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-   -   Realize the full Performance/Economy Potential of a Honda Civic VX (https://www.fuelly.com/forums/f9/realize-the-full-performance-economy-potential-of-a-honda-civic-vx-8019.html)

suspendedhatch 04-13-2008 11:35 AM

Hey wow, some positive comments. I'm not used to that on a forum. I think I like this place.

The EMS allows you to control DFCO based on load, RPM, TPS, and coolant temp. You can also have DFCO by default by zero'ing out your fuel table at very low load all the way down to Idle RPM.

The EMS gives you more control than you could ever imagine. It also has better resolution (more break points) than the factory ECU. You can use a separate map for the 2nd stage VTEC (16 valve mode) by using the N20 or boost functions.

I'll check out those threads you posted tonight.

My tranny has the same gearing as the EX/Si, just with the addition of LSD. My trip to Salt Lake from San Diego was at 75-80 mph and I averaged 44mpg. I suspect that I would get even better mileage today but I don't use the freeway much around here so I don't have any updated freeway mpg figures.

One day I want to add aftermarket cruise control because I've read that it can increase your mileage by 7%.

This setup has been a dream come true and the realization of a number of different setups all rolled into one (lots of leftover parts!). I'm glad you guys can take interest in it because right now it absorbs all of my free time.

GasSavers_topher 04-13-2008 12:04 PM

Very nice build man. It is nice to know that there are others out there who prefer a combination of power and FE.:thumbup:

suspendedhatch 04-13-2008 10:34 PM

Some very knowledgeable and dedicated people here. I can't wait until we can all start building off of each other's experiences.

My other mods are an ebay CAI that I selected because it's 2.25 inch diameter; matched to an AEM dryflow filter. An old hand me down DC 421 2 piece stainless steel header. A Magnaflow high flow cat converter 2 inches in, 2.25 out. Custom crush bent 2.25 inch piping all the way back. Magnaflow 2.25 ID straight through muffler.

The entire cat back exhaust is going to be redone. I will reuse the muffler, but get some mandrel bends and add two straight through resonators to the straight section of the pipe to make it quiet.

Battery is a lightweight Odyssey PC680MJT. In my old car I had this mounted with their sheet metal piece so that I could remove the heavy OEM battery tray and heavy duty bolts. I haven't got to it on my new car. I don't think I want the battery in the back this time around.

Suspension is the Tokico RAK coilovers. Ride height has been lowered 1.5 inches.

*Forgot that I have a Hondata-knockoff "heat shield" intake manifold gasket.

suspendedhatch 04-14-2008 10:45 PM

(The following is in response to topher in his thread but I started babbling on and on about my project and some childish revenge so I'm posting it here.)

I'm familiar with his post (bense's on Honda-Tech). I'm not very fond of his attitude. At the beginning, he's naive and overly optimistic. He builds up the D16Y5 as the greatest thing on earth. Then as things progress he has some problems (due to him over expanding his plans) and he gets very frustrated. Finally he gives up altogether and decides to focus all his attention on building transmissions. He concludes that you're better of just getting a D16Z6 (or something to that effect). Juxtapose that against his first post.

He was very rude to me on another forum that other people were ganging up on me for having a solid but controversial opinion. I believe that was D-series.org, one of maybe 10 forums I have tried and then abandoned. People don't like to be wrong and they can suck it. I don't enjoy being wrong but I try to keep my personal pride out of it and LEARN SOMETHING NEW.

The lesson I learned from bense's post is not to bite off more than you can chew. Start with one experiment, get it working, then build on it in stages. My project is huge. If I had tried to do it all at once, I would most certainly have failed. Get the engine running on a OEM ECU. Then get it running on the EMS. THEN convert to DIS. Then do a conventional tune for max power with VTEC. Then tune it to run reliably and efficiently. THEN optimize the tune to run lean, run VTEC-E, run DFCO and run the advanced features.

As it happens most of what I am doing on this project has already been done on my previous projects and I'm simply re-using the old parts. The only difference is the motor. It has not been easy tuning this engine but luckily I can focus solely on accomplishing that. The most notable aspect of this project is that I daily drive this car every day. At the moment it is my only transportation as my Integra has a blown trans.

I have not met bense in person and I will be careful to judge him. But I will not deny that I take a great deal of satisfaction in the fact that to my knowledge, for all the flak people have given me on various forums, no one has pioneered this motor to the extent that I have and had such success at it. None of the very negative and judgmental people at D-series.org, SOHC Honda, etc etc etc will be able to hold a candle to my project when it's completed. It will not be the most powerful D series, but it will be the best combination of economy and power which I believe to be the ultimate formula for a great daily driver.

I owe this entire project to my friend Scottie at Motive Performance Engineering in Albuquerque. He is the real brains behind it. He inspired me towards the VTEC-E motors when he swapped a Y5 head onto his 92 DX motor, installed an old school wideband controller, and tuned it with the very same hand-me-down EMS that has changed hands from me to him and then back to me (this was back before bense was even familiar with the term "VTEC-E"). He drove that car to work from Phoenix to a dyno shop in Whittier CA and back every week and would brag to me about how far he could lean it out at cruise and how much mileage he could squeeze out of it (this was at the time when I was saving up for a B16A). Unfortunately he drove that car off an embankment in the rain and was caught sideways by a tree. The car was sold for parts, but the spirit of it lives on in my VX.

suspendedhatch 04-14-2008 10:48 PM

So you have a bisi cam... that's cool. I have bisi to thank for AEM coming out with the pencil coils and the EPM. I wouldn't mind having some bisi parts on my car...

thisisntjared 04-15-2008 08:24 AM

you are somewhat accomplishing what i wanted to without going through the trouble of tuning. i had a goal to have a civic that would outperform an integra while get the mpg of a 92-95 dx hatch

my solution was a 94 cx with a d16z6 swap with intake header and exhaust. along with hx rims and a fully built suspension. that car was as quick as my si is now, handled better and got way better gas milage. i do believe that your hatch as it sits now had the power/mpg beat on my hatch.... but i think you have a ways to go with handling. tires are probably the most annoying decision because you are either satisfying performance or (fuel)economy, but never both. if you try to compromise, after time, you will be happy with neither.

also regarding the dfco, you have to be careful what you do here. there is no doubt that you probably found a creative solution for this, however if it becomes too low then you run the risk of the motor stalling when it first drops down to idle before it has time to rebound because of the lighter flywheel. if you dont mind my asking, how did you handle things, like approaching idle, with the lightweight flywheel.

also what are your opinions to the readily available, user friendly, and affordable vafcII? i was thinking about getting one because they are alloud in sts and i have a header on my si.

either way kudos to you for making this work, you definitely have no explored all the options yet for fuel economy and/or performance so i look forward to see how things turn out later. do you still post on ht? i did enjoy a few of your threads there. hopefully gs treats you well. i havent posted here regularly in about a year.

have you considered a very low boost (7-8psi) turbo setup? i mean you are already in sm at an auto-x event.

suspendedhatch 04-17-2008 12:32 AM

I haven't talked much about things like suspension that don't have to do with mileage cuz I'm not sure people here are interested or that it's relevant. I mentioned that I'm lowered and that's about it.

For suspension I have the Tokico RAK coilovers. Tokico used to be one of the best options years ago. Today there are better struts but that doesn't make these bad. If I were to buy some today or if these ever blow out, I'll probably go with Koni/Ground Control. Yeah I know, that's old news but having seen all the new brands, I still think that combo is still one of the best on a budget.

The upper spring perches were extended 1.5 inches so that the struts have the same piston travel in each direction as if the car wasn't lowered. This also gives me a little bit more suspension travel. At this ride height I've never bottomed the upper wishbone to the strut towers.

I have a Progress 24mm adjustable rear swaybar set to the softer side of medium. On the front I have a stock GSR 24mm swaybar. Poly bushings on each.

I used some high grade washers to space the two pieces of the front lower wishbones to gain some positive caster.

In the front I have a Neuspeed strut brace. Nothing on the rear because I used to have an Autopower 4 pt cage in my old car, but I decided to sell it instead of install it in this car. Anyway I keep telling myself I'm going to learn to weld and then reinforcement seam weld the chassis and skip all the chassis braces.

Then there's the LSD tranny helping accel out of a turn.

My summer wheels are Rota Slipstreams 15x6 with some Kumho Ecsta SPT tires. I bought these when I lived in San Diego, but now that I'm in Salt Lake I plan to have a winter and summer set of tires on different rims rather than one set to handle all weather conditions (not that there's a wide variety of weather in San Diego).

This car was built for street fun (but not street racing) on a budget. For autoX I could use my stock DA or I'd probably find a lightweight RWD car. Maybe an RX7. Maybe a Type R someday. Right now getting a real job and a house is the priority.

There's nothing creative needed for DFCO. If it stalls out at a quick stop, you have to adjust the Decel decay so that it brings back the fuel faster. Or you can increase the cutoff RPM. Mine's at 1100 and it works fine. I think the stock ECU runs it down to 1000 or 1300.

Flywheel feels a lot like stock except for the scraping noise it makes. My girlfriend can drive it w/out any difficulty. I love her cuz she engine brakes. You don't have to launch it or give it any special attention. It's easier to drive than my stock Integra. At just over 11lbs it's not SUPER light. I taught myself how to drive stick only a couple of years ago, and up until a few months ago I was alternating between an auto DX and my standard DA. So on the one hand I don't have a lot of experience with how it should feel. On the other hand I worked at a car audio shop and had to pull in all manner of vehicles in all manner of disrepair. I'm sort of a natural at getting an instant feel for the clutch. When I was shopping for an Integra I was able to drive this guy's car w/a bad tranny better than he was.

Don't waste your money on any piggybacks, controllers, hacks, or chips. Right now there's a guy on the AEM boards in the Honda forums selling his for $700 bucks. If I had the money I would buy it myself and find a car to put it on later. If you're patient and you search hard you can always find someone frustrated with the AEM and having trouble selling it. If it's not allowed then I would personally stick with the stock ECU.

HT like all forums leave a bad taste in my mouth. HT actually isn't as bad as it once was. I poke in occasionally to keep up on new products/ideas and to lend out car security info. Some of these single-cam sites I tried out were extremely elitist. SOHC Honda telling me I need to "get my hands dirty". I use latex gloves thank you. The Team Integra operator is a complete nazi. A lot of the other forums are just dead with no traffic ie G2IC. I like civic-eg a lot but it's pretty dead and pretty low-level. But once it gets popular that's when it all goes downhill. Dumb kids vs forum nazis. Notice you never see any real tuners on forums except when they're promoting products or services.

Turbo... I'm not so sure. It's a good option as you can drive the car w/out boosting and you'll get the same or better mileage. Then you have the power when it's needed. Quiets your exhaust down. But it's a lot of weight and a lot more moving parts. It takes up a lot of space. So I'm up in the air about it. If I had money then Scottie could set me up with something custom and really special. But then SLEEPER would be out the window. I think I'd rather get the Endyn pistons and see if Bisi can make me a cam like he did for topher. According to Scottie, you can get just as much power just as easily with an N/A build. But he says there's a real limit on the D-series when you start talking about real power (300+). I would never want more than 160 at the wheels and I'm sure he'd squeeze out 180.

suspendedhatch 04-17-2008 12:49 AM

Just curious what threads you "enjoyed" at HT. The security threads?

Just throwing out more details as the come to me for anyone who wants to give this project a shot someday.

For the AEM I got a used IBM T40 thinkpad for $360. Windows XP cuz Vista is a joke. I wish the AEM software ran on Mac. Also a Belkin serial to USB adapter. They call it a PDA adapter. And a serial cable of course.

I'm using a 92-95 Civic distributor at the moment. This fits the OBD2 heads perfectly with the same amount of adjustment as the stock OBD2 distributor. And plugs into the stock OBD1 wiring obviously. I've had nothing but problems with the stock coils and cam sensors in all my used distributors. But I will be switching back to DIS in a few days when my parts get here.

I've had Magnecor wires for years now and they are the best hands down. But they become irrelevant when you go distributor-less.

The CBR coils require screw cap spark plugs. NGK doesn't make any. Sadly, the only thing immediately available was Autolite. I'll try to remember to get the part number for future reference. But when these wear out I'll get the Denso's.

I always make my own 8 gauge grounds. I use amp wires but I get them off the roll at an electronics supply shop. I branch a couple off the battery side strut tower. Thermostat, starter housing, tranny. Then I did a 10 gauge from the ground near the passenger's headlight to the tranny ground at the chassis. On the other side I have a wire to the alternator bracket and another to the intake manifold. Then I have a 10 gauge from the valve cover to the core support replacing the factory wire. For the battery I use a 4 gauge. Replacing the 8 gauge to the starter makes for a quicker start up to save gas. I had a 4 gauge going from the trunk mounted battery directly to the starter on my previous car. I have also replaced the alternator power wire a new 8 gauge.

Putting the OBD2 engine in my OBD1 chassis required a couple of small modifications that are covered on my Cause For Alarm EG site, namely the charcoal canister, throttle cable bracket, and IAT sensor.

I ran a wire from the OBD2 engine's knock sensor to the AEM.

Scottie hacked the wires off the crank fluctuation sensor god knows why.

I have an engine mount insert set but I only used it on the AC mount. I had them all in my previous car and didn't want the added vibration on this car.

In my opening post I said I want to outperform the Civic Si but what I really mean is that I want to outperform a hypothetical Civic EG Type R.

That's all I can think of for now. Sorry for the lack of pics. Maybe I'll edit some in later.

thisisntjared 04-17-2008 05:46 PM

yea the security threads. which brings me to an end of my side tangent for a vafc since theives tried again and really screwed up my car this time. i still have my car, but man... i am just sick of them trying. so i have to get rid of the car.

your suspension setup is decent and i admire the rear sway bar. i had an integra front with itr rear and it was just wonderful. i wouldnt get anything but konis(or bilstein) for shocks. from what i have heard, all of those $1000+ coilover kits that are out there do not outperform the koni/gc setup and they cost more. regarding strut bars, i have found that the rear doesnt make a difference, the front upper i am inconclusive about, but the front lower is a definite. there is a subframe brace that integras have but civics dont even though the subframe is the same. this subframe brace on my eg made a noticeable difference on turn-in and i would put that brace in before buying anything else brace related. they are kinda hard to find since nobody knows they are even worth anything. i just picked mine up off a totaled integra i bought and parted out a couple of years ago. by foam or brace, in any eg, the first chasis stiffening should be the front subframe.

I also agree with your sentiments on vista. if i get another computer it will be a mac or it will be running red hat.

Danronian 04-17-2008 06:25 PM

Great project!

I was thinking of installing the y5 into my VX at some point, or installing a somewhat large turbo that would only spool when you really need it in order to have more engine performance but still good daily driving MPG, but I never thought about all the things you're doing to your VX.

I did have an Integra before the VX so I did miss the performance and interior of it. I upgraded to some Del sol seats, and just upgraded the brakes to have hawk pads in the front and a 99 si rear brake setup. Braking is much nicer now, but still without swap bars to help the coilover/agx setup. Maybe someday I'll look into getting a set of Integra ones. Still rolling on the VX wheels but wow, they handle so badly. Might upgrade the wheels some point, but also thinking about just buying an s2k to satisfy my urge to have a somewhat "fast" car.

I wish you luck with the project!

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