The time has come to finally rid this car of white wheels! Not that they are that bad, Kristi just hates them :P. If you remember from last time, we were on the lookout for some wheels and exhaust. Just so happens a good friend of mine was parting out his Integra in Louisiana. Now Alabama to Louisiana is a very long trip just to pick up wheels and exhaust…so of course we got more! A B18C1 for my Hatch, a D16Z6 for Matt’s hatch, wheels, shifter, Greddy exhaust, and more!
Parts used in this article are:
- 16″ Rota GT3 in Black
- Greddy SP2 Catback Exhaust
- Skunk2 Short Throw Shifter & Knob
- Energy Suspension Shifter Bushings – $20
- BLOX Black Extended Lug Nuts – $60
- My Random 4-1 Header from my Spoon Video
Grand total for everything was $680 so lets get started!
The wheels that came on this car were a Work Equip 01 knockoff. Well probably more accurate as a knockoff of a knockoff since they are Maxxim wheels. Anyone ever heard of these because I sure haven’t. They were once gold with a polished lip but had been treated to a white paint job and a multicolored splatter finish. They were ok but really didn’t fit to Kristi’s style and they were too small. These wheels were 15″ and 16″ wheels just look better on these cars in my opinion. Luckily, Matt decided to pick these up for an extra set of street wheels for his hatch.
Here is a little comparison between the two. Better or worse?
The Rotas will change the overall look of the car and the price wasn’t too bad either! They were in great shape with only minimal marks and slight clearcoat imperfections, but hey, they’re daily wheels! The Kumho ASX tires are in fair shape so we can at least get a bit more miles out of them.
Now switching out a set of rims is normally a smooth and easy process, but if you have been keeping up, nothing on this car has been easy! …and the wheels were no exception. I quickly zipped the old wheels off and mounted one rota to step back and admire the difference. After liking what we saw, I picked up the lug nuts and discovered a problem… These were factory lug nuts that held on a factory Honda steel wheel with a plastic hubcap. Really? This guy had been running aftermarket wheels with OEM Honda nuts.
Now for those of you who may not know, Honda uses a conical style nut that is like a ball shape surface. This is fine when using OEM wheels but aftermarket wheels use a taper design nut. So if you use OEM nuts on your aftermarket wheels, your going to cause damage to your wheels or they may even fly off all together. The same goes with aftermarket lugs on OEM wheels, don’t do it!
Luckily I had a set of BLOX extended lug nuts in stock so I grabbed them up and marked an extra $60 to the budget since that’s what I sell them for online.
Now that the wheel drama is over it was time to move onto the exhaust. We listened to countless exhausts until we finally decided on a Greddy Evo 2. We searched and searched for one but it is now discontinued. Rage! It has been replaced by the Evo3 which does not have any fitments for older vehicles like this. Then we looked to see if Spoon N1 exhausts have came down in price.. we quickly move on to other options haha. Since Drew has his Greddy SP2 laying around we took it and could always change later on.
Again, an exhaust isn’t a big deal right? No drama? Wrong! Lol. With it being an older exhaust, the gaskets were shot. Fine, I am a dealer for Greddy. I call up my supplier for a replacement set, oh were out of them we’re waiting on a container from Japan. How long will that take? About 2 months… Seriously, why can’t 1 thing go without exploding in my face.
Some might say just order another standard gasket. Well Greddy exhausts are made to use doughnut style gaskets on a pipe. Regular gaskets just wouldn’t work, we tried haha. I eventually oiled up a 2.25″ metal pipe and pressed it in. The fitment was super tight and no leaks!
The header was just as much a pain. I figured “Thank God an OEM header, this should be easy.” Well 4 of the header studs were stripped out requiring retapping the head and putting in the CORRECT header studs.. Oh..My..God! Sometimes it’s better just to set fire to projects haha.
Skunk2 Short Shifter Install
After an exhausting time with the exhaust (heh see what I did there?), I moved onto installing the shifter and bushings. Installing a short shifter and bushings is a great way to improve the shifting feel of your car. Surprisingly, everything fell together perfectly. I will be doing a tutorial video on this later so I won’t be going into much detail here. Just know that it helped a lot! The stock shifter gave a 4″ throw from 3rd to 4th and the Skunk2 shortened it to 2.5″. That’s a pretty big difference. Not to mention the weighted shift knob makes gear changing easier.
Now that the shifter was in, I could bolt the exhaust up once and for all. When fitting everything up I noticed something was odd. Great! I had forgot that Drew’s car was a 99 GSR and this is a 95 LS. The GSR had a different exhaust than the LS and R versions which meant the cat was slightly different and the rear exhaust hooks were in a slightly different location. Until I can locate a correct cat for this car we just installed my old Spoon test pipe. The rear hooks were not really an issue and made some rubber hangers to take up the difference. After some test revs, I can tell we need a cat. There is that ever-so-bothersome rasp around the 3K rpm range. (I really hate that splat sound!) I will be doing an exhaust video shortly featuring a few tunnel runs haha.
Crunching the numbers again
After the suspension post we had $3,185 left in our $6k budget. The total for these mods came in at $680 leaving us now $2,505. That may seem like a lot but a complete color change isn’t going to be cheap. We still also need a radio, some better speakers, and other various bits and bobs. It’s going to be tight but doable. Hope your enjoying the build so far! Next time, we fix the clear coat, repair some body issues, paint the valve cover, and install a new intake!