Monday, June 14, 2010

Introducing Project Clean

Fact is, I'm not posting a real feature this week. I'd been chasing leads on a couple of them, but nothing turned up. I'm still working. Hopefully by next week I'll have turned this around...

In the meantime, I figured why not post a short feature on my car instead? So I took her out this morning for a quick wash and wax, and shot some pics in the driveway, and typed up a quick feature on myself. Here we go!

Rabi Dixon comes out of Arbutus MD, and he loves Hondas. While he's enthusiastic about all kinds of cars, he's definitely a loyal Honda user. He has to be.  With a commute of over an hour every day to his job as a preschool/afterschool teacher, plus a lot of martial arts training in the evenings. he needs a car he can rely on. After his beloved 91 hatch bit the dust about a year ago, Rabi figured he'd move up a couple years, and ended up paying $1800 for this 95 Civic coupe.

Mods right now are simple: AEM short ram, DC Sports header, and Magnaflow catalyst and exhaust. That's it. Rabi's currently saving up for tires to replace his worn-out old ones, and a set of wheels to go with it.

Rabi's year with his new car hasn't really been all fun and games. Here's his story of what it's been like to fix his exhaust system.

"That exhaust system took almost a year to put together. I figured I'd share the fun story.I took the car in for inspection and was told that it was leaking, so I replaced it with the Magnaflow catback. Then the flange on the already gutted (when I bought it) cat snapped off due to rust. When I crawled under to check it out, I discovered that the cat had been welded to the exhaust manifold, so I was going to have to replace the manifold as well. I tacked on a little metal tube to hold it together in the meantime. The thing rattled like hell. By the time I had the money for the header, it was wintertime, and I couldn't get a chance to put the parts on in between blizzards. I finally caved and scraped some money together to pay a shop to install the header and cat. Glad I did because it would have ended up being extremely difficult without a lift. They also couldn't get a gasket to fix. Come to find out that they didn't protect the newly re-wired o2 sensor. The wire rubbed out on a motor mount, shorted out the ecu and left me stranded on the left shoulder of the freeway. I had to get it towed. Luckily that part didn't end up working out too badly. The original shop ended up reimbursing me in labor for the money I spent getting the problem fixed. After all this, I ordered a donut gasket that I didn't have at the time of the install. Well guess what? It was the wrong one. I had to order another one. Once I finally got one that fit, the stupid spring-loaded bolts that attach the cat to the manifold would no longer fit because of the longer distance between the manifold and the cat. I had to use the spring on one bolt hole and a big washer on the other. I'm still working on finding smaller springs. But overall, it's finally done. It does sound pretty good. And response is noticeably improved. It also cruises a lot more comfortably at higher speeds than before. What a pain in the ass though."

As you may have guessed, Rabi may love driving, drawing, and learning about cars, but he's not a huge fan of working on them. 

...And that's the end of that little bit of self-congratulation. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

As a final note, I called my car "Project Clean" for a reason. I'll be posting updates of what's happening to my car every once in a while. The goal is to have a well-rounded, reliable highway cruiser, and I'm choosing my mods to reflect that.

See you next week!

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