NDF Build: NDF TA Civic Rebuild V.5

Automotive, Feature, JDM, Motor Sports, Time Attack



I got a few things done on the car since my last post, I mean, not much, but it’s something I suppose.  I realized I hadn’t really posted many pictures of the cage, so I rolled it outside to get some better lighting.  At this point the car is almost ready to go back to Bardabe to get the new exhaust fabbed up, and a couple more little custom bits.  Yesterday I got the new harnesses I picked up from J mounted to my Bride and was able to put my mirrors on.

I brought my camera along to snap a few pics because I haven’t posted much of an update in awhile…




I really need to fix the door cards – they’ll work for now though.





I like the darker grey I used for the interior.  The Winter Grey it was before got dirty way too easily.





A shot of the Dogfight LCP sunroof plug from the inside.






And from the top.  Shows you how dirty the car is haha








This past week I also cut out the skeleton of my trunk and took out the hinge assembly.  The idea at first was to use aerocatch on both the hood and trunk, but the way the aerocatch mounts I won’t be able to use it on the trunk.  So I think I’ll use 4 normal pins instead.

I wanted to have pictures of the newly painted Battlecraft hood for this update too, but I still haven’t gotten it back from paint.  As soon as I get it back I’ll be able to throw the fenders and bumper back on and drive it to Bardabe.




I also picked up a CTR rear bumper support.  The difference in weight is nearly 10 pounds…crazy.  I’m skeptical about how well it will protect the car in a collision though lol





I painted it grey.







Rear quarter windows were removed for preparation of the carbon ones I was making.




Whole shot of the car about a month ago.  The rear wheels were Alec’s he threw on there because he didn’t want to wear out the AD08R’s, and I had no rears at the time.  Look pretty good, but they’re 15’s.





Fast forward about a month to now and the first prototype carbon windows are made, installed, and sealed even utilizing the OEM trim.  I also got the rear FAL lexan window sealed and riveted in too, but I forgot to take a picture.  I brought back some TE37V’s to use in the rear, 16×8 +25, which don’t really fit at the moment.  I need a pretty large pull to be able to run them and get the car a little lower.




And just for kicks, Jay Jay got his engine in this week.  We’re building our cars right next to each other, so they spend a lot of time together haha.


Until next time ~





NDF Build: NDF TA Civic Rebuild V.4

Automotive, Feature, JDM, Motor Sports, Time Attack




If there happened to be a collegiate panel somewhere in this world discussing the topic of ‘slow progress’, they’d probably call me in as an expert consultant.  I’d inform them that the key to slow progress is to overload yourself with work from outside sources; work that obstructs your ability to finish tasks on the project you enjoy the most.  In my particular case, this means building my ideal time attack Civic.

When I decided to document the rebuild of my car and it’s transformation into the dumbest street car ever, I initially did so for my personal use.  So I would have something to look back at if I were to ever get rid of the car, or heaven forbid total it.  I didn’t really think people would take a huge interest in it, but I was wrong!  With that said, I apologize that these updates are few and far between.  I know you’ve heard it before but I’ve been extremely busy with my day job the past month and change and as a result, the site has unfortunately been put on the back burner.  I’m sure you’ve noticed a lack in general updates.  Trust me, it’s not that I don’t have the content, it’s that it’s just getting hard to find time to post it.  June should calm down a bit for me hopefully, and the updates should be more regular from here on out.

Anyway, now that I am back from traveling, I actually had a chance to work on the build last night.  So after work, I stopped by my house and grabbed my camera to snap a few pics for an update.  I’ll forewarn you that this won’t be the most exciting post, but at least it’s more than an Instagram pic.





I suppose the most prominent update is that my suspension finally came in from Japan, and that it is on the car.  At the beginning of the month I was in talks with a friend at Tein about getting some new Mono Sports for the car.  I had the prior model (Mono Flex) on my S2000 and I absolutely loved the way they felt.  Well, Tein has redesigned their Mono Tube line and has introduced the Mono Sport in place of the Flex.  Adjustability is increased, as well as the way the fluids flow; now utilizing the new Advance M.S.V. sub-valve system.  I’m really excited to try these out.  At that time, they were not in stock, so I had waited for the next container to arrive.

I picked them up at the beginning of the week and installed the same day.  I wanted to replace a few bolts on the suspension however, but couldn’t get to Honda until Tuesday though.  So the first thing I did when I got to the shop was finish the install of the coilovers.  I haven’t had a chance to put the car on the ground yet to adjust them, but that will come in due time.  I think I inadvertently made the most colorful rear half of a car ever.

The ugly exhaust you see here is also getting replaced.  When Juan has room, I’ll be driving the car back to Riverside to have a center exit exhaust fabbed up.  The piping will run under the sub-frame, as opposed to over the LCA, and out the bumper to basically eliminate all bends.


A look at the front coils, and BC FUCA’s…also my sweet NAPA axles that I get for free.  Back when the car was turbocharged and I took it to Pomona every week to drag race, I would break axles often.  NAPA has a lifetime warranty…winning.





You can see in the fender wells that there are some pretty gnarly seems where the spot welds are.  These are great for running larger wheels, so they need to be taken care of.  Also, 235 and 255 tire will hit that headlight bracket…




So I cut off some tabs on the seam that help hold the fender/liner on, heated up the seam, and hit it repeatedly really hard with a mallet haha

You can see inside where even the 225’s were rubbing on the 16’s I had on.  Those spots were also hit with a hammer lol

But you can see the weld is tucked in now – the same thing will be done to the top portion.




The headlight bracket was removed, and I also trimmed back the portion of the headlight.  Part of me cringed a little cutting new SiR headlights, but a much larger part of me didn’t care at all.








I think another thing I didn’t post yet is the interior.  If you follow the sites Instagram account (@naritadogfight), you’ll have seen it before.  If not check it out because I forgot to take pictures haha.  The cage and interior was resprayed a much darker grey color.  I’m hoping this won’t show dirt as much as the old Winter Grey color did.  I like it!





Also posted on Instagram a few times were the carbon door cards I made for the fiberglass doors.  I’m not a fabricator in the loosest use of the word and this was my first time riv-nutting anything so I have to go back and redo them.  I think the overall concept is there, my execution is a bit lacking though lol.  It’s quite difficult to riv-nut into fiberglass as you have to judge what the correct pressure is – too tight and you’ll crack the fiberglass, not tight enough the riv-nut will pull out.

Once the car is somewhat complete, I’ll go back and redo them…for now they work though.  I was also able to utilize the OEM door handles and latch system.  So happy that the doors close somewhat perfectly!




Here you can see where the door cards are incomplete.  I need to make some sort of L-bracket to cover the gap where there is no material to riv-nut against.  No big deal though, as I’m not too bothered by it for now.  That little knob sticking out of the door is the latch I made to open the door from the inside.  It’s actually bicycle brake cable (Credit to Dom for the idea), that is mounted through a riv-nut and attached to the inside latch.  I’m able to pull up on it and undo the latch.  Eventually I’ll make a key-ring for it, or attach a fancy piece of cloth or something easier to grab.  I don’t want to be in a situation on track and have only that tiny thing to grab on to to open the door with.





Still to be taken out of the bay was the charcoal canister, for obvious reasons…

I also removed the battery and tray to relocate it to the trunk…or maybe the passenger side floor.




One of the issues I needed to tend to before moving the car back home was to redo the heater core loop that we rigged together at Juans.  When I took the heater core out we didn’t have enough material to loop the outlets so we rigged together some bullshit tube with like three pieces of tubing and some aluminum piping ziptied to the firewall.  It worked getting home, but as you can see it was stupid.




Here is a picture after picture.  Much better, and it’s not kinked.  Also, charcoal canister is out, as well as all the fuel purge stuff.




I like this picture because you can see how the door wrap looks in the light.  It’s a brushed aluminum look, but I haven’t really gotten to see it in the sun yet.  The fiberglass was really raw, so some defects can be seen through the vinyl, but not a huge deal.  Once a livery is applied it will draw focus away.

The quarter panel windows will be taken out, hopefully this week, so I can use them to lay the carbon for what will be their replacement, and the newest Dogfight LCP product.  Also, my CTR rear bumper support is on it’s way here.  Little things like that make a huge difference.  The CTR rear bumper support is a mere 2.8 pounds in comparison the USDM on that weighs in at a massive 12.5 pounds.





Jay Jay is working on his new build at the same time right next to me.  Allan was laughing because he was making funny noise trying to get into the back of his car with the cage in.





Squished Jay Jay.





Still lots to do!! I hope I can find the time to keep some sort of momentum up with this project.  Hopefully Yuta can deliver the BattleCraft hood today so I can fit it and send it off to paint.  Also, I have some new side mirrors on the way that will also get sent to paint.  Thanks for all the support!

Oh!! I also got the carbon plug fitted and sealed, I completely forgot to take pictures – I’ll get some next time.

Thanks to Koyorad, Tanabe, and Bardabe Performance!




NDF Build: NDF TA Civic Rebuild V.3

Automotive, Motor Sports, Site News, Time Attack



I’ve been overdue for an update on this build for awhile now; even though not much has happened since.  This past Saturday Jay and I drove over to Bardabe’s place to finally wrap up everything and drive the car back to NORUSH.  The biggest accomplishment to report is that the cage is complete – which is why I was able to bring it back to our shop.  Bardabe did an awesome job on the cage and was able to successfully, and safely, create the cage that I wanted.  We even ended up creating a custom steering column bracket to set the steering wheel in the perfect position for my driving.  If you’ve ever tracked a Civic, you’ll know that even when you space the column it still sits pretty high if you have a low seat rail.




Bardabe surprised me with a TIG’d in Yuta dog on the driver’s side door bar…so even if I don’t have a Yuta sticker on my car, he’ll be there to watch over me.  Should look really cool when it’s painted.




A shot of the cage from the rear.




So, a lot of what happened from when we left Riverside around 4pm to when we got back to NORUSH is not documented.  Needless to say the drive back was super sketchy.  At one point, about halfway down the 91 the car decided it didn’t want to run anymore and the engine cut out when I was stuck in traffic going about 35mph.  I was in the far left lane, I had no mirrors on the car, and I couldn’t turn around because of the harness.  Not even sure how I got it over to the far right, but it involved rolling through 4 lanes of traffic going like 5 mph.
I have no idea why the car shut off.  At first I thought it was an issue with some of the wiring leading to the fuel pump, and Jay thought perhaps it was the main relay.  After about 10 minutes of sorting through the exposed wiring I tried turning the car over again and it amazingly fired up and stayed running.  Instead of taking surface streets we just plowed through the traffic and eventually made it back to the shop.




This was pretty much my view for the drive home.  No dash, lots of zip-ties…you know, the usual.  Iwata style.




It’s extremely difficult for me to have my car this dirty.  I’m borderline OCD when it comes to keeping things clean – seriously, you should see my house.  So the first thing I did when I got it back was at least to try and vacuum and wipe down the interior a bit; even though it’s getting sanded and painted soon…I still had to do something.


This Schroth 3-point I picked up at Up Garage when I was in Japan at the beginning of the month.  I was browsing stuff and realized that I didn’t have seatbelts anymore and that I should probably pick up a harness.  It was $30 or something hahaha I love Up Garage.




We all went to eat some ramen and get some drinks in a celebration of hunger and having the car back.  When we got back I decided to save myself some time on Sunday, to start taking out my sorry excuse for a sunroof plug that I had in there all these years.  Just saying, my car has had a stripped interior since like 2004.  I made my own plug literally like a decade ago, but now that we have the DOGFIGHT parts I was pretty anxious to get it out of there.  The new piece is much nicer – you can check it out here.




So dirty.





It’s been awhile since we’ve had a lot of people together in the shop; it was nice.




Nidia took my camera and started taking pictures of people.




Jay says, “Stay tuned for the next update, because this one was kind of lame.”


Revive the Spirit – #norush




NDF Build: NDF TA Civic Rebuild V.2


Last night I made the trip back to Riverside to resume work on the Civic build.  Although I was only going to be able to work on it for a few hours, I have to take every opportunity I can.  As you may know, I travel a lot for work and March is no exception.  I’ll be missing a lot of time for pretty much the first half of the month and I wanted to take care of the wiring before I head out.

Wiring is touch and go with me, and when it comes to the chassis harness components and ignition wiring I’m not the most confident about tracing and cutting out the unnecessary.  So I asked my good friend Kristian for assistance, and we ended up heading out there together, along with a couple other characters…

This post isn’t the most exciting, so I filled it with a bunch of good lookin’ dudes so it looks like I actually made progress on the car.


This is Kristian.  By day he builds and tunes 1,000 horsepower GTRs at SP Engineering.  By night, he helps me remove wires from my Civic; which is basically like the same thing.


Why not just leave the harnesses and wires that I’m not using anymore in the car?  Well, I’m glad you asked (or that I staged the question for you).  It’s simple; wires are unnecessary weight!  Remember ‘grams make ounces, ounces make pounds’?  We removed a good 7-10 pounds of material out.  That’s 7-10 pounds that I don’t have to carry around track.


Not too mention it makes things much cleaner both under the dash and throughout the cabin.   It also gives Bardabe more room at the firewall to work around while making the cage.


Speaking of which, while we were taking care of the wiring mess, he was measuring and bending the A-pillar bars.


The Civic dash is an enigma.  That’s all I have to say.  I feel sorry if you ever have to remove one or work around one.

In order to get the passenger side A-pillar bar to sit as flush as possible with the pillar, we had to cut off this strange bracket that holds a portion of the dash frame to the car.  The driver’s side doesn’t have it, as that side is mounted differently.


This guy showed up sometime during the night.  No one knew who he was but he was really good looking so we allowed him to stay.


Dilly came along to help out and hang out as well.


Yuta and Kristian sharing a workspace…and a razor blade.

I’m really reaching now…


This is one of the cleaned up sections that Yuta took care of.  These wires go to the rear of the car for the taillights, fuel pump, and what not…actually I think that’s it now.  Actually maybe a few of those could be seatbelt sensors; those will get removed eventually as I have no seatbelts anymore.  This is the same group of wires that used to contain all the power to the doors for the mirrors, windows, locks, etc.  Since I will be using fiberglass doors I won’t be using any of that.


It was about at this time when all 6 of us we’re violently assaulted by a pod of Jerusalem Crickets that, as far as I’m concerned, had been lying in wait for us the entire night.  If it wasn’t for Amir’s keen eye we would have surely been eaten alive that very night like a Yerk in Animorphs.

It was actually just one and it was on the back wheel of the Civic.  Yuta and Amir burnt it, along with my rear quarter panel, with a butane torch and WD-40.  I don’t have pictures because it was gross and I hate bugs.

Anyway, after we had somewhat cleaned everything up, we left Bardabe to fend off the remaining Potato Bugs and went back to Kristian’s house in Walnut to watch the movie ‘Pitch Perfect’.  It was an OK movie, but I’m not sure it was worth staying up until 3am to watch.  I mean, it had it’s moments, but I don’t see it winning any awards.  Especially because it didn’t win any.


NDF Build: NDF TA Civic Rebuild V.1

Automotive, Feature, Motor Sports, Time Attack



I’d be lying if I said I knew where to begin with this series, and well, since I’m not a liar I’ll begin it with this really awkward sentence instead.  I’ve had this car for quite awhile now; 14 years to be exact.  I’ve had other cars come and go, but this one has stuck by my side through it all.  It’s been through many different stages in it’s life with me, but as of yesterday, I began the journey to start it’s final stage.

I’ve enjoyed the car tremendously both at the track and as a daily driver.  However, there has always been something that’s bothered me about it.  I’ve never been 100% satisfied as to how it was built.  I never went that extra mile with it to make it truly the way I want it.  At the end of last year something finally clicked in my head and I vowed to start a build that would end all that; I would finally build the time attack car I’ve always planned to.




First order of business was to pick up the materials for the cage that we are fabricating at Bardabe.  We’ll be making a basic through dash, 6-point with door bars.  Since weight is the biggest factor for me, we went with a outer diameter of 1.5″ with a thickness of .095.  Pretty standard for DOM cages for a car of my curb weight.  You’ll see as we progress through this build that making the car as light as possible is my number one priority; something I’ve learned from my friends in Japan.  Losing weight is basically free power.




Since, over the past year or two, the car has served as both a track car and means of transportation, their really wasn’t much to strip on the interior.  The car was already pretty much fully gutted from the dash back, so I started with the exterior panels.  I’ll be running a BattleCraft hood, and fiberglass doors, so naturally I just pulled every panel off seeing as how you have to remove the fenders to get to the door hinges.




Actually it was good that I removed the fenders because I can see just how close the 225’s got to hitting the outer fender crease.  I plan to run a 255/40/17 on the new build so this is something that I’ll have to address…and by address I mean pound the hell out of it with a hammer.




You can kind of see here the state of the interior as it was before – not much to it anyhow.  The next step will be to remove the entire dash and frame.




The engine, a B16, will remain untouched during the initial part of this build.  After the chassis and suspension is taken care of, then I will turn my focus to the engine as I haven’t fully decided which route I will take.  You can see the Koyorad setup I ran here for last year that worked tremendously well.  It’s actually a Scion TC radiator.




After all the measurements were taken, Bardabe began to cut and bend the steel starting with the main hoop.


While he did that, Allan and I began tearing apart the dash.


Which I think Honda designed specifically to upset anyone who ever decided to remove it…




Behind the dash you can see the heater core and other various AC and SRS pieces – all which would be coming out.  We cleaned up a good portion of the wiring last night, but just looking at that mess now reminds me what I have in store for later today haha.




Here’s a shot with the heater core and other bits removed.  Once the heater core was out I was able to cut and loop the lines so it stopped leaking radiator fluid all over Bardabe’s garage.  I had removed the AC and all components a good 10 years ago so that was one less thing we had to do as well.

I’ll have to grab some dry ice to take care of the rest of that sound deadening as well – looks ugly.  I’ll also be fabbing up some covers for the firewall holes now as well.  I’m still debating what to do with the dash, whether to go half dash or not, but either way something will have to be done with the firewall.




After a little more bending we decided to call it a night.  This week I plan on finishing cleaning up the old wiring so we can get started on the dash portion of the cage.  It’s just a mess from previously installed alarms and the plethora of gauges I used to run, but I’ll get it figured out.

I’ll do my best to update this series as things progress, but it gets difficult when you’re the one doing the work as well.  I’ll give it a shot though.





Locale: Type One – Honda Tuning Flagship

Automotive, Japan, JDM, Locale, Motor Sports



I make it a point to visit Spoon and Type One each time I go to Japan; actually, this is about the 4th or 5th post on NDF about visiting the shop!  It’s such a staple in the Honda tuning community that it’s impossible for me to pass up.  Not to mention I’m getting pretty good at getting there.  This time though, was a bit different though…




…this time would be my first seeing the shop in it’s new form.  Late 2012, Type One undertook a pretty big makeover aesthetically, and I’ve been wanting to see it in person ever since.




If you remember last time I visited, you’ll see a big change in their second floor shop space.




Gone are the shelves lined with racing memorabilia, and in it’s place; a minimalistic display of Honda valve covers.




As well as a few choice engines on display; like this cut away B series.




I was pretty happy to see the Super Taikyu EK9 build they’ve been working on for this upcoming season (which is starting soon!).  It will be nice to see this out on track with their iconic S2000 contender.


Type 9




Speaking of which…




It’s counterpart was resting on the lift.




The shop usually has some unique builds hiding out – like this black and white S2000…curious to see what it will be used for.  Maybe just a demo car?  The livery is quite different than what were used to seeing though!




Their CRZ was also in the shop, just behind their FD2.  Type13


I sat down for a bit and had a chat (read: tried to have a chat) with the employee and got a few stickers.  I noticed this toy CRZ, and then glanced up…




…to see the real thing haha.  Although I may see the same cars quite often, Type One never disappoints me.









Locale: Oh, Don’t Mind Me – Another Visit To Type One

Automotive, Japan, JDM, Locale


Visiting Type One never gets old for me; there is always something new there to see every time I go.  So I make it a priority of mine to stop in each time I go to Japan.  Granted, without a car, it makes for a bit of a walk; but I had access to a car this time because I was with my friend from JDM Clips.  I might add that having makes visit tuning shops so much easier.  Obviously, you go to car shops because you own a car, so it’s not a big concern for shop owners to be close to train stations.  If you’re just visiting Japan, going places not near train stations can be both difficult and expensive without an auto; especially if you’ve never been there before.  I have absolutely no problems walking a few miles to get to clutch shops, but needless to say, having a car was a giant win.  Like any typical foreign fan boy should, I like just walking around the shop and looking at all the stuff I’ve seen dozens of times already – it never gets old.  Plus, the shop gets a lot of traffic, so chances are you’ll see different rides there every time you visit.  I already featured that extremely cool matte black S2000 that I saw last time, which you can see here; but I never got around to posting up some of the other cars that were in the shop on that trip.  I know there are many sites that post up stuff from Spoon and Type One once or twice – but who else posts new shots from the shop over and over! hahaha – hopefully the viewers share the same love that I do.  Click past the break to take a stroll through the shop and check a few more of them out.