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Slim Jim Bought a "ME TOO" Car! (and took it to the track)


#1

If you look at my car history, I’ve always been one to favor the more, ummm… unique choice. I bought cars that were not what the “typical” teen or 20-something would be interested in buying. And I liked that. I liked being, a bit different. However, that uniqueness usually meant sacrificing reliability, parts availability, and a whole host of other issues that lead me to where I am now.

As I complained of inexplicable starting issues and mounting repair costs, in the weeks leading up to selling my beloved Lincoln Mark VIII, I had at least 5 different people ask me “Why don’t you just buy a Honda?” (Both car enthusiasts and non-car enthusiasts alike)

Hahahahahaha!! I laughed! I balked! There’s no way I’m buying a “me too” car. I stubbornly insisted on looking at anything and everything - that didn’t have a Honda badge. Meanwhile, after weeks of not having reliable transportation, I started to get a bit desperate. It’s too cold to be walking between destinations and train stations. Taxis are too expensive. I hate buses. This… just… isn’t… working.

I finally found an awesome 2001 Saab 9-5 Aero, with a 5-speed. I was all set to take the car on a test drive, but at the last minute, the seller flaked out. Maybe that was a sign. :stuck_out_tongue: A sign, that I should stop looking at “weird and wonderful” cars, and look for something more sensible, and reliable. It didn’t make sense to trade one car with unexplained ignition issues for another car with well-known ignition issues. At least that’s what I told myself. :stuck_out_tongue: I still *really *want an Aero. Maybe someday.

Since the seller disappeared on my only free day, I was determined to look at a car, ANY car. Preferably with a manual gearbox that was in decent shape and at least as quick as my Mark VIII was. Enter: the 2006 Honda Accord Coupe you will see below. I took it for a test drive and, my goodness! What a revelation! It drove beautifully, and I was almost completely sold. I liked it enough to leave a (refundable) deposit, but still wanted to see what else was out there. Nothing. And the more I did research on the J30A5 and read up on just how quick these cars are, even with minor modifications, the decision was obvious. MUST BUY! So I did… and took delivery today. :smiley:

i775.photobucket.com/albums/yy35/ragingbull94mtx/Mobile%20Uploads/20160217_112800.jpg

i775.photobucket.com/albums/yy35/ragingbull94mtx/Mobile%20Uploads/20160217_112811.jpg

i775.photobucket.com/albums/yy35/ragingbull94mtx/Mobile%20Uploads/20160217_112918_HDR.jpg

i775.photobucket.com/albums/yy35/ragingbull94mtx/Mobile%20Uploads/20160217_112823.jpg

i775.photobucket.com/albums/yy35/ragingbull94mtx/Mobile%20Uploads/20160217_112852_HDR.jpg

i775.photobucket.com/albums/yy35/ragingbull94mtx/Mobile%20Uploads/20160217_112938.jpg

i775.photobucket.com/albums/yy35/ragingbull94mtx/Mobile%20Uploads/20160217_113131.jpg

i775.photobucket.com/albums/yy35/ragingbull94mtx/Mobile%20Uploads/20160217_113008.jpg

i775.photobucket.com/albums/yy35/ragingbull94mtx/Mobile%20Uploads/20160217_112954_HDR.jpg

…(stay tuned for driving impressions and a full review)…


#2

Pretty Sure that model isn’t sold where I live, so that’s a neat car you’ve got there!


#3

Thank you much!

But yea, there’s millions of them up here. :laughing:

It’s basically a 2-door version of the “Honda Inspire”, which I’m pretty sure is available in New Zealand (just not in coupe form).


#4

Nice! Knowing Honda’s V6’s, you could put but $1,000 into the engine and see some very noticeable power gains.


#5

Thanks! That is indeed the case - and part of what sold me on it. It’ll probably be a while before I do anything under the hood in terms of performance mods. For now, I just want to keep it clean and well-maintained. It’s already quicker than the green car was (at least from a roll). :smiling_imp:


#6

Thank goodness you got an 06, no EGR pass blockage problems.


#7

Indeed! I hadn’t come across that as an issue when doing my research. (400th post!)


#8

Welcome to world of Japanese cars. :stuck_out_tongue: Our of curiosity, what’s the toggle switch for below what looks like a VSC off switch?


#9

Haha, thanks! You’re the 3rd person to say that to me. :stuck_out_tongue: My expectations are very high as a result. So far they been met or exceeded. :mrgreen:

I believe the toggle switch is related to the alarm system. I haven’t tried messing with it yet, to be honest. Too busy granny shifting, not double clutching like I should. :laughing:

edit: Update! It looks like the toggle switch was wired to an audio system (probably a kill switch for an amplifier/subwoofer). It’s no longer connected to anything.


#10

So today marks exactly one month since I’ve owned the car. And the novelty still hasn’t worn off yet, as I have just as much fun driving it now as I did when I first picked it up. So what’s it like to live with everyday? Read on to find out:

The Good:
[ul]
]Fun-to-drive/:m]
]Excellent fuel economy/:m]
]Quiet/:m]
]Quicker than the green Mark VIII from a roll/:m]
]Everything works! size=50[/size]/:m][/ul]

The Bad:
[ul]
]Wheelhop/:m]
]Torque steer/:m]
]Brake fade/:m]
]Balky 3rd gear/:m]
]“Me Too” car, no longer unique :frowning: /:m][/ul]

The Ugly:
[ul]
]Paint Imperfections/:m]
]Manual trunk release stuck/:m]
]Fog lights just quit working (today)/:m][/ul]

I have a relatively easy commute of about 15 miles (each way), 30-35 minutes going to work and 45-60 minutes coming home. Since that isn’t nearly enough time to enjoy all the Accord EX V6 6-speed Coupe has to offer, my lunch breaks usually consist of “test drives”. That’s how much fun this car is. And there really isn’t much of penalty doing all that driving either, as this is the first car I’ve ever owned that averaged more than 20 mpg US. Actually, on the last tank of fuel I averaged 23 miles per US gallon in 85% highway, 10% city and 5% VTEC-to-redline driving. The car is super quiet, although, that isn’t saying much coming out of a car with no mufflers and towards the last few months of ownership, a massive header exhaust leak. With a 3.0-liter 24-valve SOHC 244-horsepower V6 and 6-speed manual, this car exemplifies the expression “speak softly, and carry a big stick” (shift, lol). It’s no match for the 4.10-geared, high-stalled beast I used to own off-the-line, but from a roll, this car really flies. It has enough power to push you into your seat in any of the first 4 gears, and there’s plenty of power in reserve for passing at highway speeds even in 6th gear.

But all that sweet VTEC power is not without its drawbacks. First off, I haven’t experienced wheelhop this bad since my 1994 Ford Taurus SHO 5-speed. Having been used to doing smoky burnouts for the past 8 years, the excessive wheelhop really discourages aggressive, dragstrip-style launches. Perhaps it’s just too sophisticated for such childish antics; it wants to be driven in a more dignified manner. Then there’s the torque steer! Initially, it was violent enough to actually hurt my wrist trying to correct it, driving one-handed. Keep both hands on the wheel (as well you should!) and it’s manageable, but still noticeable. Coming down from VTEC speeds is no picnic either. The Accord stops well enough, but there is some fade if you get too aggressive. The front brakes are drilled and slotted (not stock), so it’s most likely the rear solid discs that are the culprit. Moving away from the brake pedal, the clutch pedal is exceptionally light (much more so than in my old SHO’s “stage 1” clutch) and the drive-by-wire throttle feels very natural. What does NOT feel natural is the notchiness of the gear shift. Prior to changing the transmission fluid, it was really bad. Bad enough to where 3rd gear would loudly protest whenever I tried to engage it, and threw it back into neutral (even with double clutching!). Now, however, thanks to the magic that is GM/ACDelco Synchromesh Friction Modified, all the gears are perfectly smooth. Even 3rd gear behaves about 90% of the time, only occasionally feeling a bit notchy, but otherwise - it’s perfect!

From a cosmetic point of view, there are some paint imperfections. The tiniest of rust bubbles on the wheelwell, some rock chips on the hood, and very minor orange peel on one of the panels. I go to a lot of car shows, so I’m fairly critical of paint jobs, but overall it’s not too bad. You wouldn’t notice it just walking past it - which most people will walk past it - because it’s a “me too” car LOL. Another annoying foible: the manual trunk release won’t work. The remote will open the trunk just fine, but because of Honda’s infinite practicality, you can’t open the trunk by remote if the key is in the ignition. Oh… and the fog lights just stopped working today.

Despite these minor quality issues, overall fit & finish is excellent. Everything works, and the car feels tight and well put together. I look forward to putting many, many more miles on it. I normally drive about 800 miles per month… and put over 2,000 miles on the Accord in the first month of ownership. That alone should speak volumes. Thanks for reading! :mrgreen:


#11

I heard lots of good things about this generation Accord’s driving dynamics (with the V6 and 6 speed). I spoke to a guy on another forum who had the rarer sedan version with the same powertrain a few years back. He absolutely loved it. I like them too, and I can’t understand why Honda discontinued the sedan version, or why they hamper the current coupe version with tires that can’t handle the power.


#12

I’m kind of disappointed to hear that you gave up on the Mark VIII but age an daily driving probably weren’t a good combination for the Luxury Sports Coupe.

I find it interesting that the Honda has more acceleration from a roll. I assume it’s fairly less heavy than the Lincoln.


#13

@SkylineFTW97:
Indeed! The sedans are super-rare, I believe only 500 units in total from what I’ve read. There’s 2 possible reasons for the discontinuation: They probably felt there wasn’t a big enough market for them. Pretty much all of the other V6 family sedan competitors no longer offer a manual. [size=70](That’s why I love automation. I can’t wait to see for myself, just how hard it is to sell V6/6-speed family sedans LOL).[/size] They also probably didn’t want the Accord V6 6-speed sedan cannibalizing sales from the Acura TL/TSX 6-speed (from that era). I’m just guessing of course, but that’s my take.

As for the tires, I have no idea either LOL. My car has 245/45R-17s in the front, and for reasons which aren’t immediately apparent, 255/40R-17s in the rear. :astonished: I’d have the wider tires in the front for better traction off-the-line, but I’ve been told I should forgo the staggered setup completely and just get same size tires all around when I’m ready to replace them. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. :stuck_out_tongue:

@KLinardo:
It certainly wasn’t a decision I took lightly. I had every intention of keeping the Mark VIII and a list of things I was planning on fixing/modifying. I was totally looking forward to the car show season this summer in it too. But you’re absolutely right, when I do buy another one, it won’t be daily driver.

It’s considerably less heavy than the Lincoln. My typical race weight in the Mark VIII was 3,925-3,975 lbs with me in the car. I haven’t had a chance to weigh the Accord yet, but I’m guessing it’s about 500-600 pounds lighter… and they practically make the same wheel horsepower. :mrgreen:


#14

Holy thread revival!

So, today I took the “ME TOO” car to Englishtown (Old Bridge Township Raceway Park). Here’s the timeslip for the best of 6 runs:

60’ = 2.540
330’ = 6.594
1/8 mile ET = 9.865
1/8 mile MPH = 75.81
1000’ = 12.633

1/4 ET: 14.988
1/4 MPH: 95.94

Front drive manual cars are much more difficult to launch vs. rear drive automatic cars. Talk about a humbling experience. :sweat_smile:

Other fun facts:
Race weight: 3,490 lbs
Density Altitude: 1,312 feet
Altitude corrected ET/Trap Speed = 14.777 @ 97.328 mph
Bone stock & Street trim (full tire pressure, a ton of junk in the trunk etc.)

[videos coming soon, watch this space]

edit: Yes, there are hundreds of Nissans in the background. :stuck_out_tongue:


#15

The real learning curve for me is trying to launch a RWD manual that makes probably 2x as much power at 5000rpm than it does at 4000rpm :stuck_out_tongue:


#16

LOL, indeed!™ Which car is this?!?!?!? :rofl:


#17

Caz’s Cappuccino. 660ccs of fury, with a big turbo on it that kinda suddenly spools around 4.5k


#18

That’s why I’m a N/A guy. Hold the revs at 2750, dump the clutch, and be ready to grab second damn quick in the Mustang.