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1992 Honda Civic - Four-Wheel Firepower!

Innovation spawned by necessity

Dec 20, 2013
Photographer: Quickworks

9.50 @ 150 mph

"Wrong-wheel drive!" "Front-wheel fail!" The spastic online quips from the anti-Honda establishment that base their opinions of the brand on nothing more than the random run-in with that teenage punk that threw a pathetic 95hp rev at them as they exited the freeway are posted on any and every automotive related outlet in existence. Incredible facts and figures, like inescapable transmission failure at 30,000 miles and spontaneous CV joint explosions at less than 20K, all but call for the absolute abolishment of every FWD car in existence. As with most things on the Internet, rumors and embellishment reign supreme, completely overshadowing any sort of real-world experience. And while FF vehicles aren't inherently suited to dominate in a drag race environment, especially with the gas miserly powerplants under the hood of most offerings over the past 20 years, major progression via research, development, and dedication has been made. Still, guys like Alberto Casas and Chris Horton, owners of B&C Performance in Nevada, had their fair share of FWD experience, both good and bad. The difference between this pair and most others is that they have a knack for rethinking things and essentially creating what most can only daydream about.

2019 Honda Civic
$21,450 Base Model (MSRP) MPG Fuel Economy
1992 honda civic golden eagle bumper diffuser 08 Photo 2/14   |   1992 Honda Civic - Four-Wheel Firepower!

The car you see pictured certainly didn't start off as a boosted, all-wheel-drive bright-blue hatch blasting 9-second passes. Instead it sat in a friend's backyard draped in its factory teal paint, with an almost complete K20A3 swap. Alberto adds, "It had no ECU, so it didn't run. I paid $2,200 for the car the way it sat and I was one of the first K-series [swaps] in Reno." The list of missing parts included a hood, front bumper, fenders, and pretty much the entire interior. Chris sourced some of the interior bits along with the missing body panels, and then plugged in Hondata's K-Pro management to get the car running. Armed with a 75-shot of nitrous, the A3 swap pulled the car to a respectable 12.5 pass, but it roasted the tires most of the way down the 1320. "My car had bad traction problems," Alberto recalls. "I actually lost a race due to the horrible traction, so I was thinking of ways to make it better." During a routine maintenance visit, a chance encounter with a customer's Element planted the seed, and after a few months of brainstorming, creating theories and counter-theories, Alberto and Chris stockpiled the necessary parts for an AWD conversion. A long series of measuring, cutting, welding, and plenty of spending, carried on for two months, a block of time that was every bit as frustrating as it was rewarding once the finish line was finally in sight.

To keep things in perspective, this is by no means a "bolt-on and go" affair. Custom fabrication, which B&C Performance does in-house, is crucial to making the conversion a reality. While the intricate details are kept under wraps, a mix of OEM and aftermarket parts needed include: a CRV 5-speed transmission, an AWD Honda differential and rear axles, and a custom-built driveline.

In between bouts of battling the drivetrain equation, the guys found time to build a K24A2 block with Eagle rods and CP low-compression pistons and topped it off with a built K20A2 head. Precision's 5758 turbo was elected to generate boost to take advantage of the newfound traction. On the dyno, the car was able to eclipse the 500hp mark and with the power being put to the ground, recorded a 10.7 at Top Gun Raceway. A follow-up tuning session in Sacramento, along with a little more seat time, brought that number down to a 10.4.

Following its stellar debut, the car was treated to an array of upgrades, including a Precision 6262 T4 turbo, Sheepey Built sidewinder exhaust manifold, and Turbosmart wastegate, which all required another dyno session to fine-tune. The result was a 100hp surplus as the Civic pounded out 604 hp. A rematch with Sacramento Raceway would bring about the car's best performance: an impressive 10.1 at 139 mph (more recently, 9.50 @ 150 mph).

Not surprising, B&C Performance isn't satisfied with being just an arms length away from the 9-second club, and they have a number of plans already brewing for a new build to make its way under the car's hood.

1992 honda civic custom driveshaft 02 Photo 6/14   |  
The custom driveshaft that helps B&C spin all four corners.

If you're wondering whether or not B&C Performance can replicate the build for customers, the answer is "yes." Chis states, "We put up a few videos of our AWD conversions on YouTube and got a lot of response. People started contacting us about building an AWD setup for them. As a matter of fact, we have a customer's K-series del Sol in the shop right now that we're converting to AWD." A complex and time-consuming operation, Chris estimates that a typical conversion takes about 3-4 weeks to complete.

The task of taking a front-wheel-drive vehicle and adapting an all-wheel-drive setup is daunting to say the least. The idea of throwing upwards of four times the amount of power deemed necessary by Honda on factory components seems all but impossible. Not only has B&C Performance done the impossible, but they've also managed to land just shy of the 9-second mark. Best of all, they've got two heads full of ideas to jump over that hurdle as well.

Bolts & Washers

K24A block
K20A2 head
B&C Performance assembly/swap
Custom engine mounts
Balanced/micro-polished Type S crank
CP Pistons 9.0:1
Eagle H-beam rods
Type S oil pump
Fluidyne dual core radiator
Ported and polished head
Brian Crower valves
Brian Crower valvesprings/retainers
Brian Crower Stage III cams
Aeromotive 700 fuel pump
Aeromotive fuel regulator
AEM fuel rail
Custom lines/fittings
Precision 6262 T4 turbo
Sheepey Built exhaust manifold
Xcessive KPro intake manifold
80mm Q45 throttle body
Garrett intercooler core
Custom end tanks and piping
Tial 50mm blow-off valve
Custom 3in exhaust (through hood)
2.5in wastegate piping (through hood)
Turbosmart Powergate 60mm wastegate
CRV 5-sp transmission
Competition Clutch Stage V clutch
Type S flywheel
AWD Honda differential
Custom driveshaft by Driveline & Gear Service
Hasport stage II front axles
Honda AWD rear axles

1992 honda civic xcessive KPro intake manifold 06 Photo 10/14   |  
A built and boosted K24/K20 combo helps bring home low 10-sec timeslips.

Omni Power Sport coilovers
Blox Racing camber kit
Blox Racing traction bar

Performance friction pads
Custom stainless brake lines

Wheels & Tires
949 Racing 6UL 15x8 +35
Dunlop Direzza 205-50/15

Laguna Seca Blue paint
Fab C Automotive drag wing
Golden Eagle Mfg. bumper diffuser
Spoon style mirrors
Amber corner lights
OEM optional front lip
Moroso kill switch

1992 honda civic OEM optional front lip 10 Photo 11/14   |   1992 Honda Civic OEM Optional Front Lip 10

Chad Barber/Barbershop 8pt chromoly cage
Recaro Evo 8 seat
RJS 5pt harness
Mugen shift knob
JDM ITR steering wheel

Honda K-Pro management
Hondata boost controller
AEM UEGO wideband
Autometer boost/water temp gauges

I would like to thank my friends and family, my sponsors Fab C Automotive, Luxury Detail, Enginetiks, Lightspeed Racing, and thanks to the shops that helped me complete my build: Driveline and Gear Service, Amigos Auto Shop, B&C Performance, LDL Speed shop and Barbershop Performance

1992 honda civic spoon style mirrors 09 Photo 12/14   |   1992 Honda Civic - Four-Wheel Firepower!

Owner Specs

Daily grind
Shop owner/mechanic

Favorite Site

Screen Name or Nick Name

Building Hondas for How Long
8 years

Dream Car
Toyota Supra

Inspiration for this Build
Traction problems with FWD

Future Projects
AWD CRX for time attack/road racing

1992 honda civic custom exhaust 12 Photo 13/14   |   1992 Honda Civic Custom Exhaust 12

B&C Performance, NV

What started as a general maintenance automotive garage is quickly headed toward becoming a full-blown performance shop. Based in Nevada, B&C Performance established itself with routine maintenance duties, servicing five different local dealerships. And while those five dealers are still coming in, they're now flanked by Hondas waiting for built engines, AWD conversions, and just about anything else related to performance. Though the surrounding area doesn't house a huge import community, Chris and Alberto say people are coming through the doors, and the work is steady. And if their 9.50-second, AWD Civic EH is any indication of what they're capable of, we expect you'll be hearing a lot more from the B&C Performance camp.

1992 honda civic 949 racing 6UL 05 Photo 14/14   |   1992 Honda Civic - Four-Wheel Firepower!


Torrance, CA 90503
AEM Electronics
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Turbosmart USA
Vista, CA 92081
Sheepey Built
Perris, CA 92571
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