Project Honda Civic EJ Finale: Dyno Results and Lap Times

by Chuck Johnson

On April 7th, 2011, we introduced Project Honda Civic EJ to the readers of MotoIQ.  Originally, the goal of the project was to take Annie Sam’s beat down 1997 Honda Civic with over 260,000 miles on it and restore it back to the formidable yet reliable street and track machine it once was.  All this, while keeping to a reasonable budget. If you weren’t around back then, visit Project Honda Civic EJ’s project page here to familiarize yourself with its beginnings.  


Along with maintaining a reasonable budget, we also had the best of intentions of methodically measuring and quantifying the results of each of the modifications.  Both the budget and the methodical data collection went out the window though when Project Honda Civic EJ’s head gasket failed during baseline testing at Button Willow Raceway.  However, Project Honda Civic EJ managed to lay down a baseline lap of 2:21.56 on Button Willow’s configuration 13.  Since that day though, what could only be described as massive scope creep ensued.


The massive scope creep began with an all-out rebuild of Project Civic EJ’s suspension which included an onslaught of parts from Skunk2, Suspension Techniques, ASR, and Energy Suspension.  You name it and Project Honda Civic EJ’s suspension has it. 


The same treatment was extended to Project Honda Civic EJ’s brake system.  The stock front brakes were tossed in favor of Fastbrakes big brake kit which featured a Wilwood Dynapro caliper squeezing on an 11.1” diameter drilled and slotted rotor. 


The rear drum brakes also found themselves in the rubbish bin being replaced by a Fastbrakes rear disc brake conversion kit utilizing a mammoth 10.95” drilled and slotted rotor and OEM Civic Si rear calipers.  To complete the rear disc brake conversion a distribution block and master cylinder from a Honda Civic Si was also installed. A fresh set of sticky Nitto NT01s wrapped around some Enkei PF01s managed to find their way onto our ever growing list of performance upgrades.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015 7:50 AM
That's really solid power.... Project S2000 put down 240hp stock on the same dyno, 250hp after the KPro install.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 10:05 PM
Awesome Civic. I bet you could get 2:09 or better from that car given the right conditions. Get some nice in car footage next time you do CW13!
Thursday, November 12, 2015 7:56 PM
I almost reading this article in tears man. I've been following this project since first article and really fall in love with this car. I love the concept to keep the car simple, street-able and in the same time have good handling with good reliable amount of power. I always wish to have this kind of project on my own. MotoIQ should do more project like this, common car, low budget, low profile and many things more like this project.
Monday, November 16, 2015 7:09 AM
I'm a budget oriented Honda guy at heart and this car is almost the sole reason I started checking this site. Of course I enjoy other projects as well but look forward to seeing more of this car and hopefully other Honda content.
Chuck Johnson
Chuck Johnsonlink
Monday, November 16, 2015 7:42 AM
Hi everyone,

We really appreciate the complimentary words and are glad that you enjoyed the project. Knowing that there are fans of the project out there definitely makes the time, energy, and money spent on the project more worthwhile. I caught up with Joe Lu, the new owner, the other day and he has some things in the works. He's also a contributor to the site so hopefully we'll see another update or two in the future. Thanks again,

Monday, November 16, 2015 6:18 PM
I love this project, i alway go back and re-read its. Even though my civic is a full caged up track car, I find this project really helpful. Good luck on your future projects!
Pablo Mazlumian
Pablo Mazlumianlink
Friday, November 20, 2015 7:45 AM
I'm with spdracerut: that's impressive power for any dyno/correction factor/etc. 126whp/liter..what's that about 9500 RPM peak power or something? I tried to look it up in your later articles but couldn't find. That engine looks gorgeous. And then what's even more impressive is you went up over 30% in torque! Am I missing something? I tried looking for it but did this car go up in displacement (originally a 1.6?) or something? Or was the baseline on a very tired run. I'm baffled here. Gotta get a ride in that thing next time I'm in Cali! :)
Chuck Johnson
Chuck Johnsonlink
Friday, November 20, 2015 12:58 PM
Hi Pablo, the baseline dyno was done over a decade ago when the B18C1 was first swapped in. The motor was entirely stock other than a short ram AEM intake. Currently, the displacement remains pretty much the same with only a .5 mm over bore. I'd like to say the improvement in rod ratio and compression ratio were key players in the increase in torque. There's another factor in the equation though... the good ol' dyno argument. The original dyno was done on R&D Dyno's old Dyno Jet while the latest dyno that was used was Church's Dyna pack which is known to be a bit liberal. Nonetheless, I think the motor turned out well considering it was built in my garage by a bunch of hacks. lol.
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