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Ok so I used to be in the honda game way back in the day (about 7 years ago) so I'm just getting back into it thanks to the wife.....I know strange. Anyway last August wife comes up to me and says, babe I don't want my BMW anymore and I want to get rid of some debt. I'm thinking ok, you can sell your car but I'm not selling my car (2008 black on black Charger). Well wife sells her BMW and I get her a civic (1997 Civic EX coupe 5 spd), I'm thinking hey a Civic is reliable, good on gas and if something happens to it I can fix it, you know the all american husband lol!! So we fast forward to January of this year (2012) and wife blows the head gasket on said Civic and is now stranded on the side of the highway at 3 in the morning. I meet her, make a quick fix and on the way home wife says; I don't want this car anymore, I want a EK hatch!! I'm thinking first off where did you get that chassis code from (EK)? You been watching that Top Gear show again lol? She said no I've been on Import Atlanta and Honda Tech. I'm like ok well we'll find you a hatch and I'll keep the coupe (in my mind I'm like hell yeah, she has no idea what I'm going to do with this car)!! Long story short I buy her a pretty clean 1996 Civic CX hatch and she loves it!! So now that I've kept the wife happy (for now) I'll move on to the build:
Now keep in mind I just started this build in January and still have a lot of work to do, but thanks to the guys and Mainstream Performance (Robert, Ben, James and you can never forget ole Scotty!!) this build is happening, so I would definately like to thank all of them!!!
Ok first pics right after purchase:
The car was in decent shape. I bought the car back when gas was a little higher than it was now and Hondas were going for the premium. Seller wanted $3500.00 but after picking it a part I ended up getting it for $2,060.00. I thought it was a pretty good deal with 124,000 miles on it.
So like I said earlier my wife blows the head gasket so now comes the hard decision. Do I stay single cam and throw a little boost on her, or do I go atleast with an LS swap and boost it. Well after visiting Mainstream the decision was much easier, I ended up picking up a jdm GSR swap that was fully built with only about 3k miles on it. The swap was full of aftermarket goodies like Eagle rods, JE pistons, block gaurd, magnetic drain plug, Skunk2 intake manifold, Wavetrac lsd, ACT clutch/flywheel and brand new seals and shit!! The motor and tranny was built at Mainstream with all Honda OEM parts and such and I got it on the low (thanks Charles!!) Anyway so after a few frustrating days (mainly because I forgot how to do everything) the swap was in!!
Ok so now the swap was in and now it was time to address a few things before the boost came. First order of business was the wheels/tires, suspension and brakes. I ended up going with the Eibach Pro System Plus, complete with springs, shocks and swap bars. As far as brakes I ended going with an AEM big brake kit for now with hawk pads. Will probably end up going with the Willwood kit before long! As far as wheels go I went with some 16" polished Rota slips, wrapped in Falken Azenis (215-45R16) to round everything out!!
And yes these brakes do fit behind 16" wheels, I still have about 1/4 gap between the calipers and wheels with this setup. These AEM brakes kind of suck, good thing I don't have to much money in them. I wonder if Fastbrakes has figured out a way to mount the willwood calipers on the AEM big brake kit? Will have to find that out. Oh and by the way I ended up doing a complete 99-00 front end conversion (headlights, front and rear bumpers, both fenders, hood, foglights and both front and rear lips). I'm probably going to end up going with a Back Yard Special (BYS) front bumper before I finish the exterior though.
And now pics of the new stance:
Ok now the next order of business was to have Mainstream fabricate me a valve cover ventilation/catch can system for the boost to come!!
Lines and catch can mocked up:
Valve cover stripped and prepped for some welding:
Ok now that the ventilation system was taken care of it was now time to swap the Skunk2 intake manifold for an Edeldbrock piece:
Next up was mounting of the intercooler and some modifications to the intercooler piping to get everything to fit snug. I got the intercooler off of ebay and the dimensions are 28x8x3.
Next I ordered some 1000cc injectors from Fuel Injector Connection up in Cumming GA (freakin awesome deal) and a Walbro fuel pump. Now you would think that all the hard crap was done...........wrong (rant time!!) I swear I had never seen people that will post something online that they are trying to sell and then when you call them and tell em that you want to buy it they flake!!! I probably found 3-4 nice quality turbo kits ranging from $1500.00-$3000.00 that people were trying to sell that I could not buy for some reason. I would get in contact with them and say:
Me: hey bro saw you had a turbo kit for sale on the forum and wanted to know if you still had it.
Them: uhhhh yeah I still have the kit
Me: ok well I have cash in hand, front pocket, back pocket, your pockets, my socks, your socks and I'm sure if I looked in my glove box I would probably find another dollar!! (you get my drift)(for all the slow people: I was basically saying hey I have all the money in my hand right now, not part of the money, not can you wait until I get paid?).
Them: well uhhhh hmmmm I don't know man I was about to go to the gym and work out. Think you can come get it next week?
Me: WTF? Are you serious. Ok guys I know people are busy, but I wouldn't care if I was loaded and trying to sell something. If someone called me wanting to buy one of my parts that I'm trying to sell for like 3 stacks, I'm going to get my fat ass up and meet so I can get paid. Atleast thats what I thought normal people would do. Ok enough ranting. The above scenario happened 3-4 times and I finally got fed up with it, so I called a buddy of mine who had a slightly used (50 miles) ebay kit. Now at first I didn't want the kit for the obvious reasons, plus the kit was intended for a SOHC so the turbo was a t3 t4, but it was a 50 trim. So I rolled my happy ass up to Rome and bought it for $300.00 complete with everything, turbo (zero shaft play), mani, intercooler, intercooler piping, bov and a bunch of other stuff. I hopped on ebay and bought a log style manifold for $40.00 and I also picked up that intercooler that are in the above pics. I ended up getting a tial waste gate from a fella on here (can't remember his screen name, but I appreciate the good deal). After the new mani got here I installed the kit. Had a couple of issues as they should be expected from an ebay kit but none the less the kit was on and working fine.
Next was the tune which Scotty @ Mainstream did for me. Setup ended up making 360hp @ 14-15lbs. The turbo responds very quickly and was at full spool around 4k rpm. The boost comes in real smooth and has a very broad power band. We tried to go higher (19psi) but the waste gate spring (6lbs) said hell no. No worries because very soon I'll be purchasing some cams, valve train, throttle body, equal length mani and some other crap that I can't remember then I'll retune and see where I'm at. I am very happy with the power output or hp per dollar spent. At 300hp (9-10psi) the car is a beast (ripped the welded driver's side motor mount 3 times and counting). So don't hate on the egay to bad, when this turbo decides that it wants to take a poop, I'll replace it with a 60-1 Garrett variant FTW!! I don't have any pics from the dyno but as soon as I'm done posting this thread I'll upload them to Youtube and edit in a link.
Here is your link:
Built GSR Ebay Turbo 360hp @ 15psi T3T4 50 trim (dyno engine view) - YouTube
Ok now came the exhaust, I didn't want anything loud at ALL!!! So I modified my stock muffler. I started by removing the muffler and cutting it open:
Took out one of the walls and several baffles.
Replaced the 1 3/4 pipe with a 3" pipe (outlet):
And welded it back together (I know my welding sucks as I haven't welded in 7 years), you'll be fine. Mocked it on the car and welded a 3" inlet, then took it all back down, welded the axle back portion to the muffler and mocked it back up. We then welded and angled 3" outlet that continued to meet the bumper, then painted everything black to hide my shotty welding.
Ok so to me it looks good because it looks stock, but more importantly its flows very well and is quiet as hell (some of my buddies that have rode in my car call it the quiet demon) lol. The entire exhaust is 3" mandrel bent piping all the way out. I also recorded a video of the exhaust and once again as soon as I'm done posting this I will upload one, you should like. Haters go ahead and blast, but it flows well, looks good, sounds great (quiet) and didn't cost me a dime!!!
Built GSR Ebay Turbo 360hp @ 15psi T3T4 50 trim (dyno modified honda muffler sound) - YouTube
Built GSR Ebay Turbo 360hp @ 15psi T3T4 50 trim (modified honda muffler view) - YouTube
Ok so now that I can pause on the engine I started on the interior!! First thing I bought was an 99-00 SI gauge cluster. I took the gauge cluster a part so that I could re-paint the needles and put some carbon fiber vinyl on the trim piece. I painted the needles with some flourescent amber/orange paint so the needles can glow under some uv bulbs (still haven't ordered yet). I then took some 3M carbon fiber wrap that I had laying around and wrapped the trim.
Stock before mods:
Carbon fiber cut out for trim piece:
Carbon fiber applied to trim piece:
Trim piece installed back onto newly painted needles:
Ok so hope you liked it but if you don't, don't worry about it lol!! Next I went on to fix a failed attempt to due a complete interior color change from grey to black. I had already attempted to do this once using the Krylon Fusion for plastic paint. A little advise.....DON'T EVERY USE THIS SHIT!!!! Ok now that thats over I can proceed. If you are going to paint the interior of your car only use products from a company called SEM. You can only buy this stuff at automotive paint supply places. This stuff works wonders, I bought the Laudau Black and everything I painted looks like it came from Honda black!!! Anyway I'm almost done with the interior but I'm having to wait on my headliner, sunvisors and center arm rest. As we all know the back upper plastic pieces all play a role in holding up your headliner so I'll just have to wait. I'm getting the headliner, sunvisors and center arm rest all done in black suede with red stitching for the low ($110.00) and they do great work!!! Will post pics when its done. Anyway I ended up buy 4 guages (Depo) to help me monitor my engine so I made a custom gauge holder out of acrylic but I ended up breaking it when I went to drill the 4th hole. Good thing for me my wife is the shiznat with CAD and we have a laser cutter. It took me 2-3 hours to make a gauge holder that ended up breaking. It took my wife about 10 minutes, ain't that some bull shi!. Anyway hope you guys like as I've gotten tons on compliments on it even though we're still working out the kinks to get that perfect fit. I ended up moving my radio and taking out that coin tray that sits next to the radio to run all 4 gauges all the way across.
Krylon Fusion crap, this is what you'll end up with:
Get this instead:
Now (straight sex):
Can I get one? My email is email@example.com thank youI just took some pics of my gauge holder that is finally out of R & D (pics are in the first post). I'm very happy with it, took a while because there are two different angles on each side where the gauges are located. I think we were able to get it almost perfect. The holes in the gauge holders were cut to 52mm. After test fitting all the gauges in we were finally able to get a snug fit on the the gauges without having to use any shims or anything. I even turned it upside down and none of the guages moved or acted like they wanted to slide back out (very happy). Another important note was after installing the new holder in the dash there was an even amount of spacing between the dash and the gauge holder, each gauge and from top to bottom. As mentioned in the first post the default color on these holders will be black 1/4" acrylic. I went with the 1/4" because it needed to have enough depth and thickness to fit flush in the dash where the factory radio and coin tray were. When looking at the photos keep in mind that its installed in a 1997 civic ex, I have 4 gauges where a radio and coin tray used to be with plenty of room to spare. Also remember that if you wanted one of these I can do them in almost any configuration whether it's 1-4 gauges, 2 guages and a turbo timer and an electronic boost controller, etc,. I'm still working to get the exact measurements of all the popular boost controller, turbo timer and even apexi for there vafc/afc line. I'm doing this so that you can now have all your gauges and electronics in one central, clean location thats easily accessible with a quick glance while driving down the road. If you have any questions about any of it, shoot me a pm and stay tuned, got plenty in the works like (S2000 gauge cluster into ek/eg civic adaptor kit, other gauge holders for other cars and a whole lot more). And as always thanks for the compliments and feel free to offer suggestions that might make it better!
Pics as promised:
Pic of the gauge holder not installed yet. These holders are cut with a precision laser cutter so that duplication and a snug fit is effortless. Again this one was cut out of 1/4" acrylic, in the future I will also be offering holders that are 3/16" thick, as some applications won't need such a thick piece.
Holder installed with no guages inserted, look at the space between the holder and the dash, doesn't really get any better than that. Ok it could have but dang this is the first one lol!!!
With one gauge installed, achieved an almost perfect snug fit around the gauge itself.
This pic is with all 4 gauges installed, look at how flush they all fit. Even with my particular gauges having a hood to block sunlight the gauges are all flush with the top of holder and not hanging off.
Everything installed, check out the spacing between each gauge as it is an equal distance between them all. Also after achieving such a snug fit with the dash, only a couple of pieces of heavy duty velcro are needed to secure the entire holder. This holder will not budge!!! I've been using the same two pieces of velcro on 4-5 different prototypes and its still holding strong!
Last one, hope you guys like it as I'm very proud of them!
If you want one that will fit in a 96-98 Civic send a PM, only $20.00 + shipping for this piece!!
All the other popular models are coming very soon!!
Scott Racing & Development Factory
For enthusiast, by enthusiast.......