Category Archives: How-To/DIY

How-To/DIY: Inspect/Replace spark plugs

Whenever you purchase a used vehicle, you never really know what the car has been through unless the seller kept records of maintenance and cared for the car. But in most cases, used cars are usually daily work cars, first time driver cars or just a “buckets” and usually have high mileage and lack in proper maintenance for it’s engine. Whenever when dealing with a old, used car, you often hear it needs a “tune-up.”

In a tune-up, there are a list of required actions that needs to be done to have the vehicle running efficient and smooth. Regular vehicle maintenance is one of the best ways to protect your investment and performing a tune up will extend the life of your vehicle. Some of the tune-up maintenance that should be done are:

  • Replace engine oil and oil filter
  • Replace engine coolant
  • Replace thermostat  – Thermostat Replacement
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Inspect/Replace spark plugs and/or spark plug wires
  • Replace air filter
  • Replace timing belt
  • Inspect/Replace water pump
  • Inspect/Replace drive belts or accessory belts (Air Conditioning belt or Power Steering belt)
  • Inspect Idle speed
  • Replace transmission fluid
  • Inspect/Replace front and/or rear brake pads
  • Replace brake fluid
  • Inspect/Adjust valve clearance – Valve Clearance Adjustment
  • Inspect/Replace tires

Do not let this list scare you because you can get away with not doing some right away. I highly advise to do the ones that will extend the engine’s longevity and overall health. So let’s break it down to the ones that will help keep your motor running okay and help in “buying time” to do the later helpful services.

  • Replace engine oil and oil filter
  • Replace transmission fluid
  • Replace engine coolant
  • Replace thermostat  – Thermostat Replacement
  • Replace air filter
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Inspect/Replace spark plugs and/or spark plug wires
  • Inspect/Replace front and/or rear brake pads
  • Inspect/Replace tires

Keep in mind, I am an Amazon affiliate and some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. Please understand I have had experience with this product and/or only recommend what I believe will be helpful and useful, not because of the small commission I make if you decide to buy something. Please be wise and do not spend money unless you feel you need them or that it will help you achieve your goals.

Here is a list of signs to figure out if the spark plugs need replacing:

Spark plugs with burned or worn electrodes may be caused by:
  • Advanced ignition  timing
  • Loose spark plug
  • Plug heat range too low
  • Insufficient cooling
Spark plugs that are fouled may be caused by:
  • Retarded ignition timing
  • Oil in combustion chamber
  • Incorrect spark plug gap
  • Plug heat range too high
  • Excessive idling/low speed running
  • Clogged air cleaner element
  • Deteriorated ignition coil or ignition wires

In this How-To/DIY tutorial, I will be showcasing the proper steps to replacing old worn  spark plugs inside the cylinder head. First you want to find the right part number for your specific engine and have the right tools to install them. If you have an Integra LS, GS, or RS trim levels, then the engine code is B18B1. If you have an Integra GSR, the engine code is B18C1. And if you have an Integra Type-R, then the engine code is B18C5.

Below are the part numbers and a link to purchase the necessary parts to replace the spark plugs in your specific Integra engine. The recommended brand for spark plugs from factory standards are from NGK and DENSO. I’ve personally used NGK for every Integra I’ve owned and has work with great reliability, good performance and longevity. The work I do on my car is always by the book and always by proper procedures.

For the LS, GS and RS trims with a B18B1:

NGK V-Power Spark Plugs ZFR5F-11

DENSO Standard Spark Plugs – KJ16CR-L11

For the GS-R trim level with a B18C1:

NGK Spark Plugs PFR6G-13

DENSO Double Platinum Spark Plug PK20PR-L13

For the Type-R trim level with a B18C5:

NGK Laser Platinum Spark Plug PFR6G-11

DENSO Double Platinum Spark Plug PK20PR-L11


Now that you have at least 4 new spark plugs for your trim level, let’s discuss the needed tools to do a good job. I recommend these products whenever you’re replacing old worn spark plugs. Each one are particularly selected due to solid structures,helpful capabilities & high volume of good reviews when replacing old spark plugs. These are the necessary tools needed to replace spark plugs:

  • spark plug socket

    • a socket that has a bending swivel neck and rubber holder piece inside to hold the spark plug

GearWrench 5/8-Inch x 6-Inch Swivel Spark Plug Socket

  • spark plug gap gauge

    • a tiny coin-like tool with measurements to gap and widen the clearance of the spark plug electrode

Performance Tool Spark Plug Gap Gauge

  • spark plug anti-seize lubricant

    • to avoid a spark plug ever seizing inside the cylinder head, a spark plug anti-seize lubricant needs to be added on before installation to allow easier removal in the future

Permatex 81343 Anti-Seize Lubricant

Now let’s get on to the How-To/DIY: Replacing spark plugs. Follow the steps in order and installation of new spark plugs will help in healthy engine longevity.

Step 1:

For engine B18B1 or B18C5, adjust the gap with the Spark Plug Gap Gauge tool to the Standard Electrode Gap: 1.1mm (0.034 in)  or replace the plug if the center electrode is rounded.

For engine B18C1, do not adjust the gap of a platinum tip plug. The plug needs to be replaced if the center electrode is rounded or if the gap is not within specifications.  Standard Electrode Gap: 1.3mm (0.051 in)

Step 2:

With the Permatex Anti-Seize Lubricant, apply a small quantity  of anti-seize compound to the plug threads before installing the plugs.

Step 3:

Screw the spark plugs into the cylinder head finger-tight, then torque them to 18 N∙m (1.8 kgf∙m, 13 lbf∙ft). Repeat this step til all spark plugs have been replaced with new ones.

 

How-To/DIY: Install Si-VTEC foglights & Center Console Switch

In the United States, the Acura Integra did not receive fog lights until 1998 when the Integra Type R was released. But what about the gap in 1994 to 1997? The so called “bug-eyed” front end did have fog lights but was only released in Japan. These fog lights came in OEM Stanley light housing and came in two colors: clear and yellow. In Japan, the Si-VTEC fog lights were only in production when the “bug-eyed” front end was in production which was from 1993 to 1995. So unless you were into the JDM scene then, the Si-VTEC fog lights were a rare item to get your hands on a set, especially with OEM wiring harness, center console switch & hardware, in the United States.

Here you can see the used Si-VTEC foglights & Center Console Switch I picked up from a friend who was building up an DB8. It came with the OEM hardware, brackets, plastic bezels and center console button.

1 SiVTEC Foglights & Supplies Needed (2)1 SiVTEC Foglights & Supplies Needed (3)

Here is a Wiring Diagram I drew up to keep my work in proper order and to lessen any kind of confusion when it comes to the wiring of this process. Keep this in mind or refer back to this whenever you are feeling confused about this How-To/DIY project.

1 SiVTEC Foglights & Supplies Needed (4)

Keep in mind, I am an Amazon affiliate and some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. Please understand I have had experience with this product and/or only recommend what I believe will be helpful and useful, not because of the small commission I make if you decide to buy something. Please be wise and do not spend money unless you feel you need them or that it will help you achieve your goals.

Below are the supply and parts needed for this How-To/DIY tutorial and my personal recommendations. Each one has been carefully selected to make this How-To/DIY tutorial easy for you to achieve with a quality finish:

 

1 SiVTEC Foglights & Supplies Needed (1)

Before I did this How-To/DIY on Installing OEM Honda Integra Si-VTEC fog lights, I made sure I understood the wiring behind it to avoid any confusion. Since I did not have the OEM wiring harness for this installation of fog lights, I had to come up with my own. I used a 5-pin relay, crimped female disconnects and primary wire to setup everything to plug into the existing plugs and ports.

Here is the link to learning to Soldering Wires.

I provided the link because I had to create a harness from my own resources. With your primary wire, cut a length that will reach from the center console to the under-dash. You’ll have to strip about half an inch of insulation from the wire to solder to the center console button wires. Now crimp a female quick disconnect to each wire.

Here you can see my own DIY fog light harness:

1 SiVTEC Foglights & Supplies Needed (5)a1 SiVTEC Foglights & Supplies Needed (6)aa

Now that you have the wiring harness all set up to be plug and play, let’s dive deep in removing everything to install the fog lights and have it wired correctly to work on our command.

Step 1:

  • Remove the bumper

  • Remove 2 x screws on the side bottom

  • Remove 2 x screws on the turn signal lights

  • Twist and pull out the two plugs from the turn signal lights

  • Remove 9 x screws from the front bumper stiffener

  • Remove 2 x 10mm bolts from each side plates

  • Remove 2 x 10mm bolts on the bottom and/or Splashguard

  • On each side, pop the side plate clips off and proceed to pull the bumper outward and off

2 Remove Integra Front Bumper (5)a2 Remove Integra Front Bumper (3)a

 

Step 2:

  • Cut out the polyurethane on the front bumper grill

  • Make sure to leave the mounting hole areas intact

3 Install SiVTEC foglights onto Integra Bumper Grill (0)3 Install SiVTEC foglights onto Integra Bumper Grill (1)3 Install SiVTEC foglights onto Integra Bumper Grill (2)

 

Step 3:

  • Mount the Si-VTEC fog lights

  • Mount fog light bezels

  • NOTE: The front bumper has “notches” for the fog light bracket to snatch onto to help keep alignment.

3 Install SiVTEC foglights onto Integra Bumper Grill (3)a3 Install SiVTEC foglights onto Integra Bumper Grill (8)a

 

Step 4:

  • Solder and extend the wires on the fog lights

  • For the right passenger side, I extended the ground cable

  • For the left driver side, I extended both power and ground cables

3 Install SiVTEC foglights onto Integra Bumper Grill (13)a

 

Step 5:

  • Mount the fog light ground cables

  • Plug the fog light wire to existing fog light plug

3 Install SiVTEC foglights onto Integra Bumper Grill (16a)3 Install SiVTEC foglights onto Integra Bumper Grill (17)a

 

Step 6:

  • Reinstall the front bumper

 

Step 7:

  • Remove the Center Console

  • Remove the access cap with a flat tip screwdriver & remove 2 x screws

  • Remove the 2 x screws from the rear console

  • NOTE: To remove the screws, slide the front seat forward

  • Remove the rear console

  • NOTE: Lift up the parking brake lever

  • Detach the hooks by lifting the front of the rear console and sliding it rearward

  • Remove the ashtray

  • Remove 2 x screws to remove the front console panel and disconnect the connector

  • Remove 4 x screws from the front console

  • Depending if you’re A/T or M/T:

  • Wrap the shift lever and A/T gear position indicator panel with a shop towel to prevent damage

    OR

  • Remove Shift Lever Knob

  • Remove the front console by lifting the back upward, twisting to one side and then upward after it clears the parking brake lever

4 Remove Center Console (1)a

 

Step 8:

  • Feed the center console switch connector thru the carpet to rear console

  • Pop out one of the plastic pieces and snap the Fog light switch into place

5 Center Console Foglight Switch (4)a




Step 9:

  • Plug the connector to the switch

  • Reinstall the center console

5 Center Console Foglight Switch (3)

Step 10:

  • Mount the relay under the dash

  • Plug each connector to the correct positions:

  • Relay 87 – To stock Fog light wire under-dash

  • Relay 86 – 12V Foglight Switch Pin 3

  • Relay 85 – Ground

  • Relay 30 – To 30AMP Inline Fuse to 12V Constant under-dash

  • Foglight Switch Pin 1 – To 12V Accessory under-dash

  • Foglight Swtich Pin 6 – Ground

6 Foglight Underdash Wiring (1)a

Step 11:

  • Test and turn on fog lights

NOTE: If it does not turn on,

  • Check your connections are in the right positions

  • Check if the inline fuse is good or blown

  • Retry different ports on the under-dash fusebox and remember:

  • Port 1, 2 – Constant 12V

  • Port 3, 5 – Accessory 12V

  • Port 4 – Parking Lights

7 SiVTEC Foglight (1)7 SiVTEC Foglight (2)