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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
hey everyone - things may be a bit slow on this forum, but i just can't bring myself to bother trying to sift through all the nonsense on social media groups, and i really enjoy seeing how people modify their cars from start to finish in a proper build thread. figured i should try to make an effort to tell my ongoing story here in the hopes that it provides some solutions and entertainment for you all.

don't expect a crazy, overpowered racecar with an FD2-swapped front end or anything of that nature. my goal here has been to take an already great platform and amplify the performance another 30-40% while keeping it completely functional as a family car. it has to reliably be able to handle a weekend at the track or an afternoon sitting in traffic with the A/C blasting while running errands. and finally i'll be documenting the ongoing maintenance to keep things running smoothly.

on IG @go_scott_go

current mod list
• Tein H-Tech springs / Koni STR.T "Orange" Struts aka the Redshift "HFP Killer"
• aggressive street alignment, 0 toe with -1.8 deg front camber, stock "C-Stamped" rear camber
• SPC front camber bolts (1 pair)
• Stoptech Sport brake pads F/R
• WCLatheWerks Copolymer shift knob
• Redline Accessories leather shift boot
• Broadway 320mm Convex rear view mirror
• OEM mudguards F/R
• 9th Gen Front Door Checkers, 72340-TR3-A01 and 72380-TR3-A01
• Curt trailer hitch
• hardwired Spy Tec A118-C 1080p Dashcam

recent parts/maintenance
• Clutch master cylinder/pedal adjusted
• OEM idler pulley 31190-RRA-A00
• Denso Iridium 3419's aka SK22PR-M11
• OEM i-VTEC sticker replacement on passenger door
• Valvoline Synthetic DOT 3/4 brake fluid
• Amsoil Synchromesh gearbox fluid
• OEM air filter
• OEM cabin filter
• A/C recharged in June

I'm the second owner, picked it up Labor Day 2017. it was bought in Canada but spent its life in the southeast. Not a speck of corrosion and was completely stock when i got it. seems to have lived a pretty cushy life.

currently sitting at 96k miles, never misses a beat. it was a tough car to find, and i feel pretty lucky i was able to snag it. i'm convinced the 8th Gen Si is one of the best kept used car secrets out there for a solid do-it-all sporty car under $10k.






sitting stock, before the suspension swap:
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
so let's go back to the beginning, first time i did an oil change on this thing.

this is, hands down, the worst oil filter location i've ever seen. can't win 'em all i guess. coming from a subaru, which is probably the easiest car on the planet to change the oil on (you can literally do it one-handed) this was a crappy surprise.

pro-tip: get a Form-A-Funnel to send the filter oil drippings out over the control arm. the funnel worked awesome. that was the only awesome part.


red circle is the filter mount. learning how to get the filter back on the mount without dragging it through a bunch of sludge and engine bay dirt was a treat.


whatever, its on there now, next time i do this i'll be good and beered up beforehand so i can laugh at myself instead of cursing.

next up, swapping out the old garbage shift boot for the new full-grain leather one from Redline Accessories. feels like a million bucks. amazing what little details do for making the car nicer to drive.



installed my A119 dashcam. the hardwiring was very straightforward once you understand what fuse plug to tap, and even easier since the Si's fuse panel is completely exposed to the driver's footwell. most of the work went into zip-tying and hiding the extra wire in a way that it was secure enough not to rattle around.


i'll never own a car without a dashcam, with as stupid and litigious as most people are these days. some fun examples of me getting almost run off the road:

i have a Broadway 320mm convex rear view mirror panel and found that by mounting it upside down, it shifts upward a bit and covers all the A119's status lights so its much less distracting.


oh, and get one of these. Lisle 35260 fastener remover. great for removing plastic pop-rivets and fasteners, yes, but also awesome for prying back paneling to hide wires. $7 well spent.
 

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First off I want to say I'm in the same boat as you when you said

"don't expect a crazy, overpowered racecar with an FD2-swapped front end or anything of that nature. my goal here has been to take an already great platform and amplify the performance another 30-40% while keeping it completely functional as a family car. it has to reliably be able to handle a weekend at the track or an afternoon sitting in traffic with the A/C blasting while running errands. and finally i'll be documenting the ongoing maintenance to keep things running smoothly."

I have the same needs as the car is my daily and would like to keep things reliable.
The car looks really clean and it looks like you have been taking care of things so far. How do you like HFP killer suspension setup? I was looking into those.
As far as my car Iv'e kept it clean and simple.

Current Mods
Ktuned CMC and Slave Master Cylinder
Skunk 2 Alpha Radiator
Mishimoto High Temp Hoses
Mishimoto Thermostat
Energy Suspesion Front Control arm bushings
Nokya hyper yellow drl and high beam
Nokya Arctic White low beam
Weathertech window visor

Recent Maintenance
Purchased 4 Nanakang NS-25 tires 215/45/17, Tires were mounted and balanced and also got an alignment for an upcoming autocross.
Penzoil Synthetic 5w-30 Oil Change
Transmission Flush using Honda OEM fluid
NGK Iridium Spark Plugs

I was going to try and post a picture but I can't yet as I don't have a high enough post count.

Edit: I can now post pictures so I'll add some now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I have the same needs as the car is my daily and would like to keep things reliable.
The car looks really clean and it looks like you have been taking care of things so far. How do you like HFP killer suspension setup? I was looking into those.
cool to hear i'm not the only one taking this kind of upgrade path.

i love the suspension. i was looking something as close as possible to the original HFP spring rates since i consider that just about the perfect sweet spot for a daily driver that has improved balance and stiffness. i also wanted as little of a drop as possible since i drive the car in all kinds of conditions.

the Tein H-Techs are almost a perfect match to the original HFP rates and the drop is about 3/4" to maybe 1" total - i can actually still get a low profile jack under the front bumper for maintenance. less understeer, sharper reflexes, but still very comfortable over all but the harshest hits. the koni STR.T's are matched very well, and have a lifetime warranty for the original buyer which is nuts. i took the car on a 1200 mile road trip up the east coast this summer with 2 passengers and a dog and everyone was completely comfortable. on the days where its just me, i can still hammer the car through turns and its a nice improvement over stock.

i've owned and driven plenty of strut/spring combos and this is one of my favorites for how well it works everywhere. if you insist on a lower stance you can go with the S-Tech spring instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
speaking of suspension, i guess i should go ahead and dive into that. i drove the car in factory form for about 6 months, then replaced the worn stock equipment with this setup at 92k miles.

my original goal for any aftermarket suspension when i got this car was to keep it within the realm of "OEM+", which is to say almost stock in appearance and drivability in daily use but a definite performance increase when pushed. Honda offered a factory suspension kit when these cars were originally sold, through their HFP product line. i really wanted a set of those HFP springs. the HFP kit is no longer sold, and hard to find, so this is my best aftermarket replication of the spring rates i wanted but with even better, modern Koni struts that will handle bumps great but also control the spring rate with ease.

stock spring rates: 200F / 230R
HFP spring rates: 215F / 270R
Tein H-Tech spring rates: 218F / 252R


so this is almost a replication of the HFP rates, and i can easily get more rear rotation with a bar to make up for the lack of rear rate if i really wanted to, but i think that won't be for a while as i keep learning the car.

installation was straightforward but lots of frustrating hang-ups. the rear springs were tough to get in and out and the front struts ears were really tight on the hub so it was a lot of cursing and pry bar-ing to get the bolt holes lined up so i could get the camber bolts on. and of course because the windshield is so cab-forward you have to remove the wipers and cowl trim to get at the front strut tops...probably the only car in the world you have to pull the wipers to change a strut. it took about 6 hours total.

mmmm, gold is prettyyyy




as you can see the progressive coils bind almost immediately at ride height so you're on the primary coils most of the time.

compared to stock, you can absolutely feel how much less the rear end wallows, which was to be expected from 8 year old stock struts. large dips and bumps are handled with so much less drama than the stock suspension. its weird...it feels supple under normal driving but any quick maneuvers and it hunkers down. the STR.T valving lives up to the hype. i've been told they are about the same feel as a Koni Yellow on full soft.

alignment came out well, i'm glad i didn't go with double camber bolts up front and just one. i think its dialed where it needs to be for an aggressive road/occasional track setup that doesn't kill the tires daily driving. this car gets more camber with just a bolt than i was able to get with a bolt AND offset top mounts on my old Subaru 2.5RS. feels good man.

camber front left: -1.7
caster front left: 7.4

camber front right: -1.8
caster front right: 7.3

toe front: 0

camber rear left: -1.4
camber rear right: -1.9
toe rear: 0

i'm not thrilled about the right rear being .5 degree off but i doubt i'll notice.
if/when the day comes that i get some adjustable camber arms for the rear i'll even it out and calm my OCD jimmies for good.
 

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That's good to hear another +1 for that suspension. As much as I would like wheels I just got new tires and I feel like it would be stupid for me to get new wheels and tires shortly after that. . That's why i'm looking into refreshing the suspension because its 10 years old and would probably be a better thing to upgrade than the wheels.I think that would make the most sense to upgrade next. I can totally agree that the car currently handles bumps with drama on the stock suspension.

I was considering the HFP killer setup from Redshift and the Tein Street Advance Z coilovers. I like the Tein's because they are cheaper and I can adjust the ride height and stiffness with them. Correct me if I'm wrong but you can only adjust the dampening with the HFP killer setup? I can post some pictures now so here you go.


IMG-2269.jpg

IMG-2430.jpg

IMG-2558.jpg

IMG-2953.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's good to hear another +1 for that suspension. As much as I would like wheels I just got new tires and I feel like it would be stupid for me to get new wheels and tires shortly after that. . That's why i'm looking into refreshing the suspension because its 8 years old and would probably be a better thing to upgrade than the wheels.I think that would make the most sense to upgrade next. I can totally agree that the car currently handles bumps with drama on the stock suspension.

I was considering the HFP killer setup from Redshift and the Tein Street Advance Z coilovers. I like the Tein's because they are cheaper and I can adjust the ride height and stiffness with them. Correct me if I'm wrong but you can only adjust the dampening with the HFP killer setup?
car looks great!

i'm a function over form guy. for me i'd definitely sort out the suspension and put some great tires on the car before i'd worry about wheels. its just money much better spent on getting the chassis sorted if you want performance. additionally, you're not going to really be able to take advantage of the performance of a wider wheel on stock suspension compared to modified anyway. i'd hold off on wheels unless a deal falls in your lap.

HFP Killer is completely non-adjustable. i don't need or want the ability to corner balance or change ride height for my purposes. the shocks are matched great to the spring rates so there's no need to adjust valving anyway.

some advice from an old guy like me...if a coilover kit is under $1000, don't waste your time. they're cheap for a reason. entry level coilovers like that have poor valving adjustment and generally won't hold up in the long run, particularly with ride height collar corrosion on the coilover threads. i'd much rather put money on set of Koni Yellows (the gold standard for an affordable adjustable shock) and quality springs if you want to play with valving and don't absolutely need to raise and lower the car multiple times a year.
 

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car looks great!

i'm a function over form guy. for me i'd definitely sort out the suspension and put some great tires on the car before i'd worry about wheels. its just money much better spent on getting the chassis sorted if you want performance. additionally, you're not going to really be able to take advantage of the performance of a wider wheel on stock suspension compared to modified anyway. i'd hold off on wheels unless a deal falls in your lap.

HFP Killer is completely non-adjustable. i don't need or want the ability to corner balance or change ride height for my purposes. the shocks are matched great to the spring rates so there's no need to adjust valving anyway.

some advice from an old guy like me...if a coilover kit is under $1000, don't waste your time. they're cheap for a reason. entry level coilovers like that have poor valving adjustment and generally won't hold up in the long run, particularly with ride height collar corrosion on the coilover threads. i'd much rather put money on set of Koni Yellows (the gold standard for an affordable adjustable shock) and quality springs if you want to play with valving and don't absolutely need to raise and lower the car multiple times a year.
Thanks I appreciate it. I'm also a function over form guy as well but I think id probably want to go lower than the height your out now so ill have to look into those S-Tech springs you mentioned. I don't plan on changing the height often once I find the right height that's the thing. That's why I liked the coilovers because of that height adjustment. Ill have do some research and decide whats the best for me. I think the suspension will be the next thing though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks I appreciate it. I'm also a function over form guy as well but I think id probably want to go lower than the height your out now so ill have to look into those S-Tech springs you mentioned. I don't plan on changing the height often once I find the right height that's the thing. That's why I liked the coilovers because of that height adjustment. Ill have do some research and decide whats the best for me. I think the suspension will be the next thing though.
if you search around for pics of 8th gens on S-Techs, you'll find tons of images to help you decide. something to remember with the S-Techs is that they'll be a bit stiffer than the H-Techs since they will need to work harder to keep the car off the bump stops.

totally understand on height. its all preference and/or what you're using the car for. just a friendly warning that if your budget is under $1000, look hard at a solid shock/spring combo that will get you the height you like rather than putting it into a budget coilover. just my opinion!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
some more maintenance...

had my face/shins/ribs smashed so many times by the insanely weak doors closing on me on the slightest incline that i had to relent and tear the door panels off to replace the door "checkers" with upgraded 9th gen units. i hate interior work (i break clips like a champ) but this wasn't the worst thing ever.

its clear by the condition of the plastic membrane and the messyness of the sealant bead that this door has been opened up before. the passenger door was untouched. i wonder if this was for yet another replacement door checker at some earlier time?

before (that super ugly seat cover is for when my dog rides with me)


after


i didn't expect this to make me so happy
 

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if you search around for pics of 8th gens on S-Techs, you'll find tons of images to help you decide. something to remember with the S-Techs is that they'll be a bit stiffer than the H-Techs since they will need to work harder to keep the car off the bump stops.

totally understand on height. its all preference and/or what you're using the car for. just a friendly warning that if your budget is under $1000, look hard at a solid shock/spring combo that will get you the height you like rather than putting it into a budget coilover. just my opinion!
Ill definitely look into it more, thanks for the info.
 

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some more maintenance...

had my face/shins/ribs smashed so many times by the insanely weak doors closing on me on the slightest incline that i had to relent and tear the door panels off to replace the door "checkers" with upgraded 9th gen units. i hate interior work (i break clips like a champ) but this wasn't the worst thing ever.
image

its clear by the condition of the plastic membrane and the messyness of the sealant bead that this door has been opened up before. the passenger door was untouched. i wonder if this was for yet another replacement door checker at some earlier time?

before (that super ugly seat cover is for when my dog rides with me)
image


after
image


i didn't expect this to make me so happy
Haha that's awesome its usually the little changes that make us happy. I didn't realize there was such a thing for the doors.
 

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some more maintenance...

had my face/shins/ribs smashed so many times by the insanely weak doors closing on me on the slightest incline that i had to relent and tear the door panels off to replace the door "checkers" with upgraded 9th gen units. i hate interior work (i break clips like a champ) but this wasn't the worst thing ever.
image

its clear by the condition of the plastic membrane and the messyness of the sealant bead that this door has been opened up before. the passenger door was untouched. i wonder if this was for yet another replacement door checker at some earlier time?

before (that super ugly seat cover is for when my dog rides with me)
image


after
image


i didn't expect this to make me so happy
If you don't mind is there any way for you to get an up close shot of the wheels and the drop? I'm just curious if too high or If I would want to go lower.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
If you don't mind is there any way for you to get an up close shot of the wheels and the drop? I'm just curious if too high or If I would want to go lower.
Thanks
no prob. here's another quick view from not long ago.




and here's the car at stock height, although the angle of this shot isn't great for comparison.



i'll get some better shots showing a measurement of the gap between tire/fender and total ground clearance between sideskirt/ground
 

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no prob. here's another quick view from not long ago.

image


and here's the car at stock height, although the angle of this shot isn't great for comparison.

image


i'll get some better shots showing a measurement of the gap between tire/fender and total ground clearance between sideskirt/ground
Awesome, thank you
 

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Yea I definitely like the ride height drop, I just wonder if I would want to go lower. Hmm
Its probably better to stay at that height though to give you room so the car can handle whatever roads are thrown at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
|Gianni| said:
Its probably better to stay at that height though to give you room so the car can handle whatever roads are thrown at it.
i liked the mild drop for a couple reasons:
• tackle any roads, any time
• i have a steep driveway
• i drive with the car loaded down sometimes (passengers, luggage)
• i can still slide a low profile hydraulic jack under it for easy maintenance (it BARELY fits, i'd have to use small ramps to boost it up if it was lower)
• i like knowing i'm not screwing with the suspension geometry too much. once you lower past a certain point, its worth considering something like a Roll Center Adjuster to correct your control arm position. a lot of guys don't do it, but the fact remains lowering too far will introduce some bad handling habits due to bump steer and poor roll center geometry if not corrected. whether or not you would notice is debatable, but there's a reason the guys who track their lowered cars will correct this.
 

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i liked the mild drop for a couple reasons:
• tackle any roads, any time
• i have a steep driveway
• i drive with the car loaded down sometimes (passengers, luggage)
• i can still slide a low profile hydraulic jack under it for easy maintenance (it BARELY fits, i'd have to use small ramps to boost it up if it was lower)
• i like knowing i'm not screwing with the suspension geometry too much. once you lower past a certain point, its worth considering something like a Roll Center Adjuster to correct your control arm position. a lot of guys don't do it, but the fact remains lowering too far will introduce some bad handling habits due to bump steer and poor roll center geometry if not corrected. whether or not you would notice is debatable, but there's a reason the guys who track their lowered cars will correct this.
Interesting
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
one more side project I finished a few months back...

so in my first post i mentioned in my list that i replaced a factory door decal, well that was for the passenger rear door. probably because it was hit and needed repainted. can't believe i missed that when i bought the car, but excitement and tight schedules can do that to you.

anyway, in my quest to keep the car as factory as possible and because i'm a secret ricer who likes stickers, i nabbed a factory decal to try to get the door back to how Honda intended it. i've never done this before so i didn't know how badly i'd bork this up but it came out better than i thought.

after an area cleaning with dish soap, i went with windex as a lubricant to help position the decal. i guess it worked OK because the decal's stuck on there good now.

please ignore how horrifically curbed this wheel is. the previous owner apparently parked this poor thing like a monkey having a seizure.


did some rough measuring with masking tape as some guidepoints, trimmed the excess application sheet, and held my breath. used a credit card as a squeegee. the application sheet had started to curl in the heat in my garage, and pull up the decal as a result, so i had to hold down some of the end with masking tape.


i found that the decal took quite a bit of time to "Cure" with the windex under it, so that it wasn't floating on the liquid and started to stick to the paint instead. the result was that i had to babysit it quite a bit after a few hours and re-squeegee the bubbles out as the windex dried out and the decal came into further contact with the paint.

its not perfect - there's a few bubbles i had to pop with a careful x-acto blade poke and some of the edges got pulled here or there with the squeegee card. but overall, from 2 feet out it looks about right.



will this give me negative scene points at the local meets? probably!
 

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one more side project I finished a few months back...

so in my first post i mentioned in my list that i replaced a factory door decal, well that was for the passenger rear door. probably because it was hit and needed repainted. can't believe i missed that when i bought the car, but excitement and tight schedules can do that to you.

anyway, in my quest to keep the car as factory as possible and because i'm a secret ricer who likes stickers, i nabbed a factory decal to try to get the door back to how Honda intended it. i've never done this before so i didn't know how badly i'd bork this up but it came out better than i thought.

after an area cleaning with dish soap, i went with windex as a lubricant to help position the decal. i guess it worked OK because the decal's stuck on there good now.

please ignore how horrifically curbed this wheel is. the previous owner apparently parked this poor thing like a monkey having a seizure.
image


did some rough measuring with masking tape as some guidepoints, trimmed the excess application sheet, and held my breath. used a credit card as a squeegee. the application sheet had started to curl in the heat in my garage, and pull up the decal as a result, so i had to hold down some of the end with masking tape.
image


i found that the decal took quite a bit of time to "Cure" with the windex under it, so that it wasn't floating on the liquid and started to stick to the paint instead. the result was that i had to babysit it quite a bit after a few hours and re-squeegee the bubbles out as the windex dried out and the decal came into further contact with the paint.

its not perfect - there's a few bubbles i had to pop with a careful x-acto blade poke and some of the edges got pulled here or there with the squeegee card. but overall, from 2 feet out it looks about right.

image


will this give me negative scene points at the local meets? probably!
Id say it came out good. You can probably see in the pictures I posted I don't have the decals on the side either sides . I was thinking about putting them on because they were removed by the previous owner.
 
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