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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, everyone. I figured I would put a log of my EF SI hatch, in case anyone has any use of it. Plus, with forums becoming the stagnant beings they are, I feel like it would be useful to provide recent/updated information for anyone who still follows threads like these. I have TONS of people to thank on forums for their expertise and sharing over the past few decades, and it's high time I do the same.

In any case, here she is:
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I bought the hatch from a widow, whose husband got it from their son, who used to autox the car. They gave me a great deal, on the condition that I took care of it.
So, I plan on doing a resto-mod, by doing either a dohc zc swap (which I mostly have) OR a b-swap (which I partially have).

My priorities, in descending order, are going to be as follows:
1. Add lightness.
2. Keep balanced.
3. Retain "daily" status as much as possible. Exceptions to this are A/C, as the car had all of its A/C components removed.
4. Add power, but not to the point where it is no longer fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
First major job:

I decided to change the rear drum brakes to disc. The only feasible option I had at the time was using Integra rear trailing arms, so I went in that direction. I used energy suspension bushings, but I don't like how much free play they have side to side - I feel like it will interfere with tire wear. I decided right away that I would either go back to stock bushings, or HardRace.

However, I came upon a kit to do a swap straight from my drum brakes, using CRX SI parts. This is a WIP, because I'm not sure what bearing/hub combo to use. The original drum brakes hubs DON'T seem to fit. So I will wait and see what I will do.

The bigger problem is that I lost a lot of braking confidence when swapping the rears. I started tweaking the brake booster, and got it to a point where the brakes progressively got tighter as I drove around. Not safe! I had one of two options. Take it to a dealership, and hope they can use the booster tool to make an appropriate adjustment. Or...


Brake booster delete!
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Oh. My. God. What a PAIN. If you are considering doing a brake booster delete, I highly recommend doing research. Better yet, if you pass by the Dallas area, come drive my car before you commit. It is an ordeal unless you already know what you are doing.

I will share what I did, by order of procedure.

1.The WHOLE dash has to come out, in order to remove the brake pedal, to drill the hole to fit the new push rod. There is no way out of this if you buy the Honed kit. Only the EF Civics have this problem, it looks like.
2. The brake feeling is completely different, and you need to change various parts to get to a point you like. First, the brakes felt like they were barely grazing the rotors. I did two bleeds. I am not entirely comfortable with what I am doing with the rears, but it improved a little.
3. I then changed the proportioning valve to the CRX Si valve (2530?), and bled again. Feels fairly better, though I am not sure if it's because I bled better, the proportioning valve is better, I got more accustomed to the braking, or a combination of the three.

Next changes/concerns:
4. I saw on a YT blog that you can use Hawk Brake pads to up the bite. I bought some HP+ and new rotors. They're sitting on my desk as we speak, and I will get to it when I get to it.
5. Maybe(?) I bought the wrong master cylinder for my set up. I don't remember if I bought the bigger or smaller recommended MC. How do I measure this?
6. Bleed again.
 

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4d EG manual rack/trans low n slow
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Manual brakes? That's horrible to me, sorry.
I hope I'm not coming across as "that guy" But...

Seems to me you turned the booster push rod(assumption) which made your brakes stay slightly engaged.
How's the rotor surfaces look?
Also, how are your hoses? All new? When you're bleeding it, are you using a helper to pump the brakes, or hose into a container of fluid with a valved bleeder, vacuum, pressure bleeder?
Usually when brakes (get tight) Lock up, while driving normally these are the usual suspects.
1.) You should never wing it when adjusting a brake booster. If it's not working correctly, and tested bad, replacement is the best idea if you're not familiar.
2.) You might want to make sure the steel lines to the rear aren't damaged/pinched. If you're on old hoses, replace them. They can be restricted.
3.) How's your engine vacuum? Was the check valve or hose damaged from the booster to the engine?

Disc brakes generally need higher hydraulic pressure, versus drum, and if you had a factory drum master cylinder, and didn't swap for disc (usually larger bore) like a Prelude Si one.its 15/16 bore, I think, you aren't moving the fluid you need to.
Last car I had manual brakes on was a 65 mustang, and that was only for concourse. They were not what I would call fun..
I hope you redo it back to power brakes.
If I'm making assumptions and you did all the research and decided your best stopping power is going to be manual brakes, I'd love to hear the argument for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh, you are right on most counts. And feel free to comment! Judge away, if you have information.

I'm using a helper. The strangest thing is that this is the first time I've ever bled brakes, and the hose was just... empty when I opened the valve. I mean, there's liquid coming out, but it was a stream. The rear brakes didn't fill the hose with fluid immediately like the fronts do.

I adjusted the brake booster, and scuffed the whole ordeal. Everything was working perfectly before the swap to disk.
Vacuum was perfectly fine before. I'd take off the hose, and it would idle very high. Plug it back in, and idle would go back to normal (800? Whatever feels like normal).
I swapped the bore size too. It would just... bottom out. That's why I started messing with the booster.

The manual brakes aren't "bad," per se. I'm sure it's better than a 2600 lb mustang with rear drums. I have no problems driving it around my little town. I just can't lock up my brakes yet. So there's work to be done before I'm confident on the highway.

I DO like the fine modulation I think I can feel. I haven't decided if it's worth the manual brakes. If I can get a good setup, I think the trade-off is worth it, but I can't say that for sure until I've exhausted every option. The only "worthwhile" part of this is that I'm learning a lot. It helps that it isn't my actual daily driver.

For what it's worth, I have this weird preference for manual steering. At least, for a sub-2300 lb. car. I don't know how people used to do it with trucks.
 

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4d EG manual rack/trans low n slow
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I'm really not judging, just concerned.
I'd say you have a fluid delivery issue, are the rear brakes still not bleeding?
I like manual things also, I swapped in a manual rack and transmission for my Eg, as far as brakes go though.... Not so much, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update!

It is super easy to upgrade Subaru brake systems, so I thought, why not the EF? How hard is it to switch drums to disk?

:mad:.

First, let's address the elephants in the room. This probably won't improve my braking. I already have disc brakes, and I'm having some issues with feel and balance. I'm mostly doing this to be able to keep everything "civic" instead of having to remember to buy Integra trailing arm bushings.

Others claim that drum brakes are LIGHTER than disc conversions. Supposedly 7 lbs. per side if using DA integra rears. And that's all I had available.
I decided to convert my old drum arms to disc by swapping the hubs. This way, I can also weigh the individual parts.
I knew it was going to take a lot of effort, because the bolts are torx bolts, have blue thread sealant, AND they are shrouded.

Vision care Wood Finger Eyewear Line


Rocket Socket. Made in the USA, baby.
Fluid Water Coil spring Suspension Gas


Good tools make easy(er) work. So, I'm putting them on as soon as I get equivalent "grade 8" bolts.
Let's weigh it.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gauge Rim Measuring instrument


21 lbs. This includes the whole unit (drum, hub, shoes, and hand brake cable).


The disc conversion in pieces: (hub, mount, rotor, caliper).
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Motor vehicle Gauge Measuring instrument Font Gas



25 lbs! It IS actually heavier. 4 lbs, not 7 lbs heavier. Keep in mind that I don't have the parking brake cable. Is it 3 lbs?

So I need to find 14 lbs to remove. Obviously the shield will save... 0.5 lb? Total?
I have more work to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I put the Hawk HP+ pads and new disc rotors on the front. Feel was IMMENSELY improved. Why didn't I do this sooner?
I have only driven it once, and I'm being overly cautious with the bed in procedure.
So there's a few thoughts:

1. The pads weren't gone, but they WERE rusted from a year's worth of non-use. How much does that affect pedal feel on a booster-less system?
2. While they still had significant life left, I had to push the pistons a good amount back. Maybe that made the difference?
3. HP+ pads grab THAT much better. If I remember correctly, it is a 50% increase in friction coefficient.

Pics for proof:
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Man, maybe they were worse than I thought.

So I haven't made any hard brakes yet, but it sure feels a lot more responsive.
I will change the rears with new pads (not Hawks!) and rotors. Then bleed, and try again.

I'm definitely more confident in using this for daily use. Not sure if I can get them back to the original effectiveness, or even make the braking better than stock. Time, and mistakes, will tell.
 

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93 4d lx, z6,ported, port matched, compression bumped, balanced, manual swap
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If the pedal effort is high and travel is low, consider switching to a smaller diameter master cylinder, travel will increase, but effort will decrease. Worth noting that I wouldn't recommend doing this on all setups, but it would probably help in your case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My original problem was that there was too much pedal travel. I couldn't lock up the brakes no matter how hard I pressed. This is now not a problem. I drove it very gingerly, so I don't know if I can lock them up yet, but initial response is much better.

It's a consideration for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What set of "tornado sockets"/bolt extractors is this?

If I remember correctly, I had to use the 14 - 9/16 extractor. It brushes the diameter, so I hammered it on by attaching a cheap extension and hitting that.
 

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If I remember correctly, I had to use the 14 - 9/16 extractor. It brushes the diameter, so I hammered it on by attaching a cheap extension and hitting that.
Sweet, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Minor update!

In consideration of 1) add lightness, I had some (very little) free time on my hands, and saw that the bracket that holds the center console is stamped steel. Great for cost effectiveness... but oh my, look at all that unnecessary weight!

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I drilled as many holes as time would allow. I may have been conservative though - I didn't feel any noticeable loss in stiffness. Besides, if I am torqueing down on the shifter shroud so much that this becomes the point of failure, there are other things I should probably be worried about.

Yes, I know that you can sneeze more weight than I have taken off. But how does the saying go?

"Take care of the ounces, and the pounds will take care of themselves." Something like that.
 

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Thats maybe 3 grams of metal you removed lol.

Since you're opting to save weight on this small of a scale, you could also do any of the following and save even more weight, gaining significantly better power to weight ratio than what you just drilled out in metal shavings:
  • Choose to not eat corn with your next meal before going for a drive, to save on dead weight ending up in your turds
  • Remove your headlamp bulbs during your daytime commute, leaving them at home
  • Dont top up the washer fluid reservoir to full
  • Take out 1/16 of a single floor mat
  • Empty your glovebox before commuting
  • Wear flip flops instead of full shoes
  • Switch from boxers/briefs to thongs
  • Blow your nose before driving
  • Choose not to take a bottle of water with you in the car
  • Put back the pack of Skittles you grabbed from the candy aisle while at the grocery store, so it doesnt end up in a grocery bag in the trunk
  • Fill the fuel tank up with $25, instead of $25.25
  • Check your oil level 63 times, wiping the streak of dipstick oil on a rag as you do, in order to remove 0.1 quart of oil from the sump
  • Rebuild the transmission and wipe the metal shavings off of the sump magnet

I could go on.... ;) that was a fun thought exercise
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thats maybe 3 grams of metal you removed lol.

Since you're opting to save weight on this small of a scale, you could also do any of the following and save even more weight, gaining significantly better power to weight ratio than what you just drilled out in metal shavings:
  • Choose to not eat corn with your next meal before going for a drive, to save on dead weight ending up in your turds
  • Remove your headlamp bulbs during your daytime commute, leaving them at home
  • Dont top up the washer fluid reservoir to full
  • Take out 1/16 of a single floor mat
  • Empty your glovebox before commuting
  • Wear flip flops instead of full shoes
  • Switch from boxers/briefs to thongs
  • Blow your nose before driving
  • Choose not to take a bottle of water with you in the car
  • Put back the pack of Skittles you grabbed from the candy aisle while at the grocery store, so it doesnt end up in a grocery bag in the trunk
  • Fill the fuel tank up with $25, instead of $25.25
  • Check your oil level 63 times, wiping the streak of dipstick oil on a rag as you do, in order to remove 0.1 quart of oil from the sump
  • Rebuild the transmission and wipe the metal shavings off of the sump magnet

I could go on.... ;) that was a fun thought exercise
1. Working on it. Losing weight, that is. Eating less corn is a concern too, I guess.
2. Working on it! (Lol)
3. Don't have any washer fluid, so that's already taken care of. I suppose I could remove the reservoir too...
4. Sanding down the floor mats? Now THAT is an interesting idea. Though I suppose it only works for rubber mats. I don't have rear mats.
5. Glovebox has been moved to the rear of the car, because I'm prepping the car for paint. So now it should be heavier to balance out the front/rear bias.
6. Can't wear flip flops to work, and the damn kids all wear "slides" now. I have to distinguish myself from them.
7. This WOULD take care of speeding tickets....
8. I get allergies a lot, so this is a concern. I'm always removing snot.
9. No cup holder, no cups!
9a. Actually, I swapped the ash tray for a cup holder, so I already shaved down that weight. However, see #5 above.
10. Don't grab groceries with this car... yet.
11. This is a fair point. I've seen AutoX fanatics do this. Maybe I'll switch over to nitrogen in my tires.
12. Should I meter my oil? I'm good with doing a bunch of stupid sh#t, but good engines are getting rare. Maybe add a baffle (more weight!) but don't need to worry about having the oil completely full.
13. There's TWO magnets in the transmission? I thought the oil drain plug was the only magnet. Or is it not magnetic? Can I save weight by removing the sump magnet, and using a magnetic drain plug?

I DO plan on going overboard with this car, while giving it as much of an "oem look" as possible, so thank you for that thought exercise. It actually did give me more ideas.
 
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