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1993 Honda Civic EH - Better Than New

The ultimate ground-up Civic build.

Brian McGurk
Mar 9, 2012
Htup 1204 01+1993 honda civic eh+cover Photo 1/11   |   1993 Honda Civic EH - Better Than New

“A drop, wheels, and fresh paint aren’t a build,” according to Dave Cordell of Hybrid Racing when asked about the current crop of “Internet” builds. Dave and his crew at Louisiana-based Hybrid Racing aren’t new to the Honda movement and have been putting out quality setups for over a decade. So when we heard they were pouring so much time and effort into a ’93 Civic, we were chomping at the bit to see what they came up with. The fly-by-night enthusiasts of the day simply aren’t ready for a build like this.

Htup 1204 02+1993 honda civic eh+rear view Photo 2/11   |   1993 Honda Civic EH - Better Than New

Starting roughly three years ago, Dave got a call from a client saying a minty fresh ’93 Civic Si would be on their doorstep within the week. With the client in the northeast, Dave had three requirements for this track car’s buildup: pure quality, top-of-the-line parts, and unquestionable reliability—everything else was up to Dave. “This car was basically my life for two years. I dreamt about it and then woke up and went to work on it.” The build began with a full teardown and a trip to the body shop where the original roof was replaced with a non-sunroof option. Dave adds, “We were going to do a carbon-fiber top, but there were concerns of structural integrity, so we sourced a brand-new OEM roof.” Along with its new roof, the Civic’s interior was sanded down and all unnecessary holes in the bay were filled. With the chassis back at Hybrid, Dave installed all-new glass throughout the car, then turned his attention toward the suspension puzzle. Instead of reusing 15-year-old hardware, every single bolt, nut, and bracket was updated, and all of the bearings were replaced with spherical versions. After installation of a brand-new subframe, control arms, and A-arms, the only reused pieces were the knuckles and trailing arms—and even those items were stripped and repainted. Prior to buttoning up the suspension, Chase of Chase Bays made the trip to Louisiana for a one-off custom brake line and wiring setup. New rollers in the form of 16-inch Enkei RPF01s and a new steering rack round out the revitalized suspension.

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

The body was now ready for reassembly, and as Dave says, “Literally, everything was brand-new. Every molding, clip, sill, garnish, cap, screw, plug… it was all new from Honda.” Dave’s attention to detail extended to every facet of the build, almost to the point of obsession. The doors were treated to new handles and hinges; even the key set and cylinders were swapped out for brand-new versions from the Honda parts department. While many borrow bits and pieces from the Japanese market, the only change from U.S. OEM Honda spec with this car is the lighting, as Dave opted for the UKDM glass headlights and all clear Stanley corner lights.

The heart of this virtually new beauty started with a K24 block bored slightly over, courtesy of Go Power Motorsports, which also fitted custom Wiseco pistons and rings along with its own connecting rods. A K20A2 head sits at the top end, and was treated to every go-fast valvetrain bit that Go Power offers before being shipped back to Hybrid Racing. Prior to installing the Civic’s new powerplant, Dave took a moment to install a 4.7 final drive and WaveTrac LSD to help get the 2.4L’s power to the ground. Mounting the engine and taking care of all of the necessary ancillary parts was a breeze as Hybrid Racing has become the “go to” source for K swaps. Its inventory includes everything you could possibly need to make the swap a breeze, perform flawlessly, and look good doing it.

With the hatchback now up and running with a new heart, the only thing left to address was the cockpit. Being it is a track car, the less is more philosophy was taken to heart. An Autopower rollcage was bolted in along with a single Recaro racing bucket seat and Crow safety harness. Although this car is a looker, it was built to perform on track, which means monitoring vitals is, well, vital. Dave installed a RacePak IQ3 Datalogger digital dash and adds, “It even has a GPS sensor for a real-time speed readout. It interfaces with the Hondata K-Pro, so you can keep an eye on the car’s sensors while racing. We also added an external oil cooler with a temp sensor, so the driver can monitor the oil temperature while on the track.”

With the car finally completed, a dyno session was in order. After some keyboard tapping and a number of dyno runs, 285hp were being pounding out by the front wheels. There’s also 25 more horses just begging to be unleashed by switching off the pump gas and relying on race fuel. After a smashing success on the dyno, the suspension shop got its hands on the Civic and got its hands dirty adjusting height, camber, and toe to the owner’s specs.

This Civic was two years and tens of thousands of dollars in the making. When asked about the daunting task, Dave states, “This is one of the most expensive, functional EHs ever built, and certainly the nicest one I have built or will ever build. Not only would this Civic show with the best in the scene, it would keep up with some of the fastest as well. The owner is extremely happy and races the car as much as he possibly can.” Essentially a showroom-fresh Civic with a look that would snatch trophies at a car show or break necks at a meet, yet it spends its free time tearing up the tarmac in search of faster lap times? We’ll take two!

The Little Things
Have you ever looked in the fender well of a “show” car? Dave has, and it’s a mess. That’s part of what prompted this ultimate build, he said. “I was thinking what would the gas tank look like brand-new? The wheel wells? Everything! This was built to a standard that doesn’t typically exist in the Honda community.” From removing the gas tank to replacing the window guides, this build was literally from the ground up and was a complete labor of love. Dave recalls, “I’ve built a bunch of cars but never like this. This car was my life for almost two years, and I did everything except build the motor and paint it.” Dave didn’t half-ass things just because they were hidden, either. He went the extra mile because that’s simply what he and the Hybrid Racing crew do. “You should see my notebook—pages and pages of part numbers and where they’re all supposed to go.” Although he swears he’ll never do a build like this again due to the scale of it all, we’re confident this one will set the standard for years to come.

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
K24A1, bored .20 over
K20A2 cylinder head, ported
Hybrid Racing engine mounts
Hybrid Racing full-size radiator
Hybrid Racing radiator hoses
Hybrid Racing fuel rail
Hybrid Racing fuel line
Hybrid Racing fuel filter
Hybrid Racing 70mm throttle body
Hybrid Racing thermal gaskets
Hybrid Racing shifter
Hybrid Racing shifter cables
Custom Wiseco pistons
Custom piston rings
Go Power connecting rods
Go Power V2R camshafts
Go Power valvesprings
Go Power retainers
Go Power keepers
Go Power intake
Go Power 4-1 custom race header
Go Power custom 3-inch stainless exhaust
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
Bosch 550cc injectors
AEM universal fuel pressure regulator
Ported and milled RBC intake manifold
NGK Iridium spark plugs
Competition Stage 4 clutch
Competition ultra-lightweight flywheel
WaveTrac LSD
Driveshaft Shop 2.9 axles
Suspension
Zeal Function Type X coilovers
OEM ITR 24mm front sway bar
Progress 26mm rear sway bar
Hardrace spherical bearings
Function7 rear subframe brace
Function7 rear lower control arms
Buddy Club roll center adjusters
Resistance
12.9-inch Wilwood two-piece rotors, front
10.9-inch Wilwood two-piece rotors, rear
Wilwood 6-piston big brake kit, front
Wilwood single big brake kit, rear
Wilwood race-compound brake pads
Wilwood stainless steel brake lines
Wilwood master cylinders
Wilwood front/rear adjustable brake bias valve
Motul RBF 600 brake fluid
Chase Bays brake booster delete kit
Chase Bays custom stainless steel ABS delete kit
Wheels and Tires
Enkei RPF01 16x8 +42, Advan A048 225/45-16
Exterior
USDM OEM non-sunroof panel
USDM OEM Si front lip
USDM OEM rear spoiler
UKDM OEM glass headlamps
Stanley clear corners
Interior
Autopower 6-pt rollcage
Recaro Pole Position racing seat
Crow Cam-lock safety harness
MOMO Race steering wheel
Hybrid Racing shift knob
Custom switch panel
Works Bell quick-release and hub adapter
Electronics
Hondata K-Pro
RacePak IQ3 Datalogger
RacePak IQ3 DL cluster
RacePak K-Pro integration
Chase Bays CM2 engine wiring harness
Props
Everyone at Hybrid Racing, Jeff at Go Power Motorsports, Shocker Joe Coville, Chase at Chase Bays, Kris Clark, David Cordell, William Davidson, Tim Schultz, Parker Ruffino

Owner Specs

Daily grind
K-swapped Hondas!
Favorite site
www.Hybrid-Racing.com
Screen name
TypeOne
Building Hondas
15 years
Dream car
Honda’s new supercar!
Inspiration for this build
OEM Honda Racing cars
Future build
More K-swapped Hondas!

Sources

Hybrid Racing
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
225-932-9588
http://www.hybridracing.com
Hondata
Torrance, CA 90503
310-782-8278
http://www.hondata.com
Go Power Motorsports
Hesperia, CA 92345
760-949-1275
http://www.go-pwr.com
Enkei USA
Columbus, IL 47201
812-373-7000
http://www.enkei.com
Wilwood Brakes
Camarillo, CA 93012
805-388-1188
www.wilwood.com
By Brian McGurk
47 Articles

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