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1995 Honda Civic EX — The Bleeding Edge

Go inside Justin Wesseling's Odyssey V6-powered time attack coupe

Andrew Beckford
Mar 17, 2017
Photographer: Caitlin Ting

It's not easy being different from the herd. This is especially true when the people around you are so used to doing things a certain way; even if told about a new way that is objectively better, they still reject the notion.

It is in those instances when doubters need to be shown a better way rather than told. This is something that Justin Wesseling discovered for himself when building the Honda EG Civic coupe seen in this feature. In case it isn't overtly obvious from the gutted interior and wide fenders, this Civic is built for track use only — Time Attack to be more specific. Typically, when building a Honda (especially a Civic) for track use, the stock engine is pulled out in favor of a tried-and-true B-series or (for the ballers) K-series engine.

1995 honda civic ex coupe j35a1 swap Photo 2/31   |   1995 Honda Civic Ex Coupe J35a1 Swap

While not necessarily a new modification, the K-series engine swap is still seen as somewhat "exotic." So you can imagine the kind of looks Justin got from his peers when he told him he wanted to drop a V6 from a Honda minivan into his track car. Yes, a minivan engine — the Honda J35A1 to be exact. The 3.5-liter J35A engine is commonly found in the Honda Odyssey van. In stock form it makes about 210 hp and 230 lb.-ft. of soccer team-toting torque.

"A V6 in an EG? That will make the car too heavy! It will throw the suspension off! It's cheaper to do a K-swap!"

1995 honda civic ex coupe momo monte carlo steering wheel Photo 3/31   |   1995 Honda Civic Ex Coupe Momo Monte Carlo Steering Wheel

Those are all misconceptions Justin set out to debunk with his build. Justin's goal is "to show this engine is readily available, very affordable, and can be better than many K series for nearly half the cost."

The first myth he busted was the issue of weight. "Misleading rumors of a heavy swap were thrown out the window when the car tipped the scales at only 20 pounds heavier than the K-swap that was removed," says Justin.

1995 honda civic ex coupe Hasport engine mount Photo 4/31   |   1995 Honda Civic Ex Coupe Hasport Engine Mount

Justin's shop Circuit Dreams started their V6 adventure by blueprinting the engine and creating their own custom camshafts, intake, intake manifold, exhaust headers, and 3-inch exhaust.

To handle engine tuning, Justin decided to go with an AEM standalone ECU connected to a custom wire-harness from WireWorx. A set of Hasport J-series swap engine mounts allow the larger engine to sit comfortably in the EG's somewhat cramped bay. A TSX transmission with the OEM LSD is bolted to the six-shooter and sends power to the wheels via DriveShaft Shop J-series road race axles.

1995 honda civic ex coupe fuel pressure regulator Photo 5/31   |   1995 Honda Civic Ex Coupe Fuel Pressure Regulator

The entire engine package makes a total of 333 hp with 289 lb.-ft. of torque. Not too shabby considering there is no forced induction at play here.

Keeping everything balanced are a set of custom-valved Eibach Multi-Pro R2 coilovers with Eibach ERS springs. Providing much-needed down force is a custom aero package put together by Circuit Dreams featuring an exclusive NBC TA-1 3 piece front end, custom air dam, brake ducts, rear J's Racing fender flares, PCI side skirts, and a big APR GTC 200 wing out back.

1995 honda civic ex coupe circuit dreams nbc racing ta 1 fenders Photo 6/31   |   1995 Honda Civic Ex Coupe Circuit Dreams Nbc Racing Ta 1 Fenders

The complete package enabled Justin's car to lap Buttonwillow Raceway's 13CW configuration in 1:55.

It's amazing what can be accomplished when someone has the guts to try to do things differently. You'll be able to catch Wesseling's minivan-powered time attack Civic at event's around Southern California. Good on you, Justin!

1995 honda civic ex coupe nbc racing ta 1 3pc front end Photo 10/31   |   1995 Honda Civic Ex Coupe Nbc Racing Ta 1 3Pc Front End
1995 honda civic ex coupe pci side skirts Photo 17/31   |   1995 Honda Civic Ex Coupe Pci Side Skirts
1995 honda civic ex coupe apr gtc 200 rear wing Photo 21/31   |   1995 Honda Civic Ex Coupe Apr Gtc 200 Rear Wing
1995 honda civic ex coupe profile Photo 28/31   |   1995 Honda Civic Ex Coupe Profile

Sources

By Andrew Beckford
22 Articles
1995 Honda Civic EX — The Bleeding Edge
Tuning Menu
Owner: Justin Wesseling
Hometown: Lake Elsinore, Calif.
Engine: Honda Odessey J35A1 V6 engine blueprinted by Circuit Dreams, DNJ J35A3 pistons, Circuit Dreams-spec Web camshafts, Hasport Gen 2 J-swap mounts, WireWorx J series engine harness, AEM electronics J-swap ECU, Circuit Dreams ported intake manifold and butterfly delete, Fuel Injector Clinic injectors, Aeromotive fuel regulator, Circuit Dream AN lines, Prank Parts alternator relocation kit, Circuit Dreams intake, 3" BPI Flow Stack, Circuit Dreams 3-1 headers, Circuit Dreams 3" exhaust and dump pipe, Speedfactory tucked radiator, Samco radiator hoses, Mishimoto thermostat and fan switch
Power: 333 HP and 289 lb.-ft. of torque
Drivetrain: Acura TL 6-speed transmission, OEM LSD, custom TB Motorworx final drive, Clutchmasters Stage 4 clutch, Clutchmaster aluminum flywheel, DriveShaft Shop J-series road race axles
Suspension: Custom valved Eibach Multi-Pro R2 coilovers by Mark Krumme, Eibach ERS springs, HardRace camber arms, PCI trailing arm bearings, Kingpin Engineering compensator bearings, Circuit Dreams Aurora spherical LCA bearing, ASR rear anti-roll bar
Wheels/Tires: Front: 18x9.5 SSR GTX01
Rear: 17x9 SSR GTX01
Tires: Hankook Ventus Z214
Brakes: Integra Type R 5-lug conversion, front custom Wilwood 12" brake kit by Brian at Fastbrakes, RSX-S rear rotors/calipers, JDM ITR 1" master cylinder and booster, Motul RBF 600 brake fluid
Exterior: Honda Odessey Desert Rock Metallic paint, Circuit Dreams exclusive NBC Racing TA-1 3pc front end, Circuit Dreams air dam/splitter and brake ducts, Circuit Dreams custom Js Racing rear flares, PCI side skirts, Honda JDM thin moldings, EG headlights and visors, VIS carbon fiber hood and trunk, APR GTC-200 rear wing
Interior: Circuit Dreams NASA certified roll cage, Racetech 4009HR driver seat, Schroth 6pt harness, ESS 3-zone fire extinguishing system, Longacre master kill switch, Longacre banana mirror, Momo Monte Carlo steering wheel, Razo pedals, OEM Honda Accord shifter box, K-Tuned Accord shifter plate, Wireworx AP1 gauge cluster swap
Thank You: Brian and Keith Gillespie at Hasport, Luis at Clutchmasters, Stephan Papadakis from AEM, TB Adde from TB Motorworx, Nicolas at NBC Racing France, Tad and Frank at Drive Shaft Shop, everyone at Web Camshafts, Eibach, Wireworx, Bullet Autoworks, Final Speed Garage, BPI Flow Stacks, Auto-B-Craft, VTEC Academy, my team: Jose, Tomas, Hoang, BVANS, and all my supporters!

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