovers, but you'll have a 425 front and 250 rear rate, which is backwards from a performance setup....even the stock springs have a higher rear bias (200F/230R). It's too bad that the Truharts don't have a bit more rebound damping I think. Still the rear Truhart shocks are going to be good for any other lowering spring out there. Update: You can now purchase the front Truhart struts separately; so you can get them with the Koni Sport shocks in back (a great combo).
Are these better than the Koni STR.T? Yes and no. The fronts are identical in damping but the Truharts are shorter; so the Truhart is the better front strut if you lower your car more than 1". If you lower it 2", it's absolutely critical; so the Truhart front struts are way better if you lower your car more than 1.5".
Price on the Truharts is about $230 for all 4. Koni STR.T are about 50% more. Both have lifetime warranties. So, price goes to Truhart, by quite a bit.
Here's the odd thing... and there is really no way around this. If you want to lower the car only 1", then get either.....the Konis might still be my choice even when they are more expensive because Koni is the Godfather of modern dampers...but I'll be out some money so I'll be eating mac and cheese for a week to pay for them. If you want to lower the car 1.5", then the Trueharts start to make more sense because of the shorter front struts; so I start to lean more toward the Truharts (even without considering price). At 2" drop, I'm totally and completely in favor of the Truharts. Just remember that if you drop the car 2", then you probably are on the Neuspeed Race springs or coilovers and might have rear spring rates that require Koni Sports in back (not the STR.T). The Koni Sport shocks can be adjusted to handle the higher spring rate of the 2" drop Neuspeed Race springs in back.
Are the Truharts as good as the Koni Sport (yellows)? No. Why, because the Koni Sports are simply the best street shock on the market. But you have to do the front fabrication (because they are inserts) and they are stock length, which means they still have the issue of not having enough travel when you lower the car more than 1". At 1.5" they are still ok, maybe. But if you go to a 2" drop, then they don't have enough travel. In the end, I think the Truhart front struts are truly a great addition to the aftermarket shock offering for the 06+ Civic.
It's amazing to see how similar the Truharts are to the Koni STR.T on the fronts. Which is better.... almost a draw. The only significant difference in damping force is the Truhart has a hair more low velocity damping on the compression side (top of graph), which will feel like a little more spring rate on the front... you'll feel bumps a little more.
But the key in this graph isn't really the compression side. The key is the rebound side (lower side of graph) where the Truhart and Koni are essentially identical. This is a big part of why the Konis are more comfortable than the HFP shocks... because the rebound damping is more relaxed than the HFP.
So, these Truhart front shocks are like a step-brother to the Konis. But they have 3/4" shorter shock bodies than the Koni STR.T (which are stock length), and this is actually REALLY important. The Konis maintain the stock shock dimensions for a good reason; so the car hits the bump stops at the stock location, and that's important if you want to maintain your Honda's Honda-ness..... meaning Koni designs the shocks to closely match the stock Honda stroke and limits.
However, one of the Civic's limitations is the front strut length. It's a very common problem on strut cars where the length of the strut body is long enough that when the car is lowered, the suspension compression stroke (how far it can compress before the bump stop is fully compressed...aka bottomed out) is too short. When you lower the 06-11 Civic 2 inches, the front bump stop is sitting slightly compressed on top of the strut body when the car is at rest. You hear that? 2" drop and you are already compressing the bump stop when the car is parked. That means the car only has about 1.25" of compression travel, and that is entirely through the compression of the bump stop.
The Truhart front strut is 3/4" shorter in body length, which means a 2" drop, the front bump stop isn't touching the top of the shock body at all and you have 2.0" of compression travel (60% more!).... and that's a very good thing for people wanting to lower their Civic that much.
Is it important for drops of 1" only? No not really. Still, the question I will get for sure is, "What if I want to drop the car 1.5" like with Neuspeed Sport springs?" My answer will be easy.... if you drop the car 1.5", you will benefit from a shorter shock body? Is it enough to purchase the Truhart shocks over the Koni S.TRT? It's up to you, but I would probably go for the Truharts in front.
In the back, the Truhart shocks are a hair stiffer on the compression side than the Koni STR.T. So, they will have a hair stiffer feel over bumps and in fast transitions, but they still are not as stiff as the HFP shocks. The Truharts are in between the HFP and Koni STR.T on compression in the rear. The Truharts will feel almost the same as the Koni STR.T and quite different from the HFP shocks because the low-velocity range is more similar to the Konis. So, the Truhart rear shocks will have more of a comfort feel than the HFP rear shocks, which is a good thing for anyone wanting a comfortable ride.
The rebound side shows a similar thing, but this time the Koni STR.T is a tad stiffer, but only above 5 in/sec, so it won't affect the handling balance of the car too much. What it does affect more is how the shock will handle abrupt road bumps. The STR.T shock will handle a higher rate spring with a little more aggressiveness than the Truhart; so the shocks will feel a bit stiffer over big bumps on your way to the supermarket. This can be a good thing and will improve how the shocks handle higher rate springs....the Konis won't allow as much bounciness as the Truharts. Not that the Truharts will be bouncy with most lowering springs...they will be great. The exception will be spring like the Neuspeed Sport or Race springs, which have significantly higher rear spring rates.... and frankly neither the STR-T or the Truharts can handle the Neuspeed spring rear rates.
So, what rate can the Truhart rear shocks handle? I'd put it somewhere around a 300 rear rate, but no more. That means most lowering springs (other than the Neuspeeds) will work fine with the Truhart shocks. And if you want coilover sleeves (like Ground Control), you'll need to go with the GC standard rates of 250 in back (or 300 at most).
One benefit the rear Truharts have is the shock length on a GC coilover setup. The shock body length is very similar (only 1/8" shorter than the Konis, which are stock length). But the max length of the shock when at full droop (shock body and piston when the car is jacked in the air) is 1.125" shorter than Koni/stock. This is good and bad. The shock body is barely shorter and won't make much different in compression stroke (when the back of the car bottoms out). And the rear of the car doesn't have a problem with bottoming out with the stock shocks (or the Konis). So, they don't help in that way. The significant difference is more in max length of the extended shock being 1.125" shorter, and that is a big enough difference that it they won't let a coilover spring fall out of it's rear perch when the car is on a lift...which is a good thing. But considering the rear Truhart shocks are not overly strong in rebound means they aren't great for higher rate rear coilover springs anyway, so it seems meaningless. If the shocks had more rebound damping, then perhaps they would be a great higher-spring-rate coilover setup in back, but that's not the case. So, rear shock length has really no affect on the Truharts value in my opinion. :)
Thanks for reading... I hope this has been helpful to you.