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mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/27/18 4:17 p.m.

This is the first time in a very long time that I've waited to start a build thread until after I got a car home. I keep starting threads early, and then there's always some significant drama that pops up during my ownership. I'm hoping that I can somehow trick the system into this being a terribly boring thread. No better way to bore you than starting with a 2003 Accord, is there? 

Why? You've got to be asking why? How could I possibly end up with a Accord? 
It's a good question. 
I've had two cars that have been my "track" cars since I started doing track days in 2014. The first was my CTS-V wagon, and the second was my 1991 Civic hatchback. The V wagon is an amazing car. Comfortabe, competent, power for days. Drive to the track, drive around FAST, and drive home. Everything you could want it a track car, except for the fact that it's worth $55-60k, weighs 4400lbs with me inside, and will top 135mph with only a three point belt and the safety that GM built in. I reeeeealy don't want to make a mistake with that much weight moving that fast without more safety gear, and I don't want to cut up a $60k car, so I bought the Civic. 
The Civic came to me as a nationally competitive STC autocross car. It was good. It was more than good, it was brilliant. Within two events I became one of the "fast guys" for local autocross. The car wasn't just fast, it made me better. I got my Time Trial license through NASA and got second place in TTF for the Texas Region (let's not ask how many people were in that class). On track, on course, the Civic was brilliant. Once you left the race surface, it was a terrible car. It was too low, too loud, no AC, I hated it. I never drove it between events and I dreaded driving it to and from. 


Since I sold the Civic I've been trying to figure out something that would bridge the gap. Last year on One Lap of America I drove two different Hondas. The first was a 2009 Civic Si. The K20 and six speed/lsd in that car are brilliant. I like front wheel drive cars and I was in love with that drivetrain. The second was sleepyhead's 2005 Acura TL. That car had fantastic suspension, proper Honda double Arms all around. The way that car moved was sublime, but it was heavy and had a big lump of a V6 sitting in front. I wanted the unholy union of those two cars. A bunch of talking and reading led me to the conclusion that Honda didn't make what I wanted, but they came close. 
What I bought today is a 2003 Honda Accord Coupe. This is a four cylinder manual transmission non sunroof car. It took me a while to find one. It has proper double A-arms all around. The engine isn't the high revving K20, but the lazier torquier K24. With a K-20 head and some other stuff, it has potential. The six speed from the Civic should swap right if I can find one. 
It's a project. It's supposed to be a project. It's going to take a while to get close to it's potential. I've got a couple kids that need to learn the ways of the clutch before I go crazy with the motor. We've got some rallycross to do before I go nuts with the suspension. It needs track wheels and tires, probably the bigger brakes from the TSX-S, maybe a rear bar? It's a backup One Lap car while we continue to develop the Civic. It's a car that I can autocross again. It should be comfortable and reliable enough that I can take it anywhere. When it's time, it will be the next One Lap car. Motor, aero, half cage, proper suspension. Years of time. Spend some money. Hoping for lots of driving and very little drama. 

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UltraDork
1/27/18 4:23 p.m.

Wow, how many projects is this?

 

Congrats on getting a very underappreciated car!

sleepyhead
sleepyhead HalfDork
1/27/18 4:35 p.m.

w00t!

edit after reading:
TSX Type-S brakes, or TL Type-S brakes... or are they all the same?  The TSX transmission might also be a possibility... dunno how the ratios line up compared to the civic si.  Should include an LSD like the civic si transmission

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/27/18 4:42 p.m.

I am absolutely 100% interested in this, as I have been considering exactly the same thing for a while now. Once snow season is behind us, I hope to pick up another Accord for dog hauling and track days.

sleepyhead
sleepyhead HalfDork
1/27/18 4:50 p.m.

I should probably drop my TL on some H&R's and then hand of the OEM springs to you for a rally-X stance boost?

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
1/27/18 4:54 p.m.

Ferdinand

Fergus

'not my problem-answer'

OLOA civic......kinda

kitchen cabinets......Way Understanding Wife

daily routine

Airstream.....would like to see the blind rivet thingy???

an errant rally cross car I missed .....

the discovery disappearing at the back fence row

walkway from the house  to the grosh

pick up my tools...... woof i'm gonna take a nap wink 

red_stapler
red_stapler Dork
1/27/18 5:01 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

The six speed from the Civic should swap right if I can find one. 

This might be relevant to your interests.

 

Dirtydog
Dirtydog Reader
1/27/18 5:08 p.m.

I have to say you must have a turkey platter for all the things on your plate.   One thing for sure, after seeing the abuse that my neighbor's kids have done to their Honda Accord, they are bullet proof.  It just runs and runs.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/27/18 5:09 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

Fun fact! (all specs according to Honda online) 

2003 Accord Coupe:
Wheelbase - 105.1 in
Track - 61.1/61.2 in
Curb Weight - 2994lbs
160hp 161lb-ft

2018 Civic Coupe LX:
Wheelbase - 106.3 in
Track - 60.9/61.5
Curb Weight - 2739lbs
158hp 138lb-ft

The turbo version of the Civic has 174hp 167lb-ft and a few more pounds. The Si Coupe is a few ponds more (still less than my 2003 Accord by the book) and 205hp and 192lb-ft. My performance goal is to meet or exceed the current Si. I need to lose a bit of weight and gain probably 50 hp. The current Si comes with a 235 tire. I'm not sure how much tire I can run yet (the car came with 205) but since we've managed to stuff 275's under the One Lap Civic, I'm betting we can meet or exceed the current Si in tire. 
 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/27/18 5:13 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG and Dirtydog :

The plan is to have this car not be needy. It can sit outside. Oil changes and tires and upgrades when I'm bored/have time. Just a car to enjoy without the mental baggage that comes along with the V/R63/911. 2-3 track weekends a year, 4-6 autocrosses, as many RX events as don't get rained out. I used to just drive cars and have fun with them instead of take them apart. I'm hoping to reclaim that part of the hobby. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/27/18 5:17 p.m.

In reply to red_stapler :

Thanks for that. Something to thing about as I put stuff together. The K24 is a LOT different than the K20 with headers/tune/light flywheel in the 8th gen. I want to keep as much displacement as I can and let the motor breathe/rev in the future. I need to look at some k20/24 dyno plots and see where they make power and see how that all goes together. 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
1/27/18 5:24 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

In reply to 759NRNG and Dirtydog :

The plan is to have this car not be needy. It can sit outside. Oil changes and tires and upgrades when I'm bored/have time. Just a car to enjoy without the mental baggage that comes along with the V/R63/911. 2-3 track weekends a year, 4-6 autocrosses, as many RX events as don't get rained out. I used to just drive cars and have fun with them instead of take them apart. I'm hoping to reclaim that part of the hobby. 

Just goofin' Seth.....I'm frettin' over the fact(lately) that the 'V' wont go into reverse all the time.....frown

Dirtydog
Dirtydog Reader
1/27/18 5:51 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

That's the the stage of my life that I'm at. Maintain and enjoy.

Erich
Erich UltraDork
1/27/18 7:34 p.m.

Well, I'm in for this. Curious to see where suspension mods take you. I've done no research for my Accord sedan, but I'd love to make it handle a bit. 

red_stapler
red_stapler Dork
1/27/18 8:06 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

In reply to red_stapler :

I want to keep as much displacement as I can and let the motor breathe/rev in the future. 

http://ff-squad.com/wp/?p=629

johndej
johndej HalfDork
1/27/18 9:02 p.m.

As a fellow 7th gen accord 4 cyl 5 speed coupe owner, I can't wait to see what someone of your capabilities will build this into.

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
1/27/18 9:29 p.m.

Hmmmmmmm. I just found the virtual clone of this car for $2000 locally. I have a set of 245 series Pilot Sports on wheels that would fit it. You have me thinking.

sleepyhead
sleepyhead HalfDork
1/27/18 9:47 p.m.
dculberson said:

Hmmmmmmm. I just found the virtual clone of this car for $2000 locally. I have a set of 245 series Pilot Sports on wheels that would fit it. You have me thinking.

Yeah, at 15 years old, I think these things are about to hit a really sweet spot

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/27/18 10:17 p.m.

Keep in mind, I'm not entirely sure how this is going to work out. There might be a good reason you don't see a grid full of Accords at your local track day. It might be darn hard to find a cheap way to improve suspension to proper track levels, leaving only the options that cost almost as much as the car. Various Civics, the RSX, and a couple of Acuras are available with better versions of the K motor and each of those have strong points over the Accord. I'm going  into this with my eyes open. I think I can make it work, but that doesn't make it a good idea. 

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
1/27/18 11:03 p.m.

Neat car! I have a fondness for the J series v6 so i'd have sought that but i understand your reasoning. I like those accords more than the ones before or after. Also a much better 'learner' car than the red Insight.

The k24 is pretty much the way to go in my opinion. If you can find K series making power at 9000+ (10000? 11000?) rpm and you personally don't want to rev that high, then you want the bigger displacement. K24 and flow the same air at 7500 or whatever it works out to. The point is that if the top end can breath for it there's not much downside to the stroke length or piston acceleration or rod ratio or any other BS people will tell you about bigger versions of a motor. If your headflow is so good you have to decide whether to go up in rpm capability or up in displacement that's a good problem to have and displacement is cheaper and more reliable. 

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
1/27/18 11:08 p.m.

Worst case scenario you have a k24 donor now. Interested to see where this goes because I like these cars too. (Even though I'm weird and prefer them in 4 door flavor)

Run_Away
Run_Away HalfDork
1/27/18 11:48 p.m.

Very interested in how this plays out!

I'd love to build a k20/k24 Frankenstein, I'm not not sure when that will happen timeline wise.

 

Maybe a cheap true vtec head with a 50 deg vtc gear, kpro to run it, and 3" exhaust?

8th gen Si trans is probably the easy button for bolt on LSD goodness with road course friendly ratios. No idea what is good for suspension. Fortune Auto?

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/28/18 9:07 a.m.

In reply to Erich :

Your car is what really got me thinking seriously about this. While I'm interested to see where Seth goes with this car, I think I'd be willing to carry the extra weight for the added torque and an extra 80 hp from the factory with the V6. The advantage of Seth's car is they are relatively plentiful compared to the V6 manual sedan. I have yet to see one in the wild since you bought your car. And this is a situation where I really do need to buy a sedan.

I will continue to follow both of these threads very closely.

 

docwyte
docwyte SuperDork
1/28/18 11:06 a.m.

Congrats!  Still woulda gone with an E36 tho.  cheeky

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/28/18 1:42 p.m.

The other aspect of this kind of thing is that, from a Whole-House perspective, it's way easier to introduce another car into the fleet when it's a Honda Accord.

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