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Old 23-Mar-2015, 01:08 AM   #1
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First Honda, Need advice/help

I just purchased a 96 Civic HX. First off I'd like to let everyone know that I'm not planning on any kind of forced induction or nitrous, all I want for this car is to have a respectable amount of power while maintaining reliability.

I do plan on buying quality parts and taking my time and doing this right. I'm 36 and this is going to be my hobby car. I'm not planning on racing everything on the road at every red light.

According to the guy I bought it from the motor has a B20b block (confirmed), b16 SI head, and GS-R LSD transmission. It has a short ram intake, fuel pressure regulator, adjustable cam gears, racing injectors ( size unknown yet ), DC Sport Ceramic headers and complete exhaust system, Skunk 2 adjustable coil overs, a blue Hondata tuner box ( supposedly installed but not tuned and running in bypass mode), it does not have power steering, but does have A/C.

My questions are how do I identify my components so that I can buy the correct parts for maintenance and/or upgrades? And how do I tell if the Hondata system is truly installed and should I get it tuned if it is or wait until I replace the stock ECU. I'd also like to replace/upgrade the brakes ASAP without breaking the bank or doing to many modifications to the knuckles. And lastly ( for now anyway ) the exhaust is super irritating, I'd like to replace it with something a lot more mellow without losing too much performance.

So if anyone has any thoughts, ideas, or more questions for me I'd appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks

Last edited by DirtyJeedai; 23-Mar-2015 at 01:18 AM. Reason: making it easier to read
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Old 24-Mar-2015, 08:32 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

Sounds like a good start, I have a similar setup. The head you can identify thru a casting mark, but if it's a VTEC head, it'll of course have a VTEC solenoid next to the distributor. The B16 head and GSR are fairly similar, the only part that won't work on the other really is the intake manifold. If you have an OEM manifold then it should have the runners curl up and the throttle body be at the top on the left, if the manifold curls down and the TB is down and pointing toward your pass side headlight, then it's a GSR.

You will want to figure out what injectors you have cause you can't tune the car otherwise. I suspect since you say it's in bypass mode that the car is running off a stock ECU, probably a B16 or GSR and if so then you must have stock B series injectors or the car wouldn't idle. If you have some aftermarket ones then then either the Hondata is hooked up or the ecu is chipped for them. I've never used Hondata, I use neptune RTP, so I don't know if you can get the current tune info off it to find out, might in the end be worth it to just replace those and tune.

The trans, you can confirm is LSD by putting the car in the air, spin one tire by hand, does the opposite tire spin the same way? Yes = LSD, NO = open diff. As for if its a GSR trans, you'll need to see what RPM your car is at at say 60mph in 5th and be around 4000 rpm. There may be a VIN tag on the casing, this can give you an idea what trans you have as well tho I've seen many times where people sold a B16 or GSR trans used and the new owner installs it and finds out it's got LS gears inside.

Brakes, here's a pretty good hack I learned from some guys on G2IC.com. Get ITR fron calipers and pads, then use rotors from an 07 Mini Cooper (non type S) for the front, everything bolts right up. I run this with Hawk HP+ and stopping power is great, a little too good for my winter tires to handle if I'm not careful. And thats in a car that even when it was completely stock I felt like the brakes were some of the worst I've ever had. For rears you can do ITR calipers again and use rotors from an 02 Civic Si (SiR in Canada) tho the ITR calipers for the rear are harder to come by and very expensive so a cheaper route it to use the same Si calipers and mount them on the wrong side so the bleeders point down, then before you mount them use a vacuum bleeder to pull the air out that way. This is the route I'm planning on going but have a few other items higher priority for my build right now.

Exhaust, mines loud and irritating but I can't bring myself to go quieter cause that basically means less power and I track mine. For you the only real answer is to go with some good headers, then a decent cat (Vibrant makes a couple decent options here) then go with a bolt on cat back exhaust, or get a good name resonator and something like the WS2 muffler and have a good exhaust shop weld it all up for you.

Good luck, and pics of the new car?
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