de/re modding a moded 01 rod - Drive Accord Honda Forums | radio-pro.ru
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post #1 of 41 Old 10-02-2016, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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de/re modding a moded 01 rod

Picked up an 01 Coupe a few weeks back. Her job will be daily commute relief for my beloved 06 Ridgeline - which has been the object of my affection for the last several years. With miles piling up on her clock (currently 129K) I needed to do something to slow her aging process and give my wallet a break from the > 16MPG I've been experiencing.

01 coupe was a low mile 2.3 automatic LX owned by a single family, passed down from Mom & Dad to sons who treated her a series of hod rod mods in keeping with what 20 something year old dudes think is cool. At one time, she was a glamor queen. Eternal blue pearl, slammed with KSport shocks, a transplanted H22A4 5 speed (ostensibly with 50K at time of install) PSpec shifter and a couple of other doo-dads like Moribito projectors, "eye lids", Mugen urethane front lip, red/white tail lights, OEM yellow fog lights, window visors and such.

This car was my first ever whole-car purchase from a Carigslist post. The owner was a bout 100 miles north of here, after contacting him several times over the phone I got comfortable this was as safe a hook up to see the car as one could expect. It was obvious the glamor shots in the original listing were meant to draw potential buyers, so after a few calls, the seller sent photos of her current condition to ensure there was no slight of hand going on. I was undeterred by her overall condition.

As an example of how she once was vs. her decay over time, here's the engine bay:

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As a old/long time car guy with a history in car audio/alarms/mobile phones (the installed kind - not the kind we carry in our pockets today) I've been steeped in the San Diego car scene for quite a while. Having been exposed to a wide range of workmanship, I'm dubious of most of the work done in the aftermarket - and with good reason. The 01 coupe is (was) a shining example of poor quality installation that gives the aftermarket a bad name. The previous owner(s) were car guys, but not the hands-on/DIY kind. They actually paid shops to install every last piece part on the car. It was only after getting 01 home I came to realize how badly they had been burned forking over their hard earned dough to supposed experts willing to take money for their "craft".

At the hook up to see the car first time, I was most concerned with metal parts under the car. Slammed as she is, I didn't see anything concerning. Once home, first order of business was to get her up in the air and get eye balls on the her underside.

Every single part on the front end body was loose and wiggly. Busted and missing clips everywhere, road/parking lot rash had worn holes thru the splash pan and bumper cover because the car was lowered beyond in-spec camber adjustment. The inner tread on otherwise perfect Nitto 225/40-18's had long ago destined the tires for recycle.

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Over the last few weekends with her up on jacks stands, I began soaking the KSports with PB Breakfree, anticipating the threaded female shafts were going to be fused with aluminum corrosion. Sure enough, they are locked tight. The shop I use to perform work beyond my scope is unwilling to attempt muscling them loose so she can be raised and brought into camber spec.

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Question for those with experience here. I'm trying to avoid losing these shocks simply because the height adjustment is frozen. Other than continued soaking in Breakfree, heating them with heat gun and using a chain vise grip, are there any known tricks, tips to freeing these things up? Standard coil overs are an option but I have no idea what the rims/tire combo will look inside the wheel arch once its riding OEM height. It would be a drag losing the KSport damping adjustment!

Back to headlights, the guy who baked the OEM housing open was not exactly concerned with function, durability and cosmetics. Duct tape is not a good weather sealant. And slathering Sillycone is a very bad idea for waterproofing. Unused socket openings left open to the outside world is double stupid. These things were well beyond salvage. The clear coat was totally gone, and they were polluted/contaminated from the inside as well. Dull, lighting doesn't begin to describe how pathetic the headlight assemblies were.

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Everything lighting related was so poorly executed, there was no choice but to rip it all out. Simple stuff like ballasts were hung off convenient spots, dangling and banging around with vehicle movement. Broken OEM plugs, hacked wires abound. An an old kitchen scrub sponge used as a cushion to keep the AEM "cold air" induction from rattling on the AC plumbing. Absurd that someone was paid to do this lousy work.

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post #2 of 41 Old 10-02-2016, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Other absurd examples of "work" done for money include things like: the styro bumper cushion behind the cover was held in place with masking tape. I SAID MASKING TAPE! LOL.

See, this "custom" air intake cushion mentioned above:
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More of the headlight mess:
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The bumper cover was so well worn from road rash, a pre-2001 cover was ordered up. After trial fitting this $60 delivered to my Door Amazon part, I wired up and installed some cheap/ugly LEDs and connected them the OEM fog light cabling with water proof 2 pin connectors. Also installed some Chinese made headlight assemblies with new Silver Star bulbs.

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Wired in some mini LEDs in the lower front license plate mounting holes. She lights up pretty good now.

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More later....


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post #3 of 41 Old 10-02-2016, 09:11 AM
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Welcome to DA! Glad to see another 6th gen on the board. Hope you don't have to go much more overboard fixing this poor thing up. How much did you pay for it initially?


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post #4 of 41 Old 10-02-2016, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Welcome to DA! Glad to see another 6th gen on the board. Hope you don't have to go much more overboard fixing this poor thing up. How much did you pay for it initially?
Thanks Man. The car has been a surprise all the way around. In the earliest stages of looking around for a daily driver, this one popped up out of nowhere. I'd never considered an Accord, let alone an 01. Low chassis miles and a twin cam transplant drew me to her. The asking price was the next surprise. Followed by deeper investigation that comes from taking things apart. Followed by the reality of service beyond my scope. In retrospect, I shoulda beat the seller up on price, but didn't. After handing over $3,800 purchase price, she's extracted more dollars - some I'd planned on - some not. I'm into her for a bit over $5K and not disillusioned about it. So far. An Exedy clutch kit, rear mail seal, was supposed to fix an oil leak. Nope, turned out to be the VTEC solenoid and valve cover gasket. As long as I'm in there, why not install new plugs, seals, ETC? Snowball.

Trying to locate a replacement filter for the AEM proved a bit challenging. 2.5" ID filters are out there but aren't cheap around $50. The price alone isn't the show stopper for me, but quality is. The AEM was a kludge to begin with. And the concept of an air filter breathing underhood hot air has never made sense to me. All things considered, I went back to stock for about 2X the price of an AEM replacement filter alone. To my way of thinking, drawing air in from down low, just behind and under the headlight is better than drawing air from inside the engine compartment. If the butt dyno can't detect the difference between "performance" and stock intakes, I see no point in sacrificing reliability for eye candy.

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Next week, Lyon's Muffler shop is going to install a sane muffler in place of the stupidly huge GReddy resonator. Love the tone of the exhaust but its about 20db too loud.

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Anyhoo... the transformation continues.
"Red/White" tail lights. Aftermarket part producers sometimes overlook dies and plastic chemistry when producing their items for sale. These were not only faded, they were decomposing in place. Running a fingernail across the lens surface would leave a deep gouge as plastic was reduced to powder. Replaced with originals provided by the seller.

Couple weeks ago, I was in the trunk cleaning up with a shop vac and couldn't believe the amount of fine dust/silt/grains of dirt that had collected there. Following the trail of dirt, leaves and bug bodies and larger road debris was found just behind the inner driver side trunk trim panel. As it was pulled away, sun light was seen glowing thru a large opening. Turns out, somewhere in her history, the rear air vent had been removed and left out. Perhapos the fellow who installed the 98 rear bumper cover thought it a needless part. In fact, it provides a direct path for road muck kicked up by tires a path to the interior of the trunk - and by extension - a way for fine dust to make its way into the passenger cabin.

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cheaperhondaparts.com to the rescue. Totally guessed at the "old" vs. "New style, ordered the old and it wporked out.

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To gain access to rear shock mounts and KSport adjusters, I began tearing the ass end interior out, seats, 1/4 panels, trim, package shelf, speakers, ETC. Every part back there had a fine coating of black dust. Very fine, very light and deeply penetrating stuff. It was every where, under behind, on top of. By the time everything was out, I looked like a coal miner trapped below the earth surface for the last month. Two showers later, I was back to normal. I believe this stuff was shredded rubber gathered from freeway driving, sucked into the interior by the missing vent.

All parts were cleaned and treated to Griots vinyl coating. While the 1/4 panels were out, added some Cascade Audio VB deflex material to open metal expanses between door jambs and rear wheel.

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Forgot tail light images...

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Just discovered why rear air vent was deleted. The side running light in 98 bumper cover sits exactly where the light fixture goes. Lets see, leave the light and delete the vent so it "looks cool", or keep the vent to eliminate debris contaminating the interior?

Vent it is. Bye side side light!
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post #5 of 41 Old 10-02-2016, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
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Question for those with experience here. I'm trying to avoid losing these shocks simply because the height adjustment is frozen. Other than continued soaking in Breakfree, heating them with heat gun and using a chain vise grip, are there any known tricks, tips to freeing these things up?
Can you take them off the car? That would make life easier.

How about a pair of pipe wrenches? Push on one, pull on the other. Note that pipe wrenches actually have a right & wrong way to be mounted. They grip only in one direction.

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post #6 of 41 Old 10-02-2016, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Can you take them off the car? That would make life easier.

How about a pair of pipe wrenches? Push on one, pull on the other. Note that pipe wrenches actually have a right & wrong way to be mounted. They grip only in one direction.
Thought about that. Only problem with that is a pipe wrench is buggering up the shaft threads. There's a youtube video where a fellow in the same position used all 3 adjustment nuts to lock the threaded shaft, then he used a pipe wrench on the lock nuts and a chain vise grip on the lower shock body. With Breakfree and some heat, he managed to loosen his up. It's risky stuff but can be done - at least he succeeded. I imagine a shop isn't interested in solving that kind of problem when replacement parts are plentiful. Leaving it as is isn't an option cuz negative camber is eating on of the tires, so its either roll the dice or buy source standard height replacements. Not interested in spending $ on adjustable replacements. As problems go, this one ain't so bad. I'll give it a go when the r/rear tire gets into the danger zone - which looks to be soon.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Couple of Sunday afternoon projects before the sun goes down.

Ever use Oxysolve to restore rusted bolts? Great stuff. Used it many times on other projects. For some reason, the heat shield attached to the exhaust headers was bugging me, so popped it off to give it a squirt with Eastwood high temp silver spray. The bottom bolt was a mess.

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Pour a little Oxysolve in a plastic container, drop the bolts in and let them soak for an hour. The uppers came out nice. The lower is better but still pretty rough as the rust was deep.

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Oxysolve eats rust and leaves a zinc coating. After soak, drop them in some acetone then squirt em.

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Do not look directly at the heat shield unless wearing appropriate eye protection. LOL. Thats my lovely 06 Ridge in the background. I think she's getting jealous of all the time spent on 01 last few weekends.

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That valve cover needs some love. But thats a bigger project. Maybe when the drive belt and water pump get done. Yea, thats the ticket.

Spent some time in the front end interior. Installed a left over Sony XAV65. Funky unit, weird user interface and a bad industrial design - USB port is on the face. Very poor iPod control and none user definable home screen. But its got a decent DAC for decoding lossless files, so I put it to work. More audio upgrades coming in the future.

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I'm a sucker transient response of ribbon tweeters - love their electrostatic-esque qualities. When Dr Heil's patents on the air motion transformer expired, a flurry of designs incorporating his folding technique appeared on the market. These were introduced by Parts Express in pod form not too long ago - and the Accord has a perfect spot for them.

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While the doors were opened, added more Cascade deflex above, between and below the crash bars. With a garage full of audio stuff, I pulled out some Soundstream Exact 4.3's to divide mid woofs and the AMT pods. 4.5K Hz third order is just what Dr. Heil ordered. "Sealed" the Soundstream cases with aluminum tape, wrapped them in CCF and stuffed them all the way forward in the door - as close to the fulcrum as possible in attempt to minimize mechanical shock.

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Unfortunately, I had no decent mid woofs on hand so grabed the only thing I had. Kenwood something or others. Best I can say about them is they don't sound like the rattle cans they replaced.

Some sort of sub is coming. Along with a couple amps, but gotta solve the the suspension issues first. Dang it.

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post #7 of 41 Old 10-02-2016, 07:18 PM
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Thought about that. Only problem with that is a pipe wrench is buggering up the shaft threads.
Get some PVC pipe or plastic conduit (may be thinner walled, which is good) about 1' long with the inside diameter equal to or slightly larger than the shock tube. Cut a 2" long piece off of the pipe, then cut from top to bottom once, to allow it to spread over the nuts and whatnot. It may crack, that's ok. Use it as the thread protector. Tape as needed. May need a longer piece of PVC, say one that covers most of the distance between the top & bottom nuts.

Or, just go wild with cardboard and a roll of duct tape on the threads.

Obviously they'd have to be removed from the car for this.

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post #8 of 41 Old 10-02-2016, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Get some PVC pipe or plastic conduit (may be thinner walled, which is good) about 1' long with the inside diameter equal to or slightly larger than the shock tube. Cut a 2" long piece off of the pipe, then cut from top to bottom once, to allow it to spread over the nuts and whatnot. It may crack, that's ok. Use it as the thread protector. Tape as needed. May need a longer piece of PVC, say one that covers most of the distance between the top & bottom nuts.

Or, just go wild with cardboard and a roll of duct tape on the threads.

Obviously they'd have to be removed from the car for this.
YES! At this point, anything to get em' loose. I'll give an a go and let you know how it works out. Thanks again for the suggestions.
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post #9 of 41 Old 10-02-2016, 07:50 PM
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Scangauge!

Which gauges do you have showing? I use water temp, engine load, mpg, and avg mpg.

The work looks good so far, keep it up!


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Ah so you do have a drinking problem. You do not drink enough.
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You high?
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post #10 of 41 Old 10-02-2016, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Scangauge!

Which gauges do you have showing? I use water temp, engine load, mpg, and avg mpg.

The work looks good so far, keep it up!
RPM/coolant temp, instant MPG - mostly. Scan Gauge is cool but I gotta tell you, it pales in comparison to the Torque App for Android. I've done a bunch of logging and data analysis with it in the Ridgeline. Torque can write plain text files to phone memory, stored as CSV so the data can be extracted in a spread sheet. All thats needed besides the app is a Bkuetooth ODB reader - $16 almost anywhere. Its a totally portable system that can be taken from car to car. I've even loaded it on a Kindle and use it as a big screen version for gauges. Each gauge is configurable in size and style. Analog or digital or both. Very cool stuff.

Only thing that bugs me is Honda's insistence on keeping certain PIDs proprietary. Like oil temp and (in auto trans cars) tranny temp. The sensors are they, they just won't divulge PIDs. Dang it.

Torque can also log phone sensors (GPS location, ground speed and X/Y/Z axis accelerometers) so that data can be merged with vehicle sensors. All kinds of cool data & analysis is possible. I'll start another thread on that later.

One last thing on mods to 01 Accord.

While the doors were open, added some perimeter LEDs. Same ones used in the bumper cover.

These LEDs are simply too fugly to be used in plain sight, so I like finding places to use them. Bought a bunch of them on ebay for cheap. In the doors, I added 2 ORings as sealers. one inside, the other outside. Crushed as a water proof seal when the fixtures are tightened down.

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That's it for now. She'll start commuter duty tomorrow. Finally.

Take care all.
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post #11 of 41 Old 10-04-2016, 08:42 PM
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Regarding the nuts on the shock absorbers: there has to be a dealer nearby, and from the looks of those things, they probably have a special spanner wrench they use. Perhaps if you took them off the car (you pretty much have to regardless of which method you use) you could take them to such dealer and see if they can loosen them.
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post #12 of 41 Old 10-11-2016, 01:22 PM
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Now THAT is a puddle light! I need to do that so my chickens will quit trying to get in the car with me when I get home from work. Stupid birds LOL

2008 EX sedan 2.4l, 3 pedals 150K and climbing
Mods: Weapon R I Throttle, OE style lip spoiler, painted calipers, K&N drop in w/ resonator delete, Redline shift boot & armrest cover, Crosstour cluster, JDM style visors, retrofit headlights (morimoto h1 7.0) TL RSB well worth the wait
J2 CBE, DIY 9th gen short shifter, 15mm spacers (rear) 35% tint
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post #13 of 41 Old 10-19-2016, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Minor update.

Ass end is all cleaned up, black silty road muck is gone.

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01 went to Lyon's muffler to replace the trash can sized, worn out, "look-at-me" noise maker of a resonator. When I say trash can size, I ain't kidding. That's my size 12 boot for size reference.

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Looking inside the giant output orifice, this GReddy has seen better days. Pretty sure this well worn resonating thing was louder than it is was when new, and that was probably mighty loud.

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OK, so the new Walker and its stock exhaust tip is weeny compared to the GReddy, but it emits a pleasant exhaust note that doesn't overshadow the mechanical music coming from the 2.2 twin cam lurking underhood.

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I ran Sea Foam intake cleaner thru the system and holy crap did she spew white smoke. It also revealed an un-diagnosed issue. White smoke began rising from under and behind the heat shield covering the 4/2 pipes. A non-serious exhaust leak at the head exhaust ports and the 2 pipe reducer needs to be fixed. So... another project is pending. I think that will alter the somewhat drone-ish mechanical sound I'm hearing 3K RPM. Perhaps even give a little power/MPG boost.

Speaking of MPG, 2 tanks, Fuelly calculates 22.5 since I got her. Given the way this little twin cam encourages its driver to wrap it up to 5K with each shift, I've been driving her a bit on the aggressive side, so 22.5 is OKEY DOKEY with me. Up in that range, the engine is silky smooth. A very pleasing drive experience.

With 118K on the chassis, 80K on the motor, she should have lots of life left in her. In her new role as a daily commuter, she makes an otherwise mundane drive fun. Kind of like driving a steerable dart. Very happy so far.

Ride on dudes.

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post #14 of 41 Old 10-19-2016, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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OH YEAH. Couple more changes last weekend. A Sony head unit was a buying mistake a few years back. It served in my 06 Ridgeline for a short time until I figured out how crappy the U.I. is and replaced it with a Pioneer 3700, which has much improved user control and adjustment options on the audio side. Sitting on a garage shelf for the last year or so, it found a home in 01 Accord where I'm willing to live with its short comings. At least for the time being.

This poor design has a front face USB & analog input port, which sticks out at exactly the wrong spot when reaching for the volume control from the seated position. I routed a USB extension to the center console so the file server (a 64 GB iPod Touch) can stay hidden from plain sight. I can't stand the stupid USB-A connector sticking out as it does, so a mini USB flash drive will find its way into the head unit port, which will all but disappear from view and be less obstructive.

The previous owner wasn't exactly a detail guy, so his version of connecting the Scan Gauge was, uhm, less than ideal. The JVC was replaced with the Sony.

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The passenger side window regulator was skipping a tooth at the upper most level, making a nasty noise as it reached closed position, never fully seating the glass which made for a horrid wind whistle at freeway speed. So, 2 aftermarket regulators were installed which cured the issue nicely. $90, done deal. While the doors were apart, I made a minor effort to improve the mid-bass drivers installed a few weeks back. A pair of Definitive Audio 5.25 drivers were inserted in place of the woefully poor Kenwood something or others. The disintegrating cushions/seals surrounding the OEM speaker openings were removed and replaced with closed cell foam "rope" used in construction to fill gaps and such around exterior doors. It makes a fairly good way to keep hard surfaces from clanking together.

Anyhoo, here's the new drivers and panel opening cushions:

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The Definitives and AMT's are crossed over 4.5kHz/3rd order, they work fairly well together. running only on the Sony's built in class D amp which is (supposedly) rated for 20w/channel. No matter, they sound better than OK and will pass muster for the time being.

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I have an infrequently used motorhome rigged up with an outdoor outdoor audio system for camp site entertainment. The sub sits inside the coach most of the time, completely unused, so for now, I dropped it into the trunk and wired up a Zapco ST 850X. Nothing special but does make some convincing bottom end. Other, more stealth and space conservative ideas for lowest octave audio reproduction are starting to gel. In the meantime, this does the job.

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While stuff was happening in the dash area, its a good time to replace nasty cabin air filters. They were full of the very fine, black silt-like debris that was everywhere inside the passenger space. Air vents were removed and cleaned as far as a feather duster could reach into the ducts. The car smells much better now. I gotta say, getting at those filters is a much bigger chore in the 01 than it is in the 06 RL. The truck is a 5 minute job start-to-finish. 01 is a much bigger deal, not hard, just time consuming. Definitely the kind of thing a DIY'er should do because.... I wouldn't trust a mechanic to remove cosmetic panels in a 15 year old vehicle. At least not without expecting minor damage to clips and such.

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That is all. For now.
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post #15 of 41 Old 10-20-2016, 01:55 PM
pessimistic optimist

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Join Date: Apr 2016
location: Wild and Wonderful WV
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Any time you buy a used car and it comes WITH a Scangauge is solid WIN as far as I'm concerned. You mean you had to pull all that bracing out to get to the cabin filter? That looks like a real PITA.


2008 EX sedan 2.4l, 3 pedals 150K and climbing
Mods: Weapon R I Throttle, OE style lip spoiler, painted calipers, K&N drop in w/ resonator delete, Redline shift boot & armrest cover, Crosstour cluster, JDM style visors, retrofit headlights (morimoto h1 7.0) TL RSB well worth the wait
J2 CBE, DIY 9th gen short shifter, 15mm spacers (rear) 35% tint
Future: H&R springs, Koni yellow struts
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