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Acura Integra GSR Customizing and Modifying

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  • I appreciate the advice! I am loving the car so far. I went to Circuit City last night and they had a DEI Viper Keyless/Alarm system on sale ($239 including all parts and installation), so I decided to go with that. I plan to get it on this weekend. Lojack sounds like a good idea, too...not sure if they can add it on with that alarm system...will pester the techs. :)

    I forced the issue, so the car dealership replaced the timing belt (at no cost to me) and all other hoses/belts, but I wasn't savvy on the water pump issue at the time!!! :( So, for now, I will keep an eye on it and since the car is under extended warranty, get it done when I take in for an oil change? For now, I don't have any apparent problems with it.

    I'll check on the car cover this weekend too -- I am having such fun!

    Now, what was that about 'brake modifications'? As far as 'suspension' work, I don't plan on racing my new baby...

    In a few weeks, I will try to have a digital pic of the car to post on this site. :)
  • garadosgarados Posts: 321
    Before I go into brakes and suspension, remember this. Your life is riding on these two things. Don't go cheap on brakes or suspension.

    Just to make the car more fun to drive, and also safer, braking and suspension modifications are good. I would recommend in getting some new brake pads, rotors, fluid, and maybe brake lines. Now, if all of that looks good, then don't worry about it.

    Integra's are pretty good when it comes to having a good stock suspension setup, but there's lots of room for improvement. Lowering the car is a good first step, not only will it look better, it'll handle better as well. Depending on where you are, and your ambitions to make the car look better, I would recommend a 1.5 inch maximum drop. Any farther than this, and an alignment will not be able to save your tires. Eibach, Neuspeed, H&R, and Comptech are good spring manufacturers.

    When lowering a car, the shocks must also be upgraded, or else the extra wear from the lowering springs will cause the stock shocks to wear prematurely. Getting aftermarket shocks designed for lowered cars will solve the problem. Look for Koni, Tokiko, and Bilstein for shocks.

    The most bang-for-the-buck suspension modification is upgrading the rear sway bar. Getting one from an Integra Type-R is the cheapest way to go, and will be easiest on the wallet. Some sway bar makers are Comptech, Suspension Techniques, Neuspeed, and Progress.

    If you ever get a chance, try to find a local scca (sports car club of America, www.scca.org) auto cross event. If you find one, go to it and just watch or even ask for a ride.

    Finally, this board isn't as active as some, and we don't have all the answers. I would recommend www.honda-tech.com or www.team-integra.net as great resources for information. Although, Harry is a great source of information when it comes to suspension and auto crossing ^_~
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    good luck with your 'new' Integra!

    Don't listen to Garados. He tends to get a little carried away some times :-) Enjoy the car stock the way it is. If and when you start to get tired of it or used to it, a year from now let's say, then come back and ask us what you can do to make it more exciting. The Integra can be an exhilerating car to drive if you only spend a "little bit" of money on it. They can handle amazingly which makes them a lot more fun to drive. With a little suspension modding, it 'll be a whole new experience (for the better).

    You have one of the lightest 3d generation (called g3) Integras ever made. The RS weighs under 2500lbs, due to lack of accessories, so your stock brakes should work pretty well as they 're the same on a GSR that weighs 2650lbs. Just make sure your pads are in good shape as well as the rotors and change the brake fluid every 2yrs with Honda brake fluid only.
    Honda-tech.com is a very technical forum and there's tons of information there for those who want to modify their Honda/Acura. It is also a major forum for people that race their Hondas. It can become very overwhelming reading through hundreds of posts (they get about 2,000/day!) but it is for Honda/Acura enthousiasts so you might want to check it out. I 'm sure you 'll find good info on car covers. Just make sure you do a 'search' first, otherwise you 'll be yelled at and told that your question has been covered many times before.
    Most auto parts stores carry decent covers. Just make sure they 're 2 or 3-layer covers that protect the car all year round from the sun as well as rain/moisture. Don't buy a cheap one or anything under $90. Have fun with your Integra! I 'll post one of mine again soon (I can only post my racing pics, I don't have any normal pics of my car sitting in the driveway or something like that.. weird!)
  • meehowmeehow Posts: 6
    The car was in an accident. The front end, A/c, and radiator were replaced. Now you can't even tell that the front has been replaced and the A/C works great. I've taken the car to 2 different shops and both of them said it was fine other than the lights. I'm sure its a GS-R, because I ran a CarFax and RS/LS aren't this quick. Yes I did test drive it. It feels nice and drives smooth, my biggest complaint is the road noise, but I've read this exists in all Integras. Anyways, the guy took the car to the Acura dealer here in town and they told him it needs a new ABS modulator, and a driver's side airbag. The seller said he is going to do this work and show me recipts. He also replaced the broken antena. After these repairs I got him down to $6,750.
    What do you think?
  • meehowmeehow Posts: 6
    A few more questions:

    -What are some of the down-sides of buying a car thats been in a wreck. Other than that its been in a wreck :)

    -How much would a stock front bumper cost(new or used)?

    -How much would a stock rear bumper cost(new or used)?

    -How much would a interior ceiling panel cost and how hard would this be to replace?

    Once again thanks for the input
  • garadosgarados Posts: 321
    Some downsides to being in a wreck could possibly lead to lots of problems in the future including bad suspension, things just being a little out of whack causing other things to break, etc.

    The stock front and rear bumpers can cost a lot of money if bought from the dealer, upwards of 300 dollars. I think I got quoted 450 for the front bumper. The same goes for the rear bumper. Then again, if bought used, they can be very cheap, like 50 bucks or so. Just look around, and you'll find something.

    I don't know about the ceiling panel, but I don't think it would be hard to replace. Just as the bumpers, shop around. You'll probably find a good deal... hopefully.

    Good luck with the teg =D
  • ...for the input, for now, I am very happy with the car. I'm female graduate Mech'l Engrg student, in school fulltime. So, I just wanted a reliable, fuel efficient, but FUN TO DRIVE car, and my lil Teg is fitting the bill nicely! It will take about 3-5 to get the degree, so then, I would consider making any mods to my car...unless my husband gives me some $$$ to do it! *smile*

    It's funny...I worked in aerospace for a few years before coming back to school to get my Ph.D. in M.E., and so people think that means I should know about cars --- WRONG! I am humble enough to admit that engineers learn the 'theory' and that technicians learn 'practical knowledge'! Now, I like to hang out at my Honda dealer's service dept (I had an Accord before this Acura) and ask questions, and learn what I can from the cool guys there...the Acura service guys are pretty good too, but they don't like my 'silly questions' as much! :)

    Before, I had 2 leased vehicles (a 97 Nissan 200SX and a 99 Accord EX sedan), so I just had the oil changed, took them for service, put gas in, and went on with life! (Hey, what can I say, I'm a girly-girl!) I got sick of the large size of my Accord, and missed the compact size of my old 200SX...I was looking at the Acura RSX and Celicas, but when I saw my Teg, it was no contest--how could they stop making this great car?!?!??! Now, this Teg is my first 'owned' vehicle, so I want to take good care of him and keep him for many years to come.

    I have to admit, learning about cars is pretty fun! I was too busy working with jets to realize how cool cars are. I am learning more everyday and you guys are giving me all kinds of good info.

    (and this forum is a good distraction for when I get tired of studying!) hahahhahahahahhaahaha

    ---Storm's Fury
  • garadosgarados Posts: 321
    You're getting a degree in M.E.? Me too ^_^ Although, you're a little ahead of me. I'm shooting for a degree within 5 years and I'll be starting my first year at the end of August.
  • Yep, I'm an M.E. too...and a former SAE queen at my undergrad university to boot. :)

    Good luck to you on pursuing your degree. It will be challenging, but rewarding...it's such a broad field. What do you want to do with the degree?

    And a little off topic question for you: where can I go to get a hood pin/lock installed? That's a pretty good idea to keep would-be thieves/scum/bottom feeders from getting inside my car...
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    dang! we 're all (or will be) engineers but I work in the LAN/WAN network engineering field. Sadly enough, most companies are now off-shoring these jobs to India and elsewhere :(
    Over $1B (billion!) of American jobs were offshored last year alone. Our government really stinks to allow this to happen.

    Any garage should be able to install the hood lock. Check with auto parts stores to see what they carry. Also check with car alarm companies since their work is "auto-security".
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Sounds like this car needs many things.
    The price you agreed on is fair if there was nothing wrong with the car. But if you need to pay for bumpers and other interior stuff, then the price of the car will go up to $7500-8K. Check with Kelley Blue Book on line: www.kbb.com to see what the price on the car is (in fair condition, not good or excellent), and decide from there.
  • meehowmeehow Posts: 6
    KBB in fair is ~$7,200, in good it's ~$8,000, and I haven't checked excellent, so judging from those it would be a good deal, just wanted to know what you guys thought. Just to clarify the car doesn't need the bumpers or interior, therefore they aren't a top priority for me. They're just something I would consider doing if I got some extra $.
  • I agree, offshore engrg DOES suck. Every other day there is a plant closure. :| That is why I am back in school now!

    AS for the hood pin, thanks for the followup, I will check on that, hopefully get it done this weekend.
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    What did you look at? Private sale? or retail price - what a dealer would sell it for?
     
    Only look at private sale and wholesale/trade-in prices. Then take the average of those 2 and that's the price you should be paying if buying it from a private owner.
  • jimc93sijimc93si Posts: 34
    Hi folks.
    I just bought a 2000 Black GSR. I found it at the credit union repo lot while looking at loan rates. It was just listed as an Integra, so when I drove over there and saw the GS-R label inside the driver door I almost fell over.
     It's in new condition with only 36000 miles on it. Spent its whole life in Florida with one owner and the leather looks like garage-kept. I signed the papers today for 12.5K plus tax. Tomorrow I take it. :)
     My current car is a 93 civic si with 189,000 miles, it still runs and looks fine.
      It's a nice step up from the civic. Everything is in the right place. The only problem I have is I'm 6'3" and the headroom is a little tight. Having been brought up in MG midgets I'm used to confined spaces, so that's not a really big deal.
     What I really wanted was an MR2 Spyder with the sequential shifter, but that's like 30K after taxes etc. and my wife thinks I should give more priorty to the mortgage and the 2 teenagers. Plus, the MR2 had only 1.2 cubic feet of storage and no back seat, which hurts when my daughter wants to bring her girlfriend home from swim practice or something.
     Anyway, this is a great car, I love it. It's never been modified and everything is stock. So, intake first, so I can hear it, then lower profile tires.
    I wish I was driving it now instead of typing on the computer :)
  • garadosgarados Posts: 321
    sounds like a steal ^_~ I would buy that in a heart beat... if I had the money... but that's a different story =P An intake is a good beginning mod. It sounds good too. Have fun with the car ^_^
  • Dude, what a great purchase! I would have snapped that up for sure! My newly acquired Teg was also an ex-Florida, low mileage, garage kept car.

    Enjoy your new purchase. I am definitely having an 'affair' with mine. :) (And my husband doesn't mind -- much).
    -->Storm's Fury
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Congrats & good luck with it!
    It's funny though, I don't have a GS-R label on the inside of any doors..
    Maybe only the '00 & '01 models had them.. Is it engraved on the door panel, a label, what does it look like? I 'm curious. My '99 doesn't say GS-R anywhere.. I don't think. It only has the DOHC/VTEC sticker in the back.
    You got a good price too!
     
    Just make sure it has an 8100 RPM red line. It should be a 5-sp. and the valve cover (black) should say DOHC VTEC on it.
     
    BTW, if it's a GSR, you should be "hearing" it already. GSR gets pretty noisy at 6K RPM when the secondary runners open up. It sounds good. But an aftermarket intake can only improve performance if it's a Cold Air Intake (CAI). Get the AEM CAI. It gives the most HP and torque gains. I gained 12.4 hp at the wheels, and 7.5 ft-lbs of torque at the wheels. It's the best bang for the buck, only $180.
    Just avoid deep puddles and you 'll be ok. My car is lowered over 2-2.25" now and the splash guard was ripped out a month ago while auto-x racing at an SCCA event (It was hanging out pretty low because a screw fell off so I was just asking for trouble). On the way home (80 mi.) it started raining very hard and kept raining till I got home. I was worried because the air filter from the AEM was only about 5.5" away from the ground and totally exposed. I got home fine and I even averaged 65-70 mph. There was also some flooding with about 1" puddles here & there. I checked the filter. It was a little wet but I didn't have any problems. It needs to suck in a lot of water at once to damage the valves or motor. Little tiny dropplets or mist don't do anything.

    As for tires, 205-50-15" is the best size for the stock alloys and they look much better on the car. 205-50s also don't alter your speedometer as much because they 're almost the same circumferance. Don't go cheap on tires! The GSR is a good handling car out of the box, but only with decent tires. Get ZR summer tires if you can. Falken Azenis (Sport) is the best one out there and very inexpensive compared to other Ultra performance tires. Use snow tires in the winter if you 're going to be driving it in light snow or sleet. All season tires will not work well in snow and never do. Use winter tires for that.
    You 're on the right track to make your car a lot more fun to drive. The only other thing that every Integra owner will tell you is an absolute must, besides good tires, is a larger rear sway bar to cut down on body roll and increase your lateral G forces. It helps tremendously when cornering and on long sweepers (skidpad/winding back roads). 22mm is the most common which is the same size on the Integra Type-R. Comptech makes a really good 22mm sway bar that comes with a lower tie bar that also serves as sub-frame reinforcement which we need for anything over 19mm. Your stock rear sway bar is only 14mm. So in order of importance and safety: Tires, rear sway bar, intake. Good luck!
  • garadosgarados Posts: 321
    I get carried away? Sheesh, you're just as bad as I am =P

    Well, I need to find a compression tester because mine doesn't work >:O My engine is burning oil at a rate that's kinda scaring me. I don't redline that much, but it do get into vtec occasionally, just because my exhaust pops when vtec engages ^_^ If I find that the engine is bad, I'm going to do a swap, probably to a b20b. I'll use that to keep my car running (I can't afford down time, now that school's starting), fix the b18, then swap it back in when I have time. After that, I'll just keep the b20 or just sell it. Would that be a good plan? I don't plan on racing the b20 at all, just in case I forget that it'll explode if I take it to 8100 rpm.
  • jimc93sijimc93si Posts: 34
    Thanks all for the useful comments.
    I live in Tampa, Fl so there's no problem running summer tires all year. Someone on HT suggested the iceman CAI, which uses the same intake port, I think. Massive puddles are a problem here, they are not too deep, but kick up alot of water.
    Just having front & rear swaybars is a nice adjustment from the SI. Once I get used to making payments again (I haven't had any in 5 years) I'll see how much is left over for upgrades.
    The car is a lease return, not a repo as I was initially informed. It is in near mint condition. Yes, it is definitely a GSR. I could have sworn there was a silver metallic label on the drivers door jam, but now there's not. There is a bigger label that says GS-R along with other specs. The valve cover says DOHC Vtec.
    I can't wait to drive it across the bay tomorrow and show the guy who paid list price for his RSX-S :)
This discussion has been closed.