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1992 Honda Civic CX - From The Ground Up

A '92 CX That Went From Zero To Hero In Just Four Years

Rodrez
Jan 15, 2010

Michael Kauffman’s ’92 Civic CX Project cars seem to serve as both a blessing and a curse, all at the same time. On the one hand they tend to keep their owners out of trouble and away from most negative influences, but at the same time they pick-pocket money and steal away precious hours. Never really considered a team sport, they embody the age-old adage: "You get out of it, what you put into it." Not for the faint of heart, the sight of a completely stripped-down Civic parked in a garage, surrounded by piles of stock and aftermarket parts, might be completely overwhelming for some, but not for Riverside, California's Michael Kauffman. No stranger to the process, this Nissan master technician has a track record peppered with hardcore Civic and CRX builds spanning over the last 11 years. However, the '92 Civic he's managed to recently finish just might prove to be his biggest undertaking so far.

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Before the EH chassis came into his life, Michael had invested a good amount of time and money into his LS/VTEC-powered del Sol. "I'd built this del Sol and I was pretty happy with it, but my brother really wanted it. After a while, I told him to just buy me a '92-'95 Civic and I'd give him the del Sol without the engine or suspension that I had upgraded. Eventually, he found me a car and I swapped everything over to it," he says.

2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy

The "Corvette red" hatchback proved to be quite the street competitor, and spirits were high right up until a run-in with the law that put a damper on things. After an impromptu race with an H22-equipped hatchback, Michael's worst nightmare appeared in his rearview mirror: the dreaded red and blue lights followed by the wail of a police siren. Learning his lesson from the incident, he took it easy for a while and kept his street activities under control. But it wasn't long before another unfortunate turn of events found its way to Michael. While driving through a rainstorm, the engine managed to hydrolock, and it was all she wrote. To replace the soggy powerplant and get back on the road, a sleeved LS/VTEC was installed but it decided to let go well before its time. Looking for a fresh start, Michael decided to put the hatchback on ice while he devised a plan to completely rework the car from top to bottom, no matter how long it took.

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Impressed by the synergy of LS torque combined with the efficiency of a B16A head, he once again relied on the duo to power his most extensive build yet. Using RS Machine sleeves and oversized pistons to push displacement up to the 2.1-liter mark, a set of individual throttle bodies help ensure that every blip of the throttle is worthwhile. With a 13.8:1 compression ratio and an electric water pump, there's no doubt that Michael was intent on squeezing every ounce of power out of the hybrid. "I've always been anal about my builds, but this one I wanted to go all the way with. I always want the best of everything and I'm extremely competitive. In fact, there are people that I've been competing with ever since we were really young," he says.

Choosing only high-end parts to go under the hood paid off in the end. Master tuner Bisi Ezerioha was able to pull out more than 250 whp on the dyno. The car seemed to have reached a point of completion, until the day Michael removed one key component. "I'd just had the car resprayed, even under the hood, and everything was bright red. I took off the master cylinder to try a new booster-less setup and noticed the painter hadn't removed it prior to paint. The old color showing up just drove me nuts, so I decided to repaint the whole car, this time I wanted it the same color as my Denali," he says. It was off to the paint shop once again, and the downtime continued to add up.

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With more than four years of tearing down and building back up, Michael's EH project finally saw the road. While most project cars are pretty simple to find online these days, this one proved to be much more elusive. In fact, Michael only posted one very small picture of his car in the middle of a huge thread; if you were lucky, you caught a glimpse of it. He hasn't even really had a chance to show off his hard work since it's just recently been comleted. The car has never been to a meet, show, or track event, though that will soon change. Michael has intentions of participating in all of the above and we believe him. It's obvious this project will make some serious noise, that is as long as he doesn't discover any red paint hiding below the surface. If that happens, we might not see him for another four years.

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Bolts & Washers

Propulsion:
B18A block (85mm bore)
RS Machine sleeves
13.8:1 Arias pistons
Eagle rods
B16A cylinder head
Buddy Club stage 4 camshafts
TWM 52mm individual throttle bodies
Portflow cylinder head
Portflow valve springs
Portflow retainers
Paxton A1000 fuel pump
RC 440cc fuel injectors
Barry Grant fuel filter
TWM fuel pressure regulator
Marshall fuel pressure gauge
Hasport engine mounts
Meziere electric water pump
Custom engine wiring harness
HyTech exhaust manifold
HyTech twin-loop muffler
HyTech 2.5-inch exhaust piping
HyTech test pipe
AEM engine management
MSD 6AL ignition box
MSD Blaster coil
Nology spark plug wires
1999 Civic Si transmission reworked by Gear Speed
Clutch Masters Stage 5 clutch
Integra Type R flywheel
OBX LSD
Omnipower quick shifter
Custom aluminum radiator
Spoon Sports radiator cap
Samco Sport radiator hoses
Password:JDM fender washer bolts
Mugen valve cover
TEIN hood shocks

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Stance:
Omnipower coilovers
Custom four-point rollbar
Weapon R rear shock tower bar
Weapon R C-pillar bar with extensions
Megan Racing trailing arm bushings
Megan Racing adjustable rear toe kit
Skunk2 camber kit
Skunk2 rear lower control arm bars
Omnipower rear lower control arms
Custom traction bars

Resistance:
Brembo cross-drilled and slotted rotors
EBS brake pads
DC2 Integra rear disc brake conversion
Earl's steel-braided lines
Kens custom "booster-less" master cylinder
Custom brake line tuck
Relocated proportioning valve

Rims & Rubber:
16x7 Work Emotion (+33 offset)
205/45-16 Yokohama AVS ES100

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Outside:
Custom paint by Dave's Auto Body
Shaved engine bay
VIS carbon-fiber hood
VIS carbon-fiber wing
VIS carbon-fiber front lip
Seibon carbon-fiber rear hatch
Spoon-style side mirrors

Outside:
Golden Eagle aluminum rear diffuser
Vision amber turn signals
JDM OEM antenna block-off plate
HOP window visors
OEM mud guards
All OEM seals and trim pieces replaced

Inside:
Bride adjustable bucket seats
JDM gauge cluster
ITR shift knob
Tenzo R steering wheel
Auto Meter air/fuel ratio meter
Custom "push start" ignition
Custom fuel cell
Stripped and painted interior

Htup_0906_12_o+1992_honda_civic_cx+interior_shot Photo 8/11   |   1992 Honda Civic CX - From The Ground Up

Props:
Thanks to my little brother Jason (my munchkin), my boys Chris and Jorge, my mom, and of course Rodrez and Honda Tuning

Owner Specs

Hometown:
Inland Empire, SoCal

Daily Grind:
Nissan Master Tech

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Favorite Website:
www.craigslist.com

Building Cars How Long:
11 years

Favorite Shoes:
DVS

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Dream Car:
My hatchy

Build Inspiration:
Grandmother

Can't Miss TV:
That '70s Show

Individual Throttle Bodies (ITBs)
The factory Honda intake system utilizes a single throttle body to regulate the amount of airflow into the intake manifold and combustion chambers, while an individual throttle body system employs one throttle per cylinder for a more evenly distributed intake. By minimizing pumping losses, ITBs can generate an increase in power by working more efficiently, and more importantly, drastically increase throttle response. Manufacturers offer different size throttles for various types of performance. While a road race build might require a smaller set of throttles to focus on improved midrange, a drag race engine would usually rely on a bigger set for maximum top-end performance. A properly tuned management system combined with sufficient fueling is mandatory, while headwork and a bump in compression are suggested with most ITB installs.

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Sources

Skunk2 Racing
Norco, CA 92860
951-808-9888
http://www.skunk2.com
Buddy Club USA
Ontario, CA 91761
909-923-9188
http://www.buddyclub.us
Clutch Masters
Rialto, CA 92376
909-877-6800
http://www.clutchmasters.com
Bisimoto
Ontario, CA 91761
888-922-6686
http://www.bisimoto.com
By Rodrez
656 Articles

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