Kyle "Stubby" Neal; '02 Civic Si; Crawfordsville, Ind.
Modified EP3 Civics aren't all that abundant, especially in northern Indiana where Kyle Neal is from-a guy who happens to own a Milano Red hatchback that will put even a few SoCal EPs to shame. Look past the CTR bumpers, lips, and skirts, the '04-'05 headlight conversion, the 17-inch Advan RGs, and the VIS carbon-fiber wing, and it's hard to miss the 412hp K20A2 that's been swapped in place under the VIS hood. The internally stock K is held in place with Avid mounts and power is bumped upward with a Full-Race turbo kit. The T3/T04E kit features one of Full-Race's side-mount manifolds, a TiAL 44mm wastegate and 50mm blow-off valve, PWR front-mount intercooler, and a 3-inch down pipe that flows into a 70mm T1R exhaust. A Hondata K-Pro teamed with RC Engineering 750cc fuel injectors flowing through a Golden Eagle fuel rail and Summit filter work in tandem with the Walbro 255lph fuel pump and Aeromotive regulator combo. Kyle ditched the factory five-speed and upgraded to the Type S six-speed gearbox fitted with a Carbonetic one-and-a-half-way limited-slip differential. Aside from the power adder, an Ingalls engine torque damper keeps the powertrain from excessive movement while a Koyo aluminum radiator helps keep temperatures in check. Kyle bolted on a set of StopTech brakes up front behind the Advans and Kumhos and Power Slot rotors out back. A combination of Axxis and Hawk pads bring the hatch to a halt. Suspension was addressed with A'PEXi N1 coilovers, an SPC camber kit, Cusco and Progress antiroll bars, and bushings from Energy Suspension. Kyle also bolted on a set of J's Racing steering arms and an Alex rear shock tower brace. Like the engine bay, the EP's interior is all business, featuring a Buddy Club racing seat paired with a Crow harness. The carpet's also been updated to red specs and goods like floor mats, a shift boot, and a gauge cluster were all robbed from the CTR. Finally, Defi gauges combined with Sparco pedals, and a MOMO/NRG steering wheel combination keep Kyle in tune with his engine and the road.
How It Went Down:
Like we said, a boosted EP3 hatch isn't exactly protocol for the typical Midwest car guy, so it took a fairly tragic car accident, which incidentally wiped out Kyle's Chevy truck, to steer him down the Honda path. Now truck-less, Kyle somehow began looking into H-swapped Civics but later changed his mind due to the rare nature of a fixed-up EP. Kyle soon found his EP3, albeit it needed its share of love. The car had been repainted but didn't meet its new owner's standards. Like everything else on the car, Kyle tackled the bodywork himself in his garage, where he draped plastic sheets along the walls for two months as he converted his house into a body shop. With the bronze-pearl-infused Milano Red paint applied, Kyle rounded off the outside with the body mods and, soon after, sourced the K20A2 engine swap. The plan was to go all motor, and the number of naturally aspirated bolt-ons that laid on the garage floor proved as much. Nevertheless, Kyle opted for boost and the rest is history.
Love And Hate:
Do-it-yourselfers are cool. Do-it-yourselfers who paint their own cars in their own garages are even cooler.