1999 Acura Integra - Track Bound

More upgrades and testing with Project DC2.

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Project DC2 has been sitting idly in the garage for long enough that it must have started feeling neglected. It’s been a solid two months since its last track outing, and I was also hankering to get back behind the wheel. With no more excuses on hand, I booked a Streets of Willow track event through Speedtrialusa.com.

But then I realized I still had to replace my worn front lower ball joints with a set of Buddy club P1 Racing extended ball joints. Being taller than the stock units, the Buddy club ball joints help realign the suspension geometry closer to stock settings. These are great for cars that are lowered or experience binding and excessive tracking. Installation proved to be rather straightforward, thanks to having the proper tools and a hoist. At a minimum, ensure you have a ball joint remover tool set to do this job (you can rent them at the local parts store), otherwise leave it to the professionals.

It’s been a while since I’ve run street tires on the Integra, and my Nitto NT01 tires were pretty much at the end of their life cycle, so now was as good a time as any to try out Hankook’s Ventus R-S3 tires. Known for its excellent grip characteristics, the R-S3 is about as hardcore as you can get with a street tire without it being classified as an R-compound. It’s perfect for any competitor looking to compete in a street class series or for the weekend warrior after an ultra-sticky tire that they can drive to and from the track. More so, they’re actually quiet and comfortable to drive on the street. The R-S3 is a no-fuss, legit, 140 UTQG rated street tire that seamlessly blends the perfect amount of street and track usability.

As soon as I finished installing everything, I knew the Buddy club ball joints were worth their weight in gold after making my first low-speed turn. Steering effort was instantly lighter and the wheel would rotate much smoother than before, but most important of all, the harsh clunking sound that I was used to hearing from the differential had been reduced to a much lighter and less aggressive tone.

Before heading to the track, I also picked up some essential track tools. A Harbor Freight Rapid Pump aluminum racing jack would make for quick wheel/tire changes, with just over three pumps to get the entire car in the air. Plus, it boasts a super-low profile that enables it to slide under lowered cars with ease.

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