2000 CX Hatchback Beater Revival

RestoRoc89

New Member
I like the Tanabe Concept G exhaust. It's very well made and has a smooth, deep tone. However, it's much louder than I wanted at anything above idle. I notice lots of people either pointing and laughing or yelling "riiicerrrr". Maybe this is just life driving an older, rusty Civic. The Megan header was $130. The Tanabe exhaust was $600 and is now discontinued.
 

HeX

Authoritah, respected.
Staff member
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
I like the Tanabe Concept G exhaust. It's very well made and has a smooth, deep tone. However, it's much louder than I wanted at anything above idle. I notice lots of people either pointing and laughing or yelling "riiicerrrr". Maybe this is just life driving an older, rusty Civic. The Megan header was $130. The Tanabe exhaust was $600 and is now discontinued.
Does that system not include a catalytic? Adding one, even if its high flow, would greatly improve/reduce the loud sound. Clean subtle Civics tend not to be ridiculed so that cat could be the solution.
 

R3dline

Respected
Registered VIP
Registered OG
5+ Year Member
10+ Year Member
god, id hate to live up north, that rust would drive me insane. id have to fix it and undercoat it or something, Nice work bringing it back tho. looks good.
 


RestoRoc89

New Member
Does that system not include a catalytic? Adding one, even if its high flow, would greatly improve/reduce the loud sound. Clean subtle Civics tend not to be ridiculed so that cat could be the solution.
You're right--the system does not include a catalytic converter since I bolted an EX header up to a CX catback. I would have to cut the intermediate pipe and weld a cat to it, which I don't really want to do since it fits so perfectly and is constructed so nicely. It would certainly quiet things down a little bit. The car isn't really all that loud--my corvette is much, much louder--but it's more than I was hoping for. I'm already used to it.
 

RestoRoc89

New Member
god, id hate to live up north, that rust would drive me insane. id have to fix it and undercoat it or something, Nice work bringing it back tho. looks good.
It's aptly called a beater, that's for sure! But that's what I wanted--I have nice vehicles to keep nice. It seems like any Civic more than ten years old is Swiss cheese around here. Someday, I may move south.
 

HeX

Authoritah, respected.
Staff member
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
You're right--the system does not include a catalytic converter since I bolted an EX header up to a CX catback. I would have to cut the intermediate pipe and weld a cat to it, which I don't really want to do since it fits so perfectly and is constructed so nicely. It would certainly quiet things down a little bit. The car isn't really all that loud--my corvette is much, much louder--but it's more than I was hoping for. I'm already used to it.
This Civic should not sound even remotely. As loud as any Corvette. If it does, Id heavy support adding a catalytic. If youre use to it and OK with the sound then thats all that matters. Wuth the quality of other cars you own, Im inclined to believe you kbow what good sound is.
 

RestoRoc89

New Member
Hi Everyone, just wanted to post an update. I've done absolutely nothing to my beater over the last two years except change the oil and drive it. Living out in the country with a secure shop, theft isn't a concern anymore. However, the car still makes for an entertaining, cheap commuter. I've put 40,000 trouble-free km on it since the overhaul. I'm starting to think that I might want to repair the rust/replace the front end panels and paint the car simply because I like it....unless, of course, anyone has a lead on a totally rust free shell I could swap the parts into...
 

RestoRoc89

New Member
I've got some catching up to do here. Adding two kids and new career pursuits into the family mix has put a damper on the wrench-turning time. I've generally made repairs to the beater as necessary and continue to drive it in fair weather because it makes my longish commute affordable. The first repair I've had to do in a while was to replace the blower motor (mine started shrieking and occasionally binding up). Some contortionist acts in the passenger side footwell, three bolts and it's a relatively simple replacement.

Here's the old, dying part nearly removed.

30611

Here's the new TYC replacement (cheap) waiting for its new home, courtesy of Rock Auto.

30612

Finally, here's a blurry interpretation of how it looks all buttoned up under the dash (bad lighting - sorry).

30613
 

RestoRoc89

New Member
Up next, I spent a little time degreasing the SI transaxle I bought to put in the car four years ago. Now it's on the workbench, one step closer to getting rebuilt with carbon kevlar synchros ...

30614
 

RestoRoc89

New Member
As a means of frivolous entertainment, I found a silly deal on a Momo Tuner 350mm steering wheel and adapter hub while cruising Amazon on Prime day. Clearly, my beater needed a steering wheel upgrade ...

Here's the wheel in it's fresh-out-of-the-package glory.

30615

With the battery disconnected and the airbag removed, I dusted off my steering wheel puller to remove the factory steering wheel.

30616

Here's the steering wheel and the clock spring out of the way. Some trickery is required to prevent the airbag light from persistently appearing and to allow the Momo horn button to work. The metal terminal bracket in the lower right was useful for this second purpose.

30617

I was able to bend it to make contact with the brass slip ring on the Momo adapter hub (this is what allows the horn button to work).

30618

Here's the wiring wizardry that was required. I cut off the yellow airbag connector and soldered a resistor between the wires to simulate the airbag load. This prevents the airbag light from coming on. It's important that you do this before ever turning the ignition on while the air bag is disconnected, or you will get a permanent airbag fault. I can't remember the resistor value, but I'm sure other threads here can tell you what to use. I added some heat shrink tubing to reinforce the joint and prevent grounding it out against adjacent metal parts. I added a spade connector to the horn wire and hooked it up to the bent bracket I showed in the previous photo.

30619

Here's the completed installation. I much prefer the feel of the thick leather grip and the smaller diameter gives the effect of speeding up the steering ratio. One downside is that the Momo wheel is MUCH lighter than the factory wheel. It doesn't dampen vibration and road feedback nearly as much. I would say it gives a little more feedback than I would like, but there is no going back now. I will also say that the way Momo has used multiple pieces of leather to cover the wheel and simply glued (not stitched) the overlaps feels a bit cheap. I'm sure it will peel away and have to be reglued in a few years. If the car and I make it that far, I'll get it professionally re-wrapped.

30620

Gratuitous night shot.

30621

Even though this car is a rusty embarrassment, I still get a lot of satisfaction from driving it.
 

RestoRoc89

New Member
For the final update (for now), I picked up a civic EX parts car. I was able to drive it home, but, as you can see, it looks disgusting. Literally every panel was dented in some way.

30622

There were a number of reasons I bought this beauty (which my daughter aptly named the "Potato" ... if I didn't mention it earlier, we affectionately call the red beater the "Tomato"). Firstly, I added EX front lower control arms to my beater when I did the suspension refresh (to have front sway bar mounting provisions), but hadn't gotten around to actually installing a front sway bar yet. The potato offered a factory front sway bar that I could scavenge. Secondly, I have always wanted air conditioning in the beater. Research told me it was a plug and play affair and the Potato had working AC. Finally, you've seen the gaping holes in my beater's hood. I figured the non-rusty hood from the Potato, with a couple coats of black PlastiDip, would be better than the current state.

Starting with the easy job, I yanked the sway bar out of the parts car.

30623

The mounting hardware was hopelessly deteriorated, so I picked up some energy suspension urethane bushings, end links and some new hardened mounting bolts from the local fastener store.

30624

30625

I ground the rust off of the old sway bar with a die grinder/scotch brite pad combo and brushed on a few coats of POR15 paint. Note that I only did this because I had paint left over from a BMW chassis restoration project. Historically, the beater doesn't get any cosmetic treatment.

30626

To actually mount the sway bar in my CX chassis, I needed to re-tap the unused threads for the bushing clamps. Rust had long since obscured the threads.

30627

Here's the new bar snuck up into place. This required undoing the exhaust-to-downpipe connection and disconnecting the shift linkage (said a few swears over that job). Apparently, I was too lazy to take a photo of the completed installation. Pretty simple stuff.

30628

The old girl is starting to get pretty rusty. New fuel lines are on the docket for this year. I think I will try one of the braided hose kits from Ebay, as they look quite simple to install. The body is beyond saving at this point, so I am always on the lookout for a rust-free car that I can swap all the fun/new parts over to. If anyone has a lead on such a thing, particularly a rolling chassis, let me know! I've got a truck and car hauler now ...

In terms of driving impressions - the car badly needed this sway bar. It's stays much flatter in turns now and the steering feels more solid. I still need to add a rear sway bar, though. Probably an ASR or a Whiteline kit. It's very unbalanced towards understeer at the moment.
 

RestoRoc89

New Member
Carrying on with the parts scavenging, I removed the engine to rebuild for fun (thinking of trying an NA build with high-compression pistons, a crower cam, some head porting, tuning with Hondata, etc). This seems crazy when engine swaps are so simple, but I'll have the rebuilt SI transmission, the Skunk2 shifter that I really enjoy, the stainless header and exhaust ... want to add a little more pep but keep using the performance parts I have already purchased.

30629

And this is what the complete AC system looks like when removed from the car, including sub harness and relays/fuses. It was very easy to remove (possibly aided by the fact that I had the engine out already). I will replace some items (the compressor, Drier, expansion valve, condenser, all o-rings and maybe the condenser fan) and toss the parts in the beater soon. Or maybe I will just do the o-rings and see what happens. The system DID work before I removed it. Give the cost of a pressure test and recharge, I want to be certain it will work without issue the first time.

30630

Having gotten what I wanted from it, here's the parts car ready to go on to its next abuser.

30631

So long, old friend!

30632
 

SeanShine

New Member
5+ Year Member
@RestoRoc89 Sweet write up man! I like your attention to detail with the steering wheel wiring. Most people just throw some wire on there and don't even consider heat shrink and spade connectors. Nice work!
 



Top