Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kosei RT wheels for the Fit

I scored some nice used wheels off of the local classifieds this week.  Much improved over the stockies.  They're Kosei RT Sport LT in 16x7, +33mm offset and have the stock tires (185/55/16).  Next up is some lowering springs some day.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tactical Art of Japan EG6 track Civic hatchback

OK, so I get excited about a lot of different kinds of cars.  You guys know me by now.  But, I have a special place in my car of hearts (hey, that would be a cool name for a car blog haha) for the Honda Civic.  Around 2000 when I picked up that first "Super Street" mag at the grocery store in Provo, I was surfing the internet and forums for info, photos and mods.  There were many late nights spent dreaming about how I'd build a civic.

For most in the modified car scene, the Civic is like the starter car.  It's the beginners tuner.  Parts are cheap, they're economical to purchase, insure and own.  They're not fast though.  Most people consider then "chick" cars.  They're kinda "cute" and stuff.  But, most enthusiasts move on to faster, more expensive cars.  Heck, I did the same thing.  After my first Civic, I got the Mustang.  But then I got another Civic.  haha Then I stepped up to a 2002 WRX.  I loved that car.  It was fast, it handled really well, I even took it to the track.  But, the miles were building and the CEL of doom.  So, its been 2 months now that I sold it.  And I'm back in a Honda.

Going back in time to my first Civic.  My '95 Civic EX coupe had 105,000 miles or so, was green, not a typical color. I named it Jackie Chan. You know, cause he's small, lightweight, fast, has quick moves.  Kinda like a Civic.  haha I owned it for 3.5 years. After the first year, I installed Eibach Sportline lowering springs and KYB AGX adjustable struts/shocks.  I put in a short shifter, short ram intake, fuel pressure regulator.  Once we moved to California, the stock catalytic converter failed and so I replaced it with a high flow cat and while welding that in at pops house, I bought a $40 Autozone oval muffler. By this time, it was very well setup.  It was kinda stiff, but I liked it like that.  It felt like a go-kart.  It sounded good too.  It had that intake growl and a nice low exhaust note.  I guess it had about 140-145hp.  Stock was 125hp.  I still wish I had that car back.  I traded it straight across for a '94 Mustang GT 5.0 and 5 speed. A great car in its own right.  But, here I am about 10 years later and driving a small lightweight Honda again.  Imagine what it could have been if I kept it.  I think by now, it would have been modified with a track style, similar to this Tactical Art.  Obviously I don't have the fab skills of these guys.  But I would have wanted a B series swap, wide wheels and tires, some minor aero improvements and time on the track. 


Somehow that brings me to the point of this blog I wanted to write today.  This EG6 Civic Hatchback (1992-1995) from Tactical Art.  This company has been on Speedhunters.com and other well known Japanese car blogs.  I found these photos and an informative writeup from stickydiljoe.com.  This car is inspiring!  

Here are the links to the stories and photos and even a 3 minute track video.
http://stickydiljoe.com/2013/12/16/exclusive-content-the-final-photos-of-the-tactical-art-eg6-at-nakayama-circuit/?relatedposts_exclude=5567

This car is the epitome of why I love the civil, lowly Honda Civic.  It has SO much potential. It can be the slowest car on the road to the most fun car on the track.  It's tunable.  I've thought a lot about why I like the Civic so much.  Most of the people I know who like cars do NOT like the Civic.  They're reaction to it is like "Meh, its nice." I don't think most people get the Civic.  The Civic makes so much sense to me.  It can be the commuter car that knocks down 35mpg on the way to work and then can take that curvy freeway onramp hard and feel the G's.  Since the Civic is a slow car speed-wise, you can drive it hard and not put yourself in jail as easy as most modified cars.  As many say, its more enjoyable to drive a slow car hard than to drive a fast car hard.  This is so true for many of the popular cars out there, cars like the Civic, the AE86 Corolla GT-S, Miata, Golf GTI and the like.

So, what is it about this EG6 chassis Civic hatchback? I love the color of this thing.  I like the unpainted carbon fiber doors.  The whole thing is pretty minimalist actually.  It has no crazy aerodynamics.  It has a rear spoiler, front splitter.  It does have a pretty trick front fender mods to both fit wider wheels and tires and to let the air flow more smoothly around the front wheel and fender area.  Then there's the cut down rear bumper. And that's it for the exterior.

Gutted interior with race seat and steering wheel. The dash has been removed and replaced by a fabricated dash out of fiberglass. Basically there's a very "homebuilt" theme to it.  A Do-it-yourself feel about it but with excellent fabrication skills.  The white wheels provide a nice contrast with the dark body color.  But, honestly I think they could have gone with any color wheels, black or white, silver or bronze.  Personally having owned white wheels on my Subaru, I've always been a fan of the white wheels.


Dig the track video!  What I noticed from the 3 minute track video is how responsive the engine is.  It revs like a street bike.  From reading the stickydiljoe blogs, it has a B18C with ITB's from an AE86 4AGE engine.  I dig the dual plumbing of fresh air from the carbon headlight inlets and aircraft grade intake hoses.  Reminds me of the 427 Cammer motor from the Fairlane Thunderbolts that drag raced in the 60's.

I'm not sure what this car weighs, but it can't be much.  I'm guessing probably 2000lbs or even a hair less and probably 225-250hp if I had to make a guess.

I did this blog also to keep this record in my blog so I can come back to it and find the links because this car is cool to me.  It will provide me inspiration in the future for sure.  Cheers!

Here's a quick update.  A top view of the car.  Carbon roof, custom dash, engine bay with dual ducting to the ITBs.  I read more and found out its a B18C block with a B16 head.  


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hecht Speed Shop Thanksgiving 2013

Just wanted to put up this photo here I took with my cell phone.  Lots of fun working in the Hecht Speed Shop during the Thanksgiving trip down to California.  We don't get to do this very often, so it was fun to wrench on a Mustang GT and Subaru WRX.  Dad and I put the Goldline Springs and KYB GR-2 shocks and struts in the Subaru and put a stock strut bar in Brent's Mustang.  Even washed up old "Sally" before we left.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Plastidip Attempt #1

The other night I put a new can of black Plastidip to use on the front and rear "H" emblems.  Turned out pretty cool.  Up close in day light I noticed they need some touch up though.  Pretty cool stuff and easy to apply.  I masked them off as I'm not totally used to just spraying and then peeling it off perfectly good paint. :)
The Fit is knocking down right at 40mpg which I'm really happy with. 



Thursday, January 9, 2014

"Where'd Whoooo Gooooo?!"

Wow, 2010, that's the last blog post in here.  Serious crickets.  Doesn't mean tons haven't been going on.  This will be long... and I can't even promise that many photos. :)  Who am I even writing this to.  Probably just myself and those close to me who will get a link in a text or email from me saying, "Hey, I put a new blog up, go check it out, see what you think."  I'm super rusty with blogs.  Do people even do blogs still?  I used to follow blogs a lot more.  Well, let me catch us up for the last 3.5 years or so haha. 

So, I bought a 2002 Subaru WRX in April 2010.  Here's a photo of it about 6 months or so after I bought it.  It was a factory wingless car and I bought it from the 2nd owner as you see here except I had the axle back exhaust added.  Well, I just sold it last week.  But, I did take it to Bonneville twice, the second time I rode out with my pop and broseph to catch some racing action and cruise the pits looking at hot rods and race cars.  I had added a custom straight pipe to add some loudness to the suby's rumble.  One of my favorite mods.  Shoot, the straight pipe will live on to see another suby, or be cut up and turned into an axle back for my 2011 Honda Fit.  Woops, spilled those beans a little early.
Here's a photo above that I took on my trip to Bonneville in 2010. This is a memorable photo.  I had a blast with the subyrod.  I fixed it up quite a bit, every time something would wear or go bad, I'd get it addressed.  Last year I upgraded the brakes with the StopTech Sport brake kit with SS lines and blue fluid along with BC coilovers, Whiteline roll center adjusters and an aggressive street alignment and cornerbalance at Innovative Garage. 
  I went totally solo so I had to take a "selfie" with my cell phone haha.
I actually took it to Miller Motorsports Park last April, my first track experience.  It wasn't a full on HDPE or anything, but one of their "Wide Open Wednesday" events.  It handled really well.  It was well balanced and made it through the track event reliably for having 170,000 miles or so.  Yikes!  I sold it just last week with 188,000 miles, on the original motor, trans and turbo. 

The last couple years has been crazy busy with coaching and attending youth baseball games for my boys.  We haven't made it to too many car shows unfortunately.  I did put my suby in a cruise-in at Station Park in October, kind of its last hurrah I guess.  Sad face. 

GE8; Honda Fit Sport, Subaru WRX, Bugeye

But on to bigger and better, err... smaller and lighter.  I picked up a 2011 Honda Fit Sport with the 5 speed transmission in Polished Metal Metallic (aka Dark Gray).  Totally stock for now, but its a Certified Honda used car with only 27,000 miles, so it even came with a 12,000 mile warranty and the 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.  Stoked! 
Here's the basic specs: 2,489lbs, 117hp from a 1.5L SOHC i-vtec, FWD and comes with a rear sway bar for the Sport model.  So far I'm getting 40mpg in the 2 tanks.
When I got serious about looking for a car once I decided to put the suby up for sale, I originally went to go look at a 2010 Fit base in white.  When I got there (Stockton 12 dealership) the salesman and I couldn't find the car. I walked around the entire lot in the freezing cold while he checked his info and came back out and so, "Oops, the car is at a different lot being sold right now."  Crap!!!  So, when I didn't see any Fits with my price/miles/5speed requirements I started looking at newer Civics.  Of course, that was after driving a 1995 Civic LX sedan with 5 sped and 130,000 miles for $3000.  After driving that 18 year old POC, I knew right then that I needed to go newer.  I spent some time researching newer sedans, cars like the Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Civic, Mazda 3 and 6, it came down to what was I going to really enjoy owning.  My wife was really concerned that I didn't get a "grandma" sedan and then in 6 months hate life and want to get something different.  So, being a small car kinda guy, I found another Fit to go check out.  To this point, I had never driven a fit.  I sat in one at Willey Honda like 4 years earlier, but it was an automatic and I didn't want to get a bad taste in my mouth of the Fit by driving a slushbox.  So, I found a 2010 dark blue base model with 5 speed and took it for a long test drive home to show the wife and kids.  I really liked it.  It had 48,000 miles and they were asking $11,850.  Not bad.  Pretty low miles and I liked the blue color and didn't mind the base model's appearance.  But, it didn't have cruise control and no arm rest.  I wasn't too worried about the steelies and hubcaps because obviously those will become winter wheels or go up for sale.  I returned to the dealership (Ken Garff in SLC) and I offered $10,717, which was the kbb.com Exellent Condition retail price.  They declined, saying that they'd lose money at that price.  So, we agreed to disagree.  The car had been on the lot for 2 months already.  So, I think they were asking too much.  I went home, a little bummed, but with the intent of talking it over with my wife.  I was willing to go up to about $11,400 or so.  Well, on my drive to work, I was feeling disappointed and not sure what to do.  Was really feeling the Fit.  I postponed calling "Fast Eddie" at Garff and my wife and I went back to ksl.com classifieds looking for more Fits.  It just so happened that Garff had this gray Fit Sport with less miles for $2k more.  Plus it was certified!  On my way to Garff to take it for a spin, I swung by Henry Day Ford in WVC to ook at a 2010 Fit Sport in black for $12,900.  It was clean and drove great, but I saw some scratches on the body and some gaps in the front bumper and fender that I was weary about.  I got to Garff and "Fast Eddie" said they just sold the gray one over the phone.  I was pretty bummed, but figured the dark blue one was a good pick up too.  Well, "Fast Eddie" went on the prowl and told me he was going to ask around and find out if he could unsell it and sell it to me since I was on site.  The dude pulled it off somehow.  So, I took a drive in "Lil' Gray" with Brandon and came back and said "I'll take it!".  2.5 hours later we were driving away in my new Fit.  Long story, but now its recorded for posterity.  :)

I can't leave well enough alone so I've got some "JDM Yellow" fog light vinyl coming in the mail and picked up a can of black Plastidip.  The plan is to black out the emblems, maybe a rear bumper guard by the hatch and maybe do the rear lower valance/diffuser in black too.  First time using Plastidip so I'll see how that goes and probably put up a separate blog post.