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Old 21st August 2016, 23:51   #76
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

Interesting read. . The crack in the head is most likely due to a weakness which was created by minor casting flaw in the head. While such a casting flaw would not be a issue with stock setup, with the setup you are running it was likely to create problems.

I am assuming that the same head is being reconditioned and used again after being TIG welded. I do hope you X-Ray the head and inspect it throughly before you install the head again to prevent further problems. A better alternative for your setup may be to install an after market performance head which will have been throughly inspected and is purpose built to take the loads you intend to put on it.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 00:21   #77
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PratikPatel View Post
Interesting read. . The crack in the head is most likely due to a weakness which was created by minor casting flaw in the head. While such a casting flaw would not be a issue with stock setup, with the setup you are running it was likely to create problems.

I am assuming that the same head is being reconditioned and used again after being TIG welded. I do hope you X-Ray the head and inspect it throughly before you install the head again to prevent further problems. A better alternative for your setup may be to install an after market performance head which will have been throughly inspected and is purpose built to take the loads you intend to put on it.
The same head isnt being used but it can be. I found a donor head and that has been modified.

We did a Die Penetration test to look for more porous spots but found none.

The R18 engine doesnt have any performance heads available anywhere in the world. So, we had to make our own!

We are now boosting on a wing and a prayer!
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Old 3rd September 2016, 01:01   #78
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

First, the good news.

The car is running again. And when I say running I mean, it is purring like a satisfied kitten that has just finished lapping up an entire bowl of cream!

Blackworks basically did something that hasnt been done anywhere in the world on the R18 engine. Or if someone has done it, we didnt find documentation of it!

They basically chopped off the tight, constricted exhaust port on the Integrated Exhaust Manifold to open it up a bit and allow the exhaust gases to escape faster.

See the original R18 head.... The exhaust gases from Cylinders 1 and 4 basically go into a wall. When they do that at a higher rpm, the pressure inside the cylinders can get very high and the engine feels very strained. Also, due to this, the exhaust gas velocity slows down by the time it exits from the exhaust port into the turbine housing of the Turbo.

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What we have done is basically chopped of a bit of the metal head and made the opening bigger. Take a sharp knife, and start sawing!

After doing that, we compared the flow rates. Replacing exhaust gases with water from a pressurised washer.

Original R18:




Modified R18 head:





See the velocity with which the fluid spurts out of the modified R18 head. Clearly, we were on the right track when it comes to performance.

After waiting interminably for an engine mount, we finally received it and put everything back together. When I say "we" I mean, THEY. My contribution was limited to crying on our FB messenger group about how much I missed my car and my passive aggressive behaviour to get them to finish my car FFFAASSSTT!!!

While waiting for the engine mounts, Venkat also replaced the troublesome Drive By Wire system with a Cable Throttle.

He also added an oil cooler just after the oil filter.
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The end result?


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A BIG MONSTROUS SMILE ON MY FACE!





The first time I sat in the car and turned the key, I was very nervous. How would the car feel? Would it feel nice? Would it perform well? Would it be slow? Would it idle well?

Well, the car feels absolutely mind-blasting fantastic! It performs better than earlier by far! Especially at higher revs. It isnt slow by any stretch of imagination. Idling is a small issue at the moment as we havent yet wired in an Idle Air Control Valve.

The Cable Throttle feels absolutely amazing. The car responds almost instantaneously. I've never had this feeling before and I'm loving it. There is a very small learning curve in modulating the throttle pedal now. Earlier, the electronics would hide my jerky throttle inputs and smoothen everything. Now, it's a lot more direct.

The car revs much more freely and faster all the way to the red line and beyond.

At the moment, we are running just about 6-6.5 PSI of boost. After what happened to the head earlier, we dont want to push too much too soon. We first want to see how the engine and the car will be with the jugaad we have done to a very critical part of the engine.

The best part? The engine has been silenced completely. I made my dad drive my car and he said it's as silent and refined as a stock Civic. Do keep in mind, he drives another Civic(albeit stock) day in and day out as well. So, when he says it is as good as a stock Civic, it is high praise indeed. I actually do feel that my Turbocharged car is far more silent than a stock Civic. But until we get a sound level meter and check, we cant prove it.

The low end driveability is now in a different league altogether. If I tell another Civic owner that you can take speed breakers and U-turns in 2nd gear without using the clutch or lugging the engine, I would find myself forced into a mental asylum. However, this is precisely what I will announce now! (and then go into hiding before you find me!). I am now always one gear higher than what I was used to.

10kmph in 2nd gear, 18 kmph in 3rd gear and 30kmph in 4th gear. What an absolutely fantastic feeling.

Now the bad news:

We dont know how reliable this mod and this car is going to be. There is no report of anyone having tried this anywhere in the world. IF any of you find some links, please do post it here.

We are in uncharted territory now. But it is absolutely mindblowing that this kind of a mod has changed the entire characteristic of the engine. Joe was mentioning that he couldnt use the old ECU map at all because at every point, the engine is behaving differently from the previous setup.


My car now. Lots of scratches and if everything goes according to plan, it will be getting a whole new coat of paint.
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The car at the moment is even better than earlier. I'm not as happy as before as there is always a doubt about how long the car will last. I guess there's only one way to find out! And that is to keep driving!

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Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 3rd September 2016 at 01:13.
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Old 4th September 2016, 10:36   #79
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

From what I read, there is not an ounce of bad news! That's one highly robust build! WOW, just WOW!
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Old 4th September 2016, 10:51   #80
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

Nikhil, being in un-charted territory is NOT bad news ! What's the worst that could possibly happen ? One car engine and the time, effort & money so far. But you have also enjoyed the drive till now. Where unknown problems have come up, that's the learning curve.

Btw, lovely writing !
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Old 4th September 2016, 12:43   #81
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmehta View Post
From what I read, there is not an ounce of bad news! That's one highly robust build! WOW, just WOW!
Hehe. The bad news for me is that the reliability is a question mark.

The thing is, I am totally enjoying the journey. I never expected to learn so much or enjoy the journey so much. I was only focused on the end result which was a fast, silent, refined car. Now, however, while I have that, I have also enjoyed the journey. Of course, the obstacles are not so enjoyable but when everything is working well, I can look back and say that was something I had to go through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Nikhil, being in un-charted territory is NOT bad news ! What's the worst that could possibly happen ? One car engine and the time, effort & money so far. But you have also enjoyed the drive till now. Where unknown problems have come up, that's the learning curve.

Btw, lovely writing !
Thank you for the kind words.

I want people to know that my dad was quite a maverick in his heydays as well. He modified bikes and cars in the 80s. I am doing it exactly 30 years later! He broke his bikes and cars multiple times, learnt what not to do and then did something else to break it and repeat.

I've heard stories and somewhere always wanted to emulate my dad! (Who doesnt hero worship their dad?!)

This journey has been extra special for me because everytime the shit hits the fan, my dad has supported me and reminisced about his experience with his Yezdi Roadkings and his Fiat Rally cars! So, the whole journey has been something special.

Sooner or later, this project may end and I may shift to a fast stock car, and then I will miss the adrenaline rush, the anticipation, the excitement(when everything just comes together perfectly). I may not miss the heartache so much though!
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Old 21st September 2016, 14:50   #82
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

A further update.

We added another mount to support the engine. The Honda Civic's engine mounts are always cracking. There are just 2 main mounts to hold the engine in place. Clearly, even for the stock Civic with our Indian roads, it isnt enough.

With the extra power and torque we are making, we wanted to extend the life of the stock mounts.

We realised that the transmission has 2 holes where a front torque mount is supposed to sit. But the sub frame doesnt have any holes corresponding to that.

So, we made those 2 holes and installed a mount from the OHC to support the engine at the front.

What this has resulted in is a few more vibrations inside the car at idle and while starting from 0kmph. This is because the engine isnt moving anymore to absorb some vibrations.

Apart from this, the car feels a lot stiffer and tighter. And we are confident the newly replaced engine mounts will last a lot longer because the load is now distributed over 3 main mounts rather than just 2.

Apart from this, the car is running well. The IACV has now been wired in and is idling well, albeit a bit high. No hunting, no sudden drops, nothing. The base idle has been set to about 1000-1100 rpm. Will be working on this over the next few days.

Car feels really torquey and unlike a Civic! Can dawdle around the city in 2nd and 3rd gears only.
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Old 15th October 2016, 12:16   #83
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

It's been almost a month since my last update.

The car has been chugging along beautifully. Racking up the kilometres like a typical daily driver.

I crossed 1,58,000 kms recently. 29,000kms since 1st November 2015 when I started the turbo process. And the car was down from middle of July to August end.

This distance has been covered in just about 8-9 months of driving.
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The car is faster than ever and 3rd gear specifically is just epic. Fantastic. Mindblowing. I'm thoroughly enjoying driving the car, even through the terrible city traffic of Bangalore.


The newest update/addition to my car is this small little OLED screen. This connects to the ECU via a ribbon cable and shows all the engine parameters. It has 3 buttons using which we can cycle through various screens.
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It feels very flimsily built and doesnt feel like a quality product. However, it seems to work as advertised. And I do not like having multiple gauges to show various parameters.

Also, this is good VFM. It cost me $178. Given that one single good gauge costs around the same, this seems like a good deal.

It is not yet perfectly calibrated. We are unable to see the correct boost on this screen though it is perfect on the ECU. There is a new firmware upgrade for this screen and hoping we can get it right.

The AFR is perfectly accurate and so are the Coolant temperature, air temperature and the Exhaust Gas Temperature readings.

It also works like an oscilloscope showing the Voltage readings of various sensors like TPS(throttle position sensors), EGT(Exhaust Gas Temerature), ECT(Engine Coolant Temp), MAP(Manifold Air Pressure), MAF(Mass Air Flow).

Another screen also shows my 0-100, 60-100 and 400m acceleration

Another screen shows my 50-0, 90-0 and 100-0 braking times and distances.

Another screen shows the engine RPM, gear, etc... This screen is quite useless to be honest. The RPM isnt an actual rpm but calculated on the injector flow rate. So, it is very slow to react.


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Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 15th October 2016 at 12:18.
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Old 16th October 2016, 12:47   #84
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Post re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

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Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
It's been almost a month since my last update.
Hello Nikhil. I want to ask that how does this device calculate the accelaration or breaking. is there a separate gps receiver and accelerometer built-in the device ? Whats the fastest 0 to 100 acceleration you have recorded with this


Mod Note: Please avoid quoting the entire post when responding

Last edited by ampere : 24th October 2016 at 03:45.
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Old 17th October 2016, 11:29   #85
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

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Originally Posted by AliAbdullah View Post
Hello Nikhil. I want to ask that how does this device calculate the accelaration or breaking. is there a separate gps receiver and accelerometer built-in the device ? Whats the fastest 0 to 100 acceleration you have recorded with this
Device reads the wheel speed from the ECU. This ECU's wheel speed had to be calibrated when we setup the ECU many months ago. We find a difference of about 1-2kmph between the GPS speed and the ECU speed. ECU speed is a teeny bit slower.

I havent tried any 0-100 proper launches. My clutch is on it's way out and personally I'm not a fan of 0-100 times. I focus on the way my car feels.

My car has also been tuned to run best between 3000-6000 rpm. If I do a 0-100 run, it will be slow as in 2nd gear post 5.5k-6k rpm, the boost starts to turn down. This has been done deliberately to encourage me to upshift and protect the engine and keep the EGTs under control.

Maybe one day, with a new clutch, we will run a tune which will keep the boost turned all the way up in 2nd which will enable me to set a proper 0-100 time. For now, I upshift at about 6k rpm and enjoy the wave of torque that comes with this incredible 3rd gear.
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Old 24th October 2016, 00:16   #86
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Post re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

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Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
Device reads the wheel speed from the ECU. This ECU's wheel speed had to be calibrated when we setup the ECU many months ago. We find a difference of about 1-2kmph between the GPS speed and the ECU speed. ECU speed is a teeny bit slower.
Well, I can understand the 3rd gear shove which you must be experiencing. Since its a five speed and has taller gearing and I dont know it for sure but civic had a pretty aggressive final drive of 4.3 Now couple tall gearing, aggressive final drive with 250Nm torque at wheels, 3rd gear is bound to be a blast. There is really no need to push beyond 6000 rpm as per dyno result, post 6k torque tapers off very quickly. You will get more wheel torque by revving the engine and not short-shifting for fastest possible acceleration but the difference would not be worth risking the engine. Torque peak is still between 4500 to 5500 which is great for drivability and short bursts of acceleration. Enjoy the sweet build Bro!

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Old 4th November 2016, 18:29   #87
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Default To be merged with my Turbo Civic thread

This post is going to be a big one!

I’ll call this my anniversary post. I gave my car to Blackworks on 31st of October 2015 and exactly a year later, I am so much wiser and more experienced.

To quickly sum up the important changes that have been made:

1. We replaced the stock worn out lower arm bushes with stainless steel spherical. Why? What is the result? I’ll explain soon.
2. Changed the steering ball joints, tie rod ends and lower arm ball joints.
3. Ordered a new clutch which will be changed soon.
4. I changed or modified my opinion on the OLED screen. I’m a big fan now. I was complaining about the build quality earlier, but I guess that was directed more towards the cheap plastic enclosure it comes in. The screen itself is EXCELLENT! Display is great and the readability is absolutely phenomenal in all conditions. I am extremely glad that I can keep an eye on most of the important parameters without taking my eyes off the road. It also goes very well with the cockpit style display of the Civic.

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Trying out the depth effect mode on the iPhone 7 Plus!

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The stainless steel ball joint is supposed to reduce the play of the steering. It is supposed to make my steering much more accurate and tight. Blackworks got these steel thingies for me and installed it. Took just a couple of hours to install it. What helped was that Bhuvan’s car’s lower arms were taken off and these steel balls were installed in them. Then, when I took my car, the lower arms from my car were swapped to the ones which had the metal bushes installed. Hardly took a couple of hours and I was done! Thanks Bhuvan!

And I can safely say after a few highway drives, it totally works. I used to think I had the best steering and suspension setup with my Teins and the stock Hydraulic Power Steering of the Honda Civic. Well, my eyes have been opened now thanks to Blackworks. The car is incredibly stable now. Those who have driven a Civic at high speeds know that while the HPS is damn good, it gets a bit light at high speeds. This forces you to keep your speed in check if you want to live! My steering now feels absolutely rock solid even at illegal speeds. (checked on a closed stretch of road). The tiniest bit of input I give results in the wheels turning. This kind of responsiveness is just MEGA!(Chris Harris Style!).

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Around some large-ish circles in South Bangalore (Basavangudi for the people who know), my car feels like it’s oversteering. Probably because I am turning the steering wheel more than I should. This is exactly how I felt when I first got the Teins.

Lane changes at 120kmph involve as much drama as watching paint dry. These stainless steel balls or bushes cost a bomb but I must say it is totally worth it.

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I only wish I had bought this with my Teins. I could have enjoyed them much more! These spherical bushings make even a Stock Civic more fun to drive. The stock Civic is reasonably slow in a straight line and the only fun to be had is in the corners. And with this steering, it would be a hoot to drive!

The final advantage is that these bushings will never wear out. Typically the rubber bushes need to be changed regularly to keep your steering as direct as you want. But steel doesn’t wear out quickly, so we hope these will last me to the end of time!

The disadvantage of this is that it doesn’t absorb any vibrations. The rubber bush doesn’t have vertical travel anyway, but I feel it used to absorb some of the vibrations when driving on a rough road. Now, on a rough road, I can feel more of the road. It isn’t a very nice feeling though. It still isn’t too bad and the ride and comfort are exceptional for a car like this. It's also a lot more audible. Many times, the bump itself isnt harder, but I can hear it much louder.

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I also crossed the milestone of 30,000 kms on a turbo car. I started the turbo process around 1,29,xxx kms. Crossed 1,59,000 and then 1,60,000 kms. That is almost a 100,000 miles! In 6 years, 8 months and 5 days. I’m pretty happy with the amount of driving I’ve done.

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This would be the time to give credit to Blackworks.

I don’t think (m)any turbocharged cars can claim to have clocked up 30,000 kms in a year. Our journey hasn’t been perfect, but in spite of it, I’ve covered enormous distance. This is evidence of the relatively low number of downtimes I’ve had. And when I’ve had the car running, it has run long and hard. The longest downtime was when the head cracked and we went completely experimental. That was when the car was down for 1.5 months. I would estimate total downtime to be close to 3 months in the year. Which makes the fact that the car held up for 30,000 kms in 9 months all the more remarkable.

I’ve heard of cars sitting in workshops for 5-6 months for a turbo build. I’ve probably covered 15,000 kms in that time!

What I have truly appreciated in this time is the commitment of Venkat and Chandru to get my car running as quickly as possible but without compromising on the quality of the job done. There have been a couple of occasions where I was pushing them to deliver the car sooner but they stuck to their guns and did a thorough job of checking everything and only then delivering the car. This ensured I never got stuck in the middle of the road at any time(except of course when the head blew and coolant got into the exhaust system).

It would have been very easy for Blackworks to delay things or take it easy and tell me that this is how things work in this industry. However, they always ensured they did the fastest work possible. They have always understood the fact that I have only one car and being without a car is a huge problem for me. So, they have worked around my schedule making sure I am not inconvenienced. Chandru has worked through the nights, through holidays and weekends, scheduled work for when I am out of Bangalore, just to ensure I don’t cry about not having my car.
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After initially deciding to go with them for my build, I am happy that the promises they made were kept. They promised me that my car wouldn’t be rotting in a workshop for weeks or months together while they slowly built the car. This was one of the main reasons I went with them as there are numerous stories of cars sitting in workshops for months together and no work is done on them for multiple reasons and the delivery dates keep getting extended on one pretext or the other.

Seeing the current trend of car companies wanting to rip Indians off, I am keener than ever to keep this car for as long as I can. There is no car below 50 lakhs that can keep me this happy. The Octavia 1.8 TSI comes close but thanks to that 7 speed DSG, I am keeping far away from it.

During the last 1 year, my build has evolved a lot. My car’s build. Not mine. My build is still the same sadly! :( .
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What started off as a quick build to get a fast, reliable car has turned into a not-so-quick build to get a fast, reliable car. We’ve gone through 2 heads, 2 clutches, 2 sets of brake pads(am on my second one now), 3 turbos, 2 sets of tyres (on my second one now) and innumerable heartbreaks.


As of now, I am totally in love with the car. I’ve always been the one offering to pick up and drop relatives from the airport/railway station/relatives’ houses/ etc… With the car in the current form, it is even more so. I am hopelessly addicted. It’s taking a “toll” on me! I am eager to just keep on driving. I rarely drive from one place to another now via the shortest route. I seem to go round and round in circles and take the longest route back home.
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We have two Civics at home and both, my dad and I, are very reluctant to upgrade. There is too much of a premium being demanded for this class of car today.

Pics taken outside out office.

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There were a couple of times when it made a lot of sense to end this project. Everyone around me was telling me to look back at this as a learning exercise and call it a day. However, I stuck to the project. I dont consider it a victory or anything great. We are still in uncharted territory. We dont know if this engine will last. However, my heart and soul didnt want to give up. I think you guys can understand the feeling!

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It doesnt help that my family is expanding in a few weeks from now!
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So, to conclude this post (not the thread!),
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Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 5th November 2016 at 15:33.
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Old 7th November 2016, 09:03   #88
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

It's here!

Hopefully will be done by tomorrow night!

Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!-img_6440.jpg
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Old 9th November 2016, 11:23   #89
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

Got my car back from Blackworks after the clutch change.

The original clutch plate was in ok condition but some burn marks were seen on the pressure plate and the flywheel. We got the flywheel machined to ensure good grip post installation of the new clutch.

Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!-img_6495.jpg

Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!-img_6497.jpg

Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!-img_6498.jpg

Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!-img_6499.jpg

Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!-img_6501.jpg

Venkat made some changes to the flywheel so the pressure plate applies more force on the clutch against the flywheel. This should improve life, reduce slipping and make my car faster.

The drawback is that the clutch pedal feel is much harder now.... Nothing like the butter soft clutch of the stock Honda clutch. A big problem I will faced is when I stalled on a steep incline. Getting the car going with this hard clutch was a bit problematic.

However, I expect things to improve as the clutch itself beds in and I also get used to this pedal feel.

The car absolutely flies now!
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Old 9th November 2016, 12:19   #90
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Default re: Turbo R18 Honda Civic - 34,000 km, a FIRE and a track day!

Congrats Nikhil on finally getting to a stable build and putting so much miles on it. You have a lot of perseverance and looks like its paid off mightily. I am sure this car surprises many a German on the open roads! Are you still running the stock exhaust? I
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