Ever driven a car that was too fast for its own good? It produces the simultaneous sensation of fear and danger. Bet you would have never guessed in a million years that this applies to the Civic Wagovan you see here. Take a good look because this wagon is a killer, an all-out street assassin. It might not look like much but trust us: you don't want to pull up next to this car at the stoplight. This vehicle can hustle unsuspecting opponents like no other. The Civic is capable of shredding through the first three gears of the six-speed gearbox with a mash of the throttle. This is no ordinary Wagovan, and the driver is no ordinary person. "Dr. Charles" Madrid of Skunk2 needs no introduction; and if you can believe it, this is his beloved Wagovan.
Wanting something out of the ordinary as a daily commuter, Dr. Charles came about acquiring the Wagovan in an interesting trade. Turbo's resident toolbox aficionado (take a wild guess who) wanted Charles' yellow Snap-on toolbox while Charles admired Mr. Can't-Have-Enough-Tools' Wagovan. This complementary yearning sealed the deal. The Wagovan was already equipped with a B-series engine and Progress adjustable coilovers, but in true Dr. Charles fashion he had bigger plans for the car.
The first to go was the Progress suspension; and in went Skunk2 Pro-Series coilovers and a billet lower rear arm. Not wanting to spend more money on tires than necessary, Dr. Charles also added front and rear camber kits from Skunk2 to aid in proper tire wear. Barely keeping the car secure to the pavement are BFGoodrich 205/40/16 KDW's mounted on a set of Rota GT-3's.
What makes this Wagovan unique is what's underneath the hood. The B-series was yanked out to make way for the K24 out of a CR-V. However, prior to the K-series making its way into the Wagovan's engine compartment, Dr. Charles did a little massaging of the cylinder head and intake manifold. The K24 head was ported and polished by Dr. Charles himself and filled with new stiffer springs and titanium retainers from Skunk2. The factory bumpsticks were tossed aside for a set of newly developed Skunk2 Stage 3 Pro Series camshafts made for the K24 and K20 non-Type-S engines. The Skunk2 Stage 3 camshafts feature increased lift and duration, allowing the engine to optimize its volumetric efficiency and produce maximum horsepower.
Having personally tested every single factory intake manifold on the K-series engine, Dr. Charles knows a thing or two about which manifold would work best on his engine. Charles grafted an '06 Civic Si manifold onto the K24 flange to work on his engine. After grafting the two manifolds together, Dr. Charles ensured proper flow by match-porting the entire manifold. A Skunk2 big-bore throttle body controls proper airflow into the intake plenum. With the help of a Hasport engine mount kit, the K24 engine was dropped into place. Preventing the engine from starving from fuel is a set of 440cc injectors from RC Engineering. Keeping the injectors primed and ready at all times is a Golden Eagle fuel rail and adjustable fuel pressure regulator. Dr. Charles also fabricated his own intake pipe to work on the engine. A Hasport four-into-one header evacuates all exhaust fumes quickly from the cylinder head. The entire engine combination is controlled by an AEM EMS system.
The inside of the Wagovan is left stock for an incognito look. With the exception of the Momo steering wheel mounted on a Sparco quick release hub and an AEM air/fuel meter, you probably wouldn't think this car is capable of laying down the type of numbers it does. The most tedious part of the install, according to Dr. Charles, was grafting the K24 engine harness to the original Wagovan harness so that all the gauges on the cluster would work properly.
With Dr. Charles working his magic on the laptop, the Wagovan generated 221.4 horsepower and 178.6 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. Not too shabby for a car almost twenty years old, to say the least. For such a light, small car 220+ horses feels like the metal around you is going to shatter at any moment and you are about to implode. Hence the feeling of "fearfully aware of the danger" arises.
The car is still a work in progress and upcoming plans involve doing some cosmetic improvement throughout the vehicle, primarily paint. While there is no question that the eighteen-year-old paint could use a new coat, we feel that a shiny new paint job will make the Wagovan lose its sleeper jalopy appeal. Also keep in mind Dr. Charles still plans on turbocharging the Wagovan, as if it wasn't fast enough already. Granted, this guy has a few bolts loose in the head.