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1991 Honda Civic Wagon - Making History ... Again!

Leave it to Bisimoto to make a good thing even greater

Jonathan Wong
Mar 28, 2019
Videographer: Samuel Rojas Photographer: Darren Marting

If memory serves me correctly (and I do apologize if it's a little hazy; it's been many, many years), Super Street has featured nearly every Honda built by the hands of Bisi Ezerioha. I distinctly remember the drag-prepped, all-motor CRX that initially put his name on the proverbial map, taking photos of it at a desolate industrial park somewhere in Southern California, and then interviewing him and learning about the genius behind the build process at a nearby diner. It was mind-blowing then (and still is to this very day) how he engineered it to go fast down the quarter-mile with a single cam D-series when others were doing it with twin cam setups.

1991 honda civic wagon EF hatch spoiler Photo 2/35   |   1991 Honda Civic Wagon EF Hatch Spoiler

This know-how he carried over to his next drag project, a Honda Insight (sadly, the only car that wasn't featured); again, very fast (ran low 9's), and very meticulously designed and executed. Several years go by and we called on Bisi to participate in a unique build challenge: Recreate his D-series magic and drop it into a car we'd least likely expect. He chose an '88 Civic Wagon, and man, 724whp later, it worked like a damn charm. That car set the stage for his later endeavors that would catapult him to car builder superstardom, like the 1,029hp Odyssey that set the television world (including Top Gear) on fire.

2019 Honda Civic
$21,450 Base Model (MSRP) MPG Fuel Economy

As fate would have it, history found a way of repeating itself, albeit this time in a much more powerful way. This '91 Civic Wagon once again confirms Bisi's genius, not only in the literal scholarly sense, but also from a mechanical standpoint. Don't mistake this as the original Wagon; it's an entirely new build, remixed to go all-out with the eleventh letter of the alphabet (hint: K), and working with a totally different drivetrain, an AWD system from the CR-V. However, had it not been for that Odyssey, this Civic might not have come to fruition. "I missed the original wagon very much after parting it out," says Bisi. "Since I was at a huge disadvantage with the FWD Odyssey and too much power/torque, the concept of a revenge vehicle was born. I set out to build a bigger, better, faster, and more traction-friendly sleeper shuttle!"

1991 honda civic wagon golden eagle intake manifold Photo 6/35   |   1991 Honda Civic Wagon Golden Eagle Intake Manifold

In typical Bisi fashion, he whipped up a powerful engine setup that's the combination of a built K24Z3 bottom end out of a later-model TSX, then stuffed with a billet Eagle crankshaft, Traum pistons and a Golden Eagle block sleeve. It's mated to a K24Z7 cylinder head from a '14 Civic, outfitted with Supertech valvetrain components and Bisimoto-spec cams. The cool thing about this build is that Bisi says anyone can recreate this motor (unlike the original D-series, which was built with primarily bespoke parts). He adds, "There has been an outcry [from the community] to use parts that are commercially available to allow for ease of replication by enthusiasts. We worked hard to use parts that anyone could get." So, if you want to rock 700+ horsepower like Bisi does in this car, well, now you can. When you compare the two engines, aside from the obvious difference in engine type, today's technology is far superior as it employs drive-by-wire, CAN bus communication, improved electronics, a lightweight twin-disc clutch assembly and turbo aerodynamics.

As you can guess, this build also comes with its own inherent set of headaches. In an engine bay this tight and the positioning of the K-series motor, making sure everything looks good and is fully functional was important to Bisi. "It was difficult to place the hot side of the turbo in an ideal location that would allow it to work efficiently. Our answer to this was a reverse Turbonetics turbo. Additionally, the alternator and cold side of the turbo posed other problems, as well as trying to fit all the larger components." After some trial and error, Bisi managed to find a way to get the turbo setup functioning correctly, which, along with the custom AEM intake configuration (feeding air to the cold side of the turbo), is his favorite part of the build.

1991 honda civic wagon momo mod 80 steering wheel Photo 10/35   |   1991 Honda Civic Wagon Momo Mod 80 Steering Wheel

Power is transferred to all four wheels, which, of course, wasn't what this Civic came with. "Making the '04 CR-V system work with as many factory parts as possible and to work with a Quaife sequential transmission was a challenge," Bisi says. Quaife internals are used inside the bell housing of the CR-V. The CR-V differential is also used; however, it features an Automotive KND mechanical quick-spool setup that engages the rear-end when the front speed doesn't match the rear, meaning this AWD system isn't on all the time but only when needed. There's also a more robust driveshaft from DriveshaftPro, as well as '99 CRV rear trailing arms, which move the wheels about an inch further back for a longer wheelbase.

Before the car was set to make its debut at the 2018 SEMA Show, Bisi had to get it magazine quality presentable. In staying true to the spirit of the original, it was sprayed in a Glasurit Marina Blue coat (a bit of a deeper, more Smurf-like hue), lowered on V3 coilovers by KW, and fitted with 17-inch fifteen52 wheels (design pays homage to Lancia Delta Integrale), of which the rears had custom retro turbofan covers from D-Lng in Belgium outfitted. An ARCE six-point roll cage also adds much needed rigidity to the ninety's chassis, but what's even cooler are the bars down by doors are removable when Bisi isn't racing.

1991 honda civic wagon PRL intercooler Photo 14/35   |   1991 Honda Civic Wagon PRL Intercooler

The new-school wagon is a perfect nod to Bisi's tuning history while showcasing how much more of an artisan he's become throughout the years. It's true that if something is good enough, you can leave it alone, but if you have the means to do it, you might as well go balls out anyway.

Built In-House
Photos Manny Ramirez

Bisimoto 1991 honda civic wagon Photo 15/35   |   Bisimoto 1991 Honda Civic Wagon

While many hardcore builds like Bisi's are outsourced when it comes to the tough stuff, he essentially builds his project cars from start to finish in-house. We checked up on him with about a month until last year's SEMA deadline to see all the action being done under their facility's roof, such as the engine assembly, turbo and intercooler fitment and other custom fabrication.

The OG Wagon

Originally featured in July of 2007, here's a look at what Bisi's first Civic wagon looked like. Under the hood was a fully-built D-Series engine with Portflow head, Golden Eagle-sleeved D16Z6 block, Turbonetics BTX6565 turbo, AEM electronics and Rywire Mil-spec harness. It made 724whp on 108-octane and water-meth, however was only front-wheel-drive, whereas this second iteration will have much more grip and function than ever before.

1991 honda civic wagon PRL intercooler Photo 28/35   |   1991 Honda Civic Wagon PRL Intercooler
1991 honda civic wagon golden eagle oilcap Photo 32/35   |   1991 Honda Civic Wagon Golden Eagle Oilcap
By Jonathan Wong
495 Articles
1991 Honda Civic Wagon - Making History ... Again!
Tuning Menu
Owner: Bisi Ezerioha
Hometown: Ontario, CA
Occupation: Still the master of mating efficiency with technology perfection
Instagram: @bisimoto
Power: 772hp (after break-in; 1,000whp expected after final tune and shakedown)
Engine: Bisimoto-built K-series engine swap with K24Z3 bottom end/K24Z7 cylinder head; Eagle 93mm billet crankshaft, K24 high density rods; Traum 10.1:1 forged pistons; Golden Eagle sleeved block, intake manifold, fuel rail; King Racing bearings; Bisimoto Level 2.4 camshafts; Supertech stainless intake and Inconel exhaust valves, valve springs, titanium retainers; K-Tuned relocation bracket, thermostat housing; Rywire engine harness; Hasport K-series EF mount kit; SB Machine competition valve job; 2,200cc injectors; PRL intercooler, oil filter relocation kit and turbo manifold; Turbonetics 72mm billet turbocharger (reverse orientation); Precision 46mm wastegate; Magnafuel 750lph fuel pump; Tractuff breather systerm with catch cans, water filler neck; Radium fuel pulse damper; drive-by-wire throttle body; NGK Iridium R7437-9 spark plugs; Pirate Auto oil pump; AEM bespoke intake; ARP head and main studs; CSF K-swap radiator with -16AN outputs; Spal fan; ATI K-series ribbed damper; G&J lines; Vibrant hardware and HD clamps
Drivetrain: Quaife sequential transmission with CR-V bell housing/transfer case; Action twin-disc clutch; Insane axles; Hush Performance hydraulic clutch conversion kit; CR-V differential; Automotive KND quick-spool and clutch packs; DriveshaftPro custom driveshaft
Engine Management: AEM Infinity ECU with E85 Flex Fuel and pressure sensors
Footwork & Chassis: KW V3 coilovers; Buddy Club front upper A-arms; CR-V rear trailing arms; MPC Motorsport rear lower control arms
Brakes: Buddy Club front big brake kit
Wheels & Tires: 17x7.5" fifteen52 Integrale wheels; 205/40R17 Toyo R888R tires; ARP wheel studs; Buddy Club lug nuts; Bisimoto five-lug front conversion; D-lng Designs rear turbo fan wheel covers
Exterior: Glasurit Marina Blue paint by Dreamworks; painted roof black and side mirrors orange; front bumper modified for intercooler; EF hatch spoiler
Interior: ARCE six-point NHRA-spec chromoly rollcage with removable door bar; SOS Customz upholstery with stitching inspired by Lamborghini; Fox Design dash enhancements; AEM CD-5 dash; custom actuator/shifter for sequential; MOMO Mod. 80 steering wheel with anti-lag feature wired to left button

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