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 |   |  SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19
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SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

The motorsport electronics specialist works its magic on a 3rd generation hatchback

Rodrez
Nov 13, 2019

Back in 2015, @rwire_motorsport_electronics burst into the "SEMA build" realm officially with a built and boosted K-series JDM ITR fitted with a slew of electronics tricks and slick upgrades that had everyone talking. A year later, Rywire played a major role in Big Mike's Prelude build that debuted its complete makeover at the show and, just 12 months after that, the shop produced a stroked and ITB-equipped S2K build that showed up in the Toyo Treadpass sector of the show. These are the cars that have increased the brand's outward visibility, but the truth is, the wiring guru has had a hand in far more SEMA builds than the above mentioned.

AH5 Honda Civic Passenger Side Front View Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

When high-level builders need a custom wiring solution, they've typically got this shop on speed dial. Able to adapt and make things work together that, on paper, really shouldn't be able to work together, Rywire will often serve as a problem-solver in those final days before the big event. Still, even with the house calls and late-night stints, an in-house project was still the focus and once again landed in the highly-anticipated Toyo Treadpass lineup. In fact, Rywire had two potential cars slotted for the booth, but in the end was only granted the option to bring a single build, and this car took the honors.

AH5 Honda Civic Passenger Side Profile Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

The build is based on a third-generation Civic that many mistakenly refer to as an "EF," often confusing it with the fourth-generation chassis. Subtle similarities in the two cars' profiles and overall dimensions aside, the third gen. or, AH5 in this case, has slightly more abrupt lines and is far more angular in the rear section.

AH5 Honda Civic live sports wing Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

Owned by customer and long-time friend @bmerlots, the Civic has been the subject of a restomod makeover for quite some time. Body work and fresh paint applied inside and out was done by @willywerx and it maintains the OEM two-tone exterior paint scheme. Any parts that could be brought back to life were reconditioned, and in the end the 30-plus-year-old commuter car looks far better than we could have imagined.

AH5 Honda Civic b series valvecover Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

Being an avid track enthusiast, the owner wanted much more than what the native engine could offer, so the starting point was a B16B from Honda's EK9 Type R. Torn down and reworked with custom sleeves, bored to 85mm, and using a GS-R rotating assembly, the once 1.6L B-series is now sporting 2.0L grunt. Additional mods include a set of 55mm Kinsler ITBs, Myers Competition header, and Skunk2 Tuner Stage II cams.

AH5 Honda Civic rywire pdm Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

Like many of Rywire's projects these days, engine management is handled by AEM Electronics' Infinity and teamed up with Rywire's PDM system, chassis, and engine harness. It's a combination that's worked wonders at the shop, and in this case the combination produced a very healthy 240hp/165tq at the tuning fingers of @bbrtuning (you can find a dyno pull on that Instagram page and it's worth listening to) and plain ol' 91 octane with a user-friendly 11.5:1 compression.

AH5 Honda Civic bbr comp wheel Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

As much as we love the restomod aspect and the undeniably nice kick in power offered by the little red hatch, it's the execution that had everyone talking. On the outside, the look is OEM+ and the owner has access to just about any Japanese wheel he wants. In this case, he chose classic and often overlooked BBR Competition wrapped in Toyo RR track-only rubber. Sneak a peek behind a few spokes and you'll spot a set of Spoon calipers up front, as well.

AH5 Honda Civic purple speed front lip Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

The purple speed front lip and Live Sports rear wing, along with the always tough to I.D. side mirrors, make up the entire exterior parts lineup. Simple and clean isn't just a catchphrase with this group, it's essentially a way of life.

AH5 Honda Civic b16b swap Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19
AH5 Honda Civic xrp radiator hoses Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

Back under the hood, surrounding that stroked Type R engine you'll find plenty to drool over, from the high-dollar XRP lines that handle cooling and fueling duties to the modernized coil-over-plug conversion, fresh hardware and of course, Rywire engine harness, firewall plate and quick-disconnect option.

AH5 Honda Civic jrz reservoir Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

JRZ reservoirs are mounted to each side of the bay and even with the dimensionally challenged engine bay real estate, the appearance is incredibly clean and minimalistic.

AH5 Honda Civic hasport dc eg engine mount Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

Unlike most modern builds, the factory brake lines are left in plain sight rather than being tucked away or relocated. Look a little closer and you might notice that both the driver and passenger-side engine mounting points have been built from scratch—recreated by @segantimetalworks to accept a Hasport Integra DC/Civic EG-style mount kit, with the same treatment applied to the rear T-bracket mount.

AH5 Honda Civic mugen seats Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

Inside the cabin, Seganti Metalworks went to town on a custom roll bar that includes a harness bar and a lower cross bar which connects both shock towers, doubling as a mounting point for the rear suspension reservoirs.

AH5 Honda Civic radium surge tank Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

Just behind the driver's side Mugen bucket seat is a Radium surge tank to combat the severe lack of baffling from the factory in this chassis and avoid fuel starvation issues. No corners were cut and XRP lines are used once again, this time waterfalling out of the tank as they make their way to the engine bay.

AH5 Honda Civic aim mxl 2 Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

Being that the owner has expensive taste and is a sucker for hard-to-find Japanese goods from the golden era and prior, you'll find Mugen bits scattered around the cabin and engine bay as an ode to yesteryear, but like much of the build, there are modern additions like the AIM digital MXL 2 cluster and the aforementioned ECU and PDM systems anchored to the passenger-side floorboard by way of @checkerdsports mounts.

AH5 Honda Civic 3rd gen civic interior Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

A third-generation Civic is probably one of the last things you'd expect to find at SEMA, especially in the highly-regarded Toyo Treadpass sector of the annual mega-show. Perhaps that was the idea, putting countless hours into a chassis that everyone else looked beyond, and in turn getting that much more attention during the week.

AH5 Honda Civic b16b engine Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19

It's not a crazy theory but we think it boils down to timing and a little luck as the car's owner turned to Rywire Motorsport Electronics at the perfect point, and the result was a car that was finished to perfection and put on display at the biggest aftermarket event on earth. Some guys have all the luck...

AH5 Honda Civic front passenger side view Photo 33/33   |   SEMA 2019 Spotlight: Rywire Civic AH5 #MTSEMA19
By Rodrez
786 Articles

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