With the engine in, it was time to start hooking everything up and getting it ready. I started with the clutch and shifter linkage. While the shifter linkage went on with ease, the clutch linkage was giving me a hard time. Even fully adjusted to the end stop, I wasn’t able to disengage the clutch. My theory is that when I had the clutch resurfaced, they ground away a bit too much, moving the pressure plate further away from the throwout bearing and making it impossible to push the pedal far enough. So, I turned up a quick spacer to sit on the end of the cable, giving me about 20mm of extra pull. This seemed to fix the problem!
Next up, I got the spark plug wires installed, although I had to consult the internet to find out what order they hooked up to the coils on (turns out it’s 2 – 3 – 1 – 4). With the wiring starting to fall into place, I got the call from Spencer at Dashbuilt Performance saying that my oil lines were finished. He ended up welding AN fittings to the end of the factory pipes and then made up new braided lines to run between the fittings. With those in my possession, I could really press on to the first start!
With oil in the engine, all that was left was to finish hooking up the wiring, toss the intercooler and intake piping on and then turn the key!
As you can see, even though the exhaust wasn’t hooked up, it fired right up and purred like a kitten. Knowing that the engine was solid, it was time to start finishing it up and getting it ready for the first drive. The intake piping and wiring was all finalized, the axles were put back in, the suspension and brakes reinstalled, the exhaust hooked up and the wheels thrown back on.
I dropped her off the stands and went for the first test drive up and down the driveway!
It was smooth as smooth can be and everything felt tight and perfect! There was a small oil leak that took a bit of effort to get to, but with it sorted and the undercovers thrown back on, it was surprisingly solid. I started venturing further and further, putting more kilometers on and getting the engine break-in going on in earnest. I even drove it up to Dallas and back to visit some friends, which put about 600 km on the engine, and it ran flawlessly the whole way! With the engine sorted, I started to turn to taking care of a few other things that were bothering me on the car. Starting with the stereo. It was held in with double sided tape, so I mounted it properly and tossed an old Zyklus boost gauge I had floating around in.
But, it turned out that the gauge had a busted membrane or something and made a terrible rattle on boost and the radio was shot as well. So, I ripped the stereo out, tossed in a new Kenwood unit, threw in four new Kenwood 4-inch speakers, and bolted in a new Lamco boost gauge.
And of course now that it was running and driving well, I couldn’t help but get the Bellett out for a group picture!
With the engine fully broken in it was time to go through the rigamarole of getting it registered. If you want more info on that, check out my Honda Beat, I go into much more detail there. With plates on it I’ve put just about 3,600 km on the new engine and I’m absolutely loving driving it around!