Nd4Sped's EM1 2000 Si Life & Build Thread | 2003-2022 | @TunaNoCrustGarage on YouTube - this thread evolves


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THROWBACKS sake, 56k warning! :rolf:

So this car has been through the grinder since I have owned it. Originally purchased in 2003 as the second owner, maybe third. The car was a "fleet vehicle" which most likely means it was under previous owners business for tax write offs. When I bought her, I had just gotten home from Iraq. She had just about 46,000 miles on the odometer. Original warranty was already used up and it was my "only" car at the time. So I bought an EXTENDED WARRANTY...btw ever since the extended warranty went out...(within the first year image below)


None of that stopped a young man from endlessly beating on only the hottest DOHC VTEC powered Civic the US ever got. All the time hoping it would never leave me stranded as long as I maintained it properly. With that being said, she did her job and I so did I. I abused her, but I maintained her and she never complained.

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But you can only abuse her so long before "Im sorry" stops having the right effect. First big break happened in 2006/7-ish. I was f**king around, doing a burnout and ripped a few teeth off the differential planetary gears. This caused one of the larger fragment's to get impaled into the lower side of the housing between the final drive gear and case. Thus a nice crack and small hole allowed all the fluid to escape willy nilly. This was my first and last interaction with 3rd party warranty companies.
Now before I start getting all kinds of hate, yes I tried to claim the transaxle damage. The motor was effectively bone stock other than MSD ignition bolt-ons and I/H/E. Those modifications alone was enough for 3rd party to void my claim, but apparently they really want to renew that warranty.

So now I had a broken Civic and lived in an apartment. No garage to work from, just me, jack stands, parking lot, a weekend and a small assortment of tools that begin a lifelong investment. This was my first opportunity at making a How To thread to remove and replace your transmission as well. <tried finding my old HOW TO> threads but looks like the site scrubbed a lot of stuff from back then.

Fixed the cracked housing with some welding and replaced the open differential with another OEM open diff. Didn't have the money for a LSD at the time. Open diffs were easily $50. After pinning up the Honda Service Manual transaxle blowup, I went to town and replaced the differential, got the car back up in running over that weekend.


I started competing heavily in SCCA Solo II with the Blue Ridge Region SCCA in Virginia. Due to modifications to the car at this point I found myself in Street Modified (SM). Eventually several years of abuse and while at an SCCA event in Danville, Virginia the Civic severely spun a bearing which was the first time she left me stranded over 2 hours from home. Luckily I had recently got my car dyno'd at local place (Coltranes in Pulaski, Virginia) that also had a wrecker service. They went out on a Sunday and grabbed the Civic from the side of the road for $200!

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Now was time for the first real teardown of the car. Engine was pulled and the carnage was revealed. The savageness of oil cavitation simply chewed the journal bearing into a thin jagged razor blade. At this point I was finally in my own house, albiet I was renting but it was perfect for what was needed. Had a sweet single car disconnected garage with a vacant second floor. I kind of miss that house, it was nice.


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What came next was very sweet high compression all motor build. CTR pistons with ceramic coated tops, nitride coated skirts, OEM CTR LSD, Exedy lightweight flywheel, clutch and more.
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.......until next post. This story will continue to evolve and eventually will catch up to where we are today. So join me and follow along for a Civic's odyssey.
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I had a Civic once.
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Awesome! Looking forward to the next chapter! I love a good build thread.


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Chapter 2 | 2007-8~ish

So the car was back up and running, engine was purring like a kitten at idle and raged like a lion above 5500RPM. Got back into the Solo II action as soon as possible for the rest of that season in 2006. Moved up in tire size not long after trying out the new then Kumho STX 225/50/16. The sidewall was a little thick but after a little while it grew on you. Plus the additional traction from the 225's was amazing. Tons of cornering traction as the tire roles there is additional tread compound on that tire that just continues to grip. I NEVER spun out on the STX 225's. Solo does not get a ton of speed going but you can get into 3rd gear depending on the course setup.

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I got very involved in our local SCCA Region. I started volunteering and eventually was responsible for assigning workers and such. If you don't work, you don't race. This is one of the great things about SOLO is that everyone is involved and helps out, even if its just manning cones. Which manning the cones is super important to keeping the session moving along smoothly. Thank you cone workers! Now get out there and shag more cones!

You can see Ray Schuman on the left and good ol' Mick Seal to my right. RIP you are always remembered. Keep shaggin' those cones upstairs! Remembering Mick https://www.facebook.com/mick.seal.12

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Not only did I put people where they were needed, I also was quite active as the group cameraman. I still have that Nikon T1i and the lenses. It doesn't get much action anymore but its still a good camera. Shot over 100,000 frames on that camera.

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2008 started off as and exciting year with the car. I started working at Volvo Trucks North America so the income was about to get a huge boost. Was making $16.35/hr (was amazing for that area during that time) and overtime was kicking nearly $30/hr. Every week I got 12 hours or overtime which made it easier to pad the bank account. Which meant more car parts as long as the bills were paid.

Next stop was a trip to the dyno which also involved some other buddies including Marshall and his 700HP R33 Skyline. That thing absolutely rips.

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My results, while not that impressive, its surprising that numbers were so good with a near stock motor and 100,000 miles at this point in time. Whopping 144 HP to the wheels. Needless to say thats easily just over 160HP at the crank and since thats the claimed value from day 1, Id say that's pretty good.


Unfortunately 2007 would be another year tumultuous year of breaks. Near the end of the year Volvo ended up laying off some 3500 workers included me. No Union pay, nothing so I had to get another job immediately. Picked up a mechanics position at Kings Tire, local repair shop for tractor trailers primarily but they also provided light car and truck services.

Not long after the previous rebuild a big storm came through town. Was returning to work and had to cross a flooded intersection. I didn't realize how deep the water got and my AEM V2 intake sucked up a s**t ton of water hydro-locking the engine. This was catastrophic for me as I had just recently rebuilt the motor. There was easily less than 3000 miles on the new engine setup. I was able to put the clutch in quickly and allow myself to literally roll through the rest of the intersection and across the street to where I worked.

Got the car in the shop bay, pulled the plugs and tuned over the engine, water just starts shooting out the plug holes like a water amusement park. I let it dry out and decided to give the car a go as it was turning over smoothly. Did I get lucky and just suck up water without damaging anything? The car started up, was idling nice for about 10 seconds and a noticeable change in idle started. Bumped the throttle just a little and BOOM! Connecting rod splits in half and rips two enormous holes in the front and back of the engine block right at cylinder #1. Absolute catastrophic failure. My heart sunk to the floor. Giving up was near because spending more money I didn't really have was now necessary if I planned on keeping the car. Which again had no choice cause I still owed money on the loan. What sucked more was I also just finished paying off the car. Refinanced it not long after to pay off debt. Now it was broken again and I was loosing hope and desire.

To make extra money and fix the Civic I ended up doing a SRT4 swap in my buddies base model Neon.
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Pulling the motor was required so I didn't waste much time doing it once I had saved the money and was ready to purchase replacement parts. I had to pull by hand because I had loaned out my engine hoist to a buddy. What timing.

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While the Civic was down, I had the opportunity to co-drive my friend Brandon Ross's STi, this car was insanity. Over 500HP and traction like you cant imagine. There was nothing you could throw this car into that you simply could not power yourself out of. 4 wheel drifting was epic!!! So fast the 79 peeled off during a session.

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So while I pulled the motor and tore down the engine to try and salvage as many parts as possible. Unfortunately there wasn't much that could be saved. Crank was warped and block was destroyed. Luckily the head did not sustain any damage, huge luck there. My army buddy Mark who was living in Florida at the time was able to source me an engine block from Stage6 Motorsports. It was a standard B16A short-block minus oil pan, pick up, rods and pistons. Basically just block and crank. Measured out the block and crank, both were good so it was time to send the block and head off to the machine shop to get cleaned and decked to get the mating surfaces perfect. Didn't take much off so no need for a thicker headgasket.

Pictures for the next engine rebuild will come in the next chapter as well as a new addition to the stable.
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2007 ends and 2008 begins! Big changes start happening in life. The then wife enlisted in the Navy and I become a working Dad of two children. No new kids were added to the family but I did come across a 1978 Honda Civic 1200 that I simply could not resist buying. By this time I had left Kings Tire and went to O'Reilly Auto Parts as a RSS, (Retail Service Specialist of some s**t). A customer came in and overhead our conversation about old Hondas and announces he has a 1978 model just sitting in his backyard. I cant believe it but I ask to see it and he tells me to buy a coolant hose, spark plugs and starting fluid.

After work I head over to the customers house and I find this poor example of a Honda. The owner turned the thing into his hunting car is all I need to say. The pictures will do the rest.
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Believe it or not this car has been sitting in this guys backyard for around 5 years at the time and had not been started since. We popped hood and animals had made nests, chewed through the lower radiator hose but luckily nothing else. Swapped out the lower radiator hose, spark plugs, poured a little gas in the tank, sprayed some starter fluid in the carb and it started up as if it was running that morning. So I negotiated a whopping $250 purchase and drove it 2 miles to my Dads house where it stayed parked till later. Ill get to the restoration process of this car in another thread.

Back to the Si, parts were arriving so the teardown and rebuild of the fresh engine was beginning. I sent the engine block off to Coltrane Welding and Fabrication in Pulaski, Virginia. I got a fresh set of PCT Civic Type R pistons and sent them off to a ceramic coater in Radford, VA. They took the pistons, blueprinted and balanced all the pistons weights to match. Ceramic coated the top and nitride coated the skirts just like the previous set. I dont recall the weights back then but they were all within 0.001 grams of each other. Acquired a set of low milage GSR camshafts as my plans for the engine started to shift some.

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Some may or may not know but my favorite style of racing is rally. You would think I should have a STi or EVO in the garage but those cars were never in my budget in those days. By this time I was a father of two kids so the "racecar" stuff took a backseat to reality. The car went from a "NEED" to a "WANT" so rebuilding the car moving forward would always take more time than I wanted. Anyhow with my obsession with WRC and studying how they built their motors combining high compression and boost, I wanted to replicate the same concept.

Enter the 11.01:1 CR B16A with T25 turbo. Ya it was tiny, but that was the point. To be in boost instantly and carry power to or near redline. This little turbo would eventually fall completely out of its efficiency range above 7300 rpm. There were ways to deal with this problem by replacing the compressor wheel to a more efficient design but that again is conversation for another thread.


I sourced a used P28 with Hondata S300 all ready with a Boondongle harness for OBD2B to OBD1. This was absolutely required at this point with all the modifications if I wanted to generate the most reliable power from the new engine setup.


Now I hate to lead up to such an amazing build but unfortunately that evil MF'er called "LIFE" put this on hold. So I had to strip all the turbo bits off. I still needed much bigger injectors, intercooler, piping, and just could not save the needed money to make it happen. Now this build stull turned out to be a little beast for still being N/A. I never got the car on the dyno again after this build so I cant tell you what kind of numbers but I would imagine it was pretty close to that of a stock B16B.

Well I am going to wrap up this post, stay tuned for the next update.