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1997 Honda Civic DX - Built With Love

No fame. No agenda. Just because.

Jonathan “JT” Thompson
Sep 24, 2013

The Netherlands, more commonly referred to as Holland, resides northwest of Germany in Europe and boasts a population that nearly doubles that of New York City. The national motto translated to English means, "I will hold firm." A less refined translation is stubborn. And that is precisely what Remco Postma from Amsterdam, Netherlands, is; stubborn. He chose to build a USDM-spec hatchback with the majority of his parts coming from companies located in the United States and Japan in order to break from the mold of local builds.

Remco purchased a number of USDM parts and accessories for his previous Civic with the mind-set of "why not start off USDM?" His plans for his EJ6, purchased from a local shop, weren't very complex. Basics like suspension and fresh paint were in order, but many discussions occurred about the possibilities on popular Honda forums. Dreams of high-revving, neck-breaking activities would eventually become reality, and to get things underway, Remco crafted a parts list. In a short period of time he was staring at what would consume him and $35,000 over the next year. Limited parts availability and unreal shipping fees to the Netherlands contributed to a high total build cost.

2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy
1997 honda civic DX honda sports VTi lip kit Photo 2/7   |   1997 Honda Civic DX - Built With Love

This car proved to be quite the learning tool as Remco had installed bolt-on goods in the past, but never performed any complicated installations. He states that much of the information needed to complete each process was just a click away. "A lot of what I needed to do, I found online." From computer screen to garage was the norm as Remco chipped away at various parts of his build. Rather than buying a complete harness, he modified his existing one with help from the web, then proceeded to tuck his brakes lines and other wires as well. Various portions of the engine bay were shaved and smoothed for a cleaner overall look.

Of course, not everything could be done in his garage, and some needs were outsourced. A good friend painted everything, and the exterior was given ample amounts of Roma Red. Many suspension parts were powdercoated white for contrast, and various items in the engine bay were paint matched as well. Sneaky Tuning performed some of the engine modifications and crucial tuning, while Lex Creations satisfied custom fabrication duties like the one-off breather tank. The rest of the build was completed at home, in Remco's home garage.

At one point the project stalled and almost died as the hatch moved into its final stages. With only a few minor parts needed, months had passed and the total wait time for these parts was nearing a year. Like any enthusiast would, Remco grew frustrated and impatient. He decided he was going to part out the Civic and start over. That is when Lex from Lex Creations became involved, offering to custom fabricate whatever was needed to complete the build. Essentially, friends gathered and motivated Remco to continue because they wanted to see the current EJ6 through to completion.

1997 honda civic DX mugen rear hatch spoiler Photo 3/7   |   1997 Honda Civic DX Mugen Rear Hatch Spoiler

No build is as smooth as butter, and hiccups often occur. For example, after tucking the brake hard lines a leak behind the subframe showed up. The next phase was engine tuning, and the leak issue needed to be fixed quickly. Two words come to mind when Remco recalls seeing the brake fluid dripping on the garage concrete: "It sucked!" The subframe was removed, and the culprit was a damaged AN fitting. Beyond the setbacks, the engine fired up on its first attempt, a significant accomplishment for someone with limited automotive experience. Although the prices are steep, Remco prides himself on purchasing authentic parts. "There are a lot of knock-off parts around here. The shops are known for selling fake parts, etc.," he explains. Two aspects that specifically stand out to Remco are his Bisimoto exhaust manifold and the extensive use of Mugen license plate bolts throughout the vehicle. To Remco's knowledge, there are only a few Bisimoto exhaust manifolds in the Netherlands. "Every time I open the hood, that part gets a lot of attention. The style, the performance, I just love it." Again, authenticity is the reason he likes his Mugen license plate frame bolts, and he didn't bother with cutting corners. "I bought 24 packs of them," he laughs.

What makes this story even more compelling is that the build did not have an agenda. There was no desire for celebrity or fame, and Remco never thought his car would get as much as attention as it has. Public awareness was limited throughout the build. In fact, only a handful of friends even knew the project existed. For some, the story may not add up here. Remco dropped major coin on a foreign car outfitted with authentic foreign parts, but why? The answer is simple, he built this car for himself.

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
B20B engine
12.7:1 compression ratio
HaSport engine mounts
CP pistons
Eagle H-beam connecting rods
ACL engine rods and main bearings
B18C4 cylinder head
ARP head bolts
Supertech valves
Supertech dual-spring valvesprings
Supertech titanium retainersv Supertech keepers
Skunk2 Racing camshafts
Lex Creations air intake system
Mugen air filter box
Mugen air filter
Skunk2 Racing 70mm throttle body
Edelbrock Victor X air intake manifold
Bisimoto V2 exhaust manifold
Lex Creations 2.5-inch exhaust system
Spoon Sports N1 muffler
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
RC Engineering 550cc fuel injectors
Downstar Boltboys lines and fittings
Russell Performance 40-micron inline fuel filter
NRG spark plugs
Spoon Sports spark plug wires
Spoon Sports spark plug cover
EK9 S4C transmission
Exedy Stage 2 clutch
TCC flywheel
Skunk2 Racing dual-bend short shifter
OMNI Power clutch master cylinder
All-In Fabrications tucked radiator
Goodridge radiator hoses
Lex Creations breather tank
Engine tuning by Sneaky Tuning
Engine assembly by Sneaky Tuning
Engine modifications by Sneaky Tuning
Downstar Boltboys bolts and nuts
Mugen bolts
EC Tune ECU

1997 honda civic DX B20 VTEC conversion Photo 4/7   |  
B20/VTEC conversion with 12.7:1 compression sits inside a spotless bay.

Suspension
Buddy Club dampers
EK9 antiroll bars
Energy Suspension bushings
Skunk2 Racing alignment kit
ASR subframe brace
Quaife quick-ratio rack and pinion kit
Buddy Club P-1 Racing extended ball joints
Function7 lower control arms
Spoon Sports subframe rigid collar kit
Spoon Sports fender bars
Various items powdercoated white

Resistance
Brembo brake discs
ITR brake calipers
Ferodo DS2500 brake pads
AP Racing brake fluid
Goodridge brake lines

Wheels & Tires
Mugen RNR 15x7 +45
195/50-15 Bridgestone ER300

Exterior
Roma Red paint
EK9 window visors
Honda Sports VTi lip kit
JUN front bumper grille
Mugen rear hatch spoiler

1997 honda civic DX mugen airbox Photo 5/7   |   1997 Honda Civic DX - Built With Love

Interior
Bride seats
QSP safety harnesses
MOMO Jet steering wheel
Skunk2 Racing shift knob
Mugen pedals
DC5 Bride fabric-wrapped rear seat
AEM wideband gauge

Props
Bisimoto
Full Car tuning
Downstar Boltboys
IPG Parts
Sneaky Tuning
Dennis Bloemendaal
Erik Oudshoorn

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
Elevator mechanic

Favorite Site
nwp4life.com

Screen Name
Bizz@re

Building Hondas
8 years

Dream Car
Honda NSX

Inspiration For This Build
U.S. builds like Big Mike's Prelude

Future Build
S2000 or 2013 Accord

1997 honda civic DX B20 VTEC conversion Photo 6/7   |   1997 Honda Civic DX B20 VTEC Conversion

Heavy Metal

Fabricating is to adults as Legos are to children. Beginning with an idea, then brainstorming, and eventually manipulating raw material to turn intangible into tangible. Lex Heijne of Lex Creations based in the Netherlands thinks there is no better feeling than experiencing a project when it comes to life. Lex began his welding career as a pipe fitter 17 years prior. He enjoys creating antiroll bars, rollcages, and finds sheet metal challenging.

"For those starting out, make sure to get a good welder. Second-hand will do just fine, but get a good brand where you are sure parts will be around for a bit. Then practice, practice, and then practice some more. The only way you learn how to weld is by doing it." If you are into welding, starting a career, or have a question, email Lex at lexcreations@hotmail.com.

1997 honda civic DX bride seats Photo 7/7   |   1997 Honda Civic DX - Built With Love

Sources

RC Engineering
Torrance, CA 90501
310-320-2273
http://www.rceng.com
Bisimoto Performance
Ontario, CA 91761
888-922-6686
http://www.bisimoto.com
By Jonathan “JT” Thompson
11 Articles

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