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1990 Honda Civic STD - The Night Ripper

This Is One Civic With More Uses Than A Shamwow

Sean Klingelhoefer
Sep 1, 2009
Photographer: Christopher Sullivan

Tuning Honda Civics has come a long way in the 21st century. It almost seems as though there is a set formula that one must abide by in order to be deemed "cool" by Internet forum sticklers. It's all about getting the "rare" JDM parts, the context of rare is usually determined by the price someone pays for an item rather than the actual difficulty of attaining said part(s). For example, an EG Civic with a "rare" Spoon wing and some "rare" Regamaster Evos might earn you a "damn doggie that's tight :thumbup:" from a forum maven with over 20,000 posts (a :thumbup: gesture is one of highest approval). Anything less might engage what most fear more than death - an Internet hating frenzy that many refer to as a "flame war."

Lots have become lost in this "I'm a baller that has more money in my Civic than you do" mindset. So much so that it's hard to remember that it's not the only way to build a car. Sometimes I forget that there are people out there doing exactly what sucked me into the scene in the first place; building cars purely to enjoy them. Adam Jabaay's Civic isn't equipped with any parts from companies that you might see integrated into part of a JDM fanboi's screen name (as a matter of fact, half the damn car he fabricated himself, often with the help of his brother). Our "flamesuits" are on!

2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy

We don't need to tell you that this car isn't exactly a looker. And yes, those are steelies inside those marshmallow tires, not some uber-rare Mugen wheel you haven't heard of. But rather than mass appeal, this car was focused to please one critic - the owner. Rather than spending money on parts, Adam spent money on tools. Instead of wasting time on the web he perfected his fabrication skills. A closer look at this car will explain how it was built rather intelligently and is well-suited to many roles.

After wrapping his first EF around a tree (a result as the owner puts it of "driving like a jerkass thinking I was awesome"), Jabaay picked up this standard. He's now owned the car for over seven years, with a majority of the time used as a daily driver. It's seen its share of engine swaps over the years, eleven to be exact, before culminating in the unconventional transplant that is now at home in this EF's bay.

"I've had eleven engines in the car", Adam tells me. "The original engine was blown when I bought [the car], so I replaced it with the engine from my wrecked hatch. Then I put in a JDM DOHC ZC which I built up with cams/high-compression from a milled head, custom homemade ITBs and Exospeed cams. I blew vast amounts of headgaskets due to a warped head. Then we slapped in a D16A6, and built our first turbo setup. I ended up learning things about tuning by popping some engines at first."

Adam would go on to perfect a turbo setup on the D16 until one day it met it's demise some 25k miles later to a stuck injector. Feeling like it was time to try something new, Jabaay decided to go with the same power plant we used for the Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge - an Accord F series single cam. In order to fit this swap, Adam had to perform a few frame modifications and pick up a special adapter plate from Bisimoto that allows the F series block to be mated to a D series transmission.

A Bisimoto camshaft and valve springs are the only internal mods. The intake manifold and turbo manifold are both custom pieces fabricated by Adam and his brother Jeremy. Throw on a customized Arizona Turbo and Tractor supplies snail, a nice backdoor intercooler setup, some Deatschwerks 700cc injectors and a Walbro 255lph fuel pump and you have the necessities. Once tuned on Crome, this inexpensive setup lays down 344hp and 290lb-ft . In this lightweight chassis that equates to enough power to stomp on just about anything you want.

A regular to both the dragstrip and the local road course, we're sure Adam does his fare share of stomping. He's currently nearing the 10 second range in the 1/4 mile - considering Adam estimates he could replicate this entire car for about $5k that's a pretty amazing feat. He also keeps good karma flowing his way as an instructor of road racing. It seems everything that Jabaay has done is in fun's best interest. Whether you like the car or not, there's no denying it would be a blast to drive. And whether you like the car or not, there's no denying that Adam Jabaay will continue to have a blast while driving it.

Fast Facts
1990 Honda Civic STD
Owner Adam Jabaay
Hometown South Holland, Il
Daily Grind glass company owner
Power 344hp @ 7000 RPM, 290lb-ft @ 6000 RPM; 11.3 e.t.@127.5 mph

Under The Hood Turbocharged 2.3L Accord F22A1 head/F23 block; 9.6:1 Compression ratio; Bisimoto turbo camshaft, valve springs; mild port/gasket match; custom self-built intake manifold w/velocity stacks, 3.5" exhaust w/Dynomax bullet muffler, turbo manifold, modified oil pan (all welding done by Jeremy Jabaay); Deatschwerks 700cc injectors; B&M fuel pressure regulator; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; custom billet fuel rail; modified Infiniti Q45 throttle body; NGK BKR7E spark plugs; MSD plug wires; Arizona Turbo and Tractor Supply 60-1 HiFi turbo w/stage 3.63 exhaust wheel and ported exhaust housing; GReddy Type S blow-off valve; TiAL 38mm wastegate; custom backdoor style intercooler and piping; polished valve cover w/breather ports; Griffin "Scirocco style" aluminum radiator; Fluidamp crank pulley; simple wire tuck by Michael Decker

Drivetrain D series transmission; Quaife ATB LSD; Action 2MD clutch: DX final drive: Bisimoto transmission adapter plate

Brains Chrome-tuned ECU; Turbo XS dual stage boost controller

Stiff Stuff Koni Yellow struts w/Ground Control coilovers (front) and Hyperco coilovers (rear) 9kg front/ 12kg rear; DX front sway bar; Mugen front lower control arm bushings: Energy Suspension front sway bar endlinks, sway bar bushings; strut bushings; spherical bearing rear lower control arm bushings; ITR rear lower control arms; corner weighted and balanced

Stoppers '91 Si calipers w/semi-metallic pads (front) and '87 CRX HF rear aluminum drums and stock shoes (rear) (street/drag); ITR front calipers w/Cobalt XP3 pads and 10.2" rotors (front) (road race): Russell braided lines

Rollers Diamond Racing 13X8 wheels w/custom heat-faded color w/ 205/60R13 Sumitomo HTR 200 tires (street); BBS 14X6.5 wheels w/24.5X8.0-14 Mickey Thompson slicks (front) and VX wheels (rear) (drag race); American racing 15X7 w/250/590R15 Yokohama A-005 slicks (front) and 13" steelies w/225/45R13 Hoosier R3S04 slicks (rear) (road race)

Outside Honda OEM rear wing shimmed higher; cut front fenders; cut front bumper; drilled rear bumper; carbon-fiber hood w/hood pins; rear quarter panel cut and welded to remove rust; repainted OEM red at Scotts Paint and Performance

Inside Corbeau Forza seats; '91 Si carpet; roll-formed aluminum console cover wrapped in cow-skin fabric; Autometer Pro-comp boost, oil temp, water temp and oil pressure gauges; Momo wood grain steering wheel; custom self-built wooden shift knob and 6pt roll bar

Ice Kenwood head unit in glove box; Rockford Fosgate 6" door speakers (neither of which have been used in over two years)

Props I'd like to thank my patient wife Sara, brother Jeremy Jabaay, Allison J, Mom and Dad, Mikey Decker, Splitime, Blocker, Dave B, Dan Devries, Tallkyle, bodyman Scott, the 075 buddies, ProFunction for use of the dyno, the Jabaay shop buddies, all the EF-honda.com buddies, Bisimoto, Chris, Luke, Nick P, Mike E and Cornbred Andy

www autometer.com; bisimoto.com; ef-honda.com; energysuspension.com

By Sean Klingelhoefer
211 Articles

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