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90civichbsi's never ending project

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Seems like the combination of turbo and track has resulted in broken axels worn out turbo and worn out engine. So with your new garage space you can rebuild it over and over like Kermit or you can change platforms and move in a new direction. Which way do you want to go?

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How much would a new engine cost?


$1,300-1,400 before shipping for a good quality one from a reliable importer.


Seems like the combination of turbo and track has resulted in broken axels worn out turbo and worn out engine. So with your new garage space you can rebuild it over and over like Kermit or you can change platforms and move in a new direction. Which way do you want to go?


Axles are due to a lot of factors, the main one is cheap reman axles. The axles autoparts stores sell have been rebuilt so many times at this point they have lost all quality. Originally it was from the brakes getting hot enough to heat soak the hub/axle which has been pretty much solved. Though I plan to go with larger brakes to better prevent heat soak. Still running the stock 9.5" with triple the HP the car came with.


As far as rebuilding it goes, the car currently makes plenty of horsepower for my needs so I don't really care to build for more power at this time. Stock engines aren't that expensive so it's not worth rebuilding to stock specs. I have a lot of other things I'd rather focus on than power. Better coilovers, wider wheels/tires, aero and seat time. I'll still hold on to this engine when a get a new one to build it down the road.


When it comes to changing platforms or sticking to this car, I plan to go the Kermit route. I have had this car since I was 16 and it's a blast to drive. I'll drive it till the body falls apart. I have thought about selling my daily for an NB so I can have a trackable RWD daily. I could also run the same tires on both cars.

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August 2017 - Catch can baffling, turbo replacement and axles/wheel bearings/brakes again...


Since my engine is getting a little tired I've been seeing more oil deposits around the catch can after sessions on track so I needed to add better baffling in my catch can. I purchased some perforated aluminum and went to trimming and bending it to fit.


Existing space




Cut and trimmed aluminum




Squeezed into fit, once the lid is tightened down the pressure keeps it in place.






I would say my old turbo was in rough shape for sure after 10+ years of hard use. Definite oil leakage on the intake side and wheel on housing contact.






New turbo on the left. I decided to stick with the same old Garrett t3/t4 50 trim though this one came with a slightly different compressor. Figured I could keep the same turbo and tune then continue to focus on the areas of the car that need it more.






Now to the axles. Since I have been breaking reman auto parts store axles left and right at TWS I thought it was time to step up to some aftermarket axles and picked up some 500hp Insane Shafts to prepare for the SCCA Track Night at COTA on 8/30.


Old on the left next to the new on the right.





August 2017 - Axle and wheel bearing failure at COTA


Unfortunately the new Insane Shafts driver's side axle had other plans once I started my first session at COTA. After just 4.5 laps the outer CV gave out on the back straight in the middle of 5th gear. It gave up here in similar fashion to how previous axles went at TWS.


Here's a video of that lap and eventual breakage. I wasn't pushing too hard since this was my first session ever at COTA . The previous 2 complete laps were 2:49s in some traffic. CV Axle break happens around 1:30:






Once I got home I started to pull things apart and immediately noticed some play in the driver's side wheel bearing that wasn't there before the day started. That bearing had only seen 2 track weekends before this. I think the bearing started to let go first which lead to the brakes dragging and creating excessive heat. Damage to the bearing probably came from my previous 2 track weekends with my current undersized brakes. All signs are pointing to heat soak for both the bearing and axle





Interesting heat rings from a misaligned rotor due to the bad wheel bearing. I am really surprised the car was driving as smooth as it was before the axle gave out.






Time to start looking at a different brake setup and replacing the wheel bearings again. On the plus side, the baffling seemed to help for those 4.5 laps.

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See Page 4 for the august update that lead to this post...




September 2017 - Brake Upgrade


After doing some research I came up with 3 possible options to work with my current 15" wheels         


1. Fastbrakes 11" factory big brake kit using calipers from any 90-01 integra that came with 10.3" brakes

  • Cheapest option

2. Sourcing my own 11" kit using 90-93 integra knuckles, Mini Cooper rotors and ITR/NSX/Legend calipers

  • Largest pad of these options
  • Option for tapered 2 piston calipers from the NSX/Legend (additional weight but more stopping power and more even pad wear)
  • 90-93 integras have a slightly larger wheel bearing so it is potentially stronger than my existing civic bearings
  • The knuckle is shaped a little different so it will change the suspension geometry - more dynamic camber curve and unknown changes to toe curve
  • Heaviest of these options
  • I would have to source a lot of parts and get some metal milled off the caliper brackets

3. Fastbrakes 11" Wilwood  Dynalite  4 piston kit

  • Lightest of all the options.
  • Cheapest consumables of all the options - $80 pads vs $140-170 for the integra calipers
  • About the same cost as option 2
  • Easily sourced rotors from a 1991 VW Corrado


Cost of consumables, weight and the fact that I wouldn't have to track down parts made option 3 stand out so that's what I went with. I can also buy different brackets and 11.75" rotors down the road if I move to larger wheels and want more stopping power/less heat transfer


I also decided to buy new hubs rather than reusing the stock ones again. I didn't want that to be a factor in a failed bearing either.




New 11" rotors next to the old 9.5"



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September 2017 - Brake Upgrade Continued...


My big box O' brake parts was missing the hubcentric rings for the rotors so I wasn't able to finish that yet, but I did add some vents to the outer CV boots of my new axles.


Driveshaft shop offers some interesting info regarding venting so I figured it couldn't hurt:
The Driveshaft Shop Blog ? What Makes a Driveshaft Shop Axle So Much Better?

3. Venting On axles that will see very high temperatures we will install a vent tube in the boots. At certain temperature the grease will start to vapor and blow up the boot like a balloon. We have been venting boots for some time and it will definitely save a boot and CV from destruction, its just not wise to do this with a standard application as the vent can also let in certain things.


Most of the time when my axles had gone out the boots were sucked in or on the rare occaison exploded, so I know this has been an issue in the past. The last Insane Shaft axle I broke looked fine on the outside, but it's supposed to have high temp grease in it. A 1" length of a WD40 straw does the trick of letting out gas without allowing too much in.





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September 2017 - Brake Upgrade Continued...


Trying out some RockAuto hubs since the Honda ones are now discontinued and a pain to find. Hoping they hold up fine, but I'll be keeping a close eye on them. Using Koyo bearings repacked with Neo Synthetic grease again.





Brakes all fitted up





There was just barely not enough clearance with the inner part of the spoke so I had to order 3mm hubcentric spacers to clear.








Then gave the new brakes and autocross a test run at COTA. Both for the first time. The brakes felt really good, I used the Willwood BP-10 street compound pads for autocross. They don't have the bite I liked from the DTC60 I ran before, but overall the brakes felt solid and stopped well. I'll be running Hawk Blues at my next track outing in November. Brian from Fastbrakes recommended I give the Blues a try first before stepping up to the DTC60 again since these brakes would stop and handle heat better.


Also autocross was way more fun than I thought it would be. The Texas Spokes group put on a great event and they are a good bunch of guys and gals. I'll be going back and the competition aspect is making me really want to start NASA TT sooner than later.



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It's been a while and I finally have something to post. Back in November of 2017 I ran a couple track days on the 3.1 at MSRC. About my third session in on the second day I had a coolant pipe blow off while exiting Tombstone. No harm done to the car itself but it looked like the head gasket gave way allowing boost into the coolant jacket. I knew the engine was tired already so it was finally time to replace it.


Unfortunately for the car I had a few other projects that would need to take precedence before summer. Various things around the house and we purchased my wife's grandpa's 1974 pontoon boat that needed quite a bit of work to be lake ready.



June 2018 - Engine Replacement


Since I've already worked most of the bugs out of my current engine setup and it would be the cheapest route I figured I'd stick to the same engine. K20/24 power would be nice, but that would require too many changes. I bought my previous engine from Hmotorsonline.com back in 2002 and when I called them up they had just received another b16a1.




While the engine is pretty low mileage for it's age it came from an automatic Integra. So it likely was less abused, but the automatic B16s only revved to 7200. They had weaker cams and single valve springs on the intake side. The cams from my old engine were still in good shape so I swapped them over along with the dual valve springs and replaced all the valve stem seals while I was in there.





Prepped the new pan with with some baffling




All done and ready for a fresh tune.





Once we started to get into pulls under boost we had some issues with my PWM boost by gear controller. The 7psi spring in the wastegate wasn't going to get me to the HP I wanted so we had to fashion a ghetto controller on the wastegate vaccum hose to reach the 10psi mark I wanted. Once I got home I installed a 10psi spring in the wastegate.




Final verdict was 305hp/206tq @ 10psi






August 2018 - Going wide


I've been looking into wider wheels and tires for a while. Due to unfortunate circumstances many here are aware of, a good deal for a full set of wheels and tires for a FWD setup became available. Thanks @edison_GTI, may the spirit of Kermit live on in my Civic. I'm set for a while on tires, but now I need to make them fit. 205's on 15x7 wheels is about as large as I can go on the stock fenders. The new wheels are 15x9 with 245 front and 225 rear.




New 245s vs current 205s





The new wheels require 15mm spacers so I prepped my spare knuckles with extended studs, new bearing and hubs.







I'll need quite a bit more fender to cover these tires. Rather than do universal overfender flares I am going to build complete custom front fenders and a front bumper to match. There are a couple companies that make 3 piece front ends for civic/crx's but they aren't exactly what I want and most have a 3-4 month wait to get them. This will be the largest fiberglass project I've undertaken yet, but I plan to make molds this time so i can make duplicates to sell in the future.



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September 2018 - Fender rollin'


I had a couple track days and autocross events coming up before I'd have time to finish out my new front end and I could not wait to try out the wider wheels and tires. A week before a track night at Harris hill I decided I would see what I could do to pull the front fenders far enough to clear. Since this would be a temporary solution I was not overly concerned with them being perfect, but once I got into it I couldn't help myself to make it look nice.


I found a cheap fender roller for sale locally and broke out the heat gun. I took my time, working the fenders slowly to try and pull them as smoothly as possible.





I was able to press out the outer edge enough to barely clear the new tires under compression, but in doing so it was nearly impossible to fend off the waves. I could have stopped there and just let it be for a temporary solution, but the more I looked at it, the more I would not have been happy with it. So I decided to rebuild the edge using as little bondo as possible while keeping it nice and smooth.





Final job after a rattle can lacquer finish. I may still go back to wet sand and polish this to make it as shiny as the rest of the paint, but It will probably do fine for now.




It's been about a year and a half since I've been to Harris Hill, the only changes from the last time are a fresh engine running about the same horsepower and 245 tires on the front. The whole afternoon I only had one lap without traffic, it was 25 degrees hotter and on that lap I was still able to beat my previous PB by a full second with a 1:28.2. 1:27s are easily attainable and 1:26s are very possible. Also worth noting that this time there were cones blocking off about a car and a half length at the apex of turn 2 due to some track surface issues.



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I'd been contemplating moving from 225/45/15 to 245/40/15 R7s on 9" rims, since the cost difference is less than $5/tire.  You've convinced me!  :smile:


What width wheel are you running the 245s on? 

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I'd been contemplating moving from 225/45/15 to 245/40/15 R7s on 9" rims, since the cost difference is less than $5/tire.  You've convinced me!  :smile:


What width wheel are you running the 245s on? 


If it fits I'd say it's worth it. Mine are on a 15x9. I moved from 205/50/15 on 7" wheels all around.


I also have 225/45/15s on 9" to fit on the rear, but I'll need to do some fender cutting and flares before I can get those to fit. I was fairly surprised the 205 on the back with 245 on the front still felt pretty balanced at Harris Hill without any suspension changes. I was noticing I wasn't trail braking as deep and then getting on the throttle sooner.

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October 2018 - New engine, new problems


When loading up the car for the track night at Harris Hill I noticed some smoke that went away. On my last session I was black flagged and they let me know the car was smoking quite a bit. (both idle and on throttle)


Over the weekend I started messing with the car and I am pretty sure the issue has to do with coolant. After the engine warms some revs shoot quite a bit of water out of the exhaust. Even after 7-8 fan cycles I get a few spits of water. Though i have not really seen any signs that I'm losing coolant.




I ran a leakdown test came back with a pretty healthy engine:

Cyl 1: 3%

Cyl 2: 1%

Cyl 3: 0%

Cyl 4: 1%


With numbers like this, the only logical place that oil could smoke like this would be valve stem seals, but I replaced those when I swapped the valvetrain from my old engine. The turbo is also fairly new with only 4-5 track days and a few autocross on it.


There are really only 2 ways for water to get into the combustion chamber on this engine. The intake manifold gasket (hoses run through here near cylinder 1) or the head gasket. I run a Hondata intake manifold gasket that was in good shape when I dropped the engine in, so I doubt that's it. I retorqued the nuts on the manifold to be sure.


So as it looks now, I'll be pulling the head to inspect and taking this opportunity to install ARP head studs while I'm in there.

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