Japanese Car Day!

Hey everyone, I know it’s been a long time since I posted, sorry about that. Tomorrow I will be showing Haru, my 2002 Honda Civic Si EP3 at Japanese Car Day at Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation in Brookline, MA. If you ever wanted to meet me and/or see one of my vehicles, this is a prime opportunity ;) If you’re a fan of Nissan/Datsun Z cars, there’s always lots at this show, along with some rare Japanese metal and some more common models as well. I’d be surprised if there’s another EP3 at the show, though.

Hi, my name's Bill, I've started an American Honda VTR 250 interceptor page on Facebook. I love mine, can't imagine why there wasn't already one... I was looking for a photograph of a stock one to head up the page, because mine isn't stock looking anymore, and I saw your brochure photograph. Can I use it for that page head?

Yeah go for it! Obviously, it’s not my photo, it’s a brochure scan, so Honda owns it, not me. Download it and do whatever you want with it :)

I fixed the exhaust last night. I ended up bending the metal hangers a little and also flipping around the midpipe rubber hanger. The pipe leading to the muffler was also very close to the rear sway bar, so this helped get it out of the way as well. And the dual exhaust tip is now secured well with U-nuts/spring clip nuts and stainless sheet metal screws. So that’s all set. I like it. It looks very similar to stock. The exhaust sounds great too. It kind of reminds me of the Fiat 500 Abarth’s exhaust note. Anyway, here’s a pic:

Doing work!

More things I’ve done on Haru, my 2002 Civic EP3 Si recently:

1. Installed a Buddy Club short shifter.

2. Put the end caps on the Accord Type-R front lip

3. Installed four Powerflow 6401 semi-molded mudflaps and got them to conform to the shape of the body.

4. installed the used Tanabe Medallion Touring exhaust that I bought a while back. Sorry, no pics of that just yet. I have to try to get the exhaust to sit a little lower since the resonator hits the heat shield occasionally. Right now I have an exhaust donut wedged in there to stop that from happening, but that’s a temporary solution and I hope to have it fixed tonight. I also replaced the big exhaust tip on the Tanabe muffler with a more stock-looking dual oval exhaust tip.

I also attempted to do the under-dash wiring for the JDM driving light kit I got for Christmas, but the harness isn’t quite correct. I’m going to go through it and simplify it and correct it before trying that again. It’s not super important that I have these on the car, so they’re not really a priority at the moment, though.

I purchased an RSX A-Spec suspension kit (assembled struts and springs) that will be the heart of my suspension plans. Also on the way is a UKDM rear upper strut brace. That will get installed soon too. There’s at least a couple more braces I plan to get for the car, but I haven’t purchased them yet.

Phoebe Goes Vroom turned 4 today!
Geez, I should post more often though, eh?

Phoebe Goes Vroom turned 4 today!

Geez, I should post more often though, eh?

Accord Type-R front lip install

A couple weekends ago a friend helped me finally install the 1994-1995 Accord Type-R front lip on my EP3 Civic Si, Haru. Here’s what the lip looks like uninstalled:

This is definitely a two-person job. No way could I have done it by myself; it’s just way too unwieldy. Here’s what it looks like on the car :

I still have to put the end caps on, but I’m going to wait a little bit before I do that, in the hopes that the tenacious mold release that’s on this lip will weather off at least somewhat:

If you look closely at the first pic, there’s a couple of spots where you can see light shining through. That’s because (if you refer back to my uninstalled photo of the lip) there’s two very thin spots near the curved areas of the lip. I think I figured out a way to secure that though, and make it sit nice and tight to the bottom of the bumper. I’m going to use a few of Honda part no. 71111-S5T-A00, which are small brackets with a little lip on them designed just for this purpose. After I do that, I think it’ll be perfect. I otherwise secured the lip using the OEM Honda-style plastic two-part push-in bumper clips, which I bought in bulk for cheap on Amazon.

I’m most likely going to secure the end caps by plastic welding, but I’m also going to look into whether there’s a strong adhesive for polyurethane instead. The last thing I want is for one of the end caps to fall off.

Anyway, spring is here, and so you can expect to see more progress on the car soonish.

Driving around, running errands today made me realize that there is very little bass coming from the factory speakers, so I will probably do something about that. The mids and highs sound good though, so maybe I’ll just put woofers with low-pass filters in the rear speaker locations. I’ll see what my options are.

Also, I de-badged the rear of the car in anticipation of replacing the badges with new ones (which I already have), because the badges were put in the wrong locations after the bodywork was done and were also slightly bent. And I didn’t want any more salt and crud to get caught behind them and possibly damage the paint.

New stereo for Haru

Last night I finished the stereo install on Haru, my Civic Si. I say finished because I received the wrong wiring harness adapter and had to order another one and wait for it to arrive before I could complete the install. So, the stereo has actually been in the car for almost a week, but not connected to anything. Here’s the stock stereo:


…and the new stereo:


Eagle-eyed followers will note that this is the same stereo I had in Scruffers, my Protegé5. It’s a JVC KDX50BT. It’s a good stereo, with lots of great features and no optical drive. This one was factory refurbished and only cost me $75. There’s only two companies that make dash kits for the EP3 Civic, and it’s kind of a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation because one is silver (which doesn’t match the silver of the center console) with a uselessly small pocket, and the other is black (shown, which also doesn’t match the black on the rest of the dashboard). I may eventually try to figure out a way to make the dash kit look a bit better, because it’s definitely not up to OEM Honda standards, that’s for sure. But for now, it’s fine.

I’m going to drive around for a bit with this setup and see if I like it before deciding to change the stock speakers or not. Having incredible sound in the car isn’t really all that important to me; as long as it doesn’t sound like shit, I’m usually happy. But, we’ll see.

I also took the opportunity to replace the shift boot with the same part from Honda. The original boot was beginning to split a little bit in a couple of the folds, though it hadn’t quite gotten all the way through just yet. It wasn’t a cheap part (none of the OEM Honda parts are cheap), but I’m glad I replaced it. A lot of people replace the boot with a JDM one and use a JDM or aftermarket knob, but I didn’t want to do that because I’m happy with the stock knob. It looks and feels good, so there’s no need to change it.

I also have new rear badges to replace the ones on the car that were bent a little and also mounted in the wrong location, and a new rear marker lens to replace the one on the passenger side that has a small crack and is chipped. That part was very expensive and there’s no OEM replicas available, so I just had to suck it up and pay the price. The only other option would have been to replace it with an aftermarket clear or smoked side marker, and I didn’t want to do that.

I’m leaving tomorrow to visit my family for the next few days, and this will be the first long distance trip I’ve taken with Haru. It should be fun. I’m looking forward to it. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Say hello to Haru

This is Haru, my new car. She’s a 2002 Honda Civic Si EP3 with only 38,500 miles. I am the second owner. I traded in Scruffers, my Mazda Protegé5 for Haru on November 25th. Haru is in amazing condition, as you would expect for a car with such low mileage. It runs and drives like a brand new car and is 100% stock. It has a couple of very minor cosmetic flaws, but they are easily addressed. I don’t think the car was ever driven in the snow (until today) because the underside is as clean as it could possibly be.

I’ll be doing things to Haru here and there, but I want it to maintain most of its stock appearance. The first thing I am doing is replacing the stock stereo with the same stereo I had in Scruffers. That should be delivered to me this week.

Well, that’s it.

As of this past Sunday, Sunshine, my 1987 Shelby GLHS has been sold. It’s bittersweet to see it go, but it’s really for the best. Not only did the car need more work than I was initially led to believe, but more importantly, I essentially lost my space to work on it due to my homeowner’s association forbidding me from working on it. Unable to find a space for it, I really didn’t have any other choice but to sell it.

Having it gone not only frees up physical space in my garage and basement, but also gives me psychological “space”, for lack of a better term. It was depressing squeezing between the car and my motorcycle every day, knowing I couldn’t work on it. Plus, the lack of space in my basement due to Sunshine’s parts being in the way meant my Buell Cyclone project, Spooky, was at a deadlock. With Sunshine gone, my mind turns back to Spooky, and I’m looking forward to digging back into that project again. I can’t wait to get it on the road.

So stay tuned, and expect more updates from me in the future!