Acura RSX, ILX and Honda EP3 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 129 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
About 3 months and 3k later (bought at 127k) from my purchase, my car has been slowly coming along. I bought it off CL after looking around for a while for a blue one (my 02 Benz C class was rusting away, so I needed to replace it before it needed another expensive fix), I pretty much gave up and decided to widen my search to all colors. Found a black one in western Joisey, and checked it out on my way home one weekend. Drove fine, had a bunch of scratches, a semi-decent Alpine radio, and some nasty cheap tint job bubbling on the rear window. Here are some recent pics (some mods are already on, will detail):






So far, have had a mix of needed repairs and stuff to make me enjoy the car more:
--A-Spec suspension installed (two blown struts, so figured I'd do it all, and am not looking for a huge drop - this is my daily driver)
--Replaced rear hatch glass (tint was too far gone to remove easily, and defroster would have gotten messed up most likely, so went with cheapest solution)
--Originally, the rear "Si" emblem wasn't there, and PO had put on a Finnish flag; so as a nod to the love of my life, my 1990 CRX Si, I threw on that emblem, which I like better than the stock one, even if it doesn't flow as well with the rest of the car
--Pioneer double-din stereo; Alpine was ok, but wanted to have Sirius back, and here in NJ, the radio reception add-ons are getting to not work well at all, as it's hard to find an empty frequency that's good all the time. The shop that installed it added the USB link to the empty ciggy lighter hole, which has worked out very well
--Perrin small antenna, just for fun - and since I'm using Sirius, don't listen to normal radio much at all
--Touched up a hell of a lot of scratches; have to give it a very good cleaning and wax job now to try to hide some of the surface scratches as well as I can
--Just added Samco "green ninja" radiator hoses, another why the hell not mod. The colors from the hoses are going to be the accents, hopefully somewhat-tastefully done
--Brakes were truly awful; figure there was air in the lines, and everything was pretty well rusted. Bought Type S front calipers, new pads rotors all around, Russell lines, and Dot4 fliud. Mmmm, much better.
--Just received yesterday a used valve cover I had redone by Bonehead Performance in SE PA; they do great work. Will slap that on soon.

Future Plans
As I said, this will be my daily driver, so no coilovers, no weird stance, and so forth (not like there's anything wrong with that, of course).
Will be putting winter tires on the stock rims in November, then in the spring getting new rims with good rubber (thinking Buddy Club F91s in Champion White 17x7.5)
Then probably Hondata chipped, Megan midpipe, Magnaflow cat, Type S rear sway with an ASR brace, rear spoiler (stock clear is almost completely off), and probably getting a spare steering wheel I picked up here redone by Dallas Custom in leather/alcantara, and the door handles and center console done in some carbon fiber by Ocarbon (did my Benz stuff in it, and they're slow, but great work). We'll see - thinking to hold onto this car for 3-5 years, then step back into a new car, but it should be fun in the meantime.
That's it for now - will have many questions as things progress, so thanks in advance for such a good source of information. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
671 Posts
Good find, I think the Si badge looks good, your own personal touch. Red H might help it out. I notice no sunroof. Can't really tell from the pic, but it doesn't look like it was plugged, if so whoever did it, did a really good job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, guys. It's there, just hard to tell with the angle of the pic.

It was one of the reasons why I bought the EP3; can't have a car without one.

Rear red H is already on the car now; saw the entire trim piece on ebay from Europe (I think Hungary?) in red (is that Milano?), so had to pick it up.

The front grille is broken at the top where the push pins go, so already have a new grille and red "H" ready to go. I'm waiting til I have a little downtime to install that along with a new driver's side headlight I got at Majestic (condensation in the original one, and I'm awful at getting headlights to separate and then back together without just making for more headaches), hopefully soon.

Driving up to Toronto tomorrow; going to the annual CRX meet at the Falls. The CRX isn't drivable this year, so will be doing an EP3 road trip. :vtec: It will be my first long trip in the car, and looking forward to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Good deal. You'll be driving right on by me.

How long did the piece take to ship to you from Ebay? And what was the seller's ID? I've been eyeing a couple parts, but am hesitant to buy international. Would be nice to purchase from someone who's already been used
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
His ID is zsemito_trade, and yeah, he's in Hungary. Took about a week more or less; packing was well done too, and it arrived without a scratch. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Slight update without pics (will add later):

Car did great in the Toronto area; added over 1k miles in 4 days of long driving. While in Canuckland, I stopped by PRM and had them put in a cold air intake of their own design. Wakes up the car nicely above 4k and the car is a bit louder too, which is a welcome change.

Have a set of Vibratechnics motor mounts on order. I'm hoping to get them in by Friday, as I'll be on vacation all next week and I want to drop them off to have the shop install all three while I'm gone. I'm also looking to get the ECU flashed by Hondata next week, and have everything all ready for me to pick up on Monday morning (the 10th).

Other than that, just little things here and there. Ordered the Type R rear sway bar and the start of the bracing bits that are listed in musty's stickied brace discussion. Have to get to that headlight when I get back from vacation; it's not going to install itself. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I recently picked up a black facelift Ep3. April 26, to be exact.

Mine is missing the mudflaps. If you ever want to get rid of them, send me a PM. I'm in Jersey as well. Only had her for about 3 months and feel i've done a lot to her in that short time. Also, my co-worker has a black Ep, 2005.

:fistbump:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Are you crazy? Mudflaps are like gold! :)

Good luck - they look fairly impossible to find, as I'm sure you already know.

Where's your build thread? Would like to see what you've done to yours.

We should have a Jersey EP3 meet, maybe get 2-3 people together. ;) Scary how little movement there is on the US EP3 sites. :dontknow:

Got in the rear sway yesterday with bushings, the Union Jack flag (might slap that on today), and Mtech shifter springs (sport). Vibratechnics mounts just left the UK today; will have to wait on getting them on til two weeks from now while I'm off vacation. Already paid for the Hondata reflash, and tried to take out the immobilizer early this morning in bad light - got the first two screws off the cover clamshell, but the bottom one seems stripped - will probably have to drill it out; then remove the ecu, and drive to FedEx to ship everything off.

Picked up my rental Focus sedan for the week earlier today (not going to put the EP3 through all of that salt and sand), headed off to the Outer Banks tomorrow. If I don't get eaten by sharks, build will resume at that time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Picked up the motor mounts from FedEx this morning, and just got back from picking up the flashed ecu, immobilizer, and key. I'll put everything back in tonight except for the mounts before it gets dark.

If you're going to do this, Hondata's instructions make sense only after you've taken out the immobilizer; on the front, it's the small screw to the outside of the two. On the rear, it's the small screw to the inside (on Hondata's instructions, you can see that their screwdriver is pointed to this inward-placed screw, but it doesn't make sense until you see it afterwards). Also, those tiny screws were pretty hard to take off, and I'm sure, very easy to strip. So really press down on them more than turn them at first, then it will get easier. The ecu was a piece of cake, except for unplugging the 3 sets of wires - I'm guessing it was the first time it's been done, so those little bastards were wedged in there.

Not sure how much this really matters, but I got some octane booster just to move it up a little and make that first tank with the new ecu go a little smoother.

I'll try to have some pics up tomorrow of the mounts; they'll be swapped in on Thursday.

Looking forward to at least a little bit of a bump on the good old buttdyno. :weeeeeeeeee:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I put everything back together after work yesterday (immobilizer rear screw is slightly easier to get on than it was to get off, but still a royal PITA), and only had time to take it around the neighborhood a little. While it's not a big turbo-like difference, it's a nice little kick in the pants. Definitely worth the small amount of moolah it costs, and the bigger annoyance would have been the time without my DD, but since I was on vacation, it all worked out well. The rental Focus did make me appreciate driving my Civic even more. :vtec:

Couple of pics:




Valve cover was done by Bonehead Performance like all of my other powdercoating, and am very happy with it. The motor mounts look awesome, looking forward to getting them on in a couple of days.

Now I have to figure out what subframe brace to get to go with my ITR rear sway; thinking either ASR or Function 7. I have the F7 LCAs on the CRX, and have to admit that on looks alone, I'm tilting towards the F7s. Anyone have any opinions?

EDIT: If for some reason anyone wants the cheesy HONDATA license plate frames I got, let me know; otherwise, they're going in the recycling bin this weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Got the evil P0420 CEL on Friday. I cleared it (love having a Scangauge II in the cluster), it hasn't come back, but figure that it's only a matter of time until it does. Ordered the Maglaflow OEM replacement from Summit, and might as well order the Megan midpipe from Corsport today; this was going to be my eventual setup anyway, but the light has forced the issue at this point. :crap:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Picked up the car yesterday afternoon; new cat and midpipe are on. :thumbsup:

Opens up things quite nicely; I was impressed by the quality of both pieces, especially the MF cat. Feel a bit more power across the board. Sad part is that I'm basically at the end of the power-adding portion of my build already after 3 months. :eek:

I doubt I'll ever be interested in turbo or s/c (you never know), but it's my DD, so I think it's at a good stage now. It's got about the power that it should have had from the factory, imho, though more would have been better, of course.

Now, on to handling and such. Already looking forward to next spring, when I'll get new rims (looking at the 17x7.5 Enkei Fujin, but powdercoated in a more interesting color than they have for sale [only black and silver]) and more importantly, decent rubber for the first time. Sucks to do this stuff without the ability to hand decently in the corners :vtec: . Come on April!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thought I'd update a little.
Here are some shots of the interior; I hate to have blank switches, so I added a couple (coinholder, headlight leveler), even if one of them does absolutely nothing - the leveler was cheap on ebay at least. I also gave up on the stickers from Corsport and got a J's full H badge replacement for the steering wheel from an Aussie company on ebay - it's size "A" and you have to remove the old badge, which is attached with several slots into the center of the steering wheel. The Scangauge II was a leftover from my old daily driver, so I figured what the hell - it's a free voltmeter, if nothing else, and did help to remove the cat error code while I was waiting on the Magnaflow to be installed.










I'm still very happy with the head unit. Probably should get new speakers, a small sub and amp(s) at some point, though. It's a mess at high volumes.



When I ordered the rear sway from ICB, I also threw in a couple of almost-free goodies, the Union Jack above, and the amber sidemarkers, below. I'm amazed at how much the markers improve the looks of the sides of the car. Note the Mugen license plate bolts, for that extra jdmness. :weeeeeeeeee:



So that's it for this update. I'll be doing the braces soon for the rear of the car, the front steering brace, the rear sway bar, be putting brand new OEM headlights on next month, and a couple of other little things. I'm pretty happy with how it's driving, given the shittitude of the tires. They'll be swapped to good snows in Nov, then the new rims/good summer tires in April or so.

The light on the top distribution button for the HVAC has been flickering, so I guess I need a new bulb there. Would that be as much of a pain in the ass to do as I am expecting?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
671 Posts
Good progress, I prefer the J's H over the Corsport sticker, which sometime's will bubble up over time. Especially in hot places like FL. What's the deal with the red strip on the tailgate, is that your own personal taste I'm guessing?

While your on the markert for sway bars. Corsports rear sway bar is awesome! It's one of the few that I know that allows you to fit the plastic panels in the hatch over it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I was going to get the red H badge for the rear, saw the entire trim piece for a Rio Red Type R on ebay from Hungary, and for slightly more money than just the badge, bought the whole thing. The NHBP original piece was badly losing the clearcoat anyway, so I figured this would take care of everything at the same time.

It's an acquired taste. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
671 Posts
Understand completely, looking back at pics, I do see that the nhbp piece had some clear coat fade, but IMHO I think it takes away from your unique Si badge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Front / engine bay update from a couple of weeks ago. The driver's side headlight has allowed condensation since I bought the car in May, so I figured I might as well buy a new one. $270 from Majestic. The passenger side was ok as far as condensation, but had the typical yellowing thing going on. I was going to get a new one there also, but ended up giving a try to Griot's Garage's headlight kit instead. Figured if it doesn't work, it's $30 down the tubes, and I go with option #2. It ended up being a piece of cake and worked out great. I also replaced the headlights, brights, and city lights while I was at it; Sylvania ultras for the heads/brights and some leds for the cities from SBL; they were a piece of cake to deal with. I have to say damn, the space given by Honda to wedge your hands in there to replace the bulbs is amazingly tight.

Any way, on to the pics. I haven't documented some engine bay stuff I have done previously; finally got the lime green engine cover on, along with a PWJDM cf cover. Also, the PRM intake I had put on by Gerry (the name behind PRM) while I was in Toronto in July I've never taken a pic of (very happy with the sound, improved high end), and finally the "Green Ninja" Samco radiator hoses that were my first mod, and inspiration for my color scheme, for what it is. They took 7 weeks, pretty good for custom hoses from the UK. Corsport was great with updates.

Bumper off, waiting on headlights:

Engine Bay:

PRM Intake, along with K-Tuned battery tie down, powdercoated in lime green:

Final result of headlights. So far 2 out of 2 have been able to tell which is the new headlight, but still glad that I didn't jump to a new headlight, and pocketed the difference:

I'll take a better daytime pic to show the headlights better. It'll also show my new OEM grille and red "H" badge. The whole process would have worked out much easier if the PO had used correct plastic clips; I spent a ton of time removing ones that were too large that had been wedged in there. :shakehead

This week, I'll be off for most of it, and will be throwing on the Seibon Mugen-type rear spoiler that I just polished up (bought used), replace the flasher for the turn signals, finish the LED swap over, and hopefully give the whole car a good bath, polish, and wax. It has needed it since I bought it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Quick pic of the progress from when I was on vacation:



What I did was install the used Seibon Mugen-style CF rear spoiler that I had been buffing and waxing while down there. Also put on LED tail light bulbs from SuperBright LEDs for the brakes (normal and 3rd right below spoiler), and the Spoon side view mirror glass (did a sucky job, but that will be discussed later when I get pics from my camera up), to match the Spoon rear mirror previously done. The mirrors all work well, provide more than enough added view, and I like the blue tint for dimming of other cars' headlights, and also much better in rainy weather.

I'll have better pics up next week. Also got Bizzaks for the stock rims that will take me through til March, when I get the new summer rims. Leaning towards 17x8 WedsSport TC-105N's at the moment. I've gone back and forth, though, so that could change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
671 Posts
I didn't think the Mugen spoiler came with 3rd brake light. I thought only the Type R, which is why I went with the Type R instead. Can you post some daytime and nighttime shots of the LED brake lights.
 
1 - 20 of 129 Posts
Top