JamesT's 2003 CW DC5 Fresh Import (Enkei RPF1, Personal wheel, Ktuned shifter & more)

So for a while I've been thinking about getting a bucket seat for the Teg. The JDM Recaros are nice to look at for sure, but being 6ft / 13 stone they offer little comfort and even less support.

The OCD in me wanted to just replace the drivers seat with another Recaro - the SPG XL (As again, I'm too big for Pole Positions). Sadly there is no where near me where I can go and try it out. There's no way I'm spending nearly a grand on a seat online to find it's not for me, then the hassle and faff of returning.

Just up the road from me I have Castle Combe Circuit and there is a company called Merlin Motorsport there, who specialise in motorsport parts (funnily enough). They allowed me to go up and test some seats out. They're a Cobra seat dealer - I was happy with Cobra as they're a British brand and all hand made in England. I was looking at the Imola and the Suzuka. In person, it was clear the Suzuka would be a bit too hardcore for me & would have to pole vault into the car as the bolsters were quite high.

The Imola on the other hand was a nice compromise. They had the standard size and the GT. The standard was a tad tight on me, and the GT offered a little bit extra width, which was perfect - so I took it home.

The Missus was well happy that I was cluttering the kitchen again with car stuff :

So out came the OE Recaro, and in went the seat rails :

After some faffing around lining everything up and getting it tight, the Cobra was in :

Fitment wise, it's pretty tight as you can see here the gap against the door card :

Overall I'm really happy with it - British made, FIA approved, weighs 7KG, half the price of a Recaro & most importantly I fit and have plenty of support.

Think I'm pretty much ready for a shakedown on track now. :)
It has been a little while since I've updated my build thread (about 1 minute), and thought this would be suitable!

I've wanted RPF1s for years. I know it's quite a common wheel on DC5s and other Hondas, but for good reason; they look the bollocks. I've only ever liked the look of the flat face 9J+ version though. After trawling the internet for fitment info, I thought I had nailed it after being on some American forums - but then thankfully read that the JDM DC5 has a 15mm wider track (per side) - so no wonder why all the yanks are fitting ET22 RPF1's easily on their RSX's.

Then there was the dilemma of the offset to get for my DC5. ET45 won't clear the front brakes unless you fit at least a 5mm spacer - then you may have to get into fitting longer studs etc - this is something I didn't want to do. ET35 will clear the fronts, but the rears at ET35 will need a lot more camber than I'm currently running.

So bit the bullet and went for :

Front 17x9 ET35
Rear 17x9 ET45

Some comparisons between the OEM wheels and the RPF1's. Granted there were no tyres on the Enkeis so if under load they would have cambered in some more.

Brembo clearance :

Front shot showing the poke :

Then there was the tyre choices. Could I stretch the 225's on which were on my OEM wheels (& save a bit of cash?). 225 on a 9J rim was on the limit for me in terms of stretch. 245 are more recommended but then I would get into scrubbing issues and potentially need to run more camber. 235 would be a nice compromise but there's hardly any choice on the market for 235/40/17 tyres (closest to OEM diameter as possible) 235/45 sidewalls would look pretty tall and affect acceleration and braking - but not sure how much by.

Found a decent deal on Nangkang NS2R's in 235/40/17. So jumped on them.

Interestingly, the 17x9 RPF1 with 235/40 tyres on are 1KG lighter per corner compared to OEM wheel with 225/45 tyre on!

And here's some photos of them fitted :

Absolutely chuffed. Took for a test drive and no scrubbing over bumps at all. Only a tiny bit on full lock. Might lower the rear a little.

Looking for better weather before I take it for a decent drive and get some proper pics!
Earlier in this thread I said I wanted to get a bumpsteer gauge to measure how effective the inverted tie roads were, compared to the OE style which go on top.

Well the gauge arrived today from a motorsport engineering company and I got it set up :

The idea of this kit is, to jack/load up the suspension 1cm at a time and record the figures on the digital readers. Every centimeter the toe angle will change, although it would be great if it didn't move at all!

My setup :

Tein Street Advance Z Coilovers
Hard race inverted tie rod ends
Hard race roll centre adjusters
Centre of hub to arch distance : 33cm (so lowered around 40mm from stock)

I tested this setup back to back with OE style track rod ends. I wanted to know if the inverted versions did as they claim, or if they were terrible like everyone on the internet says (without proof).

Here are my findings :

Once you get your head around the graph, it's quite easy to understand.

This confirms that under load/bump, the inverted track rod ends actually toe in / bump steer LESS compared to the OE tie road, which is what they are designed to do.

I couldn't quite get to 4cm of compression, more like 3.5, and the figures just kept going in the same direction, meaning the bigger the bump on the OE style tie rod means even more toe in compared to the inverted. Now, this is what happened for my setup. Your setup could be different - I just wanted to share my findings.

I now have a bumpsteer gauge which I don't need. If anyone wants to buy it from me they are welcome, could even do a rental of it if a few people want to check out their figures. Or if you don't give a sh*t about these geeky figures, neither of the above. :)
Another little update - thought I'd upgrade the interior with this :

330mm Suede Personal steering wheel with HKB 'airbag' boss.

Standard wheel :

Airbag out :

Wheel off (spraying some wd40 down the splines really helped remove the wheel) :

New wheel fitted :

Had to do the reset trick to get rid of the SRS light. All good now.

After a drive, feels like a go kart. Although smaller wheel means more forceful feedback from the car following the camber of our roads. It's a bit of a handful!

If you're wondering why there's no centre console - you'll find out soon enough. :)
Update 900 within 12 minutes :

So I have previously had experience with the Ktuned shifter so ordered one. A genuine one. Was a long lead time but it finally arrived and it's a lovely bit of kit.

Standard setup :

KTuned one in after some tweaking :

Lever spun round so it doesn't catch on the centre console plastic :

All back together :

Feels great.....maybe one day I'll get to drive it and find out what it's really like. MOT is booked for 2nd March, and hoping to book Thruxton track day for the end of March - all lockdown permitting!

I've had this car over a year now, and done about 200 miles in it!


How is the Tein suspension on the road? Compliant or is it hard/crashy and more suited to smooth track tarmac?
How is the Tein suspension on the road? Compliant or is it hard/crashy and more suited to smooth track tarmac?
Very compliant - these particular coilovers are designed for our roads. They aren't available in Japan.

They are more comfortable than the OE setup without a doubt. Being adjustable, can firm them up for track etc.


Very compliant - these particular coilovers are designed for our roads. They aren't available in Japan.

They are more comfortable than the OE setup without a doubt. Being adjustable, can firm them up for track etc.
ok cool, i appreciate the reply! Sounds like the sort of thing i want for my JDM EP3, especially with the ability to stiffen it up for the odd track day.