After numerous garage swaps, this Canadian Civic owner finally found the power he was in search of.
As a Honda enthusiast, you've no doubt had more than a few arguments with non-Honda owners about horsepower, torque, and possibly power-to-weight ratios. And don't forget about that infamous jpeg posted on every automotive-related board on the web that says something about a soda bottle having more liters than a Honda Civic. Even with all of the negativity, Honda guys always seem to find a way to level the playing field. Whether it's someone building and boosting their SOHC motor, or the next guy swapping in a B or K series power plant, we've been blessed with more than one option for increasing power to keep up with larger displacement challengers. Still, for those who have experienced a car equipped with a V6 or V8, you simply can't deny the raw torque that always manages to push your spine deep into the seat's fibers, leaving you begging for more. For years, power-hungry Honda heads have dreamt of shoehorning a VTEC-equipped V6 into their Civic or Integra and ruling their local streets with six fists of fury. Here we are in 2009, and the dream has finally become a reality.
Phil Anastacio didn't start off like your typical Honda fanatic. He didn't foam at the mouth at the mere thought of modifying his '97 Civic hatchback. Nor did he did he lose any sleep debating what wheel setup he'd kill for. In fact, he only acquired the car as a hand me down from his father. "I was 18 years old and I was just starting my electrical apprenticeship. My dad basically gave me the car so I could get to work everyday," he recalls. The mod bug didn't take a bite out of Phil until that one fateful evening when a friend paid him a visit. "My friend Pino showed me what my car could look like using photoshop. It was all downhill from there. I started with the basics like a Vibrant muffler, intake, and springs, and eventually I asked my dad if I could have half of the garage to work on my project." Phil's poor father has been stuck with fifty percent of a garage ever since.
At the ripe old age of 19 years, Phil and a few friends decided to try a B series swap on his birthday. The process seemed simple enough, other than a few problems deciphering the injector wiring between OBD IIa to OBD I. Brimming with confidence, Phil completed a minor wire tuck and cleaned up the car's engine bay. The car fired right up, but over time, began to swallow oil. "It was burning oil so bad. I'd add oil more often than I filled up the gas tank! I picked up a beater and just put the car on hold during the cold winter months," he adds. His father's only input: "when are you going to clean up this garage?"
Wanting to jump back into the project head first, Phil, on his next birthday no less, decided to pull the motor back out for a rebuild. Using boost-friendly bottom-end components, the car was eventually put back on the road. A supercharger soon arrived, but wasn't installed once the idea of adding a turbo was introduced. However, the boost concept was never explored as the K swap had already put its death grip on the Honda community. With the help of Teknotic, all of the necessary K parts were sourced, and Phil and his friends got to work. Of course, the swap was once again performed on his birthday. And without missing a beat, his father asked when the garage would be cleaned up. He states, "The K swap was in and the car was running great. I went to a few shows, made a bunch of trips to the track, and I even drove eighteen hours to Import Alliance. It stayed the same for about a year. When I brought it out to the Performance World in the spring, I just felt like something was missing." With a few J series swaps popping up on the web, Phil started to get that feeling again. After purchasing a new home and mapping out plans for marriage, funds were all but dried up. "I'd found the perfect swap for sale, but I'd also found the perfect engagement ring. I was torn, haha! I decided to buy the ring, and then I'd work some serious overtime to pick up the swap.' With very little support for the V6/Civic swap, much of the process would prove to be a custom affair. One-off axles, fuel lines, clutch line, etc, would be produced in Phil's fathers garage with the help of friends Dan and Gitmo. Many long nights were spent trying to fit HaSport EG mounts into the '97 engine bay, and eventually they were bolted in. Another major issue was the gauge cluster. Wiring a CL-S cluster isn't something you can Google search, so Dan and Phil sat for hours in front of a battery with a wiring diagram and a cluster until they figured it out. After a few weeks of experimenting combined with custom ingenuity, the Civic, now V6-powered, drove out of Phil's father's garage. Phil recalls "Our first trip was to the gas station. We were so excited to feel all that torque, we gave it a quick 1-2-3 shift and heard the driver's side shaft break. We were just laughing so hard! It was funny that it had happened, and at that same time, since we did everything ourselves, I didn't lose any money on it. So much better than paying a shop to do the work." After fixing the axle, all of the minor bugs were worked out, and Phil's father helped trim the custom "shaker" hood that delicately borders the big V6.
After trying B- and K-series power, Phil found sanctity in his J series swap. When asked what's next, he responds, "With the completion of the V6 swap, I can finally say that I'm DONE with this car! And dad, I'm going to clean up the garage, I promise. Well. . . unless Honda introduces a new V8."
Bolts & Washers
HaSport EG/DC J Swap mounts
Civic half radiator
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
Summit Racing lines and fittings
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
Edelbrock fuel filter
Custom 3 inch intake
Blox velocity stack and 6 inch filter
Vibrant prototype exhaust system
Acura CL Type S 6 transmission w/LSD
Karcepts K swap shifter plat
CL-S inner and outer 36mm joints with custom shafts
CL-S custom ECU
PIC coilovers (12K/14K)
Cusco anti-roll bars
SSR tie bar
SSR rear lower control arms
OEM Type R discs
Project MU pads
Russell stainless brake lines
RSX brake master cylinder and booster
CRV prop valve
Rims & Rubber
SSR Type C 17x7.5 +42
Falken 912 205/40-17
Rando Sports body kit
Seeker EK9 rear wing
Vision Type DC carbon fiber mirrors
Custom "shaker" style hood
Cusco 6pt roll cage
2003 CL-S 6-speed gauge cluster
Autometer gauges (air/fuel, voltage, oil pressure)
Custom carbon fiber switch panel
Bride Low Max bucket seats
Custom door panel fabric
Skunk2 shift knob
Diamond Audio components
Tristan Lowe (aka. Pino)
Adrian Cimadamore (Extreme Auto Salon)
Faisal Al-Atheri (aka. Fe9L)
Eric Daoust @ Teknotik
Donavan @ Vibrant
Stefano @ Cardanic Drive Line. (aka. Patches
Albert @ Speedstar
Erin Mills Acura
Joe Dias for giving me the day off work to shoot pics.
Miguel Anastacio (Dad, for continued support)
Jenny Gaudencio (Wife, for putting up with me all this time)
JDMrides.ca and Honda-Tech.com
Screen name or nickname:
SN = OACRep1
Nickname = Phildo
Building Hondas for how long:
What's playing in your iPod/CD
MP3 player right now
Black Eyed Peas - I got a feeling
Greatest movie of all time:
As new-model engine bays become smaller, and consumer power demands continue to increase, automakers are relying on V6 power now more than ever before. Because the engine uses three cylinders on each bank to turn a common crank, many V6 engines are only marginally larger than the more popular inline four, and much narrower in comparison to the inline six. Honda utilizes a 60 degree V6 for their J series, which is the most efficient cylinder bank for a compact size and vibration resistance; requiring no balance shafts. Though Honda enthusiasts who purchased a V6-powered CL or TL were never treated to a large number of options from the aftermarket, that may soon change with the buzz surrounding V6 Civic and Integra swaps currently heating up.