Project EG-R: Updating Aging Parts
Before the good stuff you’ve all been waiting for appears, just a word of caution to all drivers for experience matters little in the situations.
A Word of Caution
Last summer, I was back home in France, driving with two friends to a party. Usually, you’d expect stuff to happen after a party but not in this case. Anyway, I was driving along quite quickly (as much as the road allowed) and came across two of those:
I hit the brakes and fast as my reflexes allowed, being as careful as I could not to lock the brakes (the Civic EG3 doesn’t have ABS). I partially failed on the last meters and hit the boars quite good. Even though my speed was greatly decreased, the juvenile went flying a good distance and I hit the adult at the back legs.
There and then, I thought that’s it for my radiator and I went to look at the damage for the damned beasts took off like nothing happened (though I seriously doubt the juvenile lived much longer, tough bastards). Luckily, the only damage was that my bumper had taken a slight dip in its position.
I was really lucky on that occasion and since it was night and my car had only cosmetic damage, I drove on to the party. If I hadn’t been lucky, it could have looked like this:
So people, be careful when driving at night on country roads. If you spot some wildlife slow right down and switch to low beams so that whatever it is doesn’t get blinded.
Now for the good stuff !
First Mod: Suspension
So as I mentioned in my last post, the only mod for the suspension that I had were the Blox Racing Trailing Arm Bushings. These are all metal bushings that a really hard. The driving feel is awesome of course since you get direct feedback. There
are some drawbacks though.
- First, this is racetrack technology so it does extremely well on nice and smooth roads but in the real world it tends to mess up your alignment.
- Second, once they are set, they do NOT move, so basically you can’t correct your alignment, but that was at a grade where it wasn’t dangerous. It just meant that my left rear tyre would be used up a little more quickly than the rest.
Then I don’t know if it’s a result of installing these guys but after a while, I noticed that the rear camber was off. Of course on the basic EG3, there is no way to adjust that.
Driving mostly on road of a lesser quality both in France and Germany, I had to change my shocks too. And if I’m changing my shocks, why not change some other stuff too.
As you might imagine, I went on a wild internet search beginning of course with Spoon Sports. Unfortunately, Spoon doesn’t have as many parts available in europe as they do in Japan and to be honest, there were quite outside out of my price range concerning the coilovers that they sell.
Next I went to the EG Civic Forums and asked around. Of course I got to hear about a lot of different products including about a company named BuddyClub. It was the first time I heard of it. So again wild internet search. I wasn’t disappointed. Their N+ Coilovers were having great reviews all over the world, even from people who were mostly driving on bad roads.
So I just went for them.
While looking on their Website, I noticed they had other pieces that I need such as the rear camber kit as well as some new lightweight control arms.
Second Mod: Exhaust
I also went to check out their exhausts since the Spoon made exhausts are also more than I could or still can afford. (That will be for when I really have some money in the Bank.) I looked at BuddyClub’s range, all of which are DeCAT Exhausts. So more Racing products, I had become weary of Racing products since the Blox Racing Bushings. Nevertheless, I still read through all of the range.
Coming to the last product in the lineup, I started reading some interesting stuff. An exhaust that meets both emissions and noise emissions without using a silencer ?
I had to try that one out.
I got into contact with the people at BuddyClub UK who, just as you can expect, are a company that imports a lot more parts than just BuddyClub’s. They were very knowledgeable though, and told me that I had to modify the exhaust if I wanted to use a KAT with it, which in Germany you are required to do. (I shouldn’t have bothered though but that’s for later.)
You can check it out for yourselves here:
Before the summer started, I went to my mechanic (Motormobile in Trier Germany) to install all the components since I don’t have the space (no garage) nor the tools required for the job. As usual they did a perfect job at a reasonable price. It took a bit more than half a day, including modifying the exhaust, setting the ride height, doing the alignment, etc…
Unfortunately, you won’t see pictures of it since I was more in a participating mood than a documenting one.
The exhaust was not as loud as I was expecting it to be despite its looks and the ride was really hard at that point. I still had to set it up to my liking since you can do that with BuddyClub’s coilovers. It took a few days to get it right but I managed to get the right feel out of them. Comfortable but still transmitting as much information as possible from the wheels to my hand on the steering wheel and to my body through the seat.
As this point, I can’t be happier with the setup I got.
Here are the results !
A few month later, I was preparing to drive to the south of France, as I always do in the summer. Doing my routine checks before a long drive, I noticed that my windscreen washers weren’t working. They had a full tank of cleaner so that couldn’t be it. Going through the things that usually go wrong with these, blocked nozzles and such, I was forced to admit that the pump died. Yes both of them just at once.
I went to Honda to get new ones because I couldn’t find them anywhere else and I was dismayed at the price… Requiring 120 € for parts that should cost a max of 30 € pissed me off and more than just a little. And it’s a sad story for those who want to restore old Hondas because at some point or another, you’ll have to go to them for parts. They just are too damn expensive !
After that fix, I drove down to my home in France for the annual village festival (the 3rd saturday of July) and had a great time. After the weekend was over, I left my car in France and flew back up to Germany to finish my work before my holidays started three weeks later.
The Best Surprise of All
So a week passed and here I was sitting in Germany, without a car and a bit annoyed when I got an email from my father. I was so surprised by what he had written that I couldn’t believe it. Some proof later, I was forced to believe it and couldn’t and still can’t believe my Luck.
If you wonder who it is there doing Bodywork on my car ? Then yes it IS my Mother fixing the rust (and there was quite a bit of it) in the burning Mediterranean summer Sun. She did a really good job of it and I’m happy to say that the cancer won’t be spreading on my car anymore, though it has now been replaced by filler. An excellent fix none the less.
By now, you must have understood that the Luck I was talking about above is just having a Mother who does things like that for you !
In part 3, of Road to Daily Driven Perfection, I’ll tackle a rear brake conversion from drum brakes to disk brakes. From parts restoration to installation.