A steel monocoque underpins the
Civic Type R
and, in addition to a standard three-door Civic, it has a steel strengthening bar running across behind the dash. Front toe control link strut and rear double wishbones provide the basis for the suspension, which is widely regarded as strong and reliable.
Steering recall the only significant issue
Look out for uneven tyre wear as a sign the geometry needs to be aligned and also check the car tracks in a straight line. The steering rack can fail and there was a recall for worn racks, so look in the service record for any mention of this. A tell-tale is if the car pulls to the right when you let go of the wheel. The rack might also need lubrication to address any noises. Facelift cars from 2004 have revised steering geometry to lessen understeer. Top mount kits and coilovers are popular with owners upgrading the car's front suspension setup and you can expect to pay around £850 for a set of quality dampers with mounts. Spoon lowering springs are also popular and well liked.
Another worthwhile point to look at is the ride height to see the car sits level on the road. If not, worn bushes and ball joints could be needed to bring the suspension back to full health. Some owners report tramlining if the car is fitted with cheap tyres.
As standard, the Civic Type R was fitted with Bridgestone RE040 205/45 R17 tyres, though some owners do not rate this tyre's wet weather grip. The 17-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels are finished in a gunmetal grey that is hard wearing, though watch for kerb damage.
Braking comes from 300mm front vented discs and solid 260mm discs at the back. As with so much of this car, the brakes are reliable and strong and only the rear calipers might need some attention as they can stick, though this is easily sorted with a clean. For track use, uprated pads are worth the money but are not necessary for road use.
"The only tuning I did was a set of decent brake pads (Ferodo DS2500), decent brake fluid and a geometry set up at TGM. I think this is really all the car needs to be improved over standard, although some of the aftermarket air filters do make a nice sound and an LSD would top it off nicely."