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Auto Repair and Maintenance - Exhaust Notes

If We Can't Answer Your Questions, We'll Personally Send Bob To Your Place, Bringing Only A Tutu And A Box Of Tools

Dru Barrios
Apr 1, 2007
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"Odd" Brake Query
I own a 2000 Honda Odyssey with 74,000 miles. I purchased it new and it's excellent in many ways, primarily its handling ability! The problems I have had are in the brakes and headlights, both of which are very weak. My question for you is, how can I upgrade the front brakes? Seems to me that Honda's brakes are seriously under-designed and the discs get warped very quickly. By the way, the '00 Odyssey has drums in the back. They were changed to discs starting in 2001. Please advise.
Costas
Via the Internet

Honda's brakes are not nearly under designed; they're just made for the average soccer mom to drive the kids to school with. Your Odyssey is a relatively massive vehicle that needs brakes that are powered accordingly when driven any harder than the average old lady would drive it. Before you get upset at Honda, though, remember one of the major reasons why we all love the H-badge so much: cross-platforming.

The Accord V6 and wagon, base model Acura Legend, '96 to '00 3.5RL, and even the Integra Type R share your front brakes. What that means to you is any front brake upgrade that will work for one of those vehicles will work for yours. You've got viable options.

The first is upgrading using OEM parts. There are two factory calipers that are more powerful than the ones you have and will also bolt directly to your stock mounting points, the '94 to '95 Legend coupe calipers and the bad-ass looking (yet overpriced) NSX calipers. Both are a two-piston design, which not only translates to more braking power, but even distribution of force as well. The pistons in the Legend calipers are 2mm larger in diameter than the NSX offerings (more power), but they're cast iron, while the NSX versions are cast aluminum (meaning less unsprung weight). The debate over which of these two calipers is the better will likely never be resolved. Match a set of the calipers of your choice with some rotors and a set of steel braided brake lines for the linear pedal feel you're looking for and you'll be more than satisfied with the results.

The second option is for guys like myself who can't help but think that modding a minivan is the coolest thing since fuel injection. Since your front brakes are identical to so many other vehicles, you can use aftermarket brake kits made for those vehicles on your ride. If there is any vehicle in the world that may have too many big brake kit options, it has to be the Integra Type R. How sick would a set of 13-inch Wilwoods, Stoptechs, Brembos, or APs look in the wheel well of an Ody? The major concern in this case would be money. Not only do most of these kits cost upwards of $2,000 or more, you'll have to buy a set of 17-inch+ wheels to fit over them. The OEM option will let you rock the stockers and no one would be the wiser.

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As far as the rears go, drop the dated doorstops that came stock on it and upgrade to rear disks. All you need to do is get trailing arms from a newer Odyssey that had factory equipped rear disks and bolt them on. You'll also need the e-brake cables and the proportioning valve from the newer model. These parts should be readily available at a salvage yard or on the Internet.

Last but not least, your headlights. Stock halogen headlights suck. Upgrade to HID's and you'll never look back. You can get a kit that will plug right into your existing headlights for a few hundred dollars. This kit will brighten the intensity of your headlights but will not alter the direction in which the light is dispersed. One trick way to do it is to retrofit a set of projector HID's from a BMW, Mercedes, Acura, etc. There's even a company that now specializes in this, The Retrofit Source (www.theretrofitsource.com). The projector setup will focus the light where you need it most and provide a cutoff line so you won't be lighting up the street signs as well as the street.

Let us know which direction you decide to go. Maybe someday after you drop the big brakes and some bad ass 18s on there, throw some CL Type-S heads and a six speed tranny in the mix, slam on a Fabulous kit and some Recaros, we might be bangin' on your door for a feature. - Dr Barrios

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No Swap, No Power
I recently got a '97 Accord. I would like to know if there is anything that can be done to the stock motor without swapping for a better engine? Is there anything you recommend to bolt to the motor? I have done some research but only found work done to H22s and B18s.
Cesar Reyna
Lake Worth, Fla.

In the Honda world, there are only two ways to make serious power with a car that came with an unfavorable motor. The most obvious way is to swap the motor. The other, arguably more fun way is to boost the stocker. You can get a turbo kit that has been made for an H22 and bolt it right on your F with no problems except for having to tune it. You could also build a homemade turbo kit using junkyard parts to boost your ride. Check out www.homemadeturbo.com for more info on the latter. If you choose to stick with a motor that is unloved by the aftermarket, you are also choosing into the research and legwork that comes with it. - DB

HT is CRAZY!!!
My name is Kyle and first off you guys have a crazy magazine that I read every month. I have an '88 CRX Si and it has a JDM D15B VTEC motor. I finally put it up on a lift and my wiring harness is torn up! What other year Civic/CRX could I find in a junkyard to get a harness to fix this? I'm also trying to convert to OBD1 so I can use a P28 ECU. Thank you and keep putting kick ass Hondas in your mag!!!
Kyle Barnette
Charlotte, N.C.

I would stick with a CRX/CIVIC Si harness. The modifications needed to run the motor and ECU you want are minimal. It wouldn't be worth trying to retrofit an OBD1 harness. You'll need to add wires for your VTEC solenoid, VTEC oil pressure switch, and 2nd oxygen sensor to get the VTEC to work. You'll also need an ECU jumper and a new distributor plug (or jumper) to make the jump to OBD1. If I were in your shoes, I'd go to the junkyard and get a new Si harness and install it into the car. Then I'd hit up www.rywire.com for their '88 to '91 CRX/Civic Si/HF/EX to D16Z6/D15B conversion kit. Ryan (the proprietor) knows what he's doing. Don't believe me? Check out the feature we did on his amazing CRX in last months issue and you will. - DB

Always the Last Place You Look...
Hey guys, I've got an old school Civic EF hatch (SOHC ZC) with a Jackson Racing supercharger. I have no complaints, but like everyone else, I want more boost. You guys probably know that there are not many options, if any, for a larger crank pulley. Are there any B-series crank pulleys that have a larger diameter that will still bolt up with no problems? I know that I'd need to keep the stock crank pulley to use for timing and tuning and swap it out, back and forth. Will you guys please tell me what you know (because y'all have probably been there and done that) so I can know what I am working with.
Randy Wright
San Diego, Calif.

First off, since when do people from San Diego say "y'all"?

I think you're looking at the wrong pulley for your extra boost. Your crank pulley serves more purposes than just spinning your blower. It also spins your alternator, power steering (if you have it), and A/C (which you probably have taken out by now, right?). None of those components take very lightly to being spun faster than they were intended to and can prematurely wear out from a new pulley. Your stock crank pulley also has a dampener in it that is vital to keeping your motor's rotating assembly intact, so swapping it will be more trouble than good. And no, B-series pulleys will not fit on your D.

Your Jackson blower uses an Eaton M45 supercharger, the same supercharger used on a Mini Cooper-S, the Saturn ION Redline, and the Chevy Cobalt SS to name a few. There are several aftermarket pulley offerings for these cars, as well as Eaton Blowers by themselves. Jackson even sells upgrade kits for their blowers. Check out our October '06 issue to calculate the pulley size you need and buy one. It is seriously as simple as that. - DB

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Anti-Booby
First of all, I think that your magazine is great. You do great work with it, but I think you got a little "side-tracked" with what should be put in it. I know most of your subscribers are teenagers, but some of us are in our mid-twenties and older, who are married with little children. Also, most of your readers are most likely not Christian, but for those of us who are, we don't want nor need to see woman who are improperly exposed to a pornographic extent.

Now, I know that "sex sells." Just look at some of your sister magazines, for example. Some children, like I was, who are into cars, like I am, can buy your magazine and not only learn/dream about cars but with these type of images of woman get a advanced lesson in sex ed. I am not trying to bat [sic] at your magazine or anything, but I honestly think that you need to get back to the basics, like you used to be (no, it wasn't perfect either), with fewer women and more cars and tech stuff. Also, I know that you have to listen to your advertisers, but you can tell them that you're not going to print sexually explicit ads (ex. Ground Dynamics). I believe you would be more popular with not only the children but also the parents of the children for actually being clean. You would be more popular and maybe, just maybe, you would sell more issues and be proud that it is something that your grandmother or just maybe your pastor can pick it up and you would not be ashamed of what is in it.

I want to thank you for your time and consideration for reading this. Please feel free to get back to me to let me know what you think.
Justin L. Adams
Hamer, S.C.

Truth told, Justin, your E-mail caught us off guard. Amid the sea of praise, questions, and feature submissions we typically get from readers, this was the last thing we expected. But I think your perceptions of the content we present deserve a response.

To begin, THERE IS NOTHING "PORNOGRAPHIC" ABOUT HONDA TUNING. Clearly your personal threshold for what is considered pornography is fairly low. I struggled to find said smut in our humble little book, but alas found none.

If you mean the ladies we have at the back of the book, I have yet to see one published exposed breast, one errant ass cheek, or one gratuitous crotch shot. We are exceedingly careful about this. If you're speaking of the erectile dysfunction drug advertisements we run, or any other ads, sorry, but we do what we must to survive, to pay the bills. That is how media works in the 21st century. Again, we find none of these in poor taste.

You want fewer women, huh? Since we only devote ONE PAGE to women, I'm not sure how much less we can do. And since it is only one page out of 100, I don't see how anyone could honestly believe we've lost our focus.

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I'm genuinely saddened to read you can't show our mag to your "grandmother or pastor," but do not doubt for one second the pride we put into this publication. NO ONE who works on Honda Tuning is "ashamed" of what we produce. We make the BEST Honda enthusiast magazine in the country, hands down. If you equate us with a nudie mag, or filth like that, then you obviously have a vastly different idea of what constitutes porn than we do.

Indeed, it sounds like the shame you speak of is likely all yours. And in your honor we dedicate this Exhaust Notes section to the laaaadies. - Bob Hernandez

First of all, I'm surprised that this letter came from a guy. I expected it to come eventually, but from an upset mother or wife that happened to see the ONE photo of a female we run in the magazine every month (Blow Off) and was offended.

Justin, you are the one and only person in the history of this magazine that has ever mentioned this as a problem. Most people see that we usually run about 80 pages of the hottest feature cars in the scene, the most hardcore tech that you'll ever find in any import magazine, and news about what is going on in the world of Honda. And even if they are in the fraction of a percent of readers that don't like the ONE page with a girl on it, they're usually capable of dismissing it as not being a big enough deal to cry about.

By the way, my Grandma Helen is a subscriber to Honda Tuning. She's a female who is at least three times as old as most of our reader base. She also reads the mag cover to cover. I'm proud to show her the product that we put out every month; including the single photo of a female we put in the back of the book every month to make every reader we have smile.

If you really like our magazine like you say you do, rip off the last page every month right when you get it. Then you'll never have to see a pair of boobies in HT again. - DB

Correction: Last month we ran incorrect contact information for Motegi Racing's Street DP20 wheel.
The correct info is:www.motegiracing.com 866.4.MOTEGI

Got questions, comments, love or hate? Send your letteres to:
* e-mail: editorial@hondatuningmagazine.com
*snail mail:2400 E. Katella Ave, STE. 1100 Anaheim, CA 92806

By Dru Barrios
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