Classic Hondas on the Dragon III - No Honda Left Behind

The kindness of those who attend this event was really the highlight this year!

Classic Hondas on the Dragon II

A large group of classic Hondas driving together is truly something special to behold!

2017 Mitty - Day 1: Coker Tire Tour

An incredible drive through southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia, capped off with the best vintage racing out there.

Honda Dreams Do Come True

I bet you didn't realize that your first gen dream car was in Austria all this time!

Letting Go

Even the best laid plans don't promise success. Find out how I learned that the hard way.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Tech Tip: EF Brake upgrade

The CRX was due for a front brake change.  The factory hardware was worn and one of the rubber boots on the caliper bolt had torn.  Now was as good a time as any to make an upgrade.  The most common upgrade for these cars is the Integra swap.  Sure, it's easy and most people do this, but I wanted to look into something less common, with a more significant performance increase.  I remembered reading a couple threads, back in the day, that discussed a 2nd generation CRX brake swap, so I looked into it.  Only a few people had done the swap, and the information seemed to vary slightly.  However, if it worked, it seemed like it would be a great upgrade option.  Not only would the brake rotors, calipers, and pads be larger, but with hardware from a 2nd gen CRX, the aftermarket brake options would increase.  So I decided to try it.

This modification was one of the easiest I've done in a long time.  You literally just buy the parts, and bolt them on.  The important thing here is purchasing the right parts.  The specific car you'll be ordering parts for is a 1991 CRX SI.  The SI model uses a different caliper than the DX and HF models, which also requires a different brake pad.  I ran into some trouble ordering parts because one of the parts distributors did not specify a difference between the lower model CRXs of that year, and the SI model.  I had to return the parts and they have since restructured their model designation.

Parts you'll need to purchase: (1991 CRX SI)


Parts I ordered:

Power Stop Brake Rotors
Vendor: Summit Racing
Part Number: JBR-304XPR
Cost: $89.97 (Pair)

Hawk HPS Pads
Vendor; Summit Racing
Part Number: HWK-HB113F-590
Cost: $76.97 (Pair)

Wearever Brake Caliper Unloaded With Bracket (Remanufactured)
Vendor: Advance Auto Parts
Part Number: 19-B1232 - Front Right, 19-B1233 - Front Left
Cost: $42.99 (Each)

Make sure you get the caliper WITH a bracket.  You cannot reuse the factory bracket with this new caliper.  The only parts that you will reuse from the factory brake setup are the caliper bracket bolts.  During the installation, the only issues (not sure they even qualify as issues) I encountered were routing the factory brake lines properly, and filing down the paint on the caliper so the factory banjo could fit into the support.  The factory lines have to attach to the caliper at a different angle, causing the line to extend further than they would with the factory caliper.  Just adjust the position of your brake line keeper that attaches to the shock, to allow the brake line to move easily when the wheels are turned.  One of the calipers had a little excess paint built up on the inside of the banjo support teeth.  I just got a file and sanded off the paint so the banjo fitting slipped between the teeth on the caliper.

In regards to wheel fitment, I don't own any factory 13" wheels to test, but there is over an inch of clearance between the outer edge of the caliper and the inner diameter of my 14" BMW Bottlecaps.

So that's it.  Nothing too technical here.  For just over $250, you'll be able to reap the benefits of larger rotors, pads, and caliper pistons, all helping to boost your stopping power.  Happy tinkering!

Photos by Stephen Dettman

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Living the Dream - 3G Civic Track Car: Chapter 1

As  you know, from my Chasing Dreams post, my journey towards motor sport competition has recently begun.  Once the initial elation and excitement from actually getting a track car died down, it was back to business.  The car came with a list of things that needed to be completed prior to use.  The main chore being machine work to the engine.  The car came lightly assembled.  When the previous owner decided to sell the car, he was in the middle of redoing much of the car.  The wiring harness had been removed to consolidate connections and remove what wasn't needed, and the engine had been removed due to an internal failure.  Instead of putting the car back together before selling it, he decided to put the engine back together (nothing torqued down) and back into the car, and any loose pieces in boxes.  This is how I received the car.

Before I could do anything though, I needed more work space and storage for all the extra parts I got along with the car.  There was no way I was going to disassemble an engine with the bench I already had.  Mostly because it was covered in parts from another project.  So I built myself a bench along the back wall of the garage with a lower shelf for all the spare parts.

With the new bench built, the first chore I needed to tackle was to tear down the engine.  In the middle of an AutoX run, one side of the engine was briefly starved of oil which caused a crank bearing to spin.  Gladly, no serious damage was done, and prior to the car changing hands, the previous owner had reassembled the engine with a new crank and bearings.  Unfortunately, OE bearings were difficult to find, so he was forced to purchase larger aftermarket bearings instead.  I took on the car knowing that some sort of machine work would be needed to have the new crank and bearings fit the block.  What that will end up being is still in question.  As it stands, the engine is apart and waiting for me to find a good engine shop.

I know that's not a lot to share for the first chapter of this build, but this is more of an introduction than anything.  The next steps will be to complete the engine rebuild, and get it back into the car for testing.  Then it's on to the tuning shop.  I want this thing to fly!

Photos by Stephen Dettman