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How-To: Turbo A '92-'95 Honda Civic Si/EX - Boost Up Civic

Case Study Faizul Alladin 1994 Honda Civic Si

Jun 1, 2004 SHARE
Turp_0406_01_z+1994_honda_civic_si+front_view Photo 1/1   |   How-To: Turbo A '92-'95 Honda Civic Si/EX - Boost Up Civic

We came across a feature article shot a while back and the trials and tribulations endured by the owner illustrated some of the behind-the-scenes concerns facing many Honda owners with an eye for boost. The experiences of Faizul Alladin morphed what would've been a typical feature into an article that showcases a vast cross-section of EG Civic Si/EX turbo kits currently on the market. The EG is the car that started the import craze on the West Coast, and boosting its 1.6-liter SOHC four-cylinder engine has never been easier.

In 1998, Faizul Alladin from Miami, Fla., purchased his dream machine, a 1994 Honda Civic Si hatchback. He found the diamond in the rough at a salvage yard and practically stole it for $4,000. The car had some front-end damage, but Alladinput on a clean hood, a new fender, a fresh bumper cover and some junkyard headlamps. Then Hurricane Irene hit on October 15, 1999. Irene was the last and weakest storm of the 1999 season, but its 75-mph Category 1 winds did a great deal of damage. In Miami/Dade County, Irene packed a $120 million wallop and, unfortunately, Alladin's Civic was part of the tally.

Subsequently, the car was stripped of its engine, tranny and interior. After 18 months of "drying time," Alladin resurrected his Civic by repainting it and installing a used engine/tranny combination. The engine fired easily but puffed some serious smoke. The diagnosis led to the piston tops and faulty oiling rings. This setback turned into an opportunity to load up on performance aftermarket internals. With boost as the bull's-eye, a set of 8.5:1 SRP pistons were selected along with some beefy Eagle rods, JE piston rings and ARP fasteners.

The engine was back in the car, and visions of boost materialized. "We tried starting the car but it wouldn't turn over. We took it apart and discovered the rod was too thick and it was hitting the bottom of the engine block," says Alladin. This snafu is common for first-time engine builders. The key is to use the rod company's tech info line to determine if the rod will clear. Then don't believe them and turn the crank by hand to ensure the rods clear before completing the assembly.

Alladin sent his block to High Tech Racing to be notched at the base of the cylinders, where the techs also balanced the entire reciprocating assembly. A Race Engineering block guard was fitted and the engine was re-assembled and topped with a GReddy 50-state-legal turbo kit.

"I drove the car for a few months and felt it just wasn't fast enough. So I took the GReddy kit out and added an A'PEXi kit with an intercooler and upgrade the fuel system. The car was noticeably quicker and I set off to customize other areas," he says.

The fuel system was upgraded with a high-flow fuel pump, AEM regulator, Venom fuel rail and high-capacity 440cc Venom injectors. Alladin also gives high marks to the ACT Stage II he installed to put the boosted power to the ground.

The body was tuned with a mix-and-match of Wings West spoilers, a Xenon rear bumper, Bomex side skirts and a Z-Net front bumper. The Civic sports a City Motorpsorts carbon-fiber hood and Aerogear fenders painted by Team V Autobody.

The Honda flexes Racing Hart C5 aluminum and Yokohama Parada rubber in 18-inch trim. Stopping power has been addressed with a Wilwood front kit that features 13-inch rotors and four-piston calipers. The rear runs stock calipers and stock-sized Brembo hats.

Inside, Alladin went all-out, fitting the Civic with Tenzo R bucket seats, Momo pedals and shifter, B&M short shifter, a gaggle of Auto Meter gauges and leather upholstery work.

Alladin's Civic holds some valuable lessons for those looking to turbo and how to overcome obstacles. A car that was battered by hurricane-force winds is now generating some pressure of its own via turbocharging. To further illustrate some of the pressure possibilities and pitfalls, check out the EG Turbo Kit Showcase and Top Basic Questions sidebars to give you an idea of what kind of kits are offered and outline some of the questions you should ask going into a Honda Boost-Up project.

Top 9 Basic Tech Question On... Turbo Kits
1) Is this a Turn-Key kit that includes everything needed to provide boost?
Some kits offer the basics; some have it all. The price of the kit is usually a good indicator.

2) Is any welding required?
Ask about the downpipe-to-exhaust connection. The answer here may affect the DIYer's ability to install the kit.

3) How is tuning addressed?
This is a key question. Beyond proper installation, the tuning strategy of the kit will dramatically impact the bottom-line power output and overall durability of the turbo system. Is tuning addressed via an adjustable fuel pressure regulator and stock injectors? Does the kit include upgraded injectors? Will the stock fuel pump be retained? Are tuning electronics part of the plan?

4) Is any cutting required?
This is usually in reference to piping and intercooler installations on kits that include a FMIC. GReddy offers two FMIC options for 1992 to 1995 Civics; one fits with factory bumper support, the other requires trimming. Rev Hard also offers two differently sized FMICs.

5) How much, if any, will I have to retard ignition timing when I install the kit?
Depending on engine variables, stock timing control should be sufficient up to the 6-7 psi range. Much more boost than this would require timing adjustment. An often-overlooked factor in this equation is the spark plugs. A much colder plug will be needed and extra attention will need to be focused on plug gap.

6) Will the compression ratio need to be altered and does the kit account for this?
Most kits are set up for stock compression. The higher the boost, the more critical static compression becomes. Compression can be lowered with low-compression pistons or the use of a thicker head gasket.

7) How detailed are the instructions provided with the kit?
If you're going to install it, information is power. It's also wise to inquire about the quality of the company's tech line.

8) How will installation of the kit affect the cooling capability of the engine?
Forget about the effects of an intercooler blocking air to the radiator, an engine that makes more power, burns more fuel and creates more heat. The amount of additional power, the capabilities of the stock cooling system and the overall health of the coiling system should be considered. Of course, using an FMIC compounds these problems.

9) Is the kit upgradeable?
When you have a plan, knowing if the basic kit can be enhanced by the addition of an FMIC (more boost), fuel system improvements, use of a bigger turbo, additional tuning strategies etc, will save time and money down the road.

FMAX STAGE II
Turbo Turbonetics T3/T04B
Manifold Thermo-coated Cast Steel
Downpipe Thermo-coated Mandrel-Bent
Wastegate Turbonetics Evolution 35mm
Intercooler Spearco WAVE F/{{{M}}}
Fuel Strategy MF2 ERL MAP Injector Controller, 440cc Lucas Injectors (2)
Ignition MSD Boost Timing Manager
Blow-Off Valve Turbonetics Raptor
Misc. 2-Bar MAP Sensor, K&N Filter, Turbonetics Boost Controller, Auto Meter Boost gauge, TS-1 Synthetic Oil, Hardware, Fittings, Wiring Diagrams and Instructions
MSRP $3,399-$3,500
Contact (805) 581-0333
REV HARD STAGE II
Turbo Rev-Hard T04E
Manifold Hard Cast or Tubular Steel
Downpipe 2.5-inch
Wastegate Turbo {{{Smart}}}
Intercooler Rev Hard 28x6.5x3
FUEL STRATEGY HIGH-FLOW PUMP
Ignition n/a
Blow-off Valve Vortech n/a
Misc. HKS turbo timer or Turbonetics boost controller, Billet MAP Diffuser, Steel Braided Oil Line, Boost Gauge, Hoses, Clamps, Fittings
Street Price $2,999-$3,299
Contact (818) 766-0738
REV HARD STAGE III
Turbo Rev Hard Hypo
Manifold Tubular Steel
Downpipe 2.5-inch
Wastegate Turbonetics Racegate
Intercooler Rev Hard 29x10x3.5
Fuel Strategy High Flow Pump, 1:1 FPR
Ignition n/a
Blow-off Valve n/a
Misc. HKS turbo timer or Turbonetics boost controller, Billet MAP Diffuser, Steel Braided Oil Line, Boost Gauge, Piping, Hoses, Clamps, Fittings
Street Price $1,799-$1,999
Contact (818) 766-0738
TURBO SPECIALTIES SUPERIOR
Turbo Garrett T25
Manifold Cast
Downpipe Yes w/ Gasket
Wastegate Integral
Intercooler n/a
Fuel Strategy MAP Unit
Ignition n/a
Blow-off Valve n/a
Misc. Stainless-Steel Braided Lines, Chrome Heatshield, Piping, Hoses, Fittings, Clamps, Generic Instructions
Street Price $1,350-$1,999
Contact (205) 296-5170
TURBO SPECIALTIES EXTREME
Turbo Garrett T25
Manifold Cast
Downpipe Yes w/ Gasket
Wastegate Integral
Intercooler FMIC
Fuel Strategy MAP Unit, Additional Injectors (2), Injection Control Unit
Ignition n/a
Blow-off Valve Yes
Misc. Stainless-Steel Braided Lines, Polished Piping, Hoses, Fittings, Chrome Heatshield, Generic Instructions Clamps
Street Price $1,350-$1,999
Contact (205) 296-5170
DRAG GEN 3
Turbo Polished Turbonetics T3/T04E
Manifold DRAG Cast Iron manifold
  Downpipe 2.5-inch w/ O2 Sensor Bung
Wastegate Turbonetics Evolution, DRAG Dump Tube
Intercooler Spearco F/M
Fuel Strategy Vortech 12:1 FPR, Map Sensor Check Valve, MSD 43 GPH Pump
Ignition n/a
Blow-off Valve Blitz Dual Drive
Misc. DRAG high-flow intake, Auto Meter Boost Gauge, GReddy Turbo Timer, Goodridge Oil Lines, Piping, Hoses, Clamps, Gaskets, Installation Manual
Street Price $2,999
Contact (949) 457-1234
GREDDY
Turbo TD04H-15G
Manifold Cast iron
Downpipe 2.5-inch
Wastegate Integral
Intercooler n/a
  Fuel Strategy E-Manage
Ignition n/a
Blow-off Valve n.a
Misc. Cast Iron Elbow, Airinx Filter, Oil Lines, Polished Piping, Hoses, Clamps, Gaskets, Installation Manual
Street Price $1,799-$1,999
Contact (949) 588-8300
APEX
Turbo IHI AX53B60-P18 Ball Bearing
Manifold Cast Iron
Downpipe 2.5-inch
Wastegate Integral
Intercooler n/a
Fuel Strategy High-Flow Pump, AFR
Ignition n/a
Blow-off Valve n/a
Misc. Apex Power Intake Filter, Cast Iron Elbow, Piping, Hoses, Clamps, Gaskets, Installation Manual
Contact (714) 685-5700
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Sources

Auto Meter
Sycamore, IL 60178
866-248-6356
www.autometer.com
AEM
Hawthorne, CA 90250
800-992-3000
http://www.aempower.com
GReddy Performance Products
Irvine, CA 92618
949-588-8300
http://www.greddy.com
Xenon
Anaheim, CA 92806
714-632-1709
www.teamxenon.com
Bomex USA
Chatsworth, CA 90240
310-527-3111
http://www.bomexaeroco.com
JE Pistons
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
714-898-9763
www.jepistons.com
Race Engineering
561-533-5500
www.raceeng.com
Tenzo Racing Sports
Santa Clarita, CA 91350
661-250-3000
http://www.tenzoracingsports.com
Yokohama Tires
Fullerton, CA 92631-5106
Wilwood Disc Brakes
Camarillo, CA 93012
805-388-1188
www.wilwood.com
Wings West
949/722-9995
www.wingswest.com
Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT)
Lancaster, CA 93535
MOMO
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
949-380-7556
http://www.momousa.com
A'PEXi Integration
Orange, CA 92865
DAZZ Motorsport
Baldwin Park, CA 91706

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