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1994 Honda Civic Si - NYC Street Fighter

Under The Timid White Sheetmetal Lurks A 593-hp Punch

Robert Choo
Nov 1, 2000 SHARE
Turp_0011_01_z+1994_honda_civic_si+front_left_rolling Photo 1/13   |   1994 Honda Civic Si - NYC Street Fighter

593 HP @ Wheels Down Right Tearing It Up
As your eyes glance at the white drt Civic poised on these pages, something triggers. "Wait a minute, didn't you already feature this Honda in a previous issue?" Making sure you didn't pick up an old copy of Turbo, you quickly glance at the cover for assurance. Well, the cover says November 2000-it must be a new issue. As your pupils reaffix themselves on the Civic, you realize it is not the same white Civic that graced the March 2000 issue of Turbo. Both vehicles are white; both were built by drt; both were shot on the same yellow background, but each was built for different purposes. The original drt Civic, a 1997 Civic EX coupe, was strictly a drag vehicle from Day One. No interior, one seat, fuel cell, roll cage, Lexan windows, gutted doors, full slicks, etc. While the 1994 Civic Si featured here is capable of pounding the 1320, its main mission is cruising the boulevards of NYC on a daily basis.

Turp_0011_02_z+1994_honda_civic_si+engine_bay Photo 2/13   |   Now residing in place of the 1.6-liter stock offering is a fully built 2.3-liter Prelude VTEC engine, pounding out an impressive 593 hp to the wheels.

Civic owner Dirty Harry (DH) first purchased the Honda new in 1994. Being close friends with the drt crew, it was only a matter of time before DH started tinkering with the Honda. When he finally stepped up to the plate, drt's Javier Ortega and Rafael Estevez were primed and ready to build DH the hardest hitting Civic this side of strip.

Originally, a high-compression 2.2-liter DOHC VTEC nitrous-fed Prelude powerplant was to motivate the Honda, but drt balked at that idea, and favored boosted Prelude power instead. Being turbo junkies themselves, the drt crew already knew what it needed to make the engine reliable. The H22A was disassembled and only the top-end was retained. The drt crew wanted a larger displacement engine so it elected to go with the non-VTEC H23 bottom-end. The block was torn apart and cleaned thoroughly before being sent out to the machine shop. Unlike B-series engines, H-series engines do not utilize iron sleeves in the block.

Turp_0011_07_z+1994_honda_civic_si+intercooler Photo 6/13   |   The hot charge air out of the turbocharger is cooled by a custom A'PEXi chiller.

To prevent any cylinder scaring from forged pistons, the block was resleeved with ductile iron units. A set of 8.0:1 low-compression JE forged slugs replaced the factory high-compression cast units. JE forged pistons are stronger and are capable of withstanding the high temperatures and high cylinder pressures commonly found in boosted engines. Swinging the forged slugs on a micropolished factory crank are Crower con-rods. The Crower rods are substantially thicker and stronger than the stockers and are able to withstand the rigors of a pressurized engine that is capable of revving to 10,000 rpm. With the parts chosen for the bottom-end, the whole rotating assembly was sent out for balancing. Rafael then blueprinted the entire engine and assembled it with brand-new OEM bearings and seals.

Up top, drt modified the cylinder head by porting and polishing the piece to its racing specifications. After the porting and polishing, the head was resurfaced and a five-angle valve job was performed on the valve seats. The stock valvetrain was enhanced with high-performance components. Stainless-steel valves and high-tension valve springs now reside in the factory location and valvetrain orchestration is conducted by a pair of drt-spec racing camshafts. Sealing in the boost are stock head bolts with an SCE copper head gasket sandwiched between the head and block.

In charge of collecting the spent gases to feed the Turbonetics hairdryer is a JBE Racing tubular exhaust manifold. The Turbonetics T76 compressor is regulated to 23 psi of boost pressure by an HKS GT-spec wastegate and A'PEXi AVC-D boost controller. Exhaust fumes from the turbocharger are evacuated by a 3-inch downpipe and a custom system featuring an A'PEXi N1 canister.

The pressurized air from the turbo is fed through 3-inch I/C piping to a custom-fabricated drt front-mount air-to-air intercooler that utilizes an A'PEXi core. Chilled charge air is then forced through a 65mm throttle body mounted on a custom drt racing sheetmetal intake. Feeding the four 96-lb. injectors a heavy supply of high-octane juice is a drt racing fuel rail and Paxton pump and regulator. Igniting the compressed air/fuel is accomplished using the tried-and-true MSD 7AL-2 and Blaster HVC coil. Transferring the spark energy to the NGK spark plugs are a set of MSD 8.5mm Super Conductor wires. For engine management chores, an Accel Digital Fuel Injection computer was utilized. The technicians at drt meticulously tuned the DFI and were able to extract 593 hp to the wheels on the Rampage Motorsports Dynojet.

Turp_0011_18_z+1994_honda_civic_si+distributor Photo 10/13   |   An entire MSD ignition system is in charge of lighting off the NGK plugs. The system consists of a MSD 7AL-2 box combined with a HVC Pro Coil and 8.5mm Super Conductor wires.

With the horsepower issue addressed, it was now time to find a way to transfer it to the ground. A Clutch Masters clutch is in charge of transferring the power generated from the factory flywheel to the Prelude transmission. To prevent any peg-legged action, a Pro Drive spool was substituted in place of the factory open differential. A set of A'PEXi N1 fully adjustable coilovers were called upon to replace the factory hardware. On the street, the Civic rolls on 17x7 Axis Touring Cup wheels wrapped with Nitto rubber. Bogart Racing drag wheels with M&H slicks will be on call at the strip.

Be on the lookout, as Dirty Harry's Civic has been out cruising the NYC street scene looking for its next match. Don't be fooled by its pale sheetmetal, as this Street Fighter is not about to go down for the count.

Power Technik
Vehicle:

1994 Honda Civic Si

Horsepower:
593 @ wheels

Engine:
H23 with VTEC head

Displacement:
2.3 liters

Forced Induction:
Turbonetics T76, JBE turbo manifold

Intercooler:
drt racing air-to-air

Nitrous Oxide:
none yet

Fuel System:
96-lb/hr injectors, Paxton pump & regulator

Ignition System:
MSD 7AL-2, HVC Coil, MSD wires

Air Intake:
Custom drt intake manifold

Exhaust:
3-inch downpipe custom system w/ APEXi N1 canister

Boost Control:
HKS Racegate, A'PEXi AVC-D boost controller

Engine Management:
Accel DFI

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By Robert Choo
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