Thermostat Testing + More updates

Radiator update
The Fluidyne radiator/oil cooler is back from Piranha Ultrasonic and Fluidyne after getting fully inspected and ultrasonic cleaned. No damage was discovered, however, the ultrasonic cleaning did remove a decent amount of fine silt, calcium buildup, Redline water wetter deposits and some fine aluminum shavings. Everything is now is squeaky clean and it’s also sporting a new 14″ SPAL fan that’s welded to bracketry on the core, rather than zip ties through the fins. Additionally, a new radiator cap was also added as the original piece around 15yrs old and likely to fail at some point. Going forward the cooling system will be filled with distilled water and a small amount of Honda coolant. I’m sure some folks will disagree but I’m 100% against Redline water wetter. I HATE that stuff. If not properly maintained and frequently flushed, it will leave deposits throughout the cooling system.

New XRP HS-79 PTFE hose with Hypalon outer covering
As part of overhauling the cooling system (water and oil), I’ve also chosen to replace the radiator hoses with new Honda pieces (trimmed to fit) and also replaced the old stainless oil cooling hoses (unknown age & condition) with XRP HS-79 Hypalon PTFE hose. This hose is by far the coolest stuff I’ve played with. Silly I know, but I’ve been ogling over it since seeing it at the XRP SEMA booth in 2001. HS-79 is incredibly lightweight and flexible and features a larger bore size then other hoses of the same size. It’s also 5-ply with a PTFE inner liner, silicone outer liner, high tensile stainless steel reinforcing braid, outer braid of aramid fiber/Kevlar, and a black CSM Hypalon out coating for abrasion resistance and ease of cleaning.
The downside is the cost and assembly process. Per foot this stuff is ungodly expensive, but worth it for the ultimate hose solution. Assembly wise, you need to use special hose ends, crimp collars and a custom hydraulic crimping machine. Thankfully about five to eight years ago I made the investment by purchasing one of these machines from defunct Baja/Trophy truck team and have been looking forward to putting it to use on this car. I’ll try to take more pictures later but here’s a side by side comparison of the two hoses and the crimp machine.

Thermostat testing
This is incredibly picky but I gathered around a dozen or so different thermostats to determine the exact (start) opening and (fully) open temperatures. Advertised claims are typically inaccurate so I wanted to do my own tests. Previously the car ran way too cold on the track and averaged around 170deg water temp and 220 oil temp. Ideally I’d like the water temp to be closer to 180deg. After a few hours of testing I’m going to go with one range hotter to see how that performs.

Almost complete engine bay
Over the weekend and while watching the super bowl, I made some great progress. As you can see, almost everything is more or less installed. A few more hours and I should have the engine bay done. Note: The stock intake manifold is back on the car as the larger Skunk units will be used for the new motor.

New motor progress
Speaking of the new motor, the pistons arrived last week. The pictures don’t do them justice but damn they look good. Weisco as always never fails to disappoint. As you can see, these are forged and strutted units that weigh 281 grams. Size is 84.25mm. Also the compression should be around 13.5:1 when matched with the new B16/ITR cylinder head. Essentially these are the same pistons I run in my daily driver except they’re 2.75mm larger.
As for the block and cylinder head, the block (B20) still needs to be bored/honed for the new pistons and the cylinder head (B16/ITR) needs to be sent to Tom at Portflow for the full treatment. Camshaft wise I’m still debating between a few options, but I think I’ll copy the street motor and use Skunk Pro 3 cams. More to come once I get the car running under the existing motor.

New toy
Courtesy of a friend in Belgium, I received a model of the 1998 Team Honda Sport Belgium numbers 7 (ELR) and number 3 (PSI motorsports) Integra, driven by the awesome Stéphane de Groodt and Thierry Tassin. This is same Belgium Company that made the model of my car while at the 24hrs of Spa in 2000. The kit is handmade and covers almost every detail such as the air jack plumbing, Moton and Penske shocks, cage and fuel system. I have no idea when I’ll have time to assemble it but maybe some time later this year.

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