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Project Integra - Stage 1 Suspension, Exterior, Wheels/Tires

Stage 1 Breakdown

Maintenance Items

Exterior Body and Paint



With a 25 year old car comes a lot of old worn out rubber and those safety items have to be taken care of first. So, first on the list was my outer tierods and upper balljoints both were completely blown. After a ton a research I decided that up front I would use a mix of Hardrace pillow ball and hardened rubber components. The fact that they made a quality product that I could order from a local performance parts dealer helped finalize my choice and that they offered it in a blue that matches the color of my car I'm sure helped.

For my upper control arms I installed the Hardrace adjustable pillow ball units, which you can see are far superior to the blown out OEM pieces. Also I'll be able to utilize the camber adjustment for track days, this is a must have.

If I'm going to stick to my budget swapping out more suspension components will have continue in Stage 2. So on to the paint.

Now at no time did I want the Integra to be a show car, so I was ok with doing the paint myself. I did very little prep to the surface of the car, not trying to fix the minor dents or imperfections in the body. Like I said this isn't going to be a show car. This is a DD and a weekend track car so its going to get beat up.

Overall the paint came out really nice. Up close you can see imperfections but it was exactly what I was hoping for considering I was able to do it in my garage with paint that I was able to pick up from the local auto parts stores and without taking the car apart or without a ton of prep.

Not wanting to completely disassemble the car to paint, which would have been the right way. I did take a lot of time taping and masking off the car which produced really good results. I ended up having to remove the hood, after my first attempt resulted in tiger striping. I also took advantage of the 2k clear using it to freshen up my foggy headlights.

The Electron Blue Pearl made a huge difference from the faded and sun beating silver that was on the car. The color looked really good even before adding the 2k clear. The entire process took me multiple weekends to complete laying the blue and then the clearcoat.

I'm still in the process of wetsanding and polishing the clear, I also have to retouch both fenders due to an incident with some tape pulling a couple spots of clear.

The Tein Flex Coilovers weren't exactly what I was looking for. Originally I was looking into a more custom setup, looking at pairing a custom valved coilover with some handpicked swift race springs but to keep the budget in check these Tein's will work to get me on the track faster and for the fraction of the cost of the custom setup. Which in the end, getting some track time is what its all about.

Now the 949 wheels were exactly what I wanted. The 15x8 +36 wheel being one of the largest wheels I could fit with stock fenders that were also super light, maintained the budget and would allow me to latter fit a set of Wilwood DPHA calipers. The guy I got them from only had 3 and with the wheels currently being discontinued I will have to hunt for someone else trying to sell theirs or pick up something else to to get me buy. Tires are fun for me, I really enjoy the research in selecting tires for street or track use and for the 949 wheels I finally decided on a set of 225/45/15 Toyo Proxes R1R. The Toyo's have a high enough tread wear rating enabling me to use them on the street and should give me enough traction on the track . All I can say is wow what a difference.

Size comparison alone this tire is a massive upgrade compared to the stock rollers. I couldn't be happier. Its funny though with so much grip on the front I found that the stock tires on the rear would actually break loose way before the front showed any push, with the oversteer was so bad I ended up having to rotate the 949's to the rear. On the rear the 949's require a small spacer to clear the trailing arm and the 225's forced me to have to roll the rear fenders to keep from rubbing.

Again staying within budget I decided to go old school and try the baseball bat roll technique. Both sided taking me less then 30min each to complete. I'm really glad I didn't spend the money on renting a fender roller or paying someone else to do it. I'll have to run this setup until I can find a set of 949's unless the I wear the stocks out. Will see what happens first.

Along the way I picked up a few random items like the spanners and adjustment knobs for my Tein's, a shift knob and a solution for some music for me to listen to during my commute. For music I removed the stock radio replacing it with a block off plate and replaced the stock blown out front speakers. I ran everything off of a bluetooth dongle setup using my phone as the source unit. Nice and simple.

So that's it for Stage 1. Here is the cost breakdown. I was able to keep on my budget for modifications with the understanding that my maintenance budget would take a hard hit starting out to replace the broken or worn out parts.

Stay tuned for Stage 2 where I will swap out more front suspension parts and upgrade the front brakes.


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