Super Street Network

 |   |  2004 EP3 Honda Civic Si Hatchback - Ain't No Show Ho
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

2004 EP3 Honda Civic Si Hatchback - Ain't No Show Ho

The Critics Who Cried Foul Over EP3 Civics' Minivan-Like Styling Never Saw This Coming.

Joey Lee
Apr 1, 2008
Photographer: Rodrez
Htup_0804_30_z+2004_ep3_honda_civic_si_hatchback+side_view+17_x_8_volk_ce28_wheels Photo 1/29   |   2004 EP3 Honda Civic Si Hatchback - Ain't No Show Ho

If any thoughts come immediately to mind at the mention of the seventh-generation Civic it's highly unlikely that you're imagining anything special. In fact, we're willing to bet the most common response you'd hear upon first glance at the EP hatchback is: "I liked the older one better." Ejay Cruz didn't argue with popular opinion, but limited choices can do that to an individual. At the time of his purchase, the Corona, Calif., native was rolling around town in a '01 Prelude with basic bolt-ons accompanied by unintentional modifications-incorrect timing, bent valves, broken motor mounts and a desperate cry for help. "We believed that the car was boosted before I had it," Ejay says, "but I didn't know anything and I mean anything about Hondas."

Htup_0804_35_z+2004_ep3_honda_civic_si_hatchback+rear_view+vis_racing_euro_tuning_skirts_bumper_arc_splitter Photo 2/29   |   2004 EP3 Honda Civic Si Hatchback - Ain't No Show Ho

A quick trip with dad to the dealership resulted in a '04 Civic Si hatchback. Faced with the opportunity to finally work on something that ran properly, Ejay wasted no time jumping into modding his EP3. "I immediately dropped it with Neuspeed springs and put a Type R wing on it to try and stay away from the hideous 'egg/minivan' look that everyone called the EP when it first came out."

2017 Honda Civic
$21,500 Base Model (MSRP) 31/40 MPG Fuel Economy

When Ejay was 18 he decided to concentrate his energy on teaching himself any and everything there was to know about Hondas so that "the ghost of broken Prelude's past" wouldn't return to haunt him. With his newfound knowledge, Ejay determined his first step would be to make the vehicle more aesthetically pleasing. "I hated how the '04-'05 EP3s came with the bubble headlights, so I decided to fully convert the front end to a '02 Type R spec front," Ejay says.

Htup_0804_27_z+2004_ep3_honda_civic_si_hatchback+rear_view+vis_racing_euro_tuning_skirts_bumper_arc_splitter Photo 3/29   |   2004 EP3 Honda Civic Si Hatchback - Ain't No Show Ho

Chuck and Rocky at Showstoppers USA were summoned for the entire JDM front conversion along with an ber-rare Walker Japan front lip. He topped off the rest of the exterior by installing paint-matched VIS Racing side skirts, a rear lip and wing.

Though the build was off to a great start, things continued to get better thanks to a new sales job at local shop, Tunerz Image. Not only was the job itself good news but Ejay was also able to conserve gas since he no longer had to drive back and forth to order parts. Although he also had no one to blame but himself when parts arrived late. Knowing that future paychecks would ultimately end up in the hands of his employer, Ejay continued his project by upgrading the suspension with Buddy Club N+ Spec dampers. Diamond Black 17x8 Volk Racing CE28N wheels wrapped with Falken Ziex rubber came soon after.

Htup_0804_16_z+2004_ep3_honda_civic_si_hatchback+inside_view+nardi_deep_corn_steering_wheel_recaro_pole+position_seats Photo 4/29   |   2004 EP3 Honda Civic Si Hatchback - Ain't No Show Ho

No show car is complete without the essential interior goodies so Ejay directed his attention toward the vehicle's control center. Giving the pilot of this Taffeta White EP perfect driving posture is a Recaro Pole Position seat and a four-point Takata racing harness. All creature comforts for the rear passengers are long gone because the rears have been gutted-sound dampening tar and all-and color-matched to the car's exterior. Guiding this EP about Southern California's highways is a classically stylish Nardi Deep Corn steering wheel mounted on a combination of a Mugen boss hub and NRG V2.0 quick release. The quick release, of course, is used to show off the Nardi wheel and to take up dining table space when Ejay is out with his girlfriend at the Cheesecake Factory.

Once the exterior and interior were complete, Ejay felt it was finally ready to see the showroom floor. Finally getting a chance to show off his ride in all its glory, Ejay soon found out his friends had come up with a new moniker for him. "I wanted to prove to everyone that this 'minivan' isn't just a 'show ho', (a name) which my friends always called me," he says.

Htup_0804_38_z+2004_ep3_honda_civic_si_hatchback+engine_view_k20_motor_jvt_turbo_setup_arc_valve_cover_fmic Photo 20/29   |   2004 EP3 Honda Civic Si Hatchback - Ain't No Show Ho

While we have no idea what the relevancy of brilliantly crafted gardening tools is here, the namesake motivated Ejay to give his friend Vi at JVT Performance a call regarding a certain K-series turbo kit that had recently been completed. Just out of the prototyping stages and into his hands he, along with his crew (Jerkwrench) and the MAHU-built family, went straight to work on mating the kit to its new home. "To make the build a lot easier, we stripped down the engine bay and took out the motor, dropping it from the bottom of the car along with the subframe," he says.

Htup_0804_09_z+2004_ep3_honda_civic_si_hatchback+t3_t4_turbo_on_k20 Photo 9/29   |   2004 EP3 Honda Civic Si Hatchback - Ain't No Show Ho

A Clutchnet six-puck clutch and Evolution Industries flywheel were also installed. As soon as the turbo kit and assorted upgrades were installed the newly boosted Civic made its way to Bisimoto Race Engineering where infamous drag racer Bisi Ezerioha was called upon to tune the K engine. "We ended up with 242 hp and 219 lb-ft of torque at 10 psi of boost," Ejay says. "However, we were losing power due to restrictions with some of the piping, which was all banged up from the car being too low to the ground."

What's next for the Jerkwrench EP? "The car is done, I'm going to test it out and see how it does at the track," Ejay says.

Htup_0804_22_z+2004_ep3_honda_civic_si_hatchback+engine_view_k20_motor_jvt_turbo_setup_arc_valve_cover_fmic Photo 10/29   |   2004 EP3 Honda Civic Si Hatchback - Ain't No Show Ho

His friends refer to him as a "show ho" who drives a "minivan". Gardening tools? Vans? We have no idea. We see an individual who possessed the wherewithal to take something completely ordinary and transform it into something special. Ejay will simply tell you, "It's been a long journey but this is not the last for me, I will be back, guaranteed!"



BOLTS AND WASHERS:
Ejay Cruz's EP3 Civic

Propulsion:
K20A3
Innovative engine mounts
RC Engineering 650cc fuel injectors
BDL fuel rail
BLOX Racing fuel pressure gauge
JVT T3/T4 turbocharger
JVT FMIC
JVT cast-iron, top mount manifold
JVT 2.5-inch downpipe
JVT 38mm wastegate
GReddy Type RS blow-off valve
NGK Iridium spark plugs
GReddy SP2 exhaust
JVT test pipe
Clutchnet six-puck clutch
Evolution Industries flywheel
Hondata K-pro engine management

Stance:
Buddy Club N+ Spec dampers
CorSport rear upper strut bar

Rims & rubber:
17x8 Volk Racing CE28N (+38 offset)
215/45-17 Falken Ziex

Outside:
JDM '02 CTR front end
Walker Japan front lip
ARC air splitters
VIS Racing side skirts
VIS Racing rear bumper
VIS Racing rear wing
Honda Access window visors
Type-R emblems
Taffeta White paint

Inside:
Recaro Pole Position seat
Memoryfab rails
Takata MPH340R four-point harnesses/gel pads
Autopower rollbar
Nardi Deep Corn steering wheel
Mugen steering wheel boss
NRG V2.0 quick release
DC2 ITR shift boot
Mugen shift knob
J's Racing C-pillar bar
GReddy Profec B-spec boost controller
A'PEXi turbo timer
JVT boost gauge

I.C.E.:
Alpine CDA-9883 head unit

Props:
God, girlfriend and mom for letting me do what I do
Jerkwrench crew for the blood and sweat, especially Miles, Miguel, Christian, Mario and Jed
Carlo and Alan at Tunerz Image
Vi at JVT Racing
Chuck and Rocky at Showstoppers USA
Bisi at Bisimoto Engineering
Dennis at Evasive Motorsports
Danny at SIX Autoworks
Rick at A-1 Auto Body
Steve at www.racecoated.com
Jeff at Custom Creations
Andy at VIS Racing
Mike at High End Autosports
David at R&D Motorsports
Nam and Trent with detailing
The homies on www.ephatch.com and
www.clubrax.com

Owner Specs:
Hometown: Corona, Calif.
Most played in the iPod: "Nas is Like" by Nas
Favorite kicks: Nike Air Max II
Recent DVD: Superbad
Bogus traffic tickets: Fine for a rolling stop
Mac or PC: PC
Favorite non-Honda: '05 and up Porsche 911 Turbo
Porn star pick: Eva Angelina
Hottest model: My girlfriend

Sources

Blox Racing
Fremont, CA 94538
510-440-1605
http://www.bloxracing.com
Hondata
Torrance, CA 90503
310-782-8278
http://www.hondata.com
Innovative Mounts
Placentia, CA 92870
714-524-5246
http://www.innovativemounts.com
Showstoppers USA
Monrovia, CA 91016
626-358-0050
http://www.showstoppersusa.com
BDL Industries
Orange, CA 92865
714-685-3331
http://www.BDLind.com
Volk Racing
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
562-946-6820
http://www.mackinindustries.com
GReddy
Irvine, CA 92618
949-588-8300
http://www.greddy.com
By Joey Lee
242 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

One month isn't a lot of time to build a captivating show car, especially for a show like Wekfest Japan. But Masaru Ishikawa set out to do it
David IshikawaDec 13, 2017
Looking for a sexier Tesla Model S? Novitec gives the company's flagship sedan a stealthy upgrade for EV rider fans
Ed TahaneyDec 13, 2017
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta has been teased ahead of its official debut at the 2018 Detroit auto show via new exterior and interior sketches
Stefan OgbacDec 12, 2017
From all of us at Super Street, we'd like to congratulate Phil on a job well done.
Sam DuDec 12, 2017
Ex-Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is back with a Lamborghini Huracan-based De Tomaso Pantera tribute called Project Panther
Angus MacKenzieDec 12, 2017
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP