Schu51, go with either Bilsteins or Koni Sport Adjustables shocks. There's plenty of group buys in the forums for full suspension kits, so shop around.
Now as far as installation costs, it depends on your area. Where are you from, so folks in your area can recommend a shop to do your install and give you an estimate of cost? Expect to pay between $200 and $300.00 for the installation, and don't forget to do a 4Wheel alignment once the springs settle.
Living in Philly, I wish I hadn't gotten the Neuspeed Sport, but rather the SofSport which isn't as low and still has the same spring rate. You're in CA though so go ahead and drop it like it's hot!!! :thumbup:
Springs: Koni Sport Kit, 2" drop (1.4 advertised)
Shocks: Koni Sport Adjustable (yellow)
Engine: 2.8 V6, FWD, GLX Sedan
Other Mods: Tint, Surf Racks
Wheels & Tires: OEM 16x7 Vancouvers
Clearance Rating: about 5" belly pan to ground; less out near suspension
Price: $573 for springs and shocks, plus shipping. $275 install. $90 align
Sorry, I have no camera. I can tell you it is lower than I expected, even considering the warnings that most springs lower more than advertised.
A month after lowering and alignment I have almost exactly one inch between the top of the tread and the bottom of the fender lip. Before lowering, it was just about three inches. So the Koni Sport Kit springs lowered my B5.5 V6 Tip with 16x7 oem Vancouvers two full inches all around, as opposed to the 1.4 inches (35mm) advertised.
The front gap is the same as the rear, like before, so the appearance of forward rake remains as stock. I like the look, alot (Caveat - I'm not planning to show the car). I parked next to two late model BMW M3s by coincidence since lowering. They both had slightly more fender gap in front than rear. So that gives you an idea how aggressive this Koni set up is on my car.
I am concerened about ground clearance and camber:
1. maybe five inches ground clearance to the center of the belly pan, and maybe three and a half inches ground clearance to the belly pan as you get out toward the suspension. I just barely scraped high center coming out of an underground driveway onto the street - no damage, though.
2. Alignment: Camber is -1.6 left front and -1.4 right front, after alignment. Factory specs max is -1.0 on either side.
The rest of the alignment is good: front caster, toe, cross camber, and total toe, and rear alignment.
Handling: (Caveat: I am not a racer. I am old - 51yo; and my last few cars were Japanese econoboxes, although my civic of the past 14 years had 15s and swaybars). We set the Konis to one half turn from soft rear and three quarters turn from soft front, same as the 2003 Grassroots Motorsports magazine review as stated by scotty_passat on PW. Road feel is much improved. Dive and squat nearly eliminated. Body roll reduced noticeably at normal and even somewhat sprited driving speeds (again, Im not racing the car, so I dont know about at the limit). Handling just feels much more controlled, even with the oem conti touring tires, which are now clearly the weak link. Next up is summer tires, and then , if I get bored, a rear sway bar.
Ride: More road feel, but not harsh at all. At first it was hard to tell the difference from the stock setup in ride, but after a few days it was noticeable. I have tried to hit every road irregularity so far, although I havent come across any deep potholes in. I feel the bumps a little more, but it certainly is not jarring or anything. I don't think most non-enthusiasts would notice too much difference.
I just bought a set of Neuspeed Springs (1.5" drop all around), and set of 17 x 7 wheels. I'm scared that if I install the springs I'll end up ruining the ride of the car. Would the bilstein shocks help? Or can I get away with riding around on my stock shocks for a while?