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Acura Integra GSR Customizing and Modifying

only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
edited May 10 in Acura
we lost our part #2 topic. There were almost 1,000 posts on that. Shifty said it went to LA LA land and they had trouble retrieving it so I started a new one.

What's everyone been doing the last couple of weeks? Racing is going real well for me. I think the Kumhos are sticking really good now with about 10 events on them but I don't think I can get another 10 out of them, maybe 5-6, we 'll see. Did anyone hear about the stock RSX that pulled a 14.34 in the 1/4 at 97mph?


  • cjhannancjhannan Posts: 201
    Yeah, I tried emailing the help desk and about a week ago they said they were having software problems and the Part 2 forum was being archived automatically by the system. Then they said they were working on it and would unarchive part 2, which they never did, and I could never find it again. Too bad is right, I remember we were nearly at 1,000 posts and there was a lot of great info there.

    As for racing, I haven't been to an event since mid-July. I've got a local race in two weeks and the divisional event plus Evolution driving school the week after that EEEEE HAAAAWWWW!! Can't wait! I'm also hoping to have header and new exhaust system installed before then, too. Also planned are new brake pads for the rears (AEM) and bleeding the brake system with ATE Blue fluid.

    Harry, I got my SCCA Solo I/II rulebook and when I have more time I'll share what I learned. BTW, you remembered about 95% on what's in there for the STS class. Nice job! Haven't seen you on lately? Hope all is well with you.
  • cjhannancjhannan Posts: 201
    Basically, the only thing I don't remember you mentioning was the fact that in STS you can change the accessory pulleys for the crank shaft, power steering, etc. You were right about the ECU, and you can also add a VAFC on top of swapping out the ECU. Given that you can't do any head work (e.g., cams, valves, cam gears, port and polish, etc.) in STS, I don't see what you'd gain by changing the ECU for bumping up the rev limiter for red line and top speed. From what I understand, with a VAFC and tuning electronically on a dyno can get you 8-10 whp if done correctly. But I'm a long way off from doing that, if ever... My time and money would be better spent on becoming a better driver and fine tuning the suspension. Sure would be nice to be independently wealthy, or find someone who is to be my sponsor ;-) well, I can dream, can't I?
  • cjhannancjhannan Posts: 201
    I finally read that threat at about the RSX running a 14.3x in the 1/4 mile. If that stat is within a 5% standard error interval, it is a impressive run. Do you know where that figure was reported? I get so amused by the child-like banter that goes on at about stuff like this. You've got one camp that are such diehard G3 fans and no matter what would sooner die than to say anything positive about the RSX. The other camp is keeping an open mind and pissing off the first camp. Bottom line about the RSX, if 1/4 mile times like that are repeatable, then this car shows some promise. I'm not changing cars any time soon, tho. I really love my GSR and am just getting it to where it will be more and more fun to drive. Don't get me wrong, driving a new car is always a real treat, but the next new car we get will probably be for the wifey.
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    What a piece of crap.. just kidding. It handles the same as my '97 Civic (which I sold in 1 day through but it's a little faster. I got the EX coupe in blue and it's very comfortable, more quiet, lots of amenities, bells & wistles, etc. Had 4 mi. on the odo when I bought it. It now has 110.. Still breaking it in so I haven't been passed 4-4500 RPM. Redline is 6900. I can tell the increased mid-range torque but again I haven't done any WOTs at all yet. The thing is I 'm comparing it to my GSR a lot and keep reminding my self not to do that. Totally 2 different cars. The Civic Coupe is bigger & feels a little more like a family car compared to my hatch. I mean the ride is pretty soft and it just feels like a bigger car which it is. I also don't have the road feel I had with the HB, probably because my '97 HB didn't have Power Steering ('98+ HBs had P/S). Oh well, I 'll get used to it. The main reason I bought it was reliability & comfort. I now have a CD player vs. AM/FM radio, power stuff & cruise control which is what I really missed. After driving 80mi. each way my foot was starting to get a little numb and felt weird on the old Civic. I also don't miss all the road noise of the Hatch. I find the EX really quiet compared to the GSR & the '97 DX HB.
    Anyway, I didn't think you could do all the pulleys in STS! But you 're right about the VAFC. I don't know about 8-10hp but you certainly get a few extra ponnies without an ECU.
    Yeah, the RSX looks promising so far.
    Now I 'm going to go shop for a bigger sway bar for the Civic. It has a pathetic 12mm one (other models don't even have one!) and tons of body roll. Then I 'll get a front upper strut bar. I hope aftermarket stuff for the g7 Civics are out already..
    Yeah I don't hang out at H-T that much anymore. I just go to the competition board once a week maybe but I don't post like I used to. I don't have the time anymore and the wife gets pissed when I get on the PC at night because I forget myself and can stay on there till midnight.. sometimes I fall asleep typing or on the keyboard! So I 've cut down a lot :) Now if I can do the same with smoking, I 'd be in good shape!
  • cjhannancjhannan Posts: 201
    Must be nice having something brand new with all the bells and whistles for your 160+ miles/day commute to work. You probably don't want me to say how close I live to my office... ;-) Sold your old car in 1 day -- that's truly amazing. Anyways, I finally decided on the catback exhaust system I'm going to buy to match up with my new JDM 4-1 header and Carsound cat. It's made and sold by a guy at; his name is Dave and goes by "SMSP" username. He's put together a 2.5" mandrel bent tubping that uses Magnaflow resonator and muffler. It comes as a kit and is delivered in sections so it's clearly not a bolt on system; welding is required. He's offering it in 3 versions: milled steel; aluminized steel, and stainless steel. He says it's built for performance, not flash, and that's what I like about it. I'll also be able to use the stock exhaust tip to maintain that non-flashy sleeper look. I'm opting for the stainless steel version which will cost me about half of what the other SS exhaust currently run. For the installation I'll take the car to my friend's shop who is a factory authorized dealer/garage for Fiat (of all things!). Honestly, you don't see very many Fiats or Lancias around the Atlanta area! I met Randy through my neighbor, and he has built and raced ~200 hp Fiats on flat tracks around the area and has been fairly successful. So, between his lift, welding equip, and interest in helping me out, we've got a nice arrangement. Still hoping to have all this work done in time for the divisional event in late Aug. Hope I can make it!
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    The exhaust sounds nice! Did you speak to other people that have it to see what they had to say?
    How much does he sell the SS one?
    The only thing I 've bought this year (besides wheels & tires back in April) was a new helmet. Should be arriving today. It is ultralight with a kevlar shell. I got a $25 discount from a guy I race with. He is an authorized HJC helmet dealer. Similar BELL kevlar helmets go for over $300.. I paid $105! One of the clubs I race at use all HJC helmets for loaners but the base models (He was selling those for $70!). This is like the 2nd or 3d one up and is Snell 2000 certified. My old Simpson which I had bought used from a Porsche Club member, was Snell-85 certified (was built in '85 too) and the SCCA clubs and others wouldn't let me race with it. What was I supposed to do? borrow a loaner helmet like a novice? :-) This helmet should be good for at least 10yrs before they tell me I gotta buy another one.. I can give you the guy's # if you want and he 'll ship it UPS to you. He 's in CT and shipped mine to NY for $5. It probably wouldn't be more than $10 to GA. These helmets are light! My Simpson was at least twice as heavy and semi-closed faced and I sweated like a pig with it in the car. The one I got is open faced and even realized some of our national champs were wearing them. I got a white one but the model I got comes in a dark red metallic and silver. Anyway, why spend hundreds of $$ on these helmets when chances are you 'll never need it in auto-x.. Track racing is different but as long as the helmet is Snell 2000 they 'll allow you to do track events with them.. but that's probably where I can see spending some bucks on a really good one I guess..
  • cjhannancjhannan Posts: 201
    The SS version of his exhaust costs $550. So, like I said, it costs about half of the 2.5" SS exhaust I use as the gold standard -- the Mugen twin loop. The prices for the other versions are reasonable as well: the mild steel version goes for $350, and requires high temp painting once assembled; the aluminized steel version goes for $425. I didn't speak to anyone directly about the exhaust, tho. I gathered enough impressions from the following thread at ( and then corresponded with Dave to feel assured enough that this was a good product. Sounds like you got a great deal on your helmet. I now wished I would have waited longer before I bought mine. I decided to bite the bullet and buy my own so that I didn't have to use the digusting loaner helmets at our events. I bought a Bell helmet, don't remember the model number, but it's a full face version, all white, Snell 2000, and it's an SA rated helmet, instead of an "M" It cost me about $225 and will be good for solo II and track event until 2010, so I figured it was worth the investment. Spending $105 would have been nicer...
  • cjhannancjhannan Posts: 201
    Sheesh, one whole weekend and no posts?!! What's this place coming to? I wonder if we're all getting a little burned out on this car stuff...

    Harry, you'll appreciate this story. After nearly 15 years of no contact, I recently re-connected with an old friend of mine from California. This is the same guy who took me to my first autocross event -- a real die hard gear head who had major aspirations of going into professional racing. Lance and I used to do a lot of car-related things together. We even worked with each other at an auto accesories store. Before I headed off to graduate school in the summer of '85, I traveled with him to Laguna Seca and Sears Point for some sort of Honda race series where he competed in a stock-prepared CRX. Both of these events were a ton of fun, and I basically served as a pseudo pit crew member/gopher. Well, I went to school in Michigan, he moved to Florida, and we lost touch. I'd heard through mutual friends he was moving up the ranks in professional racing but that's about all I knew. Then, my wife and I moved to Atlanta, and I lost touch with the mutual friends, so I was really clueless about contacting him. Work, kids, and other things made a lot of time pass before I thought about contacting him again. On a whim I did a Yahoo search on his name and low and behold I found his name and email address on a racing website. I dropped him a line and he wrote back saying "holy $hit, where the hell have you been?" We've been doing a lot a catching up since then, and I've been amazed and impressed to learn how successful he's been in racing. And this is where it gets cool because he has mucho experience racing ITRs. In 1998, he nearly won the Speedvision World Challenge touring class driving a DC Sports-sponsored ITR. From there he went to the Motorola Cup driving another ITR and had good success. Then his team decided develop an Audi S4 for racing and they abandoned the ITR, and so that's what he's doing part time in the Grand Am Cup. I told him I was autocrossing my GSR and he immediately started asking me all these questions about what's allowed within the rules, etc. I'm like, "slow down, man! I'm new to this autocrossing stuff again and I don't have the same kind of budget you're used to in prepping race cars!!" Needless to say, we're having a good time getting caught up on lost time. I'll likely get to see him when he's competing in the Petit Le Mans this October in Road Atlanta. Nothing like having a good friend with the right connections to get some tickets and pit passes!!
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Lucky you! Maybe he 'll give you some tips about preparing the suspension on the GSR, because ITR & GSRs are basically the same car. What I 've been looking for is some kind of crossbar that would be legal to stiffen up the chassis. I know I 'm allowed 1 bar between the motor and the chassis but that's primarily for launching (drag racing) so you don't get much torque steer and wheel spin at the starting line. DRT (race shop) in NYC sells a similar type of crossbar with 2 bars and multiple connecting points but I don't think it's legal in DSP or street prepared classes. BUT I do believe I can install cross bars across the width of the car to stiffen it up. I just gotta find someone who has one or someone who sells them. I don't want to put a roll cage in the car so that's why I'm considering a crossbar or two.
    The S4 your friend is driving must be a lot of fun especially when it's modded. Lots of power too!
    Yeah Type-Rs had the monopoly on the Speedvision World Challenge Touring series & Motorolla series. They took the championship from '97 to '99. Then last year a lot of the rules changed giving the BMWs more advantage (also the weight requirement went up on the Type-R, you could only lighten it so much, etc..) so the 328s took both championships I believe last year. Usually it was the six REALTIME (name of the company that owns & races them) ITR's that kicked butt before.. It 'll be interesting this year, because Realtime is supposed to make a come back (with some new custom exhaust system they got, etc.), but so far they 've only been doing so and so, winning some, losing some but they look good, and when they lose (to Bimmers), they only lose by a hair.. We 'll see. I think it's still amazing that a $24K 1.8L car can beat a $40k 2.8L one. I wonder if the 330i was allowed to race in the Touring class with the ITRs this year, I doubt it.. It would be unfair.. My friend just got a 330is. Fast car! I saw a road test where it got 5.9s 0-60! BTW, the germans have a habit of lying about the real HP in their cars all the time.. I knew a guy that dyno'd his 328 and got close to 180hp (high 170's!) at the wheels. At a usual 15% loss at the wheels, means his 328 had about 205bhp and not 193 or whatever BMW advertised. The ITR only puts down 161-167whp, but they both are supposed to have the same HP at the flywheel? Don't think so..
  • cjhannancjhannan Posts: 201
    Funny you should mention getting tips about suspension setup because he's already mentioned to me what they used on their ITR... and it does not sound very streetable... I don't remember if he mentioned what kind of spring they used, but he said they were EXTREMEMLY stiff -- something like 700/800 lbs front and 1100/1200 lbs rear. When I asked him what kind of shocks they ran, he said, "We ran Ohlin's on the Type R, and I really liked them. We ran JRZ'S on the Audi, did not
    like them." I said, "Ohlins.. I've never heard of them. Probably a high-end shock. How much do they cost?" He said, "Oh, about 4 to 6 GRAND$$$ for the set!!!" I said, "Doh! Ouch! WTF!" He has also been advising me on alignment and setting the toe, in particular. He wants me to run 1/4-1/8" toe out up front, and at least zero toe in back, preferably set at a little toe out. His advice is consistent with others that toe out front and possibly rear helps the car rotate better in turns, along with trailing off throttle or trail braking. Right now I'm set at zero toe both front and rear. Besides, I'm not sure how to do that off throttle and trail braking stuff very well right now. Anyways, I'm not sure I want to run all that toe out he recommends because I don't want to wear out my new tires too fast. My car is, after all, my daily driver...
  • bemathewbemathew Posts: 33
    Hi Guys, Long time...I think for some time this topic( Part2) was missing?? Good to know that Only1 and cjhannan are making good progress!!!
    Stephen who used to be a regular seems to be missing from the scene??

    Let me update you about the kind of "blessing disguise" I had... My 99 GSR sedan ( 19K miles) was stolen two weeks back and the Cops recovered the car the same day. The entire interior ( Leather seats, Center console, Glovebox, CD, Door Panels, Trunk lid were missing). Surprisingly they didn't touch the engine, airbags, wheels etc. Initially my insurance company decided to repair the car but the initail appraisal was nearly 10K!!!! Finally they figured out that the total repair cost would be more or less similar to the price of the car( You wouldn't beleive the prices quoted by the dealers for the new seats!!!). Now comes the interesting part. They decided to TOTAL the car and the price they came up with based on their Market Survey, Demand, Low mileage, sales tax etc was $20003 ...yes twenty thousand three dollars.

    Now it gets more interesting, I started looking for Four door GSR's and none were available with dealers, news paper ads etc so I decided to buy back the salvaged car from the insurance. The price they offered was $5000 which I was not able to refuse. Meanwhile I had the car towed back to the Acura dealership to make sure that nothing else was missing/ damaged. So here I am with a stripped down 4 Door GSR ( Mainly Front and back seats, door panels, Trunk lid) looking around for used parts.

    I am tempted to spend some money on recaros or atleast on Tenzos....not yet decided. Most probably I will go for a Decent set of used GSR seats on Ebay and will spend the monry on some other goodies. Let me know what you all think
  • cjhannancjhannan Posts: 201
    Sorry to hear about your car. That totally sucks. Would you mind letting me know where you live. I live in Atlanta and would like to know if I need to start getting nervous about the theft of GSR sedans. Sounds like you could come out ahead a bit financially, but you're still having to a lot of work to get the car put back together. Again, that sucks! Ebay seems like a good place for seats and other parts. Recaros or something similar would be very nice, too, except those babies are expensive. I'd also check the classifieds section of -- there always seem to be good stuff available there, too. I'll keep an eye out for you and let you know if I find anything. Good of you to check back in again. You're right about Stephen; I haven't heard from him in a very long time...
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Sounds like you made a killing!! You got your old car back, minus the interior, etc. PLUS you have $15K additional in your pocket!!! I think that is great. Good thing the insurance companies appraise or total cars with retail values, not wholesale or trade-in.. I paid $19.8K for my '99 GSR. With 25k mi. on the odo I 'd probably get around $19k for it (not a sedan) if my insurance company is anything like yours..
    Anyway, go to and
    That's where Stephen hangs out too. Explain the situation and what you need. They also both have a classified section where you can post what you 're looking to buy. I 'm sure you 'll find the parts you need there and you 'll get great prices. Don't tell them what the dealer wants for them! Many guys there have aftermarket seats and have the factory ones sitting in their garage. You can also go for aftermarket seats, but Recaros are way too expensive. Sparco racing seats are a little cheaper and look almost like recaros. Sparco is a big name in racing seats too. Even if you figure you spend about $5-6K on the interior you 'll still have plenty of money left over. I can't believe they didn't touch anything under the hood. They even left the battery? Side paneling and stuff I 'm sure you can find them at a junk yard. That's where I 'd look first for most of this stuff but I don't think you 'll be disappointed with h-t or h-a. BUT since you have 15 grand now, you might want to get something nice. Type-R seats are not bad either and hold you in much better than GSR leather seats. You might consider installing LoJak in the car. It is usually the best defense. Check to see if the cops use it in your area and what their response times and recovery successes are. The dealer can install it. If they stole the car once already, it may happen again. You might want to remove the VTEC/DOHC badge if the thieves didn't already. If they think it's an LS/GS, the chances of it getting stolen again are much less. Wait, but then again, it wasn't the VTEC motor they were after.. weird. I guess they can make as much money selling the seats, dashboard and stuff. The motor was probably too heavy for them to carry and a lot more work to take out, where the interior is easy to take apart and you don't have to jack up the car or anything. Good luck. Let us know how it goes and what goodies you put in the car.
    PS. Just curious. Did you try and talk the insurance company down from $5K? I bet if you had offered them 4 or 4.5K they would 've taken it.
  • bemathewbemathew Posts: 33
    Thanks for the replies. I live in Phoenix..a place where you have one of the highest theft rates. My insurance rates almost doubled when I moved to this place( Almost $800 for 6 months).

    I did try both the HA boards. So far I was not able to get trunklid or the seats from those places. I did call couple of local junk yards/used parts stores for the trunk lid. seats i think I should be able to get decent ones from ebay.

    If i was ten years younger and was without a family then I would have gone crazy thinking about the mods that can be done with the money...
    I consider myself lucky that I was able to sell the idea at home about buying back the salvaged car. Even now there are preasures on me to sell this car and go for a Van/SUV or a BIG car!!!!!
    (BTw tell me what is the best way to convince the "Finance Dept" about the positive aspects of having a Aftermarket seat??)

    I don't want to spend too much on the cosmetic stuff right now as I can have this as a
    weekend/track-toy kind of a car in future.
    I did talk to insurance about the salvaged value of the car. The way it works is like this. Once decide to TOTAL the car, they get quotes from auction comapnies like for the salvaged car. The highest they got was $7600 for the salvaged car. I beleive the only reason they sold me for this price is that no GSR sedans were avaliable at the dealership or in the newspaper ads for me to buy a similar car. Now I have kept the car in the garage but needs to install a decent alarm. Let me know if you guys find anything that would be of help to me. Thanks
  • cjhannancjhannan Posts: 201
    No posts since last Wed.... What's this place coming to?

    Harry, given that toe is the only adjustable part of alignment on our cars, what is yours set at? Most autocrossers and road racers will tell you that toe out for the front wheels is a good thing because it helps the car rotate in tight corners, and it helps compensate for how the front wheels tend to "turn in" under acceleration. The guy at the alignment shop convinced me to set my toe front and rear at zero. He just didn't want to see me scuff up my new Bridgestones (and I actually appreciate that!). My racing friend, Lance, suggests that I should even set the toe out in the rears as well. While on one hand I appreciate this is how to help the car go fast, it also sounds alittle crazy to do all of this on a daily driver. Your thoughts?
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Well, now you got me looking for my last wheel alignment printout and I can't find it of course.. My wife probably threw it out. Anyway I can't tell you the exact #s but it was very close to 0 toe in the back and a little toe out in the front. That's what I asked them to do. I can't recall the #s though. That was last April-May. I still have a major problem with the caster that 's a whole degree off since I hit a big pothole on the day of the first auto-x event back in March. I 'm going to probably try replacing the right lower control arm first. A frame & axle shop I took it to, said they can't tell for sure, but with all Hondas they replace the spindle (hub) and the control arm at the same time. Well, I don't buy that because I doubt that both are damage and if the spindle were damaged then the wheel bearing would be making noises which it doesn't. I just hope it's not like an upper control arm or something else and we 're barking up the wrong tree because these parts are not cheap. The dealer also thinks it could be a bent LCA so I 'll definitely do that first. It's so hard to find a good suspension shop these days and people that know what they're talking about. They were all guessing..
    Anyway, the good thing is, that since that pothole, and the first couple of racing events this year, my suspension settled even more, so my camber is negative all around and the front camber for both wheels was exactly at borderline (-.15 deg. left & -.16 right I think it was), which helps handling and in auto-x. The rear camber was not as negative but still about 2/3 of the way towards the negative allowable range. Negative camber is good for auto-x. My car is now dropped about 1.25" and it's obvious that's where the cutoff line is for a camber kit, as discussed by many people who do or don't want to get a camber kit. My guess is that probably the 25 or so auto-x events I 've done since I upgraded the suspension last year, has caused extra wear & tear on all the bushings, springs, and I have to assume shocks (they settle a little too) and resulted in accelerated suspension settling. That's fine, I don't mind. As much as I 'd like to go with some LCA Polyurethane bushings, I don't think I want to deal with the squeaking and the harsher ride. If there's one thing I hate is rattles and squeaks, BUT the car isn't a daily driver (not since around Christams) anymore, so I should probably do it before the camber gets any worse and starts chewing up the tires. The abnormal caster doesn't help with even tire wear either and the car pulls to one side because of it. Despite all that, I 've managed 9 1st place wins and 1 2nd place so far this year. If only I 'd get my a*s kicked, so I can justify fixing all this and do some more mods :-)
    Oh, and I messed up with Evolution school! I waited too long to mail my check so now both days this year are booked with no cancellations so far. My brother seems is going by himself this Sunday.. That's ok, my local club has an auto-x event 10 min. away this Sunday and I save my self $185. Hmm.. that's more than enough for ES bushings all around! :)
  • cjhannancjhannan Posts: 201
    ... about not getting into the Evolution driving school. I leave tomorrow for southern Georgia to attend my driving class, and then two days of competing in the divisional event. I can't wait -- each day ought to be very cool. I'll probably have my a$$ handed to me on a platter in terms of how well I'll compete within my class, but as long as I'm having fun and slowly improving, I can't really worry about that. If I'm going to be any good at all at this auto-x stuff, it won't happen over night. Harry, you've done really well in DSP this year. You 'otta come down to Hot-lanta 'cause there's usually very good competition in DSP. Brian Flanagan, a nationally ranked driver, usually comes down from Tennessee. And my buddy who drives a '95 GSR competes in DSP and has actually beat Flanagan at least once this year. Anyway, this learning how to drive well in auto-x can be very humbling. I was 4+ seconds off the winning time in STS last Sunday, finishing 9th out of 11 cars. My best time was a 60.4xx secs. and my buddy who runs in DSP had a 54.6xx Sheesh, talk about smokin'. I check back in on Monday with a full report on the driving school and the divisional event.
  • averianaverian Posts: 1
    I am thinking about getting a used Acura Integra GSR from 1994 up, but wanted to know peoples' take on the car and especially what to watch out for in buying a used one. (I need a reliable sporty current car is a VW Corrado which is known to have many quirks and thus there were many things to look for to avoid in a used car, any such quirks in the GSR?) Thanks in advance for your input,
  • mckaguemckague Posts: 24
    I'm interested in picking up a used GSR sedan. The performance numbers on the spec pages here at Edmunds for this car are all over the place (0-60,roadholding). I think they're mixing GSR and GS up, as well as possibly sedan and hatch. Does anybody have reliable perf. numbers for a stock GSR sedan? Also, is there a significant difference in the layout of the car between sedan and hatch (other than the obvious - any suspension differences, for example?)? Thanks for any help!
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