Step One: Making Room For Big-Ass Brakes

As expected, since nothing can be perfect, the first change to our humble project car also entails the first compromise.  

I've already said I'm doing this project the 'right' way, by making a capable chassis before dropping in the VTEC drivetrain. For brakes, I decided to go with Integra discs in the rear, and a huge 4-piston Wilwood setup from fastbrakes in the front. But those brakes aren't going to fit inside my crappy 13" Honda steelies, so before I could do anything substantial, I needed to upgrade the wheels & tires.

I had planned to use 15-inch stock Honda steelies to keep with the low-key sleeper look, but fastbrakes' Brian Hasty warned me that they might not fit over the big brakes. Since there are no 16-inch steelies for Hondas, I went with 16x7 Konig Reign rims.

I ordered online and had them shipped directly to the compound. They're holding Nitto "Extreme Performance" 205/40VR-16 tires. I've seen a lot of 195s on cars like mine, so I figured 205s would take a little massaging at worst. I don't mind slapping the fenderwells with a bat, if I need to, to make a little more rubber fit.
They fit fine and fill the wheelwells nicely. My fears were unfounded, as the rims/tires don't make the car look too 'riceboy'. They're actually sort of non-descript, which I like. So far no rubs or scrapes, and the front end can stand a little lowering in the future. We'll get to that.  


These wide, flat, sticky tires have a very agressive footprint. This car is stuck to the road like never before- the stock brakes can just barely lock the front wheels on dry pavement, and there's enough grip to raise the problem of torque steer. They falter in the wet, but still outshine the old 175/70-13 pinners by a mile.
Shit! Now I have something on my car that's one of my peeves- big, open wheels with a teeny little drum brake behind them. It just screams 'all show, no go', which is the opposite of what this project is about.

So, next up will definitely be the Integra rear disc swap. Stay tuned.


Front Door