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Mike Arpon - Editorial

The Build Goes On

Apr 13, 2009
Htup_0904_01_z+mike_arpon_editorial+black_honda_engine_bay Photo 1/2   |   Mike Arpon - Editorial

Love me or hate me, somebody over here's given me another chance this month to ramble on about some of those things that make me happy, mad, sad, or just about anything in between. Loyal readers may recall that I'm in the midst of rebuilding my B18C Type R engine. The premise is: Going big with the ITR. Or maybe it's: How to better the B. Either way, it'll be bigger, stronger, and hopefully make my hatchback faster. All things that make me happy. Think of it as the Six Million Dollar Man of the B-series realm. No, not Ted DiBiase the wrestler, but Steve Austin, the real bionic man. Like many, I thought the build would be straightforward, even easy. I mean, all I had to do was order some parts, yank the engine, send it to the machine shop, put it back together, and slap it back in place. Sounds easy enough. It isn't shaping up to be though. The parts gathering process wasn't too difficult. I know at least one or two important people in the industry, which made obtaining the things I wanted relatively easy and affordable. And pulling the engine out, well, that was even easier. Aaron and I dropped the engine in his garage in less than an hour and by the end of the day it was in pieces in the back of a truck ready for the machine shop. But now I find myself sitting here staring at an empty bay, waiting for the sleeves to be installed, waiting for the headwork to be completed. All of this waiting leaves entirely too much time for thinking, which isn't necessarily a good thing for me.

Htup_0904_02_z+mike_arpon_editorial+mike_arpon_shot Photo 2/2   |   Mike Arpon - Editorial

With the drivetrain out, now I'm tempted to repaint the engine bay. No, I'm not considering anything crazy like HeyMikeyyyy's gold-themed DC2 bay, but it does need a freshen-up. Black will do. But even black costs money, which is something that's rather scarce for me nowadays. And painting takes time-another thing that isn't easy to come by. Despite all of this, the paint talk makes me wonder whether or not I should just repaint the entire car. I mean, after picking up Aaron's sexy re-sprayed NSX from the body shop last month, the thought of this is really tempting. And then there is the rack-and-pinion. It needs to be serviced. There's another expense to add on to the build. Of course, I stopped adding these things up long ago, which is really the only way a project like this can be done. Oh, and since the transmission is off, maybe I should do something with it. I've always wanted a 4.7:1 final drive gear and a new differential. There's a few more bucks. And the RnRs could use a face-lift. I'm no powdercoater so it looks like I'll be opening up the wallet again or visiting my friend the ATM. Make no mistake, even something as un-complicated as a simple engine freshen-up can easily turn into a full-blown vehicle build. It's never cut and dry and there is always something to spend more money one. Mo' money, mo' problems.
Mike Arpon



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