First Honda, Looking for advice on best performance upgrades - Team Integra Forums - Team Integra
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Post First Honda, Looking for advice on best performance upgrades

Hi everyone. I recently got a 1997 USDM Acura Integra GS in a trade. I'm sure it goes without saying that it has the B18B1 engine. It is also an auto (I know that's lame, but since it was a trade I couldn't complain too much). It wasn't running when I got it because the factory exhaust had rusted off and the secondary O2 sensor was shorting out. I removed it, replaced the fuse and off I went. Here's what I've done so far:
2.25" dc sports cat back exhaust
replaced ignition coil
replaced distributor rotor and cap
replaced spark plugs with bosch platinum +4 plugs
disassembled and cleaned throttle body
oil change, air filter change, fuel filter change and transmission flush
compression tested at 150 across all 4 +/- 1 or 2 psi
High performance matte black paint on hood, and painted rims and brakes(i know that does nothing, but was a cheap fun afternoon )

This is my first honda, and I'm really liking it so far. I'm a ticketed industrial mechanic, but have no experience with cars, so I'm using this one as a learning project. I'm going to be using this as a daily driver to work and around town instead of my pickup.

What I'm looking for is advice on what kind of upgrades I can do to this car to make it more fun to drive without spending a ton on turboing or doing an ls/vtec swap or something. What is the most bang for your buck for performance and handling? I'm wondering about cold air/ram air intakes, headers, test pipes, things like that. Appreciate everyones time and advice.

I should note that I will be doing all the work myself.
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Last edited by cnielsen; 05-20-2015 at 11:08 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 11:16 PM
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You can put a turbo kit new for around 1000 too 1200 also i would change the transmission for a 5 speed manuel u would love the resoults
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 11:38 AM
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Welcome to TI! Don't worry to much about increasing performance, because there aren't that many high-value modifications to be made to the engine. The one thing I would do just for aesthetic reasons is to remove the lower tube of the intake airbox. This will give you some more intake sound and will remove some unnecessary weight. Later on, you can look into creating a DIY icebox to replace the tube you removed.

I would focus on the car's handling since that's an area where modifications have high value. Both in terms of the enjoyment/feedback they provide, but they can also be removed from the car and resold later if you choose.

Your budget will ultimately determine what kind of suspension mods you get, but here's some suggestions:

- Wheels/tires - Look for a set of 15" wheels between 6.5 and 7.5" wide, offset >+35. For tires, ideally you would get a summer tire in 195/55 or 205/50 with a treadwear of ~200, like one of these: Toyo R1R, Dunlop Direzza Star Spec ZII, BFGoodrich Rival.

- Front/rear swaybar - Buy these used if you can. Look for swaybars off a Type-R (JDM or USDM). There are also aftermarket solutions from Progress, ASR, Cusco, Eibach, etc. You will also want to buy some bushings and endlinks as these are very often worn. You can just get the rear sway bar if you want a more neutral handling car.

- Rear subframe reinforcement - You will need a reinforcement system for the rear subframe. You can fabricate one yourself if you're handy and don't mind making a trip to the hardware store. Otherwise, you can get a brace from ASR for $$$, another good thing to get used.

- Coilovers or a shock/spring combination - You can also find these used, look for these brands and keywords: Koni / Ground Control (usually sold together), Progress, Megan Racing, K-Sport. There are lots of good options but these are just a few.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks much for the input, I'll look into those.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 01:31 PM
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Getting some new wheels (15s or 16s work + look good on our cars) along with some 205s (at least) will give you a good amount more performance in the handling department. Combine that with some coilovers - Everyone here loves Konis + Ground Control, but a slightly more budget but just as effective set is the Progress CS IIs, look around online and you can grab em new below 600 - and you'll have a very good handling car. As far as wheel selection just depends on what you want looks wise, as well as maybe taking weight into consideration and width to give you the desired look with the tires. With the coilovers it's really about just researching what spring rates you'll think will be the best for you. And going farther into handling upgrades you can get swaybars, tie bars, etc. and those will affect over/understeer etc.
As far as actual acceleration performance goes, if you plan on going cheap for now (seriously hope you boost later though : D I love boosted hondas) a DIY icebox intake, exhaust + headers, cams and a >TUNE TO YOUR ECU< should give you a decent amount more power to to play with (anything from around 20-30whp I've heard is possible).
Good luck, hope to see your build log soon if you so decide to make one
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 07:38 PM
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For on the cheap zip adders get an exhaust manifold you can find them from low budget to WTF were you thinking
.pair that with a high flow cat / test pipe depending on local emission laws
Grab a short ram intake and filter once again can be cheap or as expensive as you want.
Suspension upgrades are great and have been covered already
Now onto the bigger stuff
For that intake manifold, throttle bodys, nitro and everything else in the world you have options.

Don't expect big hp gains with these simple mods it just rarely happens and even less so without a proper tune but done right it will increase the zippy Ness of your b18 if only slightly but we all have to start somewhere.

Welcome to ti the home of all things integra put on your reading pants and dive in there is a lifetime worth of knowledge on here search for what you want and ask when you don't find it most of us will be more than happy to help.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 08:00 PM
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Considering how old the car is, you can kill two birds with one stone doing maintenance and performance at the same time. Examples:
-Chances are a lot of your bushings are shot. You can upgrade to poly bushing, hardrace, aluminum LCAs, etc. The trailing arm bushings are almost guaranteed to be shot.
-Your struts have either been replaced or have a lot of miles on them. Look into upgrading them or doing suspension at the same time (coilovers, ITR springs, etc)
-When/if you need new brake pads, look at doing the DIY brake upgrade to ITR calipers

I wouldn't really waste too much money trying to go fast N/A as it is horrible return on your money in my opinion. You can spend $2,000 on an awesome exhaust, header, intake, etc. and gain less than 10hp. Much better to dump that money elsewhere or save up for something better IMO.
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