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1992 Honda Civic Hatchback - Popular Demand

The Ek Honda Civic Is Still The Tuner's Champion, Especially When It Sports A 474 Hp Type-R Engine

Roel Concepcion
Mar 1, 2008
Photographer: Henry Z. DeKuyper
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It's silly to think that the Soulja Boy dance is still popular in 2008, the Spice Girls have sold out venues across the country and people actually believe Knight Rider is still relevant twenty-plus years after we done forgot about it. What's not silly, however, is the everlasting love we all have for the car that arguably carried the tuning industry on its shoulders, er, fenders and forged an unbreakable bond between man, car, and the neverending pursuit of modification. That car is the honda civic, and Vinnie Kahn is an example of a man who's willing to test his mettle to realize that modification chase.

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He Decided to show his tuning skills on the hatchback '97 EK version of the civic, the sixth generation of its kind. The EK hatchback is ripe for modification with a phone book-sized catalog of available aftermarket parts, from companies large and small. JDm style is the most popular trend among EK owners because there are so many Japanese examples that they can all bite off from, like civics from Spoon Sports, Top Fuel or any Japanese tuner ever featured in Option magazine. Of course, there's also a long list of american tuners who have modified the civic in every way possible since the EK's inception. all of which makes it very difficult to tune an EK civic that stands out from the rest.

2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy
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But Vinnie managed to do so, and he didn't even have to create a Japanese eBay account so he could score some rare cup holders or spend thousands on some mugen wheels that feature a JDm-exclusive yellow lip, if such a thing even exists. Instead, he incorporated the best of the JDm styling with the best of whatever styles we have here, which can be pretty much anything, and hit the gates with this high-horsepower, eye-candy EK.


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The first natural step in modification is the engine, which is the ultimate deal breaker when it comes to making a good impression with a civic. Vinnie had to replace the dinky 1.6L D-series stock motor with something more major than anything readily available here. He went with the once most coveted engine in the scene, a 2.0L Type-R engine. The Type-R powhe erplant was the stuff of legends, with its Oem red valve cover, lightweight components and racing heritage. after all, the "R" in "Type-R" does not stand for "ricockulous," although it should, because it is indeed ricockulous.

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Vinnie managed to produce a documented 474 horsepower to this motor by picking and installing the right aftermarket parts, JDm or not. Inside the block, he went with a combination of cP pistons and crower connecting rods to pump and push the burnt fuel in the combustion chamber. To provide the fuel in the most efficient manner, he went with an aEm fuel regulator, Walbro fuel pump and a set of 720cc Rc Engineering fuel injectors. Sucking up the needed air into the engine is an SG intake manifold and, more importantly, producing the compressed air into the system is a stout turbo from Turbonetics, which works with an hKS blow-off valve and TIaL 38mm wastegate. Vinnie's shop of choice, E-Shift Performance, created custom intercooler pipes to make sure the engine doesn't overheat into oblivion. The people at E-Shift Performance also custom made an oil cooler that functions closely with a moroso oil pan.

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Transferring the strong 470-plus horses to the ground is an acura Integra LS transmission, modified with custom gears. It grinds out with an aTS 1.5 limited-slip differential and acT stage 5 clutch. Working overtime to make sure the power doesn't slip away are some sticky Falken tires spinning in conjunction with a set of 17-inch Fikse high-performance forged modular wheels. Fikse is known for its artful design and precision engineering, which has helped numerous motorsports teams from the FIa to the american Le mans win championships.

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Stopping the EK from an untimely demise are front and back Wilwood brakes, brake pads and brake lines. These brakes ensure that Vinnie doesn't ruin the chassis, which features a Spoon Sports front lip and carbon-fiber rear wing. And he definitely doesn't want to see unwarranted scratches on the well-placed graphics when he races his whip at NaSa events and Time attacks. according to Vinnie, the civic was built solely to race on these types of events and is in the process of "learning to drive a 470 horsepower car on a road course."

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If the whole race-track ambition doesn't pan out, he'll at least be comfortable atop the Bride seats inside the cabin, which also boast a steering wheel and shifter knob combo by Sparco. The Defi gauges are hard to miss, but it's the custom dash and panels by E-Shift Performance that really catch the eyes. Vinnie opted to stay away from superfluous components like audio, but he did make sure the a'PEXi Power Fc sits conveniently within eyesightand reach.


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Though this isn't the best and most original EK civic to ever come out, a combination of aesthetics and power doesn't hurt its chances of being a car you'll remember if you ever see it zoom by on the streets or pass you up on the tracks. Plus, Vinnie's loyalty to the car that started it all and his passion to modify it the best way he can is proof positive that the civic will never die and the pursuit of modification will always be a neverending struggle. at the very least, the civic isn't as lame as the Soulja Boy dance which, by the way, needs to disappear immediately.

Fast Facts
'92 honda civic

Owner Vinnie Kahn

Hometown Keyport, Nj

Daily Grind Honda Dealer

Power 474 Hp

UNDER the hood 2.0L B18c5 dohc vtec Integra Type-R engine, Turbonetics turbo, crower Rods, cp pistons, SG intake manifold, Rc Engineering 720cc fuel injectors, aem fuel regulator, Walbro 255 fuel pump, E-Shift Performance exhaust, Headers, and catalytic convertor, NGK V-Power Spark plugs and wires, hks blow-off valve, tial 38mm wastegate, E-Shift Performance oil cooler, Intercooler, and pipes, a'pexi boost controller,Moroso oil pan

Driveline acura Integra LS transmission, ats 1.5 LSD, act stage 5 clutch

Rollers 17x7 FikseWheels with Falken 205/40-17 tires (front), 17x8 Fikse Wheels with Falken 215/40-17 Tires (rear)

Stoppers Wilwood 4-pistonBrakes (front), 2-piston brakes (rear),Brake pads, brake lines

Stiff Stuff a'pexi N1 DamperCoilovers, Eibach strut bars, jdm Strut brace, Energy Suspension bushings

Outside Spoon Sports front lip, Spoon Sports carbon fiber Rear wing, hid 9000K lighting, Ford white paint by Ted's auto Body, graphics by Sign Graphics

Inside Bride seats, Takata harnesses, Defi gauges, Sparco Steering wheel, Sparco shifter knob, E-Shift Performance dash And panels

Props hillside honda in Queen, nyc, E-Shift Performance: mike miranda, Wayne henry, Naasif, Raz

WWW advancedclutch.com; aempower.com; apexi.com; crower. Com; eibach.com; energysuspension.com; rceng.com; sparco. Com; tees-usa.com; tein.com (Defi/Takata); turbonetics.com; Wilwood.com

By Roel Concepcion
50 Articles

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