This is just a simple log of my changes to the FD2R and mods going forward. A little bit of a background before I continue. I started off my love affair with the 8th Generation Civic (3rd Generation Civic Type R - or FD2R as it is mostly called here) - way back in 2008 with a Civic FD2A (the 2 Litre automatic)! That's right! I feel in love with the Civic Type R after driving the garden variety Civic and tinkering around with it. I had the aero and handling sorted out with that car, but I really wanted to get myself into a manual and things in Singapore are kinda complicated as far as modifications, transmission swaps etc. are concerned. After my brush with the authorities over the modifications made to the car... I finally decided it was time to go "legit". So with my wife's blessing and consent, I swapped the keys for the FD2A for the FD2R.
I'd always been in love with the pre-facelift FD2R. My FD2A was a face-lift model, but those hexagon tail lamps never quite caught on with me. So, that coupled withe the fact that I could get a great deal on an 07 FD2R meant that the choice was pretty straightforward. I located a seller locally and bought it directly off him. I finally had a pretty stock pre-facelift FD2R - complete with those instantly recognizable round taillights.
The FD2A was my wedding car - I have the most understanding wife in the world
- so my project was actually intended to have the FD2R more or less mimic the look of our wedding car and maybe turn it up to 11. I was on an M and M kit sourced from the local M&M distributor - it was a first edition, I was pretty chuffed to get my hands on it - one of the first few at the time. I'd always liked the look of it. I'd paired it with Ings side skirts, an original Civic Type R rear bumper with customer cut-outs, and a Feels rear diffuser. At the time, the J's bonnet was the most popular design out there, so one was sourced from Carbon Teknics and the CF Trunk with Mugen Wing completed the look. I'll decline to put up details on the engine over here as it's pretty sensitive to the authorities, so out of respect to its new owner, I can only tell you we had some work done on it.
Some of the notable upgrades we managed to get on the car were the bodykit - FD2 and FD2R kits are actually pretty different - changing to an FD2R kit required changing a lot of things like the fender liners, crash bars, brake ducts and so on. the kit you see on the car was meant for an FD2R so the entire FD2 front end had to be discarded. The car was fully stiffened - on went the entire catalog I could get from Summit Racing - their bars are mostly aluminum which I picked where possible over the steel options from brands like Cusco unless Summit didn't carry that particular bar. In addition to that, there were numerous changes to the intake system. We'd finally settled on a Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold and throttle body fed air out of a Gruppe M intake. Again, that intake needed a bit of extra work because the two FD2s use different sensors. Eventually we got everything to work - some custom piping done along with a Hondata FlashPro tune and we were all good to go. Unfortunately, as the car was making more power than was originally intended for the auto gearbox, garage visits were quite frequent. That was part of what eventually led me down the path to get the FD2R...
This was how the FD2A looked just before I sold it.
And this is a pic of the FD2R not long after I got it. I'd swapped my trunk and wing on, and had my own rims and tyres on the car. The thing was starting to come together and feel like "my" car. All that I needed to do was put back my old number plate and I was good to go.
The FD2R came to me pretty stock other than rims etc. which i returned to the previous owner. The car itself was pretty beat up. Worn bushings, engine mounts and so on. So the first order of business was to get the bushings and mounts sorted out. Having driven bone stock FD2Rs before, I knew that the car as it was was really out of sorts. So, along with a change to Super Pro bushings - 2 sets, one when I was on a square wheel setup and a later change to eccentric bushings for when I went staggered - I also had the entire set of rigid collars installed. Here's a little detail pic of the Spoon rigid collars and steering bushings... It's was a pretty massive job, so mad props to my friend Kai and his mechanics at the garage (B Select at iSpace Singapore).
On to the FD2R went the Spoon rigid collars, steering rack bushingsm, engine mounts - 70A Hassports - and the ARBs from Tanabe.
The car currently sits on Buddy Club Racing Spec Evo 3-Way coilovers. Spring rates are currently 12f-12r. although with my next service, I'll likely go for uprated springs from Swift (they make kits compatible with the Buddy Club RSE3). That aside, I'm likely to get the Seeker swiveling spring mounts for the rear as well.
I'd started off with some 17" SSR Type C's on this car, then put on my Gram Lights 57Xtreme STD spec rims for a while after I'd returned the old rims to the previous owner. After that, I'd decided to get the same rims in the SP Spec - my favorite rims, just with the little window cut-outs. It took a while, but I finally sourced a pair of original Feels FD2R wide fenders and after putting it on, I'd gone back to my original staggered setup, with some updates - namely, I'd gone from massively stretched 225 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres up front to the much better fitting but still slightly stretched 245 Michelin Pilot Super Sports. I can't people enough how good the PSS really is, but, it's one of the best tyres around in terms of all round performance, durability and even shoulder profile.
As I was doing the wide fenders, I also took the opportunity to install the Spoon fender braces on the car. These sit right under the fender and secure at the door hinges as well. They made a pretty large difference to the stiffness of the chassis and the sharpness of the car in corners. I'd had a set of Summit ones installed on my previous car so having felt FD2s with and without them, I'd say that fender braces from any decent brand are one of the best chassis upgrades you can get for this car.
This picture shows the contrast between the profile of the front rims and the rear with the staggered setup. I did contemplate going with the even more extreme face 3 of the Gram Lights 57xtreme, but that would necessitate getting the 10.5j and even wider rubber. I felt I didn't need that much more traction, so I stuck with the 9.5j fronts and 8.5j rears.
Along with going back to 18" rims for the car, I was able to upgrade the brakes - I'd sourced a set of Brembo GT 6 pot monobloc brakes for the car and finally had the rims needed to put them on.
On the square profile rims, the fit was so tight, it was a bit unnerving...
So another benefit of going with the much wider front end was that the brakes had a lot more breathing room...
With the brakes, the pedal motion is everything. The stock master cylinder mounts on the firewall which is still not quite as stiff as it should be. Even with the brake lines being fully upgraded - I'd gone with Hel stainless steel brake lines front and rear, the brakes still didn't feel super positive when braking at the limit. The brake master cylinder stopper solved this. This little metal plate installs in a pretty inconspicuous spot in the engine bay, but this little thing does wonders if you're having some vagueness at the brake pedal.
The car's interior was okay but not quite perfect. I'm still working on it, but the first order of business was to get my CF interior sorted. I'd gotten a set of CF panels done with Robson design for my old car. I managed to get that set back from the new owner so they went back onto this car. Now, 6 years old, the CF interior panels still look as good as the day I bought them. I complemented the CF interior with a CF Mugen gear knob and also had work done for the shifter unit. I tried plastic units from the likes of Buddy Club and Mugen in the past, so this time, I knew I wanted something with a bit more adjustment and which also felt more sturdy. I was down to either the K Tuned or the Hybrid Racing shifter. I'd tried lots of Hybrid Racing parts in the past and had no doubts about the shifter. It was every bit as good as I'd expected. it's definitely on the top 3 list of parts I've put on this car.
Robson Design also did an amazing job of doing up a custom flat top and bottom steering wheel for me. They wrapped it alcantara for the finishing touch. It's one of the parts of the car I really really enjoy. extremely comfortable to hold and also has that extra centering strip up top and the additional leg clearance that make it excellent for track or just a brisk trip down the expressway.
For seating, I had a Bride Japan Zeta III seat ordered - and when it finally came the stock seat made way for the bucket and what a world of difference it made. I had Bride Cugas for my previous car, but a full bucket is loads more supportive. The CF shell and black alcantara finish was a perfect compliment to the rest of the interior. The stock pedals were also very badly worn, so I had a set of Mugen pedals installed. I started off with replica Mugen pedals because I couldn't wait... but after months of searching... I finally found a set of original ones! (EPIC WIN) I had a set of those for the automatic previous and I have to say, they make a huge difference. I'll have a few shots of thse coming when I can find the time.
I'm not really much into in car entertainment, but I do like having my phone hooked up to the car - so the Pioneer headunit does a great job of this. It's a Pioneer AVH-X5750BT. It sits around second-tier as far as Pioneer multimedia head units go. They had the 8750BT at the time, but as someone who isn't a serious audiophile, I figured I'd save the extra quid on more go fast bits. It does almost everything you could ask for in a modern head unit and syncs beautifully with the phone to handle calls, music and the all important GPS. My phone (which is incidentally about as big as phones can get - it's a Sony Tablet Z3) handles almost everything - in due time, I'll likely sync it up further with the car via a little Defi kit that I have got planned. I promise to have more details on this later.
The engine monitoring is handled by the Defi set of gauges and displays - right now it's a Defi Advance BF in Amber and the Defi ZD. I hope to get a Defi Display F going forward, but for now, these two really do a great job of keeping tabs on heat levels and so on - incidentally, I should mention that because it's got a pretty nice shift meter built in, I no longer needed to get one of those clunky Defi tachometers with the shift lamps! Bonus!
The engine bay was in a pretty sad state when I took over the car. My first order of business was to sort out the fueling and ignition system. To do this, I'd gotten myself brand new NGK Racing spark plugs to replace the Denso Iridiums. That seemingly small change made a world of difference as the car really started to wake up. To improve responsiveness, I also had a set of Toda light weight pulleys installed, along with a change from the HKS open pod intake to a Skunk 2 intake. After an engine tear down and clean up, I also took the chance while the was down to spruce up the valve cover - I had it spayed Candy red with some color blocking in White and metallic black.
The final set was to get some of the other covers in the bay sprayed and then get the CF intake manifold and spark plug covers done together with the radiator cooling plate also in CF. For now, the engine bay is mostly restored. still a bit of work to go, but it's more or less there.
With the clutch wearing out, it was time to change yet again. I had previously been on an 8-puck clutch from some brand I can't as yet recall. The markings were completely worn out by the time I'd taken it off. Just in time too - the clutch was starting to fade.
The clutch was starting to fade so, a timely replacement came in the form of a new shipment of Ogura Super Single clutches. With the extra horsepower, the previous aftermarket 8 puck started to wear a bit faster than expected. I had considered getting a like for like replacement, but Kai managed to convince me of the merits of getting the entire clutch and flywheel replaced.
The Ogura is a brilliant upgrade. After the initial bedding in period and some getting used to, the has that fantastic bite you need when you're launching or working down gears rapidly. At the same time, you get that fantastic "ring-ring" sound that some people will love (drivers) and others will hate (pretty much everyone else). Compared to the 8 puck I had on previously, you don't get that excessive judder when moving off, this is one of the best reasons I'd had for changing the clutch too - its got fantastic bite without compromising streetability. The flywheel has shed a bit of weight too - it's down about 20% over the stock which, along with the short shifter and upgraded hydraulics on the pumps (more on that in the next para), meant that shift times dropped a fair bit too. One downside is that the lightweight flywheel does carry a lot less inertia, you feel it when you see how quickly the revs drop after you disengage the clutch, but its made up for it in so many other ways. I did get some initial questions about whether the car was spoilt, but after they got used to the fact that the car was simply "changed" the questions stopped.
Along with the clutch, I'd gotten a master cylinder upgrade from Hybrid racing and a slave cylinder with modified internals - both had their innards replaced with steel ones to cope with the extra load the aftermarket clutch puts on the hydraulics. The clutch hose was also likewise upgraded to a set from Seeker. Stainless steel and color matched red.
Apart from an upcoming upgrade to the car's LSD and synchros, I'd say the transmission is pretty much sorted for now.
Out the back end, along with the custom made trunk and Voltex Type 5 mount, I'd sourced a Feels rear diffuser (all items sourced from Carbon Teknics). To help relieve any pressure in the back end, I also had an RSP rear cutout diffuser done. Getting everything to work together was a bit of a pain, I'll probably have to get the bodyshop to do a bit more work for me when I visit them next but so far it's worked well. The rear end feels really planted at high speeds now. The only laments are that maybe you lose a little bit of that thrill factor that you normally get when the rear end starts to float out during corners - I'd trade that for extra speed going into the corner any day of the week - and the tyre wear out back is up compared to when I was on the stock spoiler (that's wear the PSS shines really - I'd been on similar GT wings on my previous car and many tyres I'd been on failed to last quite as long on the back).
The exhaust on this car is one of the oldest specimens in the country. The funny thing about Toda exhausts is that they sound better and give more power as they age. This current example has had 7 owners (!). The sound is almost unbearably drony for most, but at the higher RPMs, it sounds absolutely bonkers. I'll try get a sound clip done some day. The diffuser did need a bit of work to work with the Toda exhaust, but that's also been sorted with a change of the bushings and some dremel work.
I'll try to get a few more pictures up with the DSLR before I post the rest of the details on the car. Sorry for the poor picture quality on some of the pics - cameras on phones are rarely much good.
This is a little teaser pic - I took this with my good friend - he's got one of the cleanest builds around. A nice comparison between the original look and the look with aftermarket aero on...