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1996 Honda Civic Coupe - The Silver Bullet

Kevin Spanier's Silver EJ Civic

Brian McGurk
Aug 1, 2008 SHARE
Htup_0808_01_z+1996_honda_civic_coupe_ej+side_view_cool_graffiti_background Photo 1/18   |   1996 Honda Civic Coupe - The Silver Bullet

Silver EJ Civics aren't exactly rare. A love affair with the future classic drove Kevin Spanier, of Florence, Ky., to build his own '96 Vogue Silver Metallic coupe in hopes of setting it apart from the rest of the metallic-clad pack. "It's always cool to have a matching car and bike," Kevin says, when asked about his passion for silver. His first BMX bike was silver, which instilled the desire to build a clone-colored EJ. Those ambitions were almost derailed one evening when his first freshly swapped coupe was driven oat in a mangled mass of metal. In a stroke of luck the just-installed B16B swap come out unscathed. The encounter rattled him enough to rethink his plan though and aim for something a bit less fragile and a lot more durable, so the hunt was on for another coupe. After a year of searching the perfect choice presented itself.

Htup_0808_08_z+1996_honda_civic_coupe_ej+rear_quarter_view Photo 2/18   |   1996 Honda Civic Coupe - The Silver Bullet

Kevin is no slouch and had amassed a pile of parts while in search of his new coupe, so with the car in his driveway the teardown and rebuild began. He set an ambitious goal for himself: to debut the car at NOPI Atlanta, which was just four weeks away. The bay was shaved clean of studs and OEM grommets and caps were used to fill each hole and prep the space for that ubiquitous B16B. To match the smoothed and cleaned up compartment, the engine and headlight wiring harnesses were extended and tucked into the depths of the fender wells. The battery was relocated underneath the front passenger seat and the fuse box was moved under the glovebox. Power steering remnants and air conditioning pieces were completely removed from both the bay and the block and, with the engine removed, the block and transmission were painted a matching aluminum hue.

Htup_0808_02_z+1996_honda_civic_coupe_ej+b16b_engine_hasport_engine_mounts_hytech_header_mishimoto_radiator Photo 3/18   |   1996 Honda Civic Coupe - The Silver Bullet

Kevin was happy, even confident with the stock JDM-spec Civic Type R engine's power output and the grip of the Type R's transmission, which is equipped with a limited-slip differential. Instead of an elaborate forced-induction build he decided to accent the engine's rev-happy, all-motor lineage. Leaving the block and head untouched, the stock intake manifold was ported and polished and mated to a custom RedZone intake and velocity stack. The stock exhaust manifold was removed and replaced with a replica of the renowned 4-2-1 HyTech exhaust manifold and a modified high-flow cat was cut to fit. The ability to fly underneath the radar of local cherry tops and ricers alike was the primary reason for selecting the A'PEXi WS cat-back exhaust system, and to keep it all cool a Mishimoto half-size radiator with a 12-inch slim fan was installed. Holding it all in place is a set of Hasport engine mounts.

After a little change in plans, an otherwise EJ clone somehow morphed into an EK9-derived road car that can drive to the track and take Kevin and the ol' BMX anywhere it needs to go. Oh, and about NOPI, let's just say nobody got run off the road this time.

Htup_0808_06_z+1996_honda_civic_coupe_ej+b16b_engine Photo 4/18   |   1996 Honda Civic Coupe - The Silver Bullet

With the mounts providing ample grip on the drivetrain, the front torque mounts were removed to keep everything clean. Once the go-fast mods were taken care of the engine began to fare bland when compared to the now gleaming engine bay. Kevin began by painting the stock valve cover, Mugen oil cap, and oil dipstick a custom purple and installed a Spoon Sports carbon-Kevlar spark plug wire cover and radiator cap. Making all of this easier to see is a set of TEIN hood dampers.

Htup_0808_17_z+1996_honda_civic_coupe_ej+front_view Photo 5/18   |   1996 Honda Civic Coupe - The Silver Bullet

Now that the engine's in and running, the interior, exterior, and suspension were next to go under the knife. Kevin couldn't completely shake his JDM EK9 love so to start the front end was upgraded with Civic Type R headlights and a front lip and grille, also from the CTR. Improved lighting came by way of a set of Stanley yellow foglights. The front license plate bolt holes were shaved along with the rear emblems prior to having a fresh coat of Vogue Silver Metallic sprayed on. A set of Spoon Sports side mirrors were installed, along with a '99 Civic rear bumper and JDM-spec thin moldings. With each new body panel color matched, Kevin installed a set of OEM optional mudflaps and window visors yet kept their original black plastic finishes intact. Come to think of it, the only non-OEM body mod Kevin opted for was a Safequip front tow strap hook.

Htup_0808_12_z+1996_honda_civic_coupe_ej+recaro_srd_seats_mugen_racing_2_steering_wheel Photo 6/18   |   1996 Honda Civic Coupe - The Silver Bullet

The interior was kept functional while still catering to the EK9 bug. A pair of Recaro SRD buckets hold driver and passenger in place accompanied by a set of Takata harnesses, all tied to an Autopower four-point rollbar, powdercoated purple of course. The gauge cluster, shift boot, emergency brake handle, and floor mats were each sourced from a legit CTR. A set of JDM visors, a Canadian airbag delete tray, an optional Civic ashtray, and a driver-side coin pocket vent round out the list of rare OEM goodies that Kevin has acquired for himself. Driving feel is assisted with a Mugen shift knob and pedals and Circuit Hero shift extender, and helping protect his investment from thieves is an NRG short hub mated to an NRG quick release and Mugen Racing II steering wheel. Keeping the car firmly on the ground is a set of A'PEXi N1 ExV coilovers held in with a set of Omni Power rear lower control arms. Squaring up the suspension are Mugen upper shock braces and an ASR subframe brace, and Integra Type R rear antiroll bars tie the underside together. Stopping power was accomplished with a full '99 Civic Si four-wheel disc brake swap with Brembo rotors and, after sitting in his room for almost a year, a set of 15-inch Sprint Hart CPFs wrapped in 205/50-15 Falken Azenis were installed and held in place with matching Sprint Hart lug nuts, also purple.

BOLTS & WASHERS

Propulsion:
B16B
Hasport engine mounts
Ported and polished intake manifold
RedZone intake and velocity stack
HyTech replica header
A'PEXi WS cat-back exhaust
Mugen oil cap
Mishmoto radiator
Spoon Sports radiator cap
12-inch cooling fan

Stance:
A'pexi N1 Exv Coilovers
Omni Power rear lower control arms
ASR rear subframe brace
ITR rear antiroll bar
Spoon Sports rear lower tie-bar
Cusco front lower tie-bar
Mugen upper shock tower braces

Resistance:
6G Civic Si brake conversion
Brembo rotors
Hawk HPS pads
Earl's steel braided brake lines

Rims & Rubber:
15x6.5 Sprint Hart CPF (offset: +32 front, +42 rear)205/50-R15 Falken Azenis
Sprint Hart lug nuts

Outside:
JDM CTR front lip
JDM CTR headlights
JDM CTR grille
JDM yellow foglights
JDM thin side moldings
Spoon Sports mirrors
OEM Honda mudguards
'99-'00 Civic rear bumper
JDM door visors
Shaved rear emblems
Safequip front tow strap

Inside:
Recaro SRD seats
Takata harnesses
Mugen Racing II steering wheel
NRG short hub
NRG quick release
Mugen pedals
Mugen shift knob
Circuit Hero shift extender
CTR gauge cluster
CTR shift boot
CTR emergency brake handle
CDM airbag delete
Optional Civic ashtray
Custom door panels
Custom armrest
JDM sunvisors
CTR floor mats
Autopower four-point rollbar
Carbon-fiber rear quarter-panel covers

Props:
Bro
Mom and Dad
Sh!tsweak
Chasebays
RedZone
Hung
Friends who helped out

OWNER SPECS

Hometown:
Florence, Ky.

Most Played in the iPod:
Real Life's "Send Me an Angel"

Favorite kicks:
Orchids

Recent DVD:
Road Fools (the newest one)

Bogus traffic ticket:
None, but a bunch on my bike

Mac or PC:
Mac

Favorite non-Honda:
Subaru STI wagon

Porn star pick:
[Laughing] What?

Hottest model:
No idea

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Sources

Mishimoto
Wilmington, DE 19803
877-466-4744
http://www.mishimoto.com
HaSport
Phoenix, AZ 85040
602-470-0065
http://www.hasport.com
By Brian McGurk
47 Articles

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