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1994 Honda Civic EX - Anything But Common

No bolt left untouched.

Jonathan Thompson
May 23, 2012
Photographer: Chris Dornon
Htup 1206 01+1994 honda civic EX+driver side profile Photo 1/11   |   1994 Honda Civic EX - Anything But Common

Everyone claims they set out to build a project for themselves, but this is actually a bit difficult to do. Inspiration, whether consciously or not, can be found from reading this very magazine, surfing the forums, or checking out big shows and events. But rarely is someone truly able to stick to his or her own manuscript. For Steve Thomsen of North Canton, Ohio, he was able to accomplish such a feat. This highly customized ’94 Civic EX gradually formed over 11 long years. Countless people assisted, a plethora of shops were involved, and an insane amount of labor-hours created an immaculate vision. As the project unfolded, trends came and went in the blink of an eye. Some may argue that this Civic follows current trends, while others are surely quick to point out that it contains a number of outdated body mods, but in reality, the only thing Steve did was follow one trend—his own. And he could care less what anyone else has to say.

Htup 1206 02+1994 honda civic EX+dart B16A2 Photo 2/11   |   There are tucked bays, then there is this bay. No holes, no wires, just 500 whp and a unique HyTech exhaust manifold.

Although the exterior will no doubt stir up some controversy, it’s the engine bay that originally caught our attention. Ever since he laid eyes on the HyTech turbo manifold, Steve has longed for one of his own. Extensive research led to the purchase of various turbo parts like the Innovative Turbo F2 60mm snail, Vibrant intake pieces, a GReddy Type 24 V intercooler and TiAL 38mm wastegate. The exhaust system is even more interesting as gases are routed to one of two exhaust setups depending on the owner’s needs. He wanted a “fat suitcase”-style exhaust for everyday use, but he also wanted a quick exhaust exit for moments of sheer bliss. For daily driving, an A’PEXi WS2 3-inch exhaust is utilized. A QTP Performance motorized exhaust setup is called upon for high-performance situations. “It’s honestly one of my favorite parts of the car. To be driving around at nearly factory exhaust volume, then flip a switch and hear just a straight downpipe. I love it!” he adds.

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

And what about that rear bumper? It’s not the typical rear lip or one-size-fits-all diffuser, no, this is much different. A one-off raised trunk floor was fabricated to accommodate a custom four-vane rear diffuser similar to a LeMans race car. The idea was to obtain downforce without a rear spoiler, and the body shop worked countless hours to complete this modification. Steve specifically chose the VIS rear bumper to mesh with the setup. The trunk floor was replaced with ridged sheet metal, and after the undercarriage was stripped clean, a coat of truck bed liner was applied to seal the entire undercarriage for a smoother airflow.

The unconventional rolling stock consists of Kinesis K27 three-piece wheels. The high-caliber rollers were resized with new barrels and lips before heading off to get a fresh coat of anodized black paint. The process included a two-week block of carefully cleaning every square inch of the wheels. He started off by applying an acid, then sanding to get them as smooth as possible. Each individual bolt and nut was carefully scrubbed.

Htup 1206 07+1994 honda civic EX+cam gears Photo 6/11   |   1994 Honda Civic EX - Anything But Common

Like any other build, problems occurred along the way. Steve’s “horror moment” took place the day he tried to put the subframe back in for the first time. The steering rack input shaft was not clearing the firewall’s custom inlet he had made for it, and the alignment was slightly off. The mishap resulted in the subframe severely damaging the freshly painted flat firewall. “That one almost put me into tears,” he admits. He returned 30 minutes later and reshaped and perfected the design until the subframe and steering rack input shaft aligned correctly. To his relief, everything worked out.

Other than the rear window, just about every nut, bolt, mechanism, even the door lock, has been replaced. Steve is proud of this fact, and rightfully so. The brake lines, clutch lines, practically every line was not only replaced, but rerouted for a specific purpose. After removing the rear quarter panels, the brake lines were welded in for rigidity. “Another favorite part of my car is that when I close the door, it is hard to shut due to all of the new seals,” he laughs. He also enjoys that the 18-year-old Civic smells like a new car!

Htup 1206 06+1994 honda civic EX+C west EG front bumper Photo 7/11   |   An OEM lip is the extent of most Hondas these days. Thomsen had no interest in blending in with them.

Some might be confused as to why the Civic has a B powerplant. When Steve was working on the engine department back in 2003, K-series engines were simply too expensive. He felt it was best to proceed with a more affordable B16A1. At just 15 pounds of boost, the efficient setup produces just a hair over 400 whp. Add another 6 pounds of boost, on race fuel, and the ponies jump up to 500. Steve says, “All I care about now is driving it and seeing where it takes me.” It’s uncommon for a Honda builder to invest over 10 years of time and money into their pride and joy and even less common to have but one goal: drive it. Uncommon is Steve’s middle name.

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
Dart 2.0 B16A2
JE pistons
Oliver forged rods
HaSport mounts
ARP head studs
Crower turbo cams
Ferrea valves/valvesprings
Crower retainers/keepers/rockers
Toda cam gears
Skunk2 cam seal
Toda timing belt
Port/polish/5-angle valve job
Innovative Turbo F2 60mm turbocharger
DEI turbocharger wrap
Vibrant 3-inch air intake pipe
Vibrant air intake filter
Vibrant custom exhaust system
All-In Fabrication Pro intake manifold
Skunk2 74mm throttle body
GReddy Type 24 V intercooler
Vibrant custom intercooler piping
Vibrant Van-Jen piping clamps
HyTech manifold
HyTech downpipe
TiAL 38mm wastegate
TiAL blow-off valve
A’PEXi WS2 3-inch exhaust
QTP Performance motorized exhaust setup
QTP Performance race exhaust
El Zilcho ignition box
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
AEM fuel filter
AEM fuel pressure regulator
Skunk2 fuel rail
RC 750cc fuel injectors
RyWire clutch cable
S2000 clutch master cylinder
ACT Stage 3 clutch
Fidanza aluminum flywheel
Quaife limited-slip differential
Quaife quick ratio steering rack internals
Moroso 6-qt flat aluminum oil pan
GReddy oil filter relocation kit
GReddy oil catch can
All-In Fabrication relocated radiator fill neck
All-In Fabrication tucked radiator
All-In Fabrication dual fan/shroud setup
GReddy coolant overflow can
Rywire tucked wire harness
ATI engine damper
Spoon Sports Kevlar spark plug wire cover
HKS D1 Limited Edition oil/rad cap
TEIN hood struts
40/40 Integra proportioning valve
Earl’s lines and fittings
Aeroquip lines and fittings
Bolt Boys stainless hardware
Hondata S300 module
Hondata boost solenoid

Htup 1206 08+1994 honda civic EX+VIS custom fitted rear bumper Photo 8/11   |   1994 Honda Civic EX - Anything But Common

Power
500 whp and 398 wtq

Htup 1206 10+1994 honda civic EX+exhaust manifold Photo 9/11   |   1994 Honda Civic EX - Anything But Common

Suspension
TEIN Flex coilovers
Energy Suspension bushings
Skunk2 Pro Series front alignment kit
Buddy Club rear alignment kit
Carbing front strut tower bar
Comptech rear antiroll bar
Custom rollcage
Buddy Club rear lower control arms
Buddy Club extended lower ball joints
AutoPower 6-pt rollcage
ITR 5-lug conversion

Resistance
StopTech 330mm ITR front big brake kit
ITR rear brake setup
Hawk brake pads
Power Slot brake rotors
StopTech brake lines
Coppermix hard brake lines

Wheels And Tires
Front: 17x8 +15 Kinesis K27
Rear: 17x8 +25 Kinesis K27
215/45-17 Advan A048
Buddy Club extended lug nuts

Exterior
‘03 350Z Silverstone paint, Dupont Chromabase
JSP carbon-fiber hood
C-West EG front bumper
C-West EG stretched side skirts
ChargeSpeed front wide fenders
VIS custom-fitted rear bumper
Custom 4-vane rear diffuser
Vision carbon side mirrors
Vision smoked corner lights
Undercarriage truck bed liner spray

Htup 1206 09+1994 honda civic EX+personal neo grinta steering wheel Photo 10/11   |   1994 Honda Civic EX - Anything But Common

Interior
Recaro Profi SPG XL driver seat
Recaro Profi SPG passenger seat
Recaro seat side mounts
Takata 4-pt harnesses
Stack 8130 instrument cluster
Stack boost gauge
AEM UEGO gauge
Custom turbo timer
Personal Neo Grinta 350mm steering wheel
Works Bell steering wheel hub
Works Bell Rapfix GTC flip-up steering wheel release
Buddy Club shift knob
ITR pedals
Suede headliner
Suede door panels
Rear seat delete/false floor

Props
Eric Thomsen (brother)
Bob Thomsen (dad)
Ashley Angione (fiancée)
Michael Arbogast
Scott Caudill
John Warnock
Adam Laubenthal
Randall Craver
George Simmonds
Jonathan Tanguay
Zach Guildoo
Bret Chumley
Chris Dornon
Derek @ All-In Fabrication
Scott Wetzel @ Wetzel Automotive

Htup 1206 11+1994 honda civic EX+stack cluster Photo 11/11   |   1994 Honda Civic EX - Anything But Common

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
Contractor

Favorite Site
www.Brazzers.com

Screen Name
Gabe AthHouse

Building Hondas
16 years

Dream Car
CTS-V wagon

Inspiration For This Build
’88 Callaway Sledgehammer

Future Build
’69 MGB Roadster

Flat Firewall

The street rod-like flat firewall in Steve’s Civic actually sits in front of the OEM firewall. Steve handmade pieces for the firewall, and friends welded and filled using a combination of filler, steel, and sanding supplies. The brake booster is the only item running through the firewall at this point. Both brake lines coming from the master cylinder, as well as the clutch line, are all routed with hard lines through the back of the driver’s side shock tower. All wiring as well as the input for the steering rack went through a hidden opening at the bottom of the firewall. To route the throttle cable, he made a bracket and placed it under the dash to connect to the pedal mounts which runs to the plastic quarter-turn base of the factory throttle cable. A Teflon insert eliminates any signs of friction or fraying.

Sources

GReddy Performance Products
Irvine, CA 92618
949-588-8300
http://www.greddy.com
Tein USA
Downey, CA 90241
562-861-9161
http://www.tein.com
Vibrant Performance
905-564-2808
http://www.vibrantperformance.com
C-West USA
Lake Forest, CA 92630
949-419-6264
http://www.c-westusa.com
Rywire
Garden Grove, CA 92843
240-479-9473
http://www.rywire.com
By Jonathan Thompson
48 Articles

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