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Born to Perform

A custom 1992 Honda Civic CX

Staff
Aug 7, 2002 SHARE

Have you ever driven a bone-stock Civic? Slow, huh? Nothing short of being a pig when it comes to mind-numbing acceleration. Adding a cold-air intake, header and an exhaust system might offset the slow 0-60 times but add a set of 18-inch aluminums and you're back at square one.

Fortunately for enthusiasts who love the big "H" as well as hardcore performance, there are ways to realize big power--larger displacement engine transplants and the turbocharger.

Sunny Pompano Beach, Fla. native Andrew Williamson and his 1992 Honda Civic CX needed just such a power infusion. The car's 1.5-liter engine wasn't cutting it and Williamson opted for a larger displacement Frankenstein hybrid engine. Before the engine would make its home in the Civic's engine bay, Williamson decided he wanted to fortify it for boosted duty.

Starting with a bone-stock non-VTEC bottom-end, Williamson sent it to a local machine shop to have a CNC guard pressed into the water jacket and welded in place. The CNC guard increases the durability of the block while decreasing the chances of broken cylinder sleeves under heavy boost. Realizing the factory pistons were not going to cut it either, Williamson chose low-compression pieces from JE Pistons. Crower forged connecting rods replace the weak stockers and swing on a polished and prepped factory crank.

The entire bottom-end was balanced and blueprinted with new bearings and seals. Sitting on top is a custom Tech 4 ported and polished B16A cylinder head. Not wanting to take any chances, the head was filled with stronger internals as well. High-tension valve springs keep the stainless-steel valves tightly sealed.

Not wanting to be outdone by other Hondas with the same conversion, Williamson stepped it up a notch with a custom turbo system. Tech 4 Turbo Technologies designed and fabricated a custom turbo kit to satisfy Williamson's power needs. A tubular manifold from South Florida Performance collects high-pressure exhaust gases from the combustion chamber and directs them to a T4 turbo flange.

XS Engineering sized a T4 turbo that offers great response on the strip or street. Fully polished mandrel bent I/C piping connects the compressor outlet to the hot side of the XS Engineering Skyline GT-R chiller where the charge air gets its air density therapy. After proper cooling, the charge air is then fed into a bored B16A throttle body.

To ensure proper air/fuel ratio and combustion of the chambers, Williamson relies on Accel components throughout the engine bay. Accel high-flow injectors squirt premium fuel into the individual chambers where it is ignited by a complete Accel ignition system, which includes spark plugs, wires and a coil. An Accel Digital Fuel Injection engine management computer controls the fuel and ignition systems.

At its first Dynojet dyno session the LS/VTEC hybrid made a heart-pounding 297 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque at 9 psi of boost on pump gas. Williamson is satisfied with the power production but still plans on boosting the engine for even more power. His eventual goal is to see 400 horses to the front wheels. He should be easily be able to eclipse that goal.

Besides concentrating on the performance aspect of the Civic, Williamson wanted to stand out on the show circuit. The engine compartment sports a Civic Type R valve cover and an anodized red C&R aluminum radiator. The C&R radiator not only looks cool but also matches the red theme of the engine. On the exterior, the Civic sports a Bomex body kit which was executed to perfection.

The front, rear, and side spoilers, along with the rear wings, were grafted on as if they came from the factory. For finishing touches, a pair of Bomex aero mirrors were added to the mix. After the body kit went on, several layers of blue hue paint with silver flakes was sprayed on the sheetmetal and fiberglass panels. Completing the overall stance are 18-inch Forgeline wheels from Motegi wrapped with high-grip Falken tires. Koni adjustable shocks combined with Ground Control coil-overs are on call at the corners to attain that aggresive lowered look.

Phuke Daddy Interiors was called upon to do a number on the Civic. The factory reclining seats were the first to go to make room for a pair of bucket-style racing seats. Both racing seats were recovered in red to match the rest of the interior. The entire interior, down to the A-pillars was covered in red or black to match the front seats.

Factory sounds didn't cut it for Williamson, so a Sony head unit along with MB Quart mids and highs were installed. A custom rear panel was constructed for the rear speaks along with a custom box that houses two 12-inch Sony Explode sub woofers. Sony Xplod amps power the speakers to full song at all times. You can't roll hard without tunes.

Williamson now has a car that was built his way, not the slug from the factory. Even rolling on 18s, the Civic can easily smoke the wheels with a stomp of the gas pedal. In the Miami heat, Williamson runs into his fair share of 5.0s. Knowing Williamson, we're sure he's having fun smoking some of them as you read this. No wonder he calls them five-point-slows.

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