Aerodeck VTi-S

Discussion in 'Project & Modification Logs' started by Jakk, Wednesday 19th Jun, 2019.

  1. Jakk Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    Thought I'd do a thread for this as I'm currently bored of being off work recovering from an operation.

    Got fed up of my Bora breaking last year so decided to go back to something I know well. B series Civics were in that 90s sweet spot of Japanese cars that were very well designed and built (mechanically at least) so they don't tend to go very wrong, and when they do, I know my way around them. (Pretty much used it as an excuse to get another car, I stuck my Bora on Ebay but put the reserve high deliberately so I could say I'd at least tried to sell it, I've still got it now!)

    Decided to look for an Aerodeck VTi as I'd never owned one and they're getting stupidly rare. They feature the brilliant B18C4 DOHC VTEC engine and LSD gearbox. These engines are very popular to swap into lesser Civics, Minis etc, and coupled with the undesirable (to most people) body, nearly all of them went this way:

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    So I posted this all over the Honda selling pages on Facebook, and kept my eyes peeled on Ebay, Gumtree etc:

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    The VTi has the B18C4 and LSD box, the VTi-S is a limited run version of the VTi, all were Pirates Black with bigger front and rear splitters and some had the rear mid-wing. They also had a badged gearknob and mats etc along with a VTi-S badge on the boot. You could also get the VTi and VTi-S in the form of the EK4 (3 door EK hatch with the B16A2 and MB6 (5 door hatch, same as the Aerodeck from the rear doors forward) So I was really on the lookout for a VTi-S but would've taken a black VTi if one had come up at the right money in the right condition. Was fairly up against it, as Howmanyleft showed a peak of 95 VTi-S on the road, and a current number of 13!

    Got a few messages, one of which was in relation to this car:

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    It was a 1999 Aerodeck VTi-S, in Ilford (everyone told me it was a bit of a dodgy area to buy from!). Had an LPG kit for some reason.
    Asked the seller for some more detailed photos including underneath. Spotted some dampness around the brake lines and a crusty looking bit each side near the front jacking points. Seller assured me it was fine, just water or whatever he said, can't remember. Arches looked good however. The day before I went down to Ilford (I live in Cheshire) he admitted he'd had to replace the brake line that I'd pointed out as it was leaking. He MOT'd it and I went down to see it. Found it, first thing I did was lie on the floor and have a look at the crusty jacking point. It had been covered in underseal after I'd pointed it out (on both sides). A bit of an alarm bell! There was a scrape on the front bumper and it had caught the bonnet (it's just visible in the photos above but much more in real life), another alarm bell. Front screen was cracked. There was zero history with it. Disappointed, I got back in my mate's EP3 and we set off back home.


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    Test drove it, and handed over the cash without even haggling. I am absolutely crap at buying cars! He did voluntarily knock £70 off for the windscreen though.

    First photo under my ownership, in a petrol station after fitting a stereo that I'd taken with me (had a feeling it wouldn't have a working one!)
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    I love the obsession that Japanese manufacturers had in the 90s of fitting top spec estates/hatches with mid-wings wherever possible:
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    You may notice that it had some random exhaust in the seller's photos. It also had the correct VTi-S fanblade wheels. However:

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    Also came with a hideous red wrapped H badge.
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    First task was to get rid of those awful chrome neon washer jets, also fitted a set of Prelude sawblades I had lying around:
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    The paint had seen MUCH better days, I didn't get many decent closeup photos of how it looked, but trust me it was bad! It felt like tarmac when you ran your hand over the panels.
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    At this point I decided to attempt to bring out the purple in the infamous Pirates Black paint, so got a claybar kit and borrowed a mop from a work colleague. This mess was just from a small section on the bonnet, it's clearly never had any proper love!
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    Mad colour in the sun!
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    Ordered a new VTi-S boot badge as someone had messed up the original. The new one is actually different, but looks better IMO
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    For some reason, it had a vacuum block fitted to the bulkhead, the sump has a bung in as well which suggests it may have had a turbo kit at some point. But it also has working A/C which you'd likely need to remove in order to get a turbo in there. So it's all a bit of a mystery.
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    To fit the vacuum block, they've had to relocate the battery. And they did a PROPER crap job of it. Fire waiting to happen!
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    So I took some battery leads from a Civic that was to be bangered, and got some terminals from Halfords, stuck a proper sized battery in, not the prettiest job but a damn sight better than the unsecured one with the lead trailing under the car into the boot.
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    Discovered this at around that time. I kinda forgot about it until going through these photos and I'm gonna carry on forgetting for now! It's part of the scuttle panel under the screen.
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    Used it as a daily from then on, all over the country looking at all kinds of Cold War jets!
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    Window regulator fell to bits next to Vulcan XM655!

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    Did get some funny looks going up the M6 with my Mohawk sticking out of the sunroof :Grin:
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    Tried a set of Azevs off a Prelude, way too big but would've looked alright if I'd lowered it:
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    Colour looks a dark red kinda purple in sunset kinda sunlight, but more Cadburys in bright sunlight!
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    Then I had an idea involving my old DC2 Type-R (feat. long-suffering GF on washing duties!)
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    Much better!

    Off to RIAT (6 days worth of military airshow!) with my mate in his GTI:
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    Best angle of this car:
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    Served well as a bed with the flat folding interior, was a bit cosy when Chloe joined me for the Saturday night though!
    Tried my mate's TE37s on, sadly couldn't justify buying them as was in the early stages of buying a house at this point
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    Shame, as it would've looked fantastic lowered on these.

    More Cold War jets:
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    As it was getting towards Autumn I decided it was time to investigate that rot a bit further. Knew there was going to be some cutting and plating needed but wasn't prepared for how much! Thankfully Neil at GPZ Automotive took it on, doing a great job at a more than reasonable price.
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    Having stuck my phone in a hole in the front of the sill, it confirmed the length of the sill was fine but the front was crispy.
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    Some photos Neil sent me, the photos of it being welded up were lost on an old phone but I'll try and get him to send them to me so I can post them at a later date. Shows how much was cut out before fresh metal presented itself! (These may not be in the right order. soz.)

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    Due to it's appetite for window regulators, and the fact I didn't like the facelift interior, I jumped at this pre facelift VTi shell for £150!
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    Car had only done 78k and appeared to have been owned by oldies judging by some of the bits I found inside. Shame it had been broken really. I'd intended on offering the shell minus interior to someone who wanted to save it, but it had had rust repairs done in the same place as my VTi-S only to a much lower standard. Found some more rust in the rear of the sills. My other plan was to sell the 282mm 4x114 hubs and calipers and rear disc conversion. However it had lived in Scotland until it was bought by a mate in Stoke who removed the running gear, and ended up being an absolute pig to work on. Nothing would come off. So I removed the window regs all round, full interior (absolutely everything, minus the dash) front bumper and wings, tailgate and scrapped the shell with the valuable hubs and brakes still on, which hurt.

    Rear sun blind that I'd never seen before or since, that's stashed to fit to mine at a later date.

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    Rot as mentioned:
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    Ended up stripping it a fair bit more after this photo:

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    Not how I wanted the VTi to end, but I needed rid of it and it would've been a nightmare to work on. Can't save them all :Frown:
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    Back to the VTi-S, grabbed a set of Nighteye LED headlight bulbs, best value for money mod ever. Brighter than HID/Xenon, brilliant white colour but specially designed not to blind oncoming drivers. No messing around with ballasts either. Can't recommend enough!
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    Took a trip back down to London (very near to where I got the car from) to drop off a B18C Integra Type-R engine. My Integra was H22 converted, I bought it off my mate with the conversion already done, but had already bought this engine off said mate, from the same Integra (over a year before buying the car it came from) to fit to my EG6, but the house purchase forced me to sell it. Drove down with 4 wheels on the back seat and 2 more wheels to wedge the engine in and stop it moving around! Bit dodgy really, probably shouldn't have done it.
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    Carried on using it, no real mods but it's been really useful, whilst being reasonably fun to drive.

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    It's been massively useful while renovating the house and moving stuff, doing tip runs etc. Most it's taken in one go was a pair of H22 Accord Type-R engines in one trip! It's okay to drive, the engine is a masterpiece of course but the long ratio box (70 in 2nd...) kills the fun a bit and takes the edge off it. Also the steering is woeful, but could be improved with an Integra rack. May do that at some point.
    Quite a boring thread, apologies! The house is holding me back from modifying it, I keep stumbling across stuff I really want for it but have to prioritise the house for now. Future plans include fitting that interior from the VTi (no point doing that just yet as it'll probably do more tip runs yet). Coilovers are going to be the next mod I think as its so boaty! Maybe ITR rack and ARBs. A Spoon N1 exhaust would be ideal too. This engine is perfect for a turbo kit, 170bhp standard but that can be doubled quite easily and has been done time and time again, whilst maintaining reliability and without having to open the engine, even the standard cams are up to the job. So I'll either do that or buy an estate that's already fast such as a twin turbo Legacy GT/B!