"Circuit Heart" Time Attack FK7

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BMSPEC

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Hey everyone! Real quick introduction, I make aero through my company BMSPEC, so, duh, we have to put together a project car to showcase what we can do! This car has two goals: 1) to break some Time Attack records 2) keep it completely daily drivable and street-registered, since that's the company mission, to make useful, practical upgrades for both street and track use. It's been quite the journey, so I'd love to share the progress so far. Warning, there's a lot of Sum Fuk™ in a build this rushed, so I hope you're ready! :D

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BMSPEC

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It started life like any other 6MT FK7 - hard to find in blue apparently? But Goudy Honda had one in stock on some ugly 20's, so I got them to give me a discount and the stock wheels back on, and we finalized the transaction in like 45min. Very pleasant.

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Gave it a week of thrashing to break in, then immediately start making some small tweaks. :)

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I decided to baseline the car with a leftover setup (something I understood, at least) from my old Mazda3 track car: 295/30/18 front and 255/35/18 rear AD08R, with basic BC Racing coilovers. It doesn't make sense to throw money at a car before you even know what it needs, so we spent bare-minimum money possible to get the car to a testable state.

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Ride height wasn't really important, but it's nice to have things look a bit lower. As an excuse, I'll say we're just testing tire clearance lol. The fender was cut across to 1) vent more air, helps reduce drag when you're pushing a 295, and 2) allow for more fender pulling, which we did a lot of in order to tuck a 295 under stock metal. At the same time, the stock orange markers had cracked so I bought some smoked ones, and drilled through them into the fender metal underneath. "Fixed" :rolleyes:

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Throw in a Hondata unit for the CARB tune and that's it for baselining - a month and change after buying the car, 800mi on the odometer, go send it!

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imcrspy

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Need updates! Not getting enough from your ig lol.
 
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Need updates! Not getting enough from your ig lol.
I'm sorry haha, just been crazy busy, but I really should make more time to post on this forum.

Thanks to the shakedown at Auto Club - the value of getting baseline data! - we knew that there were a ton of things to fix:

- Coilovers underdamped
- Not enough front camber
- Not enough front grip overall
- Absolutely needs an LSD
- Throttle response from Hondata tunes very muted
- Brakes cook in a lap
- Bushings are all shot (toe changed drastically before and after trackday)

Basically, mussing with one part of a stock FK7 will run you into the limits of the other parts. Makes sense, if frustrating. :)

Front camber on the BC plates was easy enough to solve, being an engineer by trade:

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I had my machinist knock these out real fast on the CNC router and we slapped them in for a solid -4 degrees of front camber.

Coilovers aren't so easy to fix without some $$$ so I've still yet to change anything on this, but instead we made some aero to band-aid the lack of grip compared to a factory CTR.

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Before anyone asks - no, this splitter design actually doesn't work as well as older ones I've made, I actually think it's worse than production pieces as it's floppier. But we made it as an experiment, and without time to really rethink it, it has just stayed this way for a while as my priorities are making customers' aero.

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The brakes were tackled next. With aero artificially raising the grip threshold, you can transfer more weight to the front under braking vs. a stock car, so stock rears are usually not the limitation but the stock fronts had to go. Luckily, some clever folks figured out that 10th gens can use the same brake fitments as 9th gens. Off to eBay I went, and DC5R calipers + S2000 front rotors went on.

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One caveat to this setup is that the hub bore ain't right, so you need to manually center the rotor or else you'll have lovely vibration issues. A hub ring would fix this quirk elegantly, but ya boy here is cheap so I literally centered it by hand and rammed the rotor screw in to keep it in place. Once the wheels are torqued on, that's all the force (friction) needed to keep it centered.

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Also note the Seibon hood was installed at this point - I'm just going to say that you get what you pay for, and for those of you rocking Seibon hoods, I would keep really careful tabs on your hood latches and the four bolts holding it to the hinges. Mine came loose on the highway and popped up, only by pure luck did I have enough time and space to brake, find the nearest exit, and fix it on the side of the road.

Turning attention to the rear, we swapped out the OEM heavy-ass hatch with a Seibon one, same deal, watch the attachment points religiously. At this point, the OEM exhaust was also cut off to make room for some diffuser testing.

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I had the GT wing design for the FK7/FK8 finished long before I even bought the car, so we took one of the prototype wing blades and fabbed the mounts for the car. Unfortunately... even a little bit of force was enough to crack the fiberglass inner layer of the hatch, so I spent the next few days figuring out a solution.

Long steel bars underneath the front mounting holes (of the wing) seem to work.

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The splitter and wing combo you would expect to add a ton of drag, but to my surprise didn't affect MPG's as much as expected. So we thought that if we added a diffuser, we might be able to get back to stock MPG numbers.

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Without going too long into the details, YES, the car seriously returned 40mpg @ 75mph while being noticeably more stable on the highway. So far so good, so we pulled the livery from my previous Mazda3 track car and re-applied it to the Civic.

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I'm not a hype person - for those of you reading who follow us on FB/IG, you already know I despise artificial hype - but this is the point where I started getting excited for this car. It's such a different look than your usual CTR, smaller, smoother, longer. Just have to prove now that it works.

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novadrive

If you wanted more air flow why wouldn't you grab a set of type r front fenders from seibon? Not only is it lighter than your current fenders but it has functional airflow.

2019-07-10 19_26_28-OEM-STYLE CARBON FIBER FENDERS FOR 2017-2019 HONDA CIVIC TYPE R - Vivaldi.png
 
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Before anything else, let me mention that we had hacked up the car already to quite a state and our Goudy Honda dealer tags and temp registration were still valid. :D

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Anyways, onto the next track test!

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Immediately you can tell that the spring rates are too soft now lmao. Coupled with the underdamped struts/shocks, this thing was quite a handful to deal with at Streets of Willow. Water temps and oil temps both shot through the roof this time, with more aero = more time at WOT = more heat and fewer chances to cool down. Our friends at Trackspec Motorsports sent us an FK8 hood vent kit to help, but, before we had a chance to fix this though, I blew it all up. :oops:

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Buttonwillow is a much faster track than Streets of Willow. Faster = more aero grip = 1.7G lateral even on old tires, and apparently, that's enough to starve the oil pickup on an L15B! So the turbo went poof, the engine still got me home but both power and efficiency were shot.

This is the part where many of you started following @circuit.heart on IG haha:

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While I don't run an automotive shop in any way, we had enough Harbor Freight tools on hand to yank out a subframe and a powertrain, so I owe my friends a lot of gratitude for the hundreds of man-hours put into this rebuild.

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We sourced a new shortblock from Honda, found a good-condition head on eBay, sent that to the machine shop for a once-over, slapped it all together in record time and threw it in literally days before Gridlife @ Streets of Willow.

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Clutch Masters FX725 twin disk note: it may be just my car, but the pressure plate behavior is seriously non-linear, to the point where I hate driving this around town. My other daily driver has a Sachs metallic 4-puck and it's much easier! :eek:

An MFactory 1.5-way LSD (yes, I ordered it to guinea pig for everyone) went into the trans while it was out. Lots of chatter at low speeds so it makes U-turns unpleasant, but good once you're up to speed.

I didn't take a lot of pictures whilst reinstalling everything as my hands were quite occupied, but it was basically a smooth in-out job minus one problem: harsh clutches break the speed sensor off inside the trans.

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It took us 3 extra trans drops to figure out that the clutch harshness causes one of the internal gears to move around JUST enough to kick the speed sensor! Speaking to TOMO Racing (aka Tom O'Gorman) I learned that a simple shim when you mount the speed sensor back in fixes this problem. Live and learn lol. :confused:

And just like that (broken speed sensor, untested anything) off we went to Gridlife haha. Our stories from this adventure are better covered by SpeedHunters friend Trevor Ryan than I could possibly write myself, so I'll just leave those two links here:

http://www.speedhunters.com/2019/02/what-could-possibly-go-wrong-driving-800-miles-for-gridlife/

http://www.speedhunters.com/2019/03/street-track-bmspecs-2018-civic-hatchback/

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If you wanted more air flow why wouldn't you grab a set of type r front fenders from seibon? Not only is it lighter than your current fenders but it has functional airflow.
The funny thing about building racecars is that you find out what vendors advertise is not always what's delivered lol. After the stock fender is cut, it's barely any heavier vs. the "carbon" Seibon piece (actually fiberglass with a layer of carbon at the very top). I can 100% assure you as well that cutting the fender vents more air than the vent in the CTR-style fender.

On top of that, you can't stretch an off-the-shelf composite fender to house 18x10.5 up front, so even if buying the piece made sense from a weight and aero standpoint, I couldn't do it just because the front wheel and tire width is integral to the car's crazy grip (1.99G lateral, using old Yokohama A052's).
 

imcrspy

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Awesome update! I've been following your build and already read the speed hunter articles lol. You're an inspiration to FK7 owners. One day people will stop asking why I didn't get a Type R and you'll be one of the reasons why. I'm slowly getting my way to where you're at in terms of a track build so really grateful for all the info you've posted! Post more please! Looking forward to seeing you at Gridlife next year in person!
 

novadrive

The funny thing about building racecars is that you find out what vendors advertise is not always what's delivered lol. After the stock fender is cut, it's barely any heavier vs. the "carbon" Seibon piece (actually fiberglass with a layer of carbon at the very top). I can 100% assure you as well that cutting the fender vents more air than the vent in the CTR-style fender.

On top of that, you can't stretch an off-the-shelf composite fender to house 18x10.5 up front, so even if buying the piece made sense from a weight and aero standpoint, I couldn't do it just because the front wheel and tire width is integral to the car's crazy grip (1.99G lateral, using old Yokohama A052's).
True I forgot about the drop! Interesting.
 
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Awesome update! I've been following your build and already read the speed hunter articles lol. You're an inspiration to FK7 owners. One day people will stop asking why I didn't get a Type R and you'll be one of the reasons why. I'm slowly getting my way to where you're at in terms of a track build so really grateful for all the info you've posted! Post more please! Looking forward to seeing you at Gridlife next year in person!
For sure! If this car survives into next year, I'm actually planning on toning down the aero package to be more like our production FK8 stuff:

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Serious aero and 2G lateral grip has been fun, but I think it's more applicable to our 10th gen fans to show how fast you can go with just basic mods. Even considering stepping down from my Stoptech Competition brakes back to the eBay DC5R/S2K frankenstein setup haha. These things are light, they're baller, but they're a lot less daily-friendly than I thought they'd be.

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(Friend stopped by to help install)

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So yeah! More or less up-to-date now, the car has just gotten more hood vents:

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You can see how huge the front splitter is lol, built to Global Time Attack "Street" class rules. Moving back to a production FK7 splitter would reduce the rear downforce requirements too, so I can stop overloading my poor abused BC coilovers :p

We did get sponsored (aka Brian's the guinea pig) for a couple things, as soon as we finish dealing with our friendly State Referee, we'll work on this side of things and share the updates!
 
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Still furloughed from shipping out some products thanks to supplier, so we took some scrap material lying around the shop and started stepping down the aero. I'm still going to try to maximize MPG's with the bulkier CTR wing, so the shape of the front splitter and treatment of the underfloor/rear diffuser will be very important.

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For said front splitter, I took a design that works - an FC1 Si splitter - and just widened the hammerheads 1/2" to "shield" CH2's front tires (295/30, remember) from incoming air.

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This splitter is too short for me to use the old gas strut supports, so I've ordered some 1" shorter ones that will be here Thursday. Preliminary testing from last night showed about 36mpg at 75mph, 4 points down from our initial setup :( Hopefully the reinstallation of the factory undertrays will help bring that back to ~38, and that's about as good as I can expect from the CTR wing I think.

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When time permits again, I'll need to redo the air dam between the bumper and the splitter. This one's just not tall enough so I'm sure there's some drag to cut in this area.
 
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Ironically, now that BMSPEC's web shop has closed, it's more important than ever to finish CH2 :crazy: now as a demonstrator vehicle to show how far you can go with only basic mods. The interior will actually be going back in, fancy USR harness bar and Takata harnesses will be coming out, Stoptech brakes coming out, so that the overall "spec" will be in line with most track-driven FK8's. It makes for a better apples-to-apples comparison of the cars, as well as easier on my wallet long term lol.

Splitter mounting is done, rear wing is painted and finished (it's a genuine CTR wing, but it never ceases to amaze me how flimsy it is), currently enjoying the complete lack of police attention.

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I am completely blown away by your build @BMSPEC
That Type R wing looks like a very good replica, if not the OEM wing. Where did you acquire it? It's pretty impressive with your gurney flap. I wish they made something like this for the coupe.
 

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Very nice write ups. First time seeing/reading all of this today. My eyes are on that vented hood. Will be reading for more info on that.
 

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