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JDM Honda Civic Front End - Raising the Dead

Ek Coupe

Dru Barrios
Mar 16, 2007

Sometime in late 1995, my mother traded in her Milano red EJ1 Civic coupe for the cooler, newer '96 EJ8 coupe that had just hit the market. At the time, I was in sixth grade (I think) and my interest in cars was just beginning. I spent the next 5 or 6 years at buddies' garages, shops, street races, etc., always working on everybody else's H-badged ride because I didn't have one of my own. I actually had a Ford Explorer at the time.

By the time my mom was looking for a new car, I knew Hondas from bumper to bumper. It was only fitting that I took it off her hands, although I will admit I took the car hesitantly because it wasn't the EG hatch that I really wanted.

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

The second those keys hit my hands I was a changed man. The mom-mobile that I had always detested had suddenly become a blank canvas begging me to break out my pallet and paints and start expressing myself. Since then, the car has gone through phase after phase. It would be a turbo car one month, N/A the next. Every dime I ever made went into the car. It gave me purpose.

Fast forward to the end of 2005. The motor that was in the car disintegrated and the car had been sitting for the better part of a year. I ended up deciding that the coupe would become a dedicated race car, never to see the streets again, and promptly bought an '03 Element EX to rock on the daily. With the box serving daily duty, I had more time to get the coupe back together, and for the first time in its existence, the car was dialed in exactly like I wanted.

The Element was probably my favorite daily driver out of the 15 or so cars I've had over the years, until some douchebag dropped a ladder in front of me on the freeway, inducing a spin that sent the little box across several lanes into the center divider. With the box totaled, I still needed to get to work, and the only vehicle I had left was the race car.

A week later, some half-witted, and apparently colorblind, Dodge Neon driver couldn't tell the difference between a green light and a red light and stopped in the middle of a moving intersection. I hit her in the rear bumper at what couldn't have been more than 10 mph. The Civic was smashed, the Neon was slightly scuffed, and the awesome person driving it decided she needed a neck brace and a stretcher. Sweet.

0704_ht_09_z+JDM_front_end+radiator_support_cut_off Photo 6/27   |   Thanks to the plasma cutter, the rest of the support is off in a matter of minutes.

Fast forward once again to the present. The car has been sitting in my parking spot at my apartment collecting dust for almost 9 months, and every time I walked by it a tear came to my eye. Something had to be done. So a resurrection plan was drawn up.

I put in a call to Password:JDM, crossing my fingers they had some blemished parts lying around to give the car a much-needed facelift. They came through, and a week later my living room was full of front end parts covered in JDM dust-awesome. With the SiR front end in hand, a new radiator support, and some chassis bracing in the form of a Password 3-point front strut tower bar and rear tower bar, along with a radiator cooling plate for some added bling, we were ready to give the little guy the makeover he so rightfully deserved.

We towed the car to its home away from home, L-Con Racecars, where owner/fabricator Louie Contreras used his trusty Miller Spectrum 375 plasma cutter to cut off the old, bent, radiator support and weld on the new one with the good ol' Millermatic 350P MIG welder. Now with the front end back in place, the next stop is the K-swap. Keep your eyes peeled in future issues for tech pieces on what is now our Honda Tuning/L-Con Racecars/Password:JDM time attack challenger. The fun has just re-begun.


Pico Rivera, CA 90660
L-Con Racecars
Placentia, CA 92870
By Dru Barrios
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