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 |   |  1999 Honda Civic DX - Family Feud
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1999 Honda Civic DX - Family Feud

K Versus B, What's Your Weapon Of Choice?

Joey Lee
Jun 30, 2010
Photographer: Sean Klingelhoefer

Despite what you may think by reading the bold letters set on the title line of these pages, this isn't about a heated rivalry between two owners, from the same coast or from the same car crew. In fact, the ATS Garage crew is tighter than ever. Throughout the years they have had a fleet of heaters that are all worthy of mention in their own right. The "feud" as we have stated, is not between two men, it's a battle between ideologies. Let's call it a "friendly" debate within the Honda community between the B-series loyalists and the enthusiasts who have taken to the power and new technology of the K-series.

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Ryan Der's 1999 Honda Civic DX
This is a tale of two very different builds. Anh Truong, the newest member of ATS, has been an Integra-lover as long as he can remember. He was once a B-series guy until he was seduced by the power of the K. Ryan Der, has had his Civic for the past eight years and would never imagine putting anything in the bay other than a B.

"I love the way the motor sits in the engine bay, it just looks 'right' to me." Ryan explains. "I've always been a big fan of the B-series and I feel it just has the right look and feel inside a Civic."

Though he's perfectly content with his B18C, he's also had his fair share of issues. It wasn't necessarily due to the motor itself, but the parts he had on it. "Prior to having my ITB set-up, I used to track my car quite often at Thunderhill, Infineon and Willow Springs. After I installed them I never tracked it. It was cool to have them on the car but I never felt comfortable driving it. I didn't think it would be reliable enough to last a 20-minute session at full throttle. It was tuned and all but it would just smoke and bog a lot so I just scrapped the whole ITB set-up."

"I wanted full reliability and a fresh start. I ditched the old ITR motor I had and went with a unmolested 98-spec JDM B18C," Ryan says. "I just decided to run an intake, header and exhaust, and keep the setup simple. My goal was to be able to drive 150 miles to the track, another 100 on the track, then drive back home without any problems. A stock ITR engine provides enough power for the track and I feel that it's really balanced in my car. It's not too much and not too little. Balance is very important to me and the B-series provides just that."

Despite its pristine show car appearance, this Civic is very capable on the track. It goes with that "balance" Ryan set out for in the final incarnation of his 8-year long build. "I used to just buy a bunch of replica parts when I first started out. I had the mindset then that they were the same as the originals. After awhile, I started realizing that they just weren't up to par and nowadays I just save up and buy what I really want. I've done so much to this car over the years and I knew that this was going to be the last time I would rebuild it-so I went all out."

"I got tired of the car being black so I figured I would just strip the whole car down and start from scratch. I sold everything I had so that I could get exactly what I wanted. Being that this was the final overhaul, I wanted parts that I would never have to upgrade again."

Ryan credits the J's Racing FD2 Civic as his inspiration behind the two-tone paint scheme. The popular thing to do within the past year or so has been to have a different colored bay than the exterior. He flipped the script and went a different route - like his J's Racing muse, he had not only the bay but also the entire interior re-sprayed. "I know two-tone paint schemes are getting kind of played-out in the Honda scene, but no one has really done it that way."

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Before Franklin Autobody could lay down the paint, Ryan dropped off a complete and authentic C-West body kit to really set the makeover off. He had previously run bolt-on fender flares up front but got quickly got rid of them when he was able to source some J's Racing 30mm overfenders. The wider front fenders give him more room to run wider 16-inch Volk TE37s and meatier tires for track duty. "Everything on the car is ready and equipped to take a beating," he explains. "A dream of mine was to have a Honda that was built to win a car show one weekend and get beat on at the track the following."

It definitely has all the right pieces aesthetically to win at any show, so much so that the beautifully assembled exterior might almost distract onlookers from noticing the bevy of suspension and brake pieces. Koni 3011 double-adjustable dampers in combination with Eibach race springs keep this Civic firmly planted on the road. For chassis strengthening, Ryan installed J's racing under fender braces and ditched his Kirk Racing bolt-on cage for a gusseted and welded TC Designs 6-point roll cage. Sitting on the Civic Type R 5-lug swap are wallet-destroying Endless brakes. Stopping power is important whether the car is tracked or not so he definitely spared no expense. Anything Endless is also pleasing to the eye of any car show judge.

Inside the Long Beach Blue Pearl draped interior lies only the absolute essentials for competition. The carpet, rear seats and associated panels have all been removed. The only remnants of anything resembling an OEM Civic interior are the dash and front door panels. Recaro SPG seats with one-off Recaro/Willans safety harnesses replace the stock front seats and seatbelt units while the dash has been modified to house an AiM Sports MXL Pista digital dash unit. The Recaros have their backs color-matched to the interior hue for that added personal touch. A deep-dish limited-edition Vertex steering wheel mounted to a SRR steering hub help improve overall driving position. Every other open spot on the dashboard has been filled with switches mounted to custom carbon-fiber trim plates. Even the radio has been replaced with a master kill switch.

"Overall, the entire rebuild has been a very fun project with very little hold-ups. It took approximately two months to get it up and running. I'm just very content with the results," Ryan says happily. "I have practically every part I have ever wanted for this project. Now I just need to tie up a few loose ends and then I'm off to the track to see what this little B-series can do!"

Tuning Menu

1999 Honda Civic DX
Owner Ryan Der
Hometown San Francisco, CA
Occupation Between Jobs Power Classified

Engine 1998 JDM 1.8L HONDA B18C; Innovative 70A engine mounts; DTR Street Sweeper header; SARD catalytic converter; Fujitsubo RM01 cat-back exhaust; AEM 3-inch ITR cold-air intake; Trust oil cooler kit and oil block adapter sandwich plate; C&R full core radiator with SPAL slim fan; Billion radiator hoses; Polished radiator overflow cylinder; ARC radiator cap, oil cap and thermostat; All Star breather tank; Aeromotive A1000 fuel filter; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; Earl's stainless steel-braided fuel, coolant lines and -AN fittings; Shaved valve cover; Hondata thermal intake manifold gasket; TODA Racing timing belt; Custom beauty washer dipstick; Vision hood dampers; Odyssey lightweight racing battery w/aluminum tie down; Moroso remote battery terminals; Endless reservoir overflow covers

Drivetrain ATS single-plate clutch kit and 16-plate clutch LSD; C's Driving Position shifter; ATS LSD oil

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Footwork & Chassis Koni 3011 double adjustable dampers w/Koni sleeves; Eibach racing springs (700F/1000R); TC Designs 6-point weld-in rollcage w/gussets and SFI cage padding; CTR 5-lug conversion and 26mm front sway bar; ARP long wheel studs; Comptech 22mm rear sway/tie bar combo; J's Racing Under Fender braces and roll center adjusters; Carbing 3-point front shock tower bar; JUN spherical front camber kit; Wicked Tuning spherical rear camber kit and spherical front lower control arms; Function7 spherical rear lower control arms; P-CI spherical rear trailing arm bushings

Brkes Endless 4-piston front brake calipers w/MX72 brake pads; Cryostop rotors; Stoptech stainless steel brake lines; Relocated brake proportioning valve; Earl's brake fittings; ITR master cylinder and brake booster; ATE DOT4 Super Blue brake fluid

Wheels & Tires 16x8 Volk Racing TE37 (+15 offset/front); 16x7 Volk Racing TE37 (+25 offset/rear); 205/45-16 Falken Azenis RT-615

Exterior Two-tone Snow White exterior/Long Beach Blue Pearl engine bay & interior paintjob; C-West front bumper, side skirts, and rear bumper; ARC front lip spoilers; J's Racing Type S carbon-fiber hood, 3D GT wing and 30mm front fiberglass overfenders; Magical Racing carbon-fiber mirrors w/CTR block-off plates; CTR thin side moldings and window visors; Civic sedan rear door handle conversion; Retrofitted BMW HID headlight projectors; shaved antenna, emblems and rear wiper; DZUS quick-release fasteners

Interior Recaro SPG bucket seats w/Long Beach Blue Pearl painted seat backing; Recaro optional headrest pillows and lower bolster protectors; Willans 6-point silver racing harnesses; Bride side mount seat brackets; SRR steering wheel short hub; Works Bell Yoshioka steering wheel quick-release; Vertex Limited Edition 10th Anniversary 330mm steering wheel; Mugen Sport pedals; AiM Sports MXL Pista digital dash logger w/carbon-fiber bezel, GPS module, MSI 10-bar pressure sensor and temperature sensor; custom switch panel with carbon-fiber trim; Master kill switch w/carbon-fiber trim; ARC polished Ti oval shift knob; Zoom Monaco carbon-fiber rearview mirror; Civic SI power window and door lock conversion; Bogen camera mount; Cusco e-brake button; CDM Civic airbag tray; blue tweed wrapped door panels

ICE Civic SI tweeters; CTR Gathers carbon-fiber speakers

Thanks you First, I would like to thank my family for supporting/putting up with my hobby; I would also like to give a shout-out to my ATS Garage*DPK family, you guys really inspired me. Finally, special thanks to Sunny Wong from Franklin Autobody for all the help with the car


By Joey Lee
243 Articles



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