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1999 Honda Civic DX - Rebuilding The Rebuild

An 8-year love affair

Brian McGurk
Feb 10, 2014
Photographer: Faiz Rahman

Inspirational builds are the best part about this community. They tickle our fancies down to the core of our dark little tuner hearts and the internal dialogue says, "Oh yeah, I'm doing that!" Sometime in 2006, Jesus Luna was inspired by a hot little hatch in Carlisle, PA—a car that ignited his obsession with all things VTEC-related. Little did he know that hatch would one day be his.

Jesus had a few builds under his belt and was piloting his mildly built E46 BMW on a trip near his hometown of New Market, VA, when he saw the exact same car cruising down the road. The random encounter led to an epiphany, and turning to his wife, he stated, "I know that car!" That minor run-in was all it took to get Jesus started on the hunt for the owner of the hatch he'd seen half a decade prior. Jesus eventually tracked the driver down online and offered him a trade. He states, "It was the hatch I saw in PA and I had to have it. I followed the build online and I lost track of the car. I knew it when I saw it." Purchased, then towed three hours home, Jesus finally had his prize, albeit a little rougher than he remembered. "The pictures made it look great and it wasn't. The body was beat, the suspension was garbage, and it smoked like hell." Jesus had dug himself a deep hole with the car of his dreams, and instead of cutting his ties, he got to work to return the car to its former glory.

2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy
1999 honda civic DX chargespeed front lip 05 Photo 2/22   |   1999 Honda Civic DX - Rebuilding The Rebuild

The suspension and rolling stock were first on their way to the dumpster. The "hella-dumped" blown-out coils were swapped for Tein coilovers, and the equally haggard OEM bushings were all replaced with Energy Suspension quality bits. Jesus remembered his dream hatch rocking the classic SW388's which had long since been sold; luckily he had a set of 15-inch versions in his garage and after wrapping them in Bridgestone Potenza rubber, he tossed them on his new car.

The Civic could roll, but the body was far worse for the wear. He adds, "It had messed up bumpers and non-OEM fenders. They all were painted at a different time, so nothing matched." Jesus ripped the engine out and started with a mild shave and tuck, then swapped out all of the aftermarket bits for fresh pieces straight from Honda before a fresh coat of Long Beach Blue Pearl was laid down, essentially recreating the car he remembered from 2006.

Jesus had a hunch that the GS-R swap was on its last legs after starting it up for the first time. "I fired it up and it smoked ... and the smoking didn't stop, so I ripped the engine apart." Jesus was right, as the bottom end was completely shot. He decided to ditch it for a built B18C1 that had been pushed to 2.2L thanks to Darton sleeves, Eagle rods, and Wiseco slugs. On the flip side, the top end remained in good shape, so Jesus opted for a 5-angle valve job and a Skunk2 valve train upgrade. A Bisimoto header and Buddy Club exhaust were bolted on for exhaust duties, while TWM individual throttle bodies inhale deeply on the intake side.

The interior was still stripped after the car's respray, so Jesus installed red carpet and a set of matching red Status Racing seats with Takata harnesses to keep his butt well-planted. Spoon Sports extras, like the steering wheel, rearview mirror, and Duracon shift knob, were added to the mix, and the vision Jesus had from '06 was almost complete; but where to go from there? The track, of course. "I took it to a local course, and I was hooked." After being bitten by the track bug, Jesus started paying attention to his lap times and researched ways to improve his runs. Up front, a Chargespeed lip is fitted with APR carbon-fiber canards and a custom splitter, while the flanks received custom carbon splitters of their own. Out back, a Spoon Sports rear diffuser was installed down low, and a Seeker rear wing up high.

1999 honda civic DX spoon sports duracon shift knob 09 Photo 6/22   |   1999 Honda Civic DX - Rebuilding The Rebuild
1999 honda civic DX spoon sports gen 1 steering wheel 10 Photo 7/22   |  
Status bucket seats and a Spoon steering wheel enhance the driving experience

Spoon Sports' rigid collar system was installed prior to a comprehensive corner balancing session and Jesus dragged his hatch to every HPD event in the area. He adds, "I went everywhere [including] Summit Point and VIR, and with the car dialed in, I did really well."

Jesus rebuilt his dream, and now his dream has grown into a full-fledged race toy. When asked what could possibly be next, Jesus stated, "The car's going back under the knife so I can do time attack. It'll be a K-series with boost."

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
B18C1 (now 2.2L)
Modified OEM Type R oil pump
Drop Engineering engine mounts
Darton MID sleeves
95mm Eagle crankshaft
Wiseco pistons 12.8:1
Eagle stroker rods
ITR oil pump
TWM 52mm performance ITBS
Toda cams
Skunk2 retainers
Skunk2 valve springs
Skunk2 bronze valve guides
Skunk2 racing valves
Supertech keepers
DC Sports cam gears
Bisimoto exhaust manifold
Buddy Club spec 2 exhaust
Custom 3" vibrant test pipe
AEM 390 fuel pump
440cc RC injectors
TWM fuel rail
-8an custom braided fuel lines
Rusell fuel filter
Blox inline fuel pressure regulator
Spoon Sports half radiator
Spoon Sports radiator hoses
Spoon Sports plug wires
PWJDM Kevlar stacks
GS-R transmission
Driveshaft Shop 2.9 axles
Competition twin disk clutch
Quaife LSD

1999 honda civic DX B18C1 06 Photo 11/22   |  
Darton MID sleeves, an Eagle crank, and Wiseco pistons help push this B18C1 to a 2.2L.

Suspension
Tein Super Flex coilovers
ASR front/rear sway bar
Miracle X brace
Spoon Sports shock tower bar
Energy suspension bushings
Buddy club adjustable A-arms
Buddy club adjustable rear camber kit
J's racing rear brace
Custom welded structural braces
Spoon Sports rigid collar

Resistance
EBC brake rotors
Spoon Sports brake pads
Spoon Sports brake lines
OEM Civic Type R brake calipers
Project MU brake fluid

Wheels & Tires
Spoon SW388 15x6.5 +42
Bridgestone Potenza Re-01 205/50-R15

Exterior
Laguna Seca Blue paint
Spoon Sports carbon fiber hood
Spoon Sports rear diffuser
Seeker rear wing
APR rear diffuser
APR carbon fiber canards
Chargespeed front lip
Custom side skirt splitter
Custom front splitter

1999 honda civic DX miracle x brace 11 Photo 15/22   |   1999 Honda Civic DX - Rebuilding The Rebuild

Interior
STATUS racing seats
Takata harnesses
Spoon Sports Gen 1 steering wheel
Spoon Sports Duracon shift knob
Spoon Sports rear view mirror
K-Tuned shifter
Cusco 5-point cage

Electronics
Hondata s300
AEM wideband
AEM voltmeter

Props
All my friends and Family.
Everyone at Mid-Atlantic Motor Works.
Carlos at Momentum Auto Works.

1999 honda civic DX custom side skirt splitter 08 Photo 16/22   |   1999 Honda Civic DX - Rebuilding The Rebuild

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
Machine Operator

Favorite Site
NWP4LIFE

Screen Name
SPOONEK9R

Building Hondas
6 Years

Dream Car
NSX

Inspiration For This Build
Spoon Sports race cars and building something different around my hometown.

Future Build
BMW e30 with an F22

1999 honda civic DX seeker rear wing 07 Photo 17/22   |   1999 Honda Civic DX - Rebuilding The Rebuild

The Collector

For those not in the know, the house of Spoon is a Honda specific tuner with a quarter century worth of trial-and-error under their belts, and Jesus Luna happens to have a habit of collecting any and everything they have to offer. His obsession started with his first build, a '99 Si. He'd swapped a B16B, an engine that had come straight from Japan, and sported a Spoon Sports valve cover. Jesus said, "I live in a small town and not a lot of people have more rare stuff. Having it was cool." Jesus appreciates all the other JDM tuners, but likes Spoon most of all. "Spoon Sports is the closest you can get to a Honda factory race team, without being one." His current collection entails many of the parts currently available for his chassis, a set of the classic SW388's, and a super rare Spoon Sports carbon-fiber hood. He's always on the lookout for more, so if you run across any extra Spoon pieces, he'll surely take them off your hands!

1999 honda civic DX spoon sports half radiator 21 Photo 18/22   |   1999 Honda Civic DX Spoon Sports Half Radiator 21
1999 honda civic DX STATUS racing seat 22 Photo 22/22   |   1999 Honda Civic DX STATUS Racing Seat 22

Sources

EBC Brakes
Sylmar, CA 91342
702-826-2400
http://www.ebcbrakes.com
Hondata
Torrance, CA 90503
310-782-8278
http://www.hondata.com
Vibrant Performance
905-564-2808
http://www.vibrantperformance.com
Bisimoto
Ontario, CA 91761
888-922-6686
http://www.bisimoto.com
By Brian McGurk
47 Articles

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