09

How To Do A 5 Lug Conversion the Right Way! Project EP3

by Mike Kojima

 

As we finally start to mod our much-maligned shop EP3, the car that everyone loves to hate, we came to the realization that the car had pretty big wheel wells. To us, big wheel wells does not mean room for offset, slammed to the ground ride height or dumb camber but room for big grippy tires!

With some looking and measuring, we felt that we could probably stuff a 235/40-17 wheel into Project EP3's wheel wells with perhaps some fender rolling in the rear. However, we wanted to run an 8-9" wide wheel with these tires and offerings in a 4x100 bolt pattern for wheels this wide were very limited. There were many choices in 5x114.3 however! 

This lead us to consider swapping to 5-lug hubs and to further contemplate going to a performance K20A2 in the future as well if we can get the car to handle decently.  

 

Our poor blue EP3 Civic Si had been languishing as the MotoIQ parts runner, transport when staffers had their personal cars down for project car work and stuff hauler for our sister publication TRGRiQ. It had been serving in that function since Jeff brought it down from NorCal last year.  

Sometimes it is sort of fun to drive stock cars.  The EP3 had been holding down by getting nearly 30 mpg out of super cheapo 87 octane regular and being almost ticket proof since it is bone stock, even having a front plate!

 

The first thing we did was to obtain hubs for the car. We got the front hubs from a 2002 to 2004 RSX Type-S. If you want something simple that is a direct bolt, you can get the hubs from a base model RSX of the same year.

However, we wanted to run the stronger RSX Type-S axles since we are planning a K-swap. Since we are also going to be running larger racing type fixed piston caliper brakes, we wanted to run the Type-S hubs with a larger and stiffer knuckle and bearing system. Fixed piston calipers provide more clamping force but are sensitive to piston knockback which can cause the brake pedal to go to the floor after a hard turn. 

Our big tires were going to put higher loads on the bearings, hubs, and knuckles so we wanted to upgrade to the stronger Type-S stuff to avoid knockback.

 

Here is the larger Type-S front hub bearing. We got the bearing from Centric Parts, a supplier of high-quality undercar parts. If you are rebuilding your higher mileage car, Centric is a good source for reman calipers and the other parts you need as well. 
 

The Type-S hub is needed for the larger bearings and the larger Type-S axles

 

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Comments
Van_1986
Van_1986link
Monday, April 10, 2017 3:54 PM
Was just thinking about a hub conversion, but for a C5 corvette drift project. Factory they are 5x120.26 (5x4.75) which essentially limits you to $4k plus forged wheels that I personally don't even like the style of, and wouldn't want to drop in the dirt as frequently occurs in drifting. Would be awesome if there was a way to get 5x114.3 to utilize a good looking cheap light wheel such as the RPF1. Only way I see currently is to have some CNC'd to the tune of thousands of dollars as I am not comfortable redrilling the stock hub, using conversion spacers, or just forcing on the incorrect 5x120 BMW bolt pattern (yikes) as other do. Anyone know of a better solution?
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Monday, April 10, 2017 4:32 PM
Why are you saying the tie rod ends are required for the RSX knuckle? The RSX and EP3 tie rod arms are on the shock, not the knuckles. So if what you say about the tie rod tapers being larger on the RSX you need to get either RSX front shocks or coilovers made for an RSX.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, April 10, 2017 4:53 PM
I mean the shock, we got the shocks with RSX sized steering arms.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Monday, April 10, 2017 5:12 PM
Hey, Fortune Auto... thats what I had on my RSX :D
sam21lakers
sam21lakerslink
Thursday, April 13, 2017 12:27 PM
This is awkward


the 2004-2005 mid-model refresh EP3 came from the factory with 5x114
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, April 20, 2017 6:31 PM
but not this year EP3
Ben
Benlink
Monday, April 24, 2017 6:30 PM
Even the 5x114 EP3 (I had a 2004 for awhile) has inferior hardware to the RSX all the way around. You basically have to adopt a whole mess of RSX and RXS-S chassis hardware just to get the ability to get around. If you want to adopt anything more hardcore than the HFP suspension kits which arent available last time I checked you need roll center adjusters and tie rod ends and basically a visit from the whiteline catalogue.....This is another reason I sold this car as much as Iiked it.
econobox
econoboxlink
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 7:17 PM
Good info!

So basically the five lug EP3 is similar to the RSX base in engine and suspension area; hubs, axles, control arms, tie rods, no true VTEC, etc..

Are you guys planning on getting the K20A2 Bar'd with the chassis?
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