Four-door Hondas have never been the obvious choice for anybody other than librarians and retirees. They’re heavier and less aerodynamically adept than whatever two-door or hatchback accomplice they share names with, and their accolades generally have more to do with leg room and trunk space than wind resistance and proper handling. An unlikely chassis the sixth-generation Civic sedan is, which is precisely what made it the most sensible choice for Gil Deiiz. That and those two back doors come in real handy for his kids.
Gil knew what he was getting into before starting work on his ‘00 sedan. He’d paid his dues, mostly with a ‘93 Civic hatchback that he’d owned since ‘96. His plans this time were simple, though: to use OEM parts wherever possible but with his own touches. All of that begins underneath the hood where a Japanese-spec B18C sits. Overseas Si and SiII Civic sedans were sold with Honda’s twin-cam B16A, which means Deiiz’s 1.8L swap was the simple, bolt-in process that you think it was. Deiiz went on to augment the twin-cam VTEC engine with high-end goods from famed tuning company Mugen, like a genuine 4-2-1 header, valve cover and intake system.
The odds were against Gil from the beginning. Finding a late-’90s sedan in fair condition and suitable for daily driver duties wasn’t easy, and with a search radius limited to Hawaii’s island of Oahu, his choices were limited. An appropriate sedan was eventually located, and the build—which lasted only a year—begin shortly thereafter. The odds were still against him, though: “Resources are limited,” he says when asked about the challenges of modifying a Honda as extensively as he has while not having direct access to the mainland. “Things cost more to ship, and not being able to see things in person before the purchase [can be a problem.] You have [to take] that person’s word for it.” Which is exactly what he did as he continued sourcing parts for his sedan.
It didn’t stop with the engine bay in terms of high-end parts. Underneath, Gil’s Civic is fitted with Tanabe Sustec Pro S-OC coilovers and a Spoon Sports rear lower tie bar. But the star of Deiiz’s Civic is its Mugen M7 wheels. Deiiz’s M7s are different, though, measuring in at an oversized 16x9 inches with an undoubtedly low offset of only +15—a combination that, to be sure, Mugen never produced but that Deiiz had customized specifically for himself. The process, known as rebarreling, mates a larger and wider rim to an existing face. An inexpensive modification this is not, but neither were the changes Deiiz made to the car’s exterior, like the assortment of front and rear bumpers, as well as a front spoiler, headlights and power-folding mirrors all from the JDM-spec Civic SiR. When matched with the authentic Mugen rear spoiler, lighting upgrades, and custom Rally Red paint, it’s all for the makings of an impressive Civic—sedan or not.
Gil’s Civic may have four doors, and the insurance companies may consider it the tamest of all Hondas, but this is no librarian’s Civic. He wanted a family friendly car. That doesn’t mean he had to compromise.
2000 Honda Civic LX Sedan
Owner Gil Deiiz
Hometown Ewa Beach, Hawaii
Engine B18C engine swap; Mugen intake, header, valve cover, oil cap, radiator cap, license plate bolts and reservoir covers; Skunk2 intake manifold; Hondata intake manifold gasket; Honda Access exhaust; Spoon Sports spark plug wires, battery and radiator hoses; C&R aluminum radiator; Hondata S300 engine management; JDM SiR fuse box cover
Footwork & Chassis Tanabe Sustec Pro S-OC coilovers; Skunk2 camber kits; Spoon Sports rear lower tie bar; Beaks rear bar; Blackworks rear lower control arms
Brakes Spoon Sports front calipers; Integra Type R rear calipers and pads
Wheels & Tires Rebarreled 16x9" Mugen M7 (+15 offset) wheels; 195/45-16 Yokohama S.drive tires; Integra Type R 4x114 lug conversion; Rays Formula lug nuts
Exterior Sikkens Rally Red paint; JDM SiR front bumper, front spoiler, rear bumper, headlights and power folding mirrors; JDM Civic Type R front grille; Mugen rear spoiler; 6,000K 55W HIDs; Stanley clear foglights and clear side marker lights; intersection lights; JDM thin side moldings and window visors; custom red and clear taillights
Interior Civic Vi-RS seats, interior panels, arm rest; Mugen Racing III steering wheel, pedals, gauge cluster and rearview mirror cover; Sparco quick-release hub; ARC shift knob; JDM Civic navigation system with TV tuner, black seat belts, SiR sun visors and steering column light; red carpet; Honda Access floormats; Civic Type R shift boot and emergency brake handle; EL Civic center console; Gathers subwoofer; roof console and sunglass holder; steering column light; EDM Civic dashboard; airbag tray