It’s not often that I get inspired to do something with my DSM based of seeing other things first hand that I really like. It is even less likely when I get inspired by a car that is not a DSM. And until a couple of days ago, I thought the likely-hood of being even remotely inspired by a Honda was a chance at all. But, that’s exactly what happened.

Text by AJ Hunsinger // Photos by AJ Hunsinger & Dayton Cote


Dayton's Civic
Dayton’s Civic

I have several local buddies in town that I hang out with on occasion, mostly at car meets. One of these friends is Dayton Cote whom has a boosted Civic hatch. It’s no secret that I hate Honda’s more than anyone around and usually don’t even think about associating with anything with a Honda. But, Dayton and I go back quite a ways as he used to race dirt cars. Like myself, Dayton began his dirt racing career behind the wheel of a Mini Stock which mostly consists of several Fox Body Mustang’s with the 2.3L 4 cylinder engine.

Dayton is also one of the very few guys around here that are actually mechanically inclined when it comes to cars. Most people that are into cars and attend the local car meets, seldom have a large amount of knowledge about the mechanical side of being a car enthusiast. Dayton has had several cars in the past like a Silvia, BMW, and a NA Honda. He has always done his own work to his cars and has recently has built his boosted hatch.

Engine Bay
Engine Bay

For weeks, Dayton has been asking me for some advice on the tuning side of his build as I have a very comfortable understanding of tuning. Once he first built his Honda, he had been running lean but didn’t know it because he didn’t have a wideband. I told him he needed a wideband asap and a couple of short days later, he melted a piston. So, he took my advice and got a wideband while replacing his melted piston.

Once he got the car back on the road, I asked him what is AFR’s were at WOT. He said they were in the 12’s. I immediately told him that was way too lean and needed to richen his tune. He contacted his tuner and he told Dayton that running in the 12’s would be fine. Again, very soon after, he melted another piston. Since then, he’s replaced the piston and richened things up and his car has been running very good.

A couple of nights ago, he told me he wanted me to go for a ride in his car. So, once the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night football in overtime, he stopped in and scooped me up. This is the first and only time I have rode in a Honda. In the past, I wouldn’t so much as lay a finger on a Honda- literally. Hell, I once even dumped a girl because she had purchased a Honda for a new daily.

So anyway, I opened the passenger door to Dayton’s Honda and climbed in. My immediate reaction was the complete opposite from what I had expected once I first planted my ass in the car. I don’t really know what I was expecting, maybe some neon lights, fuzzy dice hanging from the ceiling, or some other form of ricer materials.

The first thing I noticed was the gauges throughout the car that were all lit up. The next thing I noticed was a roll cage. At this moment I realized I hadn’t really looked at this thing much, although I have only seen the car a couple of times. Attached to a roll bar running along the windshield against the roof was a long, 5 panel rear view mirror. I had always classified this as rice in my book, but I immediately fell in love with it. It looked great and was very functional. Sitting in this thing, I maybe expected to be sitting in a rice car. But, I ended up feeling like I was sitting in a legit, well built, race car.

To top it all off, the thing actually pulled pretty well on the Turbonetics turbo at 10psi. The engine might able be pushing a couple hundred horsepower, but it weighs almost nothing giving it a very honorable power to weight ratio. It impressed me, because it’s a Honda. At the end of the day, no matter how you slice it, DSM’s will prevail. There’s nothing a DSM can’t do that a Honda can. But there’s plenty that a Honda can’t do that a DSM can.

Regardless, it was a fun and inspiring little adventure while riding shotgun in the boosted Civic. I have already been dying to put a roll cage in #PoisonIvy, but now the want is even stronger. So, I have a new plan that I have not been planning until now. I want to put some time and work into the interior of my 1G. And in doing so, I am going to steal a few ideas off of Dayon’s Honda.

Prior to all of this, Kurt Barnes and I have been discussing adding a harness bar in both of our DSM’s. So, I will still implement this along with adding a full cage. If I add a cage, I won’t necessarily have to have a harness bar. But, I believe it will still benefit the car as it is directly linking one side of the car to the other.

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img_9319 Harness Bar

I found this idea online of a harness bar in a 1G. I will be doing things a little different though. This guy designed his harness bar to be removable via 4 bolts. I will not be going this route and will make it a permanent harness bar as I don’t plan on removing it for any reason. The job will be easy, but making it permanent will make things even easier. It will be as simple as welding a plate on each side of the car and welding a bar in between to connect the two.

From here, I can begin building my cage off of the harness bar. A halo bar will be welded to the top of the harness bar and extend to the roof. From the roof, I can add piping that will run along the roof towards the windshield. Next, I will run a bar across the roof parallel to the windshield. This will also give me a mounting point for a 5 panel rear view mirror. At each corner, a bar will then run along the a pillar and attach to the floor.

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Example of 5 Panel Rear View Mirror

Back to the harness bar, I will have piping on each side extend down and also be welded to the roof. From here I can also run a pipe on each side to the hatch area, maybe attaching to each of the rear strut towers. I will also be adding door bars that will run from the harness bar to the floor near the bottom of the dash. This will make up of a 6 point roll cage at minimum.

I will most certainly be adding and changing my plans for the interior.

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