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I'm not a dude
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Discussion Starter #1
I had a black 2003 Mazda Protegé5 that I traded in for this car. This was actually EP3 number 4 that I pursued: the other three were sold out from under me, quite literally. I wanted an 04-05 because of the body kit and 5-lug wheels (and undoubtedly, they had the bugs worked out as well by then), but I couldn't pass up Haru. She was a one-owner car with only 38,000 miles and 100% stock. Nope, that's not a typo, 38k miles. The owner, an older woman who only drove the car locally, traded it in for a Yaris. Go figure. The only caveat with this car is that it was involved in an accident. It was rear-ended. However, looking inside the bumper, it's obvious that all affected parts were replaced and there's no damage to the frame rails that support the bumper. In other words, it was all cosmetic. Perfect! The accident happened in 2007 and I presume it was repaired back then, but prior to me viewing the car, the bumper and lower part of the hatch were repainted again and it looks great. Indistinguishable from the factory finish, to be honest...and I'm really picky when it comes to bodywork. I was the first person to look at the car, and the price was right, so I bought it. If I didn't buy it, I'm sure the next person to look at it would have. It's just too nice of a car to pass up.

Here's a photo from the dealer:


And here's some photos I took just the other day. The car is really in need of a wash now, so I'll be taking more pics when I wash it soon. Anyway...




Note that the badges are not in the correct location and also the bumper is sagging on the driver's side because it's missing a clip. I have the clip, but haven't put it on yet.

The car has a handful of very minor flaws, such as a few paint transfers from careless people opening their doors into it, and this annoying ding on the passenger-side rear wheel arch:

I'm going to see if Dent Dr. can work that one out. I can touch up the paint well enough to minimize its appearance afterward. The passenger-side rear marker needs to be replaced because it's chipped and cracked (presumably from the rear-ending), and the shift boot is starting to split a little. I just ordered a new boot, rear marker and badges, so all those things will be addressed soon enough.
The next thing I'm doing to the car is replacing the stereo with the same one I had in my Pro5: a JVC KDX50BT digital media receiver. I'm just waiting for the stereo and harness adapter to arrive. I already have the dash kit. After that, I'll decide if I want to keep the stock speakers or not. I'm not too big on expensive, high-end stereos in cars. If it doesn't sound like shit, I'm usually ok with it.

The overall direction I want to take the car is to leave its appearance pretty much stock and focus on performance upgrades. There's something about the nondescript appearance of these early EP3s that's grown on me in a stealthy Q-ship sort of way, so I want to keep as much of that as I can. One thing I do want to do to the body is add a flexible lip to the front (Volvo, Accord, etc.) mainly so the front doesn't get scraped up and it also makes it a little more aerodynamic. Ten years ago I got out of autocrossing and I would like to get back into it again with this car, in Street Prepared or one of the Street Touring classes, so this build will be proceeding with that in mind. I also want to do whatever I can to preserve this car in the harsh environment of New England, where I live. The underside of the car doesn't look like it's ever seen snow (I'll post pics eventually), though the rear tow hook does have some rust on it. I might end up getting the car re-undercoated and also put some kind of coating in the wheel wells to protect them.

Oh and a little about me, I guess! I'm Phoebe (pronounced Feebee, yes like the character on Friends). I'm 42 and I've been working on cars since I was 17, starting with my 1973 MGB-GT, my first car, which I still own. I also own, ride, and work on motorcycles. I have two riders and one project bike at the moment. I actually prefer to work on motorcycles these days because of the ease of access and you don't have to lie on your back to work on them, but I still enjoy working on cars too. I like to go to local car and motorcycle shows and document them with my photography. You can check out my Flickr here if you want, and my blog on Tumblr, here.

That's about it! I look forward to sharing my project with you guys :wavey:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A couple more pics of the interior with the stock stereo:




And the new stereo, a JVC KDX50BT. Ignore the fingerprints; I didn't clean off the dash before taking the picture:


For Christmas I got a few goodies too: factory replica driving light kit, clear headlight film, clear paint protector film (which I plan on using on the door jambs and rockers), PIAA headlight bulbs, Weathertech fittted floor mats, Honda trunk organizer. I just ordered Weathertech's universal trunk mat since it's half the price of the fitted Honda piece and will be just as good for my purposes.

I debadged the hatch since the badges were crooked, bent and in the wrong place. I have the new badges already, but I'm waiting on one more thing to arrive before I put them back on, this:

I was going to put on the JDM Union Jack badge as a nice nod to the EP3's British heritage, but then I found this one, which is the same size as the JDM one. I think it will go nicely with the silver paint and be a little more subtle. It's coming from the UK, so it should be here maybe by Saturday.

I also just bought rallen480's Tanabe T70049 Medallion Touring exhaust recently and it's on its way to me now. I'm looking into non-race headers right now (I can't pass smog with a race header), so once that's figured out, the full exhaust system will be replaced.

My car has also developed the clutch pedal squeak, so I need to fix that. It just started doing it on my trip to see my parents for Christmas. Annoying.

That's it for now, but there will be much more coming, I promise!
 

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Hi Phoebe! Nice find, and welcome to the club!

Is that Home Depot on 44? I'm in RI too with a SSM EP3 :)
 

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Yea don't freak out if you hear someone laying on the horn to get your attention lol

see you around! Maybe you can teach me how to autox :p
 

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I'm not a dude
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Discussion Starter #9
Yea don't freak out if you hear someone laying on the horn to get your attention lol

see you around! Maybe you can teach me how to autox :p
Ha, if/when I start autocrossing again, I'm going back into the novice class! It's been over 10 years, so I can guarantee you I'm very rusty. I don't like to push it too much on the street. You know you can have an instructor ride along with you for every run, right? They love helping out novice drivers; without them, the sport would die out!
 

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I didn't know that <<complete noob... I've never autox before so I don't even know where to go.. sounds even more lame as I type this lol Thanks for the tip tho!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I didn't know that <<complete noob... I've never autox before so I don't even know where to go.. sounds even more lame as I type this lol Thanks for the tip tho!
Well, maybe we can meet up once I start doing it again and you can check it out. At the very least, ogling the cars, shmoozing with the drivers and watching the autocrosses are fun, even if you don't race.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Coming soon to a Haru near you me:


It's for a 1994-1995 Accord (as shown) but I think I can finagle it to work with the EP3's front bumper, since it's made out of PU and is supposed to be very flexible. For $49 with free shipping, I think it's worth trying. And it it does work, then we have another lip we can all use! It's a win-win situation (if it works). :D
 

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Good luck on that lip. If it works be sure to post up a DIY so we can try it out!

Would be great to meet up with a fellow EP3er even if it is just to ogle our cars and watch some autox! :) Shoot me a line when you want to meet up!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
go with the volvo lip! looks the best in my opinion lol and that might be a little hard to fit and they go for 20-25 at the junk yard lol
I do like the Volvo ones, but I really like the shape of this one and wanted to give it a try. I can return it if I feel like it won't match up, as long as I don't do anything to it. We shall see!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
My black Union Jack badge arrived from the UK today. I have to say, it's even nicer in person than it is in the photo. It's solid metal (I believe it's chrome-plated brass) and surprisingly heavy for its size. I think the same seller also offers a standard Union Jack in the same style, if anyone's interested. It's much less expensive than the official Honda part.
 

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Good to see more satin silver EP3's out there getting love. and man, 38k, that's incredible!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Good to see more satin silver EP3's out there getting love. and man, 38k, that's incredible!
Yeah, the car really is in amazing shape, aside from the stupid ding in the passenger-side rear wheel arch. I'd like to kick the person that did that. It's like the car came out of a time capsule. I really lucked out on this one.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just received my new title today, since Rhode Island issues you a new title if the car originates from out of state. I looked at the title issue date and it says 12/25/2013! I wonder how many people can say their title was issued on Christmas? :laughing:

As an aside, it took them a month to issue me a new title, geez. Contrast that to the time it took me to register the car: 10 minutes from the time I entered the DMV to the time I left!

Oh yeah and my Weathertech cargo mat came in today too.
 
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