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Old 11th January 2017, 16:50   #1
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Default My Turbo Honda City Story

January 2017 brings in close to 5 years of ownership of my 2003 City Vtec. These past few years were very eventful for both me and the car and I would like to share my experience so far.


It was February 2012 when I set out to buy a car as somehow tried to convince myself that my bike was not enough to get me from work and back. I made up stories like the sun was too harsh and the pollution levels on the street would give me severe bronchitis on a regular basis. All this just to butter my dad up to get me a little money so I could pick up a car. After almost a month of begging and complaining finally my dad agreed to get me something. He wanted to get me a new VW polo and told me that it was the most practical choice. He said he would pay an advance for the vehicle and let me pay the rest of the amount on a monthly basis. Even though that was the most practical decisions to be made the petrol head inside me wanted something else. I had a few options in my head at that point out of which the Honda City was a top priority. Apart from these there were the Cedia and Palio. ( Now that I look back i dont even remember why the Palio in on that list). The search began for the cars and OLX was the way to go. I shortlisted a few cars in the next few weeks (all this while my dad thought I was going to take his suggestion of getting a VW). Finally the day came where i rehearsed this entire speech of how It would be more expensive to get a new car and over time the value of it diminishes and so on. After an hour of discussion after dinner my dad got pissed of and told me he would give me 2 lakhs and i could buy whatever i wanted with that . It was an "Oh Snap" moment for me as all the cars I had shortlisted were in the 3 - 4 lakh range.*

I was back to square one in scouting for a car. Finally one day I found a Honda 1.5 exi for 2.2 Lakhs. It was well maintained from the looks of it and the price point I just needed to shell in an extra 20k from my pocket and the cat would be mine. But deep inside it kept haunting me that it was not the Vtec version. One fine day I found an add on OLX for a 2003 vtec for sale with a price tag of 2.65 lakhs. It was a lady owned car and bone stock. The car then had dents and scratches on all four sides and slight rust popping out in certain spots but u open the hood and everything was clean there. It had no history of accidents as well. *At the time if had run 46,000 and after interacting with the lady I felt they were genuine Kms run. This was a hefty amount over the money I had in my hand and considering the pea*sized*pay I got back then it was next to impossible for me to get that much money. Anyways I went to see the car the next day again to see if I could negotiate. I got to her place and as assumed it would be I found a few people there interested in the car as well. They were negotiating on the car and they seemed to look like brokers to me. I somehow managed to squeeze in the guts and went over to speak to her. I thought I'd speak to her one last time and try to negotiate. She said the final amount she would some to is 2.45 Lakhs. I made a quick decision then and paid her a 5000 Rupee advance. It was an act of the moment and It*didn't*feel like i had complete clue of what was happening then.

One the way back home on my bike I kept on questioning my decision and if what I did was the right thing to have been done. The next day I checked my horoscope out on Bangalore Mirror and saw that it stated that I would spend money on something which I would regret later. I*bravely*chose to imagine I didn't read that part and went on to see how I could make the additional funds.

After a week and half of organising and getting the funds sorted I went on to collect the car. The transfer was done and I was so fortunate to see that the car had a full tank of fuel inside. Just my luck i would say. The commute back home something I still remember to the details. The car back then looked a little broken on the outside but it drove well. the pictures attached below will show you what I meant by broken.

My Turbo Honda City Story-img_20140729_103734.jpg
My Turbo Honda City Story-img_20140729_103705.jpg
My Turbo Honda City Story-img_20140729_103723.jpg

The bumpers seemed to have never had been aligned with the body. The lights were all out of position one of the lights was newer that the other. Apart from those the car also had a lot of scratches and small dents around the body. Visually the car looked horrendous but I was so glad it drove without any hiccups.


Over the course of the next few months I started reading a lot on the Car scene in Bangalore and where and how the Vtec stood. I brushed through a lot or write ups online and also whatever I could find on facebook. The big names back then was red roosters and that is all I heard. I gave them a call from the number I found on their Facebook page one day and didn’t get any answer. I then saw race dynamics and called them said they only did ECUs and they said I probably should talk to Race Concept.*

I didn’t call Race Concepts the next day but I send them an email and I was responded to within the same day. The very next day I called them and Joel and I had a conversation for about 20 minutes. I felt comfortable with how he responded to my questions. His approach was very professional and he asked me to drop down to the garage sometime. I was set to go meet him the next week on a Friday after I took half day from my work. I headed for Begur and after a while*traveling*down that road I found myself in a village set up and i thought to myself that I might have been lost. I called Joel up again and he said I was on the right path and spoke to me about a church on my left right after a temple and I was exactly there. From that place it took me like another 5 minutes and I was at Race Concepts. I spend around an hour talking to Joel about what he could do for the car and how we could up the performance and make it more fun to drive. Joel suggested we go high compression, upgrade the intake manifold, full header system, a little bit of*head work, intake system to be changed an a few minor tweaks which I*didn't*even understand at the time. All this talk got me exited and I went went back dreaming about making the money to get it all done. In a months’ time I took the car back to RC and dropped it off to get all the works done. I knew the car looked like a piece of moving junk to me then but I wanted to make it go faster before making the car look good. Joel would update me on a daily basis regarding the works happening and send me pictures once a day or so.

A week had passed and I went to pick the car. Joel cranked up the car and took me for a quick spin and I was in love with the sound and the way the car pulled. It was so much faster than stock then itself. The car developed more initial torque and the scream of the exhaust at higher revs just made it all the much sweeter. I was a happier man driving back home.*

My Turbo Honda City Story-img_20151114_1304062.jpg

Two days later I decided to drive home to Kerala and it was an awesome experience. Yes, it was a loud trip but it was so much fun. To my surprise I got around 17 Kmpl of mixed driving. I did speed a couple of times and it was fun but i was so surprised to see my cars fuel efficiency go up after getting so much performance out. That was the moment I decided that i would trust no other than Joel when it came to my car build.*

My Turbo Honda City Story-kerala-copy.jpg

I reached home in about 9 hours and initially my dad thought that my exhaust was broken and so the sound. I cleared up his doubt and he later took the car to his work and came back with a smile in the evening.*

The car performed well throughout the rev range and even with the AC on the performance didn't really flicker. *and I had thought that I would be happy and content with a car which performed as my cad did and I would keep the car just the way it was. Very soon i realised that it wasn't the case and the Addiction for horse power just started to get into me. In the next few months I became a regular visitor at RC either to just have a look and talk cars of come for some small quick fixes or a service. Joel at RC was ever more kind to help me with the smaller stuff as well. For instance, I had an issue with my brake callipers as they would leak the grease inside and start rattling after a while and once he knew the issue he sourced me a set of used callipers in good condition and the noise was done with.*

A few months has passed and I was climbing upwards in my career as well. I now wanted the car to not only go fast but also look good. I spoke to Joel and asked him where I could get the car painted and he was like "bring it in"( until then I had no clue that RC painted cars as well). I was glad RC could handle it all as I didn't really trust any other mechanic or shop to leave my car with. So in a week i dropped the car off. I wanted to see some sort of an example as to what I could expect in terms of output. I reached RC at around 10:30 and Joel came in within 15 minutes. He opened the shop and pointed me to a bluish silver City lying in his shop. My jaw dropped. It looked so clean and nice and then Joel told me that its turbo charged as well. It was sex on 4 wheels. I just took one picture of that car back then and its attached below. ( the car belonged to Jagdish BL ).

My Turbo Honda City Story-img_20140729_113602.jpg

After seeing Jagdish's car I had high hopes of what I could expect in terms or my car. It was a painful and at the same time exiting 3 weeks of waiting. I would bug Joel every day to ask for what was happening. I could not help myself but call him up every day for updates. He somehow bore with me being so adamant to get pictures of what was happening. He sent me a few pictures in a few days. They are shown below.*

My Turbo Honda City Story-prep2.jpg
My Turbo Honda City Story-prep3.jpg



This was a lot of work from the way I saw it. I would drop in to the shop maybe once a week just create pictures of what the car would look like in the end. The wait was killing me.*The paint was coming out so well and the car was taking shape. Joel got his guys to pay special attention on all the lines that flow on the car and they were to the dot. In the mean time I sold off the stock OE Rims, picked up a set of front grills from a fellow vtec owner Karthik, bought some new rims and tires and took out the art leather seat covers. Also Joel stiffened the suspension and lowered the car. Got everything to RC one night and I was drooling as the mechanics put everything together.*

My Turbo Honda City Story-rims.jpg
My Turbo Honda City Story-tyres.jpg
The final output just blew me away. I was amazed by the transformation and all the hard work put in by RC. They killed the brief. They met every expectation I had on the car and they went so far ahead that I had no doubts on their skill and commitment.

My Turbo Honda City Story-output.jpg
My Turbo Honda City Story-img_20151030_134417.jpg
My Turbo Honda City Story-img_20140909_200002.jpg

I new suspension set up was great. The car didn’t feel like a boat any more. It held itself well and was much better at cornering too. I just had to be a little careful with the large speed bumps we have in the city but apart from that it was a good fun set up.
In a month I went back to RC to get a final drive set up in the car. We did a 5.1 final drive and was it fun in the city. The car would do 25kmph on the 5th gear. The gas mileage in the city also improved. I grew to a point where I was falling in love with the car on a daily basis.
In the next few months I did a few trips to Kerala and back. A few to Coorg and a few shorter drives. 3 years of ownership and I had already covered 30,000 km. The car gave no issues even after all the work Joel has done to the car. The compression were steady. Nothing was leaking and the performance never hit a stop either. All I did was do a timely service and do everything that Joel asked to do.

A few months had passed and I wanted an upgrade and for some reason I put up my Car for sale. I had a plan of selling this car and picking up a VRS. I put up an add for the car and got really good response. I also spoke to Joel and he told me that it would be one decision that I would regret. It took me a few days to realize that. I had one a few guys who were ready to pick up the car at price I had quoted but I reflected on all the effort and the time I put into the car and it wasn’t worth the money to sell it.

My Turbo Honda City Story-screen-shot-20170111-4.12.11-pm.png

It took me a week to get back to my senses. After thinking a lot about it and researching quite a bit about all the options I had decided to keep the car and go Turbo and I know just the person to take the car to.

Spoke to the main man Joel and him like always said everything can be done. Like always he asked me to drop the car in. This time I went there and my word the place was packed. I had never seen so many cars in RC. I garage was packed and they had cars parked outside as well.

We sat in his office and spoke of the options. We decided to go stock internals to begin with and a smaller faster spooling turbo. We got to work. I got to work organizing the funds and Joel got to work in making a kickass machine by the end of it.

This again was a month long process and a few delays were expected. I didn’t want to complain as I know how much effort Joel puts into make things perfect. From the past I figured that he had OCD issues just as me. So I sat patiently waiting without any complaints as I knew that in the end he would come out a killer machine.

I dropped the car in and every now and then Joel would send me updates on what was happening. I had a lot more pictures on the build but that phone with the pics got fried and never with all the excitement of the built I never bothered to back those pictures up. A few of the pictures I still have are provided below.
Attached Thumbnails
My Turbo Honda City Story-img20151222wa0002.jpg  

My Turbo Honda City Story-img20151229wa0028.jpg  

My Turbo Honda City Story-img20160114wa0045.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 12th January 2017 at 11:09. Reason: OHC = Honda City
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Old 11th January 2017, 17:38   #2
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Default Re: My Turbo Honda City Story

Brilliant write-up on what's turning out to be a lovely car, NVA88.

Kudos for not painting the City in one of those neon colours (crazy colour in MB speak). No offense to those who have, I personally am not a fan.

Can't wait to see how things turn out.
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Old 11th January 2017, 17:38   #3
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Little by little the build was taking shape Joel went ahead and painted the valve cover and it looked hot. The contrast between the valve cover and the waste gate was just pure bliss. The manifold was made so well and all created by RC in house. The attention to detail was second to none. The quality of execution was also spot on.

My Turbo Honda City Story-img_0658.jpg
My Turbo Honda City Story-img_0660.jpg

The car initially ran a piggy back ECU from RD which later caused some feeling issues once boost kicked it. The car would bog beyond 3400 rpm. This got me worried a bit as drove the car to kerala. I called joel and I tried to try and fix the issue but failed. Later we figured out that it was an issue with the piggy back eco we had. I drove the car back 630km without boosting it and the car made it back without any issues at all. Took the car to joel the next day and we swapped it to a stand along unit and everything was back to normal. If only had I not tried to cheap out and gone ahead with a standalone from the beginning I wished. Joel was very helpful here as well. He got me the money back for my piggy back and I just had to pay the balance amount for the standalone.
The car now made HP in the range of 230 at a mere 5.7 psi. Joel tested the car and he stated that the car would do 0-100 within the late 6 second range.

My Turbo Honda City Story-10553924_984185051657903_624484228192992307_o.png
My Turbo Honda City Story-10398335_980092775400464_4720412876131800932_n.jpg
My Turbo Honda City Story-12705303_963717053704703_6558634867868222894_n.jpg

My experience with RC has always been smooth from day 1. Joel to me is a go getter and doesn’t stop unless he gets to what he wants. All I feel I should do is give him the freedom to experiment and do his own thing. It would sometimes take time but trust me the wait would be worth it. From the way I see if my car is his brain child and I only have my name on the RC Card. I would blindly trust him and his team with everything on my car. The vast knowledge he has together with his experience is no joke. Just let him do the tuning and you do the driving.

Ever Since the bolt on turbo upgrade I took part in two drags. One at Jakkur and the other at Taneja. I clocked a 14.6 at Jakkur.. I messed up my run at Taneja though. I shamefully clocked a 15.2 second run . Taneja was a much better track and I really messed up my run.

My Turbo Honda City Story-12991050_1008492795893795_8432569545044131344_n.jpg

Sometimes I wonder how my life would have been different if I had listened to my Dad and went on to buy a VW like he said. I wonder how I would have missed out on a lot of knowledge and rich experiences. How I would miss the opportunity to meet people who have so much dedication in terms of work and who always want to achieve and go that extra mile every time. I would have not met so many people who are have become more like family at this point of time. After these 4 years all I can see is that when I look back and connect the dots I see I have made every right decision even though back then all of what I have now looked like an impossible dream. When I look at the picture above and see my pride and joy next to a VW i know proved that days horoscope wrong.

My Turbo Honda City Story-img_20140910_133158.jpg

Right now the car is back at Race Concepts and there are a few more mods thats going into the car. Updates and pictures of the build will be posted here soon.
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Old 11th January 2017, 22:17   #4
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Excellent write up sir. I know the feeling of parting with a VTEC (been there and consider myself a stupid) Can you please let me know the costs that went into all the mods you have carried out (incl paint). Have some funds available, and if can convince the Lady and budget permits then would love to pick a City again & get it Turbo'd.

Last edited by GTO : 12th January 2017 at 11:10. Reason: OHC = Honda City
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Old 12th January 2017, 11:02   #5
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The long pending post buddy! Love the way your car pulls, like I keep saying the more I'm shotgun-ing in your's or Pranay's car the more I want to push the performance of my car. Most feel factory horses are the safest bet and it is problem free. Well I completely agree on that, but wheres the fun in that. Anyone can drop money and go buy a car off the shelf and drive it around, but building a car/ getting it built (in most of our cases ) is far more involving and fun according to me. I can go ahead and buy an in-line six German horse as well or maybe even the Ford legend in a year or two, but well I wouldn't have met many enthusiasts that way or probably not even bothered signing up for the drags. Can't imagine how boring it'd be without the events. It's easy to bring up only the negatives about a tuner and portray them in a bad way, I hope this thread among others makes people understand that there are numerous Turbo builds that are reliable and has immense amount of power in them be it from Race Concepts or any other. This is why I swear by Joel as well. Here's hoping to see more built cars be it NA or FI from whoever they feel is worthy of getting their cars built by. Enjoyed reading your post, see you on the outside

Last edited by blahman : 12th January 2017 at 11:14.
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Old 12th January 2017, 21:07   #6
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Congratulations NVA88 on getting your build thread up online.

Quote:
Right now the car is back at Race Concepts and there are a few more mods thats going into the car.
Name:  darkside.JPG
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Glad that you have decided to go the route that you have. Life's a little too boring at 6-7psi.

Quote:
building a car/ getting it built (in most of our cases ) is far more involving and fun according to me.
True, it can be involving, you can learn a lot and having the build turn out just the way you want it to is immensely satisfying. I remember seeing your car for the first time, I thought to myself "this guy has good taste, great choice of wheels".
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Old 12th January 2017, 22:25   #7
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Default Re: My Turbo Honda City Story

Are the injector connectors held on by tons of electrical tape?

My Turbo Honda City Story-img_0658001.jpg

My Turbo Honda City Story-img_0660001.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 13th January 2017 at 12:41. Reason: Last line not required - no sarcasm please
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Old 13th January 2017, 10:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coloneljasi View Post
Brilliant write-up on what's turning out to be a lovely car, NVA88.

Kudos for not painting the City in one of those neon colours (crazy colour in MB speak). No offense to those who have, I personally am not a fan.

Can't wait to see how things turn out.

Thanks mate. I too am always against flashy colours. Always been a fan of Grey tones more than the bright loud colourations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaandBaaz View Post
Excellent write up sir. I know the feeling of parting with a VTEC (been there and consider myself a stupid) Can you please let me know the costs that went into all the mods you have carried out (incl paint). Have some funds available, and if can convince the Lady and budget permits then would love to pick a City again & get it Turbo'd.

thanks @kaandbaaz. It would have been one of most regretful things I would have done if I had sold the car. In terms of financials this has been an expensive project because I did things bit by bit and also bought things from abroad. So customs and just the cost of parts are hefty when we convert them to INR. and more over its been about a year and a half since all thats on the car now was done so with the change in time the cost also might have gone up. One advice i would give you is to collect the money and go all out once you have enough cash. The slow and steady route I took turned out to cost more for me at this stage. In terms of amounts It would again depend on what all you want done on the car and how much the expected power output is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blahman View Post
The long pending post buddy! Love the way your car pulls, like I keep saying the more I'm shotgun-ing in your's or Pranay's car the more I want to push the performance of my car. Most feel factory horses are the safest bet and it is problem free. Well I completely agree on that, but wheres the fun in that. Anyone can drop money and go buy a car off the shelf and drive it around, but building a car/ getting it built (in most of our cases ) is far more involving and fun according to me. I can go ahead and buy an in-line six German horse as well or maybe even the Ford legend in a year or two, but well I wouldn't have met many enthusiasts that way or probably not even bothered signing up for the drags. Can't imagine how boring it'd be without the events. It's easy to bring up only the negatives about a tuner and portray them in a bad way, I hope this thread among others makes people understand that there are numerous Turbo builds that are reliable and has immense amount of power in them be it from Race Concepts or any other. This is why I swear by Joel as well. Here's hoping to see more built cars be it NA or FI from whoever they feel is worthy of getting their cars built by. Enjoyed reading your post, see you on the outside
Thanks mate. I understand what you're saying. All that negativity just spoils the fun out it all. Personally I have no complains to make regarding my build and I am more than happy with what I have got. It again boils down to how you treat each other be it a customer or a tuner. Give Respect to Gain Respect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyBoi View Post
Are the injector connectors held on by tons of electrical tape?

Attachment 1594651

Attachment 1594652



Riiight. All the best for your car man.

The tape isn't what's holding the wires together. The wires have been crimped together to hold them before insulating them. I think it's globally accepted that crimping is a far superior method for joining wires especially when compared to "twisting and taping" or soldering.
The cars been running on this set up for over a year and a half now . Clocked over 9k and its been working well for me. never broken down, never smoked or caused any havoc.

Last edited by GTO : 13th January 2017 at 12:41. Reason: Merging back to back posts. And removing last line as quoted post is being edited
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