David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/14/05 9:55 p.m.

We ran the Civic this past weekend with the Martin Sports Car Club, and it's becoming apparent that the car needs three things to become competitive: tires, suspension and a new driver. Fortunately we have plans to replace two of the things on that list. (Maybe all three, however.) Most of the parts needed to redo our Civic's suspension are here. Once our Konis arrive, then we can start bolting on the new hardware.

While at the autocross, however, we discussed our stereo with a friend of ours who does high-end car audio installations for a living. He gave our car a quick look-over. No, we're not going to turn the Civic into a rolling jukebox, but the current system is sad--usually only the passenger-side tweeter works. A previous owner did install component speakers in our Civic, but they're way past their prime. When everything does work as planned, which is rare, the sound is still off.

We currently have 6.5-inch Polk door speakers matched with Boston Acoustic tweeters--our friend believes those tweeters are actually older than the car itself. While installing those tweeters, someone butchered the inner door panels. We'll keep our eyes open for new door panels, although the Si pieces are specific to that model: The other hatchback models don't have the handy door pockets, while the similar EX coupe came with power windows.

To solve the problem, our friend is going to make some custom tweeter grilles for us, using his own EG-chassis Civic as a guide. These tweeter grilles will cover the hacked-up part of our door panels. We haven't picked up new speakers yet, but we have been checking out Crutchfield's catalog as well as eBay. We'll probably keep our Pioneer head unit, as it seems to work well and should be able to handle two speakers. (Our car doesn't have the optional rear speaker kit, and to be honest, two speakers should be fine for our needs.)

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