1990 Honda Accord -- Chassis

The 1990 Accord's newly designed chassis and suspension system provide a harmonious balance of a smooth and stable ride, responsive handling, positive steering feel and sure braking.

The key to achieving this balance is the Accord's rigid body structure and strengthened fron subframe, which help keep flex to a minimum so that proper suspension alignment is maintained. Because of its increased length, the new Accord also has a more favorable 61.5/ 38.5 front-to rear weight distribution, further contributing to better handling and braking.

The Accord uses a redesigned 4-wheel independent double wishbone suspension system, and for improved road feel, a new speed-sensitive, power-assisted steering system. Also, wheel size is increased with larger diameter front disc and rar drum brakes, actuated by a new tandem power brake booster.

Though the compact and sophisticated double wishbone suspension design has been used in Honda automobiles for some time, all of the new Accord's suspension components have been redesigned in consideration of the car's increased weight and size. Additionally, the basic design has been considerable refined. The suspension stroke is increased, toe-angle change is reduced, and the amount of alignment deviation during the suspension stroke is decreased.

The front roll center is lowered, reducing horizontal movement and stabilizing the ride. The king pin center is offset by 7.3 mm (0.29in.) to minimize steering disturbance. Bushing compliance is increased to reduce harshness and improve ride comfort and spring rate and size are increased and front shock absorbers have larger diamter pistons and higher load capacity.

The Accord's double wishbone front suspension system uses two arms, or wishbones, of different lengths to minimize changes in track and camber, and improve anti-dive characteristics. Its new design permits 25 mm (nearly an inch) more suspension travel-lO mm bump, 15 mm rebound-to increase ride comfort.

The main front suspension components are an upper lateral arm, a lower trailing compliance link and a lower lateral arm. The upper arm controls vertical wheel motion, permitting nearly vertical spring and damper travel and freeing the spring/shock strut from any wheel locating functions, which reduces shock friction and improves ride. The upper and lower control arms are widely separated for better load dispersion and improved anti-dive control, and the suspension geometry is set to minimize camber change for more precise wheel control. A front stabilizer bar contributes to flat cornering.

The Accord's rear suspension is located by pivoting lower compliance trailing arms, lower lateral links, and upper lateral arms, which pivot behind the shock absorber and spring unit. Both the upper and lower arms have been lengthened, increasing suspension travel by 40 mm (1.57 in.)-15 mm bump and 25 mm rebound-to reduce harshness and improve ride.

Rear suspension geometry incorporates a built-in camber change to help improve cornering power and reduce rear-body lift during braking. On EX versions, a stabilizer bar further contributes to flat cornering.

To keep the steering force appropriate to the driving mode, the Accord has a new speed-sensitive, variable-assist power steering system. It automatically and progressively adjusts the amount of assistance, according to the vehicle speed, maintaining a high degree of road feel.

Sensors within the system monitor speed and vary assistance accordingly. At very low speeds, such as when parking or driving in city traffic, assistance is the greatest. As speed increases, it decreases at a linear rate, dropping to minimum assistance. The transition is so gradual that the driver is not aware of the change, and the effort needed for steering remains at a comfortable level.

Along with the new Accord's larger wheels, there are larger brakes: 260 mm (10.2 in.) ventilated discs in front, and 220 mm (8.7 in.) drum brakes in the rear. They are power assisted by a new tandem vacuum booster which has a 7-inch and an 8-inch chamber for improved brake feel. More efficient and compact than the 9-inch, single chamber booster it replaces, the new booster keeps pedal effort low yet provides a firm feel.

The wheel and tire size of the new Accord is increased from 13.0 x 5.0 to 14.0 x 5.5 inches on DX and LX versions-which are equipped with P185/70-R14 87S steel-belted radials mounted on styled steel wheels. LX versions are equipped with Michelin LX1 tires. Wheel size on EX models is increased to 5.5JJx15 inches and these Accords are fitted with 195/60-RiS 87H Michelin MXV3 steel-belted radials mounted on distinctive alloy wheels.

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