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Old 05-02-2012, 12:52 AM   #1
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Default My 1988 Civic Racecar build

I've been into Hondas for a while but really just used them as cruisers and/or street racing machines. Well I got a DA and thought I'd give road racing a try at our local racetrack. I FELL IN LOVE. I said screw all this illegal friday night racing with all these drunk idiots, I want to do some real racing, at a real racetrack. Unfortunately that never really happened because the on and only car I took to the track, I destroyed the engine that same day. I left heartbroken and inspired at the same time. Fast forward, I went through a couple non-Hondamobiles to get through school while still helping and selling parts to people in the game. I graduated high school last December and got a graduation present which was a Rally Blue 2008 WRX. I LOVE this car and it's my DD. My immediate thoughts were "This will be badass at racing...AWD...turbo!!!" But the more I thought about it, the more I thought about how expensive it would be to fix if I had a repeat of the last time I was at the track. I then bought a 1988 Civic DX from some people down the road for $450, just knocking on the door and asking.

So far the immediate(by the next race in August) plans are:

-Auto to manual conversion (already have everything minus the tranny mounts, including Si tranny, oem clutch, etc.)
-MPFI conversion
-Get some cheap all seasons or something just for the time being (our season is already half way done)
-Koni yellow/GC coilovers, maybe another setup depending how I feel when the time comes
-15mm EF Si rear swaybar (already own)

Eventual plans are:
-Cage/Bar
-Some sort of seat/harness to keep my big *** planted
-Some sort of nicer steering wheel, mine is trashed
-DIY front splitter+other random aero
-$50 paint job in Yellow, yep, Yellow

Eventually
-Some sort of engine swap/build. D series, hmm if I'm broke. B series, hey well they're proven and cheap! K series, if I can save up for a year!
-R Comps/good grippy tires. I'm still new to the track scene, so I'm a n00b when it comes to stuff like this. Help?
-Moar competitive

Always
-LOTS OF SEAT TIME
-Keep up maintenance
-Race the **** out of this
-Repeat last 3 steps

Pics:
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Both my babies
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Came with this
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Last edited by OldSchoolAce; 05-02-2012 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

Bumper chop:
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Wheelzzz:
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Needs moar low to look bettar
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Last edited by OldSchoolAce; 05-02-2012 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

good luck on the build! Maybe consider an LS block rather than the b20? I'm just wondering how the block would take the continuous beating at high rpm's... Unless you want to just swap in another b20 if it blows... Just my $0.02.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

Thanks man, this should be exciting for my first track car build!

As far as the B20/LS decision, it's just seems that for the money, B20's are more plentiful and better kept than LS engines. Maybe do some rod bearings, rod bolts, head studs, and some better oil circulation, and that might make it healthier. Who knows, I'm still lost on that, I had a stock LS in an EF hatch before and I loved how it felt so maybe I might do that again. That's still a while away though, I really just need to get it running with the manual conversion, get some tires on and race it!
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

May want to consider doing some autocross to get seat time and keep the motivation up! Thank you for quitting the street racing.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

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May want to consider doing some autocross to get seat time and keep the motivation up! Thank you for quitting the street racing.
I live in a VERY small area, and this is really the only road race/autocross event we have that's reasonably close. But not to worry, I have friends that keep me motivated, oh and YouTube...lots of YouTube videos. I get so excited, I'm like a little girl filled with excitement when I watch onboard footage of like the FF squad and other related videos! Plus I have you guys to keep me motivated
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

Very cool to see a sedan converted into a race car. Can't wait to see the finished product!
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

LOL did this today:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKr-C...&feature=g-upl

And thank you StreetsideStig, I know there's a reason people choose hatches over sedans for racing, it's pretty obvious, but I guess I have a thing for 4 doors. Hatches get all the glory!
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

I got to drop the tank today, yay! /sarcasm :thumbsdown:

Click the image to open in full size.

Not only was there a plethora of spider webs and eggs, but look at how nasty my tank and fuel pump are! There is very bad corrosion on my fuel pump and some really nasty black **** in the fuel filter. The rubber that goes on the end of the stock fuel pump came off like gum. I'm debating on whether or not I should clean up the tank and pop it back up, or just get a fuel cell, and avoid ever having to drop it again...

Suggestions?

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Also, sorry about the pictures. My phone died and I couldn't take better pictures than these, they are from my iPod. All the white **** is corrosion.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

understand the enthusiasm...I built my road race car also from the ground up.

Most people overly concern themselves with horsepower and other things and make lots of headaches for themselves (like blown motors and empty bank accounts), and then they never last and end up getting out of the game after a couple years.

Question,
Are you going to be racing or just doing track days?

If actually racing i would first look at all the classes your car can fit into, and then start with one that limits engine mod's and stuff.
Like, if it were the SCCA, I would start in an improved touring class that limits modifications to keep costs down...as opposed to a production class, where you could sink 30 grand into a car and still not be competitive.

I would get the suspension sorted with the koni's/gc coilovers as you mention, and just general replacement of worn balljoints and such...and then get some old toyo or kumho takeoff's for tires. I wouldnt dream of running all seasons. The fast guys throw away or sell on the cheap their old race tires that still have some heat cycles in them. Just use your steelies, and mount a 195/55-14 (assuming you have 14 inch wheels). You will soon learn that tires are going to be your most expensive cost from race to race.

Other thing I would do is bleed some racing brake fluid in, and put some racing brake pads on. If you are driving even moderately fast, you will heat the crap out of stock brakes and warp rotors and boil stock fluid. Your brakes already kinda suck, so do what you can there.

Leave the engine alone...seriously.
My race car dynoed at 92 hp atw...but nobody ever called me slow...

Also, just so you know, after you add up all the receipts, you will find that you could have bought a running race car for much, much less money.

driving is a science, no question, and big hp and such arent as important as you think...I would keep the car simple at first, learn to conserve momentum and to drive the car at it's limit, then as you grow, move the car's potential upwards to match your new skills...
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattbatson View Post
understand the enthusiasm...I built my road race car also from the ground up.

Most people overly concern themselves with horsepower and other things and make lots of headaches for themselves (like blown motors and empty bank accounts), and then they never last and end up getting out of the game after a couple years.

Question,
Are you going to be racing or just doing track days?

If actually racing i would first look at all the classes your car can fit into, and then start with one that limits engine mod's and stuff.
Like, if it were the SCCA, I would start in an improved touring class that limits modifications to keep costs down...as opposed to a production class, where you could sink 30 grand into a car and still not be competitive.

Also, just so you know, after you add up all the receipts, you will find that you could have bought a running race car for much, much less money.

driving is a science, no question, and big hp and such arent as important as you think...I would keep the car simple at first, learn to conserve momentum and to drive the car at it's limit, then as you grow, move the car's potential upwards to match your new skills...
I don't think I'm overly concerned with more horsepower? I never really mentioned anything about power adders of any kind, much less a motor swap any time soon. I don't think I'm being overly dramatic that I need to be more powerful. Sure I'd like to have a MPFI conversion but if by the next race all I had was my manual tranny in, some new tires, and my fuel system problem sorted out, I'd be okay with that. Those are just the essentials to get my car even running at the track.

So far it's just a track day car. I'm 19 in college with no real job, so I don't see myself trailering a car to SCCA sanctioned events any time soon. Sure I'd like to in the future, but my plan is just to build a cheap running race car to get my skills built at my local track while free up some pent-up energy.

Also, I'm well aware I could have bought a built racecar fur much less, but where's the fun in that? I also could have bought a td06-20g for my Subaru and be pushing 400+hp that would be a HELL of a lot more fun than a D series 25 year old Civic. But I didn't, I wanted to build a car because I think it's fun.

That's what I call some genuine fun on a bun.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

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I don't think I'm overly concerned with more horsepower? I never really mentioned anything about power adders of any kind, much less a motor swap any time soon. I don't think I'm being overly dramatic that I need to be more powerful. Sure I'd like to have a MPFI conversion but if by the next race all I had was my manual tranny in, some new tires, and my fuel system problem sorted out, I'd be okay with that. Those are just the essentials to get my car even running at the track.

So far it's just a track day car. I'm 19 in college with no real job, so I don't see myself trailering a car to SCCA sanctioned events any time soon. Sure I'd like to in the future, but my plan is just to build a cheap running race car to get my skills built at my local track while free up some pent-up energy.

Also, I'm well aware I could have bought a built racecar fur much less, but where's the fun in that? I also could have bought a td06-20g for my Subaru and be pushing 400+hp that would be a HELL of a lot more fun than a D series 25 year old Civic. But I didn't, I wanted to build a car because I think it's fun.

That's what I call some genuine fun on a bun.


i got the feeling that you didnt want to race your subaru because you didnt want to worry about another blown engine or other damage to the car?
If working on the car is fun for you, then by all means, have at it.
I'm assuming from your posts that you are not exactly made of money...which I why I suggested doing the important things like brakes and such, and putting off the unimportant stuff like hp.

I really dont know much about track days, as I never really did any of these...I assume you are on track with an assortment of cars with different potential, and that you can only pass on the straights or with a point by?
this will get you started...but much of race craft is in the passing and positioning while in a group of cars that are closely matched and all trying to win to the next corner.
You wont get this with track days, but that should be fine as you will have time to learn.

I wasnt sure cause you kept saying "racing" and "race season", but now I have a better idea of what you are doing.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

Google y49 curse and think of another color
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i would choke my ex it was pretty fun and wild
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

y49 curse is lies
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Some chick insisted I choke her with a belt once

Best day evaarrr
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

just cuz of that im gonna paint my ef y49
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

Rip your ef
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

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Google y49 curse and think of another color
Haha, I'm well aware of the Barbados Yellow curse.

It's going to be Rustoleom yellow so maybe no curse?

Crazy story, my dad went to a Gypsy many years ago and she said someone in the family would die in a red car! Not painting it red, that's for sure! Haha.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

Go with white brahhh
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:41 PM   #19
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

Another white EF sedan?...meh

I have also ALWAYS wanted a flat khaki/desert tan Honda.

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I live in the middle of the desert so it's somewhat appropriate. It says we're here, we're queer...err, it say's we're ready to do business, no BS!
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:32 AM   #20
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Default Re: My 1988 Civic Racecar build

i vote khaki
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