Here's where we act like we know something technical about cars. Feel free to ask us about your technical troubles. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Q Hey thanks for being a big help on my first Civic. I have a '96 Civic EX, stock everything. So far I have a set of 16x8"+15 offset wheels that I want to put on my car. I'm looking for the best set up for 0 degrees of camber and want it to go straight. I'm planning on getting a set of coilovers and a front camber kit soon. Should I wait until I get the suspension done or put my rims on first?
A Typically, as a car gets lowered, the wheels will gain negative camber, giving it more clearance. We wouldn't recommend running zero camber though as the car will drive very poorly, even factory vehicles have a slight degree of negative camber. There's also a good chance that "fitment" won't "fit" your Civic very well. As soon as you put them on, you'll have an idea of what fender work you'll need to do. We'd suggest you go with a 195 wide series tire to give you more fender clearance.
Old School Toyota Help
Q I'm in the military and currently stationed outside the US. There are quite a few old school cars going around that I have heard about, but never really seen in the US. I have the option to purchase a Toyota Cressida, which I have heard you can swap the engine out for a 1JZ or even a 2JZ. Just wanted some clarification on if that's actually true because I would love to have a sleeper that no one would even think of as possibly fast. Also I have a buddy here who is selling his 1985 Celica for $300; it runs decently but I believe it's the FWD layout and not the RWD since they changed the drivetrains midway that year. Either way I was wondering would it but possible and easy to convert it to a GT-Four Celica engine and drivetrain? Oh and by the way you will be pleased to know your magazine does quite well in the Middle East despite it being so hard to find.
A For the '89-92 X83 Toyota Cressida, any JZ engine and transmission will bolt in with the correct JDM engine brackets. And for the older '84-87 X73 Toyota Cressida you will need the newer X83 crossmember in addition to the correct JDM engine brackets. Your 1985 Celica is RWD. It wasn't until 1986 that Toyota changed the Celica to a wussy FWD. 1986 is also when the car changed generations too. There's no mistaking the difference. Whichever Celica your friend has, you won't be able to make it GT-Four spec, as that's the later generation AWD Celica. Pass on the Celica, unless it's an '84-85 GT-S. Those have the IRS and factory fender flares.
EG Swap Tech
Q I have a '95 Civic with more than 300,000 miles. My girlfriend says that my car is too old and that I should get rid of it. But I think very differently. I love my car. Even though it's old, I still want to fix it. I want to start by swapping in a B20B engine. I've done this before in a '90 Integra, but I'm not sure what I might need for the Civic. If you guys could give me an advice I would really appreciate it.
A Installing a B-series engine in your '95 Civic is easy as a swap could be. The entire conversion can be done with all factory OEM Honda parts. Along with the motor, you will need B-series motor mounts, shift linkage, distributor, engine harness, ECU and axles. All of this can come from a '94-01 Integra or a del Sol VTEC.
Q I drive a non-turbo 1996 Nissan 300ZX. Do you know anywhere I can find some street legal headers for that car? I've been starting to work on the car and would really like to install headers next. Keep up the awesomeness.
A Not knowing what state you're in (cause you left that out!), we can't recommend you headers that are street legal in your state. What we can do is point you to Stillen. They are a long-time Nissan specialist that has headers for the non-turbo model 300ZX. Stillen's even worked on porn legend Peter North's 300ZX.
Q I've got a mild build question on my 1997 Integra GS-R B18C1. I read in the tech article that Civic Type R pistons and Integra Type R pistons are great for the B18C1. I think the CTR pistons will have too high of a compression on the B18C1. Which OEM Honda piston would be the best choice for a NA build of around 200whp? Also are there any other mods that need to be done besides the bore so the pistons will work right? I heard someone say something about the combustion chamber.
A B, there is no need for headwork on the combustion chamber in order to fit these pistons. Headwork is completely optional for better flow. It has nothing to do with fitment of the pistons. Plenty of people will do just the pistons. Now deciding on which pistons is completely up to you. Assuming you're still using the GS-R P72 head we'd suggest the B16A PWO pistons (11.5:1 compression ratio) or the JDM ITR pistons (11.4:1 compression ratio). That's just about ideal for pump gas.
Q I just got a stock '89 RX-7 (FC) from an auction for $650. It's got 160k miles, but I hear the 13B can last a while? Anyway, I'm building it now. I just ordered a body kit, getting dents fixed, new paint after the body kit and shopping for seats. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for performance beside nitrous or an engine swap? So far, I just plan on getting some Racing Beat headers and A'PEXi N1 dual exhaust. I've already got a K&N 4" cone filter on it now.
Happy Ending-girl-loving-fellow tuner, John
A FCs are badass and for $650, you can't go wrong. Although hard to find, they do have turbo kits out there for converting the non-turbo 13B to turbo. From what we've seen, the 13B is not as reliable when not boosted. Turbo ones generate a lot of heat, drink a lot of fuel, burn oil and don't like smog tests much. Of course, you'll hear people saying their turbo RX7 is reliable and whatnot. But that's usually after doing some mods, fixes and hardly driving the car much. Never the less you should build the car. Without any forced induction or nitrous the naturally-aspirated 13B lacks torque.