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Steve Soto's Honda Civic Hatch - Steppin' Up

Bad Luck Had Its Way With This EG...In A Good Way.

Aaron Bonk
Apr 1, 2008
Photographer: Henry DeKuyper
Htup_0804_00_z+k20_turbo_honda_civic_eg_hatch+front_side_view+action_shot Photo 18/31   |   Steve Soto's Honda Civic Hatch - Steppin' Up

You have two choices when your 600-plus-hp hatchback gets totaled T-bone style just minutes after a couple of 25psi maiden dyno pulls. One involves running home like a baby, scraping ideas of any and all future projects out of pure frustration. The other requires a bit of determination...Some might even say heart. To say Steve Soto manned up after totaling his first magazine-bound, mega-powered EG would be, well, an understatement.

Htup_0804_33_z+k20_turbo_honda_civic_eg_hatch+steve_soto Photo 2/31   |   Steve Soto's Honda Civic Hatch - Steppin' Up

Steve's hatchback addiction is no secret, which is partly responsible for him owning a number of what he endearingly refers to as Honda's "bubble." Fair enough. Few cars are easier to pick, prod at and tune than the '92-'95 Civics. Now would be a good time to mention Steve's past bubble-fied obsessions, his exploits if you will, but frankly, we just haven't the room. What we can tell you is that the list reads a little something like this: '93 turbo B20 VTEC Civic, road race-built CRX, righthand drive '94 turbo K-series Civic and a '93 turbo GS-R, just to name a few. No, by Steve's admission they aren't all bubbles, but neither is the guy's F350 turbo diesel pickup. Anyone else noticing a trend here?

2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy
Htup_0804_05_z+k20_turbo_honda_civic_eg_hatch+k20_motor_garrett_gt4294r_turbocharger Photo 3/31   |   Steve Soto's Honda Civic Hatch - Steppin' Up

Turbochargers and Hondas are the makings of long lasting relationships. Few engines destined for lives of natural aspiration respond as well as Hondas do when it comes to positive pressure. The K-series is no different and Steve knows that, which is why he's built two similar setups over the span of just a couple of years. Both K-powered, both turbocharged. The RHD arrived first but its life was short lived. The late model 'Vette that sideswiped it made sure of that. But we're not here to talk about Steve's old hatch; it's his latest big-powered EG effort that we care about.

Htup_0804_22_z+k20_turbo_honda_civic_eg_hatch+front_view+front_mount_intercooler_nitrous_express_sprayer Photo 4/31   |   Steve Soto's Honda Civic Hatch - Steppin' Up

Despite the accident, the K made it out alive. Another EG collecting dust on the side of Steve's house made the decision to take on another project all the easier. The build moved forward with textbook precision. The chassis was stripped to the bone and a 10-point rollcage was fabbed into place. Steve next sent the car off to paint; '06 STi bronze was the color of choice, which made for one of the easiest decisions, he tells us. Of course the engine bay was stripped and wires were tucked, inside and out, prior to paint.

Htup_0804_08_z+k20_turbo_honda_civic_eg_hatch+k20_motor_garrett_gt4294r_turbocharger_no_filter Photo 21/31   |   Steve Soto's Honda Civic Hatch - Steppin' Up

With the hatch at the body shop, the boys at Velocity Trends, Steve's shop, went to town on the K20A2. No, it wasn't damaged from the accident but, with the car away and the engine on the ground, the decision to beef it up further just made sense. Skunk2 valvetrain components were added to the ported head and IPS camshaft combo and the T3 exhaust manifold was upgraded to one with a T4 footprint. Why? Because the GT35R would soon be ditched for a bigger and better GT4294R. Only time will tell what the new setup will yield power-wise but, rest assured, it'll likely make the engine's previous 603hp pull look more like child's play than anything else. Other preparations for new and improved power figures were made, like swapping the 1,000cc injectors for 1,600cc ones from Precision and fitting the EG with a dual-Walbro pump setup. A five-speed transmission yanked from an EP chassis Civic Si was selected for gear bangin' duties and is paired with a Competition twin-disc clutch and flywheel. Such a setup is likely to snap axles like toothpicks, which is precisely why Steve incorporated a set of Driveshaft Shop axles into the build.

Steve is a drag racer. But since this hatchback is known to roam about Jacksonville, Fla., roads more often then you'd think, it's also got to do important things like turn, stop and not bottom out. TEIN flex dampers and springs accompanied with a Skunk2 alignment kit take care of part of this along with the help of Power Slot front and rear discs and Hawk pads. The Full Race traction bars and ARP extended wheel studs serve little purpose on the road but are all but mandatory when slicked down at the strip. Besides, they look cool too.

Htup_0804_27_z+k20_turbo_honda_civic_eg_hatch+garret_turbo_tial_wastegate Photo 9/31   |   Steve Soto's Honda Civic Hatch - Steppin' Up

Steve is probably the last guy you want to give Honda history lessons to. The dude's owned more turbocharged, twin-cam Hondas then most people have cars and he's been playin' with them, both for fun and on a professional level, for more than a decade. His shop, Velocity Trends, began the same way so many other small-sized tuning shops have. Years of parts installs on friends as well as one's own arsenal of vehicles leads to few outcomes other than that of moving the toolboxes from the apartment garage to a full-fledged shop, which is exactly what Steve and the boys from Velocity Trends did back in 2001. They've since doubled their location size and built more Hondas then you can shake a stick at.

Htup_0804_20_z+k20_turbo_honda_civic_eg_hatch+aem_air_fuel_ratio_gauge_autometer_boost_gauge Photo 10/31   |   Steve Soto's Honda Civic Hatch - Steppin' Up

As shops go, they often lead to project cars...rolling billboards, you might say. Such was the reasoning for many of the projects Steve's taken on and such was the reasoning for this brute of an EG. Is there another bubble in this Honda fan's future? Likely. Could it possibly be any better than this beast of a hatchback that's near tripled factory power figures? Doubtful.

BOLTS & WASHERS
Steve Soto's EG Civic

Propulsion:
K20A2
Five-speed EP3 transmission
Hasport mounts
Golden Eagle sleeves
Wiseco 9.0:1 pistons
Crower rods
IPS camshafts
Skunk2 valves
Skunk2 valve springs
Skunk2 retainers
RBC intake manifold
Two Walbro fuel pumps
Precision 1,600cc fuel injectors
AEM fuel rail
Earl's fuel lines/fittings
Earl's fuel filter
Aeromotive fuel regulator
Garrett GT4294R turbocharger
Precision 750 FMIC
Velocity Trends 3-inch piping
TiAL 50mm blow-off valve
TiAL 44mm wastegate
Velocity Trends exhaust manifold
Velocity Trends 3-inch downpipe
Competition Clutch twin-disc clutch
Competition Clutch flywheel
Quaiffe LSD
Driveshaft Shop axles
GM Solenoid (boost controller)
Hondata K-Pro engine management

Stance:
TEIN flex dampers
TEIN flex springs
ASR rear upper strut bar
ITR rear antiroll bar
Si front antiroll bar
10-point rollcage
Skunk2 alignment kit
SPC toe adjusters
Full Race traction bars
Skunk2 rear lower control arms

Resistance:
Power Slot discs
Hawk pads
DOT3 fluid
Goodridge lines
ARP extended wheel studs

Rims & Rubber:
16x7 Rays Gram Lights (+42 offset)
205/40-16 Toyo Proxes

Outside:
'06 STi Bronze Metallic paint
Spoon carbon-fiber rear spoiler
Carbon-fiber rear hatch

Inside:
JDM ITR Recaros
Takata harnesses
NRG steering wheel
NRG quick release
NRG Shorty wheel hub
JDM gauge cluster
JDM climate control
Carbon-fiber center console
Carbon-fiber lower console
GReddy turbo timer
AEM UEGO wideband controller
Stewart Warner tachometer
Auto Meter boost gauge
GReddy oil pressure gauge

Props:
Velocity Trends Inc.
Velocity Trends crew: Noah, Mony,Adam, Mike, Thomas and Bryan
Tachyon Racing Heads crew
Chris at Competition Clutch
Tong at Skunk2
Cesar at Sik Creations
Mike from AFM
Velocity Towing
And don't forget, Odalys, the Wife

Owner Specs:
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.
Most played in the iPod: Steely Dan
Favorite kicks: Throwback Pumas
Recent DVD: Superbad
Bogus traffic tickets: Stopped for the RHD EG
Mac or PC: PC
Favorite non-Honda: Nothing, except for my John Deere lawn mower
Porn star pick: My wife...seriously
Hottest model: My wife...you've got to see her

Sources

Hondata
Torrance, CA 90503
310-782-8278
http://www.hondata.com
Volk Racing
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
562-946-6820
http://www.mackinindustries.com
HaSport
Phoenix, AZ 85040
602-470-0065
http://www.hasport.com
Skunk2
Norco, CA 92860
951-808-9888
http://www.skunk2.com
GReddy
Irvine, CA 92618
949-588-8300
http://www.greddy.com
By Aaron Bonk
408 Articles

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