Endurance Civic: Out with the broken

The Rally.Build shop acquired a racecar with a long history of both rally and endurance racing this summer.  It is a 1990 Civic hatch with a Rally America logbook and WRL tech stickers.  The previous owner was ready to move on after the motor overheated during a race and happily traded the car for parts for his new build.  Optimistically we assumed the head-gasket had just gone and caused the overheating.  Slowly over the course of many beers and snide honda-bro “vtec yo” jokes a new head-gasket was installed.  Unfortunately when it was back together it became obvious something much worse was wrong with the motor.  Starting it up there was a loud knock.  For a while the shop tried to sell the car to someone looking for a cheep racecar but with no serious offers we decided to fix it for endurance racing.  The plan is for the WRL 24hr race at High Plains raceway later this year.

The first step was to pull the motor.  On an old honda this is fairly straightforward.  There is plenty of room to work and the transmission comes out with the motor.  The most difficult parts were things that were installed after the fact.  On the speed cable from the transmission we found a terratrip speed sensor spliced in.  Disconnecting the speed sensor from the transmission became so difficult we eventually just pulled the whole stem out of the cable.  Now that the motor is out the next step is to disassemble it and see what is wrong.

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