1997 JDM DC2 rebuild

Holy smokes- I had no idea the forum was back up and running! I haven’t been on here since 2012. I picked up a couple R’s last year and decided to do a full restore of the 97. I started this December and my goal was to have it 90% together by my birthday in April. That’s an ambitious goal, considering how much the car needed.

However, it should be worth it.


Once I got the car over from Ireland, I began tearing and cleaning.


Got the motor/trans pulled and began working in the engine bay. Stripped all suspension, fuel/brake lines to make sure the bay could be 100% sprayed.


I was able to wire brush 90% of the motor/trans. I went ahead and adjusted the valves, put a new timing belt, water pump and thermostat, clutch, flywheel and throw out bearing.

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After I had the subframe and all the suspension out, it all looks so old and tatty. I decided to have everything sand blasted, new wheel bearings, bushings and ball joints installed. Hopefully the car rides close to new once done.



I’ve been painting my own stuff for about 5-6 years now. I’m by no means a hardcore professional, but I’m not bad either. Over the last couple months, I’ve been painting one body part or a set of body parts over the weekend (I work full time, the cars are a side hobby). My wife loves the fact that our dining room is a cure room​:joy::joy:


Prepped the chassis to get it painted after some body work and door ding repair.


Got the chassis sprayed and it came out great. A couple dust nibs, but nothing that won’t cut and buff out.


Starting to begin cutting and buffing. This is where I’m at as of today. Hoping this weekend I can get a bunch done.


Awesome build! Looking forward for more updates

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This is awesome. You mentioned you got it from Ireland… I’m curious how did you come across the car to make you want to ship it back state side?

Regardless, awesome build thread. Looking forward to updates.

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I have friends and family that live all over. I’m fortunate enough to have many of those friends and family be Honda enthusiasts. The shell came from a buddy of mine in NE IRE, I had it trucked to my uncles in UK ( he lives on farm land, so I store whatever I can there). It sat there until I had enough stuff to fill a couple containers and make it worth the shipping. Plus, this dc2 had no motor, interior etc. I needed time to source everything.

Pictures of the last container with the DC2 buried, the EK9 I recently sold to a dude in KS.


I had a 3-day weekend and was able to get a bit done. There’s still a bunch that needs to be completed and I have yet to start anything. But, it looks decent​:rofl::joy:

I got most of the interior done. The exterior body panels are lightly bolted to the chassis. I was able to cut and buff the quarter panels this weekend. However, I still have doors, fenders, trunk and hood to do. I’ll probably do one panel an evening after work.

It looks somewhat like a car again and my wife stopped asking when the hood, fenders, side skirts and doors would be exiting the dining room (that never gets used!):rofl::joy::rofl::joy:


Wow! Looks like it came together super quick. Nice work.

That’s a pretty wild story. Definitely interesting…

Looks like you have a nice inventory on OE hardtops.

Not too wild, just network and family, really. I’m actually heading over to UK at the end of this month for holiday and to see some fam/friends. Hopefully, a Milano red Dc2 makes its way back with me.

I got everything hooked up just about. I have power throughout the car and the car cranks (Woohoo!). However, it’s not starting. Quick diag shows me no spark at all. I have fuel and obviously it’s getting air. I pulled distributor apart to check the usual ICM and coil. Looks like ICM is fried. I ordered that and will pick it up at 4p to reinstall. Fingers crossed we get some life tonight, boys!

I got the car running (woohoo!). No CEL at all. That has to be a first for me on any ground up build. There’s always some little BS plug that was forgotten etc.

Anyway-I bled the coolant system and got just about everything working. However, I have no climate control/radio functions. I may tear the dash out and see what’s going on. I tested everything and can have the climate control work with manual power out to the fuse box from under the hood. For some reason it’s not switching over. Switch on climate control tests fine, blower motor resistor tests fine, blower motor turns on with power, fuse box is fine, relay is good, fuses are all ok. I did use a 00-01 heater box harness, and my mates said that’s prob the issue. I’ll grab a JDM one when I’m overseas next week.

I’m hoping to have this on the road and driving by July. Because June another toy makes it’s way over from Japan🤘🏼


@Jaydm97cwITR freakin awesome build man! Love seeing this stuff! Props to you!

I had this issue when I was trying to get the AC running in my 4 door with my K24 swap. Since I have a German 98 EK4 dash, dash harness, and sub-harness I wonder if that’s why it didn’t work with my USDM AC/climate control harnesses.

I was never able to get it to turn on and run properly, so I eventually just pulled the AC system out completely.

Well, after travelling to UK, the Milano red was a total rust bucket :frowning: . However, holiday was very fun, relaxing and great to see some old faces. If you haven’t been to Portugal, go and thank me later. Lisbon is a blast for nightlife and everything’s cheappp.

Stayed at my mates house outside of London and was able to peep his collection. His S600 had me all excited.

I did bring some parts home for my car and FINALLY figured out the wiring issue!!!

It was all the result of the ignition switch pinouts. Apparently, the JDM one has different pin out locations for 95-97. Someone overseas was able to help me re pin the ignition switch plug to the fuse box. Once that was done, I had everything working!

This weekend I plan on getting A BUNCH done on this car. I’ll upload pictures once she (hopefully) drives out of the garage under her own power.