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Author Topic:   Front wheel drive
posted August 19, 2003 02:36 PM
I race a honda accord on a dirt track..alot of fun but can someone help me with getting the car to handle better and alittle more power...the track has no banks and is 1/3mile

jhon hollomon
posted August 19, 2003 02:42 PM
I'll bet if you post this in the mini stock thread they can help you out a little better.

posted August 19, 2003 02:54 PM

posted August 20, 2003 12:27 AM
we ran a honda civic for several years and used and accord engine. they're real good straight up and cost alot of money to modify without becoming unreliable.
don't try to interchange parts from engine to engine.
honda make everything perfectly, the bare minimum required and consequently everthing is different.
for example: they made 2 x 1200cc engines, 1 x 1100cc, 1 x 1500cc, 3 x 1600cc, 2 x 1800cc and a 2000cc engine that are all completely different even though they look the same from the outside. bores and strokes are different, cylinder spacing different and consequently crank, heads, cam, and valve train are different.
DO NOT mill the heads more than 0.040" to boost compression as the heads become weak and you blow head gaskets all the time.
DO NOT bore too large as there are few head gaskets available to suit extra big bores and consequently the fire rings over hang cylinder walls.
DO NOT do big port work or you will go slower. If you look at the port shape it is what all the current aftermarket SBC and Ford heads are trying to achieve. just smooth the edges off.
DO cut the valve stem and boss back where they protrude through into the ports.
Do spend some time and get rid of the horrible 3 angle valve seat that a machine shop will give you. you need to round the valve seat off CAREFULLY leaving only a thin valve seat area (about the width of a pencil line).
DO fab or buy a good set of headers.
DO run the electronic distributor (remove ignitor) and run a MSD or similar (they respond well to these w/big plug gaps)
DO try advancing the cam timing slightly (they respond really good to this)
DO remove the springs that seperate the rockers on the rocker shaft and fit solid aluminium spacers to stop the rockers walking sideways at high rpm.
DO change or modify the carburetor. We ran a 350 holley with an adapter plate and it was no good (weren't allowed to change/modify manifold) eventually switched to a small down draught webber carb and that worked heaps better.
DO linish the rocker arm pads (that run on the cam lobe) and radius them all the way around toward the pivot. this will let you run a cam with slightly larger lift.
DO grind cam. You won't buy a after market cam as they have the oil pump and distributor drive gear built in. But a good cam grinding shop should be able to take a profile from something else and grind onto your cam with slightly mor lift and duration. Our profile cam from a racing kawasaki motorcycle with the same bore/stroke ratio.
DO lighten pistons and shot peen rods as the pistons (even aftermarket) are quite heavy and the pin end of the rod is relatively small, so avoid any problems first.
DO have them balanced. they will be very close from the factory but pays to check (especially if you lightened pistons and ground rods)
DO have a quality machine shop do your machining, clearances and finishes are crucial.

If you do this you will find that they go really good (blow away cars with much bigger engines) especially if you play with the cam timing and ignition.
We ran a STOCK 1600cc engine to 8000rpm all the time (not even balanced) with no problem.
We ran our fully modified engine to 9000rpm also with no hassles.
nearly forgot...
you will need to vent the crank case ie. weld a tube in the sump and in the rocker cover and run a hose between the two.
check valve lash and head bolt torque every meeting.
And fit a smaller pulley to the crank to slow water pump and alternator speed. remember they are designed for grandma to drive to the shops in traffic and the speed of everthing has been designed for optimum performance for granny. So you will be more doubling the speed if you run to 8500rpm.
We ran these cars and engines for 4 years and never once had a complete failure. Our only problems have been listed above, mainly head gasket, water pump speed, crank case pressure, carb & ignition problems.

hope that helps
good luck

posted August 20, 2003 07:41 PM
Hey thanks 4 all the help

posted August 20, 2003 07:42 PM
Hey thanks 4 all the help

posted August 20, 2003 10:27 PM
Hey Rocket36, good information. What more can you tell me about ignition timing, such as advance at 4500 rpm? Thanks, SLEEPY

posted August 20, 2003 10:48 PM
its a while ago but from memory. we had best results with 36 deg ign timing and somewhere between 48 & 54 deg total advance.
advancing the cam timing really got the little bugger going. used to get handicapped half a lap behind the rest of the field.
The other big improvement was the ignition booster. initially we ran a crane hi-6 until it failed, then had it serviced and removed the ignitor from the distributor, so that the crane unit would provide the spark as well & just use the distributor to tell it when to fire (like a crank trigger). That crane unit packed up one night too, so we put in another standard electronic distributor and it felt like you could walk faster, closed plug gaps back up but still heaps slower than it was. so then we switched to a MSD 6A and never had another problem.
another problem we encountered was the air temp/condition. I think because at the time we ran a 350 holley (which is quite large for this little engine) we found that it was very suseptable to temp changes. We would arrive at the track early afternoon for practice and tune up, and get it really goin' good, then come race time, no performance, so we ended up getting used to doing constant jet & power valve changes during the night. took us a while to work that out though.
I should also say that my dad did most of the engine tuning and building, he would find the problems and a solution and then tell me what to do to fix it, so i can't take the credit, but i sure knew those engines & cars back to front by the time we finished. my dad now builds my dirt late model engines as we can't afford to have someone else do it.
any more questions???
i'll try and help

posted August 23, 2003 11:31 PM
Thanks, Rocket 36. I do appreciate the information. SLEEPY

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