New driver floor seat mount & bracket
Prior to my ownership of the car, someone removed the factory seat mount on the driver side (shown below). I’m not sure exactly why it was removed or why they chose to permanently cut it out rather than drilling the spot-welds, but I’m pretty sure the former it had to do with a generic seat mount not fitting with the OE mounting points and the latter having to do with convenience. Anyhow, it drives me crazy seeing the bracket missing so I’ve opted to take on the project of replacing the both the bracket and seat mount.
Last Sunday I headed over to the local pick ‘n pull (good old $2 entry fee) to find a suitable donor vehicle. In this case it was a white ’97 Integra LS that had been T-boned. I came well equipped with a battery powered reciprocating saw, a drill and an assortment of random tools. After a few pilot holes were drilled (for the saw blade to fit through), I cut a hole around the bracket and had it out in under 30mins. Yes I could have cleanly drilled the spot welds buy why? I don’t know about you, but the less time I spend at pick ‘n pull the better. I’ll finish up the bracket at home and will prepare it for welding when I get time in the coming weeks.
As for the seat brackets, I picked up a set of driver and passenger PCI Multi-Adjustable Race Spec Seat Mounts (talk about a mouthful). Not only will the brackets lineup with the factory mounting holes but they’ll also allow me to adjust the seats in all four directions and will provide an excellent fifth or sixth submarine belt mount (not pictured but you can Google the mount).
Inspected and rebuilt the front calipers
As part of replacing the brake lines I wanted to give the front calipers some much needed servicing. While they were not leaking or having piston drag issues (to my knowledge), I have no idea when the last time the calipers were serviced. In all likeliness, they’re probably from pre-2003 when Mark last worked on it.
A basic visual inspection revealed a bent/kinked bridge pipe on the passenger side caliper and a decent amount of rubber and brake dust buildup. Also the bleed valves had some surface corrosion, as did the fittings for the bridge pipes.
To perform a deeper level “rebuild quality” inspection, I had to remove the pistons (using compressed air), pistons seals and some miscellaneous hardware such as the bleed screws, bridge pipes, wear plates, wear plate bolts, pad retainer brackets and the pad retainer bolts. The aluminum pistons were easily removed and appeared to be in decent shape and unbelievably light. To my surprise, I didn’t find any anti-knockback springs installed, however, I’m pretty sure it’s for a good reason.
For those that don’t know, anti-knockback springs help minimize the occurrence of the pads/pistons getting pushed back into the caliper when hitting bumps or berms, or due to warped rotors. The drawback is that the springs (they vary on strength but are typically 4-8lbs in stiffness) can cause slight pad drag, similar to resting your foot on the brake pedal (but to a much lesser extent). For road racing and especially endurance racing, that pad drag while beneficial in minimizing knockback, can cause accelerated pad/rotor wear and increased operating temperatures.
Anyhow, back to the pistons (they’re differential bore (like Spoon) if you’re curious). They didn’t show any major signs of wear or buildup but did show some discoloration from high operating temperatures and some very minor pitting (rock nicks) where the on the edges where the piston was exposed due to worn/thin pads. Thankfully the pitting was minor enough that it shouldn’t cause any issues with the seals and require replacing.
The seals were in ok shape (as expected since they weren’t leaking). They were still pliable (not stiff or cracked) but did have some frayed edges from wear ‘n tear. Based on the inspection and as a part of the rebuild I ordered new seals, new bridge pipes and bleeder screws. Everything else was thoroughly cleaned in an ultrasonic bath using a 2:1 solution of distilled water and DP-17487P Boeing spec aviation solution. Lastly, the calipers were reassembled with the new and reused parts. Almost as good as new!
I got them mounted back on the car and ready to be plumbed once I finish measuring and making the brake lines. Also you’ll notice the added temperature indication strips. While I don’t anticipate having cooling issues given the carbon brake duct setup, I have noticed that it takes a while to get the brakes up to temperature. These strips will help me monitor and log the caliper temperature after each session.
Carbon mirrors installed
I had a few minutes before the hockey game started so I installed the new side mirrors. If you recall, these are the pieces I got from Ireland about a month ago. They were previously installed on Super Production/Group-N spec Integra Type R that was originally built in the UK by Mardi Gras (the same company that made my fuel system, anti-roll bar setup and several of my other parts). The mirrors themselves are Spa Techniques units (same brand many of my other parts) and the mounting plates were made by a carbon composite shop in Ireland that specializes in WRC carbon parts/chassis. Historically my car used OE Honda mirrors, however, in keeping with the carbon theme, and since the OE mirrors were pretty beat up, I wanted to try these units. While I never liked the look of small formula style mirrors, these actually look pretty decent in person (they’re larger then you’d expect). From a weight standpoint, they’re 100% made from dry pre-preg carbon fiber so the weight is almost nonexistent.
An unexpected surprise…
Since I’ve only done three track days with the car since purchasing it (the previous owner changed the oil/filter before shipping it), I haven’t had a need to change the HUGE oil filter. Also if you recall, the car runs a remotely mounted and oversized Wix Racing filter so filter swaps don’t have to occur as often. Anyhow, upon removing it I discovered it had a mesh screen on top of the filter to catch any large particles before allowing the filter to catch the smaller stuff. To my surprise, the screen was covered in metal (mostly aluminum) shavings! While I’m not entirely sure where it came from, I’m pretty confident it didn’t come from the engine and that it didn’t get pushed into the oil cooler. The car came with this motor and aside from rebuilding the transmission, swapping the oil pan and removing the valve cover, I haven’t opening the engine up. It’s my belief that the shavings likely came from some contaminated parts during the original build. Your guess is as good as mine… Anyhow, I cleaned off the screen, installed a new filter and will keep a few close eye on any additional shavings.
It’s an Ottosonic industrial grade cleaner that can also heat the solution . It’s typically used for cleaning fuel injectors, jewelry and other precision instruments. It’s pretty small but does a great job. The key is using the right solution and pre-cleaning the part if it’s heavily soiled (that way you don’t immediately contaminate the solution). I typically use the ultrasonic bath on all transmission parts (it’s great for making gears come out like new), bolts (remove all debris from the threads), and small miscellaneous stuff. Also, depending on the solution you can use it on plastic parts (it does a great job on grommets and clips).
Here’s a few pictures of the unit: