MrJoshua SuperDork
Oct. 7, 2011 11:56 p.m.
jesssutton wrote: You say they placed high, do you know how high? Place?

Second, after titty titty bang bang.

carguy123 SuperDork
Oct. 8, 2011 11:06 a.m.
MrJoshua wrote:
jesssutton wrote: You say they placed high, do you know how high? Place?

Second, after titty titty bang bang.

No disrespect meant, - I haven't even see the other car, but I think I'd have done the same.

Nashco SuperDork
Oct. 9, 2011 10:30 p.m.

Well, I'm still decompressing a bit, but with the event wrapped up the pace should slow down a bit. We took 2nd in the concourse and got Best Engineered awards! We did pretty horrible in the autocross (28th, IIRC) and the drags got called due to rain. We got a ton of compliments on the car, which is pretty flattering coming from guys that have made cars just as nice as ours and way faster.

The autocross definitely highlighted some issues with the car; we knew it was twitchy, but with Alan tossing it around on the course it did this:

Awesome picture from JoeyM, by the way!

So after some thought and talking with some folks who know more than me about setting up suspensions, I have some ideas on things I can change to try to make the car drive better. Yes, I have already heard, "Add flares and steamroller tires," and referred to my original goals, so no need to bring that one up! While things are fresh in my mind, here's a bunch of stuff I'll be looking into:

  • Improved tire clearance in the rear (inner fenders showed signs of bottoming)
  • Stiffer dampers
  • Front bar
  • Street tires
  • Check/modify roll centers
  • Swap out window glass for plastic
  • Modify rear suspension to allow for better toe adjustment
  • Reduced static camber

I also have a bunch of (mostly) non-challenge budget stuff I want to do like putting in a proper fuel cell, cooling hoses, throttle cable, maybe even swap to hydraulic clutch or at least do a better clutch cable. Put those all on the someday list...

We are pretty happy with the weight considering there's still a lot of low hanging fruit (glass, battery, suspension, brakes). The car was around 1350 pounds in challenge trim.

I'll be trying to round up as many pictures from the challenge that I can over the next week or two. The car will take a week or two to get back to my place, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it makes it across the country safe and sound again!!!


Nashco SuperDork
Oct. 17, 2011 3:42 p.m.

Sweet! The car made it back this morning, safe and sound. In desperate need of a bath, but it's here unscathed!

I'm hurtin' for cash right now, so priorities in the shop are shifting to getting my Northstar Fiero ready for sale. Jessica and I have a wedding and honeymoon to save up for, and this racing adventure definitely didn't help that situation. All told, I paid more than $2011 just to get my $2011 car down to Florida and back!!! The N600 will get put on the backburner, but I'm hoping to slowly work the kinks out in time for next autocross season to start tuning it.

I'm still compiling pictures from the event. Hopefully after the N600 gets a bath I can take some better pictures of the little details for the build thread. There's a lot of little things we did all over that never got documented, it'd also be nice to have it in here for those who care.


unevolved Dork
Oct. 17, 2011 4:30 p.m.

What are you using for your suspension calculations?

Nashco SuperDork
Oct. 17, 2011 6:39 p.m.
unevolved wrote: What are you using for your suspension calculations?

I wave my hands around in the air like I think the suspension should move and weld appropriately.

Seriously though, a string calculator at the front was as far as I went with maths. The rest was moving the attachment points around and running the suspension through its travel until it seemed the least of evils with regard to camber/toe changes. I had ambitions of doing it the right way, but reality struck. Obviously, there's way more going on in the real world (compliance, etc.) so all the calcs in the world weren't going to make it "right" on the first try.

The only software I could find to do it the "easy" way was $$$, and I didn't have time to do it the hard way. I'm not sure where I'm going from here with regards to doing calcs versus practical experience (or some of both), but if you've got recommendations for software that will do calcs for this type of suspension layout that isn't several hundred dollars, I'm all ears.


unevolved Dork
Oct. 17, 2011 11:25 p.m.

I've used Wingeo for some kinematic work in the past. It's somewhat ungainly compared to high-level 3D programs, but if you've got (X,Y,Z) coordinate of all your pickup points, it's very useful.

oldtin Dork
Oct. 17, 2011 11:31 p.m.

I've used wishbone - freeware found on

4cylndrfury SuperDork
Nov. 8, 2011 2:27 p.m.

Anything new to report on the suspension redesign front? Inquiring minds want to know!

93EXCivic SuperDork
Nov. 8, 2011 3:52 p.m.

PM sent

Nashco SuperDork
Nov. 15, 2011 5:37 p.m.
4cylndrfury wrote: Anything new to report on the suspension redesign front? Inquiring minds want to know!

No, won't be for a while. As I said above, I'm spending the majority of my time trying to make some cash to pay for my upcoming honeymoon (so I don't have to sell the N600!). The little other time I have goes into the "life" that I ignored for the 6 months leading into the challenge.


Nashco SuperDork
Jan. 13, 2012 1:11 p.m.

I finally uploaded some pictures from the $2011 challenge to my flickr account. Here's a link to the whole set:

Here are a couple of my favorites:

I've stolen, erm, borrowed these pictures from all over the internet, so thanks to the people who took the pictures. I didn't take notes on where I gathered this stuff up, so if you want me to credit your photo, please let me know. If anybody that went has more pictures and you don't see them in my set above, please send me an email and I'll figure out how to get them from you.

I haven't done much with the car in the last couple of months. I swapped the ECM to a gasoline tune instead of an E85 tune, just because I didn't want to worry about the ethanol eating up rubber bits in the system while it sits. Otherwise, it's typical reliable Honda. I ignored it for a month, went to the garage, started it up and took it out for a drive. Add tires to the air as required!


Curmudgeon SuperDork
Jan. 13, 2012 2:39 p.m.

And I thought Alan looked nervous when he got into my car. Bryce, great job all around!

hobiercr HalfDork
March 16, 2012 3:31 p.m.

Bryce, The contact link in your profile isn't working. Drop me a PM if you see this.

Thanks, John

Nashco UltraDork
March 17, 2012 9:48 a.m.

The PM feature isn't working for me either. You can email me at nashco at hotmail.


Nashco UltraDork
April 22, 2012 2:13 p.m.

Yesterday I picked up a nearly complete D17A1 5 speed powertrain from an '03 Civic LX. The D17 has coil on plug, plastic intake manifold, returnless fuel, and of course a tiny bit of extra displacement, so a few minor improvements that I can hopefully use to my advantage. The trans has hydraulic clutch and cable shift (instead of cable clutch and shift rod that the N600 currently uses). This will make packaging a hell of a lot easier. I can ditch the long twisty shift rod (that took forever to get working ok) and free up some space for the cooling tubes down the center tunnel and make the cooling tubes greatly simplified. The clutch cable is also stiff as hell and totally kloodged together, so going to hydraulic will make for a much cleaner routing and hopefully easier to get an appropriate travel:effort ratio.

I have the complete D17 wiring harness, ECU, shift cables, shifter, axles, etc. as well. I haven't found anybody running the D17 ECU without the rest of the vehicle electronics, so it'll be interesting to see what I end up having to do for engine control on this thing. I'd like to run the stock ECU without boost for a while and try to get the handling dialed in better, but I have no idea how the D17 ECU does outside its native environment.


unevolved Dork
April 22, 2012 5:29 p.m.

I had a D17-powered car, and I'm afraid there's not much good news on the engine management front. With the COP ignition, Megasquirt is a pain. I had the A2 with VTEC, so Megasquirt was effectively impossible. The only options were Hondata KPro ($$$) or higher.

The good news is the D17 transmission will bolt right up to a D16 engine and clutch assembly.

Nashco UltraDork
April 22, 2012 6:51 p.m.
unevolved wrote: I had a D17-powered car, and I'm afraid there's not much good news on the engine management front. With the COP ignition, Megasquirt is a pain. I had the A2 with VTEC, so Megasquirt was effectively impossible. The only options were Hondata KPro ($$$) or higher. The good news is the D17 transmission will bolt right up to a D16 engine and clutch assembly.

Sounds like you must have had your D17 pre-MS3. From the specs only, MS3 can do COP (and VTEC) natively. However, the MS3 is getting pretty feature dense, driving prices to not-far-off from a K-Pro.

I'm really hoping I can get the stock ECU to work sans-boost for a while, but I'm not sure how happy it will be without things like airbags, ABS, gauges, etc. to talk to. Most modern ECUs don't like being lonely, but I haven't found anybody who has tried using the stock D17 outside of a Civic.

The engine changes aren't the main goal, so like you said, worst case I can use the trans (and detune the D16) until I get the handling sorted.


unevolved Dork
April 22, 2012 9:19 p.m.

Yeah, exactly. Pre MS3. That's good to know.

I know the guy that did the Atom clone that was on the cover of a certain magazine a while back used a D17. Might be some useful information there.

JohnyHachi6 Reader
April 22, 2012 10:13 p.m.

If the COP issue is the only problem, I believe you can pretty easily retrofit the older MSI V3 and MSIIs with some extra components to run a COP setup (DIYAutoTune sells the kit). I think it was about $5 per cylinder for the kits last time I looked. I've also seen people using the EDIS modules to fire COP banks, apparently it draws more current through the EDIS modules than they were designed for, but I've talked to folks who have used the setup on DDs for at least a year or two and hadn't had problems to date.

JoeyM SuperDork
April 22, 2012 10:16 p.m.

Bryce, the stuff you do just amazes me.

Nashco UltraDork
May 15, 2012 9:46 a.m.

I took the N600 to a cars and coffee type get together in town on Saturday. As I was leaving, the clutch cable broke about a half mile away from the show. I didn't feel like driving it across town without a clutch so I used AAA to have it towed to the shop...pretty convenient breakdown! As I mentioned, the clutch cable being stiff is a known issue, so I wasn't horribly surprised, although after a thousand or so uses of the pedal I figured that things would hold together. My first thought was to accelerate the trans swap plan, but since I get married next month and I've got a lot of stuff going on right now I shelved that plan and just repaired the cable end that broke.

About an hour worth of work and the car is back on the road. I think this is the first part that has broken on the car since we finished it...can't ask for much more than that!


Nashco UberDork
June 17, 2012 6:10 p.m.

Last time out in the N600 before I leave town for my wedding and things went pretty well. I drove it about 70 miles round trip without issues; hit up a microcar show and a show at PIR that Jessica's employer sponsored, both very casual. Everybody seems to like the new roof sticker, including me...covered the top with a "rising sun" Japanese flag.

You'll also note that I finally got a GRM diecut on there. The white die cut looks way better than the normal stickers, I'm glad I ponied up and got it.

I still haven't fixed the alignment issues...been really busy with life lately. One of these days...


Nashco UltraDork
Aug. 8, 2012 11:39 a.m.

Bumping this up to get it added to the "build thread" forum. Thanks!


Nashco UberDork
Jan. 14, 2015 2:45 a.m.

The N600 has been pretty neglected lately. However, we did have a fun N600 art project at the shop recently during my birthday party. I put the image on the wall with a projector and my friends did most of the work from there. This is how it ended up, all done in tape.

This is the ad that I got at a swap meet last year that inspired the art, just like mine!

We also did an AE86 in green tape. It was pretty fun and easy to do while hanging out and drinking beers. Also extremely cheap and totally temporary. For anybody with plain white walls like mine, I totally recommend it for a fun project.


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