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2009 Honda Civic Type R: NA or Boost?

This street-driven, time attack FD2 finds solace with a blower...

Chris Nicholls
Jan 7, 2020

Not many of us stick with our first cars for more than ten years and even fewer tune them to the level Nity Jay has. Starting from a stock FD1 Honda Civic he purchased new in 2006, Nity became the first person in Australia to turbocharge one, then became the first to K-swap one after grenading the motor, before finally ending up with the supercharged specimen you see here. It was, without doubt, a long, arduous and at times traumatic journey, but it's one that's left Nity with a car unlike any other in the country, and perhaps the world.

2009 Honda Civic Type R RealTune Rear Diffuser 01 Photo 30/30   |   2009 Honda Civic Type R: NA or Boost?

During the beginning of the build, Nity was studying mechanical engineering and working part-time at a local auto store. Honda had just dropped the FD1, so he decided that would be his first ride. He turbocharged the factory 1.8-liter, despite it only being six months old and still under warranty. "I was young, naive and probably a bit ignorant—I just wanted horsepower and to go fast," he revealed. "I just didn't know how to do it, so I did it my way".

Cobbled together using whatever parts he and his friends could modify to fit—like a Nissan SR20 T28 manifold, homemade intake and GT2860RS turbo-it wasn't the greatest conversion ever, but it worked... at least, for a couple of years. In late 2008, the motor gave out (unsurprisingly) and left Nity with a crucial choice—to keep going or walk away from the project. He chose the latter, spurred on by the fact Honda had released the FD2 Type R that same year. "I gave turbo a go and that was great for what it was, but it was highly unreliable," he explained. "K-series tuning (in Australia) was still only in its infancy at the time, but I tried to find a reputable shop that would help me K-swap my FD1, which hadn't been done in Australia at that point."

2009 Honda Civic Type R Js Racing Carbon Radiator Cooling Plate Photo 30/30   |   2009 Honda Civic Type R: NA or Boost?

Eventually, Nity came across a very supportive shop called Mod Project that was up for the challenge, but even then, there were hurdles. The biggest being that an Australian FD1 uses a drive-by-wire throttle, while the only K20As available at the time (from the DC5 Integra) used a cable. After some research and with timing on Nity's side, Honda had just released the FN2 Civic Type R in the UK shortly after starting the project, which used an almost identical wiring harness and an electronic throttle. The pieces were coming together but it still meant buying a wrecked one from the UK and shipping it to Australia, not cheap by any means according to Nity. He also had to spend big on a genuine FD2R front subframe to ensure everything dropped in without any hassles.

2009 Honda Civic Type R RealTune Rear Diffuser 03 Photo 30/30   |   2009 Honda Civic Type R: NA or Boost?

Of course, the motor didn't remain stock as Nity upgraded various components such as an FD2R intake manifold, Toda header and 2.5-inch exhaust, while a relying on a Hondata FlashPro to run everything. The top end was also beefed up with a ported and polished head, Ferrea valvesprings and retainers, plus Toda cams. "It took a lot of late nights," he told us, but eventually, in late 2009, Nity became the proud owner of the first K-swapped FD1 in the southern hemisphere.

2009 Honda Civic Type R Steering Wheel Photo 30/30   |   2009 Honda Civic Type R: NA or Boost?

Nity enjoyed the car for a solid four years before catastrophe struck in 2013. While driving a relatively unfamiliar touge at high speeds, he hit a patch of running water, which caused him to spinout. The car plowed through two trees before a third eventually stopped him. The entire right side of the car was destroyed, but luckily, Nity, along with the engine and 'box, somehow escaped unscathed.

A break from the scene was much needed in order to rebuild his mental health first. Given the whole episode, it understandably left him with PTSD. Eventually, after months to reflect and recover, Nity gained the courage to revisit the project; however, this time with a more purpose-built machine for the circuit. The original FD1 body and shell were scrap, so he located a bare '09 FD2 Civic to swap all of his original parts into. And since he had already dabbled with a turbo and naturally aspirated K-swap, he decided to complete the trifecta with a supercharged version of the car.

2009 Honda Civic Type R Js Racing FD2R Hood Photo 30/30   |   2009 Honda Civic Type R: NA or Boost?

He contacted KraftWerks USA to purchase one of their Race supercharger kits. It required a few extra modifications to convert the kit to right-hand-drive, but it was doable. After relocating a few things and swapping the K-Tuned fuel rail he was using for the factory version to avoid fouling, it ran like butter. Tuned again on Hondata and now running E85 with 1,000cc injectors, the newly boosted motor put down just over 400whp. Drivetrain upgrades followed, which included a Cusco limited-slip, Synchrotech carbon-plated synchros and a 5.1 final drive from the Type R.

2009 Honda Civic Type R Kraftwerks Supercharger Photo 30/30   |   2009 Honda Civic Type R: NA or Boost?

To maximize the car's handling capabilities, Nity upgraded the suspension, wheels and tires next. GAB SS-R coilovers with remote reservoirs along with a staggered set of WedsSport and Enkei wheels (which surprisingly look natural together) were appropriately installed. A sticky and wide tire setup was going to make the biggest difference on the track, so Nity opted for 295-series front, and 265-series rear Advan AD08Rs. Such aggressive rubber necessitated over-fenders—the front being Carbon Teknics and the rears custom-made.

2009 Honda Civic Type R Voltex Rear Wing Photo 30/30   |   2009 Honda Civic Type R: NA or Boost?

To increase grip and high stability further, aero had to be addressed. RealTune designed and fabricated a custom splitter, rear diffuser and sunroof delete. Nity followed things up by adding a Voltex rear wing which he chassis-mounted, and he installed Carbon Teknics front bumper, side skirts and trunk lid, as well as a J's Racing hood.

Inside, it's very clear this is now a race car and not a boy racer. Aside from the Recaro SPG driver and FD2R passenger seats, there's little interior left. The dash remains, although it's been stripped of the head unit and fitted with Defi gauges. A Type R instrument cluster replaces the stocker perfectly matching the gear knob.

2009 Honda Civic Type R Carbon Teknics CFRP Front End 03 Photo 30/30   |   2009 Honda Civic Type R: NA or Boost?

Having turned his once piecemeal street car into a circuit-ready and supercharged contender, it's unsurprising to hear the end goal of all this is now a World Time Attack Challenge assault. Currently, suspension geometry issues are holding Nity back (ensuring the huge front tires don't rub against the strut means they hit the fenders in certain turns instead). Once those are sorted and he finishes making countless other small adjustments, he's hoping to battle in the prestigious event this coming October. Due to not having a big team behind him, things are progressing slowly, but for right now, Nity is happy. Despite a blown motor and a near-fatal accident, he's continued to push himself and his original Civic build, and he can be extremely proud of how far things have come in the last 14 years.

By Chris Nicholls
2 Articles
2009 Honda Civic Type R: NA or Boost?
Tuning Menu
Owner: Nity Jay
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Occupation: sales executive at Ferntree Gully Nissan
Engine: 2009 K20Z4 Civic Type R engine swap; ported and polished head; ARP head studs; ACL Race main and big-end bearings; Ferrea valvesprings and retainers; TODA camshafts, header (modified); Havoc 3" race exhaust (flanged and de-catted); KraftWerks USA 8th-gen Rotrex supercharger race kit with high boost pulley upgrade, 1,000cc injectors, supercharger oil cooler; Gates heavy duty serpentine belt; PWR 21-row oil cooler with braided lines; K-Tuned adjustable fuel pressure regulator; Raceworks E85 twin fuel pumps; MAC 4-bar boost solenoid; Turbosmart external wastegate, blow-off valve; BMC 3" twin pod filter; Mugen carbon spark plug cover; steel fuel lines
Drivetrain: FD2R six-speed gearbox, 5.1 final drive; Synchrotech carbon-coated synchros; Cusco 1.5-way LSD; strengthened input shaft and driveshafts; TODA lightened flywheel; Action Clutch Ironman clutch
Engine Management: Hondata FlashPro with launch control
Footwork & Chassis: FD2R front subframe; Whiteline adjustable sway bars, bushings; GAB SS-R coilovers with custom spring rates
Brakes: FD2R Brembo four-piston big brake kit with master cylinder, braided lines and 300mm S2000 slotted rotors; FD2R rear brakes with braided lines; Ferodo DS2500 pads
Wheels & Tires: 18x10.5" +12 Wedsport TC105N front and 18x10" +12 Enkei NT03 rear wheels; 295/30R18 front, 265/30R18 rear Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R tires
Exterior: Carbon Teknics CFRP front-end kit, trunk lid; J's Racing FD2R carbon hood, carbon radiator cooling plate, carbon front grille; CS-X-style amber corners; Spoon mirrors; RealTune front splitter and chassis-mounted rear diffuser; custom chassis-mounted carbon canards and aluminum fender flares; chassis-mount Voltex rear wing
Interior: Recaro SPG driver seat; FD2R passenger seat, dash with instrument cluster; AMIS FD2R triple gauge pod; RealTune sunroof delete
Thanks: My gorgeous fiance Nimesha, my baby brother Naveen (Malli Media), my friends Jack Tai, Jerry Li, Edwin from RealTune, Gary Mathrick for help with car setup and driver training, Trent and Catherine Hewitson from Chequered Tuning for the tune, Johnny, Eric and Roy from OTR Motorsports, Al from Wizard Auto Hoses, KraftWerks USA, CJ from Skunk2 Racing, Carbon Teknics, Trent at Traction Tyres, Gab Suspension Malaysia, Abe at Havoc Fabrications, Tristan Morrison, Angelo Salguero and Gabriella track day support, Adnan Khalid from Apostrophe Auto Dubai for all his setup and tech advice, Cagdas Dabal for safe transport and logistics, everyone at Civic 8th Gen Australia

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