Here's where we act like we know something technical about cars. Feel free to ask us about your technical troubles. Write us at email@example.com or Super Street c/o Tech Support, 831 S. Douglas St. El Segundo, CA 90245. Feel free to include a picture of your project or tech problem.
Ghost Ride The Whip (By Accident)
Q Quick question regarding my daughter's '97 Honda Civic DX Coupe; its bone-stock 1.6-liter engine is giving me some headaches once in a while. The problem started a few months back. Every now and then, the car will just shut off. You could be driving down the highway at 60 mph or just driving down the road and it would just shut off. I noticed it more on hotter days. I replaced the entire distributor before about 2 years ago (because of an oil leak at the time), then the leak came back so I took it back for another new distributor. The warranty is out now. I replaced the main relay with a Honda factory relay, but my daughter still says it does it once in a while. She also says at times it starts then stops, then turns over and runs. After I replaced the main relay, she didn't complain as much but still says it does it. When I drive it, nothing happens. I took it to the shop and they couldn't find anything either. I hooked it up to my hand-held computer reader and no fault codes. What do you think is the problem? Thanks for your time and assistance.
A This is actually a fairly common problem with EK Civics and other Honda vehicles (especially the CR-V) from the late '90s. It's actually an issue with the internal switch mechanism of the ignition switch. There are multiple contacts inside the switch that will retain a material build up over time, and occasionally the contacts become so dirty that they lose continuity and thus the engine dies. We suggest disassembling the switch and cleaning the contacts with alcohol and some cotton swabs. Also, just for future reference, if you have a leak at the distributor you can buy a new seal for less than $2 instead of replacing the whole unit.
Q I need a good source for performance parts for a '92 3000GT VR4. I am having a lot of trouble finding a good high-quality damper. I have KYB AGXs in mind, but what would you recommend and where do I find them? Please keep in mind I want to stay away from a full coilover system and I am on a budget. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Via the Internet
A KYB AGXs are definitely very nice units for the price. Koni also makes some really nice affordable units. To be honest, we'd recommend checking out what other 3000GT owners are doing by checking out a forum dedicated to your car - 3si.org.
Take My Picture, Weld My Diff Up
Q I recently turned 18 and I picked up my second Z31 NA and it's currently in build mode. I'm going to do a basic NA to turbo conversion, my problem is I'm more into drifting. I'm on a pretty low budget, so an aftermarket LSD is out of the question. What's your stance on a welded diff in a daily driver? Is it that bad? And I love the mag, I want to see some Z31's and more BOSOZOKU!
Via the Internet
A A welded diff is a great solution for a budget weekend drift car, but it certainly isn't daily-friendly. Although it is possible to drive around with a welded diff, we wouldn't recommend it for a number of reasons. For starters, it's very annoying and unsafe because it is literally impossible to make a turn without wheelspin or hop. If it rains you can totally forget about driving. Not to mention you are very likely to get tickets for "exhibition of speed" from cops since it will constantly sound like you're trying to do a burn-out while cornering.
Q I own a supercharged Chevy Cobalt SS and I'm tired of having an awful aftermarket scene to work with. I've already done plenty of engine work (meth, injectors, SC pulley, etc) and I'm looking at my suspension next. The cheapest coilovers I can find are KW Variant 1's and those are $1100. There has to be something cheaper that will still increase performance and allow me to slam my USDM tuner on its balls. Can you guys help me out?
Via the Internet
A Doesn't seem like you spent much time researching, because it took us less than 30 seconds on Google to find some cheaper units. Check out the offerings from K-sport (ksportusa.com) and Megan Racing (meganracing.com). If you're just looking to go low these will be viable options, but if you are planning on hitting the track, the KW pieces warrant the extra price.
Too Good To Be True?
Q I've been doing some research on the RB26DETT to swap into my '89 Nissan 240SX. After looking around, most of the RB26s that I've found are around $2500 for the motor alone, but I found one for $1300 with the motor, all accessories, wiring harness and ECU. The company claims that the engines are tested to run, then drained of fluids before shipping, but my problem is that I think that it's just too good of a deal to be true. What do you guys think? Also do you know how hard it would be to find a GT-S transmission for the engine?
Via the Internet
A $1300 for an RB26!? Where do we sign up? Only kidding, that price sounds unreasonably low for a full RB26DETT long-block with accessories. If the shop is local to you, we'd say go down there and scope it out. But if they would have to ship it out, it's best just to avoid it and go with a reputable seller. There's nothing worse than thinking you're getting a good deal and getting the shaft when a blown-up motor arrives. As far as the transmission is concerned, they're pretty easy to find... attached to an RB25 that is. The transmission alone will be a little tougher to find, but they're out there, just keep looking!
Q First off, let me say I love the work you guys put into every issue. I haven't missed one since the Jan '07 issue! Keep it up. I am kinda new to Hondas and want to buy an EG SiR Civic and want to know a couple things. What is the bolt spacing for the wheels of the JDM and other EG Civics? Next thing I want to know is, if I use a B16A, B16B or B18C complete engine and gearboxes, can the driveshafts work with the standard SiR wheel hub assembly? And if they don't, what shafts do I have to use? It would be helpful if you can explain all three setups please. Also I would like to know if I could use all suspension and brake components from the Civic Type-R on the SiR?
Via the Internet
A Glad to hear you're thinking about picking up an EG, they're an excellent starter car and very easy to modify. Answering your questions in order: All '92-95 Civics were 4x100. Yes, no difference in terms of driveshafts except '98 Spec B18C used 36mm instead of standard 32mm splines. Yes, but it would then change your bolt pattern to 5x114.3.