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98 Civic RallyX to G2 build

Posted by budget_crx 
budget_crx
Jake Burke
Mod Moderator
Location: Missouri
Join Date: 01/25/2016
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 9

Rally Car:
98 Civic Coupe


98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 04, 2016 09:36PM
Hi Everyone! My name is Jake and I decided I know longer want to have money or time so I did what everyone would do and started to build a racecar!
I was lucky enough to recently acquire two 98 Civic EX coupes and am going to combine them to make the rally car I have always wanted. The plan is to keep the car budget friendly and very stock until driver skill improves. While the coupe is not the ideal body I wanted to start with, the deal was too good to pass up, plus being EX trim, they at least came with the bigger front brakes.
I have never made a build thread before but I'm going to try and slowly show the progress with the car and hopefully get some good insight from you more experienced members. Rally builds are completely new to me but I am very familiar with Hondas so I definitely wanted to start with either a Civic or an Integra.

Anyway, here are the two cars, nearly identical 98 coupes. The Green car was a decent running and driving car, but it was wrecked pretty bad in the right front and had a salvaged title. The Black car was an empty rolling shell, however it had a straight body and a clean title. The plan is to take all the decent parts off the Green car and transfer them to the Black.

As you might be able to see the black car was full of junk, the entire trunk had bags full of stuffed animals and there were mouse nests everywhere. This shell has been sitting on a country property for about a year, luckily all the wiring was great and rust was on the surface only. First step was to clean it out, the very few interior panels left in were all tossed.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2016 10:07PM by budget_crx.
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budget_crx
Jake Burke
Mod Moderator
Location: Missouri
Join Date: 01/25/2016
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 9

Rally Car:
98 Civic Coupe


Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 04, 2016 10:04PM
The short term goal with the car is to get it drivable, rallycross the heck out of it and add the required safety features for stage rally as time goes on. Later on in the summer it will be heading to a local cage builder to get a NASA/ RA legal cage. I'm hoping to make a stage rally debut sometime in 2017.
The first big step in making the drivable was swapping the powertrain. I work at a dealership and very rarely get to use the shop to work on my own cars. When I can, I have to make the most of it.


The engine, trans, exhaust manifold, mounts, shift linkage and harness were all removed at the same time. I used the tires and a pallet jack to make moving it easier for one person.


After a few hours I had the old engine old and into the other chassis. It runs strong, but leaks like a sieve, all gaskets that are an easy fix.


Unfortunately I ran out of time for the day and was not able to start the car. The Black car did not have an ECU, fuse box or any kind of ignition, nor a radiator so all of that was swapped the next day and it was fired up for the first time.
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budget_crx
Jake Burke
Mod Moderator
Location: Missouri
Join Date: 01/25/2016
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 9

Rally Car:
98 Civic Coupe


Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 04, 2016 10:33PM
Once I got the engine into the Black car I noticed the left front seemed to sit too high, I'm thinking the shock may have rusted at extension. Luckily I have an entire extra suspension to hold me over until some decent upgrades!
This past saturday I was able to drive the car up and down the lot with no issues, the brakes and suspension bushings are in surprisingly good shape and the car drove well, The rotors and brake fluid will be replaced immediately though.
Today I swapped the body panels, lights and doors that it needed. The doors from the black car did not have working latches or locks and by switching them they would match the ignition key from the Green car.


All the lights are working and its finally starting to look like a real car again!

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Rotaryracer
Jason Smith
Professional Moderator
Location: Webster, NY
Join Date: 04/13/2016
Age: Midlife Crisis
Posts: 3

Rally Car:
2000 Civic EX


Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 15, 2016 06:56AM
I'll be watching this thread closely - I have a 2000 EX coupe that is going to get refreshed for TSD and rallycross duty, with a (slim) possibility it could get built up for O2L / G2 down the road.

Have you decided on suspension yet?
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budget_crx
Jake Burke
Mod Moderator
Location: Missouri
Join Date: 01/25/2016
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 9

Rally Car:
98 Civic Coupe


Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 15, 2016 11:23AM
Quote
Rotaryracer
I'll be watching this thread closely - I have a 2000 EX coupe that is going to get refreshed for TSD and rallycross duty, with a (slim) possibility it could get built up for O2L / G2 down the road.

Have you decided on suspension yet?

Awesome! I will be excited to see how yours comes along!

On the suspension I will be running Bilstein HDs and stock springs until I get all my safety gear installed. I'm looking into what kind of factory springs I can use that will keep help the cost down but give it better performance until I can upgrade to proper aftermarket pieces. EXs have very soft rates, but luckily there is always the option of changing to Si or Type R springs.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2016 11:25AM by budget_crx.
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Snidewhips
Jermama
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Location: Edmonton Alberta Canuckistan
Join Date: 05/23/2013
Posts: 264

Rally Car:
1990 acura integra


Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 15, 2016 05:22PM
get softer springs if possible.



All bridges burnt, island life is beauty
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Rotaryracer
Jason Smith
Professional Moderator
Location: Webster, NY
Join Date: 04/13/2016
Age: Midlife Crisis
Posts: 3

Rally Car:
2000 Civic EX


Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 16, 2016 06:13AM
Quote
budget_crx
On the suspension I will be running Bilstein HDs and stock springs until I get all my safety gear installed. I'm looking into what kind of factory springs I can use that will keep help the cost down but give it better performance until I can upgrade to proper aftermarket pieces. EXs have very soft rates, but luckily there is always the option of changing to Si or Type R springs.

Yep, that's the route I'm going as well. I talked with one of the tech guys at MOOG and here's what I got...these are for their replacement springs, but I'm assuming OEM factory specs will be similar if you wanted to get used springs:

Stock - Civic EX Coupe MT -

Front - #81210
Spring Rate - 213 #
Free Height - 14.49"
Installed Height - 10"
Load - 957 #

Rear - #80997
Spring Rate - 101 #
Free Height - 14.53"
Installed Height - 9"
Load - 538 #

Stock - Civic EX Sedan AT -

Front - #81208
Spring Rate - 213 #
Free Height - 14.87"
Installed Height - 10"
Load - 1,038 #

Rear - #80999
Spring Rate - 101 #
Free Height - 15.25"
Installed Height - 9"
Load - 607 #

Interestingly, curb weight as measured by Honda is only a 49 # difference between the MT Coupe and the AT Sedan (2,513 # coupe, 2,562 # sedan). The load MOOG references is the weight required to compress from free height to installed height, so based on some quick math (which doesn't take into account any leverage from the control arms), AT sedan springs *should* lift the front of the car about 0.4" and the rear 0.7". If there's a need to level it out, I can probably play with coil spring insulators, or Shane at Paranoid Fabrications has said he can make up some HPDE spacers (just needs a top hat to work from).

Long term, I'd probably look at moving up from here to something that's "stage-ready". I talked with the guys at Feal Suspension and they can make up a set of 441 Max Travel shocks for this application (the piggyback 460s were a no-go). Probably worth talking to JVAB as well to see if his Sooper Bitchin' Suspenders can be built to fit the Civic....going to be more than the Feals, but they look damn near bombproof and seem to be well-regarded.

I'm hoping to get cracking on my Civic in the next month or two and will start a thread when I do - hopefully we can compare notes, as Civics are pretty thin on the ground compared to Subarus. smiling smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/16/2016 06:35AM by Rotaryracer.
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budget_crx
Jake Burke
Mod Moderator
Location: Missouri
Join Date: 01/25/2016
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 9

Rally Car:
98 Civic Coupe


Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 19, 2016 09:48PM
Thats some very interesting info you posted, I didn't even think of aftermarket OE replacements, stock Honda springs are so easy to come by haha!
The stock rates I found were a little different than MOOG's, I do not know how accurate they actually are though. It looks like stock EX springs are 165 front and 80 rear with Sis having 201 front and 99 rear, with no difference between the coupes and the sedans.
I would be surprised if there is that much of a load difference between the coupes and sedans since the weight difference is so minimal... It might be worth trying out though since the MOOG pieces are so inexpensive.

I'll be excited to see your build, what condition is your car in now?

I've been slacking on this car lately. It has all of its exterior pieces on it now. The front bumper is attached, the wipers are on and working and the car was safety inspected and registered for road use! Tomorrow I am picking up some dry ice and busting out all the sound deadening, weather permitting.
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Rotaryracer
Jason Smith
Professional Moderator
Location: Webster, NY
Join Date: 04/13/2016
Age: Midlife Crisis
Posts: 3

Rally Car:
2000 Civic EX


Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 20, 2016 06:22AM
Quote
budget_crx
The stock rates I found were a little different than MOOG's, I do not know how accurate they actually are though. It looks like stock EX springs are 165 front and 80 rear with Sis having 201 front and 99 rear, with no difference between the coupes and the sedans.

I know the exact table you got that info from....when I was going blind in Google trying to figure out what would interchange, I came across the same info. smiling smiley I was surprised as well there would be a difference, but just for grins, I went onto Majestic Honda's parts website and they are showing different part numbers (front/rear):

2000 EX Coupe 5MT - 51404-S04-911 / 52440-S01-A11
2000 EX Sedan 4AT - 51401-S04-921 / 52441-S04-J21

Cheapest I found the MOOGs was about $120 shipped for the set which isn't bad, plus I figured at least I'd know they were fresh versus being one more compression away from snapping in two from rust. Up here in the great state of "Tax York", we subscribe to Colin Chapman's doctrine of adding lightness by rusting away as much metal as possible. eye rolling smiley

Quote

I'll be excited to see your build, what condition is your car in now?

Nice! My car is still just like every other scruffy Civic on the roads....nothing special, although I haven't washed off the mud streaks down the sides from the last TSD (adds character). Currently I'm still finalizing the plan, although I expect things will get expensive in the next 30-45 days. This year is suspension - full bushing replacement (most likely with Hardrace), Bilstein/MOOG sedan springs - followed by brakes, exhaust (rotting off), rust abatement, and some other general maintenance crap to make sure it doesn't break. Next year, assuming all goes well, I might swap in a refreshed motor and transmission, probably with an MFactory LSD, to replace the tired 170K stuff. If I go full monty, it would probably get caged and hit NRS stages by the third year. Realistically, though, it's a ton cheaper to buy pre-built, as the cage and stage-ready suspension is what tends to be the budget killer. I'm hoping to get at least a good percent of the "fix" of stage rally through TSD/rallycross to start...if I start needing more, then I can go all the way with the build, or just sell and get something pre-built.

"I can stop any time I want..." - says every addict, ever. grinning smiley

Quote

I've been slacking on this car lately. It has all of its exterior pieces on it now. The front bumper is attached, the wipers are on and working and the car was safety inspected and registered for road use! Tomorrow I am picking up some dry ice and busting out all the sound deadening, weather permitting.

That's good progress, considering it was a shell not long ago. I did the dry ice trick removing the sound deadening on my old RX-7 Turbo II and it worked great! I still have the carpet and interior in my Civic (at least for now), but will be running the same play if/when it's time to gut it.

Not sure what your timeframe is, but there's a guy not far from me that does custom skidplates (www.facebook.com/skidplateguy). I was going to drag my junk out there when I get farther along and see if he can whip something up - might end up being a bolt-on option if he prototypes off my car, although shipping could be a bitch.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/2016 12:34PM by Rotaryracer.
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budget_crx
Jake Burke
Mod Moderator
Location: Missouri
Join Date: 01/25/2016
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 9

Rally Car:
98 Civic Coupe


Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 26, 2016 09:10PM
I finally got a hold of some dry ice from a local welding supply company, they sold in bulk so the smallest amount I could get was 10lbs. It seemed like way too much at first but it evaporated pretty quickly, so next time I will have to buy even more. Once I got it to the car I realized I had no way of handling the stuff so I had to improvise with a bottle of coolant.


Once I got started I noticed the sound deadening material itself was a cinch to remove, it would get brittle right away. The damn seam sealer underneath however, was a pain in the ass. I don't think the dry ice seemed to have helped much. The worst part of the process was discovering the rot on the floorboard where the backseat would be. As I was scraping, it went right through. My brother, who is going to be the master fabricator/ body man claimed it to be an easy fix. I panicked anyway, I feel like there's no time until the car is getting its cage!


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budget_crx
Jake Burke
Mod Moderator
Location: Missouri
Join Date: 01/25/2016
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 9

Rally Car:
98 Civic Coupe


Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 26, 2016 09:33PM
Quote
Rotaryracer

That's good progress, considering it was a shell not long ago. I did the dry ice trick removing the sound deadening on my old RX-7 Turbo II and it worked great! I still have the carpet and interior in my Civic (at least for now), but will be running the same play if/when it's time to gut it.

Not sure what your timeframe is, but there's a guy not far from me that does custom skidplates (www.facebook.com/skidplateguy). I was going to drag my junk out there when I get farther along and see if he can whip something up - might end up being a bolt-on option if he prototypes off my car, although shipping could be a bitch.

You got a little ahead of me with your spring research, I work at a dealership and could have compared right there, I just haven't even thought of looking into it yet. I'm way to worried about getting the car functional first haha.

I would be very curious to see how your skidplate turns out. As of right now I'm keeping it super cheapy and will be making my own with some scrap aluminum that I already have... a super cool and probably stolen at some point... stop sign! I'm thinking of modifying an H brace with some threaded tabs to connect it to on the rear and having it run to the the lower core support in front.
Its also very nice that I have an extra gas tank from the other car, I'm going to bottom half it and use that as puncture protection for this car's tank. Those two plates should be enough to get me through at least one rally!
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Location: Ford Asylum, Sleezattle, WA
Join Date: 12/20/2005
Age: Ancient
Posts: 13,998

Rally Car:
Saab 96 V4



Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 27, 2016 08:55AM
Quote
budget_crx
[ will be making my own with some scrap aluminum that I already have... a super cool and probably stolen at some point... stop sign! I'm thinking of modifying an H brace with some threaded tabs to connect it to on the rear and having it run to the the lower core support in front.
Its also very nice that I have an extra gas tank from the other car, I'm going to bottom half it and use that as puncture protection for this car's tank. Those two plates should be enough to get me through at least one rally!

the old use a stolen sign thing is really a waste of time under the engine..
1/4" aluminum is good....1/8" no meh but more don't bother.
Save the sign for tank and other junk..

Remember "It is the stingy man who pays the most".



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

www.rallyrace.net/jvab
CALL +1 206 431-9696
Remember! Pacific Standard Time
is 3 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
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budget_crx
Jake Burke
Mod Moderator
Location: Missouri
Join Date: 01/25/2016
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 9

Rally Car:
98 Civic Coupe


Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 27, 2016 09:55AM
Quote
john vanlandingham
Quote
budget_crx
[ will be making my own with some scrap aluminum that I already have... a super cool and probably stolen at some point... stop sign! I'm thinking of modifying an H brace with some threaded tabs to connect it to on the rear and having it run to the the lower core support in front.
Its also very nice that I have an extra gas tank from the other car, I'm going to bottom half it and use that as puncture protection for this car's tank. Those two plates should be enough to get me through at least one rally!

the old use a stolen sign thing is really a waste of time under the engine..
1/4" aluminum is good....1/8" no meh but more don't bother.
Save the sign for tank and other junk..

Remember "It is the stingy man who pays the most".

Thanks for the insight, I found several people doing it on dirally and since I had one I thought it might be worth giving it a shot. Perhaps it would be better as doubled protection for the tank then.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/27/2016 10:28AM by budget_crx.
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Location: Ford Asylum, Sleezattle, WA
Join Date: 12/20/2005
Age: Ancient
Posts: 13,998

Rally Car:
Saab 96 V4



Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 27, 2016 10:39AM
Quote
budget_crx
Quote
john vanlandingham
Quote
budget_crx
[ will be making my own with some scrap aluminum that I already have... a super cool and probably stolen at some point... stop sign! I'm thinking of modifying an H brace with some threaded tabs to connect it to on the rear and having it run to the the lower core support in front.
Its also very nice that I have an extra gas tank from the other car, I'm going to bottom half it and use that as puncture protection for this car's tank. Those two plates should be enough to get me through at least one rally!

the old use a stolen sign thing is really a waste of time under the engine..
1/4" aluminum is good....1/8" no meh but more don't bother.
Save the sign for tank and other junk..

Remember "It is the stingy man who pays the most".



Thanks for the insight, I found several people doing it on dirally and since I had one I thought it might be worth giving it a shot. Perhaps it would be better as doubled protection for the tank then.

Remember DI is mainly, overwhelmingly guys playing in nice smooth dirt fields..at VERY er um "moderate" speeds..

There's rocks in the deep ditch you may stuff the what? the NOSE of the car into when some turn jumps out and surprises you.. The point is to protect the sump/oil pan so you don't have to hike home 45 miles. (or get towed 60 12 feet behind your good friend inhaling pounds of dirt doing it---done that...shot the meanest dirt boogers for a week after)



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

www.rallyrace.net/jvab
CALL +1 206 431-9696
Remember! Pacific Standard Time
is 3 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
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Robert Culbertson
Robert Culbertson
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Location: Portland , Or
Join Date: 08/15/2010
Age: Party Animal
Posts: 1,210

Rally Car:
MK2 VW GTI



Re: 98 Civic RallyX to G2 build
April 27, 2016 11:01AM
We bent a 1/4in aluminum skid plate at OTR this weekend and broke the exhaust off the manifold.
Darn ditch hooking.
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