Terry’s EM1 project

Small update. I addressed an oil leak coming from the distributor with a new O-ring. The wipers were dried out, so I splashed out on some PIAA ones.


My car had been running poorly since I installed a new ignition control module, which was done purely to refresh the distributor completely. After a long argument with A4H-Tech, proving the module was faulty, I was refunded my money in the form of a voucher. BUT they let me keep the module, so anyone wanting a dodgy module, hit me up ;) I used that voucher fairly quick though and got myself these for cheap!


They're for an upcoming install. Initially I had solid ones, but I ditched that idea since I would have to buy stiffer engine mounts... This has been my latest project.


I removed the clocks, to get access to the tachometer and speedometer wiring. I'm quite proud of myself, for doing a neat job with the open barrel splices. I don't like using solder.


This is why I've been doing wiring :nice: Defi Advance ZD I got ages ago from Japan.


Its working, so all thats left is routing some wires, making everything neat, and putting the dash back together. While the clocks were out, I cleaned them up and fitted more red LEDs.


Here are some photos after I cleaned the car, but before I blew the dash apart.




I currently have some parts on order and I'm waiting for them to arrive from Japan. I'll update more soon.
Finishing up on the Defi install today. I ditched this...


...for this. EK9 cupholders. The EM1 badly needed cupholders because:
1. Theres no spot to put drinks, apart from the armrest and the rear plastics.
2. I don't want to neck every drink I get before I drive

It makes a good home for the Defi control unit too, so I drilled out the top half, to feed the wires through. The control unit is velcro'd on, instead of double sided tape, because theres settings on the top of the control unit that I want to still have access to.


Looks tidy right?


Interior is back together. All the wires are tucked away, apart from 3 wires that need to go out to the engine bay. They're for the sensors, which are oil pressure, oil temperature and water temperature. Those sensors will get plumbed in during my next service, when the oil and coolant are drained.


Theres a lot of settings, so I'll play around with it for the next while.
looks good that

best to put some heatshrink or other insulation around them splices, i've had them short on stuff before when could have avoided it rather easily
looks good that

best to put some heatshrink or other insulation around them splices, i've had them short on stuff before when could have avoided it rather easily
Impossible to put heatshrink on. I cut off some of the sheathing. Put an open barrel splice over the exposed copper. Threaded in the wire from the Defi. Pressed them suckers together. I used some tesa tape, so it should be good.
Impossible to put heatshrink on. I cut off some of the sheathing. Put an open barrel splice over the exposed copper. Threaded in the wire from the Defi. Pressed them suckers together. I used some tesa tape, so it should be good.
Ahh i thought youd cut, stripped and then spliced essentially 3 wires together
Little update, even though it has been nearly 2 months. Sold my GReddy shift knob and replaced it with my Arvou one. I've not got pictures of it on the Civic, but here's a picture from my previous post.


The weight is just right and it's comfortable, even with gloves on. I got the oil pressure and oil temperature working on the Defi. Used the Defi sensors I got. Attached them to a GReddy sandwich plate, which I didn't bother to take pictures of... Also did an oil change while I was at it. Trying a PIAA filter this time around instead of HAMP. Using Motul 5W40, like I normally do.

I've had this Takata harness for 10 years and finally I'm using it.


Definitely helped in the corners at Mondello haha.



Gonna have to attend GunRun every year ;) The car is much quicker and handles better with all the new mods. I just need to become a better driver! The Civic survived its fourth track day, for the most part. Found out the next day the front left tyre was leaking. The right-side CV boot torn, so grease was being flung everywhere. Thats what was causing the leak.


Friend of mine replaced it with a part-worn 195/50, free of charge. It'll get me by. This happened recently when I was going down a ramp in a carpark. Exhaust caught the ramp. Annoying since I got the muffler brand new and it was spotless.


I'll try to sand and polish it. Get the exhaust to at least 90%. Found this discontinued fuel cap on Amazon. Was skeptical about it being genuine and it turned out it was.



Small things. Thats pretty much it for the time being. I've a lot of parts I got recently or some time ago, which I haven't shown. Also some parts on the way from America, Japan and MCG, the local tuning shop.
Picked up these door cards last week. Mine are f**ked to say the least. These ones are near perfect. Just needed a clean, to take the mould off. My friend gave me a good deal too, so couldn't be happier.


Not bad for the money I paid! If you're curious, I used Autopia Bio Blue, which is a bio-enzymatic cleaner. It'll stop the mould from coming back. Coincidentally, these door cards are from an EK3 I used to own.

This is an install I've put off for years now and finally got around to doing it. I've never liked how all the European spec cars have the indicator stalk on the left side. So I converted my car to have JDM stalks! I'll try to make this as detailed as possible, since theres no guide on how to do this. In English anyway.

First off, you'll notice theres some excess plastic on the top half of the steering column surround. This will interfere with the indicator stalk, so either trim it off or find an actual JDM surround. I opted to trim mine until I find myself a JDM surround.


A really sharp blade cuts through the plastic with ease. Use the blade to cut the majority of plastic off.


Now you're left with a rough cutout with jagged edges. I used a sanding bit, to refine the edges. You could probably use files and sandpaper, but I thought this method is the fastest.


Inside the car, pop off the bottom half of the surround. Undo the screws holding the stalks in. Theres 4 total, 2 on each side. Use something small and flat, like a flathead screwdriver, to pry the white plastic slightly away, so you can pull the stalks out. Make sure to unplug the stalks too.


Here are the JDM stalks I used. They're from an EK3 Vi-RS. They don't have the switch for a rear wiper, so I assume only the hatchbacks (except the Type R) have the rear wiper switch.


This is the fiddly part. Use a connector terminal tool and undo all the pins. Do 1 connector at a time, so you don't get confused.


Here are the changes made to the wiring:

4 pin connector for indicators
  1. Green/Red -> Green/Orange
  2. Green/Orange -> Green/Yellow
  3. Green/Yellow -> Not used
  4. Not used -> Green/Red
7 pin connector for lights
  1. Red -> Red/Green
  2. Red/White -> White/Yellow
  3. White/Yellow -> Red/White
  4. Red/Green -> Red
  5. Blue/Red -> Red/Blue
  6. White -> White
  7. Red/Blue -> Blue/Red
8 pin connector for front wipers
  1. Green/Black -> Blue
  2. Yellow/Blue -> Blue/Yellow
  3. Blue/Yellow -> Yellow/Blue
  4. Blue -> Green/Black
  5. White/Black -> Black
  6. Blue/Black -> Not used
  7. Not used -> Blue/Black
  8. Black -> White/Black
No changes were made to the 6 pin connector for the rear wiper, since I'm not using it. You don't cut or delete anything. Just simply swap the pins' positions and you're golden.

Next is probably the most time consuming part. Remove the dash panel, to get better access to the interior loom. My loom is a mess because someone was at it before, so I dealt with stuff you most likely won't have to. Break down the part of the loom where you have the connectors for the wipers and the lights. In addition to these, you have the connector for the key barrel, which won't make your life difficult.


Basically what I did is remove the OEM insulation. Only whats necessary, not all of it! Rerouted the 2 connectors for the wipers, over the steering column. The reason you need to break down the loom is because you need to route the wiring for the wipers in such a way that you have enough length to meet the back of the wiper stalk. You'll have just enough wire, so theres no messing with crimps or solder.

Once thats done, wrap that section of the loom with tape. I used Tesa fabric tape. Nicer to work with than typical electrical tape. Make sure you branch the wires nicely. You're gonna get a lot of slack from the wiring for the lights, so tuck it up.


Here you can see the wipers' wiring going across the steering column.


Connect your JDM stalks. Screw them in. Test them.

Once everything's working, reinstall all the plastic trim. For me, everything went back on perfect. None of the wiring was bulging out.


Hope this guide helps.
Got this discontinued armrest compartment in the post :D


I'm refreshing the armrest. Blew it all apart.


New rubber stoppers. Different shape to the original though. If they interfere with the lid closing, I'll order a pair of brand new ones in the same style as the originals.


You can see how beat-up the old compartment is. Plastic is scuffed. Theres 2 holes at the base. So glad I managed to find a new one.


The armrest is still currently incomplete because I'm going to reupholster the lid with some new fabric, before I reassemble the lot.

Something that needed to be addressed was a bad noise coming into the cabin. I knew it was wheel related, so I bought new rear wheel bearings. The fronts were replaced last year and not a lot of miles have been done since. My friend offered me his help, his tools and his driveway.

The install went pretty smoothly. I had to hammer out the new studs and reuse the Hardrace extended ones.


Hubs came with new nuts. I also got the dust caps from Honda. Those will definitely prolong the hubs' lives. The passenger side hub was definitely the problem child. Bearing split apart when the assembly was pulled from the car :mad:

My friend handled the stuck bearing race. He first heated it up with a torch. Dabbed a candle on the race, to get the wax to seep into the gaps. That didn't quite work, so he got a hammer and chisel, to try break it loose. Thankfully I stepped back, away from him while he was hammering away. A shard of metal shot out and went into my arm, like a tiny bullet. Managed to squeeze it out enough where I could pinch it with my fingers o_O Could have been worse, like if it went into one of my eyes.

Anyway, he cracked out the angle grinder and cut a little channel into the race, where the chisel could split it. Only casualties was the dust shield (Some cutting marks from the grinder) and myself.


Both of us got the bearings done in decent time, so we did the engine mounts as well. I picked up the 5 piece set from Hardrace. The street version, so I don't hate myself.

The rear mount was the biggest pain, since neither of us have experience changing it. My friend drives a Mazda, so Hondas are an unknown to him. We opted to go with the method that avoids taking off the bracket. That involved a very long socket extension. Dodging all the lines and hoses that are between the firewall and intake manifold. Trying to get the socket onto the bolts blind because you can't see anything and its pretty much by feel.

Once the 4 bolts holding the rear mount in were off, the mount had to be rotated, pulled, and then finessed out the engine bay. The other 4 mounts were really easy compared to this haha. You can see from the picture, the torque mount is toast. Its the same on the other side. This explains why I'm grinding third gear, upshifting while in VTEC. Engine was probably tweaking like crazy. I also noticed on the track day while upshifting, the car was squatting every gear.


With all the mounts installed, straight away I noticed the engine is sitting level in the bay. Started it and no rattles from the interior. Engine wasn't vibrating as much on idle. I wasn't expecting much of a difference in terms of driving, but my God. THEY MADE SOME DIFFERENCE!

Going by feel, the engine feels locked to the chassis. The clutch engages better and even the pedal feels heavier. The shifter feels more direct and while driving, the shifter wasn't struggling to slot into gear. Zero squat now on shifts. Best mod done yet.

I had some time left in the day and installed brand new wiper arms. The originals were repainted by me before, but the paint chipped off. Can't beat new ones. I also got the Type R ones, so I done away with the ugly guard thats on the driver side arm.


The next immediate thing I need to do is adjust the exhaust. What I think happened is because the torque mounts are existent now, the engine is sitting where it wants to. Front raised and rear lowered. The exhaust manifold is lower to the ground than before, just where it connects to the cat. The flange is hitting the ground when I'm going over bumps and the coilovers compress.

I'll see if the exhaust can be tucked up slightly, just from loosening the bolts, pushing the exhaust up and tightening the bolts back up. If that doesn't work, I'll chop the flanges off and get a V band.
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Great work one her. Love to see there's still a few of us left keeping these old cars alive
Great work one her. Love to see there's still a few of us left keeping these old cars alive
I drive it as much as I can as well. Always get the odd thumbs up from randoms.
Love coupes. When is it going for paint? Are you keeping it white or green?
Love coupes. When is it going for paint? Are you keeping it white or green?
It'll be painted once all the mechanicals have been addressed. I still need to source another bootlid and few other 'aero' parts I want.

Debating on spraying it myself, since the cost is so high now for a decent job. It'll stay green since thats the original colour. Don't have to mess around with the inside.
Even a wrap might be easier than trying to paint yourself?. I had a friend wrap his BMW and came out good for his 1st time. Just a lot of patience. Do it one panel at a time
Even a wrap might be easier than trying to paint yourself?. I had a friend wrap his BMW and came out good for his 1st time. Just a lot of patience. Do it one panel at a time
Not a fan of wrap. Prefer paint since theres actual depth to it.