Vitka's left hand drive NHB EP3

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311
Hi guys!

I bought an EP3 a month ago, and finally found the time to create a thread for it. My first Type R, my first Civic, my first Honda, my first own car. I've been driving for 13 years, but I was using a 1.4 Corolla I inherited from my parents, but I finally decided to give it a go. I am from Hungary, and thought, that some of you might be interested in the EP3 scene outside of the UK. First of all I would like to thank everyone, who wrote how tos, guides, and kept their member's cars threads updated, all the information in here helped me out heaps already.

Beforehand, I would like to give an overview of the EP3 market in the country. It is almost none-existent. Currently there are no EP3s on sale on any used car sites, only one, but that's only advertised in a Honda facebook group. Occasionally there are 1 or 2 for sale, most was 4-5 one time, that I remember, almost exclusively prefacelifts. Facelift versions are extremely rare, and start at 2,3M HUF (6300 GBP). This one has been on sale for a while, and it didn't look too good on pictures at first, but it was close enough to where I live, suprisingly, so I went and took a look at it. It was a pleasant surprise, no rust at all (no ocean climate here), in good mechanical condition, so I decided to buy it for 1,6M HUF (4400 GBP). 105k miles, accident free, factory paint still. It was quite fairly priced, and I found a few issues since the deal, but nothing too major.


Although the car mechanically is in fairly good condition, both the exterior and the interior looks a bit sad. And yeah, since it's black, I never managed to keep it clean for more, than 12 hours, for example the pictures I've done were shot after driving home 2 hours in the rain, from my first Honda meet.

I have a bad habit of talking/writing too much, but this being my thread, I think it's the place for it. :) Some pieces of experience I had in the past 4 weeks:
- the gear ratios are crazy short. When just driving around, I like to keep the revs below 2200, but for that, I have to be on the stick constantly :)
- fuel economy isn't that bad, my first measured fuel consumption was 9,2 liters/100km (25,5 mpg), which was mostly in the city, and I was harder on the throttle often
- the ride is harsh, but the cornering grip is superb, even on these noname winter tyres.
- coming from a 1.4 vvti corolla, it is definately torquey. I remember people saying it lacks torque, ok, but compared to what? :) After my old corolla, it's a rocketship, but yeah, someone compared it to a 3 liter tdi pajero, it definately is not too torquey compared to that
- I just have a really good general feeling about that car, having this much power calmed me down on the road. Although there is a hidden attribute: lots of people are either in my @ss, or want to overtake me no matter what :) must be the Type R badge...
- it came with an Invidia catback exhaust system, which has a quite modest sound, only really comes into play at 4000, which can be uncomfortable on highways, but I don't intend to cruise there much anyway
- luckilly I have every modification officially added to the registration/traffic license, even the ones, that are out of the car now. In Hungary this is a must, but also very difficult and expensive to get, so I'm quite lucky, that it was done, when she was imported from Germany 2 years ago. Due to the price and pain it would take, most people don't do legal mods on their cars and bikes, but if you get stopped by police, and there is something amiss, you can say goodbye to your license plates and registration.

Now, a list of things, that I have done, or changed in the past 4 weeks:
- changed engine oil to Fuchs Titan Race Pro S 5w40 - to my knowledge, this is the factory oil, poured into K20 engines in Swindon. Changed oil filter to genuine Honda, after struggeling to get the old one off for 1,5 hours.
- had to install a new drain plug, because the old one was overtightened, so when I got it out, the thread got damaged, and got totally pulled out of the drain hole, when putting the plug back in. I bought a longer one, and luckilly the thread in the oil pan is very long, so it went in no problem.
- new Type R badge to the front, because I bought it as an "ype R". According to the previous owner, some pleb wanted to steal the badge, but only managed to get the T off
- greased the throttle cable. It was so stiff at the beginning, that I thought I was pushing on the firewall. It's better now, but still needs some lubricant.
- new power transistor for the ventillator, because the lowest setting didn't work
- replaced coolant
- fixed 2 exhaust leaks
- rear wiper arm, it had a broken snappy part
- all gaskets in the rocker cover
- exhaust rubbers
- rear license plate bracket
- put in 6 missing plastic rivets for the front bumper
- had a new... what is it called again? A folding key? Whatever it's called, I got a new one

As you can see, nothing too major, the car was already in daily use, when I bought it, it's just clearly visible, that the previous owners lacked the love to keep it in a nice condition. Now, the things I want to do, whatever term:
- already bought a VTEC solenoid gasket, will put it in this week, because I have an oil spill on the back of the engine
- have the alloys powder coated white. No kerb damage, but the paintjob just looks awful.
- red anodized Muteki wheel nuts
- a set of Yokohama S.Drive tyres
- Ferodo DS2500 brake pads, and DOT 5.1 fluid, if and when I decide to take it to a track day
- a "she's a screamer" sticker :lol:

- a full detailing, and/or polish. As I wrote, the car has a sad look momenterally, and I want her to bling, as a Type R should.
- there are a few dents, scratches I will get done, and also some chassis work, because it had LSD lambo stlye doors installed at some point (for sale now), and a brace was cut out from behind the front quarter panels, se the edges near the doors are just dangling there, had an unpleasant day 1 experience with that...
- facelift rear lights
- engine bay bolts with red washers
- red battery strap
- new front Honda badge
- new Type R carpets
- fix the rear window sprinkler
- a remap. Since I have no comparison, I can say, that the car doesn't lack power, but it was definately mapped, because VTEC only comes in at 6800 instead of 5800 revs, and from second gear she revs up to 9500 indicated. The late VTEC might be down to the faulty solenoid gasket failing to keep the oil pressure in, but the 9500 rpm rev limit is a bit scary for my taste. She goes like stink at those revs, but I don't want to hurt the engine.
- fix the remaining exhaust leaks. Fixed 2 already, but I still here chirping, and it's annoying the heck out of me.
- before the mapping, a Tegiwa airbox. And this is where being a LHD means a problem. As you can see on the image below, the wipers are on the other side, the hose for the brake assist is in the way, and so are the brake and clutch fluid reservoirs. I can't install the scuttle, for one, which I can live with, but the vacuum hose, and the reservoirs will need to be relocated. I have no idea how to do that at the moment, so any advice you have will come handy.


So after almost 60 minutes of writing this post, I hope it was interesting for some of you, and thanks for having me. I will keep the thread updated :)
 
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1,046
Off to a good start, keep up the good work.
Did they only sell black ones in Hungary?
 
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311
Welcome to the fold bud, you have picked the fastest colour I see ;)
Well, it wasn't much of a choice, there were 2 EP3s for sale in the whole country :lol: The other one was silver, but that car was in pretty bad shape. Despite being a nightmare to keep clean, I love it, it just needs some detailing. Not owning a garage, I'm thinking of getting a nice cover for it.

Does anyone have any good ones in mind?
 
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I changed the gasket in the VTEC solenoid today. Note to self: always disconnect the battery, before fiddling with anything connected to the ECU. Now I have a check engine light, and she won't rev above 4000, but luckilly a buddy has an OBD2 thingy for it, so it should be solved tomorrow.
A friend of mine, who owns the garage was also there, engine swapping an EG6, so I couldn't park inside and get under the car. The solenoid is pretty hard to reach, I was working blind.


I got it out finally.

Though it wasn't easy to put back, because this is all I could see. Plus my hand could hardly fit in there, the brakelines were in the way.

It was a relatively quick fix, and now my engine should be free of oil leaks.
 
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I had to install a new cooler today. The old one cracked at the top, never seen anything like it. I think I got hit by a stone on sunday, coming from under the wheels of a BMW X5. The stone got so lucky to fly through the gaps of the front grill, and hit my cooler. As you can see on the picture, there is a big hit mark under the crack in the fins. I think the impact warped the whole thing, the plastic top couldn't follow and cracked. I was unlucky as hell. It was my first time doing it, fairly simple, it just took more time, than I wanted it to.
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My Injen CAI arrived last week, and I fitted in on saturday. Unfortunately I didn't take too many pictures, but it took way more time, than it should have. I had to relocate the horn (yay LHD), but the bracket holding it was bending like crazy. To get it off I would've needed to take off the bumper, but not having the opportunity to get under the car, I didn't, so I had to bend the bracket, so it would not move around, and the cone filter would fit. Cutting the plastic fender was fairly easy, although I didn't do such a good job as others did.

After fitting, I started the car, and let it idle for about 10 minutes. The first few presses of the throttle showed, that the ECU couldn't keep up with the excess air, the revs just wouldn't drop, but after 200 kms, it feels much better. I will have it mapped in a few weeks' time.

Next, the sound: HOLY F@CK IT'S LOUD =P~ Way louder, than I thought it would be. On the first few pulls, I really needed to get used to it. Hardly makes a sound, when driving around in traffic, but in VTEC it's crazy. It sounds like a souped up touring car from the 90s. Honestly, if the Tegiwa is louder then this one, I'm glad I could not fit it, due to being LHD.

Finally, a huge THANK YOU to Flashy, for being so helpful and adventurous to arrange an international shipment for me.
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You're welcome buddy, enjoy the noise :D
Be interested in your mapped figures, I'm having mine done on 10th May.
 
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I will not have any figures, since the mapping won't take place on a dyno/rolling road, instead I'll have a guy sitting next to me with his notebook hooked up to the car, and we'll do everything on the road. I will not know what she makes, but at least it will be done in real world conditions.
 
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Vitka how are you finding the Injen? Noticeable power gain? Thanks
Hi Tanny! Difficult to tell. I can say, that the throttle response improved in the low to mid range, and the engine is more eager from lower revs, a bit torquier maybe. At the top end, I can't really feel a difference, but it certainly feels faster, because it's louder :D Unmapped it produces only a few HP more, so I think noone would really be able to feel it. I will probably be able to say more after the mapping.
 
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Hi Vitka. Thanks for explaining your experience of the intake. I’ve bought one but not had a chance to fit it yet. The extra noise will be welcome because unlike an exhaust which is noisy all the time the intake is quiet when not giving the car any beans!

I’m debating whether I should map or not but yes you’re right the gains will be noticeable after a tune really.
 
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