Hello Team-Integra! My name is David and I've been away from this site for quite a while now, but I'm back into Hondas with an '95 Integra LS that needs some work. Now with a little backstory!
This is a special little car that I got from my friend, Kevin. The teggy was his first car since high school. It's been with him for a third of his life. All of us had Hondas as our first cars, but those cars are all gone now due to selling, accidents, or theft. This car is a remnant of days when we were less wise, but more free from the burden of real responsibilities. Unfortunately, the car had been giving Kevin some transmission problems that made it inoperable. It stopped going into gear without forcing the shifter against what felt like a wall. Thus, the little Integra began its long sleep. The sleep turned into a coma at some point as the engine decided it didn't want to fire up anymore. It remained in this state for over a year since Kevin replaced its daily driving duties with a 2003 BMW 540i M-tech.
Enter Me, David
My first car was a '98 White Diamond Prelude, second was a '99 Milano Red, and my current driver is a '00 BMW M5. I started hitting up the track with a buddy that I became with during jury duty and I aoblutely caught the bug. If you haven't visited the track yet then I highly suggest you change out your brake fluid and GO NOW. I began looking at different people's track builds that range from the weekend warrior build up to time attack record breaking shop demo cars. The M5 is a GREAT car, but it's also my daily and parts can be expensive. I found myself often day dreaming about having a dedicated track car...
Driving a Slow Car Fast
One day in the midst of my day dreaming I had sent Kevin a text asking him about his car. He said he's going to try selling it, but it's just been sitting out there and imagine the lowball offers he'll be getting for a car in its current state. I asked him, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we can turn that into a track car?" One thing led to another and we partnered to make this a fun car that we can thrash around.
I got the title and transferred the car over to my name. A couple of weeks passed and I was waiting on another friend to become available to use his AAA towing. It was a bright and sunny morning after all of the rain in California. It looked like the perfect break to tow the car. Of course it began pouring as I was driving to Kevin's house. Nonetheless, the tow truck man did his thing and the car was being transported to my house.
Here it is sitting in front of my driveway. It's pretty cool how the truck driver was to perfectly reverse the car onto the driveway saving my friends and I from having to push it up ourselves. The car is in rough shape. I'll grab more photos of the exterior to show how bad it is really is, but hey it's a beater car.
First thing to do was to get the motor running again. I bought and installed a new battery, spark plug wires, spark plugs, dizzy cap, and rotor (the brake fluid is for later). I also made sure to take off the valve cover and lubricate the valvetrain first, but it still didn't start!
I knew I should've ordered an ignition coil in advance, but I was really hoping it was just a dead battery. Anyways, I went to the auto parts store and bought the cheapest ignition coil they had. Voila! It starts and smells like a lawnmower! Not bad for a free car.
Found a black widow chilling in the engine bay...
People are still stealing Integras? You can slightly see it in the photo, but I was going out to work when I noticed that the driver side door wasn't closed all the way. I looked inside and the ignition was in the second position. The passenger side door was also slightly opened. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of them since my camera skips through footage 10 seconds at a time unless I want to waste a couple of hours scrubbing through the footage to find the two goons. Jokes on them.. the battery wasn't installed and the tranny is still broken.
Under the Knife
Now that I was able to solve the car's no start problem, it was time to address the transmission issue. You'd have floor the clutch to the ground and jam the car into gear. Technically it was driveable, but realistically it was a big paperweight. The clutch master and slave cylinders had already been replaced, but I figured that I should at least try bleeding it. I was hoping for the best, but no air bubbles came out. This meant the transmission had to be dropped. Since it was down I ordered an Exedy OEM clutch kit, rear main seal, and both axle seals.
Throwing parts at the car.
Picking up my Bawls for my first ever transmission job.
The engine bay had collected so much dust, grime, and spider webs as it sat... Nothing special here, but a B18B1.
Consequences of living the low life for over half a decade. Just wait until you see the oil pan. The car will have a function > form approach now... That resonator is also coming out.
One of the things that has been working on cars possible is the existence of forums. Although they're not as active anymore with the rise of social media groups, the amount of resources and knowledge have been archived. Forums such as Team Integra has helped turn dreams to reality and helped me save a ton of money in the process. I cannot stress how thankful I am for them.
Axles out and appear to be in good condition. Kevin said they've been replaced before. Thank goodness for that.
So we managed to drop the transmission, the clutch fork and pivot ball immediately fell off to the ground. At some point the pivot ball backed itself out of its threading and sheared off some threading from the housing. No wonder why the clutch was failing!
The pivot ball that had worked itself out of the housing.
The outer portions of the threads were stripped, but the inner portions are fine. The pivot ball was able to be screwed back on just fine. It will be reinstalled with threadlocker and tightened a bit above spec.
Pressure plate exposed.
ITR flywheel. I forgot to mention earlier that the transmission came from a GSR.
Here's a shot of the old rear main seal. This thing was a gigantic PITA to take off!
Steelies No More
The car previously had Enkei RPF-1s, but they were put on Kevin's brother's car which was stolen. It was too bad since those wheels would've been great on the track and now the car has been rolling on steelies. Obviously steelies are a no-no on the track due to weight and tire size. On a slow day at work, I was browsing around for cheap wheels. I saw that Tire Rack had Kosei K-1s in their inventory and they'll mount and balance the tires for you. Then I saw some cheap Dunlop DIrezzas for $65 a piece plus a $50 mail in rebate! I just had to pull the trigger.
The wheels literally came the next day.
Can't wait to put the wheels on and go out for an alignment!
Back to the Transmission
I decided to go with an Exedy OEM clutch kit and to reuse the ITR flywheel. I was going to put in a stronger clutch and a lightweight flywheel, but I figured those can wait until the engine gets built. I eventually want to replace the GSR transmission with an ITR so I can give it another overhaul at that point.
Reinstallation was a bit harder than I thought. It was hard to keep the transmission balanced on my floorjack since most of the weight was in the back. I used my arms and knees to fit it all back in while my cousin guided me from the engine bay. We eventually got it all back together an filled it up with Honda MTF.
I originally had all the bolts and nuts in paper cups, but I had over 10 white paper cups cluttering the work bench! So I transferred them all over to little baggies and marked them.
I have mixed feelings when it comes to cleaning up. On one end it represents a job well done and now the tools are going to be shiny again. On the other end it's means cleaning up the crap that you've made.
The Lazarus Pit.... Some say you can put your old crusty nuts and bolts for rejuvenation. They'll come out looking younger and clean, but at the cost of their humanity...
This wraps up the transmission work. I was able to get the car smogged and registered as operational!