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.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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!