Saturday, July 28, 2012

Early birthday present

For my birthday this year, instead of a new gun or a case of ammunition, I decided to retire the decade old (has it really been that long) Ford Focus ZX3. I thought I would go with a Honda again, and was disappointed that they no longer make a Prelude. I had two of them, and enjoyed them very much.

So I started to do some research and found the Civic models were as close as I could come for a new car instead of buying a used Prelude with a questionable history. I got a flier in the mail offering half the 30 shekels for betraying my beloved ZX3. So Gizmo said, "Let's go for a ride!".

I had looked at the new Fiestas and was not impressed, and the available colors were not to my liking.

Base requirements for me: 2 door, Standard transmission, light color (definitely NOT red or black), air conditioning (gets a real workout in Florida), tinted glass (another must for the Sunshine State), enough power to get out of its own way (I rented a Pinto once and also drove my sister's Audi "60 Minutes ( 0..60 in 60 minutes), anything else is a bonus.

Gizmo and I took a ride in the Focus to Headquarters Honda in Clermont, Florida to meet our host for the rest of the day. We really made Mike Jahangir earn his keep. We took a test drive in a 4-door Civic Si, but it was not a 2 door. I liked the color. He had a dark blue non Si model that we finally decided on. So we did a lot of paperwork signing and left pick it up the next morning. Bringing in my title for the Ford.

Later I received a call from Mike that the car had already been sold and he was scouring the dealerships for another one. He found one that was black, but that was not an acceptable color. He kept looking and found a red one in another state. Nope, definitely NOT RED.

After Gizmo and I had our afternoon siesta, I opened up my lock box to get the title for the Focus. HORRORS. There was a mass of literally molded together mass of important papers. The box was in a cool dry place in the closet, but no dessicant in the sealed container. I put the mass in the oven on low heat for an hour to dry it out and peeled the partially destroyed title document away from the rest.

Friday morning we went back to HQ Honda with the title and found some good news. They had a white Civic Si model that had just come in from the factory just before closing time the night before, but after Mike had gone home, so did not even know about it.

Ok, let's go to the back lot to check it out. Gizmo went right for it and was ready to jump in and for a ride, so I knew this must be the one. But this one was a few more kilobucks more than the one we had contracted, that was sold. So Gizmo kept everyone in the dealership entertained while more paperwork was being done. All of my requirements were met and exceeded.

Technical stuff:
Engine: 4-Cylinder,Aluminum-Alloy, 2354cc, 201HP @ 7000rpm, 170ft-lb torque @ 4400rpm, 87mm bore x 99mm stroke, 11:1 compression ratio, 16 valve Dual Overhead Cam i-VTEC.

VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) is an electronic and mechanical system that allows the engine to effectively have multiple camshafts. As the engine moves into different rpm ranges, the engine's computer can activate alternate lobes on the camshaft and change the cam's timing. In this way, the engine gets the best features of low-speed and high-speed camshafts in the same engine.

Transmission: Close-Ratio 6-Speed Manual Transmission.
Gear Ratios:
1st: 3.267
2nd: 2.040
3rd: 1.429
4th: 1.073
5th: 0.830
6th: 0.647
Reverse: 3.583
Final Drive: 4.76 Helical Limited-Slip Differential

Body/Suspension/Chassis: Unit-Body Construction, MacPherson Strut Front Suspension, Multi-Link Rear Suspension, Motion-Adaptive Electric Power-Assisted Rack-and-Pinion Steering (EPS), 3.11 Steering Wheel Turns, Lock-to-Lock, 11.8 Power-Assisted Ventilated Front Disc brakes, 10.2 Solid Rear Disc Brakes, 17" Alloy wheels, Michelin® Pilot® Exalto® PE2™ Summer Tires 215/45 ZR17 91W

Calculated data:
2877 Lb curb weight. 154 horsepower per ton.

Top Gear gives 23.784 MPH/1000 RPM and a top speed of 166.488 MPH at 7000 RPM

Engine speeds in top gear:-
    30 MPH = 1261 RPM   40 MPH = 1682 RPM   50 MPH = 2102 RPM   60 MPH = 2523 RPM
    70 MPH = 2943 RPM   80 MPH = 3364 RPM   90 MPH = 3784 RPM  100 MPH = 4205 RPM

Top Speed in 1 gear = 32.971 MPH
    And changes into 2 gear at 4371 RPM dropping 2629 RPM
Top Speed in 2 gear = 52.803 MPH
    And changes into 3 gear at 4903 RPM dropping 2097 RPM
Top Speed in 3 gear = 75.380 MPH
    And changes into 4 gear at 5256 RPM dropping 1744 RPM
Top Speed in 4 gear = 100.389 MPH
    And changes into 5 gear at 5415 RPM dropping 1585 RPM
Top Speed in 5 gear = 129.780 MPH
    And changes into 6 gear at 5457 RPM dropping 1543 RPM
Top Speed in 6 gear = 166.488 MPH

Prius owners, eat your heart out!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Picked up the transmission parts from All Transmission World and decided to take some pictures of the dimensions to make sure I get the right parts. I sent a deposit check last week, and hopefully the snail mail will deliver it.

Output shaft

Input shaft

Pilot bearing 15mm

Main case

Main case height

Tail case. The speedometer gear makes no difference as the Hall Effect transducer calibrates the speedometer.

Case parts fit together for overall length.

Transmission tag for identification.
Three gear shift knobs I finally drilled and tapped for the shift lever. Now I have to get the scratches out again and polish up. I kind of like the one on the left the best. The one on the right is too big and heavy.