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78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 9:53 p.m.

Long time reader, but first project post...

Follow along as I attempt to put a little more zing in my 2007 Civic sedan Autocross car...or at least as I try to...

 

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 9:56 p.m.

I've wanted do some performance driving since I was a teen, but never seemed to have to have enough money to get started...you know, college, house, kids, kids activities,  kids college...

I still don't have money to throw away, but when my youngest needed something more reliable than her 2007 Civic sedan (1.8L SOHC, 5-speed manual) I started to have visions of AutoX domination. Afterall I had read that Civics handled well, it seemed to have a bunch of getup and go, and it was a manual trans.

All I needed was sticky tires and some swaybars, right?

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 10:03 p.m.

Well...not so fast...

The SCCA H Stock class was a sleepy little place for years, especially after the Datsun 510's and anything built by Alfa Romeo faded away.

Until recently anyway when the new Turbo cars showed up from Hyundai,  Fiat, Mini, and the new Civic 1.5L Turbo Sport.

Talk about bringing a knife to a gunfight! My Civic was always going to be a back marker.

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 10:22 p.m.

Not so fast...

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 10:30 p.m.

Unfortunately, the 5-speed manual that comes with the R18 engine does not have an available LSD of any type, so any increase in horsepower was not going to help as the car is traction-limited even with the factory 120 HP. I literally come out of every turn with one tire smoking!

No doubt my technique needs some work, but at least I managed to get the car to rotate into the turns with a larger rear swaybar and 40 psi in the rear tires.

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 10:37 p.m.

So how to solve my lack of traction and horsepower? Hmm...the same year Civic Si has a 6-speed manual with an LSD from the factory plus a nearly 200 HP DOHC engine.

So maybe I need one of those?

And since I'm funding-limited, all I really need is the running gear, brakes, and suspension.

Introducing...The Donor...

2007 Civic Si, with only 119K miles!

 

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 10:42 p.m.

Oops, that's not going to buff out!

Maybe it's not that bad...

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 10:48 p.m.

OK, don't be like me and get excited that the auction is local, and don't decide that you are too busy to go check it out. 

Yup, should have gone to look at it, and should have taken a crowbar!

Well, the price was cheap, and the delivery was cheap!

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 10:54 p.m.

If the engine and trans are good, I will have made back the price. If only one of the two are good, then with the rest of the Si parts added in (brakes, suspension, interior,  etc.), I will have made back my price.

And I get these cool Si seats!

Man I hope he had the airbags replaced in the recall!

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UberDork
8/30/21 10:54 p.m.

Cool thread 

 

i love my 2011 civic si sedan. Although it isnt as fun as my EF si hatch or crx hatch, it reminds me of a grown up 2001 gsr sedan i sold

 

 

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 11:10 p.m.

Some OOPS, and some Gotchas:

I thought I could just swap in the goodies, and run in H Stock, but after I won the auction,  I found my first Gotcha...all Si's come with a sunroof, so I would have to swap that also.

Second Gotcha...all Si's come with EPAS (electric power steering), which might not have survived...

And an OOPS...I really was hoping it would arrive on a flatbed, but it arrived on a 3-car trailer that was too big to get down the driveway, so we unloaded it on the street and I promptly broke the steering (coupler?) while trying to turn the wheels which were partly jammed against the crushed front body work.

So in the rain from the outer bands of Hurricane Ida, we used a couple of tow straps and my Ranger pickup to slide it sideways out of the street and down the driveway.

A shovel was then employed to reinstall the sod that the wheels collected.

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 11:17 p.m.

Since it will be raining here for at least 36 hours, and since I have a number of 'honey-do's' to pay for this adventure,  it will be at least next weekend before I get to find out exactly which parts are usable.

If I decide not to swap the sunroof, I can always move to a less restrictive AutoX class...I need to see if XXS will allow a turbo...

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/30/21 11:31 p.m.

I'm in for the fun!  Don't worry about class domination.  Build the car you want for you and enjoy it.  

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 11:32 p.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

Thanks!

The Gen 8 Civics are among the last generation of cars without driver assists...that makes them much more responsive than the newer cars. My wife's Hyundai Kona is .2 inches under the SCCA height rule,  so I autocrossed it once. I could not get the thing to turn aggressively until I turned off the driver assist!

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
8/30/21 11:37 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, I was kidding about dominating at AutoX. No matter what you build, someone will have something faster.

I think I need to build towards doing the lowest Time Trial class. I think the Si brakes will survive that lots better than my current Civic DX brakes!

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UberDork
8/31/21 1:44 a.m.
78CobraII said:

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

My wife's Hyundai Kona ...could not get the thing to turn aggressively until I turned off the driver assist!

Around here Hyundais are held at higher esteem than Ferraris!
 

Nice to see some actual truth from an owner!! 
 

 

good luck on the project, hope you guys stay safe and dry smiley

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
9/7/21 11:11 p.m.

I finally got a few hours to work on the Donor Monday evening...

...there was Sooo much broken plastic...like a 5 gallon trash can full!

I'm really surprised that it stayed stuck to the car on the 20 mile ride from the auction. Most of it was from the passenger side headlight and radiator shroud.

My brother is always up for some destructive disassembly, so we pried and banged and wrenched until we had the aluminum crash bar, AC condenser, and radiator off, plus a dozen small brackets.

So at least we can see the block and head now, and they look good.

The problem is mostly with the accessories. The starter is cracked, the thermostat housing is destroyed , and the alternator mount (at least) is cracked.

We need to get more smashed metal off before we can know more.

And here is the broken starter. I already have a replacement on order so that I can tell if the engine runs after we get the rest of the smoothed parts away from the accessories.

 

 

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
9/15/21 11:07 p.m.

Starter is replaced, but no crank. The battery is not damaged as far as we can tell, but was flat, so we attached a jump pack and the dash came back to life. Unfortunately turning the key resulted in a few relays clicking, but no starter clicked.

Next step is to double-check the starter and connections, then start looking for some sort of crash related starter lockout. There is a security immobilizer that functions via a fuel cutoff, but I haven't found anything on the web about a starter cutoff.

Old and busted (literally)!

New but not so hot (yet).

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
9/21/21 12:19 a.m.

PLAN B

(There should always be aPlan B...)

Swapping an Si drive train into  a Dx (even in the same model year) is looking like more engineering than mechanicing. So many sub systems are different such as the steering assist, subframe, computer, and the presence of Vehicle Stability Control.

So what's better than a busted Si? Why of course that would be 2 busted Si's!

Plan B is to find an Si sedan close to a 2007 model, and do a straight heart transplant.

I missed a good one in Florence SC, but found another near Tallassee FL. The thing is, there are about 10 wrecked Si's with a good drive train for every good body without a drivetrain. And this one is 6 hours from me!

At about $1.5K for a good Si engine/trans, and about $1.5K for a good body, I might even break even on the project.

In fine GRM tradition, I'll post pics when the deal is done, but before taking possession of said vehicle!

 

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
9/29/21 10:44 p.m.

The engine starts! And actually runs for a while when you stop with the starting fluid!

We jumped from the new starter to the battery and it turned over right away.  Then we turned the key to Run, hit it with starting fluid and after a bit of fiddling, it ran on its own.

So I have a good engine for a transplant to another Si. Now to schedule that 6.5 hour ride to pickup the transplantee...

I also need to change the front passenger wheel bearing on my DX auto crossed AGAIN. This one's on me as I got in a hurry on the last one...as well as buggering up a brake job with relatively expensive performance brake pads and rotors. Hopefully they aren't too damaged to reuse

 

 

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UltraDork
9/30/21 10:14 a.m.

Welcome to the 8th gen mafia! Looks like you're making good progress. You'll have a huge parts stash in no time!

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/30/21 10:59 a.m.

oooooh, you got the wrecked one for 1.5k ish? that is really good to know, and I was going to ask about that (since I have no shame). 

Cool project!

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
9/30/21 10:55 p.m.

The Transplantee:

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
9/30/21 10:57 p.m.

Needs a repaint, and is in a less common Si color.

78CobraII
78CobraII New Reader
9/30/21 11:01 p.m.

I have pics of the empty engine bay, and the seller claims all of the missing parts (radiator, fans, ecu, etc. are in the trunk) and that it's ready to drop an engine and trans into.

We're going to pick it up Sunday morning (after a 5 hour drive), so I'll see for sure then.

I probably have a bunch of maintenance parts to order...

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