That first taste of freedom offered by the automobile is likely a joint effort between a teenager and the folks. Some parents unload their buckets on their kids because they can't be bothered to sell them; others do it to buy a new ride for themselves. And usually, those rides turn out to be soccer-mom minivans.
By HT standards, Dan Chueh of Sacramento, Calif., had it made. When his dad handed down the keys to the family ride, they didn't turn the ignition to anything adorned with wood paneling or sliding doors; they fit an almost-new '95 Civic.
The car wasn't entirely Chueh's. His dad needed it on occasion, but it didn't stop him from installing a set of coil-overs and some bolt-ons. Dad wasn't feelin' the mods, so Cheuh was often in the driveway making use of the adjustable coil-overs, raising and lowering the car on demand.
The car's slammed state eventually took a toll on the oil pan, transmission and header. Cheuh decided on a five-speed manual conversion. But the mechanic skipped town with his deposit, his folks were none too impressed and another slushbox made a home under the hood.
Time passed and Cheuh attempted the five-speed conversion again, this time aided by a friend. Seven days and three stripped flywheel bolts later, the Civic emerged with a stick shift.
A family trip to Hong Kong set the next several stages. Chueh spotted a Civic Ferio, upon which he'd visually model his '95, and he soon ordered Ferio parts of every type and description, including deck lid spoiler, folding side mirrors and low-profile side moldings. Sacramento's Luxor Auto Body installed the JDM gear and sprayed the car a deep coat of Desert silver metallic.
Cheuh soon picked up a job at local speed shop Motorsport Dynamics, where he gained the skills to bump up the output on the single-cam Ferio. A GReddy turbo kit pacified his thirst for power, but not enough as a long-term solution. Cheuh wanted to go DOHC and sourced a USDM B18C1 in a bizarre, three-way engine trade amongst friends. Cheuh scored the B18 and some other poor sap drove off with an LS under the hood of his GS-R.
Bitten by the boost bug, Cheuh plucked a T3 turbo from a Lotus Esprit. Although it's larger, a T3/T4 unit holds more fashionable sway over Honda heads. Cheuh was attracted to the smaller compressor's low-end response. Despite its force-fed status, however, the B18 remains stock underneath. Nearly 90K miles on the B warranted a rebuild, but Chueh opted for all OEM components, save for a set of ARP rod bolts and ITR camshafts.
To withstand the positive pressure on the B's stock internals, Cheuh designed a fuel system comprised of a Granitelli in-tank pump feeding RC Engineering injectors and regulated by a Comptech fuel pressure regulator. A Vision-programmed ECU plugs in alongside an A'PEXi Super AFC to keep lean mixtures at bay, while in front, an A'PEXi GT intercooler alerts the watchful that this is no family sedan.
These days, a set of Tein Super Street coil-overs link body and chassis, and an assortment of strut and sway bars from the likes of Mugen, Cusco and Comptech resist the roll. Volk Racing TE37's clad in Toyo Proxes provide the contact patch, with Powerslot rotors and Hawk pads handling sudden deceleration duties.
At only 8 psi, Chueh's Civic is good for 243.2 hp to the ground and has posted a best of 13.1 down the quarter. If his parents had only known what was happening to the family four door, perhaps this fine filly wouldn't be gracing these pages.
We don't often see sedans executed this flawlessly, let alone with 13-second timeslips in the glovebox. It illustrates the possibilities when you inherit something like a Civic and not an '87 Plymouth mom mobile.
Bolts & Washers
Dan Chueh's '95 Civic
The powerplant packs factory .025mm oversized pistons and rings, while the block was bored oversized, honed, decked and reassembled with ARP rod bolts. A lightweight, Civic Type-R crankshaft pulley bolts up to the end of the crank for reduced rotating mass. Head features a three-angle valve job, minor exhaust porting, a resurfaced deck and bronze valve guides to withstand the additional heat, ITR camshafts and JUN adjustable cam gears.
The straight T3 turbo mates with a Rev Hard exhaust manifold and administers boost via a 35mm Tial wastegate. A'PEXi GT front-mount intercooler ices down the intake charge as an HKS Super Sequential blow-off valve relieves air pressure from the custom piping between shifts. A custom-fabricated downpipe and HKS Hiper cat-back exhaust system evacuate spent gases.
A 255-lph Granitelli in-tank fuel pump sends petrol up to RC Engineering 370cc injectors, with NGK plugs and wires carrying the spark. Comptech's adjustable fuel pressure regulator sets the pressure.
Timing and fuel is a joint effort between a Vision-chipped, P28 ECU and an A'PEXi Super AFC. A Comptech ESM (electronic signal modifier) tricks the MAP sensor into not seeing boost. Boost is monitored via an A'PEXi gauge, and a Turbonetics boost controller keeps said pressure in check. HKS handles turbo timer lets the engine wind down naturallly. JDM B16A's S80 transaxle provides closer gear ratios and a Quaife LSD ensure the T3's boost translates to the front wheels. Clutch Specialties sprung hub street disc and single-diaphragm pressure plate hold the power, while a CS 8.5-pound aluminum flywheel hastens revs.
Energy Suspension engine mount inserts and bushings firm up the engine bay, chassis and shift linkage.
Rims & Rubber
16X7-inch Volk TE37 wheels, dressed in 205/45-16 Toyo Proxes FZ4s, stand between the Civic and the pavement.
Tein Super Street coil-overs prop up all four corners. Mugen strut tower bars, both front and back, and a Cusco front lower tie bar add rigidity to the chassis. A Comptech rear sway bar reduces body roll on the EG.
Calipers remain stock with the addition of Hawk HP Plus pads. Powerslot rotors provide the binding mass. Steel braided brake lines feed all four calipers.
Cheuh sourced Civic Ferio components for an honest JDM look. A Ferio rear wing, folding mirrors and low-profile side moldings trim the body, with JDM headlights, corner lamps and taillights replacing the stock components. Side marker lights are grafted to the fenders. JDM Ferio rear window covers are attached out back complete with the genuine inscribed Ferio emblems. A Kaminari front bumper was selected to round off body mods and to house the huge A'PEXi intercooler. After the key holes and emblems were shaved, Desert Silver Metallic paint-an RSX code- was applied to the entire body. A Sunny Styling carbon-fiber hood rids the Civic of a few pounds.
Twin Sparco Speed seats replace the fronts and a pair of JDM Ferio rear buckets outfit the rear. The rears are equipped with headrests and a center console. Other JDM tidbits include a Ferio climate control and clock and an ITR shift boot. Sparco fabric has been upholstered throughout, including the door panels and rear seats. The cockpit consists of a JDM Spoon/Momo steering wheel, Razo pedals and a Mugen shift knob. A JDM Ferio white-faced instrument cluster replaces the automatics tachless cluster.
A Pioneer DEH-P6400 CD player pumps the noise through Pioneer 6.5-inch three-ways front and rear.