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Discussion Starter #21
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
yo, here's those reference shots for you. this is the front wheel only...let me know if you need to see the rear wheel measurements too, but i think its slightly higher in the back.

to sum it up - 6-1/2" frame rail to ground, about 1" of wheel gap, and exactly 25" ground to top fender opening.



 

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Discussion Starter #22
as i close in on 100k miles, time for the sparkplugs to get a refresh.

originals coming out and OEM Denso 3419's, formerly known as SK22PR-M11's, going back in for another 100k miles


scene of the crime. getting better at pulling the cowl/lower windshield trim. as others have told me it really does open up the whole back of the bay nicely. just a PITA.


here's the originals after about 8 years of service. i'm not a plug reading expert but i think they're fine...the car certainly drives fine. i putz around town a lot so i'm not surprised the ground straps are a bit ash colored from a lean burn. we also have 10-15% ethanol content in our gas around here which i've heard will add a white deposit. otherwise the base color and insulator color look about right. i looked at some S2000 plugs as well and they seem to come out the same.


another view



the gaps were all basically factory, pretty amazing and goes to show what a quality iridium plug will endure. my guess is i'll never touch the plugs again unless its a tuning necessity for later mods.
 

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as i close in on 100k miles, time for the sparkplugs to get a refresh.

originals coming out and OEM Denso 3419's, formerly known as SK22PR-M11's, going back in for another 100k miles
image


scene of the crime. getting better at pulling the cowl/lower windshield trim. as others have told me it really does open up the whole back of the bay nicely. just a PITA.
image


here's the originals after about 8 years of service. i'm not a plug reading expert but i think they're fine...the car certainly drives fine. i putz around town a lot so i'm not surprised the ground straps are a bit ash colored from a lean burn. we also have 10-15% ethanol content in our gas around here which i've heard will add a white deposit. otherwise the base color and insulator color look about right. i looked at some S2000 plugs as well and they seem to come out the same.
image


another view
image

image


the gaps were all basically factory, pretty amazing and goes to show what a quality iridium plug will endure. my guess is i'll never touch the plugs again unless its a tuning necessity for later mods.
I'm not an expert either when it comes to plugs but I'm sure there fine like you said. I actually changed to the NGK Irdium plugs at 130k they seem to be fine. Thank you for the pics I really appreciate it I'm going to definitely see how I like the drop.
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
I'm not an expert either when it comes to plugs but I'm sure there fine like you said. I actually changed to the NGK Irdium plugs at 130k they seem to be fine. Thank you for the pics I really appreciate it I'm going to definitely see how I like the drop.
yeah the plugs looked completely fine, they probably had another 50k miles in them. it'll probably be 10 years before i ever replace mine again.

some fluids maintenance as well:

i prefer to run a 0W-40 synthetic weight instead of any 5W-30. i think most Mobil oils are garbage, but their 0W-40 formulation is great for our cars, because it shears down to about a "35" weight but holds that viscosity for a really, really long time (its also cheap and easy to find). great for extended intervals in hot temps with confidence. where i live, it gets extremely hot and i drive the car hard all the time but the 0W cold viscosity is great for winter temps too.

i decided after my last change to send it to Blackstone Oil Labs for an analysis to fully understand if my oil choice was in fact a good one. the results came back great. i ran the oil monitor down to 0% plus another couple hundred miles.


minimal trace elements in the oil (particularly lead/copper/chromium which is your bearings and rings), low silicon so the OEM air filter is working well, low insolubles so the Honda A01 oil filter is doing its job. the cSt viscosity shows that the 0W-40 dipped into 30 weight range by 6600 miles which is right where i wanted it. it can easily handle 8,000 mile changes.

also, for everyone who wants to chime in with "but the oil cap says 5W30!" , the K20 is spec'd in the US for 5W-30, but Honda's JDM K20A calls for a 5W-40 weight in the factory service manual. Given that the engine in that is almost identical internally to our K20Z3's, supported my thought that the engine would be happy with a 40 weight oil and that our cars are probably spec'd for a 5W-30 for gas mileage and emissions reasons.


i'm currently running Pennzoil Platinum Euro 0W-40 synthetic and will do another analysis on that after the next oil change.
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
anybody who's been in these cars for a long time says the same thing about making them last a long time, happily: change the trans fluid very often. i'm still "new" to what the car likes, so i decided to heed the advice. the fact that its much easier to swap the trans fluid than the engine oil makes it a quick project to knock out.

its been about a year on the Honda MTF i filled it up with after i bought it and decided to swap over to some Amsoil Manual Synchromesh to freshen it up, but also to find out if it would work better than the Honda stuff. i was also curious to see how the fluid looked.

would have liked to use the crawler but it just sits too high.* had to lay on the wet floor. nice.


welp. that's about as clean as it gets, i should have ran it longer. hell i probably could have saved it and used it again.


so, yes, while i'm sure it didn't hurt anything to change the fluid, i think it was unnecessary. i'll wait longer next time.

driving impressions: the Amsoil shifts MUCH better on cold upshifts and GREAT all around once warm. i flogged the car pretty hard up and down the gears and it'll let me row 'em as fast as i can change them with no complaints. the Honda MTF would hang up sometimes if i pushed it too quickly, as if it took an extra half second for the synchros to mate up.

HOWEVER, one thing i found odd was that cold downshifts on the Amsoil is really bad. leaving my neighborhood i had to go from 3rd to 2nd at about 10mph and it completely locked me out of 2nd for so long that i had already rolled through the right turn at the intersection by the time i was able to engage 2nd. i had to double-clutch it until the car warmed up. i have to assume its just slippery to the point that the synchro teeth are gliding past each other rather than meshing. 2nd gear was the worst...downshifting in the other gears was a little clunky but i didn't get locked out.

kinda sucks with temps dropping even more now, but i'm willing to deal with a mile or two of the occassional careful downshift for how much better it feels when its hot. the Honda MTF never felt great when cold either, which sealed the deal for me that i think i'll stick with Amsoil from here on out.
 

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yeah the plugs looked completely fine, they probably had another 50k miles in them. it'll probably be 10 years before i ever replace mine again.

some fluids maintenance as well:

i prefer to run a 0W-40 synthetic weight instead of any 5W-30. i think most Mobil oils are garbage, but their 0W-40 formulation is great for our cars, because it shears down to about a "35" weight but holds that viscosity for a really, really long time (its also cheap and easy to find). great for extended intervals in hot temps with confidence. where i live, it gets extremely hot and i drive the car hard all the time but the 0W cold viscosity is great for winter temps too.

i decided after my last change to send it to Blackstone Oil Labs for an analysis to fully understand if my oil choice was in fact a good one. the results came back great. i ran the oil monitor down to 0% plus another couple hundred miles.
image


minimal trace elements in the oil (particularly lead/copper/chromium which is your bearings and rings), low silicon so the OEM air filter is working well, low insolubles so the Honda A01 oil filter is doing its job. the cSt viscosity shows that the 0W-40 dipped into 30 weight range by 6600 miles which is right where i wanted it. it can easily handle 8,000 mile changes.

also, for everyone who wants to chime in with "but the oil cap says 5W30!" , the K20 is spec'd in the US for 5W-30, but Honda's JDM K20A calls for a 5W-40 weight in the factory service manual. Given that the engine in that is almost identical internally to our K20Z3's, supported my thought that the engine would be happy with a 40 weight oil and that our cars are probably spec'd for a 5W-30 for gas mileage and emissions reasons.
image


i'm currently running Pennzoil Platinum Euro 0W-40 synthetic and will do another analysis on that after the next oil change.
I actually just changed the air filter the other day, I decided to go with the OEM one. I like your take on the oil used its pretty interesting. What type of temperatures do you see where you live? I live in FL so its pretty hot year round but summer is probably the hottest time of the year. I've always ran 5W-30 so far and the car seems to like it. As for the transmission I might have to give the amsoil synchromesh a try next time. I'm currently running the Honda MTF.
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
What type of temperatures do you see where you live? I live in FL so its pretty hot year round but summer is probably the hottest time of the year. I've always ran 5W-30 so far and the car seems to like it. As for the transmission I might have to give the amsoil synchromesh a try next time. I'm currently running the Honda MTF.
i'm up in GA, so about the same as you.

i think you can run a quality 5W-30 on the street without issue. I just find the engine works great with a 40 weight and it means i can safely stretch out my oil changes a bit longer too which is convenient and lets me get the most out of it.

once i'm able to start doing track events with it, i definitely want that kind of oil in there anyway to deal with the stress and heat at sustained high RPMs.

you'll find there are a few other guys using 40 weights with great success. check out this link to on old member here that doesn't post anymore, JoeFromPA. he has a lot of great oil posts here as well as on BobisTheOilGuy:

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/2206775/1

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2483847
 

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Car is coming along very nicely. I also did not know about the door checkers but going to replace mine as the darn door closes on me all the time and i have to hold it open with my foot. Nicely done on the updates and car looks really nice and clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Car is coming along very nicely. I also did not know about the door checkers but going to replace mine as the darn door closes on me all the time and i have to hold it open with my foot. Nicely done on the updates and car looks really nice and clean.
thanks! definitely do the 9th gen door checkers. its the kind of thing you never think about until you fix it, and it just makes everyday use soooo much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
installed a custom white copolymer knob done by WC LatheWerks. been a big fan of his work since my subaru days long ago.





the dimensions and shape are spot on for me. i always thought the original knob was...dainty, to put it best. this one is just right for my hand position and the knurled bands are truly functional. looking forward to not burning my hand on the knob in the summer which is a legit thing that happens here in the deep south.



that said, i'm not 100% on my aesthetic choice. its a bit "loud" visually. probably should have done blued titanium or something that matched the exterior better but i couldn't bring myself to do titanium or stainless and blow that much money on a shift knob. also didn't realize that red engraving on white copolymer "glows" a bit and under most lighting. so, it always looks like its blushing. minor but annoying.* on the plus side, i do think the red shift pattern looks nice with the stitching.



overall super pleased with the function, less so with the looks which is my fault, give it a 7/10 overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
went out to have some fun on some mildly twisty roads last week and managed to cook the hell out of the brakes on the way back, in an order of magnitude i haven't seen since i drove my parents' old 1996 grand caravan way too fast as a teenager. by the end of the road i had a firm pedal but absolutely nothing there, to the point i had to glance down and make sure i wasn't also pushing the gas pedal with the side of my foot. first time i came to a stop at the end of the road, a couple wisps of smoke over the hood and i had to air the brake pad stench out of the interior.

this was a pretty weak road in terms of elevation and length. just having some fun in 2nd and 3rd gears. whatever pads were put on this before i bought it, they must have been the cheapest house brand thing they could dredge out of the back. they're going straight to the trash.

ordered up some front/rear Stoptech Sport pads from KNS Brakes, which are the same pads i had on the front of my old 2.5RS. they were really good to me and are in my opinion the absolute best deal going for a bombproof, high heat tolerant street pad that doesn't drive like ass and turn your wheels black. $112 bucks shipped for both ends, can't beat that.

finally got these on and bedded in over the weekend. just a different world of capability over the stock pads. by the 3rd hard stop they were already putting my hank00ks into ABS almost immediately. i really need to be aware of that in the wet, because thats where the tires are total garbage.



best and most surprising change was the modulation. the old stock pads bit really hard in the first couple mm's of pedal travel, then tapered off. these are the opposite, very mild initially then they become super progressive. i love it but have had to adjust how i heel and toe now, since my foot sinks further on the brake pedal to get a linear response.

absolutely pleased with them and would recommend them to anyone on stock rotors, at stock power doing hard backroad driving and the occasional novice to intermediate track day.
 

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Cheers from Sandy Springs! Great build so far man. My '08 Si is pretty stock at the moment, and I'm unsure of the direction I want to take it, but your thread has given me a few ideas to think about. Keep up the good work!
 

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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
This door "checker" ( I call them straps) has to be the best life hack for the 8thgen civic. I hate when the door closes on me and the wife. If the car isn't parked on a completely level road, your shins are toast! And roads have a crown to them, so if you park on the street, like ever, they close right up on you. I'm doing this mod when I finish wiring up my amp to the speakers in the doors.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Cheers from Sandy Springs! Great build so far man. My '08 Si is pretty stock at the moment, and I'm unsure of the direction I want to take it, but your thread has given me a few ideas to think about. Keep up the good work!
thanks! great to see another GA native in here. glad to hear you're enjoying the thread and definitely let me know if you have any questions. i've been doing a lot of learning from other builds on here and instagram as well.

This door "checker" ( I call them straps) has to be the best life hack for the 8thgen civic.
tell me about it. i promise its worth it and not too hard once you figure out how to pop the door skin off.

i found this video really helpful. the rest is just nuts and bolts. don't forget to get your right/left side checkers correct.

my driveway is very, very steep and my poor wife was also getting clocked on the regular every time she tried to get out of these really bolstered seats of ours and step out on an incline. i was already pissed off about how weak they were but i just felt so bad seeing her try to deal with it that i had to fix it!
 

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Discussion Starter #35
grabbed an OEM 20mm 9th gen rear sway bar from hondapartsnow.com to upgrade from our stock 17mm bar. P/N 52300-TR7-A51

i decided to go ahead and get Moog components for the sway bar bushings, brackets, and endlinks. the Moog endlinks are super beefy and have integrated zerk fittings so you can grease or potentially rebuild them so they never wear out.

sway bar bushings/braket kit - Moog K90395
left side endlink w/zerk - Moog K750125
right side endlink w/zerk - Moog K750126


all that stuff is easily found on Amazon.

love getting big UPS boxes on a Friday so i have all weekend to play!
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Looks great man! I love this color.

Agreed, the 8th gen is the cheapest best sporty car you can buy.
thanks! Redline Orange still makes me the most weak in the knees but i've wanted a blue car for years. definitely love it as well.

i looked at a LOT of different cars before i got an 8th. i've driven plenty over the last 20 years as well so i have a fair amount of perspective. long story short, i'll have this one for a long time.


so a giant box showed up a couple fridays ago with the next step for the suspension. 20mm OEM 9th gen Si bar, up from the current 17mm so i think it'll be a nice mild boost for a daily. these are bigly cheap so i couldn't resist. grabbed a Moog 20mm bushing/bracket combo and Moog HD end links that have a pretty baller zerk fitting which should be great for the long term.



optimistic the install won't be too bad since i don't really have to fight any corrosion, just a chilly garage floor.
 

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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
well the rain cleared out and it got so nice i had to get off my ass and spin some wrenches. plugged in the 20mm 9th gen rear bar - fit like it's supposed to be there. its NOT anything amazing, considering the "big" bars are 24mm and adjustable. but again the hope here is to elevate the fun factor and performance to an envelope that's maybe 15-20% higher than stock, but is still daily-driver friendly, reliable, and predictable. doesn't hurt that this was cheap too, relative to most RSB kits.
parts:

  • Honda Rear Sway Bar 52300-TR7-A51 (hondapartsnow.com)
  • Moog Sway Bar Bushings/Brackets Kit K90395 (rockauto.com)
  • Moog Sway Bar End Links Kit K750125 and K750126 (amazon)
grand total was $107.31...not bad for a pile of new stuff.

upsee daisy onto jack stands. i never get tired of this angle.


despite the lack of corrosion overall, there was no hope getting the endlinks off utilizing the allen key in the ends of the endlink bolts. Liquid Wrench + vice grips were the only way it was happening.


old n' busted 17mm compared to the new 20mm hotness. bonus points for the bushings matching my paint.


if you ask Moog "where's the beef?", they'll tell you. what a difference. love the zerks. amazingly the stock links felt smooth and the boots showed no cracks even at nearly 100k miles.


closer view of the size difference.


so i took it for a rip this morning in the cold, damp weather. not raining but the roads were soaked and greasy. had a chance to hit a couple good 90 degree turns through an undeveloped office park and the bar makes it very clear its there. come in hot with even a little trail braking and it immediately wants to pivot on the nose more. midcorner is neutral. exit is less understeer. i guess that's exactly what a bigger rear bar should feel like, so there you go.

i'd bet all those effects will be less prevalent on dry pavement but i'm OK with that. overall, for the price, i think its worthwhile and with only 8 bolts to worry about and being easy to access, its pretty fun to install.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
i hate that facebook keeps being useful in my life but sure enough it earned its place a little while longer when i was browsing some classifieds on Thursday. been on the hunt for some 16" wheels (the smallest we can go with these brakes) for a couple months now and couldn't find anything that wasn't either grossly overpriced or cheap and trashed. i want to take a more serious crack at rallyx and need more aggressive rubber (with some actual sidewall height) to do it. as an added bonus, if i use the 16's as a second set of wheels it will let me replace the current garbage on the stock 17's with stickier, dedicated performance rubber.

the civic is fortunate to share its lug pattern with a lot of other popular Japanese cars, so i had cast a pretty wide net as was looking for a set of decently straight wheels under $250. a guy about 2 hrs away posted up these MSW Type 14's with 4 nearly new all seasons for $200 and after some initial hesitation that they were legit and not a ruse to take my kidney and leave me for dead, i told him i'd see him Saturday. they came off his wife's Mitsu Lancer ES and to my surprise were a total score...i guess he just needed some garage space back.

they need some proper hub spacing rings, a good scubbing, a proper balancing, and the Sears DieHard tires (didn't know that was a thing until now) are a little tall at 205/60-16 but have almost full tread and will be adequate for this season until i can get some tires that are better suited to rally. the tall sidewall may actually be a blessing, it gets me just about back to stock ride height and i don't think it'll rub anywhere.







while i was busy driving up and back to pick these up, everyone else was enjoying a pretty outstanding turnout at the local rallyx held that same day. my local Atlanta and Middle GA regions have merged their rally programs so this looks to be a really awesome season. TONS of FWD competition in the stock class, which makes me have bad thoughts if i should put my stock springs back on and have fun with them vs. only competing against 1 or 2 guys in Prepared class where i would be right now due to my H.Techs. the struggle is real.


^^^ i love that some guy's out there with a BMW 135. proof you can rallyx anything.

next event's a month out, hope to be reporting back with tales of Sears cheater tire domination and many VTEC braps.
 

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Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
CHANGE YOUR CLUTCH FLUID PEOPLE!

this was something i totally forgot about until now. was filling up washer fluid, looked over at the clutch reservoir..."huh...wow that's kinda skunky maybe i should flush that"

so who wants 100,000 mile coffee? this is supposed to be clear.


clutch slave is on the front of the block under the intake mani next to the starter, required a belly pan drop and getting up on ramps, but otherwise straightforward. simple gravity bleed, took about 40 mins to slowly drip it through until it was clear. take care to keep an eye on the reservoir and never run it totally empty. i used valvoline DOT 3 and 4 brake fluid, always works great, cheap, and has a high boiling point.


i used 1/4" clear vinyl tube and you'll need an 8mm socket to crack the bleeder open. the tubing is available at any hardware store.
 
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