The Restoration Issue

It’s been a while, but I’m back, and there have been plenty of updates! First, I should start with saying I’ve been on the road doing contract work as a travel nurse with my girlfriend. So far, we’ve been on two out of state assignments in Eastern Tennessee, and currently in Massachusetts.

I should touch on the fact that I have a new daily. This ball joint failure on the Accord wasn’t the deciding factor in getting rid of it, but I was definitely a huge factor. I sold it to a good friend’s little sister, and picked up this manual 2018 Honda Fit Sport. The main reason I got this car was to have a fresh reliable car that had enough space to take us and our stuff all over the country economically. That’s all I’m going to say about this car for now, there are plans I have for this car once I’m done on the road.

Now as for the Civic, since I’ve last posted, there have been quite a few changes. To start, my suspension situation became a lot more dire than I originally planned for.

The old Omni Powers were on the car for 12 years at the point that I ended up swapping them out in May if 2021. As for replacements, I ended up getting a set of Special Purpose Ground Control coilovers that Koni and Ground Control manufactures specifically for Hondas.

I ordered these with Koni Race valving and Eibach 12k/14k springs. I’m wondering now though if something other than age caused that Omni Power caused them to fail the way it did, so I will be going over all the bushings I’ve replaced in this old machine.

Along with the coilovers, I FINALLY did a rear sway bar setup, I installed it with the old Omni Powers still on because these parts all showed up before the coilovers did. Pictured here is an ASR 24mm swaybar/subframe brace, with spherical endlinks, and Hard Race RLCAs (not pictured is the Hard Race front roll center adjusters). I also took this opportunity to replace all my LCA bolts with brand new OEM pieces because I had to cut some of the old bolts out due to seizing in the old LCA bushings.

I have only had the chance to take the car out on track a couple of times since these updates, and honestly I still have a lot of adjustments to make before I’m happy with it. The car has been a bit of a handful since the suspension updates. Expectedly, it likes to rotate more than before, but before I started to really learn about tuning my suspension, the car loved snapping all the way around. Though it definitely doesn’t help that the car is still on the AD08R’s that the Ramblers surprised me with back in 2017, so I don’t know if I trust my adjustments fully yet. But these things will come with time, I have bigger fish to fry at this point.

The current state of the interior isn’t much different than the last time I’ve posted it here short of me installing the hybrid racing shifter and still not having the roll bar installed. I’m still trying to decide if I want to leave the rear interior out, I’ve grown kind of used to it at this point, and it’s not like any of it is going to be usable once the roll bar is in, so we’ll see.

I also picked this GT wing up around the time I pulled all the livery off the car. I’m told it was taken off from a Porsche racecar, and its a great size for the Civic. I originally bought this up from my friend Jamie maybe 11 years ago or so. But now that I have it, I plan on paint matching it and making mounts for it for a spare trunk lid that I have that will also need to get paint matched.

In the midst of all these changes, I had a bit of a mishap in my driveway where I made a mistake working on my brakes and ruined my OEM hood, I don’t like thinking about it because it was literally the original hood of the car, but it led me to a deal on an old vented Seibon hood (as seen in the cover of this post) that I’m endlessly happy with, though it will require paint at some point.

Now, as for plans moving forward, I purchased this LS Vtec with ITR internals to swap in, and I think I’ve decided to do a full rebuild on the B16 to have the freshest backup motor I can possibly have now that Bseries motors are becoming harder and harder to come by. I’ve also started to gather new OEM window trims, seals, emblems, and stickers for when the time comes to do as close to a full restoration as I can. I’ve also ordered a front bumper and side skirts from VIS that I will reveal when I have the pieces in my possession. I’m currently in search of an OEM front bumper and lip that are in better shape than the ones I have as well as front fenders that aren’t as warped. I also got a front end cut off of a straight bodied EM1 sitting in my garage, I may not need it, but I figure it wouldn’t hurt to have, especially considering how bent my front end is. I haven’t decided who I’m going to take the car to as far as bodywork and paint as of yet, it’s going to be a bit more of an involved process considering the rust that has started to form around the quarter panels. I’m not expecting this car to be showroom perfect ever again, nor do I need it to be seeing as it will continue to be taken to the track, but I do want it to be nice.

That’s really it for now, at this point, I’m still gathering parts for the restoration. And when that’s done, I can start gathering parts for the swap. As I’m writing this, I’m making a deal on a set of wheels I’ve been after for a long time with my good friend and fellow Rambler Chris, who happens to be working on a civic project of his own.

These are just a few photos of how the car sits now. Peeling clear coat, swirly paint, misaligned body panels, spots of rust, front end a little bent up, and definitely rough around the edges. But everything “wrong” with this car happened making some of the best memories of my life. This car has given me so much, it’s time for me to give some back.

The Bike is Done!

I was gonna post a long build thread about this bike with progress pictures and captions and stuff, but I lost interest after the first few drafts. So here is the finished product lol.

There is still some work to be done, and a few things I would like to replace down the line, but for now, this bike is ready for some miles this summer!

Build Breakdown
Chassis: 1988 Haro Extreme MTB

Handlebar: Nitto b901 Bullmoose with CULTxVans grips, OEM Shimano Deore brake levers and shifter, and all new control cabling with new pink housings

Cargo Rack: Public Bikes Porteur Front Rack with custom brackets for mounting. Also little shout out to my Lucky at waterbottle cage

Saddle: Brooks C-17

Drivetrain: OEM Shimano Deore crank, rear derailleur, and cassette, deleted front derailleur, single front Sugino 48T chainring with anodized bolts, and RaceFace Chester pedals

Wheels and tires: Shimano XT 730 6-speed 100/130mm hubs, Araya RM-17 rims, and Panaracer Gravel King SK tires in 26×2.1

I’m so happy with how good this is trying out considering how fast I build it. This bike taught me a lot about Bicycle maintenance and repair. I’m no expert, it I feel like I’m more capable now than I was over the last decade or so.

Gotta Stay Flexible

I’ve deviated from the plan again. With the coilovers I want being on backorder, I now have a little money to play with and I’ve deviated from the plan again.

A friend asked me if I knew anyone looking for an SPG, I said I was looking for an SPG, so I sold my memory fab seat and bought this new to me SPG. It’s got some imperfections, but I’m more than willing to look past them for the price I paid, the simplicity of the sale, and the fact that I got to catch up with an old friend. It’s going to clean up well, and that’s what really matters to me.

In other news, I got a new bicycle!

I picked up this 1988 Haro Extreme on craigslist, and I’ve already ordered a majority of the parts I need for it! I’ve been wanting a new bike, and have been pretty heavily looking at new modern gravel bikes. But for someone like me who’s a very casual bike rider, I wanted something a little more budget friendly, and a lot more customizable for the price. With a lot of guidance from my friend Edgar, we landed on restoring this old solid frame 26″ Mountain Bike. I’ll be updating progress on this as well.


The Chicagoland area had a beautiful weekend and I happened to be off, so I pulled my rear interior so I could mock up my rollbar, mark where the plates will sit, and trace them out so I have a reference to where I can trim sound deadening and carpet while the cage is in powder coat.

I’m gonna be putting this all back in after the cage is installed because I want the interior to feel complete. I’m super excited to be making actual progress on this car.

I also put the shifter plate in since the center council was apart. I figure this will make things easier when it’s time to put the shifter in.

It’s Refreshing

With all these big changes coming for the car, I can’t forget to make little updates too. I’ve had the same Muteki SR35s since 2011, and they have done a good job doing what they are supposed to do, but they are looking worse for wear nowadays.

For 10 years these have held set after set of wheels on my car, and it’s time for something new. The only thing wrong with these is aesthetic, but with plans for extended studs, I needed something open ended. The problem with most stylish open ended lugnuts is they’re either ridiculously expensive, or they require a key to remove an apply them. Neither of these things appeal to me because I HATE having to keep a specific tool that’s easy to lose for something as mundane as removing my wheels.

So I picked these Wheel Mate Muteki HR38s up at Touge Factory today while paying for shipping I forgot to pay for. They are relatively cheap, pretty damn stylish, they done require a special key, AND the finish seems a lot more durable!

A Pretty Big Week!

This week a few big pieces showed up! Just a few more suspension and brake pieces, and HOPEFULLY some body pieces and the car will be pretty much set for the summer!

Second, we have some compliance bushings and rear lower control arms from Hardrace. These RLCAs are the first part of a new subframe brace/rear sway bar setup Ive been wanting to do for more than a decade now. This setup paired with new coilovers will complete the suspension pretty much indefinitely.

Then there’s the new gauge setup, I haven’t spoken much about this yet, but I’ve had it for a while. I’ve been searching for gauges to monitor water temp and oil temp/pressure while on track. I have never really been a fan of gauge pod options in the civic, so I never really wanted to get gauges even though I know how important they are. Then I found this with the help of my friend Gary! The Defi Advance ZD allows me to monitor all three of the metrics I want to, as well as giving me some other features like a shift light and a speedometer. It apparently has a time trial feature, but I honestly have no idea how it works haha.

Next is the last piece of interior bits that I ordered! The Hybrid Racing B-series shifter will do a great job rounding out the vibe for the new cockpit look with the new gauge setup, the seat updates, and the ROLL BAR!

I picked this Autopower 4-point rollbar up from Touge Factory today after a 5 week shipping period. I brought it home while I wait for a friend to get back into town before taking it to get powder coated.

I can’t wait to see how the car feels after everything is in the car.

Hello Again!

On this episode of, “How This Winter is Getting Away From Me” I bring you more parts collection!

First, we start with a small interior update, this is the second to last part I’ve gathered for the interior, the last piece is ordered, but I’ll wait to post it up here until I receive it. This shift boot delete from Hybrid should be enough of a clue as to what the next piece is lol.

Next is this PLM Toda rep header. The car gas had the same DC Sports 4-2-1 since like 2010. I’ve had enough with patching the same hole that’s been forming and reforming for the last 8 years.

This last bit isn’t necessarily a parts update, but I’ve been on the hunt for new green and white driving gloves, and thankfully, I found a replacement that feels nicer than my old trusty TF gloves. These Shirtstuckedin gloves are suede palmed, and padded in all the right spots. They feel great on my steering wheel, and are a welcome addition to my approaching cockpit updates.

There are a few more things in the mail still, namely the beginnings of some suspension upgrades, the roll bar from Autopower, and the last bit of interior. Of course, I’ll be updating here as the collecting continues, as well as when everything starts getting installed. The season is rapidly approaching, and I’m extra excited for it!

Things Took a Bit of a Turn

My plans for the car this winter were relatively simple, just do maintenance to parts of the car that were holding me back from passing emissions so I can register the car again, get new suspension, install a gauge set up for monitoring the motor, and a new front lip. But a situation came up that I couldn’t pass on, and now the interior is going to go through a pretty drastic change for 2021.

My friend Sam gave me quite a deal on this Recaro Pro Racer, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

I moved the memory fab over to the passenger side, and with it being a replica of a Recaro SPG, it looks right at home next to the Pro Racer. Colors and materials are a little different, but not so drastically different that I dislike it. And eventually I would like to put a real SPG or even a Pole Position on this side.

Next will be some rear interior removal, an autopower roll bar, and a couple of red Sabelt harnesses, and I will be content.

I’m super excited about how this is coming together, the interior already feels much more together than it used to with a stock seat in the right side.

I’m super excited for the what this winter will produce as an “end product” for this car. It feels great to be able to allocate time and resources to this old car again. I’m most excited to drive though.

It’s The Little Things

Sometimes you’ve gotta do things that make you happy.

I decided to do a little dress up in my engine bay. I made this bracket to hold a BOSS coffee bottle for coolant overflow.

These pictures show a little bit of the trial and error I went through while putting fittings on the bottle. The last picture is how the final product sits in the car.

The OEM coolant overflow works just fine, but I wanted to over engineer something relatively simple that looks cool.

I’ve found a lot of joy lately creating things.

I also made this sheath for a knife I recently bought. Doing things like this is what I’ve missed so much during nursing school. I can’t wait to create some more.

It Feels GOOD

A while ago I got together with my old friend Zandro to do a photoshoot he did for me as a graduation gift.

I was planning on just a few shots of me in my cap and gown standing around, being awkward (which was a part of it). But he made sure we brought the civic to be a part of it, and for that I’m super grateful.

Outside of my family of course, my civic has been the one constant in my life that’s been there since the beginning of my journey to becoming an “adult”. Zandro knows this about me, and he knows how important this car is to me, and that’s why he insisted on it being a part of this shoot.

Though this car is one of the biggest reasons I took so long to get into and finish nursing school, it offered me so many opportunities and experiences that I never could have imagined. And it has put me on a path to make friends like Zandro, and the Ramblers. Friends who I now consider my family. So my path may not have been so straight and narrow to get where I am now, but I wouldn’t change a damn thing. Because at this exact moment in time, I am truly happy.