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2000 Honda Civic Hatchback - The Curse of the Daily Driver

The familiar story of the daily that often ends up requiring a new daily...

Rodrez
Aug 18, 2020
Photographer: Sergio Mendoza

Experience Trumps Shock Value

Backed by 20 years of tinkering, modifying and all-out fanaticism, builds based on popular platforms like this 2000 Honda Civic hatchback aren't going to surprise those who've been around for a while. Short of catching you off guard with extreme RWD conversions or massive, axle disintegrating quadruple-digit power numbers, you've seen just about every version of the 6th-generation hatchback that, unbeknownst to Honda, quickly became known Stateside for separating itself from its meager 106hp factory powerplant, often times well before the owner's final payment was mailed in.

2000 Honda Civic Hatchback EK9 CTR Thin Side Moldings Photo 26/26   |   2000 Honda Civic Hatchback - The Curse of the Daily Driver

Of the countless versions, both good and bad, roaming your local streets, one thing is for certain; quality, execution and attention to detail always stand out, regardless of how many examples you're faced with sifting through. Jesus Aguilar's EJ hatchback might be the perfect example to drive that point home with his choice of classic parts and an almost understated appeal that'll fly right by the average onlooker and get the nod and thumbs up from those who know these cars well.

Admittedly, Aguilar is a step ahead of most, serving as an automotive technician and backed by a healthy list of previous Honda builds that all stood out in their own right. From a GS-R swapped, Milano Red Civic to a K24-K20 combo'd '97 Integra, a Highland Green Pearl EH Civic with an ITB'd LS-VTEC, right up to his currently owned '00 ITR and '92 hatchback—he's accumulated more than his fair share of Honda building experience.

"It's Just Going to be a Daily"

Like many of the best Honda builds, this hatchback wasn't even supposed to be an actual project. A few years prior to it getting underway, Aguilar met Cooper Boudia of C's Customizing when he purchased a set of Regamaster wheels from him. Later, the two would strike a second deal involving those exact wheels, as Aguilar didn't end up using them and Boudia wanted to purchase them back. Instead of taking any money, the wheels were offered in trade for this 2000 Civic. The thought was that it would make for a nice daily driver with a fresh coat of paint and maybe a set of wheels that, as you already know, is Honda owner's code for a complete build about to get underway.

Two More Incredible 6th-Gen. Hatches
'96 Civic EK4 from Osaka
K24 ITB 6th gen. hatchback

2000 Honda Civic Hatchback Seeker V1 Spoiler Photo 26/26   |   2000 Honda Civic Hatchback - The Curse of the Daily Driver

Giving in to Temptation

Being so experienced and knowing what to look for can actually be a curse for guys like Aguilar who seem to have a sixth sense for parts. He adds, "Original plan was to just repaint and make it a daily driver, but enthusiastic friends and social media made it difficult to just do that. I kept seeing deals on parts on social media and opted to buy some, thus, the 'real' build began. We started the tear down the early part of November 2018—me and my buddy Raul Rodriguez worked on it every other weekday on evenings after work, and on any weekend we had open." Even with the onset of winter weather and conditions that wouldn't allow them the freedom to head to the shop to wrench on a whim, the duo set a deadline for March 30th, 2019. "There was a local Show 'N Shine car show for all the high school seniors, and since my nephew, Damian Chavez, was a senior, I needed to show support. So, as the deadline got closer, we started grinding again."

Turning back the Clock

Like any 20-year-old Civic, the body had its fair share of wrinkles, and Rodriguez, being a seasoned painter, helped lead the refinishing phase as the two guide-coated and blocked the body multiple times until they were satisfied. While the body work was underway, the parts search and accumulation continued. To add a little more to his plate, Aguilar's wife was in the final sprint and almost ready to give birth to their child, but even with the additional pressure the two-man team pulled it off, with Raul laying down the final paint and glass touches on March 17th, almost two weeks before their absolute deadline.

2000 Honda Civic Hatchback Hood Photo 26/26   |   2000 Honda Civic Hatchback - The Curse of the Daily Driver

Along with the fresh Vogue Silver respray inside and out, an authentic Mugen lip (not the eBay version that's said to "fit" every Honda ever produced, yet rarely does) sits just below the EK9 upper grill and headlights and flows with JDM thin side moldings that pass by hard-to-find EC Works mirrors. Out back, a Sergeant Racing Division diffuser cleans up the rear bumper, while atop the hatch you'll find a Seeker V1 spoiler.

A very small gap separates the fenders from the Kumho-wrapped 16-in. Regamaster wheels thanks to Blox Drag Pro+ coilovers that Aguilar set to his liking. Upgraded front and rear control arms facilitate a proper footprint, while the 5-lug conversion's braking system includes Spoon front calipers and StopTech rotors to keep the hatch in check.

2000 Honda Civic Hatchback ARC Power Chamber Intake Photo 26/26   |   2000 Honda Civic Hatchback - The Curse of the Daily Driver

Heart Surgery

The K20 swap that you've come to expect, especially from the 6th gen. crowd, is nowhere to be found, Aguilar instead opting for good ol' B-series power in the form of an LS-VTEC setup. Oversized CTR pistons sit inside of a B18A1 block that's been topped with a GS-R head that has been fortified with Supertech and Skunk2 valvetrain bits that include Pro2 cams. The older crowd will recognize the classic AEBS intake manifold that's fed by an ARC Power Chamber originally intended for the DC2 chassis, while on the hot side you'll find a Six Sigma Racing "street sweeper" header. Using a P28 ECU with Crome editor, the combo produced 213hp through an MFactory LSD-backed EM1 transmission—more than enough for Aguilar, who says the car has become a weekend-only affair. "I like to be able to have fun with my builds. Race it and then clean it up for a show, and vise-versa."

2000 Honda Civic Hatchback Spoon Sports Gen 2 Steering Wheel Photo 26/26   |   2000 Honda Civic Hatchback - The Curse of the Daily Driver

Aguilar and his passenger sit firmly in a set of Recaro SPG XL buckets, surrounded by a custom coated Cusco roll cage, while back seat occupants will have to find another way—the Civic's rear seats having been deleted. The clunky factory steering wheel's also been removed and replaced by a Spoon version, while the lack of a tachometer from the factory is addressed with an EK9 gauge cluster.

Quick Turnaround

It took just a handful of months for Jesus Aguilar and Raul Rodriguez to piece together this Civic and address all of its inherent shortcomings with no lack of details or shortcuts. It's the kind of build that on paper sounds like a million other silver hatchbacks, but when picked apart, those in the know realize just how good it really is.

2000 Honda Civic Hatchback Seargeant Racing Division Rear Diffuser Photo 26/26   |   2000 Honda Civic Hatchback - The Curse of the Daily Driver

With this EJ, Aguilar adds yet another completed project to his resume and also continues the requisite full-blown build that almost always results from that infamous statement almost comedically offered by just about every longterm Honda enthusiast: "It's just going to be a daily."

2000 Honda Civic Hatchback EK9 Type R Grill Photo 26/26   |   2000 Honda Civic Hatchback - The Curse of the Daily Driver
By Rodrez
889 Articles
2000 Honda Civic Hatchback - The Curse of the Daily Driver
Tuning Menu
Car: 2000 Honda Civic
IG: @rice_in_spanish
Engine: B18A1 block bored to 82mm; oversized Civic Type R pistons; King Racing main and rod bearings; B18C1 head; Blox lost motion assemblies, adj. cam gears; dual Bullet Racing mufflers; Supertech valve guides, valve seals; Skunk2 Pro 2 camshafts, valvesprings, titanium retainers, 70mm throttle body; AEBS intake manifold; ARC DC2 Power Chamber intake; Six Sigma Racing street Sweeper header; custom 2.5-in. stainless steel exhaust piping; AEM 340lph fuel pump, adj. fuel pressure regulator; DSM 450cc injectors; Golden Eagle fuel rail; P28 ECU w/Crome; Speedfactory Racing OBD 2 to OBD 1 ECU jumper harness; Fluidyne radiator; JBlood Kevlar spark plug cover; FEEL's oil cap; C's Customizing reservoir covers; Mugen 1.3 radiator cap
Power: 213hp, 141lbs-ft. of tq.
Drivetrain: EM1 transmission; MFactory LSD; Synchrotech full carbon synchro set
Suspension: Blox Drag Pro+ Series coilovers, front and rear upper control arms; ASR rear LCAs; Miracle X-bar; Cusco roll cage
Brakes: 32mm 5-lug conversion; Spoon Sports front calipers; StopTech front/rear rotors and brake lines; Hawk 5.0 performance brake pads
Wheels & Tires: 16x8 +35 Desmond Regamaster; Project Kics caliber 24 lug nuts
Exterior: Vogue Silver metallic respray inside and out; EK9 CTR headlights, grill, thin side moldings; EC Works mirrors; Sergeant Racing Division rear diffuser; Seeker V1 spoiler; Mugen SS front lip
Interior: Recaro SPG XL seats; Planted seat rails and brackets; Spoon Sports Gen. 2 steering wheel; Circuit Hero steering wheel hub; EK9 Type R cluster; arm rest lid, radio block-off K-Tuned shifter; Chronicles/BattleCraft Year 10 shift knob; Sergeant Racing Division dead pedal
Thanks: First of all need to give major props and a shoutout to my wife for the support and help among this build and many others before! Huge shoutout to my close friend Raul Rodriguez @groove, without him my vision would not become a reality! Shoutout to David Landa at Landa Performance for the mechanical help when I was stumped and for the great numbers on the Dyno tune! Shoutout to Cooper Boudia from C's Customizing without him I wouldn't have this car. Props and shoutout to the man upstairs for giving me strength and the virtue to keep moving forward. Props and shoutout to my nephew Damian Chavez for the helping hand he was always just a call away and ready to wrench! Major major shoutout to Sergio Mendoza for getting me the opportunity to get featured!

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