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2003 Honda Civic Si - Dormant For Over A Decade

A speed junkie returns for that familiar exhilarating rush

Jonathan Thompson
Jan 2, 2013 SHARE
Htup 1301 01 o+2003 honda civic si+CTR rear bumper Photo 1/8   |   2003 Honda Civic Si - Dormant For Over A Decade

Bill Master comes from a background that might be a little surprising to most. He grew up working on late-’60s and early-’70s Corvettes with his father, and his first car was a Chevy Chevelle. A far cry from the incredibly well-built EP you see pictured. Dad drove a two-door version, and stepmom cruised the convertible edition. The family unified their fleet with a laser blue, white-vinyl top theme for all three of the classic cars. Bill’s four-door hardtop produced over 400 wheel horsepower, and being that he was a young kid, he simply couldn’t resist the thrill of driving fast. Dad decided to do the responsible thing and take the speed machine before Bill could get into bigger trouble and accumulate even more speeding tickets than he already had. Reluctantly, Bill handed over the keys and picked up an ’89 Civic hatchback as a replacement. Yeah, out went horsepower and raw torque, in order to make room for reliability and fuel economy.

Ten years of somewhat safe driving and an unmodified engine passed by. While you’d think that Bill must be pining for that feeling of acceleration, he was far too busy living life as a disc jockey. He devoted the majority of his time and energy to late-night brouhahas. Eventually, he stopped spinning records, became entirely too bored with the ample amounts of spare time and wanted a new hobby. With thoughts of the old, reliable hatch engraved in his mind, he purchased an electric blue ’03 Si. Noting that “most people hate the little egg,” Bill began modifying his ride, with the first three years revolving around basic bolt-ons. Like anyone else, once he became used to the slight bump in power, he grew frustrated with the slow stock engine. As quickly as he exited the go-fast lifestyle, he was right back in the blink of an eye, begging for another hit.

Htup 1301 02 o+2003 honda civic si+CTR seats Photo 2/8   |   2003 Honda Civic Si - Dormant For Over A Decade

ERL Performance out of New Albany, Indiana, sleeved and assembled the bottom end of the K20A2 long-block with JE pistons and Manley rods, and even bored the block for a bump to 2.1 liters. Up top, a Supertech valvetrain and Garage Autohero headwork help manage the additional air of a Turbonetics T3/T4 50-trim. HT alumnus, SpeedFactory Racing tuned the Hondata K-Pro ECU and found over 400 whp and over 300 lb-ft torque at 16 pounds of boost.

The hatch’s interior identifies more with a model home than automotive transportation. The 30th Anniversary CTR left-hand-drive interior pieces command attention at first glance. Bill pieced together a nearly complete special edition set by sourcing parts from the United States and Germany. “I wasn’t really wanting to go all JDM. I wanted to do it the hard way with German CTR parts that were left-hand drive.” The ensemble is missing rear seats which he does not want or need due to the physical obstruction of seat harnesses. The initial throng of parts came from a local friend. Next, Bill befriended a fellow Honda enthusiast in Germany, and the two Honda heads sourced parts for one another in their respective homelands.

Htup 1301 06 o+2003 honda civic si+mugen grille Photo 3/8   |   2003 Honda Civic Si - Dormant For Over A Decade

In the not so distance past, we featured an immaculate white EP from Bill’s neck of the woods, owned by one Mel Diego. Not surprisingly, the two are friends. Mel is what you might call an enabler, according to Bill. “He makes me spend more than I should on Mugen goods, lol! It’s all fun and we take pride in the fact that we have two EPs with some of the rarest Mugen parts round, and live just four blocks away from each other.” Bill’s list of Mugen goods includes the hood, rollcage, rear wing, and assorted goods spread throughout the hatch. Oh, and about that rollcage that Mugen designed for a Civic Type R, which doesn’t come equipped with a sunroof. Well, that left about an inch of excess cage being that the Si comes with a sunroof, so Bill had that extra inch removed and properly rewelded in order to squeeze the cage into the car’s interior. After we discussed Bill’s buying behavior, it’s easy to understand why this build’s total has reached astronomical proportions. Discontinued and rare are two intoxicating (and pricey) words. “For some odd reason, those words magically open up my wallet,” he laughs.

There was another fitment issue along the way, and one that many Si owners might not be aware of. The Mugen rear spoiler does not fit the USDM-spec EP3’s hatch. “I was really reluctant to cut up a $1,200 wing, so I began to search for a CTR rear glass in Japan.” Bill began the hunt in December 2010. He found out there were three new versions left, and the first glass broke in transit. Ouch. In February 2011, he placed a second order, then the tragic earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan occurred. It took Bill nearly half a year to acquire the correct rear glass that he needed to properly fit the Mugen wing.

Htup 1301 07 o+2003 honda civic si+mugen shift knob Photo 4/8   |   2003 Honda Civic Si - Dormant For Over A Decade

Unfortunately, the burly engine dramatically gave out on a state highway in a plume of smoke recently. ERL Performance, the shop that sleeved and assembled the failed powerplant, was kind enough to cover half of the rebuild costs, even though the actual cause was not identifiable. Bill took advantage of the mishap and turned the ordeal into an opportunity. He moved forward on long-term plans and slapped on a Full-Race sidewinder turbocharger. He’s now aiming for 500 horsepower. “I want it to be somewhat streetable.” Bill might be due for more speeding tickets, but at least dad can’t take away the keys this time!

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
K20A2 engine
Hondata K-Pro management
88mm bore
9.0:1 compression ratio
2.1L displacement
HaSport rear engine mount
Innovative front engine mount
Garage Autohero ported head
Garage Autohero top end assembly
K20A cams
Re-angled stock valves
Supertech valve springs
Supertech retainers
Supertech keepers
Supertech dual-spring turbo springs
Cometic 88mm head gasket
ARP head studs
ERL Performance sleeved block
ERL Performance bottom end assembly
Manley Performance Turbo Tuff I-beam connecting rods
JE pistons
K&N air filter
RRC intake manifold
Karcepts intake manifold adapter
Maxbore throttle body
Turbonetics T3/T4 50-trim turbocharger
Spearco intercooler
Cybernation intercooler piping
TiAL Q blow-off valve
TiAL 38mm wastegate
Cybernation downpipe
Cybernation exhaust manifold
Custom 3-inch exhaust piping
Magnaflow resonator
Magnaflow muffler
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
Bosch 44 inline fuel pump
Injector Dynamics 1,000cc
Hybrid Racing fuel rail
Aeromotive fuel filter
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
Samco radiator hoses
Russell Performance lines
Jiffy-Tite quick-disconnect fittings
Higher-compression oil pump spring
Buddy Club short shifter
M-TEC shifter springs
M-TEC shifter base bushings
M-TEC shifter cable inserts
Exedy Stage 3 clutch
Exedy flywheel
Wavetrac LSD
Driveshaft Shop Stage 2.9 axles
Omni Power 3-bar manifold absolute pressure sensor
GM boost solenoid

Htup 1301 05 o+2003 honda civic si+boosted K20A2 Photo 5/8   |   The built and boosted K20A2.

Suspension
Function/Form Type II coilovers
Swift springs, front 14K
Buddy Club springs, rear 10K
CTR 22mm rear antiroll bars
Energy Suspension LCA bushings
D2 Racing rear camber kit
Buddy Club rear camber plates
Cusco front shock tower bar
D3 Double rear V-brace
J’s Racing extended tie rods
J’s Racing tie-rod ends
Mugen rollcage

Resistance
StopTech Trophy Series rotors
StopTech pads
StopTech Trophy Series calipers
StopTech brake lines
ATE super blue brake fluid

Htup 1301 04 o+2003 honda civic si+mugen hood Photo 6/8   |   2003 Honda Civic Si - Dormant For Over A Decade

Wheels & Tires
Advan RGII 17x8.5 +31
215/40-17 Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs
Project Kics R26 lug nuts

Exterior
Custom blue pearl paint
Mugen grille
Mugen hood
CTR front bumper
CTR front lip
CTR power folding side mirrors
CTR side skirts
CTR rear bumper
CTR rear lip
CTR rear hatch glass
CTR taillights
Mugen (04-05) rear spoiler
EDM HID projectors with level motors
Spoon Sports antenna
Spoon Sports wide-angle side mirrors
Custom pinched fenders

Interior
EDM CTR gauge cluster
Defi D-link boost gauge
Defi oil pressure gauge
AutoPage turbo timer
Sparco 5-pt harnesses
CTR seats
CTR steering wheel
CTR door panels (LHD)
CTR carpet (LHD)
CTR mats (RHD)
CTR center console
CTR shift boot
Mugen shift knob
Mugen pedal set
Mugen rearview mirror cover
Mugen door sills
Spoon Sports wide-angle rearview mirror
S2000 push start button
In-dash garage door button
Headlight level dial
OEM rear fog switch and light

Htup 1301 03 o+2003 honda civic si+CTR steering wheel Photo 7/8   |   2003 Honda Civic Si - Dormant For Over A Decade

Props
My parents, all my friends, Hur1cne Mel, Joe Flores “Jpax,” Jon , Pavin, Melissa, Nick Parker, Rob, Ron “Stoop,” Terry, Toto, Vu, Wii, Charles at Acura of Lynnwood, Chuck at Showstoppers, James at SpeedFactory, Jeff Miller at JMI Motoring, Preston at F2, Boom Plus Toys, ERL Performance, Garage Autohero, King Motorsports

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
Custom cabinet builder

Htup 1301 08 o+2003 honda civic si+CTR front bumper Photo 8/8   |   HTUP-130100-EP3-r-068-070-

Favorite Site
nwp4life.com

Screen Name
SIBORG

Building Hondas
10 years

Dream Car
Ferrari 599xx

Inspiration For This Build
Classic cars

Future Build
’89 Civic hatchback or wagon

Installing A Rollcage

Jeff Miller of JMI Motoring was responsible for the modified Mugen rollcage install. While the shop was started 10 years ago, Jeff used to paint cars full-time and perform side jobs for extra cash. The abundance of side work eventually morphed into a full-time grind. The company is located in Arlington, Washington, and interestingly enough, primarily paints airplanes now.

Jeff explained that installing a rollcage while still trying to keep the interior intact can be tedious. “A lot of times you are eyeballing what you are doing. And it can be a little intimidating to cut a $400 rear quarter panel interior piece,” he admits. Interior pieces must be installed and removed repeatedly, almost to a point of ridiculousness, in order to ensure precision. Progress is gradual, but the end result can look factory fresh if done correctly. “A prefabbed rollcage is nice to work with. It’s a lot less work when you start with good parts from good companies such as Mugen. My advice is to stick with quality parts.”

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Sources

StopTech
Compton, CA 90220
310-933-1100
http://www.stoptech.com
Hondata
Torrance, CA 90503
310-782-8278
http://www.hondata.com
Supertech
San Jose, CA 95136
408-448-2001
http://www.supertechperformance.com
Exedy
Belleville, MI 48111
800-346-6091
http://www.exedyusa.com
By Jonathan Thompson
48 Articles

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