DC5 basic buyers guide

kingston

Advanced Member
Messages
3,257
Ok, with a lot of people asking the same sort of thing regarding purchasing a DC5 and what to look for, I thought I‘d put my 5+ years of ownership and trolling this board to good use.

Regarding this buyers guide, ill split it into the grouping as found in the ‘my car‘ section of the garage and in turn will discuss the common/frequent/known issues linked to each (that I know of). I‘m also going to try and avoid commenting on modifications due to favouritism and differing opinions people have on brands, what‘s best etc. You will still also need to search through the various sub-sections within the forum for more information as this will just cover the basic and common issues that seem to occur.

And yes no doubt my grammar and spelling will be wrong in sections but I don‘t see any of those commentators doing this so...

Id also ask people to refrain from posting on this thread should the mods not lock and sticky this thread as no doubt people will have a differing opinion to what im about to say (though it can be found in the various sections on here...). Also please remember that this is a guidance tool and not to be used as a bible when purchasing a car, please get any car you wish to purchase professionally inspected should you not trust your instincts.

Insurance
Right before you go looking for your ‘dream‘ car, make sure you‘re able to afford the insurance; it‘s classed as a Group 20 car.

Have a trawl through the insurance section to see who is recommended, write down their names/phone numbers and start getting quotations.

There‘s no point asking in the insurance section for an estimate from owners as each owner will have different circumstances to the next person/you while occasionally, some bend the truth to make it lower (fronting or not declaring mods – both are very naughty and you‘ll find members on here generally anti this).

Prices
A quick search on piston heads/auto trader will reveal where the market is at regarding year/mileage/condition. If something seems too good to be true then it most likely hiding something unless the person is very desperate to sell.

Also, do not compare mainland prices to those of Ireland (inc. N.I.), there always different for good or bad reasons; mainland cars tend to fetch/ask for more money than the Irish counterparts

Miles per Gallon aka MPG
With the rise in petrol costs, MPG is soon going to be a deciding factor for many, though despite being a 11 year old ‘design‘, the engine is still modern and only recently have Honda killed it off due to emissions.

MPG is very subjective to how heavy your right foot is. Around town, expect around 26 mpg, combined 30‘ish and motorway 35‘ish; however I‘ve had as little as 17mpg on track and up to 44mpg on the motorway. Though on average, a tank will last around 280-300 miles and then the fuel light comes on (lower if your foots heavier, higher if you‘re driving Miss Daisy), alternatively when petrol was 1.42/l, about 17p a mile.

Another item to note is that the fuel tank seems to be like a hour glass – the first 4 pips on the fuel gauge will read (for example) 100 miles then to the half way stage 80 miles, again high amount of miles/minimum pips with a rush to empty though the fuel light comes on at around 8L = should be enough for 50 miles (though I‘ve never tested this theory).

Tax
There are 3 possible Tax bands the DC5 falls in to - regardless of Age;
A. PLG - £200
B. 223 g/kg Model Report = £300
C 234 g/kg Model Report = £415

Cars imported to the UK from 2001-2007 are more than likely to be PLG. This bracket is actually reserved for cars manufactured before 2001 (No Dc5's!) but until a few years ago (before the big kick off about Emissions and Green taxes) the DVLA often registered all imports as PLG as a force of habit. If you have one of these cars you are lucky to be paying up to £215 a year in road tax compared to other Dc5 owners. There was a brief period in which it changed to using the 2 model reports than used different emission figures (as above in B and C) before switching back to PLG though I‘m not sure what importers now register them as so you‘ll need to check with them..

However, all is not lost though as one person has managed to change his emissions report to a lower one, but I believe it was a long drawn out and frustrating process but it can be done.

Keys
The DC5 from factory only came with one key; if you have 2 then you‘re lucky as someone in the past got a second cut. If you only have the one, don‘t fret, you can purchase blanks from Honda though you‘ll need the one without a chip in – Honda will try an tell you that only they can cut the key and that there‘s a chip in the original key etc – its rubbish, take it to any reputable key cutter and they should be able to copy one for you.

Note: Apparently facelift cars have an immobiliser chip in so you may need to look into this, though id have thought an aftermarket CAT approved alarm/immob would over ride Hondas....

Parts
Parts are normally available over night from Honda (lots of parts are held in Belgium) though if you require glass or bumpers, they have to come from Japan and could take a while to get. If you need a new windscreen, sometimes you may get lucky and that one of the bigger windscreen repair companies has one in stock but make sure it‘s not for the DC2.

Alternatively, there are breakers on eBay that you can get parts from.

Importers Condition Guide
Before an importer purchases a car, it‘ll go through an auction house upon which it‘ll be given a Condition grading (numerical = external, alphabetical = internal);
S As good as new. Some cars in these grades have never been driven. Age till 12 months
6 As good as new. Age until 36 months
5 Very good overall condition. A car doesn't need repair. No body parts have been changed
4.5 Good overall condition. A car has been repaired slightly. There are a few slight dents or scratches
4 Good overall condition. There are a few slight dents or scratches
3.5 A car has some visible dents or scratches
3 Many conspicuous visible dents or scratches, paint blemishes. Some parts has been replaced
2 Bad condition
1 A car which has an aftermarket turbo, an automatic transmission converted to manual transmission, flood damage
0, R, A A car which has had accident damage, and has been repaired
R1, R-A A car which has had accident damage, and has been repaired.

Interior
A Excellent condition
B Slightly dirty
C Slightly dirty, and has a few cigarette burns and stains
D Dirty, and has some cigarette burns, stains, and wear
This condition guide is only applicable to when a car is freshly imported from Japan and not really applicable to an owner who then decides to sell on a year + later; it may have had more wear and tear, general condition degradation of the cars overall state and therefore not the same condition as it arrived in Country etc. You could ask to see the condition report but don‘t be too worried if they don‘t have it as you have your own eyes to see what condition the car is in.
 

kingston

Advanced Member
Messages
3,257
History
So you‘ve seen physically or virtually (internet) a potential candidate for the car of your dreams. Now it‘s time to be a private detective and find out as much history that you can to find out if the cars a lemon or a good one. To do this, there are numerous potential sources available to you;
This forum – Find out if the owner was a member on here or the cars reg and search for their username or the reg. If it doesn‘t come up/can find it, ask  as it may be known
Receipts – Apart from freshly imported cars, hopefully most owners will have kept a receipt folder. Try and have a look though this if it‘s possible.
Dealers/Garages/Specialists – If the owner does still have paperwork, try and find out where the cars been looked after in the past (service history book should indicate this) and contact them to see if they remember it and/or if it ever needed/wanted anything doing to it out of the ordinary. However, please appreciate that they‘ll probably be busy so may not have time to deal with enquiries like this.
HPI – Always HPI check a car to check for outstanding finance or insurance claims.
Japanese History – Don‘t worry if it hasn‘t got any Jap history as many service records will have been lost in auction. Any that did come across, unless you‘re able to or know anyone who can read Japanese; it‘ll mean nothing except maybe ‘internet bragging rights‘ (until someone asks you what it all means ;)

Once you‘ve built up a ‘history‘ file (or maybe lack of it), you‘ll be able to understand;
  • What sort of life the cars previously had,
  • How it‘s been looked after,
  • Any mechanical issues it‘s had,
  • Modifications it may have received (DC5‘s are fairly robust and unless it‘s had internal engine work, it‘s quite ‘happy‘ to be reverted back to OEM without having to worry about short/long term damage like certain turbo‘d marquees do)
  • Crash Damage – Hopefully identifiable via the HPI though some owners will buy parts and repair it themselves/ keep it out of the insurance loop for whatever reason
  • Mileage – Not heard of any DC5‘s being clocked but make sure that the Service History and MOT certificates correspond to what‘s on the counter


Mileage
Sometimes you might read on an advert that a car is showing, for example, 160,000 on the clock yet the owner is claiming the cars only done 100k miles. Don‘t worry too much about this as it‘ll be down to whether the importer had the KM converted to Miles when it came across or left it as shown on the clock. The only way you‘ll find out is by contacting the original importer and asking.

Alternatively, you may see an owner stating two different figures, again this will be a breakdown of kilometres and miles and a head ache for those involved. There are professional companies out there that will ‘clock‘ the display to the correct mile reading (just make sure you keep the certificate proving this is what happened ;)


External Body with internal colour combinations;
The following are the external colours and respective internal colouring schemes of the front seats. All rear seats are black irrespective of body colour and the carpet matches the front seat colouring.
Blue – Blue/Black. Pre-Face Lift cars are Arctic Blue Pearl Metallic, while Face Lift Cars are Vivid Blue Pearl Metallic
Championship White aka cream – Red/Black
Milano Red – Black
Silver – Black
Night Hawk Black – Red/Black

Anything straying away from this colour scheme will be a retro-fit to a previous owner‘s choice/taste. It was also possible to specify black front seats on any external body colour from factory.
Packs

On some adverts you‘ll notice that a car states it‘s a C-Pack, this is to do with the level of additional equipment the car came with (though there were other/extra optional add-ons not related to the Packs). Long story short, there‘s 3 pack type (A/B/C) with C being the most additional equipment/‘luxuries‘ however it was possible to spec up A/B with parts from the class above. With this in mind, I‘m not going to discuss A and B but talk about C-Pack.

C – Pack has the following features;
  • Tinted rear 3/4 and rear screen windows
  • Electric folding mirrors.
  • Rear window wiper and screen wash nozzle on the roof – a known fault (not that common though) is the seal around the washer jet failing and allowing water into the car. Check rear roof lining for water staining and the rear seats to see if there wet.
It is also possible to retro-delete a rear wiper by removing said wiper and fitting a rubber plug or having the rear boot filled/painted.

Contrary to beliefs, push button starter and parcel shelf‘s were additional cost options and not included in the C-Pack option.


Face Lift variants

Sept 2003, Honda revised the pre-face lift slightly and basically was just the screen washer jet casing being body colour coded (some people have since upgraded theirs to the Honda Jazz washer jets as its more of a spray than a stream)

Sept 2004 aka Face Lift: Honda undertook quite a few changes and lead to the DC5 having a more ‘softer‘ look (in my opinion)
Exterior
New front and rear lights (lost the dimples basically)
Bumpers redesigned to accommodate new light shape
New front grille design
Blue changed from Arctic Blue to Vivid Blue, both are Pearl Metallic paint
Suspension redesigned – aftermarket kits for pre facelift do not fit face lift models and vice versa

Interior
Apparently the main dials are now white (pre‘s are silver)
Aluminium gear stick knob and hand brake. Pedals are titanium in colour
Suspension revised – after market kits for pre/post face lift are different so check before ordering
I believe there may have been a few other smaller things but the above are the main changes.


Body Work
DC5‘s are in general rust free with only one member reporting rust on a body panel. Other and more common locations are the wheel arches due to stone chippings. If caught early enough, Honda sell touch-up pens that feature a small wire brush, primer and colour paint so you can DIY fix the rust spots. If it‘s progressed quite a bit, then it‘ll be a body shop job.

Regarding the engine bay, some parts are going to rust due to the location/materials there manufactured from. However it is possible to purchase replacement bolts and simple bracketry from Honda or any other motor part specialist should you so wish to. If the cars got a dirty engine bay, don‘t fret as a bit of elbow grease and engine degreaser will get most of it off.

Other items too look for are that all the panels line up with each other, if they don‘t it could be that a clip/screw has come loose or it could be something more sinister. Check in the engine bay and boot for other signs of accident damage.

Bumpers a different colour to the rest of the body – don‘t worry, Honda used to spray bumpers away from the cars in the factory and so would always come in various shades of the same colour (my step-dads S2000 had this and was new from factory) when compared to the main shell.


Under sealing
Out in Japan, they do not use salt and other nasties on their roads that we in the UK do and as such, do not under seal (make the underside water-resistant) their cars. When the cars are imported into the UK, the importers will, in general, under seal the cars prior to sale, though you‘ll need to check to what level the car has been under sealed - even the reputable dealer‘s past/present scrimp abit on this and just do the arches/main seam (where you jack the car up). If the cars not been fully under sealed then it‘s no real problem as any body shop can under seal it for you or it‘s even a DIY job if you‘ve got the tools/space.


Lights
Front; Issues with the front lights are that condensation can creep into them – you can turn on the main light and it evaporates the water until you turn them off or alternatively a night in the airing cupboard will also dry them out.

When you turn on HID‘s there should be a little flicker at the start and then produces the bluey white light. If the light emitted is a shade of pink, then the ‘pack‘ (located under the light but a bumper off job) is on its way out. A replacement pack from Honda is around 160 quid though you can source another pack online from Light specialists. If the lights do not produce the bluey white light do not worry, the car my just have ‘normal‘ bulbs.

It is possible to purchase after market light clusters but all have been designed for the RSX and therefore have the beam pattern will go to the right. This in turn will not allow you to see the near side road as much and blind on-coming drivers.

Rear Lights, have two issues.
1st – Occasionally they some let water into the housing – simply remove the offending light, drill a small hole in the casing where it can‘t be seen and let the water drain out, reseal with a clear sealant and continue around the rest of the casing
2nd – Occasionally water seeps in behind the light and travels down into the spare wheel well. Lift up the boot carpet and check for water. If waters found, dry it and attend to any ‘rust‘ patches.

Fog Lights; the good ol' Japs do not have fog lights on their cars but instead use flares (flare holder is in passenger foot well). In order to make them road legal, the importer will have installed a fog light onto the car to pass the test. Generally a separate light will be installed under the rear bumper in the middle (prone to getting hit by speed bumps if due care is not paid) or cut into the rear bumper.

A popular mod however is to move the rear fog into a rear light and use one of the reversing light sections (DC5 has 2 reverse lights, only 1 is needed) and either paint the clear lens red (nail varnish or proper tint spray) or alternatively use a red bulb.


Side stickers
If they‘re missing, it could be down to accident damage and it‘s a new panel, been resprayed (for whatever reason) or the owner may have preferred a more ‘clean‘ look so don‘t be too worried if it‘s missing. Though they are 25 quid a pop for a new one from Honda

Another thing to note that there‘s 3 different types of Side Sticker, I believe White and Silver have a different one when compared to Blue/Black/Red whilst mine has a different one compared to everyone else‘s (only seen one other one like mine and mine was a former Honda Demo car)
 

kingston

Advanced Member
Messages
3,257
Interior
For a car costing around 13k gbp on the road in Japan, the interior isn‘t too basic/made for the purpose of the car (fast road/track); yes there is lack of sound deadening and other creature comforts that you‘d find in the Civic Type R for example. However, what it lacks in comfort it makes up for in driver ergonomics and experience; everything is within finger tip reach for the driver (due to the dash being angled towards you, along with the lack of multi-function buttons and simple to use knobs).


Additional OEM extras are silver inserts around the air vent surrounds (not pictured in the above). Alternatively, some owners are wrapping parts to add either a splash of colour or carbon look but this wasn‘t an OEM option.

The rear seats are split folding and when folded down, create a cavernous load area (large enough to swallow a washing machine with ease). The actual part that you sit on is a simple bench design that just clips into place (quick tug on the front pops it out) while underneath there‘s ISO-Fix points for a baby seat and harnesses.

Parcel shelf, as mentioned before, is a cost addition to everyone. Some importers used to be able to get them for you for 150 quid, otherwise check the classifieds on here and eBay UK and USA. You may also require the hangers (that clip it to the boot lid); help is in hand in the form of Dave Steel (Honda dealer, search for contact details) who can sort you out. Some people may not want this but it helps with visual security and de-misting in the winter.

Under the carpet in the boot you‘ll find a spare wheel (though occasionally this will be removed) and a simple tool kit. If you lift up the carpet, you may find a pool of water (see rear light section) and maybe some light surface rust that shouldn‘t be anything major that a quick scrub won‘t cure.

Push Start button – can be retro-fitted if you so desire, I believe an S2000 one works but have a search on this forum for more information

Passenger Foot well – In the passenger foot well, you‘ll notice some sort of clip that holds a cylindrical based object, that‘s the flare holder that the Japanese have instead of fog lights. Please note that it is illegal in this country to have a live flare in your car as in contravenes some Firearms Act. You can however buy live/dead ones off eBay should you wish to complete the JDM look.

Seats:
Should you own the set of blue seats, one issue you may have will be the need to change the alcantara due to rip/tears; Recaro will not sell you the fabric due to Honda owning the rights to it. So no matter how much you try, it‘s not possible (if it has been possible, nobody has posted claiming so).

However the fabrics pretty hard wearing considering so shouldn‘t be an issue for anyone. If they are ripped/holed etc then a replacement 2nd hand set of seats will cost circa 800 quid (I believe though check eBay).

Other issues with the seats are;
1. Side bolsters sometimes sag if the owner is ‘large in the waist‘ or lazy getting out of the car and squashes down the thigh bolster (therefore it loses shape over a period of time). However, replacement bolsters can be brought, have a search for Capital Seating for more information
Mines starting to sag now as its being used more daily

2. The point at which the seat belt cuts across the shoulder bit area can get worn down and give the worn tatty look to the alcantara. If it‘s already occurred then you‘ll need to buy a new seat if you‘re that fussed (check ebay breakers). Started to occur here before preventative action;


Alternatively a way to prevent it from happening is to place another fabric in this location; some use shoulder pads, some have modified other cars shoulder strap system, I use my harness folded over the shoulder;


Gear Knob – It is was very rare for a DC5 to come over with a OEM gear knob (same as an EP3 CTR knob but in titanium) as they often got lost in transition (i.e. someone nicked it before it was shipped), hence why many do not have OEM knobs.

Steering Wheel – More use the wheel receives, the shinier it gets so if a car has (for example) done 70k miles it will have a shiny wheel, where as a 20k one is more ‘matte‘ looking, I wouldn‘t be too worried. Again you can buy replacement OEM wheel or a new aftermarket one if you‘re that bothered

Carpet and Floor Mats – Yes these will get dirty but nothing a bit of TLC won‘t be able to sort out. I put my mats into the washing machine on a wool wash (no spin) and while normal purpose made car fabric shampoo will clean the carpets (bit obvious really but...)

Pedals – no issues as such but the rubber grips can get worn down/fall off. I believe that universal rubber grips/dots are available as replacements or buy a new set.
 

kingston

Advanced Member
Messages
3,257
Engine
The engines in themselves are pretty reliable as long as they‘ve been looked after and serviced regularly. I believe/going by what people have posted on here around 6 engines have gone bang, 2 from people down shifting (3rd to 2nd instead of 3rd to 4th) while others have gone ‘bang‘ for reasons undisclosed. Obviously not all DC5 owners are on here or own up to their mishaps so I can only go on by what I‘ve read. While a couple of people have gone well into the 100k+ in their tegs and no doubt in the EP3 (similar engine, just ours has slightly better internals hence more power) you‘ll find high milers as well so don‘t put that you off of one – just make sure it‘s been maintained.

If you‘re coming from a turbo car then the power delivery will be totally different – this is ‘smooth‘ through the range (or should be). From 1-5.5k rpm the engines quite docile though you can make progress easy enough within the power band (contrary to what appears to be belief, you don‘t need to rag it to make progress all the time) then the cams alter angle and vtec kicks in which then rushes you to the 8.5k redline, the exhaust and engine pitch will also change at this point as well as it takes on a new characteristic.

With regards to servicing, there is/was confusion over the servicing intervals – some believed it was to be every 9000/1 year, others 12,000/1 year. Some owners will change oil every 6 months/some on an annual basis.

If you consult the Service History booklet (if it doesn‘t have one, replacements can be brought from Honda) it also tells you when/which service should be minor/major and when the valve clearance needs to be checked amongst other thing. So check to see if it‘s had the allocated service at the correct time, if it‘s possible, also have a read through the service receipts that should document what else was carried out and when.

These are common and known issues affecting the engine;
  • Hunting for revs on start up: caused by generally a sticking butterfly/IACV valve after a period of time of not being driven. Can normally be cleared by a quick drive to get everything moving again, via cleaning or unfortunately, replacement parts.
  • Rattle whilst driving: Could be coming from the manifold or drive shaft heat shield. Many DC5‘s have had this removed. Heat shield replacements are available from Honda though these will eventually rattle and there‘s no loss from removing the heat shield anyway. If it‘s not the heat shield then have it professionally checked out
  • Engine Mounts; The engine mounts (4 no.) are unfortunately prone to fail but not all together. Normally identifiable via excessive vibrations in the car (though check that there‘s not an ETD fitted, see below) though alternatively and if the cars jack up, visual and physical inspection can reveal if they‘ve ripped though brute force will be required for the physical inspection.
  • Remedial works will need to be replacing with new OEM/aftermarket mounts and then the following can occur; Leave it as is, install mount inserts (generally hard plastic that fits in-between the gaps of the OEM mount) or an Engine Torque Damper (ETD). If you do decide to upgrade the mounts with inserts or an ETD then you will suffer from vibration within the cabin as the engine is now ‘mated‘ to the chassis and not free moving.
  • Screeching on start-up; some cars will make a horrible screeching sound on start up, don‘t be alarmed it‘s just that the starter motor is cold. There are no known fixes for this bar ordering a replacement part but even that could go the same way after a period of time – nothing to be alarmed by.
  • Heavy rain/sounds like a bag of nails; not something that occurs regularly (think I‘ve had it twice in 5 years of ownership) but when driving in heavy torrential rain the car can sound like a bag of bolts – this is created by the frequency and resonance being given off by the engine interacting with the water and making a terrible noise. Drop it down a gear/up and the noise goes until you reach that rpm level again.
  • Not engaging vtec – Can only be checked on a test drive and not on idle (safety reasons). I believe this is due to a lack of engine oil – pull over and check immediately. If oils fine then consult a mechanic or have a search on here
  • Car not going above 112 mph – Should you rightly or wrongly take it to this speed and above, you may find it stops at 112 mph. This is due to that all cars in Japan are governed by a 112 mph speed restrictor. The speed restrictor can be removed for around 100-200quid.
However, most importers remove this at time of importing so not something to really look for, especially on a test drive (in fear of losing your license and going against the ‘law)


Track days
DC5‘s where built to go around track and if you‘ve never tracked one, you have no idea what you‘re missing out on. I remember reading somewhere that the roof line is high in comparison to where your head ends is so that drivers can wear helmets and not have to worry about being cramped! (Though this could be a lot of rubbish but it sounds good ;).

Don‘t be put off by a car that‘s been tracked as long as it‘s had the maintenance to go with it. A properly maintained track car will be better purchase than a poorly maintained road car. It could be argued that a car that‘s a weekend toy or regularly ‘driven with enthusiasm‘ is in no better mechanical condition than a track slag as both will be put through similar stresses.

So remember to buy on condition and history and not the mileage/life it may have lead!


Oil
Oil branding is subject to the previous owner‘s choice and what was recommended to them. Though the more common ones are Fuchs/Silkolene 5w-40 and Castrol Edge 10w-60. For more information on how grading works, have a search for Oilman and Opie oils on this forum if you‘re unsure. Opie Oils will also recommend you an oil as well should you be stuck on choice.
Some DC5‘s will drink oil, others won‘t. It will all depend on how the engine has been treated in its previous ownership, i.e. if it‘s been a track slag and the engine always buzzing then yes it‘s going to drink oil, if it‘s been used to cruise about in with hardly any load on the engine then it won‘t. If you are going to track it, you‘re best off over filling it by 1mm and then monitoring it throughout the day.

If you intend to track the DC5 and run semi-slick tyres, you‘ll need a baffled sump to stop oil deprivation that can occur under hard cornering. Most cost effective option is to contact TGM and Buddy club (believe BC manufacture their own) and purchase theirs if you‘re not wanting to be a JDM brand whore and get ripped off.


Gear Box
The gear box is generally quite good with the only known issue being the 2nd Gear synchro mesh (basically tough to get into gear).
Some people have fitted short shifter kits with B+M and Buddy Club being favoured. However some people have reported issues with the Buddy Club kit, though easily rectifiable by removing it and reverting back to OEM. While others have altered the final drive for track use.
Another point is that there are some DC5‘s that are semi-automatic and do not feature a clutch pedal but retain the gear box. These are however rare and I don‘t think many have been imported into the country.


LSD
The DC5 does have a LSD fitted as standard and I don‘t believe there are any known issues with it. Some people have upgraded theirs to being more track orientated but what it adds on track, it takes away from the road driving aspect.
 

kingston

Advanced Member
Messages
3,257
Basic Tuning
If you haven‘t already noticed, most DC5‘s will have been modified in one way or another. Some will have different exhausts, air filters and go all the way through the performance and styling modifications. I‘m not going to go into brands etc as you‘ll find owners loyal to each brand and dismissing others etc so it can become a bit clouded.

However, don‘t let modifications put you off a car potentially as you could find it more financial sense in the long run as tuning a N/A engine is never going to be ‘cheap‘ in order to get big HP gains, however the following options are the most ‘basic‘ tuning options available;

Exhausts – No main issues with an exhaust and most DC5‘s will have scrapes and dings in the B-Pipe as its quite low hanging unfortunately.
Upgrades will be subjective to your budget and noise requirements. If you intend to track it, stay away from the ASBO exhaust and stick with quieter one otherwise unless you‘re on a 102/105db day, you‘ll be wasting your money booking it. Have a search on the Exhaust section to find out what people are running and have a look at this guide http://www.itr-dc5.com/forum/index.php?/topic/5373-exhaust-catalog-of-dc5r-integra/

As well as the normal cat-back exhaust, you can purchase manifolds as well that will go from 4-1 or a 4-2-1 (comes in 2 parts, 4-2 and 2-1), most will remove the cat though some allow to keep it or install a sports cat. You may also want to upgrade the engine mounts to prevent the manifold from cracking – some manifolds feature their own in built design by having springs and stuff but remember it will only have a guaranty for motorsport use only ;)


Air Intake – Again debates can get very ‘heated‘ over this and again will be determined by your budget. You‘ll also hear about heat soak and hydro lock, again have a search on the internet and come to your own conclusion.


RBC Inlet – Air inlet plenum that bolts onto the front of your engine, available from Ebay USA, very good value/performance, though will need mapping to make the most of it.


ECU Mapping – ECU mapping can come as plug and play items (Mugen) that are already pre-programmed to make use of an upgraded air filter/exhaust combo though there non-reprogrammable and the map on it may not be best suited to your mods that you have.

Alternatively, you could go down the programmable ECU route which can be set-up by a tuner on the rolling/open road. The most common/talked about is the K-Pro though there are others out there on the market. If you decide to K-Pro budget around 1k gbp inc. mapping though 2nd hand ones do come up on the market for around 600 gbp. If you‘re feeling brave/understand programming then it is possible set the car up by yourself, if you don‘t then leave it to a pro!

If you still decide that this is not enough then you can either go cams, supercharge or turbo charged route. Again speak to a tuner about this and what would be best for you but budget around 5k gbp for the works (though I expect you‘d get quite abit of change).

If you have the knowledge or skill then it is possible to carry out performance works yourself as some are doing (have a search for build threads). Other ways to keep costs down are to buy 2nd hand parts or decide what state of tune you‘d like to purchase a car in and take it from there.

For any idea on what power can be achieved, please see this link http://www.itr-dc5.com/forum/index.php?/topic/5596-most-powerfull-na-car-on-here/page__st__520


Foot Works
There aren‘t any major issues to report apart from one recall (affected earlier models) that DC5‘s should have had sorted by now.

However, most owners are not happy with the OEM set-up and look to change parts to suit their driving style/budget/expectations/aesthetic reasons


Suspension
While there is nothing wrong with the OEM suspension settings many people find it a bit too harsh for their liking (roads in Japan are far superior to ours) and will modify accordingly;
OEM Struts + Aftermarket Springs – Cheapest option, many are happy with it, lowers the car by x mm

Aftermarket Coil over kits – again another minefield and depending on your budget will dictate what you can get though check the classifieds for some potential bargains. Again I‘m not going to mention brands and have a search in the suspension section of the forum to find out people‘s views on what they have. EP3 CTR coil over kits can work on the DC5 but they do need extra bits and pieces to make them compatible.

If your allowed to jack the car up to have a play with the suspension arm, you may notice a bit of play in the strut, normally, this is something to be alarmed by but it may be nothing, check to see if the strut is leaking (maybe possible to get a new ones pending on make) and see if there‘s excess vibration/movement through the steering wheel. If there is play and nothing being feedback through the steering wheel then don‘t get worried by it as speaking to a tuner, it does occur quite a bit and some of their race cars have it as well.

Out on the test drive, there shouldnt be any knocking sounds or any sounds at all coming from the suspension when going in a straight line or turning. If there is, it could be that somethings become unseated/popped out and needs readjustment or it could be something more sinister.

Fast Road Set-up aka FRSU – basically gives the suspension a more aggressive stance but improves in the handling stakes dramatically. Depending on who set it up will depend on the settings you have and if it‘s been set-up mainly for track or road. Downside to a FRSU set-up is that it increases tyre wear on the inside shoulder, again depending on the set-up will dictate the severity on tyre wear, though tbh, I‘m running at the ‘extreme‘ edge of road set-up and my tyre wear is very minimal with the outside edge only being 1/2mm longer lasting than the inside edge...

Strut Braces & Cages – The DC5 already has front and rear strut braces but an owner may decide to upgrade these for both performance and aesthetical reasons. Either way you can get strut braces in the following locations;
Engine Bay – Lots of different brands/styles whilst some come with an ETD or the option for an ETD to be bolted onto it at a later date
B Pillar – Along the bottom of the floor by the B-Pillar/Behind the seats
C Pillar – Low – connects between the tops of the rear suspension struts
High – Connects between the rear seat belt mounting points
Cage – Lot more serious and tends to need the rear stripping out completely. Converse with a race team concerning this modification.


Brakes
The OEM set-up is generally more than adequate for the road, however peoples driving styles/intentions will dictate if they upgrade or not;
OEM Set-up
OEM discs + upgraded pads
Upgraded discs and pads
Upgraded everything possible

No issues to report as such but check for wear on discs and pads.

Other options are to upgrade the brake fluid oil and install stainless steel braided brake hoses.

Callipers can be prone to stone chipping and paint fading over time. Off the shelf kits are available to repaint the callipers or alternatively you can have them stripped down and resprayed in an alternate colour (slowly becoming popular).


Tyres + Wheels
Again tyres are very subjective to a person‘s personal preference and budget. Ideally and in order to maximise the handling experience the DC5 has to offer you need to be running some decent rubber and not a ‘budget brand‘ tyre. However, do note that because a tyre is ‘cheap‘ does not make it a bad tyre, i.e. when the Hankook RS2‘s where released, they came in at around 75 a corner – very good in the dry average in the wet but it is a fast road/track/summer tyre.

OEM tyre size is 215/45/17 and ideally you‘d be looking for an XL version (if they do it of the tyre) for the stiffer sidewalls. Again tyre choice is very much dependant on the owners driving style and budget though ideally you don‘t want to scrimp on these. If you‘re going to be using it as a daily drive, I personally would recommend non-XL tyres as they absorb the bumps a lot better, down side is that they can be a bit squidgy if put under a sudden load.

215/40/17‘s do fit but they‘ll make the speedo under-read by 7-10mph

225/45/17‘s also fit but depending on the suspension settings a cars running you may encounter scrubbing.

If you intend to track it then it is possible to fit 15‘s on but only the Team Dynamic‘s Pro Race 1.2 will fit over the callipers. However, it‘s very hard to get TD to manufacture a set so your best bet is to trawl the classifieds or check on Hondas-On-Track.

18‘s will also fit but you‘ll probably need the arches rolled and will no doubt ruin the handling.

You can run alternate sizes and brands on the axle but make sure that the tyres are the same on each axle, for example on mine I‘m currently running 215/45/17s (both Good Year F1‘s) on the front and 225/45/17 (both Michelin PS3‘s) at the rear and it‘s never tried to swap ends due to mechanical reasons (driver error yes but not mechanical). However, if you‘ve got a budget brand tyre on the rear and decent brand front, then I can only speculate on what‘s going to happen.

On the move
Ok, so you‘ve checked it over visually by yourself or an approved mechanic and you‘re going out for a test drive, these are general things you may notice;
1. White ‘smoke‘ on start up – normally condensation within the exhaust pipe work and will disappear after a short while/once it‘s warmed up. Generally noticeable in cold weather
2. Screeching sound on start up – cold started motor – nothing to worry about
3. Pulls to the left/right – could be following the contours of the road, balance weight is missing or potentially a broken component in the suspension somewhere (mechanic should find this)
4. Excessive vibrations in the cabin – check for an ETD or mount inserts.
5. Check its able to engage VTEC
6. Undertake the normal things to look for on a road test. Google will be your friend here if you have any doubt.
7. There shouldn‘t be any sound coming from the suspension, if there is then get it looked at
 

jay82

Advanced Member
Messages
2,185
great write up =D>
External Body with internal colour combinations;
The following are the external colours and respective internal colouring schemes of the front seats. All rear seats are black irrespective of body colour and the carpet matches the front seat colouring.
Blue – Blue/Black. Pre-Face Lift cars are Arctic Blue Pearl Metallic, while Face Lift Cars are Vivid Blue Pearl Metallic
Championship White aka cream – Red/Black
Milano Red – Black
Silver – Black
Night Hawk Black – Red/Black
red and silver came with red interiors
 

Woppywop

Advanced Member
Messages
772
Excellent post Kingston!! Makes good reading also a couple of things I now need to look at on my car!!

Cheers for that :)
 

C&S Evo7

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
8,229
AH ha James, is it finished? i will proof read then sticky it later on.
 

kingston

Advanced Member
Messages
3,257
Im finished with it; im sure theres stuff ive missed out, can be re-written into the correct gramatical English etc so be my guest and then buy my car :xcheers:
 

ItWasntMe

Advanced Member
Messages
594
it‘s classed as a Group 20 car
Didn't they revise the groups upto 50 now instead of 20?

Where does it stand in the ratings out of 50?

Great post btw. Just killed my morning at work! :xcheers:
 

jdmsteve

Advanced Member
Messages
483
I think it's insurance group 38, I'm sure someone can confirm.

Excellent read and very helpful to perspective buyers
;)
 

Stoo

Whining.....
Messages
3,201
I wasn't far off sending you my proofed/corrected/added to version...... :S
 

kingston

Advanced Member
Messages
3,257
Had lots of free time at work im afraid plus im going to sell mine soon.

Send yours to Si as hes going to check it all over and what not.

Plus you should have said, got the impression that you was busy
 

kingston

Advanced Member
Messages
3,257
Well, i brought its replacement last year and things are looking peachy with work so i have no need for 2 track day/fast road cars and fancy something 4x4 (mainly for the winter tbh) and comfy. I dont really want to sell though as everytime i drive it it makes me smile and ive finally found some tyres that are good for everyday driving (didnt help that i mostly ran semi slicks/summer tyres but...)

Admittedly i could buy 3 and run 3 cars but tbh i cant be bothered with the outlay and have 3x the costs of everything, plus the replacement is going to need alot of money spent on it to get it track ready.
 

Mr David

Member
Messages
21
Well, i brought its replacement last year and things are looking peachy with work so i have no need for 2 track day/fast road cars and fancy something 4x4 (mainly for the winter tbh) and comfy. I dont really want to sell though as everytime i drive it it makes me smile and ive finally found some tyres that are good for everyday driving (didnt help that i mostly ran semi slicks/summer tyres but...)

Admittedly i could buy 3 and run 3 cars but tbh i cant be bothered with the outlay and have 3x the costs of everything, plus the replacement is going to need alot of money spent on it to get it track ready.
Ah ok fair enough. Shame as it's a bloody nice car, different which is what i like about it.

Oh and carbon fibre bonnet would make it lush. 8)
 
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