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Old 10-24-2016, 08:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My first honda, help me plan some mods?

Hey guys, so last summer I bought a 2000 civic EX coupe with the d16y8, and manual trans of course, for my daily commuter. Had 95K when I bought it and now at 120K already lol. Suspension wise I've put Tein S tech springs on the monroe shocks it had, a 14mm rear sway bar off an integra with rear subframe brace, hardrace camber and tow arms, and poly mount bushings and endlinks on the front sway bar. Tires are 205/50 yokohama s drives on some 15x7 wheels. I'm pretty satisfied with where the suspension is at but I'm getting real tired of how pathetically slow this car is (no offense). On the engine it's all stock with just an AEM short ram and fidanza flywheel and exedy stock clutch (put in shortly after I got the car). My commute is mostly freeway but I take the back way home and hit a nice curvy mountain road for about 7 miles of my 40 mile commute. My biggest complaint is that I have to really rev the engine up to get it to go anywhere and even then it's not all that impressive. I'm kinda hoping a few mods could free it up a bit, and while I know it won't be fast, I think if it had about 10-20 more ft lbs of torque in the 2k-5k range for some hill climbing power I'd be quite satisfied.

That being said, it seems that most NA mods one would do to a d-series mostly only help the high rev ranges, like a big cam or intake manifold upgrade. I'm not really looking for power there and I mostly want some more midrange power in it. I've been doing some internet research but mostly just come across threads saying to swap it or go turbo. I don't particularly like these ideas as I want it stay dead reliable and still get me my 36+ mpg. My current thoughts are maybe adding a DC 4-2-1 header and a Bisimoto stage 1 cam, but I haven't found much info about how these feel at part throttle. Maybe you guys with some first hand experience with how these mods feel can give me some input and maybe suggest some other mods I may not have considered?
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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upgrade the rods and pistons to something with more compression, slap a colt cams in it (59300 I think is pretty good n/a). what trans does it currently have? maybe a si/ex trans might help if you don't already have one
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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upgrade the rods and pistons to something with more compression, slap a colt cams in it (59300 I think is pretty good n/a). what trans does it currently have? maybe a si/ex trans might help if you don't already have one
I have the EX trans. And while I agree that a bump in compression would certainly help, upgrading the rods and pistons is a little bit more of a time/money investment than I'd like to make. I've priced a built bottom end for my miata in the neighborhood of $2600 including machine work, I'm sure the parts are a little cheaper for the civic, but I'd guess still around $2200 at least. That seems like a pretty big waste to gain, what, 10-15 hp? Do you have any input on how a header or cam affects the part throttle midrange torque? Are there any intake manifolds on the market that flow better but have either an equal length to or slightly longer runners than a stock y8 manifold for more midrange power?
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Old 10-26-2016, 03:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That 7 mile mountain road will feel a lot nicer if you take out any weight you consider unnecessary.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The timing belt was due at 105k if it hasn't been done I'd do that next and the water pump too. The plugs are due at 120, I'd probably just do a full tune up.

The best bang for your buck would be a small turbo or maybe a jrsc.
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The timing belt was due at 105k if it hasn't been done I'd do that next and the water pump too. The plugs are due at 120, I'd probably just do a full tune up.

The best bang for your buck would be a small turbo or maybe a jrsc.
At 95K when I got the car I did a timing belt, water pump, all the serpentine belts, EVERY coolant hose, transmission fluid, coolant, fuel filter, air filter (AEM short ram), spark plugs, and pcv valve. At ~100K I changed the clutch (exedy), flywheel (fidanza), rear main seal, transmission fluid, and TPS sensor (was getting a CEL). At ~105K I changed the front pads (Akebono) and rotors (Brembo), converted to rear discs from an EM1 and put new pads and rotors on (also Akebono and Brembo), new trailing arm bushings, put the tein springs on, put some hx wheels and new 185/65/14 tires on, put a rear subframe brace and DA integra 14mm rear sway bar, and got an alignment. They couldn't get rear camber or toe in spec so I then got the hardrace camber and toe arms in and got re-aligned. Then just 2 weeks ago at 120k I did a cap, rotor, wires, plugs, fuel filter, transmission fluid, coolant, new driver's side axle, primary oxygen sensor, and put some 15x7 +40 wheels (brand is evoke or something like that) and brand new 205/50/15 yokohama s drive tires.

I used OEM honda parts and fluids for everything mentioned above except the axle and two sensors. Needless to say, I've been meticulous about maintaining it, it needs nothing and does my 400 miles a week with no hiccups.

As for weight reduction, I don't see where I could lose much. I'm not giving up AC, I could probably lose the spare/jack, and wouldn't mind losing power steering if I could find a manual rack, but I don't know if those 2 things alone will equal anything noticeable. I also could go back to some lighter wheels, it was much better for acceleration with the 11 lb HX wheels but the 185/65/14's had too much flex and not enough grip, it's much better for grip with the 15s and 205/50s though and I can now fly through my 7 miles of mountain road about 5 mph faster through the corners.

I'd love to find a jrsc, they seem few and far between though and when you do find them it seems they're missing pieces you'll never be able to track down. A small turbo might be alright, but I've had pretty bad luck with putting a turbo on engines that didn't come from the factory with one. 1 celica engine and 3 miata engines have fallen to my wrath already, and I'm trying to keep this car super reliable.
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Why not search for a used head, they are often for sale for $50-$100, send it to the machine shop to have it milled for compression, cam, intake manifold, b18 TB and a tune, should net 15-20whp
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have the EX trans. And while I agree that a bump in compression would certainly help, upgrading the rods and pistons is a little bit more of a time/money investment than I'd like to make. I've priced a built bottom end for my miata in the neighborhood of $2600 including machine work, I'm sure the parts are a little cheaper for the civic, but I'd guess still around $2200 at least. That seems like a pretty big waste to gain, what, 10-15 hp? Do you have any input on how a header or cam affects the part throttle midrange torque? Are there any intake manifolds on the market that flow better but have either an equal length to or slightly longer runners than a stock y8 manifold for more midrange power?
You don't necessarily have to do a built bottom end, especially if you are just going for a little N/A grunt. Most (if not all) d16 parts are interchangeable, find some pistons that will bump your compression a bit ... or just shave the head some to get where you're going.

Also, it takes a little work but the d17 crankshaft will fit. You could swap the entire D17 rotating assembly in there for some more meat all over the power band. This is fun even around the 9.5:1 CR area.

I can't remember what all is involved as I didn't do the work myself, but I think there's a bit of machine work and you need a B16 crank pulley to make everything go together nice and seamlessly. (I had this done at a shop for somewhere in the sub $1500 range, IIRC).
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Old 10-27-2016, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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rods , pistons , cams , chip ecu/tune
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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don't remember what guy on ebay had it, but was selling manual racks for 92-95 civics for 85$ shipped. I bought one, haven't installed it yet, but it looks amazing and is oem
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Appreciate the responses guys. I found a great deal on some 15x7 +41 enkei RPF1's last night and went picked them up. They're only 9.8 lbs so they're even lighter than the HX wheels I had before! I'm going to swap out the tires on those today, they came with some 80% tread falkens but I really love these yokohamas I have now, so the falkens will get used for drift spares on my miata

I think I'm going to pull the trigger on an ebay header here too. From what I've read it's no better or worse than a DC, but it's only $40, so if I don't like it I won't feel to bad about taking it back off and throwing it away. It's easy enough to change out once every 2 years for smog also. I've been keeping an eye out for a stock EM1 cat-back too, I believe it's 1/4" larger than the EX exhaust (can anyone confirm?) but should still keep it quiet and stock-looking.

I'm still looking into what else I'd need for a manual rack conversion. The 96-00 racks themselves are ~$170 for a reman rack on ebay, which is still pretty cheap (a manual rack for my miata is about $400 for a used one...) I'm guessing you can't, but could one use a 92-95 rack in a 96-00?

I like the idea of finding a used head to get milled, if I had it all ready to go I could swap it in a day. I'll keep an eye out for one.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I think I'm going to pull the trigger on an ebay header here too. From what I've read it's no better or worse than a DC, but it's only $40, so if I don't like it I won't feel to bad about taking it back off and throwing it away. It's easy enough to change out once every 2 years for smog also. I've been keeping an eye out for a stock EM1 cat-back too, I believe it's 1/4" larger than the EX exhaust (can anyone confirm?) but should still keep it quiet and stock-looking
I bought one of the eBay headers for $43 from speed daddy, fitment and quality surpassed my expectations for the price. Having an aftermarket exhaust that didn't sound like a "Honda" was a concern for me. If you want quiet, my setup is literally stock volume. $100 worth of parts and a few hundred in labor, 24" 2.25" in/out thrush glasspack, 12" in/out baffled resonator, 2.25" thrush turbo muffler. Complete exhaust from header back, no cat.
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Old 11-12-2016, 08:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I bought one of the eBay headers for $43 from speed daddy, fitment and quality surpassed my expectations for the price. Having an aftermarket exhaust that didn't sound like a "Honda" was a concern for me. If you want quiet, my setup is literally stock volume. $100 worth of parts and a few hundred in labor, 24" 2.25" in/out thrush glasspack, 12" in/out baffled resonator, 2.25" thrush turbo muffler. Complete exhaust from header back, no cat.
Well, I followed your recommendation and ordered a header from speed daddy. Fitment was not so great though. There was about a 2 inch gap between the downpipe and cat, but I thought I could maybe yank the exhaust forward so it stretched the hangers a little bit, but no. I couldn't get it in the orientation it needed to be because something was hitting. Then I realized it was my secondary o2 sensor in the cat hitting my shift linkage. There's absolutely no way to get it to fit without relocating that second o2. So that was a bust

In other news, the enkei's are great! The car accelerates much quicker with some lightweight wheels, I find I don't often need to downshift to 3rd to pass people on the freeway anymore, 4th is usually sufficient now haha. Still not as quick as I'd like but certainly getting closer.
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i would recommend the si trans. The shorter gears make it feel like a completely different car. pistons rods and and a tune with the si trans should do you well and not hit the wallet too hard. welcome to the fam!
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