casper’s (Mostly Modless) Hatchback Sport ‘21

casper

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Hey all, wanted to give back to the community by listing my work/mods on my Civic so that anyone else looking to do something similar can have a chance to ask me questions. May eventually write more detailed posts on each mod if I have a few hours to spare one weekend…

Aiming for “OEM-Plus” vibes with subtle drivability improvements, both performance-wise and comfort-wise (this is my daily driver). Staying away from anything too serious until my warranty period is over. May consider a mild tune eventually, but I’m pretty happy with the stock amount of power and fuel efficiency at the moment.

As an aside, I didn’t really grow up around “car people”, nor did I catch the car bug until I finally owned a manual transmission vehicle (this one). I have some general practical knowledge and done some odd repairs/replacements on my old Civic (read: I can follow directions well), but never bothered to learn regular maintenance until now. As such, most of the mods here will be things that shouldn’t be too scary for most of you, and can probably get done on a weekday night if you set aside a few hours, and some basic tools.

So here we go! All items are done by myself unless otherwise stated. If I've written a post addressing a specific item it will by linked to that post.

Interior Modifications
  • Acuity Insulated Poco Shift Knob
  • Acuity Throttle Spacer LHD
  • Blueskysea Dashcam (Hardwired)
  • ESR HaloLock MagSafe Phone Mount
  • CupHolderHero Inserts
  • Thenice Center Console Organizer
  • Thenice Glasses Holder
  • OEM Seat Back Protectors
  • autoCOVR Dead Pedal Upgrade
  • CarQiWireless Center Armrest Storage Box
  • Lloyds Rubbertite Front Floor Mats
  • OEM All-weather Floor Mats (rear seats only) (dealer-installed)
    • REMOVED front mats (I wore a heel hole into driver mat from my clutch foot)
  • OEM Cargo Tray (dealer-installed)
  • OEM Door edge, door handle, and rear bumper appliqués (dealer-installed)
Exterior Modifications
  • Dealership Decal Delete
  • Aujen Silicon License Plate Frame
  • Baddannlv Skid Plate
  • PRO Window Visors
  • OEM Black H-Logo Valve Stem Caps
  • eBay Engine Bay Side Covers
  • OEM Front Lip (dealer-installed)
  • OEM Side Skirts (dealer-installed)
  • OEM Rear Diffuser (dealer-installed)
  • OEM Window Tint (dealer-installed)
Performance Modifications
Maintenance/Fluids
  • Engine Oil and Oil Filter Change (OEM Oil and OEM Oil Filter)
  • Engine Coolant Overflow Tank Top-off
  • OEM Windshield Wiper Insert Replacements
  • OEM Engine Air Filter Replacement
  • OEM Cabin Air Filter Replacement
Issues/Repairs
  • Dr. ColorChip rock-chip paint “repair”
  • OEM mudflap replaced missing clips
  • Installed body frame plugs
  • Paintless Dent Repair (Professional Job)
  • Washer fluid reservoir leak (in process of diagnosing /fixing)
Vehicle Accessories
  • First Aid Kit (Honda)
  • WeatherTech Sunshade
  • ARES Oil Funnel
  • Trunknets Inc Floor Style Trunk Cargo Net
  • Drive Auto Car Trunk Organizer
  • The never ending search for the best travel coffee mug...
    • Honda 12oz. HPD Tumble Link to item
      • PRO: Fits perfectly in cup holder
      • CON: Inside is lined with plastic :/
      • CON:Wouldn't hold much then a cup of coffee
    • Yeti 12oz. Rambler Link to item
      • PRO: Diameter is pretty good fit
      • PRO: Stainless steel outside and inside
      • PRO: Neat/practical 360 deg sip lid
      • CON: Height is slightly tall in cup holder
Future Plans / Items
  • Transmission Fluid Change (OEM Honda MTF)
  • Stock dims aftermarket wheels or downsizing to 17x8” wheel with 235x45 r17 tires to maintain rolling diameter of the stock 18’s
    • Not 100% sure, but I really like the way the split 5-spoke 17" OEM wheels look on the EX Hatchback, so may do something like that from Enkei to reduce weight.

General Photos

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Swmmo

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Hey Casper! Nice ride. I’ve got the same car and likewise doing some minimal mods to keep the daily driver (at least until the warranty is up)…

Curious about the window visors you went with…that’s one of the next items on my list so I’m looking for recommendations/thoughts on what others have.

those look like HIC, which I’m strongly considering, but your list mentioned PRO… could you drop a link to those so could take a look?
 
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casper

casper

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Hey Casper! Nice ride. I’ve got the same car and likewise doing some minimal mods to keep the daily driver (at least until the warranty is up)…

Curious about the window visors you went with…that’s one of the next items on my list so I’m looking for recommendations/thoughts on what others have.

those look like HIC, which I’m strongly considering, but your list mentioned PRO… could you drop a link to those so could take a look?
Thanks! I got my window visors from the ProCivic website (https://www.procivic.com/p/ym/2021/civic/pro-design-side-window-visors-deflectors.html?ctid=4380), but they did have “HIC” emblems on them, which came off easily with a hair dryer and plastic pry tool.

I have the “MG” version, which are secured only with 3M tape, and I haven’t have any troubles for the 10 months I’ve had it so far. They add very minimal wind-noise since they’re pretty low-profile, and I have zero complaints about them.

I like to be able to crack my windows to keep the interior from getting too hot in the summer, so this was a must-have for me.
 
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Swmmo

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Thanks! I got my window visors from the ProCivic website (https://www.procivic.com/p/ym/2021/civic/pro-design-side-window-visors-deflectors.html?ctid=4380), but they did have “HIC” emblems on them, which came off easily with a hair dryer and plastic pry tool.

I have the “MG” version, which are secured only with 3M tape, and I haven’t have any troubles for the 10 months I’ve had it so far. They add very minimal wind-noise since they’re pretty low-profile, and I have zero complaints about them.

I like to be able to crack my windows to keep the interior from getting too hot in the summer, so this was a must-have for me.
Yes, I’ve seen elsewhere on here that the HIC are the ones procivic sells. Thanks for confirming that’s what they are, and that you like them/haven’t had any issues.
This helps me confirm this is the route I’m gonna go!

Thanks! Love the ride!
 


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casper

casper

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Yes, I’ve seen elsewhere on here that the HIC are the ones procivic sells. Thanks for confirming that’s what they are, and that you like them/haven’t had any issues.
This helps me confirm this is the route I’m gonna go!

Thanks! Love the ride!
No problem! Glad to help :)
 
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casper

casper

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27WON Rear Motor Mount (RMM) Street 70a
Date - Mileage Installed:
3/20/22 - 18,208 mi
Still Installed (Y/N): Y


Quoting myself from another thread where I reviewed this RMM (there are few other reviews left there from other users too), along with some install tips.

3/21/22 Notes:
So I’ve installed the 27won Street RMM yesterday and driven maybe 75 miles on it so far and here are my first impressions:

(I am in a Sport Hatch all stock except for a Acuity poco shift knob and throttle spacer)

The benefits: Shifting is all around better, 2nd gear doesn’t deny me much for downshifts and it’s all just less complicated now. Not only does the clutch engagement feel more consistent, but the shifter itself feels like it’s finding the gears better and more cleanly. I was actually double clutching before because I didn’t want to get denied to downshift… now it seems less necessary. There’s also less oscillatory jostling when letting off of the throttle in first and second gear, which is a nice except that NVH kinda sucks in those situations since you’re putting around at 1500 rpm lol (see below).

NVH is… not awful. Everything is all around louder and more “rumbly”, and for 95% of driving situations I actually welcome being able to hear and feel the revs. But there are a few “ehhh” areas. Let me outline the key areas of elevated NVH:

- 1000-1500 rpm: cold starts are *loud* and not very pleasant to the eardrums. Taking off in first gear is similarly bad, and very vibrat-y. You could rev it higher to take off, and bypass this, but I also like my clutch.

- 3000 rpm: There’s a resonance point at 3000 rpm that makes it louder, but at this point it’s more of a desirable frequency so it doesn’t kill your eardrums. Plus you don’t normally cruise at 3000 so it’s a short-lived occurrence

- Any loud spots above 3000 rpm: just seems like a louder version of stock, which is fine to me since I’m not normally above 3000 unless I have to be, or driving with gusto.

Once warmed up and the engine is idling at 700ish, though the NVH there is slightly more than stock, it’s not bad at all when idling. It’s also actually pretty nice between 1500 and 2800 rpm, and cruising at these rpms is probably the best place for keeping NVH minimal for daily driving. A/C on makes it a tad louder, but maybe like 10% louder, if that.

I will post back after 500 miles or so and report any reductions in NVH.

As a side note, installation was a tad hairy. I was missing a few surprise tools that were required due to the awkward space you had to work with. Namely, make sure you have a way to torque the engine side bolt, because the exhaust is too close to fit a normal 19mm socket. Also, getting the mount in doesn’t seem possible when following the 27won instructions with the bolt already halfway in, but what helped me was getting the mount started so it doesn’t fall out, and then using a mallet to apply some impact force while simultaneously prying the transmission forward (at the safe pry point). I used O-ring lube on the polyurethane surfaces too which helped once the bolt finally made it to the slot.
3/29/22 Notes:
After just over 500 hundred miles here are my thoughts:

The mount has broken in considerably over the first 500 miles. I think I noticed the largest step-change in NVH at around 300 miles, in case anyone was wondering… it may not take the entire first 500 miles to notice a difference. I also noticed some slight improvements once I was able to torque the bolts properly, so I would make an effort to be accurate in that regard.

I’ll be honest, the “taking-off in 1st gear NVH” for the first hundred miles or so was pretty bad, and I wouldn’t keep the mount on if it stayed that way. After break-in it’s much more livable, and doesn’t hurt the ears. Do I like the low rpm vibration? No. Does it hurt my ears physically anymore? No. Could I get used to it? Yes.

Interestingly, the NVH at anything above 1.5k rpms was actually kinda awesome from the get-go, as I could hear the engine much better without nuisance NVH and with reasonable vibration. It’s calmed down a little since break-in, but still much louder than stock. I’d say around twice as loud as the stock volume inside the cabin.

Overall, shifting feel both in shifter and clutch engagement are more predictable. On/off throttle bounciness in the low gears isn’t as bad as stock either. I will note that the performance benefits felt best pre-break in, and it seems the NVH and performance aspects are negatively correlated before they meet the design spec “compromise” post-break in. That being said, you may be disappointed to feel some properties of shifting revert back towards stock feeling after break-in, but not quite all the way.

I can’t really speak to wheel-hop reduction since I don’t really drive where I’m causing it to occur, but I have noticed much less torque steer just when changing gears “with spirit”.

One other thing to note is that since the engine NVH transmits better to the cabin, I hear much much more sound than I used to and it’s sorta freaking me out. Maybe it’s always been that way, but something that sounds like very slight clutch or flywheel chatter when idling in neutral was audible. It’s pretty faint so perhaps the new RMM is just amplifying what was already there. This could be a good thing though, as it will be easier to hear failing components in the future, I would think.

I’m going to continue driving with it for now, as I find the shifting consistency and increased desirable NVH worth the annoying NVH at take-off.
3/30/22 Notes:
Could’ve been the warmer weather today (around 75 deg F), but I went out to get dinner this evening and was pleasantly surprised at how…. Normal the NVH was all of a sudden. It seems like there may have been a second step-change in NVH shortly after 500 miles that didn’t quite occur before my last review.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still louder, rumblier, and vibrates more than stock, BUT most of it, to me, is desirable, other than the low rpm vibrations, and even that has also tampered down too.

I also figured out today that my bite point shifted ever so slightly closer to the floor than I was used to before, probably due to the transmission not moving around as much during gear changes. This was reassuring because I was having some lurchey shifts the past few days.

Overall I am pretty pleased now with the result, at least in warm weather lol… but seriously, if you install this, make sure you wait until it breaks in before making your decision, because you will definitely notice when it happens.
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casper

casper

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Acuity Poco Insulated Low-Profile Shift Knob
Date - Mileage Installed:
12/27/21 - 13,042 mi
Still Installed (Y/N): Y


Initial Install Notes:

That console trim is scary as hell to take off, but the install itself was pretty straightforward. I had to remove the OEM knob and boot collar. I will also add that detaching the OEM boot collar had to be done by pulling the leather down enough to expose the plastic clip and push it in with a small trim tool… this was different than what the instructions or any Si/TypeR YouTube install videos show, and I actually had to find some obscure YouTube video that showed me the way lol… so if you do this for non-Si or non-Type R shifter, be warned that the instructions may not be entirely accurate. But I love the feel of it! Definitely makes the shifts feel more precise and definitive, and it puts the knob at a more natural height for my hand. It’s almost funny how just changing a knob changes the feel so much.


4/23/22 Notes:

Still have this mod installed, without any further modifications to the shifter assembly. It has never gotten too cold or too warm (I haven't gotten through a summer with it yet) to touch, since it is the insulated version. I like how I can easily switch out for a different Acuity Poco knob in the future if they come out something I may like better. The acrylic seems to scratch kind of easily, so just be mindful if you have something sharp around, but with normal usage I think it holds up more than fine. I still love the OEM+ look that this knob gives the interior.

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casper

casper

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Acuity Throttle Spacer (LHD)
Date - Mileage Installed:
2/10/22 - 15,014 mi
Still Installed (Y/N): Y


Initial Install Notes:

I have a size 9 foot (mens) and used the C position. I feel this position is good compromise between “heel-toe-ability” and daily comfort, since the other positions are higher and/or further away from the brake pedal laterally.

I immediately liked it - my foot is now at an angle where I have more precise control of the throttle, and my shifts were magically smoother just because the gas pedal wasn’t buried so deep in the stock position anymore... basically it feels like the stock position was originally set too far back (and too far away laterally from the brake), and the relocation bracket puts it where it feels like it should have been.

Haven’t really learned heel-toe yet, but it’s definitely more possible now versus being nearly impossible in the stock position. In the picture below you can see that I can now nick the gas with the right side of my foot. With the stock position, the only way I could even land a blip was going all-out heel kick. Very easy install too.


4/23/22 Notes:

To be honest, it's not the most comfortable for long drives, but you do get used to it over time, and also cruise control helps me take some breaks from having my foot on the throttle. I still think it's worth the overall better position of the throttle. It's nice to bust out a little heel-blip when starting on hills and whatnot. I can't imagine position B to be any better since it would raise the pedal up to be even higher than the C position. Have yet to learn "proper" heel toeing while downshifting though.

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casper

casper

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Michael
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2021 Civic Sport Hatchback (6MT)
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Baddannlv Skid Plate
Date - Mileage Installed:
10/9/21 - approx. 9,000 mi
Still Installed (Y/N): Y


Initial Install Notes:

So I replaced my OEM “skid plate” with an aftermarket “skid plate” from Badannlv! My OEM part got toasted by a piece of tire shrapnel on the highway, and the current supply chain issues is making it impossible to get a Honda replacement. They also will only sell you the entire $500 assembly so that’s not really a great option unless your plastic got really damaged too.

Apparently you can buy just the OEM skid plate for the Type R for about $50, but it’s the same flimsy material and I couldn’t find that part in stock either.

Anyway, I think it was worth the extra money to “upgrade” and it looks pretty slick, and install was a breeze. Even has oil change doors so you don’t need to take off the entire part to do oil changes, allegedly (see 4/24/22 update).

Some of my plastic frame was a little messed up near the clip spots, but a hair dryer was enough to help bend it back flat and the connectors for this plate seem really solid compared to the OEM.

Overall I’m happy with this upgrade!


4/24/22 Notes:

This part is till going strong, ended up replacing the front two washers for some larger ones since I made the mistake of letting WD-40 sit on some hardware and "melted" some of the plastic undertray where the washers sit.

Also, after performing a few oil changes, I don't think you could do a "clean" oil change using just the skid plate doors unfortunately. They'd be fine for visually inspecting the drain bolt and filter, but if you were even able to get the filter off just through the door, the oil would drip onto the backside of the skid plat. You might be able to drain the oil from the drain bolt using just the door, especially if you have a drain valve and tubing, but the filter would still give you issues if you replace it for every oil change (which I do).

Also I think my transmission bangs the backside of the skidplate on some low-rpm shifts, because I see some marks on it right where the transmission housing is. I thought it was my flywheel springs, but I had a slight revelation the other day... I just need to test it out. I think the OEM plate had a little bevel in this area too, but I'm not 100% positive.

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