Sunday, December 04, 2016

Long Term Ownership Review: CRZ - Upgrades

In my four and a half years of ownership of the car, these are the short list of enhancements or modifications made:

1. C-Quartz Finest glass coat - icing on top of the cake that comes with new car purchase... it has been more than 3 years now, and the coating has probably worn off. From weekly washes during early years to once a month, currently. In dire need a coat of wax before CNY next year.

2. Mugen shift knob - missing that titanium shifter feel. Nice to hold, but not after the car is parked under the hot sun for a couple of hours.

3. JDP duck-tail spoiler - the rear end needs a bit of subtle aesthetics enhancement to make it stand out from the stock standard crowd.

4. Carbon fiber decal wrap on the tail spoiler and side mirrors - yet again a subtle aesthetics add-ons.

5. Supercircuit test pipe (2nd cat delete) - less restriction, more ease of expelling the exhaust gas. Probably the single piece of upgrade that yields some performance that can be felt. The engine seems to breath better at mid range and wants to rev a little bit higher.

6. Remus Cat-back exhaust system - the back piece of the exhaust system upgrade that enhances the audible experience. No longer cat quiet, but with a slight bassy rumble at idle, and the tone picks up with opening of the throttle. Louder in a subtle way, but not annoyingly loud.
7. Skunk2 engine oil and radiator cap - cosmetic upgrade pieces brought over from my ex-Project Civic.

8. OEM FD2R red Honda emblem (front and rear) - The car has potential to wear the 'R' pedigree badge, just not yet realized.

Life priorities have changed much since 5 years ago, but these are still on my wish list for the Z to live up to its full potential:

1. HKS Stage 2 bolt-on Supercharger Kit - performance of the stock 1.5L i-VTEC SOHC engine leaves much to be desired, especially at the mid to upper revs band where it goes out of breath, as compared to the legendary B-series engines coming to live with the signature DOHC VTEC crossover point at above 6,000rpm. At the low end though, the torque is quite healthy and the delivery is assisted by the IMA battery, giving it a pull not unlike a car with a bigger engine displacement. According to reviews, the Stage 2 kit will boost up the power to a more respectable 170 - 180bhp region, with significant performance gains at the mid to higher revs, which works in tandem with the IMA assist working its optimum at the lower revs.
2. Adjustable coil-over suspension kit - to optimize the ride height and tighten up the handling. Not much complains I have on the stock suspension setup, though I feel it would look much nicer with an additional 1" drop (will still clear bumps and undulations on the road nicely).
3. Lighter and sized up wheels - I'm digging the classic looks of 17" Enkei RPF01 with proper offset to fill up the big wheel arches of the Z. Stock rims are good and light enough, but the offset looks a bit too tame.
4. J's Racing GT Wing - for the wild-er look with performance to match.
5. Upgraded clutch - the stock clutch tends to bog during fast gear changes, especially when pushed hard and shifting at the rev limit.

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