My white hatch has been known as Betty since before I got her. She is currently powered by a used A20a3 from a donor car that was wrecked a few years ago. Her original power plant had the worst blown headgasket I have ever seen. The term catastrophic failure would be the understatement of the year.
When I first found her on craigslist the pics depicted a great work car, pretty high miles but all were highway. The interior was in great shape but a little dusty in the seats. The previous owner had driven the car with a burnt exhaust valve or 2 and this caused an extra hot condition in the cylinder. The engine fired up and purred like a kitten when i stopped by to see if she was worth the work needed to make her the work car I wanted.
My first thought when it popped over and started on the first crank and even purred with no sounds, I was curious why the price was so cheap and what he was thinking when he posted it as needing a new engine or major repairs. Needless to say as it idled and warmed we walked around the car and looked at the other needs or obvious repairs. The car has original paint on all but the hood which is in poor condition and cracking. The rear end had backed into a ballard at less then 5 mph. It bent the lower trim piece under the taillights and cracked the drivers rear tail lense. The bumper cracked but all in all was all superficial.
Right about this time the engine warms to normal operating temps and the T-stat opens up. The engine starts kicking like a pissed off mule and starts spraying rusty nasty water from every bolt, every seal, every place you could imagine. I was like WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He admitted to using the seal a gasket head gasket repair a few times to keep it on the road. The entire cooling systems, engine bay and front end was covered in this nast brown gunk.
I paid $300 for the car and he agreed to have it towed to my house about 15 miles away. I got the car and immediatly started rebiulding an older engine I had from my last wrecked lxi. The chassis has almost 300k on it. The trans is an original 5 speed. No sounds no issues. the suspension is original and shows no signs of wear just a little soft. The brakes are newer but he used cheap pads the last time and the dust refusses to let go of the factory hubcaps. I swapped in a 160k miles A20A3 with a complete service including a new timing belt, all new oil seals, water pump, alternator and a ton of other goodies. It took me 2 days of scrubbing to get all the nasty old crap out of the engine bay and cleaned up.
Well Ive been driving the car about a year and when i bought it I was set on driving it till it rusts out from under me and not spending any extra on upkeep or parts then i have to. Heres where the story changes a bit.
As most people know I have a ton of parts for these cars. Ive decided to put a few to use and see what happens to the rest. Ive got a set of PRI mounts, a JDM B18c, Im in the process of swapping out the stock 87 red interior and installing a black hatch interior from a 88 dx. Im installing a spare set of sei door panels to help the front area look a bit nicer then the dx plain plastic panels. Im going to order a new charcoal carpet as Lostforawhile has bought the black carpet I picked up for it. The SE-i is a bit better looking to me.
Im also swapping cars with ZackiDarko. You know the grey hatch he went to SoCal to pick up. His car has the linkage, wiring and suspension I want for Betty. The basic build is going as follows
Remove stock A20a3 and install rebiult JDM B18c, B16A2 Head
Install Zacks GSR trans with Hasport hydraulic conversion linkage, act 4 puck clutch and pressure plate
Install Blox intake on my B18c with ITR TB
Install PRI axles (after rebiuld) and shift linkages from Zacks car
Install wiring after Lx-Incredible rebiulds the harness and adds a few extra goodies
Swap tinted glass from Zacks car to Betty 20% sides 5% rear
Install charcoal carpet when it shows up
install grey leather GSR front seats
Install Zacks rebiult bilstiens with my sprint springs and all new poly bushings
Install Type-r front brake swap from Zacks car
Installe SEI rears from Zacks car
Install Zacks exhaust, Pacesetter short shifter, sei cup holders,
What Im curious of is how to go about the rebiuld of the engine. Its from my brother and was a trade as well. He owed me $120 and didnt have a use for the engine as he is currently on deployment in the Marines. I/he doesnt know how the engine was treated only that it came from a wrecked car his buddy used to own. The engine came with an auto trans which Im not going to use. I have no clue why he swapped the ITR head for a B16a2 head. In talking with Zack and reading some of the millions of threads on HT ive decided on a plan but would like some input and ideas on my biuld. I want Betty to be super reliable as she is going to stay my work car. No turbos sorry.
My thoughts as suggested by Zack and HT.
Swap the stock pistons with a set of NIB B18B CTR pistons from honda with new rings
Install new seals, Type-r water pump and oil pump
Install new bearings on the crank and rods
Ill have the head rebiult but no valve grinds as long as the sets are good. Just new retainers, guides
Zack says i should install a set of stage 2 cams with springs
What say everyone else?
My criteria are
fun to drive, bash on
good powerband no crazy 9k rpm powerband
The car is tuned with crome on a vtec ecu
Im swapping my 90 thunderbird supercoupe so Im loosing a car thats very fun to drive. Id like to get betty to perform in the same manner. Im thus very very unimpressed with these accords in stock form. 3rd gear to merge on the freeway. 4k in 5th gear at 80 mph. My thunderbird will do 52 in 1st and 80 in second. Top speed of well over 120 mphwith tons of power the entire way. I know I wont be able to get Betty to outperform my tbird but would like the same drivablitily. My thunderbird is nearly 4k lbs with 220hp and 300 ft lbs. Betty is considerably lighter so less torque should be needed.
Im sure Zack will take great care of my car. Anyone else who is interested. If Jon changes his mind Zacks shell will be for sale when Im done with it in the spring. Itll have a B16 installed with mounts and otherwise in stock form as the parts will be swapped from my car to his and his car to mine. Itll be a rolling chassis basically so start saving.