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Flights 97 Ex build thread

Flightmaster127

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Ill start off by saying that I know this isn't a 9th gen civic, but I feel that there will be more appreciation for the work being done here than on some of the other Honda based forums on the internet.

That being said I bought my 97 Civic Ex bone stock back in 2009 with 218K on the odometer. It stayed stock for all of a week while i waited for the intake to arrive in the mail. Here is the car the day I bought it.

F009676H.jpg

I drove the car just like this until i found an excellent deal on a JRSC an then I began amassing parts for a build as I did research online to see just where I wanted to go with my car.

IMG_0146.JPG

After amassing parts I began my build in February of 2013 when my friend finally had time to lend me a hand since this was my first engine build. And so it begins.

IMG_0607.JPG
IMG_0612.JPG

We began the tear down on the stock D16y8 and were pleasantly surprised that other than some carbon buildup on the exhaust valves and 16 years of dirt buildup the internals looked to be in fantastic shape.

IMG_0614.JPG IMG_0617.JPG IMG_0618.JPG IMG_0620.JPG IMG_0621.JPG

Thats all for now. I'll continue my story when I have a chance to upload more pictures of the build process.
 

webby

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you replacing internals on this project? Looking forward to the build
 

Flightmaster127

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Originally no I did not replace the internals on the build I reused the stock pistons and rods but put in new bearings and seals. When I started this project the car was my daily driver, and actually until last month when I bought my brand new Si it was still my daily.
 

Flightmaster127

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Ok so as stated above on the original rebuild I thought I was going to get away with the stock bottom end since the JRSC is only supposed to output 6-7psi. Below are some pictures of the block rebuild the first time.

This is what 244k of buildup on the valves looked like.
Before Cleanup: IMG_0011.JPG

After:

Intake - IMG_0009.JPG Exhaust - IMG_0010.JPG

We pulled the head completely apart to replace all the valve seals since I was burning a little oil in Vtec.

Disassembled Head - IMG_0012.JPG

After we got everything apart I literally spent 2-3 days with a wire wheel cleaning 16 years of scaling off of everything.

Here is the block on the engine stand after primer and then with the final color I chose to use.

Primer - IMG_0004.JPG Paint & Clear coat - IMG_0013.JPG

My friend spent an entire night in his freezing cold garage doing some mild port work on my head before we re assembled it.

IMG_0016.JPG

So for my generation of civic it is very common for the factory input shaft bearing to wear out and rattle. Mine wore out a good 10-15k before I got the chance to replace it during this build. Little did I know it was going to be this bad when I took the tranny apart.

This thing was toast.

IMG_0039.JPG

Speaking of toast my original clutch and flywheel weren't much better.
IMG_0610.JPG

And for anyone that has never seen the inside of a D series transmission here you go

after taking the housing off - IMG_0035.JPG

More to follow in the next post.
 

Flightmaster127

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Ok so to bring it back to the original block build I did the following. I chose not to overbore the block since i didn't really have the money for a machine shop and all everything was measuring out to within the service limits. We honed the block and put the original pistons and rods back in with a brand new set of Nippon piston rings. We used King Motorsports standard bearings for the rod bearings and for the main bearings. We plasti-gauged every bearing and everything was well in spec. The water pump, timing belt tensioner ,and timing belt were all replaced with OEM pieces. To keep costs down I chose to reuse the OEM oil pump because before the tear down I always had adequate oil pressure at greater than or equal to 10psi per 1k RPM. Below are some pictures of the reassembled block as we gradually got all of the parts back in it and accessories reattached. Also forgot to mention I chose to go with ARP head studs for reliability and re usability.

IMG_0043.JPG IMG_0049.JPG IMG_0054.JPG IMG_0056.JPG

And finally almost a month later we put the reassembled head back on and bolted the supercharger to it for insertion back into the bay.
IMG_0057.JPG

More to come later
 

Nix

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Looking good man! I love it! I definitely can't wait to see this finished.
 

Flightmaster127

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Like I said about a month later we stuffed the painstakingly rebuilt engine back into the engine bay.

IMG_0065a.jpg

We then set to work to custom fab an intake, since there is no intake kit for the JRSC. We used some spare intake piping I had accumulated from various kits and a K&N cone filter I just happened to have laying around. We even went so far as to put a coupler right in the middle of the piping so that i could convert it back and forth from a CAI to a SRI. I didn't know which setup would net more power when i came time for tuning. I also has another friend assist by heat wrapping the exhaust manifold to help try and keep the under hood temps down as much as possible.

IMG_0069a.jpg

Right about now is when we were finally getting excited because the time to finally start this beast was approaching. We filled it up with oil and watched for anything that may be leaking as we buttoned up any loose ends that we may have forgotten. I plugged the wiring harness back into the ecu and threw the battery back in it to make sure the new Walboro 255lph pump would prime and so I could adjust the B&M fuel pressure regulator to stock fuel pressure. Also should probably mention I upgraded to RC44cc injectors to feed the additional fuel supply needs.

So with everything checked off the list the time was finally upon us to attempt the first start up. I excitedly got into the drivers seat and prepared to turn the key. My friend gave me the ok so i cranked it over and ......... nothing not even a pop or an attempt to ignite.

Frustrated we backtracked all our work and painstakingly rechecked the mechanical timing, and that we were receiving fuel. We even checked to make sure we were getting spark and sure enough we were. We were confused but thinking that maybe the spark wasn't strong enough we ran to the local advance auto and got a brand new distributor. We popped the new distributor onto the engine and prepared to crank it over again.

Frustration was relieved as the engine roared to life on the first crank. I finally got the chance to look at all my hard work come to life and idle open header in my friends driveway. But this was just the beggining.
 

Flightmaster127

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This is what happened.

IMG_0087a.jpg

More details on exactly what caused this when I get home from work.
 

Flightmaster127

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It did suck.

While we were making some adjustments and breaking it in so we could tune the engine developed a strange noise. Turns out it was rod knock. The JRSC was designed to produce somewhere between 6-7 psi which is well within what the stock bottom end should have been able to handle. Somehow between porting the head and the supercharger blower inlet we got the thing to produce 13 psi. What happened here was the stock rod bolts actually stretched enough to let the bearing spin. The rod bound up on the crank shaft and bent causing it to snap. Half of the rod went through the side of the block and the bearing cap shot through the girdle and then through the oil pan. This caused 4 quarts of hot oil to hit the even hotter exhaust manifold which resulted in a flash fire.

We were lucky enough to be able to put the fire out with an old t-shirt before it got to serious or damaged anything major. Life lesson learned at this point. There is now a fire extinguisher mounted within reach of the drivers seat.

Anyway after we got the car towed back to my friends house I pulled the engine out and tore it down to see what parts were salvageable. I also at this point had to decide if I was just going to find another stock block and put it back together without the supercharger since this was my daily driver at the time or if I was going to sink even more money and effort into this build.

After a little encouragement to the tune of I'm not letting you give up after you've come this far from the girlfriend low compression vitara pistons and forged rods were ordered and in the mail while my friend searched high and low for another block and crankshaft. I lucked out and the head wasn't damaged in any way and most everything else I had just invested in replacing was still usable. Those ARP head studs paid for themselves right away.

My friend found a block and a crank and the process started all over again.

Pictures of the second rebuild to come after I get off of work.
 

Flightmaster127

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Best of luck to ya. I really hope all the work truly pays off for you.

It did work out. This thread is a chronicle of all the work I went through to get to the point the vehicle is at today. Which is running reliably, just in need of a final tune. The whole build took well over a year to get to where I'm at currently, and with a few potholes along the way. Keep checking back for more updates as I chronicle the rest of the build process and start getting into where the car sits today.
 

webby

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Sorry to hear about the issues, but I'm excited to see that you're pushing forward with the build.
 

Flightmaster127

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So once the parts arrived and the replacement block was found and cleaned my friend and I went to town reassembling the engine as quickly as we could manage. If I remember right we managed to put the whole block back together and back in the car withing 48 hours of the new parts arriving.

Damaged block being pulled out of the car. Didn't have any help this day and had to carefully hook up and pull the engine making sure not to drop it on myself.
IMG_0082a.jpg

A picture from the bottom of the new block where we had to notch the bottom of the cylinders to clear the forged rods.
IMG_0094a.jpg

A shot of the top side of the block with the new lower compression Vitara pistons.
IMG_0096a.jpg

Lining up the timing marks before reinstalling the cylinder head.
IMG_0098a.jpg

The fire from the broken rod fried a good portion of the protective plastic covering on the engine harness. I spent a good 2 hours one night re wrapping harness to protect it. I lucked out and none of the wires or connectors were burnt through. I coulnt Imagine how much work i would have had to go through if more damage had occurred.
IMG_0099a.jpg

And finally after 2 days of hard work we dropped the block back in the car and started it up. Here is a pic from the inside of the car. All looked good as we let the car idle in the driveway this time.
IMG_0106a.jpg

This was no where near the end though. More story to come soon though.
 

Flightmaster127

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Got a few modern updates on the build thread separate from the what's already happened story i've been telling.

First and foremost I finally broke 1k on my new civic. Sorry for the crappy cell pic. Had my girlfriend take it while I was driving.
1kmi.jpeg

In other news I dropped the exhaust on the car to clean up 2 years of winter buildup and get back the like new shine on the stainless. In the process I found a pinhole leak from where I had a shop extend the exhaust because it was to 2 inches to short to fit on the car. Promptly took the b pipe to a shop to have it patched on my way to work. Then the polishing began.

Here is the axleback after polishing. Sadly no before picture, but it looked very similar to what the b pipe looks like in the picture.
muffler.jpeg
muffler2.jpeg

Used a brass wire wheel for the really dirty areas and some 1200 grit sandpaper to bring back some of the shine. Not a mirror finish, but good enough for a weekend/track car.

Here's a picture of the b pipe. That's todays project after work.bpipe.jpeg
 
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