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Being a firm believer in buying quality parts, and living by the motto “buy cheap, buy twice” twinned with the patience to search for the dream items, that Chris knew he could rely on for performance and live up to their high end reputation, he was willing to make the sacrifice of time and money to obtain exactly what he wanted.
That desire of wanting the next step up, is natural. Chris used to own a 1.4 EJ9 Civic which he states “it was nothing special” simply being lowered on some springs with Rota wheels and not in much of a position to progress much further due to touring with his band, like anything, if you are good enough and put effort into making success happen, it will come. It fortunately did for Chris and his band, getting offered a record deal and with a record deal comes money.
Initially considering a B-swap for his current car, this idea came to a close after many deliberations and the decision to search for a VTI with the B-series engines fitted from the factory ideally being the perfect base for the start of a project.
Finding a worthy replacement took a few months to surface for Chris. When browsing the archives on Gumtree, an advert that had he had been active for over a month had exactly what he was looking for, but seeing how long the advert had been their he decided not to pass up the opportunity. Deciding to make the phone call and being received with positive answers that the car was still available a viewing was arranged, and ultimately a car was purchased.
The car now in Chris’s possession he set about tidying the car up slightly by de-badging the rear and fitting the JDM sized plates. Having the previous Civics modifications still in his possession, he proceeded to put the Rota wheels on to the new civic, along with the lowering springs and an SRS cat back exhaust system. Also replacing the standard “battered” headlights, with some genuine EK9 rear clusters.
Very early into the build Chris knew he wanted to keep this car as simple as he could on the outside whilst making it as track focused chassis and power wise possible. Building on his inspiration of other clean Honda’s he had seen over the years, his main inspiration came from a K20’d EG built by American tuners TopSetup which featured in the American Touge series.
The only exterior modifications at this point in the cars history that Chris really was focusing on was sourcing a SIR lip & grill for the EK, keeping with the OEM exterior theme that he really was building on and managed to find both items brand new. After the car saw a brief spell at a body shop for a touch up on the front bumper and wing, the front end of the car was how Chris had pictured it.
By the end of 2009 Chris had placed even more orders for modifications that would drastically change the handling on the car. B-C coilovers are built with a large 53mm diameter damper body, which increases the capacity allowing larger volumes of oil inside the body, reducing the temperature and significantly increasing the damper performance.
Also at this stage of Chris’s build he purchased some chassis based modifications such as up rated lower control arms, Beaks bar and a B-C pillar brace, all chassis strengthening modifications to make the car more rigid.
Getting sick of the noisy back box that he had on the EK4 from his previous Civic, Chris purged through some of his older back catalogue of Honda parts that he has stored away in the back of the garage and fitted his old super sprint back box as a part time unit whilst he set his targets on the hard to get hold of in the second hand market, a Spoon Street exhaust. Never letting his eye off the ball Chris managed to source the back box he was after and picking up a set of EK9 cams at the same time to up the power of the B16 that was currently in his car.
The next modification that Chris managed to get his hands on, is not only one of his rarest parts on the car, but one that he had longed for way before this Civic had even existed. The Desmond Regamaster is one of the most sought after set of wheels in the Honda world, simple and elegant whilst remaining purposeful and very resistant to wear and age, they are on their way to being a collector’s item. Many people that do own them (Myself included) even after the car they had them on may have been sold, the wheels will not be, just in case one day the chance to put them on another car comes along. They are hard to source, hard to get hold of and once a set does come up for sale, they do not stick around for long, no matter what the price tag. Chris had almost given up on ever owning a set, but knowing that he would never fully be satisfied by the Rota slipstreams (Regamaster Replica's) that he had been running on his Civics past and present, he was always prepared to splash out on his dream wheels. He got his chance, when by a complete stroke of luck one of his friends who is in the car trade took an import MX5 in as a part exchange. The MX5 had a set of staggered Regamasters in near mint condition. Word spread fast about the wheels in Chris’s local town amongst the local Honda crowd and once this had got to Chris, he was on the phone working out a deal faster than his Honda could hit Vtec.
The first half of 2010, Chris really set his sights finding rarer more desirable parts, it wasn't to long before he found his first of the year, a Godspeed rear X-Brace, at the time also being the only one in the country, Chris had to have it. After a the initial “not so great” first impressions and Chris managed to wrap his head around fitting it, the interior went on a diet, along with some not so usual ultra old school black and grey Recaro's, similar to those in the old Ford RS series. These seats not only looking vastly different to the standard EK4 seats, but being more comfortable and having a better seated position and hold for the driver, Chris saw these as a no brainer. After fitting the “new” but “old” Recaro's, the rear of the civic was stripped back to the very bone to save a few KG's and given a fresh coat of satin black to tidy it up after removal of the sound deadening.
Chris opted for an expensive, yet smaller modification next; To hold his beloved Regamasters to his EK4 he purchased some Volk Formula Wheel nuts, which are specially designed with a floating head to prevent scratches to the wheels and are made from a very high quality chrome manadium. Around the same time, a set of ultra rare Cusco side bars popped up for sale, Chris purchased these to finish of the interior strenghtening of the civic.
The urge to have more power lingered with Chris, although the B16 was providing him enough to enjoy the car, he was finding that he needed something more. A Skunk 2 Inlet manifold, an SRS 421 exhaust manifold and a de back were purchased to complete the full exhaust system to really open up the B16's air flow in attempts at extracting as much power as possible from the little 1.6.
Finishing off the aethstetic parts of the car with a genuine Spoon spoiler which Chris managed to find online very much completed, and the interior of the car being touched off with a hand made weighted gear knob custom made for him by Honda Culture founder "Darkside" and a Nardi Steering wheel that Chris had owned for a while now finally fitted, the main focus for him was now performance. The rear LCA's were replaced by poly bushed units and ASR brace with matching roll bar added to the chassis to stiffen up the rear of the car.
Power was next on Chris's agenda, with a Civic chassis, owners have so much choice from swaps to conversions. Chris had contemplated a turbo conversion on the current B16, also considered the infamous, yet costly K20 swap. Being a lover of naturally aspirated engines, he set to work to find what the most cost effective pound for pound swap would be for his Civic. After long evenings researching swaps online, B20 swap specialists DNR were his answer. The B20's are the 2.0 block from the CRV 4x4, with huge previously unknown tuning capabilities and an impulsive 120mile trip to DNR to discuss the possibilities for the car, Chris's mind was made up and he instantly started sourcing parts for the swap. Some of the parts Chris is really proud of, including the AEM cold air intake, the blow 68mm throttle body and genuine Hy-tech exhaust manifold to really get the most gains from the B20.
On receiving the frankenstein'd Civic back from DNR, the car was more exciting than Chris had ever expected, with the perfect balance of power and torque from the engine. All that was needed for the car to produce even better results was bigger injectors from the Accord Type R, Buddy Club adjustable Cam pulleys, fuel pressure regulator and a custom fabricated 3" exhaust system, with the back box being based on a J's down turned tip made by Solid Fabrications. Chris also purchased some Billet engine mounts, to stop the engine movement under acceleration. With all the additional power now in Chris's hands, he decided the next move for strengthening and safety would be a full roll cage.
When purchasing the cage he was informed it was a "Dash Dodger" meaning no cutting of the dash would take place to get it to fit. This however was not the case when Chris had gotten around to fitting it and this put a damper on his spirits but having an enthusiastic and a very willing to help Father on his case there was no way Chris was going to get the chance to shift it. So the father son duo set about cutting the car to fit the dash. Once it was in, he was not happy with the overall fitment. To get the cage to fit higher, a local business made up some metal turrets for the cage to sit on having it at the height he wanted. The cage saga was not finished though. Once again Chris changed his mind and decided to just go all out and have the cage fully welded into the car, as he states "No Guts, No Glory". As with all full cages, Chris could no longer fit the standard seat belts in his car. He opted for a Takata Harness, which are FIA regulated and of the highest quality. Along with this, Chris managed to pair this up with another item he had been after for a long time in the form of a Bride low max glitter back fixed bucket seat which he now knows it as "The Throne Of Dreams".
Chris has had to be creative with a few of his modifications, digging into his own pocket to research, test and create some unique features for the Civic. After not being happy with the generic intake feeds that he had found which he could purchase off the shelf, he molded his own rectangle one for his front bumper. The other major one, is the sunroof delete. "Delete-Project" came about when he really wanted to remove his sunroof to free up the weight that it was keeping on the car. No one was making sunroof deletes which you could simply purchase off the shelf without having to bolt it in, or having a very messy appearance. Chris has designed one that it fits perfectly with molding which make it look factory OEM with incredible weight reductions, these are soon to be available from himself. A must have for all Civic enthusiasts that are trying to shed that last few pounds without hitting the gym.
Chris and the car are not done yet. He has purchased up super tech valve train parts, Buddy club spec 4 cams and RS machine pistons. All the work will be being carried out once again with DNR. Then next on his list is even more weight saving for the Civic. His goal to making this the ultimate B20 machine is coming together perfectly, sticking to his guns and avoiding the cheap knock off parts that can make or break a build. The Civic has taken a persona of its own and with his own unique touches showing that he will not let anything stand in his way of perfection. The car is sure to be turning a lot of heads, and passing a lot of higher power cars on the track in the near future.
Exterior / interior: OEM EK9 headlights 8k HID's JDM converted rear lights OEM SIR lip Genuine carbon Spoon Duckbill spoiler Rear wiper deleted OEM mudflaps (rear only) OMP Roll cage Teishi Racing carbon fuel tank cover Teishi Racing carbon passenger airbag delete OEM EK9 handbrake surround BuddyClub Short shifter Energy transmission bushes Custom 'Darkside' solid brass shifter Nardi steering wheel Splash boss Broadway mirror Recaro passenger seat Bride low max glitter back driver seat Takata harness OEM EK9 seat rail Door cards re-trimmed with genuine matching Recaro fabric Delete Project sunroof delete Custom bumper intake
Suspension / brakes / wheels : Desmond regamaster wheels…. Rear 15x6.5 et 35. With added MWtech 15mm hubcentric spacer Front 15x7 et25. 195/50/15 Falken ZE-912 Cusco MC brake stopper Volk formula wheel nuts BC racing coilovers Spoon front upper brace ASR subframe brace ASR 24mm anti roll bar Function and form PU bushed LCA's Buddy Club Front camber arms MGZR 282 front calipers EBC blank disc front and rear
Engine: 210bhp 154lbft STD b16 head OEM EK9 cams B20b block ARP headstuds and nuts Blackworks Vtec oil kit Hytech tri-y header 2.5 big bore Magnecore HT leads Solid Fabrications Custom 3" exhaust system with j's style back box Skunk2 inlet manifold Accord type r injectors BuddyClub cam pulleys B&M FPR Blox 68mm TB AEM V2 cold air intake F1 lightened flywheel F1 Stage 3 clutch S4c non LSD gearbox Cooling plate Innovative billet mounts