Tag Archive 'DIY'

Jul 11 2008

DIY PCV Catch Can

Published by Benjamin Jones under Gas Mileage

Part of having your engine perform well is having it in the very cleanest of shapes it can be in. The engine does some of this work itself by using it’s positive crankcase ventilation system, but this system simply throws the gunk throught the intake to be burnt. What is preferable, especially on a high performance engine, is to have said junk trapped before it can reach the intake manifold. This is done by adding a PCV catch can in line with the system to collect the oil on its way to the intake.

Purpose: To prevent gunk from being cycled back through the engine. After it’s caught you can just toss it with your old oil to be recycled.

Time: 12 minutes

- Knife
- Pliers
- 14mm Wrench

-Air Compressor Filter (11.49 at Home Depot)
-Two Fittings (1.17 each at Home Depot)

Look at your parts.

De-package them.

Get them put together, I used a 14mm, tightened like hell, only screwed in that far. Take out the filter from the middle! I forgot at first, which is why it isn’t out in the picture:

Locate your PCV line. You can determine it cuz it’ll only flow one way, should be into the manifold. Note that I also aligned the filter with this flow, it has a little arrow on the side to indicate the flow direction.

Cut a hole in the line and stick it in, I added some extra line just to move it to the side.

Take a look at in in use after just a few hundred miles:

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Jul 10 2008

LED Diffusion Improvements

Published by Benjamin Jones under Cosmetic,Electrical

Looking for a way to better diffuse the light from your DIY LEDs? Consider the chop-top approach.

Purpose: Allow a wider diffusion pattern on your LEDs

The way to go about this is to clip off the top of the led and grind it down so that it’s nice and flat. Check out these comparisons.

Stock LED:

Chopped, notice the missing super-bright spot:

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Jul 10 2008

DIY CRX LED Dome Light

The power in your car is not free, it comes from the alternator and is a product of the huge amount of drag that this electrical generator puts on your car’s engine. I chose to begin my (unfinished) quest for LED lighting by converting my dome light to LEDs. It make be a modest start but it looks great and I’ve recieved many comments on it, even from some outside of the car enthusiast world. It seems much harder than it is, so don’t be intimidated if you’ve never done anything of the sort before.

Purpose: To cut down electrical loads on the charging system.

Time: 1 hour

- Soldering Iron
- Knife

- LEDs (I used 15 10,000 MCD ultra brights)
- Resistors (100 ohm for this project)
- Some perf board (4 bucks at radio shack)

This is my awful demonstration of how the circuit should go. The resistor is crucial! I blew up one of these LEDs once and a flying chunk but a nick in my living room wall.

Grab your dome light outta the car. Mine was already out for randomness’s sake. Make yourself a little drawing to see how big the perf board should be cut.

Smash it into shape.

Start sticking the LEDs in. You want to line things up so that you’ll be able to tie all the negative sides together to go to the ground and the positives together in bunches of three so that each three can go to a resistor.

Look at it and be like, that’s hella sloppy. I just tied the four on the one end together and called it a day, in the end I soldered that straight onto the lead in the dome light housing.

All in!

Soldered completely.

Test wiring, notice the resistors are in also, don’t forget these!

All done but not mounted!

Mounted up on the car. I had to cut the board a bit to get the screw in there. Night pictures ought to be done but you can’t really see anything, just trust me and get it done! You can also use amber LEDs if you are into that look.

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Jul 10 2008

Lowering for Both Form and Function

Many people wish that there cars were a little closer to the ground. There are a lot of reasons for this; some people enjoy the look of a car that has been lowered, while others like the improved handling or reduced aerodynamic drag. For most people, all of these things are benefits, so naturally, there are lots of people out there with lowered cars. Now, it may seem like a daunting task, but it’s really not all the time consuming, expensive, or hard. Because this is a fuel economy oriented site let’s take a look at some of the theory behind the idea that a lowered car has less aerodynamic drag.

  • V = wind velocity in tunnel
  • S = frontal area of vehicle
  • E = wheelbase
  • Cx = coefficient of drag
  • Cy = coefficient of drift
  • Cz = coefficient of lift

Here you can see that drag is directly proportional to vehicle frontal area. When you lower the car you reduce the frontal area, and therefore the drag. Any drag benefit is specific to the vehicle but all should benefit (though it may end up being a very tiny amount).

Purpose: To intall adjustable coilovers that will let your change your ride height on a whim

Time: 4 hours


-Strut spring compressors
-Jack and blocks (don’t trust a jack alone!)
-Basic socket set for general purposes.
-For my car I needed:
-Blocks to sit the car on (don’t trust a jack alone!)
-19mm deep socket for lug nuts
-1/2″ drive
-3/8″ drive
-Torque wrench
-14mm socket
-Some extensions
-Two 17mm sockets
-14mm wrench
-Hex set (forget the size)
-Screwdriver or two
-Shop Manual

Warnings: Get an alignment when you change ride height or at least do the toe yourself! I will talk more about this later.

Use spring compressors! Don’t shoot the spring off the strut into a wall or some nonsense, many auto parts stores have free loaner spring compressors.

If you get the cheap springs like I did they will be bouncier than stock because of increased spring rate, and because of stock struts will be more likely to bottom out!

Before picture:

Front wheel well:

Rear wheel well:

1. Decide which wheel you’re gonna start with, loosen the lug nuts, jack the car up, and take that wheel off. Don’t forget to put bricks behind wheels to keep it from fidgeting. Also, sit the car on some blocks to keep it safely up in the air. Safety first.

2. I started with the front, so grab the front passenger wheel off and look at the stuff.

3. My first step was to take off the two 14mm bolts holding on the brake line you see above.
4. Then take out the 14mm bolt holding the bottom of the strut to the strut fork forgot to picture, but it’s right at the bottom of the strut and attaches it to a fork looking thing).
5. Take the 17mm bolt out holding the fork on. It’s a nut and bolt so I used my breaker bar to hold the nut while I undid the bolt. I had to use a hammer and screwdriver to get the bolt out, so do that and release the strut except for the stuff holding it on top. Then pull the fork part out completely so the bottom of the shock looks like this:

6. Get under the hood and undo the two 14mm nuts holding the shock up. There will be three, do the outer two, the middle holds the spring compressed. Hold onto the shock while you take the nuts off so it doesn’t fall straight to the ground. I forgot pictures of this but can take some later.

7. Now that the shock is down take your spring compressors and hook the little holder ends in there and connect with the rods. Try to have them on opposite sides. I had to smash the holders in with a hammer. As far out to the end of the springs as possible is good too. I know I pictured this but I lost it. Anyway, snug the bars down and begin to tighten the compressors a bit on each side, alternating. Mine used a 19mm head for the big rod. Compressor the spring evenly on both sides until it seperates from the ends on the strut where it is and use your hex key/14mm wrench combo to undo that middle nut on the top.
8. When it comes off take all the junk off and slide the spring off the shock. Keep track of all your washers and junk.
9. Undo the spring compressors the same way you put them on, turns out I had a broken spring:

10. Take the dust cover off your shock and reassemble everything like it was before but with the new coilover in place of the old spring. Put some little rubber washers that come with it down at the base of the shock to prevent rubbing and what not. Also, take the rubber thing out of the top hat and just sit the coilover in there without that thing in the way. Make sure during this reassembly not to leave stuff out like washers.
11. Slap everything together the way it came apart and look at your new shock junk, then stick it back in the way it came out and torque everything to spec.

12. Put the rim back on and whatnot and go about the other side on the front the same way as this.
13. With the front done, move onto the back. The back on my car is easier. you just need to unbolt to strut from the lower control arm and the lower control arm from the brake knuckle to move it out of the way.

14. So undo the 14mm on the strut/lca, then the 14 on the lca/knuckle.
15. Undo the two 14mms in the hatch (same deal as last time with the outside) and take the strut out.

16. Work the spring compressors again, and the same deal for dissassembly and reassembly of the coilover/strut.
17. Put it all back together again, toque to spec, and sit the car down.
18. Adjust the height like goodness so it’s level and what not and then you’re done with that part!

Here’s an after shot, pretty nice:

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Jul 10 2008

DIY Shift Knob Coloring

Published by Benjamin Jones under Cosmetic

Yet another blingtastic modification. It’s kind of fun to do though so I figured I’d throw it up here in case anyone cared to see it. There’s really no fuel economy reason for it, but whatever. The more you love your car the better mileage you’ll get, or at least that’s how I see it, *wink*

Time: 20 minutes

- Hobby Knife
- Matches

- Crayon of your preferred color
- Shift knob
- Foam (for modeling)

My tools:

Here’s the shift knob when I got it in the mail, and little dirty:

I had to cut some hook crap off the bottom (which you prolly should do since that’s what to boot attaches to, but I wasn’t thinking and my boot it too short anyway, fool me):

Scraped the gunk out of the stuff I wanted to do on the top to get a better surface:

Melted up the loose ends on the bottom where I cut it:

Bunch of crap melted all over cuz it’s not an exact process. You need to shave the crayon and push the shavings into the ruts with your fingernails. I had the problem of when I heated it it jump out of the rut, but then I repressed-in the melted stuff and tried again and it worked. It took a few tries, but I eventually ended up with all the stuff in there and just had to clean stuff off. I had no problems over heating the knob with the matches, but be careful anyway:

Finished product:

Here’s the knob in the car, looking sorta red all subtle like (the light makes it so you can’t see it really but it’s there, and the knob is one of my favorites, go 90-93 accord!):

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Jul 09 2008

CRX Radio Antenna Removal

Have you ever hated the look of your radio antenna? Or maybe been bothered by all the aerodynamic drag? I have. Solution: It’s gone!

Purpose: To cut down on aerodynamic drag and improve the look of the car.

Time: 15 minutes

- Flathead Screwdriver

- Block Off Plate
- Gasket
- Reused Screws

You can get this stuff at the local dealership or online (cheaper) at one of these places.

Here’s the antenna. Undo the two screws and yank it out. Make sure to unplug the other end from the stereo.

Awful picture of the antenna on the ground:

The left over hole:

The two parts, I spent about 10 bucks on both:

Put them on with the old screws:

Admire your work:

The CRX no longer looks like an RC car! Quick and easy (mehbe not too important) but it was certainly worth it to me.

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Jul 09 2008

DIY Honda CRX Wire Tuck

Published by Benjamin Jones under Cosmetic,Wiring

One of the things many car owners dream of is a cleaner, more simple engine bay. It seems like an impossible task; what does one do with all that stuff? There are a few solutions that are simpler than you may imagine. I begin working on this task in the form of a wire tuck and hope to give some guidance as others go through this process. At the same time other things will be tucked or cleaned up, but the main objective at the moment is wiring.

Purpose: To be honest, there is no purpose to this beyond cosmetics. Some make the argument that you are better able to service your wiring when it is where you want it, but I’m not sold on this. I do, however, know that I am much more familiar with my car’s wiring and wiring itself. It was well worth the effort.

Time: Yikes! It depends on how much you do, and how thoroughly you do it. It took me a few days while being patient and thorough (not entirely full days either).

- Automatic Wire Strippers
- Soldering Pen
- Lighter (to shrink the shrink wrap)


- 200 foot of stranded wire, various sizes. Just take a look at some of the wires and you’ll get an idea what you need
- Solder, I’ve had a pound spool I’ve used over and over again
- Shrink wrap, various sizes but mainly 12-20 ga.
- Electrical tape

Before shot, it’s hideous:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Diagrams of the two round shock mount plugs, make sure to label the identically colored wires!
DIY Wire Tuck
DIY Wire Tuck
DIY Wire Tuck
DIY Wire Tuck
This is what headlight wiring looks like, one of the main tasks will be to relocate these wires to the fender brace so they will be out of the way:
DIY Wire Tuck
Now we’ll begin with taking the body panels off so we can relocate the wiring.
Take your corner light out:

T-bar comes out to help remove the bumper, it has 4 10mm bolts up top, on on the bottom, and the hood pop cable is clipped to it:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Those little screws were rusted in badly so I had to take them out with the vice grips:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Also on the bumper there are two 10mm bolts on the bottom and two screws on each side in the wheel well. Also, there are two screws under the corner light. Once that’s all off slide the bumper off:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
The headlight wiring will be tucked down through the support brace for the fender. To get the fender off there are 3 10mm bolts on the top, two in the front corner, two under the door/drim area at the bottom and one on the top behind the door. Get at these with a wrench from the side with the door open so you don’t damage your paint. You’ll also need to detach the wheel well plastic from the body of the car, just undo the plastic screws or slide the plastic around them.

I lost the picture, sorry!
Unplug everything. You’ll need to take off the horn to get the plug off, but it’s only one 12mm bolt:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Yank the headlight harness out the side there so you’ve got it all acessible:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Oh no, look at those plugs. Two go to the windsheild washer nozzles. I took out the reservoir and the lines, but if you wanted to you could leave the reservior (or move/modify it) and tuck the lines in the fender brace. At this point you basically just cut the plugs off, label all the wires (as you cut them off), and pull the wiring inside the cabin so you can put it out the side:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Side of the car where the tucked headlight wiring will come out and go into the fender brace:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Cut open the harness so you can start cutting plugs and labeling the ground wires. The annoying thing here is that some wires go into the cabin and some go to the multiground. I just cut the cabin wires and tucked one at a time while labeling the wiring on the multiground:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Pull this little plug out. Through the hole the wiring will come out of the cabin of the car. When you cut a wire you pull it through from under the dash and shove it out the side here:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
The hole it comes out of in the middle and where it goes in the very top-right:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Opened harness from the engine bay, all these wires will be gone besides the two to the master cylinder:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
The harness from the inside:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Cut the first plug, pull the wire through, shove it out, and realize you’ve started:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
First wire is wrapped around and through the fender brace:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Comes out through this little hole here:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
There’s a multiground for each side, make sure to label the wires just because. Iono if it matters but labeling is very important just in case!
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Everything cut off the multiground and labeled up:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
The multiground tucked into the corner bumper/fender area:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Look at all the wires coming together:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Crappy shot of all the individual plug wires taped together:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
All the wires on the passenger side that go through the fender. The black wires are all for the wiper motor:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
You can see where the wiper wiring goes into the fender now:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Cut open the wiring for the injectors and run it up from the bottom under the IM runners:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Turned the brake booster vacuum hose around to take advantage of its natural bends and cut some off on the unbent side. Don’t forget to flip the one-way valve if you do it like I did:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Better look at the driverside wiring all done up:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Almost every wire going in through the old VSS cable hole, damn it was getting cramped after a while, this was really a pain, but worth it I think:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
The two MC wires going through that driver side firewall opening:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
Passenger side multiground and relay down where the intake resonator used to be:
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck

Fusebox: Really no pictures needed, everything screws off/unplugs besides the power wire to the battery, which you need to lengthen X amount depending on where your battery is and how you’re routing the wire. This was the easiest part, by far.

Finished product:

1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck
1991 CRX Before Wire Tuck

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