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J30A1 and Endurance Racing an AT Accord

Discussion in 'Accord' started by jdmorg, May 15, 2012.

  1. jdmorg

    jdmorg New Member

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    What's going on all. I just stumbled onto this site looking up some info on how to beef our car up a bit. The details:

    1999 Accord sedan, J30A1 with AT and 145,000-ish miles.

    We got this car for a song and decided to cage it up and race it in the 24 Hours of Lemons. We knew right away that our stock transmission was garbage, but with such a limited budget and an even more limited talent pool, we just threw a B&M cooler at it (along with a few other minor upgrades).

    We managed ~360 laps at NJMP's Lightning circuit, with a best time of 1:38.112 and we picked up 33 positions (out of 102 cars racing). The car ran all weekend long with nary a hiccup. We stripped the bumper cover off for air, but it was more proactive than anything else.

    I'm at a crossroads now. A) we're not sure if the tranny is going out on us (likely), or B) if someting in the computer is holding us back (again...likely...we unplugged a LOT of stuff). I guess first and foremost is pulling the codes, but after that, I've got a CL-S motor to use and potentially a 2003 Odyssey V6. I know the CL-S 6-speed is the ideal swap, but again, very limited budget even more limited talent.

    Give me some ideas, please. I'd like to figure out more about our current situation (I can go into more details, how it acted in specific turns, etc.) and what I can do next. I know the CL-S engine swap is somewhat possible, though whether it's just the top-end or more I'm not clear on. Also, I don't know yet what I can do with the Odyssey (I DO know it'd be badass with a rollcage).

    Tell me where to search. Everyone says "search the forums"--and I do--but sometimes you just don't know what you're searching for. Give me some guidance.

    Thanks all!

    The Real Hoopties of New Jersey | New Jersey Motorsports Park | 14-15 April 2012
     
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  2. CAFROG

    CAFROG Honda Minion VIP

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    Wouldn't a swap put you over the lemon budget??

    Best to find a manual transmission car.

    Why were so many sensors unplugged? Have you checked the codes?

    A decent running mazda miata will tear up most lemon cars. I hate them so much. They are pretty well balanced out of the box.
     
  3. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Would it be easier/cheaper to just replace the automatic transmission and then strip out more weight? I know you can appeal to the Lemons "board" for certain kinds of replacements/fixes, but a swap would probably put you over the limit. Just my impression.

    Oh, and I figured "gotta be Lemons" before I even clicked into your thread- just from the title. Congrats on finishing a Lemons outing!
     
  4. jdmorg

    jdmorg New Member

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    That's why I'm here...to find out what I can do and how cheaply.

    Yeah, finding another car is obvious, but we've already got a nice little nut put into this car. We know it's never going to be a major contender or anything like that, but it's got a $1300 roll cage in it now, soooooo...and it's still fun.

    We didn't really unplug too many sensors tied directly to the motor, i.e., the sensors on the intake are still there, but the resonator box and old filter box are long gone. We didn't remove the O2 in the cat, because A) I didn't know where else to put it and B) I didn't know what it would create down the road. I haven't checked the codes yet, but that's obviously going to be my next major step, especially if I want help from everyone here. Got any good recs on a decent scanner? Would like it to read more than just this car though.

    And Miatas are played out in Lemons. They and the E30s are just too obvious of a car too pick. Of course they're great cars and they're going to run awesome, but I'll save that for if I ever get around to affording SCCA. Besides...we're still new drivers. A Miata here is like a GT500 for your 16th birthday.

    Haha...yeah, definitely Lemons. Thanks man. It was a huge accomplishment for us. We followed the rules to the letter of the law, but still, we were sweating at inspection just because. By Saturday afternoon we were elated it was still running and just flat out amazed by Sunday night.

    I don't know what other transmissions I can get into this car. The most read about upgrade is the CL-S 6-speed, but they aren't exactly filling up the scrap yards. Besides that, it seems $$$$. We even thought about rebuilding the current AT. It's more of a "we've never done it before so let's see how hard it is thing", but we still ultimately want to drive this car again.
     
  5. |Chaz|

    |Chaz| Well-Known Member VIP

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    Just wanted to jump in here and say that I've heard of the Lemons race and it sounds like a blast :thumbsup: as for what you decide to do for a car, good luck deciding!
     
  6. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Welcome. ;)

    Yeah, the CLS 6 speed is definitely quite a bit of cash- you'd be competing against all the Civic guys that want a J block in their cars and a manual transmission to go with it. They fetch $1k or more VERY easily. I'd rebuild or get another AT cheap.
     
  7. jdmorg

    jdmorg New Member

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    Ha...thank you. Could've hit the Introduction pages sooner I guess. :p

    That's what I think is the best bet. We'd be hard pressed to even install that 6-speed if we even found one, not that pulling and rebuilding an AT is any easier.

    Did they ever produce any parts to "beef up" the J30 automatic trans? It'll be a fun little project either way.

    And since I'm assuming we'll have to have the engine and transmission out for it, we figure on minor engine upgrades as well. The very least would likely be the timing belt. It has 145k miles on it and I don't know that it's ever been touched. I also notice a slight tick when the engine gets warm. We'd like a set of headers, but the firewall side bolts are just piles of rust...wasn't even going to attempt it with the engine still in the car (and this all of course is dependant on $$$).

    What are the pros and cons to the Odyssey drivetrain? Will that transmission even fit? Would it even make sense if it did fit? How about the engine? Can I take that whole Odyssey engine and mate it to our current transmission post-rebuild? How about the CL-S motor? Supposedly the bottom end is shot, but it's already out of the car, so a rebuild shouldn't be all that difficult.

    Summary of "parts bin":
    one 1999 Honda Accord V6 (J30A1) sedan with AT (the subject car)
    one CL-S motor (2003 I'm fairly certain)
    one 2003 Odyssey V6 with AT

    Sorry about the barrage of questions. Like I said, I'm trying to get a feel for what's possible/possible but hard/utterly impossible so that we can find all of the right info to finish this project, learn a few things, have some fun and ultimately, get her back out onto the track to make some time.

    In the end, we have $400 to work with, within the rules of course. :eek:
     
  8. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage YEEAAAHHH VIP

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    start with your codes, advance auto has a cheap orange scanner that you could use i believe for 70 bucks that is good with most obd2 vehicles.
     
  9. CAFROG

    CAFROG Honda Minion VIP

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    Yes....start with codes.....please

    O2 will throw air/fuel ratio off quite a bit.

    Any sensor that was attached to the intake pipe can be thrown onto a PVC pipe and lady's leggings can be used for a filter.

    I would suggest work is done to insure there are no engine codes. Some are important as hell and others can be considered no big deal. But I think they are all a big deal because I absolutely hate a CEL.

    In terms of Lemons.....I only know of the types around Nor-Cal and their budget is a mere fraction to what you've spent on the roll cage. So....understanding the budget will help members here lead you in the right direction.
     
  10. jdmorg

    jdmorg New Member

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    Yeah...you're right. I've got to get moving on pulling the codes. CEL, Maint. Req'd, blinking CEL.

    Lemons rules are basically the same nationwide. The $500 limit applies to the physical car and performance upgrades, so the roll cage doesn't count. We're not skilled enough welders yet to attempt our own cage, so we farmed it out this time, thus the $$$.

    "Performance"-wise, we have:
    B&M Transmission cooler
    cheapy strut tower brace
    20mm rear sway from a CL
    A cone filter on old metal electrical conduit (sticks out about 10" past TB)
    A 2"/2.25"(maybe?) cherry bomb muffler right after the cat with a turndown before the rear wheel.

    Additional stuff is simply a brake rebuild all around, DOT4 brake fluid, Raybestos ST-43 pads, Redline High Tempt ATF and a set of Dunlop Direzza Star Specs.

    We have about $400 to spend before our next race (TBD). We're willing and mostly able to do a lot of the work ourselves and we have access to a good number of scrap/junk yards around here.

    At my disposal is a CL-S motor (2003) and potentially a 2003 Odyssey V6 AT.
     
  11. |Chaz|

    |Chaz| Well-Known Member VIP

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    I dunno if I would try either one of those motors. I'm not sure about the rules when it comes to Lemons... what about a budget turbo build?
     
  12. jdmorg

    jdmorg New Member

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    No...why not? Especially why not the CL-S? Just compatibility issues?

    Lemons rules are pretty simple.

    Prices and Rules

    $500 for the car and/or performance upgrades. We have $400 to work with this year. None of the safety stuff counts. Basically, if it's going to make me more competitive, it's likely covered under that limit.

    In terms of what you can build, the sky's the limit. You can see in the pic I linked that there's actually a boat behind me on the racetrack. Another guy is building an MR2 with a radial engine out of a WW1 training plane. But a home built turbo is just their brand of fun (ours too). Our J30 is up against anything from 3-cyl powered you-name-its to a small block Ford volvo.

    What're your ideas behind a budget turbo build? Links? Even better...experience?

    Like I said, we're not afraid to try anything. Succeed? Meh...but try, we'll try all day.
     
  13. |Chaz|

    |Chaz| Well-Known Member VIP

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    I'll be honest, I'm just talking out of my ass here. Just seems to me like it'd be easier to run your current motor into the ground with a garage turbo build here. Motor swaps get expensive fast from all the extra crap that always ends up adding up.

    I did a little bit of searching for an article on the J35A4 into the same gen Accord as yours but I couldn't find anything... but I didn't look that hard either. I don't know anything about Accords, and even less about the V6 flavor. So I don't know what kind of modifications, if any are required to get it to fit correctly, 240Hp does sound quite nice though.
     
  14. Matts96HB

    Matts96HB . Moderator VIP

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    I drive an 01 v6 coupe, and I've looked in to the swaps because I am also worried about the transmission in my car (195k on it.)

    Your options are very limited at this point. If you want to swap transmissions, you're either going to have to get the same transmission and drop it in there, or do a complete engine swap. The problem is mainly with the ecu, or at least that's what I have gathered from my reading. You need an ecu to control the engine and the transmission. 5 speed auto will require an ecu from the car that it came out of, and the problem is that those cars have a larger displacement, thus different fuel and ignition maps.

    If you have the parts and the funds, the cl-s 6 speed swap that you might have at your disposal is your best bet. Hopefully that wont disqualify you. If that isn't an option, start hunting for a low-mileage replacement transmission or parts car.
     
  15. CAFROG

    CAFROG Honda Minion VIP

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    The dreaded two ECU.

    So what proof is given for a motor swap? In terms of cost. "Oh...I got a receipt for $14 for this CL-S swap"

    And those miatas are played out in the road race scene too. But they keep kicking ass....so the band wagon grows in length.
     
  16. jdmorg

    jdmorg New Member

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    Ha...you should be a teammate then! We do that AND drink beer, sooo...

    I figure an entire engine swap is going to be major. At the same time, I'm thinkin it all has to come out for us to rebuild the current AT anyhow, so aside from computer issues and compatibility (of which I know nothing), it seems almost logical to at least consider a full engine swap, if it will in fact offer me gains in the longrun. I know there's a lot out there about the heads and cams of these things and what's potentially interchangeable, but I'm still trying to figure it all out. You would think Honda made millions of these things or something...tens of thousands of threads and pages to read through.

    Nah...the transmission is the hard part. I can only get the CL-S engine, and it's got a beat bottom-end at that...transmission stayed with the car. Nothing could really get us disqualified though....the rules are failry open and encourage ridiculous ideas. Short of pointing 20,000lbs of thrust through a jet nozzle at the cars behind you, Lemons seems to let you get away with a lot. Kind of digging a homemade turbo setup, honestly.

    You try and document everything you can to the best of your abilities. If you go over, they'll penalize you in laps....I've seen a handful issued and I've heard of 4,000,000 penalty laps being issued. If they can see that our worksmanship is likely to go downhill fast, they may let it slide just to see a spectacular failure and then watch us frantically wrench all weekend trying to get back on track. These guys are no slouches, either. They know exactly what they're looking at, what they're hearing, etc. I've even heard of a spy-like camera being snaked into a valve cover and picking up rollers where none should've existed and the cheaty team got caught.
     
  17. |Chaz|

    |Chaz| Well-Known Member VIP

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    Sounds like a blast, if you were a northwester I would take you up on your offer!
     
  18. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Yeah don't bother with the 6-speed. You'll be way out on the rules and $$$ even if you could dig one up.

    Beefing up the J30 auto- probably not- but I've never looked for anything. Just keep a steady line of cheapo autos ready for swapping in. ;)

    Definitely change out your timing belt, and check your valve clearances- that might be where your tick is coming from.

    Not sure about the Odyssey drivetrain, but since you have it already, you might just mock it up and see if it'll fit. If you're going to pull the Accord engine/trans, just set the two setups side by side and measure things out before you go further. It's really easy to compare with both engines/transmissions on the ground.

    CL-S engine-maybe shove the 3.2 internals into the 3.0 block? :D
     
  19. Xencer

    Xencer New Member

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    Hi, I'm from v6performance.net.

    I have the same car as you but it's my daily driver, currently I have the camshafts from a honda odyssey (j35a4 I believe) swapped into my j30. Ideally you would want to swap the camshafts from a j32a2 for more power, but they both work. If you don't get stiffer valve springs you will hear some chatter from the valvetrain.

    Also, I have seen a 5 speed swap done. But I don't know which transmission it was, I'm still looking for the post I originally found.
     
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