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MPGomatic 10-09-2014 12:10 PM

Project Slambo : '99 Honda Civic HX Build (w/video)
I finally have something cool to share! :) Valvoline sent a crew out to shoot a day-in-the-life video with me and slambo late this summer.

Under the Hood: Episode 3, Daniel Gray of MPGomatic - YouTube

The build is taking a lot more time than I initially thought it would, but things are progressing well. Getting it back to EPA spec was the second big step (after tossing the coffee can muffler and destinking the interior). Fuel system and EGR port cleaning got the numbers back to where they should be.

We've been shooting the build all along, starting with the interior gut (carpet & seats), app-capable head unit, and dip (with Eastwood's Elastiwrap). Getting ready to replace the original exhaust manifold with a Magnaflow unit that we're drilling to allow the second wideband O2 sensor. It's a little bit of overkill (the Sparco seats were, too), but I want a super accurate (AutoMeter) Air/Fuel gauge line of sight, as well as an open OBDII port for flexibility. Dash Command on the JVC is a little quirky, but when it's working right, it's very cool.

Running Michelin Defenders, Valvoline Synpower full synthetic oil, Bosch Iridium plugs. Best tanks are in the 45 MPG range so far. It'll do 50 MPG on the open road at the right speeds. Aiming for a 50 MPG tank once we get the header & alignment done. Still need to do something about the excessive negative rear camber from the cheap eBay springs (they were on the car when it rolled into the driveway).

Chrysler kid 10-09-2014 01:42 PM

Where's the pics? I thought this was a build ;)

MPGomatic 10-09-2014 01:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Chrysler kid (Post 449673)
Where's the pics? I thought this was a build ;)

All in due time! =) Here's the first ...

Chrysler kid 10-09-2014 02:04 PM

Looks *****in! Can't wait for more

Xist 10-09-2014 06:40 PM

How did you do the air dam? Why did you choose Elastid̶i̶p̶wrap?

MPGomatic 10-09-2014 07:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Xist (Post 449707)
How did you do the air dam? Why did you choose Elastid̶i̶p̶wrap?

The air dam was fabbed from heavy-duty agricultural plastic. It's bamboo root barrier. The angled bottom strip is garage door gasket. It scrapes (and gives) every time I drive in or out of my driveway. =) If it doesn't scrape, it ain't low enough ...

The whole thing was held together by 3M VHB tape for months ... until the day I left it out in direct sunlight in a hot parking lot. I squished it back together, stopped at the hardware store to buy a pop rivet tool, drove home, peeled the dip off the plastic and butchered it Frankenstein-style.

It's very much work in process.

My ultimate goal is to design a set of truly aerodynamic wind-tunnel-tested front and rear bumpers that can be reproduced by an aftermarket "aero" kit manufacturer. Yes, it's a crazy idea, but I'll be knocking on doors next month at the SEMA Show. If I find a manufacturer that's game, we might go the Kickstarter route.

I went with Elastiwrap over Plastidip because it was easier to pick up. (I'm within driving distance of the Eastwood store.) I experimented with a whole bunch of Plastidip rattle cans (and colors) before going the Elastiwrap route. The color isn't exactly what I intended, but it's close. I wanted something that looked like the paint on a battleship or old fighter plane ... very similar to the color used on the Jeep Renegade prototype. (I missed that mark.)

We've nicknamed the current iteration Blueberry Haze. It'll likely see a color change before winter. This being October, I was momentarily tempted to spray it Orange with a Pearl topcoat ... until I Photoshlopped it and considered the fact that I'd be out $200 or thereabouts for something truly hideous. :thumbup:

The original paint is in fairly good condition. I went with a dip product because it's fast and easy to change (as well as remove) and it will protect the original paint until (and if) I decide to go whole hog with real paint. I don't want to put a $5000 paint job on a $2500 car. I have roughly $125 in Elastiwrap on the car now ... just over a gallon (that's about as thin coverage as you'd want to go), but this is just a base coat. It's all a big experiment, and I have no idea how it will react to additional paint. We'll find out soon, though. If it's messed up, I'll just peel it off.

We shot video on the Elastiwrap process and should have it posted in the coming weeks.

jedi_sol 10-09-2014 08:42 PM

Love the paint and the way the lip blends with the bumper. I always appreciate people that take time to make aero mods look nice.

Elastidip / plastidip ... All the same as long as you can peel it off.

What other mods you have planned?

MPGomatic 10-09-2014 09:00 PM


Originally Posted by jedi_sol (Post 449727)
Love the paint and the way the lip blends with the bumper. I always appreciate people that take time to make aero mods look nice.

Elastidip / plastidip ... All the same as long as you can peel it off.

What other mods you have planned?

Thanks for the kind words! If all goes as planned, we'll have a set of full-on aero bumpers that look integrated, rather than slapped on (and hideous).

I've been fiddling with side skirt ideas. Haven't messed with a belly pan yet, but it's on the wish list. I want to create, test, and produce affordable pieces that other Civic owners can use. Curing the rear-bumper parachute problem is key.

In in the interior, we replaced the carpet, adding additional padding to help keep things quiet. The stock granny-style front buckets were swapped out for inexpensive street Sparcos. The shifter is a B&M short-throw with Energy Suspension bushings (best bang for the buck!) and a nifty knob. The head unit is a JVC KW-V20BT with AppLink (review: JVC KW-V20BT Review: Slambo Gets Bluetooth/USB/Pandora/Nav - Ain't Fuelin' - YouTube )

Current suspension mods are a set of eBay lowering springs and front strut brace. We'll be addressing the rear camber issue first, but once I can free up a few bucks, I'd like to go with a more integrated system ... most likely Eibach.

Xist 10-09-2014 10:28 PM

I read about Elastiwrap and how they changed their name from -dip on the Dip Your Car forums. They said that it was more expensive and not as good, although it is rated for 350F, while Plastidip is only rated for two hundred, although it seems to work on hoods.

I have been talking about Plastidipping my car since before I bought her and I will probably do something soon, now that I tried to buff out some scratches, and removed some paint.

arz 10-09-2014 11:10 PM

Been waiting for an update on this - was actually looking today on youtube.

Looks very nice. I like the idea of the dip - I have been toying with the idea of a DIY wrap, but the price is not worth it. But $125 for the dip... much more doable.

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