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sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
11/27/21 3:16 p.m.

so, I've spent a long time thinking through what I was going to do when I got back to the US.  So far, lots of other things have taken precedence, like actually moving... and getting stuff done on the house (which is still on-going).  In some ways, it's some of the age-old case of "too many ideas, too little time/space/money".

Dig around some, and you'll see some of my odd musings.

Fortunately, a bunch of friends have gotten into driving Honda Fits on track in GridLife's SundaeCup... and there's a significant effort to try and get 5-6 SundaeCup cars to OneLap this year.  I didn't have a car that fit that protocol when we got back... and other cars were the priority of purchase at first.  But, now I've cleared enough boxes out of the garage, and unpacked enough dishes that I could set my sights forward... and the deadline to OneLap's startline is getting uncomfortably close.

So, I've been scouring for 2nd & 3rd Gen Prius', and 7th and 8th Gen Civics... non-Si.  If I'd gotten an 8th gen, it'd have to be an auto... just for the sake of budget, and familial harmony.  Unfortunately, today it's still quite the seller's market... and after a good bit of thinking and wondering... I decided cheap was better than most other factors.  I probably overpaid today, but $2k got me this 2002 Civic Lx 5spd with 258kmi on the ticker:

it's got some issues with oil dripping all over the everywhere... and the coolant circuit seems to randomly make the engine cool or the interior hot.  There some niggles with the front bumper fitment, and the door lock's operation.  But, on the other hand, here's some potato quality images of the driver's rear arch and pinch weld:

also, it's not currently at my place; but at a friend's place... which was 30miles, instead of 60miles from where I bought it.  Which was good... the drive there was stressful enough as-is... since the oil level is a bit of a question, and the temp guage pegged up to "H" a couple of times.

more to come later... maybe tomorrow.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
11/27/21 5:25 p.m.

nope, just kidding... I got motivated and huffed part of my wheel stash from my _other_ race car into the garage:

17x7.5 et35  MoTEC MCR-01's, that my MINI Clubman wore during OneLap 2016.  Still have the Dunlop Direzza ZII's from then on them too.  Kinda doubtful they'll end up on the civic... other than maybe as a test-fit and giggles exercise.

 

also, I've been researching my oil and cooling woes.  Looks like there's a "head cap" that's a common source of leaks (although, I also suspect the valve cover)... and these cars can be a bit of a pain to burp, while also have some issues with the water pump.  I may try to fix the head cap and burp it enough to see if I can sneak it home & emissions inspected.  Then I can think about timing belt / water pump and valve cover tackling in my garage.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
11/28/21 6:32 p.m.

Spent 2.5 hours over at my buddies house today.  Buyers remorse is setting in pretty hard.

I reckon I overpaid by a bunch, looking at it now without adrenaline colored glasses.  I'm going to remind myself that one component of a good life is learning from experiences.  The bad news is, I paid too much for this thing.  The good news is, the shell doesn't have rust (that I can see), and these cars are relatively straight forward for a modern car.

I drained the oil, and only made a minor mess; filled it back with 3.5 quarts... which read right on the dipstick.  Which means it was almost out of oil when I bought it.  I think I've got more than one leak to manage.

I bought a coolant burp funnel kit, and found that the system was missing a ~half quart.  unfortunately, the kit I bought isn't sealing well to the radiator inlet tube, so I made another minor mess.  then I ran it for a bit, nose high and it sucked some coolant down.

I found it was missing the pax front fender liner, and the bumper is kinda loose on the car.  Also, it looks like the engine subframe might have been replaced. 

finally, the exhaust manifold has a crack.

Today wasn't a day for driving it home.  I may end up driving it around my friend's place... and maybe seeing if I can get it through emissions testing out there next weekend, on 'trip permit plates'.  In the process, hopefully I can get a read on how much oil it's leaking out.

DaylanCougarFalconChadeuxMiataBird
DaylanCougarFalconChadeuxMiataBird PowerDork
11/28/21 7:24 p.m.

The way the current market for everything is looking, I'm not sure you did that bad. Especially with how clean the body appears to be. Hoping this car means I get to bug you in person more often.

stylngle2003
stylngle2003 GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/3/21 9:17 a.m.

At the very least you can recoup your money if you need to move it on.  Fixing annoying niggles and getting it inspected will always add some value (spit-shine and a headlight polish wouldn't hurt either)

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/3/21 10:21 a.m.

I missed this thread when it went up... 

Interesting, you've got a Civic! 

For the year 2002, is the LX model engine different than the EX model? 

Sonic
Sonic UberDork
12/3/21 10:54 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Yes.  EX has VTEC and a bit more compression.  LX does not.  12 hp, 4tq difference.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/3/21 11:12 a.m.

Yo, no VTEC!  Does this mean there will also be no Lambo doors and giant wing.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
12/3/21 1:11 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

probably no lambo doors.  There's always the possibility of a wing showing up on it.

iirc, the 115hp means this car basically lands squarely on the 22:1 weight to power ratio for SundaeCup.  We'll have to see how the 2022 rules go, but I think some people have done EX swaps into LX's before... as well as putting y8 intake manifolds on them.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
12/3/21 2:08 p.m.

I'm trying to make sense of their power to weight ratio requirement. Is that horsepower per ton, or some other unit? Or did they mean a weight to power ratio?

stylngle2003
stylngle2003 GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/3/21 2:21 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

I'm trying to make sense of their power to weight ratio requirement. Is that horsepower per ton, or some other unit? Or did they mean a weight to power ratio?

as written, they say power:weight, but they mean weight:power.  25lbs per factory crank hp (incl driver) or 22:1 whp (i assume also with driver).

untchabl
untchabl Reader
12/3/21 2:22 p.m.

Look on the passenger side end of the valve cover, between that and the EGR valve and you'll see a round plastic cap in the end of the cylinder head. Super common oil leak from there. Very cheap and easy to replace. OEM Honda part from the dealership was around $7 last time I got one.

Cracked exhaust manifold is also very common. I had a buddy Tig weld mine and it's been fine for 30k miles but a cheap eBay "header" might be a better option for a "racecar".

Keep a close eye on the coolant level, blown head gaskets are common on the 1.7. Had to replace that on my Civic as well. Very easy repair. My local machine shop does so many of these heads, they keep valve seals on the shelf for them and had my head cleaned and resurfaced in one day.

They are actually good little cars overall. My 4-door LX 5-speed will get 40mpg on the highway and it has close to 200k on the engine and almost 300k on everything else.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
12/3/21 2:58 p.m.
stylngle2003 said:
MadScientistMatt said:

I'm trying to make sense of their power to weight ratio requirement. Is that horsepower per ton, or some other unit? Or did they mean a weight to power ratio?

as written, they say power:weight, but they mean weight:power.  25lbs per factory crank hp (incl driver) or 22:1 whp (i assume also with driver).

it's 22:1 'race weight, including driver' to 'crank hp' or 25:1 'race weight, including driver' to 'wheel hp'... since whp should be less thap bhp.  and yes, they're relying on the colloquial understanding of "power to weight", when they're actually calculating 'weight to power'.  And, that 22:1 / 25:1 is based on the GD3 Fit and a 170# driver for their calculations.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
12/3/21 3:05 p.m.

In reply to untchabl :

I've been doing YouTube University-ing... and I suspect I have 3 oil leaks that will require attention.  Your aforementioned "Head Plug", the Valve Cover & bolt seals, and the one that's got me a little worried: Crank Seal.  Just because that's a level of disassembly that I haven't done before.

re:Head Gasket
that's another off-hand concern.  The PO apparently put a new thermostat in recently... so, there's possibility that's fried.  but, the oil doesn't have milkshake.  So, I might hold off and tearing into that, just yet.  but, it does weigh on my mind about how much I'm going to wrench on this thing, to "not too long in the future" find out I've gotta tear all the way back into it.

re:Exhaust Manifold.
that's good to know about the TIG welding it.  I might have to go that route, since I live in an "emissions inspection required" county... so, I'd have to find another header that I can attach a cat to (hopefully one that's not exhorbidantly expensive).

Mostly, I've realized how many "unknown unknowns" I have with this car... and that's definitely giving me some pause to try and think through the correct "next steps"

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/3/21 3:16 p.m.

I'm curious, what the origin of the Gridlife class being named Sundae Cup?  I know it started as Spec Fit and then evolved to the weight:power rule.  

 

If not this specific Civic, what are some other target makes/models/years.  I know:
Honda Fit
Rio/Accent
Mazda2/Fiesta

Is the Mazda3 included?  Ford Focus?  

I glanced the rules, it seems to allow for corrector/penalty weights.  Could it be better off to take the bigger chassis and potential better hyw manners and just wear the weights to get it to correct ratio?   A Mazda 3 has a nice interior compared to its competitors.  

In reply to John Welsh :

I mean I sent him a dozen links to perfectly fine Accents. cheeky

The origin of the name was the Gran Tourismo Sundae Cup race with the Clio's I believe. And he occasional run to the ice cream place near Gingerman. Or so I've been told.

onemanarmy
onemanarmy Reader
12/3/21 3:33 p.m.

All your issues seem pretty minor to me?

Is this gonna be a race car or a street car that is 'raced'?

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/3/21 3:37 p.m.
onemanarmy said:

All your issues seem pretty minor to me?

Is this gonna be a race car or a street car that is 'raced'?

 

Both to extremes.  The plan is to be a One Lap of America Car in 6 months.  So, 3500 road miles (and about 1,000 more getting to the start line and back) as well as 7 days of competition which is about 8 high speed track laps each day.   

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
12/3/21 4:07 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

we'll see.  I've worked up an alternate OneLap plan in someone else's Fit... which has already seen track time.  It just needs 1 more driver, a couple sets of tires (One 200tw, and maybe a 'just in case' 320tw to decide right before), and some budget balancing.

As it is, I prefer having my cars be 'street-able'... and the SundaeCup rules don't allow a whole lot of 'racecar' stuff to happen.

If the civic doesn't go this year... that doesn't necessarily rule out being used on a later OneLap adventure.  possibly huffing funny ethers.  And, this car should eventually help get some low-cost seat time done, and fit some of the smaller/tighter tracks around me (other than VIR).

And, yes, I spent a lot of time actually looking at 8th Gen Civics... because I reckon an 5Auto 8th gen would slot into the 25:1 #/whp rating... especially with the 17x8 Acura TL boat anchors I have kicking around.  But, I decided that "minimum initial outlay" was the order of the day.  And, 7th gen's are generally ~half what 8th gen's are.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/3/21 4:12 p.m.

I'm not hating on this Civic but glad to hear it doesn't have to run a marathon just 6 months from now.  

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
12/3/21 6:25 p.m.

Oh yeah, it took a while for sleepykid#2 to admit it, but they took some time at school today to draw up some design inspiration for the new race car:

I'm not sold on the purple racing stripe... but we'll see

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/3/21 6:41 p.m.

One of the greatest threats to finishing OLoA is getting taken out on the hyw/road to a plain old fashion impact accident.

It doesn't have to be purple, but so much of OLoA is driving in the dark, some hi-viz and reflective could be wise addition.  Skip the words but add some similar color panels:

untchabl
untchabl Reader
12/3/21 8:13 p.m.

Typically on these engines, you don't get oil milkshake. From what I've read and what I personally experienced with my Civic, I started losing coolant and only realized it because the level in the overflow reservoir was dropping. 

Install that funnel on the radiator and fill it about half way up. Let the car run until the thermostat opens and see if you get any bubbles coming up. That's a tell tale sign of a blown head gasket and exactly what mine did.

Sonic
Sonic UberDork
12/4/21 12:00 a.m.

As someone who has raced Civics for 20 years, and has done one lap and gets what you are trying to do, I suggest starting with a different platform.  This was basically the worst performance Civic made since the mid 80s.  Suspension design is worse than either the prior or later generations and it doesn't make any more power than any other civic back to 1992 despite being less reliable.   Pick an 8th gen Civic or go back to a double wishbone Civic or go to something else.  I can give you the handing tricks to a Mazda3 for instance.  

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
12/19/21 4:08 p.m.

first hurdle cleared...

car made it back ~35miles to our home.  there were no hot/cold flashes this time.  although, the temp gauge was pretty solidly on "C" for the first 30-odd miles, while we cruised local highways at 60mph.  It's smoking pretty good one initial start up, and it smells like it might be running rich and/or burning some oil.

Once I got onto the 'local suburb 35-45mph zones', I got on it a bit harder than I'd risked before.  It seems to do alright, although it's hard for me to know if it's making "full power".  Also, there's a "creaking"/rubber squiggy noise from the pax front suspension over "heave" undulations in the road.

I need to clear out more of the garage so I can park it and the Leaf... so the Leaf stays warm, and I can tear-into the Civic a bit... once it's cleared emissions inspection.

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