October 23, 2013

BME's New SMF Contender

I spent this past weekend hanging out with some great people from my Alma Mater; drinking beer, working on cars, eating, sleeping on a mattress on the floor of my friend's house, and most importantly... Racing.

10/19/13 was the SMF debut for the BME #618 car. Even though it is the end of the season and the car will more than likely be stored until March, I wanted to get it out on the course to see what it could do. Check the handling characteristics, the response, powerband, etc. Simply put, the car won SMF out of 5 drivers in its class and placed 20th raw out of 64; 25th in PAX. While I was quite happy with the end result, there is still a lot of work to be done...

The car's entire setup is set to be a loose SMF competitor. And when I say loose, I mean LOOSE. Any amount of lift on a turn will swing the tail out, and it's going to take a lot of practice to really hammer down my technique and learn how to properly drive the car. There may be some setup tweaks for next season; added negative camber in the rear, disconnect the RSB for cold/wet days, etc.

Overall, I was extremely proud of the car and its capabilities. I look forward to pushing it a lot harder next season! 

Enjoy the media!

A little cone rash

CTR's first trophy!

October 17, 2013

Outer Tie Rod Replacement

Nothing too special here today. While I was doing some last minute checks on the car before this weekend's event, I noticed that both of my outer tie rods were destroyed. Yesterday during my lunch, I ran to AutoZone and picked up both driver and passenger side Duralast Outer Tie Rods. The products are OEM replacements, and carry a Lifetime Warranty. The warranty covers everything from bent parts to boot tearing.

The new tie rod...

And here's my Personal Assistant... Overall it took me about 45 minutes to do both sides; includes lifting the car onto stands, putting it back down, and cleaning up. Quick and easy.

In honor of replacing tie rods, here is my favorite clip from the movie Hot Rod!

October 16, 2013

...Some Routine Fluid Maintenance

**I apologize for the crappy pictures... I was covered in oil and grease, and I didn't want to get it all over my DSLR so I used my 3-year-old iPhone 4**

Amsoil Z-Rod Engine Oil... Check!
Amsoil Series 600 Brake Fluid... Check!
Amsoil Manual Synchromesh Transmission Fluid... Check!

I wanted to get the car in the air before this weekend's event to give it a once-over to check for any fluid leaks, loose bolts, etc.

The FSB hadn't been tightened properly when I installed the dampers, so I was getting a TON of noise out of it over bumps. So I took care of that issue quickly.

*Remember to complete the endlink tightening process with the suspension compressed.

As for the transmission fluid, this job is pretty easy if you have a hand vacuum pump for the fluid fill. You can pick one up at Harbor Freight for ~$10, and it's well worth it.

The job itself is pretty straight forward... Drain from the lower plug, and fill from the upper plug until the fluid starts to drip out from the fill hole. Although somehow, every time I do fluid changes I end up looking like a Dothraki slave girl after a long night with the King's Men...

.... Anyway... Here are some pictures.

And I think this outer tie rod needs to be replaced... I guess I know what I'll be doing tonight.

October 14, 2013

Is That An Intake? Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

This past weekend, I was forced to replace my old Spoon intake elbow due to the broken mounting tab leaving a nice sized hole in my intake... This was not good, and led to considerable losses during tuning. My tuner, Mikey, bolted up just a plain old aluminum tube to see what kind of losses we were seeing due to the restrictive/hole-y setup, and we gained 7whp! Zero tuning change, simply run-over-run...

This past weekend, the CTR received its new intake and I had the joy of installing it.

The intake of choice, against the pleas of my tuner at ProFunction since the intake had already been ordered, was the Password:JDM Power Chamber. I must admit that I was a little bit intrigued by this... Throbbing whale-****, monstrosity of an intake. Regardless of the performance, I can say with much assurance that my car is rocking a jones that has far more girth than your's.

Ok let's get to it... The intake itself looks decent in person, but the construction is very thin and multiple times through the installation I thought that it was going to crumble in my hands. I wish that they would've at least done one more kevlar overlay with an overlapping seam to give it a little more rigidity, but hey I'm not the one making the thing... They did short me by a hose clamp and about 3" of tubing in the kit, as well, luckily I have hundreds of random old parts from all of my previous cars laying around the garage so I was able to scrounge up what I needed to finish the install.

The size of the fatty intake made it difficult to get lined up properly and took a couple of shots at it. I also had to trim about 1/4" off of reducing coupler in order to get the intake to sit near-flush with the entry of the 70mm throttle body.

In order to improve the cold air flow to the intake, I had to route some tubing from the front bumper to a hole near the fender... Problem is that not all 96-00 civics come pre-cut with the hold. So $15 at home depot later, I found myself drilling at my car's frame with a 2 1/2" hole saw drill attachment.

Ducting all plumbed in, cut edge finished and sealed.

I did have one casualty... I snapped off a damn valve cover stud while installing the spark plug cover... Stupid thing was so brittle...

Now I just need to figure out the best way for running the heatshield...

October 8, 2013

Always Mocking Me... Part 1

With my new intake scheduled to be delivered this Friday, I got started on the custom BME intake heat shield and box. I want to make sure to give the intake the best chance at performance. Today after work, I created a template out of cardboard, and mocked it up completely in the bay. Obviously the heat shield design will need to be tweaked once the intake arrives and I see the fitment. But I am confident that this should be a great start!

 - Once this piece is cut out of the sheet metal, the fender-side will be sprayed down with high temp black paint and the engine side will be covered in heat reflective gold tape. The edges will be finished with rubber piping. The top will be sealed off with plexiglass; this will allow me to visually inspect the full setup, and make for simple maintenance.

So now that the template is complete, I have to start planning for how the ducting will work on the cold air feed. Since the non-B16 civics don't seem to come with the hole into the fender-well, I need to use a hole saw to cut a 2-3/8" hole into the frame where circled below.

The cold air feed will route to the bumper and draw air as shown below.

That's all for now!

October 7, 2013

Good Meet & Good Meat

For those of you who have been following my journal on EK9.org or IWSTI, I apologize for some of the repeat content. Since I haven't been keeping up with the blog, I will be incorporating some older items that have already been posted in my journals in order to bring bloggers up to speed, and to add CTR content to this page.

Two weekends ago, I decided to meet up with an old friend that I haven't seen in well over 6 years. We met up at one of the local Car Meets with a club that runs weekly gatherings; this was the last event of the year.

Overall I had a good time checking out the different cars that were there. A LOT of classic American cars from the middle of the 20th century, and my little B16 was nestled between a nice pack of Mustangs. For those who follow EK9.org on Facebook, you might remember one of the below pictures from one of last week's daily postings.

Anyway, here are the pictures from the event!

Some of the other cars at the event...

And now for the Meat... I was trying to impress some guests who were coming over for a BBQ a few weeks back, so I took some special actions during the prep process of the pork spare ribs.

 - I punctured the meat with a fork in several areas, and poured Left Hand Brewing's Black Jack Porter into the tray.

 - I let the ribs sit in the beer-inade overnight, to soak it up nice. Then applied a liberal amount of my homemade Kansas-Style dry rub to them. I let that sit overnight.

 - The next day I set the oven to 250* F and let the meat cook nice and slow for about 4 hours. Here they are after removing them.

 - I also prepared some chicken breasts with the dry rub and cooked them in a similar fashion!

 - And I made some Baked Mac n Cheese... $10 worth of cheese in this bad boy! (Sharp Cheddar and Gruyere)

 - I then threw the ribs onto the grill to give them a nice bark. I'll admit, I did leave them on slightly too long since I was trying to time the mac n cheese to be ready at the same time. They still turned out fantastic, though!