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 |   |  1998 Honda Civic Type R - Family First
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1998 Honda Civic Type R - Family First

Team NSU's K20-powered CTR

Joey Lee
Jun 27, 2013
Photographer: Matthew Jones

The Type R has been long revered by Honda enthusiasts worldwide. Up until this very day, Honda guys young and old are still on the lookout for a clean Integra Type R chassis or bits and pieces from the legendary chassis. When we first found out that Honda produced the ITR in 1996, we all drooled over them. When we found out there was an ITR destined for U.S. showrooms, we all dreamed of owning one. The debate will go on forever among enthusiasts over which front end is better, JDM or U.S. bug-eyes, but there is no denying that the original Japanese Integra Type R opened our eyes to all things "JDM" and what Honda had to offer in its native land. Lurking not too far in the background was the Integra Type R's brethren, the EK9 Civic Type R. Like the DC2R, both were pinnacles to their respective platforms and previously unavailable in the U.S. Unlike the ITR, however, the EK9 never made the trek to our country. American Honda instead offered the EM1 Civic Si coupe. The only way to have an EK9 was to try and import one or build your own version out of whatever legit (and sometimes not so legit) EK9 parts you could find. Sixteen years after the EK9 was first introduced, enthusiasts around the world are still trying to emulate the styling and performance of Honda's most famed Civic.

01 1998 honda civic type r enkei RPF1 wheels Photo 2/9   |   1998 Honda Civic Type R - Family First

Those who took the risk of importing them into the country knew they had a real gem in their possession-and weren't exactly willing to just sell them or let them go. Legit CTRs are rare, and even when you do happen to see one, you're probably skeptical as to whether it's the real deal. People have become so good at replicating them that it's oftentimes tough to identify their authenticity. Chances are that if you had a white '96-'00 Civic chassis, you at one time or another attempted to create a faux CTR.

The white Civic you see on these pages is undoubtedly an authentic '98 R. It no longer bears its high-strung 1.6L B16B engine. We don't really know much about its history prior to its arrival in North America over six years ago, but this EK9 has created quite the history for itself. Not in a sense where it would indicate that the car has been through multiple transformations, because it hasn't. This Civic has looked nearly the same aesthetically since it migrated to America. The history we are referring to has more to do with a family or personal history. If this CTR could talk, it would tell you all about how it's been built collectively by three different owners. Instead we'll let Jeff Dodson, the most current owner, and Lee Molina, the previous owner, tell you all about it:

02 1998 honda civic type r HaSport EKK2 engine mount Photo 3/9   |   1998 Honda Civic Type R - Family First

Jeff Dodson: "I first spotted this EK9 on eBay back in 2007. It was a car that I had always wanted to own, but I just could not afford it at that time. I didn't become the owner until much later on when I purchased it from my friend Lee."

Lee Molina: "I originally bought the CTR from a friend of mine back in 2010. He had the car for a couple of years but didn't really do much to it other than the '00-spec CTR front end conversion. The chassis came to the U.S. as a shell [no engine], so he had also dropped a JDM B18C ITR motor in it. I did a majority of the other major modifications after I acquired it."

Most of the aftermarket products you see featured on the CTR currently are the product of Molina's vision. He installed the Function7 LCAs and braces, Ground Control suspension, and the Alex Racing brackets that help elevate the OEM CTR wing. The EK9 was a dream car of Molina's, and he had plans to eventually do a K20 swap. "There was a lot more that I had set out to do, but then a tragic event turned my whole world upside down," Molina says. "My mom passed away in late 2010, and I had to sell the car because I needed the money."

03 1998 honda civic type r OEM DC5 type R shift knob Photo 4/9   |   Other than a simple shift knob swap, the interior is factory fresh “R.”

Molina and Dodson were both friends in the same car club, Team NSU, so Dodson couldn't imagine the CTR going to a random stranger. This was a significant chassis to both of them, so Jeff decided to step in and take the EK9 off of Molina's hands. It was a win-win situation; not only would Jeff finally be able to own the car he had set his sights on since 2007, he'd also be helping out a friend who was in a tough spot financially. In addition, the CTR would remain in the Team NSU family. "I was always around the car, and Lee was a friend of mine, so I knew the Civic was very well taken care of. He had the K20A2 motor waiting to go in, so I bought the motor off of him, too," Jeff states.

With the help of teammate Molina, Jeff pulled the ITR motor and completed the K swap at the shop where he worked at as a mechanic. The money he had made from selling the B18C that was once in the EK9 went to ordering a set of 57mm Kinsler ITBs and a host of K-Tuned engine components. To give the car a more personal touch, Dodson ditched the Spoon wheels Molina had in favor of wider 16x8 Enkei RPF1s.

06 1998 honda civic type r alex racing wing bracket Photo 5/9   |   1998 Honda Civic Type R - Family First

"Jeff, the other NSU guys, and I put a lot of work into this EK9 collectively. It's his car now, but it felt great to help him finish this build as I would have if I had the opportunity to keep it. The best part of Team NSU is that we are a family, and I'm happy that this car is still a big part of it." Family first.

Bolts & Washers

Hondata K-Pro
HaSport EKK2 engine mounts
Kinsler Injection 57mm individual throttle bodies
4 Piston Racing custom runner design (390 cfm flow rate)
Blox Racing exhaust manifold
K-Teller 3-inch exhaust piping
Magnaflow muffler
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
Earl's fuel lines
Earl's fuel line fittings
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
Koyo aluminum radiator
K-Tuned heater hoses
K-Tuned power steering delete
K-Tuned A/C delete with alternator relocation kit
RSX Type-S 6-speed transmission
K-Tuned shifter box
K-Tuned shifter arm with upgraded spring
ACT 6-puck clutch
ACT Streetlite flywheel
OEM RSX base model axles

05 1998 honda civic type r kinsler injection individual throttle bodies Photo 6/9   |   1998 Honda Civic Type R - Family First

Ground Control coilover sleeves
Koni Yellow short shocks
Ground Control extended top hats
Skunk2 Pro Series camber kit
Beaks lower tie-bar with custom brackets
Function7 lower reinforcement brace
Function7 lower control arms
OEM DC2 Type R front lower subframe

08 1998 honda civic type r enkei RPF1 Photo 7/9   |   1998 Honda Civic Type R - Family First

Powerslot brake rotors
Hawk brake pads
Steel-braided brake lines

Wheels & Tires
16x8 +32 Enkei RPF1
195/50-16 Dunlop Direzza DZ101

OEM '99-spec CTR front end
Alex Racing adjustable wing bracket

Recaro seats
OEM DC5 Type R shift knob

Props Lee Molina, Team NSU
4 Piston Racing, Mike Hackett from K-Tuned

Owner Specs

Daily grind

04 1998 honda civic type r OEM CTR spec front end Photo 8/9   |   1998 Honda Civic Type R - Family First

Favorite site

Screen name

Building Hondas
13 years

Dream car
Honda NSX-R

Inspiration for this build
To build something different and unique

Future build

Kinsler ITBs

Individual throttle bodies can be a little tricky. Without proper tuning, you can experience significant power loss when switching to ITBs. Kinsler Fuel Injection is one of the best in the market and provides fully customizable pieces that help you maximize the potential of your particular engine. The company offers throttle plates in various sizes, customizable runner lengths, primary and secondary injector rails, and it will even CNC its runners to match your cylinder head port sizes. Dodson's Kinsler setup on his K20A2 features the company's 57mm throttles with a custom runner design by Team 4 Piston Racing that helps the setup flow at 390 cfm!

07 1998 honda civic type r kinsler injection ITBs Photo 9/9   |   1998 Honda Civic Type R - Family First


HASport Performance
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Torrance, CA 90503
4 Piston Racing
Pittsboro, IN 46167
By Joey Lee
243 Articles



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