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The Spoon Center Drive Civic: 2017 Changes

by Mike Kojima

 

2016 was a pretty disappointing Super Lap Battle for Spoon USA. In the rush after the Formula D season to upgrade the cage, repair the broken transmission and switch to a center seat driving position, the car was not fully ready for the 2016 Super Lap Battle, and it showed with a slower lap time than it's winning 2015 speed. A little time was needed to finish the car off and that was not happening due to the end of the FD season, SEMA and everyone's time commitments. 

Since Spoon wanted to recall the car back to Japan to retire it, the 2017 Super lap battle was to be the car's last USA event. It was decided to do all the small things that there wasn't time for in 2016 just to see what the car's potential might be without spending much money or involving a lot of work. Here is what was done. 

 

Inadequate brakes have always been a problem with the car, so brake expert extraordinaire, Ganesh Krishnan, was called in to help sort things out.

The brake pads were switched to Project Mu H21 compound which works up to 700 degrees C. This is critical, as brake ducting was eliminated to improve aero performance. H21 has a rising mu from 0.40 to 0.43 in a linear manner with pressure. 

The old cracking discs were replaced with Prosystem parts which have a metallurgy comparable to the Iron Brembo rotors with a better price. Both the pads and the rotors were pre-bedded on a brake dyno so that they would be race ready out of the box.

The calipers were rebuilt and all of the rotor floating hardware was replaced with new OEM Brembo parts to complete the front brake system overhaul.

 

In the rear, Project Mu Club Racer pads were used.  Since typically an FWD car hardly uses the rear brakes, it was deemed that such exotica was not really needed. 

New stock rear calipers and rotors completed the rear brakes. However in hindsight, perhaps because of the amount of rear downforce and possibly due to the far rearward position of the center seat driver and the prior effort to place as much weight as possible rearward, the rear brakes were worked very hard.

The rear brake temperatures were very high and at sometimes even hotter than the front brakes. The brake bias worked fine and the rear brake held together, but future development of the car would call for upgrading the rear brakes as well.

 

In the previous year, converting the car to having the center seat called for the use of a PE Racing pedal box. In the rush to get the car running, the correct master cylinders were not available at the time, so a lot of pedal effort was needed to slow the car.

PE Racing sent the correct smaller diameter cylinders to better match the car's calipers, and the cylinders' rods were properly set to assure that the bias controlling balance bar was correctly centered as straight when the bias was set correctly.

While everything was apart, a clutch pedal stop, as shown here, which was left out by accident in haste was installed and adjusted properly. 

 

On the other side of the pedal box, the throttle stop was correctly installed as shown here.

With good pads and rotors with the pedal box now working correctly, the brake now worked well and Dai could focus on driving, instead of dealing with brakes and not over pushing the throttle and clutch! 

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Comments
Isaac
Isaaclink
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 4:00 PM
So you are going to build the new type R right???!!
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 8:03 PM
possibly
spdracerut
spdracerutlink
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 9:49 PM
Bummer the transmission couldn't hold more power.
Zissou
Zissoulink
Thursday, December 21, 2017 4:50 PM
I love these articles that show all the details that make a car actually work instead of just having fancy parts on it. I'm glad I got to see this car at the event, I would have looked closer had I known it was going home.

It was also great to meet you Mike, I didn't want to be that guy to bug you while you were working, but like I said, I've been reading your articles since I was a kid. And seriously, come check out my facility here in Reno if you're ever in the area.
Randy
Randylink
Wednesday, December 27, 2017 6:08 PM
hi mike, can you share what seal you guys used to seal the bumper to the splitter
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