totheredline's Track Day Car
So it was a bit out of the blue that this happened, but as I work at a Car Supermarket we had a part exchange come in that got my spider senses tingling, a 2004 Honda Civic Type R with just over 70k on the clock and also 1 owner from new.
The price was too good of an opportunity to miss out on, so I ended up purchasing the car, with a view to using it for track days, as that was my original plan when I bought the last one, but its too nice to use it for that.
Although the car was in fairly decent condition, it had been smoked in, so stunk inside. I stripped out the interior and began cleaning it up, the headlining was the worst part, everything was cleaned and then it never went back in... It was sold on to another fellow Civic owner, to update his car a little, the wheels were not my taste anyway, but as I have some track wheels already, the wheels were sold on also. The remaining interior plastics are in good condition, so I have took it all out, cleaned it all and its ready for a new owner, that perhaps has damaged panels, especially in the boot.
So pictured is in mid process of the interior removal. I am used to where all the fixings are in these cars, so it did not take long to get to this stage. First to be removed was the 2 front seats, then the rear bench seat, and then the backs of those. The centre console was then removed and the centre dash including stereo as well. I then removed the plastic sill trims, steering wheel and air bag.
With all this out the way, we tried to clean the headliner, but it was not working so you can guess what ended up with that, yes, that was also removed.
I had to remove the door cards then as well, as they were sold with the seats, so once these had been collected I then carried on with the rest of the interior. So all the rear plastics were removed, seat belts in the front and rear, that horrible headlining had to go as well. Everything is pretty much clipped in on the modern cars, so its finding out where they are, and using a tool to remove
them, to limit breaking them, as being plastic, they become quite brittle over time.
When all the boot trim was removed, it appears to have had a little bump on the rear, as you can see where it has been repaired, and also been resprayed. A dent has been removed as well by the looks of it. While I was there, I decided to remove the rear wiper and motor as well. The hole in the screen was then filled with a KillAllWipers flush fit kit, so it looks better than just putting in a rubber bung that most seem to do.
Although the car was going to be for use on track, I still like a clean car, so took to spend a bit of time on some areas, that were left neglected a little, although most don't think about these areas. So around the inside of the boot was a little grimey, this was removed with a bit of All Purpose Cleaner, also around inside the rear windows, and on the door shuts around the top.
Also removed all the sticky pads and residue from where the number plates had been as well. I still need to remove the lights and clean inside those as well.
So this is as the car stands at the moment inside, a little bit more metal was removed that I could just unbolt, this was the back of the rear seats (although small pieces, they felt pretty heavy) and also the nasty rusted rear bench supports have also been removed. I have now also taken out the main carpet as well. There is some sort of sound deadening or insultation in the footwell areas, but I have been told its a dash out job to remove this, so I may try to remove what I can get at by cutting it out, and go from that. With all that can be done now, its time to do something with it, so a couple of things purchased, it will start getting back to a car.
First purchase, but only just fitted is an OMP steering wheel and NRG quick release slimline boss.
It was no mean feet to fit this, as what is known as a clockspring was in the way of fitting the boss, so needed to be removed. As this is also part of the SRS airbag system, caution is taken and it was disconnected before I had to remove the stalk unit to get to remove the clockspring, which was done in one piece luckily, in case I do need it again. I will then need to look at fooling the system using a resistor to get rid of the light on the dash that I will have as it has no airbag.
Then it was time to purchase some seats, a friend had these Mirco RS2's for sale with rails already on for an EP3 so it was a straight fit, so it was a no brainer. As they are FIA approved but do finish next year, its not a problem as it will only be for track day use and not competition. The car will also probably never get to the Nurburgring as I plan on trailoring it around, so the wing seats provide extra support, but are not allowed on public days on the ring, or Spa I have been informed of either. They are so comfy and supportive, but are not too restictive for my size so was a good fit.
So with the purchase of a few more items and one I didn't intend on getting, these will be fitted as they arrive, they include Race Door Cards, Vented front wings, TRS Harnesses, Front bumper ventilation and currently in the process of purchasing some suspension as well, it will hopefully come together for next year, where I can partake in some track days.
With the doorcards delivered, it was time to fit them. I had to get a decent drill for the job, as you have to line up the doorcards on the doors and drill 10 holes per side, then use the fasteners provided. I ended up changing the fasteners for these with red anodised washers from MJC Automotive, which helped fitting as well as looking better. The good thing with these doorcards is that he includes fixings to refit your original handles, electric switches and door lock, so you can still use these functions.
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Now that the doorcards have been fitted, next was to prepare for fitting of the harnesses. As they are 6 point, they require mounting points to be fitted under the seat. Again my drill I purchased came in handy, along with a step drill bit. I put the seat in place to see the location of the hole, then drilled through the floor, using plates on the underside, the eye bolts were then put in place. Passenger side all done, it was time to tackle the drivers side. However when doing the same with the seat in place, they were coming out where the heatshield was, so this was going to have to be removed.
The exhaust that came fitted to the car was not the best, a Powerflow custom one with a CAT, also very loud, so I was going to remove this anyway. The heatshield was a little rusted out as well, so removed this also and then I was able to fit the eyebolts in the drivers side as well.
Before I fit my seats, I had some pedals from a DC5 I needed to fit as well. Last time I fitted these to my Civic, I just drilled out the rivets on the clutch and brake pedals, then fitted these to the existing pedals in the car. As the interior was out and most of the dash, I decided to use the whole unit. The sound installation has been cut out as much as I can get too, then I moved the fuse box out of the way, so I could get to the bolts on the clutch.
I was found lying under the dash for sometime, trying to get the damn things swapped over, but was worth it, once all 3 were fitted.
With the pedals and eye bolts fitted, I could now fit the seats and harnesses. I put the passenger side in first, then the drivers side. The harnesses just clip in the eye bolts I have mounted in the floor, in the original location in the rear seat footwell, and one each on the seat rail. I also mounted the rears in the original holes but these were not in the correct position, for it to be a safe and correct fit. So something would need to be looked at for this, something like a Harness bar temporarily or a cage of some sort. So they were put in place so I could get a pic and sat in to try them out. It was looking at something that I had been planning now, which makes it worthwhile.
While I was doing the work on fitting the eyebolts and pedals, as all the trim has been removed, the edge where the sill is welded to the body was a bit rough, so a quick search on eBay, I managed to locate some rubber trim, so measured and ordered it. Within a couple of days it had arrived, so fitted it to both sides. It definitely finishes it off better, and hopefully stop catching it.
So with interior getting there, I started focusing on suspension. My deal I had on some coilovers fell through, so managed to secure a different set and these were purchased, along with some Hardrace rear control arms as well.
Now my plan with the suspension was obviously to replace the shocks with coilovers, refurb the control arms/training arms and replace all the bushes with SuperPro. However after removing the arms, this was not going to be possible now. The condition of them considering it’s a relatively low mileage car, was shocking. Also the hubs are not in the best condition, so I now have to source some more to replace mine.
So perhaps a bit of fate has played its part in a couple of areas, but a friend has purchased a car to break, that is already fitted with SuperPro bushes. Also something has popped up for sale a bit out of the blue, so I was on it and agreed to purchase it.
A Safety Devices rear cage has arrived, it came up at the right price so I thought it was worth paying that little extra over a harness bar. This way I get something more substantial if anything ever happens while on track, and I also solve the issue of the fitting of my harnesses, as this is the version with the X at the back and harness bar built in to it. Also with the Satety Devices cages, I can make it into a full cage at a later date if required.
I had a right nightmare getting this back I can tell you, but went in my track Car no problem, it’s not fixed in as yet, as I need to get the plates that will be welded into the floor, so the cage bolts onto that. Then the rear fittings bolt through the rear arches, with plates on the underside of the arches.
So that is where it stands at the moment as of 21st August 2018, I’ve had the car since 11th April 2018, so just over 4 months so far. It’s not going too badly I don’t think at the moment, I thought it would have been a lot slower that it has been, getting bits and getting it to where I want to be. As the weather gets worse though, it will slow me down as I will not be able to work on it, as the car is outside.