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89civicracer

USDM - to JDM Conversion....

Ok... There really was not a write up for this task..I did document it when i was going through it and here are my insights...

The Story..

I originally committed to do the USDM to JDM conversion early 2000 when i got the JDM front end at a great price. It had the headlight squirters and looked like this...

Unfortunately, i recently relocated and cash was tight. Then the 89 sedan blew a head gasket and i had to get her fixed. She was my daily and i had to sell whatever i had that i really did not need. Although i wanted to convert to the JDM front, it was not going to happen...This was back in 2002..

I sold the JDM front to a friend of mine in Orlando, Fl.. He held on to it for a few months before he installed it on his car.. Then he sent me this picture...


I was jealous..I wanted to have that on my car so badly, and now to see it on someone's car was not sitting well with me.. Put it this way, once i got my car fixed, I called several times to see if he would sell it back to me before he installed it... He said, " Not too many JDM front ends make it to FLA.  and he was going to hang on to it..." I had to look past this and move on.....  Sad

So... searching through forums and sites.. i came across this picture back in the day...


This was it... This re-ignighted the JDM quest again... I searched all over forums and sites until my Friend in Orlando turned me onto JDMU.. There was a person on there selling a JDM front end...I called without hesitation.... What sucked was that he was asking slightly more than what i originally paid...I was butt hurt....We negotiated for about a day and then i pulled the trigger and ordered it... The things that made me commit was that this front end came with the round OEM Stanley fogs and bumper pole..Those in itself were worth a lot and if anything, i can sell it all off again and hopefully make my money back....BUT... i was not going to sell... I was committed this time... Whatever it took...It was going to happen.....this was in 2005....

So... the rest is history.. here is the process....... Smile

Find a JDM Front end Clip - A complete Kit..Fenders, Hood, filler piece and lights..Fining these items individually will be expensive. Finding them with other JDM accessories = BONUS....


After you receive it.. Drool for a little bit....look at it for about a day admiring it....Then think to yourself that you are crazy for doing this......This is an undertaking..and you need to be committed once you start...


Strip it down to the the parts you are going to use...


Gather some tools...These were the ones i used...this plus brute force..


Start going to town on all 10,000 spot welds...Drill them out, then chisel to separate the two metals..


Continue on this for about a day or into the night cause you really want to convert your car...

Braking free from the clip....


Take the complete headlight bucket....you will be glad you did..


Discard the parts you will not need...this hunk of metal...


Take the parts you will use...Which should be these...Sit back and marvel on the work you have done.. then realize...you are about 1/4 of the way there....


I test fit the lights.....just for the heck of it....again.. wondering why they changed the front end and left these cool items for the Japanese.


Here is where you have to be 100% committed...cause there is no turning back once you start to hack away at the USDM front end...By this time, i said "screw it" it was all or nothing....Take all the items off of the USDM front that are bolted on..Do not cut wires yet......


Remove the spot welds the same way as you did it with the JDM front...
MattyJ

Good stuff

So you have to replace the whole core support to do it right.
89civicracer

Once the USDM parts are off.... including the fenders and hood..start to line up the JDM front piece with the USDM one.. you will see that many things will line up.. but there are a few that will not...Like the hood latch and around the radiator...


Test fit it all...


You will see why you need the fenders and hood to make this conversion work....


Start wiring it up...Look at the wiring from the JDM front and you will see similar connections and wires on the USDM front... Follow I believe a lot of the colors coordinated... (It has been a few years since i have done this so do not quote me on that)...


Line the fenders up with the doors, hood and everything else...


Test fit everything with the hood, fenders, etc.... Zip tie and or bolt in place.... you will want to weld some of the metal pieces together, but make sure they are lined up first...


Adjust the hood latch and test all electrical before putting it all together....it will be a PITA if you have to go back to trace a ground or power problem....Slap a JDM license plate cause you freaking deserve it, and the holes will line up perfectly....


Admire the two tone monster you have created...
Get to a bodyshop ASAP to fix all the dents, dings and to paint your new front end the same color as your car....


Sit back and marvel at the JDM front end and wonder if you would go through it again....



(NOW...THIS IS THE ABBREVIATED VERSION OF THE CONVERSION, OTHERS WILL HAVE SIMILAR OR DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES, THESE WERE MINE....I WILL ADD TO THE DESCRIPTION MORE LATER ONCE I THINK BACK AS TO WHAT WERE THE MAJOR ISSUES I WAS FACED WITH....)

If you have specific questions.... let me know....and GOOD LUCK with the conversion....
89civicracer

Re: Good stuff

MattyJ wrote:
So you have to replace the whole core support to do it right.


YES... the hood latch is different than the USDM one... To make it function properly...yes...
MattyJ

Re: Good stuff

89civicracer wrote:
MattyJ wrote:
So you have to replace the whole core support to do it right.


YES... the hood latch is different than the USDM one... To make it function properly...yes...


it looks like you just used the top part of the core support though in your picture not the entire core support...
Mattes

wow, looks impressive!
89civicracer

Re: Good stuff

MattyJ wrote:
89civicracer wrote:
MattyJ wrote:
So you have to replace the whole core support to do it right.


YES... the hood latch is different than the USDM one... To make it function properly...yes...


it looks like you just used the top part of the core support though in your picture not the entire core support...


I also used that one piece that is dead center of the radiator. It connects the hood latch and secures it to the frame of the car on the bottom...
MattyJ

Ok cool that's what I thought that' what I'll use then
JDQCIVIC4DR

nice write up! how many hours  did it take to remove all the spot welds out? on the usdm frame?
89civicracer

I started on a Monday taking the spot welds off the JDM front. I worked on it in the evenings for about 1-2 hours after work..
By the weekend, Friday, I had everything i needed removed from the JDM clip.. I also took all the accessories off the bumper, ie. headlights, bumper lights, bumper pole, fogs etc...and cleaned them all....Friday I started to strip the USDM front end and start the spot weld removal..I finished sometime Saturday and started to test fit things...... Sunday morning i was wiring up the front end, by Sunday evening, the JDM front end was on the car...wired and all...
JDQCIVIC4DR

man i wish i got the patience to do that. nice write up
BLKEF4DR

NICE WRITE UP Cool
~Sp33~

Could've sworn i already posted in this thread but,

Thanks for the write up man Smile
89civicracer

~Sp33~ wrote:
Could've sworn i already posted in this thread but,

Thanks for the write up man Smile


I thought we did also... but people were asking...so.. here it is again...  Laughing
JDMric1

Nice write up thanks for taking your time!

how many days does it takes lol??
89civicracer

JDMric1 wrote:
Nice write up thanks for taking your time!

how many days does it takes lol??


I took the spot welds off during the week.. Took my time.
The did the swap over a weekend...That included wiring it up and making sure it all worked. Wink  Wink
C-Rex

Wow just seeing your write up on this now.. Great job

And all in the space of a week.. Hope I can use this to motivate someone to convert to the full JDM front I have now Laughing
89civicracer

I was excited to get it done...The wiring was where i took my time. I wanted to make sure everything worked and was wired properly.
Laughing

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