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1991 Honda Accord - Racing The 24 Hours Of Lemons
Can You Really Make A Race Car Out Of A Honda?
By Jeff Huneycutt, Photography by Jeff Huneycutt
September 01, 2009
It's a good idea to always keep an eye out for cheap upgrades. While crawling through the junkyard looking for replacement suspension components, someone found an Accord equipped with a rear sway bar. We cut it off that car (the bolts were rusted solid to the chassis) and welded the mounts up to our Accord. The bar is so small it can't help much, but it should be better than nothing.
It's a good idea to always keep an eye out for cheap upgrades. While crawling through the
LeMons allows a standard fuel tank, but we just weren't comfortable racing with it. Plus, we hope to take the little Honda to some oval track events when we're done, so we installed an ATL fuel cell. This 12-gallon cell has a Kevlar liner inside the metal shell for great protection. But look closely and you'll notice some differences between this cell and your standard model for carbureted race cars. ATL makes this model easy to work with for fuel-injected engines thanks to a return feed inlet. Also, notice how the fuel cell is mounted in the car. Hargett built a 'cage around the cell with 1-inch square tubing and then mounted that to the rollcage with tubing clamps that we got from Bradley Auto Parts at all four corners. This allows us to move the cell to the left or right to adjust weight distribution if necessary. This will be helpful later on oval tracks.
LeMons allows a standard fuel tank, but we just weren't comfortable racing with it. Plus,
Here's a look at the cell from the bottom. The square tubing forms a secure box around the cell so that it can't be ripped free from the car. The fuel cell is also mounted higher than the center crossmember so even if a wheel does get knocked off, there's no way it will drag the ground.
Here's a look at the cell from the bottom. The square tubing forms a secure box around the
The doors of the Honda were gutted, and the skins welded in place, so a removable steering wheel setup was needed to get in to and out of the seat quickly. We're using Allstar Performance's steering wheel quick disconnect. It was a bit of a challenge with the stock steering column, but worth it. The solution was to completely strip the steering column and then weld a steel sleeve to it. The sleeve fit the i.d. of the splined disconnect. Instead of welding that as well, we drilled a hole through both and attached the splined disconnect to the steering column with a grade-8 bolt. This way we can remove it and reuse it on a different car later if we want. And if we take a hit hard enough to break that bolt, the front end is going to be so mangled a steering wheel will be useless, anyway.
The doors of the Honda were gutted, and the skins welded in place, so a removable steering
Here's a look at the quick disconnect hub (complete with steering wheel) mounted up. We prefer the collar-style quick disconnect--rather than a single button to release the hub--because it's much easier to get off in a hurry. Also, we're using a 2-inch spacer from Allstar Performance because the stock steering column is too short and we wanted to move the wheel a little closer to the driver.
Here's a look at the quick disconnect hub (complete with steering wheel) mounted up. We pr
We don't want to give away too much because we'll be continuing this story at the racetrack in next month's Circle Track, but here's a shot of the car after it rolled off the trailer before inspection at the racetrack.
We don't want to give away too much because we'll be continuing this story at the racetrac
We worried a little bit over plumbing up the fuel system to a fuel-injected motor, but it turned out not to be too tough. Fuel injection systems are different from carbureted motors because they require a lot of fuel pressure at the fuel rails, and most require a return line to circulate unused fuel back to the tank. The key to getting things to work for us was this In-Line Universal Electric Fuel Pump from Holley (just behind the fuel cell). This pump can handle more than 600 horsepower and provides plenty of pressure, plus it was a snap to hook up. All it requires is a power wire (that cuts off when the ignition is off so the pump won't drain your battery) and a ground. Make sure to plumb everything with high-pressure fuel line--we learned the hard way that standard line will split in a hurry and spray fuel everywhere. The blue stuff and the steel braided line is high pressure. The black line you see in this photo is just a vent for the cell. To get the fuel to the motor we simply connected the line from the pump into the stock fuel lines that connected to the original fuel tank. The entire fuel system turned out to be hassle-free all through the race weekend.
We worried a little bit over plumbing up the fuel system to a fuel-injected motor, but it
Although Honda wheels use a 4x114 mm bolt pattern, a 4x4.5-inch bolt pattern will work. This allowed us to use Aero's 13x7-inch roll-formed wheels, which are popular in Mini Stock racing. The 7-inch width allowed us to mount up a set of used Legends tires. Because they were used, we were able to get them from a Legends shop for free, and they had also been camber cut, which will help improve handling through the turns. We also found that a set of wheels with 3 inches of backspacing fits just about perfectly around the disc calipers on the front. It makes the wheels stick out of the fenders a little bit, but 4 inches of backspacing just won't work.
Although Honda wheels use a 4x114 mm bolt pattern, a 4x4.5-inch bolt pattern will work. Th
It wasn't until we popped the hood that we realized we had a sleeper on our hands. The previous owner had replaced whatever engine originally sat in this car with a higher-horsepower VTEC, complete with a cold-air kit and stainless headers. The value of a running VTEC alone is worth more than $500, putting us outside the cost limit (LeMons judges consider the real-world value of the car, not how much you paid for it), but we decided to worry about that later.
It wasn't until we popped the hood that we realized we had a sleeper on our hands. The pre
Carolina Motorsports Park
24 Hours of LeMons
Aero Race Wheels
801 SW Ordanance Rd.
RICHARDSON RACING PRODUCTS
Bradley Auto Parts
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By Jeff Huneycutt
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