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'88 Acura Legend Part 1 - Build Log

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Charles Trieu
Jul 30, 2012

People often ask me what kind of car I drive for having the position that I do. Although I have a few other projects, my daily driver is an '88 Acura Legend. Can you believe I actually looked at Legends for six months before I bought this one? One owner, 70K miles, no accidents, and manual transmission-such a gem. No this isn't your typical import. I have always liked the body style of this car and simply wanted a different car. This is going to be an all '80s buildup, old-school wheels and old-school audio. I've got a tape deck and a car phone, too! Now I don't expect anyone to build a Legend, but hopefully this will encourage people to build some cool cars that aren't too typical.

1. Check out those sweet factory fender flares. Unfortunately, no one seems to make coilovers for the '86-90 Legend, but I got crafty and figured out a way to get this car down low.

2. First on the agenda was to get a set of '94-'97 Honda Accord coilovers. A set was sourced by DGR Performance. This method should work on any '87-90 Legend. Sorry, but the '86 models are SOL.

Impp 1207 04 o+1988 acura legend part 1+accord coilovers Photo 4/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG

3. The Accord top hats will not fit so I had to use the factory Legend ones on both the front and back. To make them fit the smaller 2.5-inch coilover spring, I had to use a utility knife to trim down the bottom rubber inner portion of the hat.

Impp 1207 05 o+1988 acura legend part 1+accord top hat Photo 5/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG

4. Accord coilover with Legend top hat

Impp 1207 06 o+1988 acura legend part 1+accord coilover Photo 6/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG

5. Our next problem: The Accord front struts don't have a long enough step for the fork bolt to sit properly. Forcing it will leave the bolt up too high and crush the strut.

Impp 1207 07 o+1988 acura legend part 1+accord front strut Photo 7/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG

6. The gap difference is exactly 5mm. Using five of these 1mm steel spacers from (PN 98055A384), and we were back in business.

Impp 1207 08 o+1988 acura legend part 1+spacers Photo 8/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG

7. They are a perfect fit with a 45mm inner diameter and 55mm outer diameter.

Impp 1207 09 o+1988 acura legend part 1+accord strut Photo 9/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG

8. I got lucky and found a set of race version Volk Artisan Fins in 17x9 with a +15 offset. Here they are after the lips were repolished, faces repainted, and bolts re-zinc coated. All of the restoration work was done by Araya Wheels. I even found the aero covers.

Impp 1207 10 o+1988 acura legend part 1+volk artisan fins Photo 10/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG
Impp 1207 15 o+1988 acura legend part 1+tire stretching Photo 14/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG

9. If you're going to stretch a tire, make sure you go to a tire shop that has experience, like the guys from 714 Tires. Going elsewhere will just get you puzzled looks.

Impp 1207 14 o+1988 acura legend part 1+714 tires Photo 15/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG
Impp 1207 17 o+1988 acura legend part 1+general tire G max high performance tires Photo 16/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG

10. General Tire's new G-Max high-performance tires came in the perfect size for the Volks, 205/45-17 for the 17x9s.

Impp 1207 16 o+1988 acura legend part 1+general tire G max high performance tires Photo 17/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG

11. Even at a narrow 205, the tires were getting in the way of the fenders. To keep from screwing up our fenders and paint, we went to Isaac Sandoval from Fenda Rolla for his magic touch.

Impp 1207 18 o+1988 acura legend part 1+build log Photo 18/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG

12. Finito.

Impp 1207 22 o+1988 acura legend part 1+rolled fender Photo 22/22   |   IMPP-120700-BLOG


General Tire
Charlotte, NC 28288
Mackin Industries
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
McMaster Carr
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
714 Tires
Westminster, CA 92683
Araya Wheels
Fenda Rolla
By Charles Trieu
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