Ok, I recently purchased a 1992 Civic VX with 246,xxx miles on it, and in less than a month I'm already closing in on 251,xxx miles. Car is basically all stock, decent body and great interior, and runs and drives quite well especially considering I paid like $1700 for it. Motor has rough idle, but runs smooth as glass once rolling and will happily cruise down the highway at 80+ mph, steering is super light and it shifts like butter (except into reverse sometimes...?) Anyways, it has the original springs and the shocks appear to be original as well, or at least OEM replacements from 15+ years ago, and they are pretty well toasted. When parked, the car sits around 1-1.5" lower on the driver side than the passenger. While the suspension isn't horrible and actually handles my local roads (mountains of western North Carolina) pretty well, I'd love to upgrade it to give a better ride. For what it's worth, it has stock size wheels and tires though not the same wheels it came with. I'd like to eventually upgrade to a lightweight 14" wheel versus the 13" alloys.
The car is used purely for driving from point A to point B, mostly on twisty back roads but also a fair amount of highway driving (including 1000+ mile trips), and will never see a race track or an autocross course. That being said, I regularly drive some of the best roads in the country for "spirited driving" and have found this little car can really get around if you can pick smooth lines. I'm thinking that slightly stiffer springs and perhaps some sway bars would go a long way to improving the fun factor. I must emphasize "slightly" as we have our share of bridge seams and potholes and I don't want to go so firm as to risk damaging anything or losing traction if I hit some bigger bumps mid-turn. I had seen a forum post somewhere that Ground Control had recommended 9" 315# front and 8" 250# rear springs, which is probably 3-4x the stock rates. No idea if those numbers are any good for what I've mentioned. Since the springs are sagging, I'm assuming the whole car is effectively "lowered" a bit from stock ride height already and that a direct OEM replacement of everything would raise it back up a bit. It's got between a 2-2.5" gap tire to fender on driver front, and around 3.5" gap on passenger front. Not sure what the stock ride height is, but I'd probably like to have it 1-1.5" lower than factory, but again due to some rough roads and things like roadkill to drive over, I probably don't want to go any lower.
Looking for firmer, sportier ride than stock but still fairly comfortable for all-day driving
Lower than stock by 1" to 1.5"
Want good quality parts, but certainly doesn't need to be "high end." Maybe some Bilstein mono-tube shocks and some decent springs?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm honestly a bit overwhelmed by the variety of responses out there and my overall lack of experience with cars.