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 |   |  1994 Honda Civic - A Helping Hand
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1994 Honda Civic - A Helping Hand

RCG is a friend indeed!

Matt “Rodrez” Rodriguez
Apr 19, 2012
Htup 1205 01+1994 honda civic+cover Photo 1/9   |   1994 Honda Civic - A Helping Hand

Approximately 12 months ago, the name RC Chacon was splashed across the pages of this very magazine. Builder of a raw, boosted Civic that essentially broke the mold of overdone Civics that all too often carried more trinkets and overnight trends than true purity, he’s since made quite the name for himself. His performance shop, RC’s Garage, nestled in the heart of Phoenix’s booming import performance movement, is currently on the rise, and it’s no surprise that you’re seeing his name once again gracing the pages of HT.

Htup 1205 02+1994 honda civic+intake Photo 2/9   |   1994 Honda Civic - A Helping Hand

Ironically, the sedan you’re looking at isn’t “technically” his car, though he’s lost track of the massive number of hours he’s spent working on it. Also lost in the shuffle is the exact dollar amount extracted from RC’s personal finances in order to bring the car to a finished state. In fact, along with the laundry list of parts that he can recite off the top of his head, the only thing RC hasn’t lost track of is his friendship with David Haynes, the car’s titleholder. RC adds, “David picked up the car and wanted me to help him build something decent, but he wasn’t much of Honda guy I guess you could say. He’d seen some K swaps online, and that’s basically all he wanted.” David managed to source a TSX longblock at a great price, and slowly started to stockpile the necessary pieces to make the swap happen. With a little momentum building, the parts pile made its way to the engine bay and before long, the 2.4L was ready to hang securely from its HaSport motor mounts, but the pair pulled back for a moment. RC states, “We started looking at options for the four-door. Turbo kits, wheels, lip kits, interior stuff, etc. We brainstormed all of these ideas with color schemes and whatnot. That’s pretty much the point we realized it might go from something very simple to something kind of extreme, lol!” Friend and bodywork expert Jeremy White took action on prepping the car for paint, while RC accompanied David to JDL Auto Design to discuss a custom turbo kit.

With the proverbial ball officially rolling, RC and David did the unthinkable, and installed the K24 in the middle of the day during one of Arizona’s infamous summer days. The sweltering desert heat did more than just draw buckets of sweat, it caused David to experience potential kidney failure and he was taken to the emergency room. “From there, I was sort of on my own building the car, so I hit up my friend Jose Chacon (unrelated) to help me out.” The duo got their hands dirty finishing up the final pieces of the initial portion of the build, then took the car to the paint booth where Terry Froelich carefully laid down a fresh coat of Horizon Grey paint. From the body shop, the car was dropped off with Jesse of JDL to build a custom one-off turbo kit specifically designed for the car.

If you’ve been mentally tallying up the cost associated with the swap, bodywork, and custom turbo kit, you’re probably wondering if the funds were ever going to stop pouring in on this build. In short: yes. RC adds, “His funds were running low and he was thinking about just ending the build, but there was no way I was going to let him give up. Some of the parts that he needed to finish I happened to have sitting in my shop, so I basically funded the rest of it myself. After all, he’s my best friend and I know he’d do the same for me.” With an end in sight, RC and Jose continued to work on the car both day and night. Meanwhile, David ran into more bad luck and began to lose interest in the sedan shortly after an injury that required surgery left him out of work. Talk of parting out the entire build began to surface, and this time RC wasn’t able to talk David off of the ledge. Fortunately, in the eleventh hour, David recovered well from surgery and landed a new job.

Htup 1205 03+1994 honda civic+engine Photo 3/9   |   1994 Honda Civic - A Helping Hand

Now back on his feet, David is feeling the motivation once again, and is working with RC to map out a number of changes for 2012. When asked about the roller-coaster ride that landed yet another RC’s Garage creation on the cover of HT, RC states, “I’m just glad my best friend got better, landed a new job, and wants to continue this whole thing after it has come this far. It really doesn’t even matter who the car belongs to, we’re in it together. What does matter, though, is that two friends took a car that wasn’t supposed to be anything more than just a simple K-series swap and turned it into a badass 4-dr!”

What’s in a Name?
The name is fitting, simply because RC’s Garage actually started in, well, RC’s garage. He adds, “I started out working on friends’ and customers’ cars in my garage and backyard for about three years. Business was good and I decided it was time to open an actual shop, and I’ve been here now for about a year.” Offering mechanical and technical service for just about any import under the sun, as well as body and paint, RC has managed to make a name for himself in a relatively short amount of time. “There’s still quite a bit to do, like finishing the website and all of that, but I’m busy working on customers’ cars right now—that’s what it’s all about.”

To contact RC, search “RCsGarage” (one word) on Facebook or

Bolts & Washers

K24 from TSX
Hondata K-Pro management
HaSport motor mounts
Garrett Big Kahuna turbo
JDL Sidewinder exhaust manifold
JDL downpipe
TiAL MVR wastegate
All-In Fabrication intake manifold
Hybrid Racing 74mm throttle body
JDL intercooler
Aaron Garcia Fab I/C piping
TiAL blow-off valve
Vibrant Vanjen clamps
Injector Dynamics 1,000cc injectors
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
Aeromotive fuel regulator
Hybrid Racing fuel rail
Russel 40-micron fuel filter
-6 pushlock lines and fittings
All-In Fabrication tucked radiator
K20Z3 transmission
Spec clutch
Spec lightweight flywheel
Driveshaft Shop axles
Omni Power coilovers
Function7 subframe brace
Function7 rear LCAs
ITR 4x114 conversion
Fastbrakes front/rear rotors
RCG brake line tuck
RCG brake booster delete
Wheels and Tires
16-inch Mugen MF8
Falken RT-615K 205/45-16
Resprayed Horizon Grey
Mugen EG9 front lip
Mugen EG9 side skirts
Spoon side mirrors
NepTune TunerView RD1
Anniversary Edition SiR-S interior
Mugen steering wheel
My beautiful girlfriend Michelle, Mom and Dad, my brothers Anthony and Reggie, my best friends David Haynes, Jose Chacon, Jordan Sawalgah, Ryan R, the whole TopNotch crew, Terry Froelich, Matt at ICB Motorsports, Jesse at JDL Auto Design, Derek at All-In Fabrication, Donavan at Vibrant Performance, Aaron Garcia Fabrication, HaSport, Hybrid Racing, Frank at Downstar Inc., Joey at The Chronicles, Joe at LoCash Racing, Aaron at TSR, Randy and the rest of the Arrowhead Honda parts dept, and anyone and everyone who has supported and showed love for me and RCG. Big thank you to my family, friends, and sponsors; it’s very much appreciated!

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
RC’s Garage
Favorite Sites,,
Screen name
Building Hondas
10 years
Dream Car
Another ’68 Charger
Inspiration For This Build
My best friend
Future Builds
Any and everything

By Matt “Rodrez” Rodriguez
68 Articles



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