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Mike Schietroma's 1999 Honda Civic Si

RC's Garage transforms a simple Si into a neck-breaking SEMA spectacle

Matt Rodriguez
May 16, 2016
Photographer: Alex Bernstein

Released at the peak of import performance enthusiasm in the U.S., the '99 Civic Si model was everything that stateside Honda fans had been longing for. A universal design that seemed to look good lowered on just about any set of wheels; a comfortable, user-friendly interior; and, of course, the venerable high-revving B16 that had escaped all previous domestic Civic models. Most important, at least to die-hard Honda fans, was the continuation of Honda's modular design that continued a legacy of effortless compatibility with its siblings.

1999 honda civic si volk racing ce28n wheels Photo 2/9   |   1999 Honda Civic Si Volk Racing Ce28n Wheels

That's all well and good, but after almost two decades since its introduction, the original 160hp engine didn't quite carry the appeal that it once did, at least to guys who struggle with leaving well enough alone. Guys like Mike Schietroma, owner of this heavily modified EM1 that he took ownership of in '04. The purchase, made by his father, didn't come without some sacrifice. Mike recalls, "To buy my first car, my dad decided to part ways with his '67 Chevelle, which I begged him not to do! His father gave him that car and my dad owned it for 29 years." Guilty feelings aside, with a lack of funds and a short-cut mentality, a few modifications were made, much of which Mike admits were replica parts. He adds, "At Hot Import Nights car show in Phoenix, I had a fake Mugen lip with a real badge riveted on. This guy RC [RC's Garage] walks up and asks if it was real. I said yes, but eventually I gave in and fessed up." The awkward conversation wouldn't be their last encounter, as the two eventually became close friends, and with a little direction from the Arizona business owner, Mike began to consider quality over quantity with his parts purchases.

1999 honda civic si oem optional rear lip Photo 3/9   |   1999 Honda Civic Si Oem Optional Rear Lip

In '14, after having been satisfied for a few years with minor engine upgrades and a Spoon/Vision theme for his coupe, he was ready to hit the restart button. He reached out to RC, who made the two-hour trek to Mike's house to pick up the car to begin the process of stripping the engine bay for a simple shave and K-swap.

The funny thing about RC Chacon is that he's not a fan of "simple." Instead, he prefers to create something that will grab people's attention. Mike recalls, "The whole bay was stripped along with the interior quick. It was at this point that RC and I started talking about painting the entire car, inside and out, since the car was completely stripped anyway, and would probably never be that way again."

1999 honda civic si k24a2 swap Photo 4/9   |   1999 Honda Civic Si K24a2 Swap

In May of '15 the build continued, but a chance encounter during the annual Eibach Honda Meet would speed up the process considerably. "We stopped to chat at the Hondata booth and they heard RC's Garage was working on the Si. They asked if we wanted to be in their booth at SEMA. Of course, we said yes!" With a deadline now looming, the parts ordering routine became much more systematic and the wrench time drastically increased.

1999 honda civic si icb pursuit mk1 kevlar seats Photo 5/9   |   1999 Honda Civic Si Icb Pursuit Mk1 Kevlar Seats

Not wanting to stray away from the Si's original Electron Blue, Mike enlisted Frank Rechlin, owner of IKandy Paintworks who, along with his crew (Jackie, Chris, and Jim), applied a healthy slathering of Automotive Art paint to the entire chassis both inside and out. To complement the expert paintwork and complete the refresh, a massive list of new OEM moldings and trim were ordered. A call to local parts importer, Matt of ICB Motorsport, resulted in a Backyard Special front bumper, sleek JDM side moldings, and a host of EK9 parts. Also on the ICB shopping list, in the stop and go department, were Project MU four-piston calipers and Diamond Black CE28Ns.

Much of the factory plastics and fabrics were left out of the interior equation entirely. A pair of ICB Pursuit MKI Kevlar-backed seats with Willans harnesses, wood grain Nardi wheel, and a K-Tuned billet shifter provide a taste of contrast to the flawless metal surfaces that carry the unique blue paint throughout the cabin.

1999 honda civic si backyard special front bumper Photo 6/9   |   1999 Honda Civic Si Backyard Special Front Bumper

Under the hood, where RC's expertise is well documented, he installed Hasport mounts to hang an internally stock K24A2 fitted with a JDL Auto Design exhaust manifold, All-In Fabrication center-feed intake manifold, and Garrett GT35R. Turbosmart's Hypergate wastegate and blow-off valve combo handle excessive pressure release duties, while ID-1000 injectors and a K-Tuned fuel pressure regulator control the thirst. All of the action is managed by Hondata's K-Pro 4 and boost controller, which communicate via Rywire's precision Mil-spec harness. As if to add yet another dimension to a build that already flirts with multiple styles, select parts were chosen for chrome plating and the aging hardware was pulled in favor of Downstar Inc., who provided a comprehensive collection of bolts and washers to keep everything together.

1999 honda civic si jdl auto design wastegate priority exhaust manifold Photo 7/9   |   1999 Honda Civic Si Jdl Auto Design Wastegate Priority Exhaust Manifold

With SEMA just a month away, Mike's Si was sure to meet the deadline. That is, until RC's Garage was broken into and his entire tool collection was stolen. Despite the setback, RC made due with borrowed tools and no sleep, and the project was loaded onto the trailer at 1 a.m. on the same day it was due in Vegas. Exhausted, the two made the drive to SEMA, only to narrowly avoid a complete disaster when a trailer strap failed. The long hours and non-stop work paid off, however, with the debut a success and show-goers amazed by the result.

1999 honda civic si em1 civic Photo 8/9   |   1999 Honda Civic Si Em1 Civic

After having hit the restart button twice on this '99 Civic Si, Mike couldn't be happier with the finished product. He adds, "Having my car debut at SEMA was an absolute dream come true, one of the best experiences of my life. Since then, we've hit four shows and have taken seven trophies with three Best of Show awards. We even traveled to Florida from Arizona for Wek'fest and took home Car of the Festival."

1999 honda civic si nardi wood grain steering wheel Photo 9/9   |   1999 Honda Civic Si Nardi Wood Grain Steering Wheel
By Matt Rodriguez
31 Articles
Mike Schietroma's 1999 Honda Civic Si
Tuning Menu
Owner: Mike Schietroma
Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Occupation: "Meat Slanger," aka Butcher
Power: 450 hp
Engine: K24A2; Hasport mounts; Garrett GT35R turbo with TiAL exhaust housing; JDL Auto Design charge piping; All-In Fabrication center-feed intake manifold, fuel rail, tucked radiator/intercooler combo, oil catch can; K-Tuned 80mm throttle body, fuel pressure regulator, water pump, TPS and dip stick; Turbosmart blow-off valve and 45mm Hypergate wastegate; Vibrant Vanjen clamps; JDL Auto Design wastegate priority exhaust manifold and downpipe w/3-inch titanium exhaust, Injector Dynamics 1,000cc injectors; Rywire Mil-spec harness; Downstar Inc. hardware, VTEC solenoid cover; TracTuff head coolant adapter; TSR battery relocation tray; Feel's TwinCam oil and radiator caps; RCG shock tower extensions
Drivetrain: W2M5 five-speed transmission; Competition Clutch; Insane Shafts K-series mid-shaft, 500hp axles
Engine Management: Hondata K-Pro 4 and boost controller
Footwork & Chassis: D2 Racing air suspension; ASR subframe brace; Mugen rear shock tower bar; Function7 rear lower control arms; Buddy Club upper control arms; Downstar Inc. suspension hardware
Brakes: Project MU four-piston calipers, pads, 332mm discs, lines; JDM Civic Type R five-lug conversion; Downstar Inc. booster delete; Hush Performance clutch master cylinder adapter; Wilwood brake and clutch master cylinders
Wheels & Tires: 16x8" +28 Volk Racing CE28N wheels; 205/40R16 Falken Azenis RT615K tires, Project MU lug nuts
Exterior: Backyard Special front bumper; OEM optional rear lip; JDM thin side moldings; Vision Technica Type MC mirrors; Automotive Art Electron Blue Pearl painted by Ikandy Paintworks
Interior: ICB Pursuit MK1 Kevlar seats; Buddy Club rails; Sparco harness bar; Willans harnesses; Works Bell short boss, Rapfix GTC pop-up; Nardi wood grain steering wheel; Mugen shift knob and rear view mirror cover; JDM EK9 e-brake handle, carbon gauge bezel, dual din stereo cover, air bag delete and RX pedal set; Sergeant Racing dead pedal; ICB Japan/Vision Technica wide rear-view mirror; K-Tuned race-spec shift cables and billet shifter and base plate; Specialty Suspension Seamless air tanks; RCG floor plates; Downstar Inc. interior hardware
Thanks You: My family: my father, Steve, mother, Patty, grandma, Josie (Chochi), and my big bro, Stephen for supporting me the whole way; RC Chacon at RCsGarage, I can't thank you enough bro; Frank Rechlin and team Jackie, Chris, and Jim at Ikandy Paintworks—you guys are amazing; Automotive Art and Gil; Matt at ICB Motorsport; Derek at All-In Fabrication; Hondata, K-Tuned; Hasport; Ryan, Ryan Der, and David at RyWire; Frank at Downstar Inc.; Jesse at JDL Auto Design; Falken Tire; D2 Racing; Air Lift Performance; Aaron Hunt at Lowform; Specialty Suspension; TracTuff; Insane Shafts; Vibrant Performance; Ososik Media; Mikey Cristi; Brian at Rotiform; Lucas at Capital Metal Finishing; Ray Garcia; my friends that have helped throughout this build—Kerry, Michael Blancke, Travis, Bryan Thomas, Enrique, Jake from State Farm, HoseB, Jeff Johnson, Johnny and to anyone and everyone who has supported and shown love

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