ITB Civic Build

This page documents the build of a 1990 Honda Civic for the SCCA Improved Touring B racing class.  It will simple diary style page with pictures and commentary as the project moves along.  I am also including a cost spreadsheet that will be updated as the project moves forward.  Thanks for looking.

Cost Worksheet

4/20/08 - Well, we have to start somewhere...so here it is.  The basis for this build is a 1990 Honda Civic.  I picked it up for a reasonable price that included a few useful extras.  It is rust free and the tub is completely straight.

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The first order of business is to strip the interior.  All the plastic and carpet comes out pretty easy, but the sound deadening is another story.  The air hammer with a chisel makes fairly easy work of it, but it is still a PITA to get done.  Whoever put the seam filler in this particular chassis must have been a noob at it.  There are copious amounts of it and it is all over the place.  It made getting the sound deadening itself harder to remove as well.  The first project will be getting the seat mounted.  I went with the Momo Start 2007 model.  It is a nice and reasonably priced FIA seat that fits me well.  I had the previous version of this seat in the old car and liked it a lot.

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6/1/08 - Things have been moving kind of slow, but are gaining speed.  The interior is all cleaned out and now is mostly covered in a coat of white paint.  The stuff under the dash needs to come out still and that will get painted too.  I finished the seat mount up.  Next up will be welding in the mounting plates for the roll cage.

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6/25/08 - Small update.  The interior is now coated in white.  I also had fun (and made a mess in the process) getting the windshield out of the car.  The roll cage tubing should be on it's way, so progress on that should begin shortly.  The engine got dropped off with the engine builder this weekend, so that is now in the works.  I have also been accumulating some used tires for shaking the car down and doing the comp schools.  Steady progress...

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7/20/08 - Work on the roll cage has started in earnest.  The hard parts were finished up this weekend.  The main hoop, halo, and front down tubes are always the most challenging.  They are what determines how well the cage "fits" in the car and how much room and vision you can give the driver.  At the same time there needs to be enough room to get all the welds done (or a way to move it to get to them before final welding of the legs).  Things should move quickly from this point forward.  More pictures to come.

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7/27/08 - Roll cage is done!  A concentrated effort over the course of a couple weeks got it done.  It was mostly fun and only required a minimal amount of swearing to get it finished.

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8/16/08 - Window net and engine bay prep

After a little delay from a supplier, all the parts for the window net came in.  I wanted something simple, straightforward and precise.  I don't want to be fooling with it on grid trying to get it untangled and buckled in.  It can also be easily removed for DE weekends with just two bolts.

I also got the drive train out of the car and started prepping the engine bay for paint.  A little cleanup, some tape and a coat of paint ought to have it looking good in short order.

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8/21/08 - Going forward or backward?

A little more progress to report.  The engine bay is now all painted up and back in order.  Also the doors were removed for painting the door jambs.  Originally I was just going to get the painter to do this, but it was easy enough to just take the doors off and do it myself.  One thing I am learning in the process...is that the next car that gets built will be either the right color to begin with or a color that complements the exterior color...

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8/23/08 - More painting

Today was spent doing more painting.  The door jambs, hatch opening, and inside of the rear hatch are now all coated with fresh white enamel.  All this in an effort to save time and money once the car goes to the painter.  He will just need to sand, tape, and spray the thing.  Just need to clean up the doors on the inside and get them painted and it will be time to move on to the suspension.

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9/1/09 - Starting to head in the right direction

Re-assembly is now taking place on the interior and body.  The chassis wiring harness is back in, along with the dash, trim, and moldings.  The rear hatch is installed again along with the doors.  They were stripped down bare and painted white on the inside and in the jamb areas.  Won't be long before you will never be able to tell it was a red car.  I also got the OMP pedal covers installed.  These were the closest thing I could find to the Sparco ones that I had on the old CRX.  Up next will be going through the suspension and brakes.

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9/14/08 - Suspension...

What a mess!  All the suspension fell off and is lying in the floor.  The past several days have been focused on pulling the suspension out and overhauling all the components.  All the bushings are being pressed (cut, or burned) out and new poly units are being installed.  Good progress was made over the weekend and most everything is ready to go back in.  I am waiting on a few parts that will allow me to finish up the shocks, brakes, and control arms.  Everything should be back together by the middle of the coming week.  The interior is making some headway as well.  The mirrors are in and the steering wheel disconnect is bolted in place as well.  I am not running the external mirrors on the car to cut down on some drag.  The Allview mirror and the spot mirror cover everything up to my peripheral range.

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9/28/08 - Getting it back on the ground.

Things have slowed up a little as I have spent some time away from the car.  Due to some supplier problems, and the need to remove a little stress out of life, the build has slowed a little, but still should be done in time to get to the track a couple times this year.  Looks like comp school is going to have to wait until Feb.  Anyways...the suspension is all the way back under the car now.  The car is back on the ground as well.  It is starting to actually look like a race kaa now.  At this point, it is waiting on some paint and to have the drivetrain installed again.  Need to talk with both the painter and the engine builder early in the week.  There is plenty of detail work to be done along the way as well.  It will be nice to get it all one color...

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11/3/08 - PAINT!

The car came back from paint today.  I dropped it off Thursday night and picked it up today.  The painter worked all weekend to get 'er done.  It came out pretty nice...Honda Frost White.  Maybe I should change the car's name to "Pasty White Boy. :)  Now I can make some serious headway on getting the car back together and out on the track.

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11/16/08 - Assembly

Good progress has been made on getting the car back together.  Basically, it is lacking a windshield to have the "body" complete.  The harnesses are also installed.  I picked up a set of wheels to make due with until the right ones ship (someday...) from Tire Rack.  They are not bad.  14x6 and under 13lbs.  These will likely end up being the rain wheels when it is all said and done.  They were only $76 each.  At this point, all the car needs is a drivetrain, exhaust, and wiring to be ready to shake down.  I have two weeks to get that done...I signed up to do an event on December 1st.

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I also made a mounting plate for the Dash 2 unit that will provide instrumentation for the car.  I tried to get it as close as possible but not be in the way of the wheel.  Where it is located makes a nice clear shot at it through the steering wheel.

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11/29/08 - Ready for the track

Just a couple more items remain to get the car ready for a shakedown run on Monday at VIR.  The last little bit of assembly has been challenging.  The transmission that I bought with the Quaife and the 4.9 final drive has got some issues.  It will not shift into reverse and there is some runout or misalignment in the final drive.  It all has to come apart now to be checked.   I also had to swap in a stock transmission for the time being.  My race motor is not ready either, so a stock one has to fit the bill for now.  The Dash 2 is all wired up along with the DL1 and they both seems to be working well.

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2/17/09 - Ready to race!

It has been a long while since an update, but lots of work has been going on.  The car is mostly finished now, has been logbooked and out to the track twice.  This past weekend I completed the double driver's school at Roebling Road in Savannah, GA to fulfill my novice permit requirements to go racing.  The car has been to VIR and RRR the past two weeks and has been running pretty well out of the box.  It is already turning competitive lap times at both tracks.  There is plenty of development work ahead for the car.  Here are some shots of it all stickered up and ready for the track.

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