It's all about balanceWhile the Si is a great car straight from the factory, one of its best attributes is that it responds very well to fairly simple changes. In other words, it lends itself well to tuning. We proved that with the TOV's Project Si - with some basic bolt on suspension and engine parts we turned the $20000 coupe into a vehicle capable of turning laptimes that were competitive with Evos and STIs.
Despite the "handicap" of its front-wheel-drive configuration, the Si can be tuned to handle with a very neutral attitude. This is the first area that I will address on my Si Sedan. Since this is my daily driver, and will be used to shuttle my family around, I don't want to sacrifice too much in terms of ride quality. Thus, the first thing I did was to install a stiffer rear swaybar. I chose Part # 62.1009 from Progress Technology. It's a straight bolt-on, 22mm in diameter (up from the stock bar's 17mm diameter), and the installation is very straightforward, requiring less than 30 minutes, including jacking the car up onto stands. The effects of the swaybar alone are subtle, but I do notice a reduction in understeer and a slight improvement in turn-in response. This is only half of my "improve the balance" mission, however. The next step will be setting up the front alignment with a bit of negative camber, in order to keep the front tires from scrubbing off so much of the shoulders during hard cornering. This will require the installation of camber kits (such as these, which I happen to have sitting in my garage) and a professional alignment. I'll let you know how it works out in a later update.
SSR Comp-H Wheels and Nitto NT-01 Tires
Just for kicks, I mounted up the Project Si's 17" SSR Comp-H wheels to the car to see how it looks with them. Overall, I think it looks pretty sharp, though if the car were to wear them on a more permanent basis, I think it would need to be lowered about an inch or so to look right (but how would that impact ride quality?). Even in the cool weather we have at this time of year, the 235/40 NT-01s possess an impressive amount of grip. It's too bad they sound like studded snow tires, though, else I might be tempted to drive them outside of track days. The only downside to mounting these wheels was that after a few short trips, the "TPMS" warning light began glowing on the dashboard.
Anything under the hood?
In stock form, the Si's K20Z3 is quite a bit of fun. But we already know that it can be even more fun with a few tweaks. With that in mind, I plan to get the ECU reflashed with Hondata's program. Beyond that, I'll probably install a header on the car to see if we can pick up a few additional ponies. More on that when we get to it.