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2003 Honda Civic SI - CL3AN EP3

Jovito L. V.’s clean Civic proves that the EP3 delivers both visual and performance that keep right in line with the SI lineage.

Mike Maez
Sep 1, 2008

From 2002 to 2005 Honda seemed to believe that their capitalization on the hot hatch trend was nearing its peak. For 2006, they decided to introduce what was arguably the greatest Civic SI in history. But what does this mean for loyal 02-05 SI owners, and particularly, for Jovito La Victoria, who bought the SI here on the pages of Modified brand spankin’ new back in 2003? That is where the aftermarket swoops in to save the day, but unlike so many poor examples that you may see roaming the streets on a daily basis, Jovi has transformed the EP3 Civic into something that many newer Civic owners can easily appreciate.

Modp 0809 10 2003 honda civic si hid headlights Photo 2/15   |   2003 Honda Civic SI - CL3AN EP3

When he first arrived on the car show scene towards the early part of this decade, Jovi noticed that many of the cars on display were done either in poor taste or in a completely over the top fashion. But the trend of hot hatches at the time was almost undeniable and certainly appealing to many, including Jovi. Despite outcries from many Civic owners and fans about the “improvements” made to the EP3, Jovi went against the masses and set out to prove that the venerable EP3 could in fact live up to the SI name.

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

Starting with basic modifications such as an intake and exhaust back in the day, Jovi began to amass knowledge and experience about the EP3 that led him on an eventual path to glory. But it wasn’t always pretty, as Jovi explained, as the car has gone through three major revisions all based around a specific theme. With the first theme centered on a USDM Type R, the Civic was already becoming easier on the eyes, but it wasn’t quite suited to the vision for the car that Jovi had in mind. The second phase was centered around a Buddy Club Racing Spec Aero Kit, which was more in line with the desired visuals but still wasn’t perfect.

The third and current theme is loosely based on the concept of panda styling reminiscent of the AE86 with a bit of Mugen flavor thrown in for good measure. With a visual style that finally suited him well, Jovi then began to add the go to backup the show, starting with a full Greddy turbo kit. The Greddy kit also includes a pre-programmed E-manage, 440cc injectors, and a full intercooler kit for what is essentially the complete package for the K-series motor. Erring on the side of caution, Jovi also added a B&M oil cooler kit and filter relocator, along with a Carbing oil catch can to complete the system. An HKS Ti exhaust helps expel spent exhaust gases while an Airnix filter cleans up on the intake side.

With the car making ample power (approximately 275 whp) Jovi then went to work on the suspension. And while he is still not fully satisfied with the way the car handles, especially when compared to his other car (EVO VIII) Jovi stresses that it is still a work in progress. TEIN Flex coilovers keep the car planted in the corners as a set of Progress sway bars help with body roll. Chassis stiffening comes in the form of a Cusco rear STB along with a complimentary side pillar bar. A Carbing 6-pt underbrace transverses the undercarriage and tightens things up down below while a Robear custom trunk brace adds stiffness to the rear of the car. Nitto Neogen rubber wraps around a set of gorgeous gold Volk GT-N’s while Brembo and AEM provide more than ample stopping power for this Civic.

Modp 0809 13 2003 honda civic si night cruising Photo 9/15   |   2003 Honda Civic SI - CL3AN EP3

Although the exterior visuals are what initially catch your eye with this EP3, the interior details are what really set it apart. A full set of Greddy gauges take their place along the A-pillar while a Greddy turbo timer and Profec-B Spec II deal with boost. Bright red Bride low max seats and Takata harnesses keep with the busy JDM theme while custom Bride floor carpeting and headliner are also integrated. Kreative custom rear seats keep those backseat drivers from speaking up while a full ICE setup from the likes of Pioneer, Lightning Audio, Eclipse, and Kicker keep them entertained as well.

With the car in its current form Jovi is confident enough to show it or drive it enthusiastically at almost every opportunity. His EP3 and EVO VIII are also sitting alongside a 96 Civic and 93 EG hatch in the garage, so to say that Jovi is an average enthusiast is to seriously understate things. The completion of the EP3 represents 5 years of research, dedication, and enthusiasm and Jovi has gone so far as to say that he’ll keep the car forever and even pass it along to his kids. In the face of the 06+ SI the EP3 might still be the ugly duckling of the modern Civic SI lineup but this gem from Jovito La Victoria has convinced us that not all hope is lost!

SPECIFICATIONS AND DETAILS
2003 Honda Civic SI

ENGINE
K20A

ENGINE MODIFICATIONS
Greddy Turbo Upgrade, Intercooler, BOV Type ES, Airnix Filter, Oil Filter Adaptor, B&M Oil Cooler Kit, Oil Filter Relocator; HKS Titanium Exhaust, Grounding Kit; Carbing Oil Catch Can; RC Engineering 440CC Injectors; Koyo Radiator; Samco hoses; J’s Racing Engine Damper

ENGINE MANAGEMENT
Greddy E-Manage

DRIVETRAIN MODIFICATIONS
Spoon Shift Knob

SUSPENSION
TEIN Flex Coilovers; Cusco Rear Strut Bar Type II, Side Pillar Bar; Carbing 6 pt Underbrace bar; Energy Suspension Motormount Inserts, Progress F/R Swaybars, lower Tie bar; Robear Racing Custom Trunk bar, Mr. Alex Front STB

WHEELS, TIRES, BRAKES
18” Volk GT-N Wheels; Nitto Neogen 215/35/18 Tires; Goodridge SS Brake Lines; Brembo 4 Piston Calipers + Brembo Rotors (F); AEM Big Rotor Disc Upgrade (R)

EXTERIOR
Seibon CF M Style Front Lip, Wing, grill; Seibon CF Eye Brows, Type R Sideskirts and Rear Lip; Seibon Electric Mirrors; VIS CF Trunk Cover, Intake Manifold Cover, Kevlar Sparkplug Cover, 6000K HID Kit, OEM JDM Ion Crystal Foglights, Window Visor

INTERIOR
Greddy Oil Pressure, Water Temp, Boost Gauges; Greddy Turbo Timer, Profec B Spec 2 Boost Controller; OEM JDM Shift Boots; Takata 4 pt Harness, Harness Pads; Bride Low Max Reclineable w/Kevlar Backing + Custom Floor Carpet and headliner; Wedge Seat Rails; Kreative Custom Rear Seats; Razo Pedals; Pioneer 7” LCD Touchscreen Nav+Video; Exotic Rear Custom Monitors; Lightning Audio Capacitor (1000W); Eclipse Speakers F/R; Kicker 15” Sub w/custom trunk mount, x50 Amp (500W), KX350 Amp (350W)

NUMBERS
Est. 275 WHP

By Mike Maez
50 Articles

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