Vitka's left hand drive NHB EP3

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332
I've been trying to find a source for the throttle cable for a few hours now. All4honda doesn't have it, Tegiwa doesn't have it. I called a Honda dealership, they said, that they see 1 piece available in Norway, and they could give me the contact information of the dealership there, and I can talk to them about a delivery. :D Also, this LHD cable was discontinued, hardly available anywhere, and will cost about €130. Again, I can only laugh at this :D It's unbelievable. I'm honestly considering buying a used one from a braker.
 
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Ultimately its just a Bowden cable, if you have the original it shouldn't be difficult to get a local manufacturer to make a replacement inner and outer.
 
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it seems the car age start to come in place, i also received from honda dealer an answer that a cable from the heater matrix is not produced anymore. Maybe you can try find it in the US if you really need a new one, otherwise a used one should work just fine.
 
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Already ordered one from a local car parts store. I hate them, but they are one of the few sources, and they had the best price. It will be here next week. And yes, it seems, that demand for this part was so low, that they stopped production some time ago.
 
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I put in a few miles this weekend, exclusively in the mountains nearby and it was educational. First of all I need to improve as a driver, need to operate with smoother inputs, not to upset the car, so I will focus on this. Second, maybe it's because of the hot weather we have been experiencing in the past few weeks, but I think I've reached the limit of the PS4s. I tried to follow my buddy in his DC2 through a particularly twisty and tight section (honestly it feels like driving the togue) and I could hardly keep up. His Integra seemed very planted and stable on the Nankang NS2Rs, and the EP3 was wobbling, and struggeling with screeching tyres through most of the section. My current set is worn, she wouldn't pass MOT on these, so I'm thinking of buying a set of NS2Rs myself, knowing that the milage I put in will be low enough, the EP3 being a weekend car now. Plus, the NS2Rs will be more than sufficient on trackdays, so I don't need to buy a second set of wheels, which is a plus.

One other thing I never thought I'd experience, is that I fried my brakes. EBC 5.1 fluid, braided lines, Yellowstuff pads, and they just went. Of course, I am also to blame, because it happened on a very long dowhill section, which I don't know that well, and braked too much. Pushing the uphill, turning around immediately and starting the downhill was a bit too much for the brakes. Honestly, I feel like not even a track lap would push the brakes this far, because there, they have a bit of time to cool of between corners, here, it's just corners and corners on end, hardly any time for them to catch up. All in all I'm not too worried about this one.

Finally there's the engine refurb I've been planning since I bought her. Having bought a house and the Accord means, that finances are a bit tight, but how things are now, I think I will be able to do it in august. She has only a few days left until she needs to be MOTd, so she will be sitting in the garage for a longer time now. Engine in august, then tyres and MOT in early september, so she will be ready for the next trackday on the 17th of september. Sure hope I can follow this plan.

On the longer term, to not fall behind my trackday mates, and compliment the NS2Rs, and the real capabilities of the car, I am planning a suspension upgrade. Just the usual for an EP3 really, a set of springs, camber bolts, camber arms, a steering rack raiser and taller ball joints. Of course, I will have the shock absorbers refurbished, and probably stiffened a bit, with the all famous FRSU to top it off. This will have to wait until winter/next spring to happen.

It seems I will be back on 2 wheels for the rest of the summer, considering I can lose enough weight to be able to breathe in my leather suit :D 2020 still haunts me in some regards...
 
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The PS4s were worn, so I bought a set of Nankang NS2Rs and had them fitted yesterday, in preparation for the track day next friday. I only drove home on them, which is about 1 km, so I have yet to try them out, but the guy who fitted them, who is an ex-rally driver said they have a really stiff sidewall, so I'm curious. It's my first set of sticky tyres with a stiff sidewall.
2021-09-10_05-06-34
 
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We did the trackday last friday, and it was a blast. I have to say, after 2020, and the misfortune with the belt in april, it felt good to send her around a track again. When we left home in the morning, I drove in the rain for about 100 km, I really had to take it easy on ice cold NS2Rs. Fortunately, the rest of the day apart from a 45 minute light shower passed in the dry, so it was ok. I did my first ever wet laps on a track, and I gotta say it was good fun, but without an LSD we were just fooling around, and there was constant question of "will it turn, will it turn, will it turn?!" Due to it being overcast, the tarmac only heated up to about 30 C, so street tyres could still hang on, more or less.

This being my first experience on track on Nankang NS2Rs, I have to say they performed well. Compared to PS4s, the stiffer sidewall is noticeable. The steering became much more precise, and a few things became possible, for example, instead of gently turning the wheel in a flatout, but twisty section, where the front was struggeling for grip, I could work with quick and big imputs, which made the rear step out a bit, so I could turn the car using the rear ends inertia. The thicker rear ARB really came handy. All in all, it's a great tyre, but in terms of grip it's not that far from the PS4 as I thought it would be. It did handle the heat better, and it does have a stiffer sidewall, but on this tyre-killer of a track, the front right overheated and I could feel the grip fading away after about 5 laps. I hope I can take it to other tracks for more experience.

The event itself was flawless, this group I am doing trackdays with is very friendly and helpful, the whole day was spent in a good mood. Unfortunately, there were 3 major incidents: a Lexus IS200 broke its front left wheel hub, it was a challenge to even get it off the track, because the only thing that was holding the wheel on was the brake caliper. An FN2 spun, but he got away with a snapped plastic rivet in the front left wheel arch. The third one was a Toyota GT86, the driver lost the rear end on the fastest part of the track, spun and hit a tyre barrier with the front end. Fortunately he could drive home, but the bumper and the bonnet were gone.

Great day, final round in 2,5 weeks! Despite the number of photographers, there wasn't a single photo taken of me or the EP3 :D Maybe next time...
 
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The last trackday of the year took place this saturday, I had a blast. It was quite chilly in the morning, so all of us FWD guys struggeled with getting heat into the rear tyres. My first 3 stints passed without any mentionable laptime whatsoever, because the rear was just skating around, and I didn't want to risk it. My buddy was braver, than me in his EP3, on rally slicks, and spun out twice :D Thankfully he got away with it. There was a sweetspot in temperature around midday, when I did my best lap, at which point the rears were ok, but the fronts started to overheat. When this set of NS2Rs go, I am really considering returning to PS4s on the street, and getting a set of slicks for track use. The only loss of the day was a Leon FR, cold tyres, he lost the rear into a chickane, and hit a cone made of tyres, the one they put on apexes to keep people from cutting corners. His cooler got a leak, so he had to go home on a trailer.

I've been babbling on about refurbishing the engine for a long time now, but I am planning to do it this winter. Don't know exactly when, but I would like to start the new season with a good engine. Fingers crossed.

Here's some usual EP3 3 wheel action for you.


I might need a suspension upgrade :D
 
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It's been quite a while, since the last update, but I'm happy to say, that the engine refurb I've been yapping about for 3 years almost is finally underway.

This was a bitch to get out, as with every Honda.
1649149572479 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr

I dropped the cylinder head off on sunday at the guy who will do the valve stem seals
[/url]1649149572470

This is where we're at now. Almost done with the disassembly, but of course the damn subframe is in the way of the oil pan. Officially we would have to remove the subframe, butI want to avoid that. Since the top engine mount is off, if we unscrew the front one, I hope we will be able to get the oil pan out. After that the last thing is the connecting rod bolts, and we are done with the disassembly. I hope to get the whole thing done in the next 2 weeks.

1649149572460 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr
 
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Oh, hello bottom end!
1649322656526 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr

Conrod bearing sequence was a bit difficult to read
1649322656515 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr

Where the sun doesn't shine usually
1649322656504 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr

Pistons are in suprisingly good condition. We thought we will find a lot of muck on the pistons and rings, and that the oil whatever they are called rings are stuck, thus the consumption, but no. Everything seemed to be pretty well in order considering the engine's lifespan.
1649322656493 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr
 
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Status update! Unfortunately progress slowed down a bit, due to the fact, that I had to wait on the cylinder head to be done, and also, my mate who's helping me got sick. We were done with the disassembly anyway, but we ought to continue now, because I am occupying my friends' garage.

The master at work! I have a friend's dad helping me, the guy has such vast experience and knowledge about cars, that I cannot even comprehend it. I will never be able to say how grateful I am for the help, my car could not be in better hands.
1650045650963 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr

The honing is done, and the block is clean and level, ready for assembly.
1650045650933 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr

A few minutes before posting this, I got a FB message with a picture. The head is done! Unfortunately I don't have pictures of it yet, but it turned out, that all of my exhaust valves were f@cked. I was told, that they could be still grinded to shape, but there would be so little material left, that it would burn away fast. So quick question: where the F do you get 8 exhaust valves for a K20 on Easter weekend? My friend's dad called a mate, the guy had a k20 head lying around for almost a year now, because he wanted to fix it, but never got to it. It turns out he had a brand new set of valves for it, which we bought from him for cheap. Talk about connections... and luck of course.
278337276_363721632483987_1583636141980359321_n by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr

So, everything is together now to start the assembly, I will be at it all day tomorrow, and also on easter monday. I don't think we can get it done until the next weekend, but it should not be much later than that. I really want to get her back on the road, even more so, because I still need to get the exhaust welded, the muffler broke off last autumn.

One more thing to add is an interesting thing my friend's dad found: the head gasket was broken between cylinders 1&2, and 2&3, we could see the burn marks on the block, and also the head. As I wrote earlier, we didn't find any signs indicating worn rings, cylinder walls, or pistons. So I think my oil consumption came from the burnt up exhaust valves and stem seals, as well as the leak between cylinders. The latter might be the reason why I also had the brownish muck in the cooling system, which kept coming back, no matter what I did. I remember seeing just a bit of smoke, when I did the water pump 2 years ago, but I only saw that at that one time, so I never thought much of it. Since we found a lot of sealant on the oil pan, and the timing chain cover, this must've not been not the first time the engine's been taken apart. Unfortunately, who assembled the engine screwed up the head bolt torque sequence or something, which resulted in a cracked head gasket, and that brought all kinds of trouble with it. I remember having pressure in the cooling system after my last trackday. Hopefully the refurb solves everything.
1650045650914 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr

1650045650894 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr
 
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Good work there, hope all goes well with the assembly, you will be driving it soon again Im sure.

Sent from my LG-M200 using Tapatalk
 
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Good work there, hope all goes well with the assembly, you will be driving it soon again Im sure.

Sent from my LG-M200 using Tapatalk
Thank you! I pumped 12 hours into it today, and fortunately made some major progress. Every internal component has been cleaned, pistons and rods went in, then we did a static run with continous oiling and cleaning of the cylinders to get rid of metal shavings. Head went on, then the rocker assembly, camshafts, and timing chain. Oil pan is on as well, although the subframe and the front engine mount played a joke on me. I'll have some family business to attend to tomorrow, but I'll try and put in a few hours in the evening, and a full day on monday. I'm all smiles when I think about it, because I can't wait to be finished. :)

2022-04-16_11-26-52 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr
 
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She's finished! We worked on her all day today, and we really did progress fast with 2 guys. After the serious bits, so the connecting rods, ring alignment, torquing the head and cams down, as well as the timing, it was only a question of how fast can we bolt her back together. When we were done, first we cranked her over a few times with the injector plugs pulled to get oil pressure. Then plugged the injectors in, and she instantly fired up. For a second, then the engine stalled. I got 2 spark plugs out, and they were bone dry, so there might be blockage or something around the injectors. It was too late to continue, hopefully she'll run tomorrow.
 
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Friendly reminder: make sure you put on the crankshaft position indicator with the OUT-SIDE label being on the outside and save yourself 4 hours of extra work.
1650396306456 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr

It wasn't a fueling issue. Derp. Fault code said there was something wrong with the crankshaft position indicator, and I immediately knew I screwed up, because I didn't pay attention, when I put it on. Of course we had to disassemble half the car again to flip the damn disc. Anyway, she's finished and running, back in her garage to be in the company of my other love, the Daytona 675. I must say it's been a hell of a journey. I've never done this sort of thing, it was indeed very informative, and very interesting. Of course, I was worried a bit, but I had some professional help, and we've done everything by the book, torques, sequences, the lot. The cylinder head guy was kind enough to get me a set of forged exhaust valves, and said, that he added some personal touch to the cylinder head, and told me, that he's curious how I will like it. :D I'm glad I payed attention, and had the patience to look around for parts, because this, and doing it ourselves saved me some major coin. All in all it was a tiring, but wonderful experience, yet, in all honesty, I don't want to fix anything for a while :D I'm glad she's better, than ever in my posession, I can say, she's in pretty good shape now all around. The next 1000 kilometers will be breaking her in, then an oil change, and doing the valve clearances, because we only set them up to be ok for the running in period. 3 years of talk, but now it's done.
1650396306446 by Gergő Vitányi, on Flickr
 
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got too excited putting it back together.

Glad its sorted and running again, you done a good job and it always feels better once you put the effort in and done it yourself .

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Thank you for the kind words guys! Yes, I have a tendency to talk/write a lot, but in this case it might even be a good thing, I like to document the journey of the car in detail. And, as you all know, this isn't my first language, I think it's quite obvious for english people due to the set of words I use. I might not be 100% correct all the time, but it's good practice.

I still have some thoughts about the whole thing, I'll just write them down unorganized as they come:
- 3 years of waiting and promises, but finally delivered. woohoo!
- I've gotten so used to driving the Accord, that my memories of the EP3's cornering abilities faded a bit. I have to be very gentle on the throttle now, but driving her is a blast regardless
- I got some forged exhaust valves!
- after 110 km the oil looks brand spanking new, like I just put it in, I could hardly read the level from the dipstick. So, we must've done something right
- the "mechanic" who put it together last time is an absolute nutcase. He cracked the head gasket, and put in intake side vavle stem seals to the exhaust side. The seals and valves were just charred. I'll try to get the videos from FB.
- the oil consumption will most likely drop significantly, but I sure hope the brownish dirt from the cooling system will clear out now with a few flushes
- exhaust will be welded back on next week, then it's time for MOT
- I do not want to brag or anything, but looking back, I honestly feel like I've saved an EP3. Being my first car, of course she has some sentimental value, and EP3s might be, or might have been a common occurence, but in Hungary, they never were. Of course there are a lot of better and faster cars, but I feel like, along with other aging Civics, such as gen 5 and gen 6 VTis, EP3s are still really fun, and are best kept and maintained by caring hands.
 
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