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Bisimoto Honda Civic Wagon - SOHC On This: The Final Chapter

The Bisimoto War Wagon Hits Its Target: 700whp

Super Street Staff
Mar 17, 2010
Photographer: Charles Trieu Writer: Bisi Ezerioha

Recently, Charles Trieu, of Super Street fame, visited our Bisimoto Engineering facility for the last tech installment, and we went for a quick ride in the Bisimoto WagoVan. It was an amazing excursion as it accelerates like a bat out of hell! Stopping the chassis, however, was another thing. The factory rotors were just far from optimal. It was painfully obvious that we had to upgrade them to a more efficient design. FastBrakes' 2-piece rotors were the application we chose. These lightweight units are designed for two things: to save weight over the stock rotors, and to help the brake system stay cooler under race and high-performance conditions. The FastBrakes' rotors reduce unsprung weight by approx 5 lbs per side. The engineers at FastBrakes' designed these rotors for a Civic SCCA race car that is limited to the stock rotor size. The aforementioned team went on to win the National Championship for their class using those brake components.

The public support with this build has been phenomenal, and we at Bisimoto Engineering thank you for all your well wishes and questions via emails. A common inquiry was why we chose the Dynapack Dynamometer for our testing, development and for this build. The first insight is the concept of direct measurement and the elimination of the tire/roller interface. On a conventional inertia style dyno, the operator would try to tune a vehicle while measuring what the roller was doing instead; unfortunately the roller and the car are never doing the same thing. There is always some slippage and some loss of power in the transfer, but how much that is being lost in both cases is unknown and variable. On a front wheel drive vehicle, this phenomenon can be exacerbated if the front wheels are out of alignment. If you can eliminate this source of variation in the system, you have much more precise and repeatable measurement. In addition to that, noise is greatly reduced (very important in high boost and high compression tuning in order to hear audible ping), safety is increased by a huge factor (no straps to break), the system is much smaller and easier to live with in a shop environment and performing partial throttle tuning is very possible and simple, yielding excellent drivability and fuel economy to boot. How often does the average enthusiast drive, drift or road race at full throttle? So why do so many shops only tune for wide-open throttle environments? Power sensitivity is also key as even a 0.010" gap change in the BKR8EIX NGK plugs or turning the lights on show a difference.

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

We prepared for high boost tuning by upgrading to the Torco SR-5 20w-50 synthetic oil to protect vital engine components during dynamometer runs, and also replaced a faulty original idle control valve with a new one from the Norm Reeves Honda dealership in Cerritos, CA. With premium unleaded 91 octane coupled with the AEM water-meth kit and Gen 2 AEM EMS, I proceeded to increase boost levels in the tuning session from the 13psi wastegate. Amazingly, at 19psi, it made over 480 whp on the pump gas, water-meth combo and the NGK plugs looked spectacular. Higher boost levels were explored, and at an amazing 38-40 psi max range, the Bisimoto Wagon hit an astonishing 708whp at 487 ft/lbs of torque!

I was not very pleased with the condition of the plugs after that pull as there was slight specking of the NGK plug's porcelain indicating minor detonation. This simply means that the combination of 91 octane and the water meth combo is a stout setup when hovering around 30psi, and I would not recommend higher boost levels than that on this setup. To solve this, we simply upgraded the base fuel to Torco 108 unleaded. With slight tweaking of the tuning map, the same boost levels and the Torco fuel on board, the power jumped to a crazy 724whp and 500 ft/lbs of torque and the spark plugs looked phenomenal.

Avid turbo enthusiasts may balk at the boost curve, but we find this quite appealing. It allows for good gas mileage (we documented above 28mpg even with spirited driving) due to its wide vacuum/low boost region and gives decent traction until 6000rpm are exceeded. With the AEM EMS' boost-per-speed function, high rpm wheel spin can be tamed. The vehicle has also been setup for anti-lag at the racetrack and builds a healthy 10psi at rest hovering around 5700rpms with the launch control function. This allows for nice buildup of boost and keeps the boost levels up in-between shifts. The AEM EMS is simply marvelous.

We at Bisimoto Engineering are very pleased with the result of this build and the initial goals of the project were exceeded. Choosing the right components, with technology and impeccable tuning on your side, the amazing can be achieved. We plan on keeping you updated as we perform improvements to this setup. (Ed note: And get ready for the final feature on the Bisimoto war wagon - coming soon!)

By Super Street Staff
149 Articles

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