As it approaches the two decade mark, the classic mid 1990s Civic shows no signs of its popularity fading and as this example demonstrate, for good reason too.
The tuner world is constantly evolving to incorporate new vehicles with fresh engines that require research and development to kick off from a blank piece of paper. As manufacturers are required to meet ever increasing emission legislations, the current crop of powerplants need to be further refined or binned altogether for a fresh start.
For performance vehicles, the tightening of emissions also translates into further hurdles and headaches to overcome in the quest to make legislators happy and continue providing the kicks that petrolheads demand when they put down their hard-earned money for these machines.
It’s a stark reminder of the times when performance cars were simply all about going fast and carving corners like a hot knife through butter. Emission regulations weren’t all that inhibiting and there were some genuinely elementary cars that could go like the wind without breaking the bank.
Cars like the Honda Civic EK for example. The hatchback is one of the most iconic Honda’s of all time and continues to be in high demand from petrolheads. It’s a timeless artifact of the legendary 90’s JDM world and continues to command much respect as well as admiration for a piece that has been properly sculpted.
This white example here is one such specimen and doesn’t appear to have aged more than a couple of years since it left the factory. The gist of it all was that this EK started life as an EJ which is tantamount to pretty much the same thing.
One of the more popular trends now with the older Civics is to drop in a K-Series engine to replace the ageing B-Series mill they rolled up with. The former is newer, more advanced, made more power and aftermarket support for it continues to flourish.
With minimal drawbacks, a K20A from an Integra DC5 was sourced and dropped into the gleaming white Civic EK with the use of Hasport engine mounts for a straightforward conversion. To get all the electronics working, a K-Tuned engine harness was used for a plug-and-play affair.
Even with the additional power from the newer straight-four, some additional go-fast bits went in to help free up more ponies. Toda provided its Spec-F camshafts that work best high-compression engines as well as the larger, baffled oil pan to prevent oil starvation during high G corners. A Trust oil cooler keeps the lube cooler.
Air enters the engine via a Blitz air intake before it is channelled out post-combustion by a Spoon N1 exhaust system. Sprucing up the engine bay are a number of bits from the Spoon catalogue that comprise the spark plug cover, engine oil cap, radiator cap, battery and Spoon grounding wires.
The transmission now houses an Ogura Super Single clutch set while the shifter in the cabin was swapped out for a beautiful K-Tuned billet shifter with a raised knob.
Keeping all the engine’s parameters operating in harmony is a Hondata K-Pro ECU.
Stopping is courtesy of Spoon monoblock calipers that clamp down on large two-piece Project Mu 297mm rotors. The brakes peek out from behind some Volk Racing CE28 wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R rubbers and held in place by Spoon lug nuts.
Once all that was addressed, the suspension had to be brought up to par. Forming the backbone of the handling package is a set of Aragosta Type-S coilovers. The drop in height would then require some Skunk2upper arms, Hardrace camber arms and Skunk2 lower arms to bring the alignment geometry back in line.
Stiffening up the shell are Spoon strut bars front and rear, Spoon lower tie bars front and rear, a Cusco pillar side bar, Top Fuel bar and Do-Luck room bar.
Completing the transformation are cosmetic bits including the bodyparts from a 1999 EK9 as well as a carbon fibre hood, carbon fibre side-view mirror, carbon fibre spoiler and wiper blades from Spoon.
The interior gets a pair of Spoon carbon Kevlar full bucket seats, Spoon instrument cluster, Spoon steering wheel, Spoon steering boss kit and Spoon gear knob as the cherry on top.
Honda’s might not be for everyone but if you’re a true petrolhead, a build like this will always have a soft spot in your heart.
Honda Civic EJ (EK convert)
K20A, Toda Spec-F camshafts, Toda oil pan, Trust oil cooler, Hasport engine mounts, Spoon spark plug cover, Spoon engine oil cap, Spoon radiator cap, Spoon battery, Spoon grounding wires, Spoon N1 exhaust + B-pipe, Blitz air intake
Ogura Super Single clutch set, K-Tuned gear shifter
Hondata K-Pro, KTuned engine harness, Defi BF gauge
Spoon monoblock calipers, Project Mu two-piece 297mm rotors
Suspension & Chassis
Aragosta Type-S (hi-lo soft-hard), Skunk2upper arms, Hardrace camber arms, Skunk2 lower arms, Spoon strut bar (front + rear), Spoon lower tie bar (front + rear), Cusco pillar side bar, Top Fuel bar, Do-Luck room bar
Wheels & Tyres
Volk Racing CE28, Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R tyres, Spoon lug nuts
EK9 1999 body parts, Spoon carbon fibre hood, Spoon carbon fibre side-view mirror, Spoon carbon fibre spoiler, Spoon wiper blades
Spoon carbon Kevlar full bucket seat, Spoon instrument cluster, Spoon steering wheel, custom titanium bolt steering, Spoon steering boss kit, Spoon gear knob
Photos by Alfred Lee & Shah Bahulu