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Beans: 1997 Accord Coupe LX

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    Beans: 1997 Accord Coupe LX

    Hey all, I'm Chris/Beans/Chrisnick. Picked up this '97 CD7 LX in March 2013, have been DD'ing it/getting it back into shape and autocrossing with the SCCA. PO was a filth monger and didn't take great care of it, and I've done a TON to get the car back into shape. Car looked pretty clean, and aside from the trunklid rust, I *thought* it was very solid. STC-ish focused build for '13 and '14, but not 100&#37; to the extent of the rules and I chose the mods to maintain a decent drive for day to day. Slowly turned into moving towards FSP in '15, and will probably be proceeding into SMF beyond '15 as I hunt for more power and less weight. I'm fairly certain I can get to my target HP/TQ goal without having to do a swap or boosting the car with carefully selected parts. Much more than 200whp/tq for a FWD is overkill and requires big money invested into R-compounds and other supporting mods.

    Best timeslip as of 08/20/15

    Mods currently:
    Prelude H23 eBay Intake tube
    Blox aluminum velocity stack
    AEM 6" dryflow filter
    Rotor over hub conversion, Prelude VTEC rotors, ITR/V6 calipers up front, 25T brackets
    Hawk HP Plus front brake pads
    JVT "long tube" 4-2-1 header
    2.5" exhaust, vibrant ultra quiet resonator and stealth muffler
    Timmytuning F23A1 chip/map/tune on a P28+ OBD2A to OBD1 jumper
    F23A1 Swap
    BB4 M2F4 with syncrotech carbon second gear synchro
    F23A1 intake manifold, ported, shorter runners, 62mm TB port-matched upper
    Bisimoto intake manifold gasket
    62mm H23A VTEC throttle body
    thermal TB gasket
    IAT sensor moved to intake piping
    DX cruise control delete: steering wheel and dash plate, cruise deleted.
    Bilstein HD Shocks
    Front eBay coilover sleeves with 550lb, 7.25" springs, hyperco tenders
    Rear all star performance 7" sleeves/collars, summit 450lb(left) 400lb(right) 9" tall 2.5" diameter springs
    Energy Suspension front upper and lower shock bushings
    Energy Suspension 2.5" spring isolators
    Progress 22mm rear sway bar
    NO front sway bar
    Neuspeed upper shock tower brace
    DA Upper control arms
    Prothane Rear engine mount insert
    Energy Suspension Front engine mount insert
    Energy Suspension front radius rod bushings
    Skunk2 5-speed dark grey shift knob
    4th gen Prelude shifter, K-tunes transmission bushings, FFC shifter bushings
    15" 6 spoke 98-02 Accord wheels 195/65/15 General altimax Arctic(winter)
    94-95 Grill
    97-99 Acura CL mirrors
    "E46 M3" style rear lip spoiler
    DIY blackhousing headlights
    Gloss black Kylron Fusion painted mouldings, front lip, side skirts
    Last edited by Chrisnick; 03-25-2016, 12:52 AM.

    '98 Prelude resto/mod thread

    From my first autocross event in the car and through early May '13. Pretty hilarious how much flex/body roll there was.

    '98 Prelude resto/mod thread


      Rear Sway bar installed May '13

      Just did maintenance stuff up to this point, Sept of '13

      Added the TSW's, Z1 Star Spec's, Bilstein's, and Skunk2 Sport Springs. I'm 99% sure I have room for 225/50/16 BFG Rival's for next season. IMO, this gave me the perfect drop. HUGE increase in steering feel and agility, not bouncy at all, rides VERY smooth. Lots of tire noise, though. Also, used Krylon Gloss black to paint my front lip, side skirts, front mudflaps and mouldings. New rear bumper and trunk in the works, so I'll paint the rear mud flaps and lip at that time. Should be noted I flipped the front spring perches upside-down to get the wheelgap even. The front can go down another .5" or more.
      Took it to Milan Dragway in Oct '13 to get a baseline:
      Took dirtbag to the track last night just to play around, did nothing other than show up, go through tech, straight to staging. Ran a best of 16.375@83.5mph. Best 60' I could get out of it was a 2.35. Did 7 runs total, ran pretty consistent 16.4xx all night at 83-84mph, 60' in the 2.4xx range. Car just doesnt have the power to improve. Slowest car I've ever owned lol.
      Installed my H23 intake tube/airbox, ES front swaybar endlinks, battled my exhaust all summer, painted valvecover black, replaced both front UCA's, rear brake shoes(never want to do that again), radiator twice(first time was baaaaad, second time was in -15 degree temps), and ignition cylinder. That pretty much sums up 2013.

      '98 Prelude resto/mod thread


        Along rolled 2014. Got my tax return back in late Feb and kind of went nuts on buying shit.

        Rosko IACV adapter(hindsight- not enough clearance to space IACV from TPS enough, will need a different approach)

        F23A1 intake manifold+Bisi gasket

        During install

        Bought crappy ebay header for $60(works great, actually, just a bitch to install. Better results out of this POS header than the F23A1 intake manifold). No pics, really, just a crappy ebay header.

        Skunk2 knob, Prelude shifter assembly on Accord base plate, 92-95 Civic boot

        DIY Blackhousings

        Found out this pile is quite rusty

        Post-header/F23 intake install

        A couple glamour shots by Deb, since it actually got warshed for the first time in 6 months because of winter.

        '98 Prelude resto/mod thread


          1st autocross for 2014 in April, 1st place in STC! Pretty hard fought against an 04 Accord V6 6-speed and a 90 Civic, both better prepared and on better tires. Need more air pressure up front, but i drove around it to take the win.

          Finally got around to fixing the nasty scrape on the driver side quarter panel. Looks decent in pictures and from about 20 ft away, but it's a bit wavy from all the filler and needs blended better. I'll get to that stuff later. Good enough for now. Overall, not bad for my first time and using rattle cans.

          Second autocross..... not so good. Found out I corded two of my front Z1's since my last event, ended up rotating the two rear Z1's up front, and ran all-seasons on the back. The rear end was absolutely wild and I couldn't get the car to grip at all. Needless to say, I was 4 seconds off the pace of my buddy that I beat by a half second from the first event, and was absolutely horrible. Dropped me to third in the points race for the season.

          '98 Prelude resto/mod thread


            Drove to Chicago, got 35+mpg, wore helmet in traffic, bought some Auto-X wheels. Started to refinish them. 15x6.5 +30 Fittipaldi OZ Route's.

            Top left wheel is what I'm doing.

            Test fitting. Clears 11" rotors and ITR/V6 calipers, tight on the caliper bracket to the back of the spoke(3-5mm of clearance), +30 offset on the 6.5" width will look pretty aggressive with the NT01's. About 3.5-4" from the rotor to the outside lip. About the same clearance with my 16" TSW's as well, just sticks out a bit farther, maybe another 1/2" out. Don't really plan on running these wheels this year with the NT01's I scrounged up for free unless I lock 1st place in STC before the end of the season. 5 events in 1st place is the ticket to lock it in. 4 more wins needed.

            Got some 225/50/16 BFG G-Force Sport Comp-2's. I decided to take some pictures in comparison to my current and worn out 205/50/16 Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Specs, the 205/50/15 Nitto Nt01's, as well as a bonus 205 Nt01 vs 205/50/15 Hoosier SM6. Hoosiers are notoriously wide. I'll let the pics do the talking. Hoho, NT01, and BFG's are unmounted, the Z1SS's are on a 16x7, to which the BFG's will be mounted. I like the 'fat' tire look, and these 225 BFG's should fit that just perfectly considering their width and extra 1" of overall diameter/height. These 225 BFG's run wiiiiiiiiiiiiide.

            When they first arrived

            Nt01(left) vs Hoho's(right)

            NT01(left) vs Z1SS(right)

            225 BFG Comp-2's(left) vs 205 NT01(right)

            225 BFG Comp-2's(left) vs 205 Z1SS's(right)

            Stack of 225 BFG Comp-2's(left) vs stack of 205 Z1SS's(right)

            '98 Prelude resto/mod thread


              Basically brings everything up to speed. 3rd autocross event of the season is on Sunday, I should be able to snag first place in STC again, depending on who/what shows up. If it's the regular group, it should be pretty fun. These new tires have a LOT more grip than even my worn out Z1SS's had.

              Some issues that need attention soon:
              New front right LCA
              Replace clutch master
              Probably should do better front brake pads
              Replace two broken exhaust manifold studs(leak is driving me nuts)
              Probably time for a new air filter
              Timing belt/water pump
              Lower spark plug tube seals
              Install my F22A6 cam
              Figure out IACV spacing issue
              Install crappy headunit and $50 aftermarket swap-meet speakers

              Do ^^^that^^^ crap
              Win in STC this year
              Switch to FSP next year
              F23A1 swap
              H2U4 transmission
              OEM H22 clutch, light flywheel
              Replace clutch line with braided stainless line
              Design/build a real header and exhaust

              Depending on cash flow when that's all done(HA), I may step up to big-boy Hoosiers and a dialed in shock/spring package. Trying to maintain a semblance of DD-ability and weekend racer without killing my back during my 30 mile round trip commute and keeping the car at a reasonable volume will be the most difficult part. I love my current muffler, and would hate to ditch it in the event I go to a 2.5" system with the swap/good header, but I'll just have to see what else I come up with. I'd eventually love to do a built F23A1(or even a drop-in H23A VTEC swap), but time is money, money is time, I'm a cheap ass, and I love beer and expensive food. I'll try to keep this build thread as updated as my other two(one on and one on Grassroots Motorsports' forum).

              In the meantime, last one, this time with the roommate's mid-11 second, DD'able, 351/TKO500, '90 Mustang Notch in the background. It's usually what I spend most of my wrench time on, wicked fun street car. Makes ~360whp/380wtq, loves to spin street tires, and his 7-year obsession. Beautiful car.

              Last edited by Chrisnick; 07-17-2014, 03:21 AM.

              '98 Prelude resto/mod thread


                First place again yesterday! Was tough getting used to these tires, but eventually beat out a slightly more modified 5th gen Prelude(on the same tires as me haha) by just over a second to take the win. Car needs more camber, stiffen all the bushings and crap in the front end and more experience, but I'm pretty much at its limit. Very good tires, they LOVE pressure, so much so that 45psi hot(38psi cold) up front still wasn't enough. Could use a ton more camber. Can't wait to get more serious with it over the winter for FSP prep. Fastest(clean) time was a 43.291, of which was the last run, and I was REALLY wild that lap, had two really big slides. If I wouldn't have done those two big slides, I probably would've been in the high 41/low 42 second range. Geeked out a little bit since the infamous STR Carrera pit next to me. Good video of the course from him on his blog. Very nice guy.


                Lessons learned:
                -More camber up front.
                -More air pressure up front.
                -Fix the front suspension that's making some noise.
                -Need alignment. Slightly off center wheel is annoying when DD'ing, but makes it hell when the wheel's 180 degrees and trying to straighten out.
                -225's are a bit too wide for a 7" wide wheel. 205's would respond better and wouldn't roll as much on the sidewall. Too late now. Still impressed with the grip of these tires. At NO point did the car want to spin the inside tire mid-corner at full throttle once they got up to temp. Very grippy. Highly recommend.
                -Brakes have some travel before they engage. Might be necessary to upgrade to an EX master cylinder. Could be the unknown brake pads as well.
                -I can beat the power steering pump pretty easily. On quick transitions, I could feel it just 'quit' where power assist would drop off.
                -I'm still over-driving. Very much an inertia car, need to brake less and be on the gas more, with smoother inputs on steering.
                -Car would benefit from stiffer springs, especially out back. Thinking 500F/600R could be the ticket.

                '98 Prelude resto/mod thread


                  I know the thread isn't getting much attention, but these types of builds are pretty nice to see. The gradual progression toward actual goals is a lot more interesting than throwing parts on because they're what is cool to have at the moment.
                  My Members' Ride Thread - It's a marathon build, not a sprint. But keep me honest on the update frequency!


                    Originally posted by Jarrett View Post
                    I know the thread isn't getting much attention, but these types of builds are pretty nice to see. The gradual progression toward actual goals is a lot more interesting than throwing parts on because they're what is cool to have at the moment.
                    Thanks! I'm not a big fan of most build threads for that reason. It's a bit hard to increase post count here since I'm so limited, I'd like to do a lot of input on some other threads that I can view, but are restricted to this section. Great info over here, though, been following the forum for a VERY long time, even before I registered. I'm a bit of a hard info/measurement nerd, so I like to measure everything 10x and research a ton before I turn a wrench.

                    '98 Prelude resto/mod thread


                      Wow lots of effort and progress in this Car.. Glad to see it grow and grow when it only came from an owner who did not do any maintenance and just drive it around. I like it! I some eyelids would look so aggressive with that black color


                        Great build so far. It would seem your hard work is paying off... Congrats on your Auto-X success!



                          Thanks guys. Have another autocross tomorrow, out on a concrete pad at a local airport. It's a MUCH grippier surface than the asphalt lot the last event was held at.

                          '98 Prelude resto/mod thread



                            Well, another win today at the autocross. #3 for the season, only need two more out of the four or so events left to lock it up. Point and shoot course with a LOT of low-speed exits, which I'll explain in a bit. TLDR: gearing, power, and grip of this platform are not sufficient enough to take the fight(at a national level) to the STC Civics. Regionally/Locally, it's still a fun way to spend a Sunday for $25.


                            Things learned today:
                            -These tires require a TOTALLY different driving style. They don't bite as hard, they roll over a LOT more, and they take a pass or two to heat up, even though mid-corner grip is easily just as good as the Z1SS's.
                            -Still haven't fixed my camber/alignment issues. Probably a decent amount of time just from that. It'd help fix the tire roll issue and some feathering going on on the inside treadblocks. Noise is becoming a bit loud now because of this
                            -Front sway bar needs to go permanently. Bangs like a SOB. I've disconnected it before, but it needs to go badly since a bolt broke off in the front subframe.
                            -Brakes. Need to put a larger master on it, the pedal is WAY too soft in the initial stroke before it firms up. Pads are looking OK, but at this power level, overall braking force doesn't matter too much.
                            -With the new tires, I'm finding this car just doesn't have the overall ultimate grip to compete very well. I'm racking up first place finishes, but it's more to do with my skill vs the other competitors rather than the car. After my initial run, my times plateau'd off quickly. Just couldn't get the car to go faster.
                            -Because of the grip, on a course like today's where there's a few 90's and offset slaloms, I'm falling out of the powerband, landing around 3000-3500RPM, WAY below torque peak. It's killing corner exits, the gearing wouldn't allow me to get anywhere close at the end of a strraight to where I could pull back through the corner at a decent RPM.
                            -My entry and lines were good today, but I had to get a little creative on the last two runs with power application and it didn't make a single difference as the car just couldn't pull out of the corners fast enough. Overall grip, power to weight, and gearing are killing me in this class.
                            -Absolutely no way this platform is even close to being nationally competitive with the Civic's in STC; locally, not it's not too bad when not going against extremely experienced drivers/setups. In FSP(which I'm going to shoot for next year), it will have a much better chance since same-model-line engine swaps are legal as well as race tires: I'm done fucking around with street tires. They just don't have the stiffness or grip to really go fast. An EX might be better suited, but the rules are against Accords in this class. The 98-02's being legal in STF should fare MUCH better, competition-wise.
                            Last edited by Chrisnick; 08-11-2014, 03:05 AM.

                            '98 Prelude resto/mod thread


                              Good thing I didn't sleep on this thread.