Mike's Accord CTDi - The Sleeper! - Civinfo
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post #1 of 157 (permalink) Old 16th August 2015, 18:52 Thread Starter
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Mike's Accord CTDi - The Sleeper!

Well, I suppose I've modified my car a lot and it's an ongoing project I might as well knock up a quick thread in the 'Modification Projects' section.

This won't be massive on external mods and details etc, as the plan was always to keep the car looking totally standard. It's my daily driver and primarily used for commuting (I have a fun car that's meant to be the one I play with - it just never turns out that way), so any mods beyond keeping it serviceable are just because I can't leave any car I own alone... that said I can't seem to keep things concise, so it'll probably be longer than I thought by the time I'm done (if I ever am...).

As most of the work is already done, this is more of a look back at what's already finished and then tracking the final bits of getting the Hybrid in and mapped (famous last words).

A long time ago in an area of the South West Far, Far Away...

... what started as a boggo Accord 2.2 CTDi EX saloon, bought in Mar 2011 was first tweaked with Accord Type-R front Calipers, adjustable rear camber arms and lots of other electronic stuff I wired in (i-Pod connectivity, Rear View Camera and a Dash Cam amongst other things). More recently I also had to shell out when a tree branch fell on the roof and dented it badly:



Although the cost was also bumped up because I had both bumpers and the bonnet done at the same time (having put over 100K on it in less than 3 years it was a bit battered). I also had the alloys refurbed in shadow chrome, from originally being diamond-cut, as it still looks great, but isn't as fragile:



(looks great in direct sunlight - that was a dark day).

The main tweak, though, was to get it mapped as soon as I'd upgraded the brakes. A Stage 1 map (started with Elite S1, then Celtic S1, then back to Elite S1) quickly turned into an EGR-off map (one of the first Accords to get it - I was a test-mule for Faddy at the time !) and then, in a roundabout way it ended up as a Premier Stage 2 EGR off map (~183 bhp):



Just a quick plug - throughout my Accord ownership, Fahad has been constantly in the background, be it advice on maps, assistance on sorting out the same, plus other issues and events - a really top bloke in all respects!

Having the software and Galletto OBD tool to install and remove Maps didn't help, as I was always tinkering. All of this necessitated installing a Honda 325 clutch when my original one went west and that was pretty much as far as I thought I could take it...
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post #2 of 157 (permalink) Old 16th August 2015, 18:54 Thread Starter
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… until I got a bit bored and started digging into how I could get more power! (I should just call this Project Clarkson ). Trevor’s threads on his CRV caught my eye on this site, which was when I first started lurking…

For a long time I avoided upping things, because I wasn't keen on a paddle-clutch in a daily driver. However, when CG Motorsport started producing their twin-plate clutch, removing all the potential failure points, it wasn't long before a parcel arrived on the doorstep:





This coincided with the first talk of a ‘Hybrid’ Turbo for the i-CTDi. Having previously had a Supra I was happy with the concept of Hybrids, so started watching with interest. Then, when I saw the group buy on here I thought I might as well add the first Accord to the list!

(plus I like spannering and this was a nice challenge to get stuck into)

To do the Hybrid, I needed a Clutch (had!), a FMIC (hmm!) and a Hybrid (No Accord ones done yet!), so I started looking into what would be needed. As far as I know only one other Accord owner has done this (Brodziu on Type-Accord) and there isn't any FMIC packages for the Accord. I started reading up on twin-pass, vs single pass and tried to work out the routing.

Just then, as if by fate, a FMIC group buy materialised, so I stuck my name down on the list, thinking – I’ll just get any additional pipework fabricated – should be fine!!

Also, while, not strictly necessary, an Accord CTDi A-Spec kit was sourced, after a looong wait, and is ready to go on:

Sports Supension Kit Part #: 08W60-SEF-601 - ordered from HH.



Soon, all the bits were in place and it was time to get stuck in to the hard part…
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post #3 of 157 (permalink) Old 16th August 2015, 18:55 Thread Starter
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Installation Begins…

I handed the car over to a mechanic I’ve known for a long time and trust. The plan was to install the clutch and FMIC, along with a few other things, with me helping when I could. That would allow me to make sure the FMIC and Clutch were working correctly before I moved to the next stage and get the Hybrid installed.

The FMIC was installed along with a new condenser and some mesh where the old grille was, as the Accord's front bumper provides NO protection from stones and I don't want my IC going the same way as the late lamented A/C Condenser! It took a while, but eventually it was done.





The routing was slightly more 'roundabout' then I had hoped, the bumper needed a fair bit taken out, and the fog lights interrupted the pipes, which meant a lot of trimming and adjusting, plus grinding down the NSF fog light multi-plug so it could be rotated 90 degrees. It does the job and avoided having to seriously hack about with the PAS cooling pipes.

Basically, the only way to bring the left side hose (as you look at it) to where it needs to go was to bring it back on itself across the top of the FMIC and then back down to follow the original routing. A local firm fabricated a lot of the pipework running across the top (where the red line is on the picture below):



So, all in all, it went ok, and the routing should keep the flow rate decent. A 'Twin-Pass' IC would basically have meant a 180 degree switch internally, so i prefer this option TBH.

All back together and on the drive (quite stealth - which i like!):



Back on the road I got used to both a bit more induction noise and the new Clutch which, although it's heavier than stock, didn’t take long to adjust to, is perfectly fine in traffic and is bedding in nicely - there's still a bit of judder in 1st, but that is quickly receding and only surfaces when taking off quickly, or uphill. All in all - quite happy with it and I know it'll take the power, and torque!

The Turbo

After some research I ordered my Turbo and decided not to get the exhaust vanes 'clipped', as I don't like the sound of it (or the cost!). Will be interesting to see the differences between the two when more people get them installed.

Overall, this has been the major ache of the whole thing (which is entirely down to me!) - Turbo Clinic (specifically Paul) have been absolutely superb throughout my various muck-ups!

As there were no Accord Turbo Hybrids available, and I didn't have a spare to send for conversion, I ordered a Civic one, anticipating that there would be minimal differences. I did subsequently buy a used OEM Accord Turbo, just as a spare, and am sodding glad I did!

On arrival the first differences between the Civic Hybrid and the Accord OEM Turbo became obvious (Hybrid Left - OEM Accord Right):





The angle of the outlet from the compressor wasn't a problem - the compressor housing can be rotated easily to the correct angle, but the inlet is totally different. Despite being the same engine the Civic's engine bay has the turbo lower than the Accord, so there's all sorts of pipe-work to bring the air flow down to it - hence the mount point with the two stud holes. The Accord's turbo is mounted much higher, so the pipe can just go straight on. On the plus side, it makes DIY removal and fitting possible (but not fun).

I therefore sent off my spare Accord compressor housing back to Turbo Clinic to be bored out to accommodate the larger compressor wheel, and the results can be seen below:



At that point I ordered the Gaskets from HH (which took a while to come through) and then got on with some spannering to remove my Turbo.

However, when I came to fit the hybrid, it all went wrong! Although the main body of the two look identical, the Accord Turbo's mounting points are about 10 degrees further 'round than the Civic's - meaning that the exhaust downpipe now fouls on one of the cross-members - it took me ages to get the thing in place (lying on my back in the driveway with the car on axle stands and ramps) and then there was the moment of realisation!

A quick back-to-back confirmed it with my spare Accord turbo, so things hit a slight pause, while the hybrid went back off to Turbo Clinic, again, to transfer the Turbo cartridge into my exchange unit and then marry it up with the already machined Accord compressor housing…

Last edited by Mike_Mac; 16th August 2015 at 19:57.
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post #4 of 157 (permalink) Old 16th August 2015, 19:09 Thread Starter
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What followed was an interesting few days!

The Turbo arrived back on Thu, having been subjected to a near overnight turn-around (again massive chuck-up to Paul and Turbo Clinic on this one), so on Wed I put the Stock Map back on and cleaned, re-oiled and installed a Pipercross filter I'd had sitting around for ages now.

Once I had the Turbo back I managed to get it in without too much fuss (it's getting easier having had to do it a few times now, and the mounting points were a lot easier to line up now that I had the correct Turbo). No photos as I was under the car and fighting to get it done ahead of the rain - which I managed, just!

Once on it drove OK - even on the Stock Map with the hybrid fitted - a result. This means that I can run any of the maps I have on the Hybrid without issues or having to swap back to the old turbo.

Then, on Fri, I drove to Celtic Tuning to get the mapping done. The plan was to install their Stage 3 map, which has already been used by a few on here...

On the way I noticed the stock map seemed gutless, but assumed I was used to various stages of map. Plus I know the EGR valve is not good, so assumed that it was robbing a bit of power.

On arrival the car went in and I watched the initial runs and the mapped runs on the dyno. Immediately it became apparent that things were not right. The stock map (blue on the plot below) was underpowered and had a massive dip in both power and torque. Again I assumed it was the EGR, but, when it was blanked off and the Stage 3 installed it didn't look too much better (Orange Plot below):



As you can see, not too impressive. I spoke with the bloke behind the desk who said the mapper had put it down to Air/Fuel issues, but I had only put a new MAF sensor on a few years back and it had run the previous Stage 2 EGR off map fine... until I had installed the Turbo - so that was where my suspicions were firmly set. The thought of taking it off again and trying to get to the bottom of it all was NOT filling me with joy - I thought about jacking it all in and moving on to the next project (been doing some reading up already... ) and was generally a bit teed off. Especially compared to what it should have been roughly getting (taken from Celtic's website):



At home, I compared the plot with the one when I had a Celtic Stage 1 installed, as it was the same company and Dyno:



As you can see then my stock plot was really good, and the Stage 1 was excellent, with a really smooth curve and good power/torque.

I then produced a comparative trace comparing both power and torque on:

Original Map - Light Blue
Original Map with Hybrid - Orange
Celtic S1 Map - Grey
Celtic S3 with Hybrid - Yellow
Celtic S3 Example Map - Dark Blue



As you can see, my two Hybrid plots were horrific - significantly outperformed by my old Stage 1 map on the stock turbo and light-years behind the example Stage 3. Note the slight lag in all the Hybrid maps from stock, though - you can see it just takes a bit longer to get into its stride and shifts the power quite high into the rev range... Completely what was expected, but interesting to see the differences in how the remaps differ from stock.

By now I was sure the turbo was at fault (probably from me cocking up the install or something similar) so decided to go back to Celtic, get a refund, refit the spare turbo and dig into the Hybrid fitment etc a lot more before deciding what to do next. This was compounded by the car going into limp mode three times before I could get it back to them. Just in case I stripped out the Pipercross filter, as it was the only other change I'd made, but there was no improvement.

So! On Sat just gone I returned to Celtic and showed the actual guy who mapped my car the plots above. We then had a long chat where he said that during mapping the turbo had barely broken a sweat, so he didn't think that was the issue (phew! ). Likewise AFR stayed fine, if a bit lean, so it wasn't a fuelling or airflow issue (likewise ).

He then went into more detail about the Mass Air Flow issues he had been fighting on the day and again said that he thought it was MAF sensor related. I'd done a bit of reading on this the night before, so asked whether the filter oil could have contaminated the MAF? Although Pipercross refute that this is an issue there is lot of results on it when you look online. He agreed this could be it, and that they don't generally oil PC filters for exactly this reason. I therefore decided to swap out the MAF sensor before committing to getting a refund.

Before I left, Celtic checked the codes for why it had gone into limp mode and found fuel rail pressure had been fluctuating. Basically, Stage 1 and 2 maps generally don't need more fuel (apparently), whereas Stage 3 does - turns out my fuel pump is tired and therefore straining a bit to deliver what's asked of it now. The map's top fuelling was tweaked to remove this issue, losing a bit of power at the top end, until I get a new fuel pump fitted. Overall, I was happy with the service given and the guy I spoke to (Cameron IIRC?) was a top bloke.

On the way home I bought a used MAF on eBay, which will arrive next week, but before then, decided to clean the MAF (had some sensor specific cleaner handy anyway). There was a noticeable deposit of 'stuff' on it and the cleaner only got some of it off. I then (carefully) rubbed the rest off with tissue and it proved to be a grey oily substance... hmmm!

I finished by thoroughly cleaning and wiping the MAF housing and Air Pipes, re-installed it, reset the map and took it out for a drive...

All I can say is that it's definitely putting out a LOT more power and has only got better when I took it out today for the 0-60 comparisons:


Around 7-8 seconds to 60 ain't bad - especially with the need to change gear again just before 60mph!! I suspect if I spent a bit of time working out the shift points I could get that a bit lower, but I was trying not to rev it to the max, avoiding the power drop later in the rev range...

While I will get a dyno test done early next week to check, I suspect it's putting out more than the old S2 map at the least - performance on the motorway when on the move is very good!

More to follow...

Last edited by Mike_Mac; 16th August 2015 at 19:17.
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post #5 of 157 (permalink) Old 16th August 2015, 19:15 Thread Starter
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PS - Mods, feel free to shift this into the Accord section if preferred.

ETA: I've also found out the best way to finish bedding in a CG Twin Plate - repeated 0-60s with slam changes

(seriously - I went to fill up later in the day (looking at the OBC you can see why! ) and it was like stock!

(Still wouldn't recommend it, though...)

Last edited by Mike_Mac; 16th August 2015 at 19:22.
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post #6 of 157 (permalink) Old 16th August 2015, 19:41
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Impressive build thread Mike always love a sleeper, the look on people's faces when you leave em for dead good effort fella.
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post #7 of 157 (permalink) Old 16th August 2015, 20:15
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Fantastic stuff! And great to see all this being done to an Accord... I'm so damn jealous!

Hopefully the new fuel pump will allow rail pressures to satisfy the full map requirements. If not, then there maybe other reasons why the rail pressure is iffy, but I'll not waste time explaining until you know you still have a problem.
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post #8 of 157 (permalink) Old 16th August 2015, 20:30 Thread Starter
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Fantastic stuff! And great to see all this being done to an Accord... I'm so damn jealous!

Hopefully the new fuel pump will allow rail pressures to satisfy the full map requirements. If not, then there maybe other reasons why the rail pressure is iffy, but I'll not waste time explaining until you know you still have a problem.
Cheers Jon, I'm assuming you're going to talk about injectors primarily?

Having seen a new pump for over £2K on Lings I will be looking at a second-hand low-miles pump - once that's on, and the other MAF issue is confirmed as being sorted, I plan to go back to Celtic and get them to tweak as much as they can to get the optimum performance out of it.

Plus I want to discuss just how much they've throttled boost in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears, which I understand is common on remaps, to keep things under control.
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Wow Mike, what an epic journey. A very impressive journey at that.

I'm so glad that you shared your story, it's great to hear.

I'm so relieved that you are still on track. All credit to you for taking your Accord into the relative unknown.

Will be looking forward to future updates.
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post #10 of 157 (permalink) Old 17th August 2015, 09:07
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Originally Posted by Mike_Mac View Post
Cheers Jon, I'm assuming you're going to talk about injectors primarily?...
Certainly the injector leak-back volumes could have become excessive, but a more common problem is the fuel rail over-pressure relief valve developing a leak which affects the rail pressure... http://www.civinfo.com/forum/how/111...-2-2-ctdi.html

I had a problem with my pump pressure regulator solenoid, which obviously will affect the ECU's ability to control rail pressure. And, of course, the i-CTDi fuel filter has a reputation for being responsible for fuel delivery problems...

Replacement pumps are very expensive, aren't they!
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post #11 of 157 (permalink) Old 17th August 2015, 09:23
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didn't understand most of it BUT enjoyed reading it, I am always impressed when people can do these sort of things to a car when I struggle to even locate the jacking point - credit to you mate
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post #12 of 157 (permalink) Old 17th August 2015, 10:34
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Very nice mate. I look forward to the new dyno readout comparison.
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post #13 of 157 (permalink) Old 17th August 2015, 10:39 Thread Starter
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Certainly the injector leak-back volumes could have become excessive, but a more common problem is the fuel rail over-pressure relief valve developing a leak which affects the rail pressure... http://www.civinfo.com/forum/how/111...-2-2-ctdi.html

I had a problem with my pump pressure regulator solenoid, which obviously will affect the ECU's ability to control rail pressure. And, of course, the i-CTDi fuel filter has a reputation for being responsible for fuel delivery problems...

Replacement pumps are very expensive, aren't they!
too right! Also since Celtic only said the error was 'low fuel rail pressure' I think I'll look into the link you posted before getting a replacement! Cheers Jon.

ETA - fuel filter is OEM Honda installed by me so I know it's not a cheapy! I had just filled up with supermarket diesel before it did it so that was my first thought but it looks like it was a bit deeper an issue than that.

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You went for coil-overs to gain a sporty edge, right? - the Accord rides pretty well as standard.

Your refurb'd alloys look great, do you have any side pic's with the coilies on?
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post #15 of 157 (permalink) Old 17th August 2015, 12:00 Thread Starter
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You went for coil-overs to gain a sporty edge, right? - the Accord rides pretty well as standard.

Your refurb'd alloys look great, do you have any side pic's with the coilies on?
Correct - I'm not after a massive difference, just slightly tighter than stock.

The alloys I'm really happy with - much more durable than diamond cut and still give a real contrast between high/low points - especially in the light. Even Mrs Mac approves

A-Spec kit will be installed on Friday if all goes to plan, so I'll get some more pictures up then - probably after a quick clean...
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Two steps forward...

Well it appears I spoke too soon...

Drove in to work today fine, thinking - feels nice and pokey!

Booked it in to Alan Jeffreys in Plymouth for a Dyno and waited...



I was hoping for at least over 200 hp - I was wrong! It produced a good power and torque curve, so I think the MAF clean has worked, but topped out at 185hp! Gutted! You can compare it here (blue is the latest run):



Speaking to the dyno bloke, he said that all looked fine except for boost - it was only at around 15-16 psi - should be around 22-23. So, armed with that info I called Celtic. Basically they confirmed the map was set to 22-23 psi, so, in their opinion, it was the MAF (told them this was very unlikely to be the case), or the N75 valve (or the EVR valve in Honda speak). As it controls the level of boost via the Wastegate it is a prime candidate. Therefore, when I got home I swapped it with the other similar valve in the engine bay and went out for a drive.

I wasn't expecting much, because I know what finicky little sods these valves can be, whether it's VSVs, IMRC or EVR they can be proper little sods to troubleshoot as they tend to fail intermittently. TBH, I didn't feel much difference, except for one or two times when it really seemed to 'Go', but then went back to normal. As I am now very suspicious of my butt Dyno I will probably suck it up and replace both EVR valves and see where I go from there, after trying the spare MAF, which should arrive tomorrow, just in case!!

PS - Celtic really don't like MAFs! The bloke on the desk I spoke to initially was adamant that you couldn't clean them - you HAD to get a new one, and seemed Hell-bent on laying my issues on its doorstep! I get what he was saying, sort-of, but I'm sure companies like CRC etc wouldn't market 'MAF' specific cleaning spray if it didn't work! Plus the dyno plot was miles better than previously!

PPS - On a positive note, if it felt that good just back on the performance I'd had before, then it's going to be awesome when I finally resolve these issues and break 200hp!
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post #17 of 157 (permalink) Old 17th August 2015, 19:38
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Do you not know anybody locally to borrow a MAF sensor?

TBH I don't rate Celtic either. Too many excuses from them lately to people I know.
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post #18 of 157 (permalink) Old 17th August 2015, 20:54 Thread Starter
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Do you not know anybody locally to borrow a MAF sensor?

TBH I don't rate Celtic either. Too many excuses from them lately to people I know.
They may have a point but there's one bloke there who's very dogmatic about it

I've got a spare MAF arriving tomorrow anyway, so it's not really necessary now, plus I don't think it's an issue anymore after I cleaned it - the Turbo control valve seems more likely a culprit. If it's not that then it's back to sq 1!
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Do you not know anybody locally to borrow a MAF sensor?

TBH I don't rate Celtic either. Too many excuses from them lately to people I know.
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post #20 of 157 (permalink) Old 17th August 2015, 21:09
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didn't understand most of it BUT enjoyed reading it
yep me too! Love reading about the engine mods people do. Great work bud
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