We came across a feature article shot a while back and the trials and tribulations endured by the owner illustrated some of the behind-the-scenes concerns facing many Honda owners with an eye for boost. The experiences of Faizul Alladin morphed what would've been a typical feature into an article that showcases a vast cross-section of EG Civic Si/EX turbo kits currently on the market. The EG is the car that started the import craze on the West Coast, and boosting its 1.6-liter SOHC four-cylinder engine has never been easier.
In 1998, Faizul Alladin from Miami, Fla., purchased his dream machine, a 1994 Honda Civic Si hatchback. He found the diamond in the rough at a salvage yard and practically stole it for $4,000. The car had some front-end damage, but Alladinput on a clean hood, a new fender, a fresh bumper cover and some junkyard headlamps. Then Hurricane Irene hit on October 15, 1999. Irene was the last and weakest storm of the 1999 season, but its 75-mph Category 1 winds did a great deal of damage. In Miami/Dade County, Irene packed a $120 million wallop and, unfortunately, Alladin's Civic was part of the tally.
Subsequently, the car was stripped of its engine, tranny and interior. After 18 months of "drying time," Alladin resurrected his Civic by repainting it and installing a used engine/tranny combination. The engine fired easily but puffed some serious smoke. The diagnosis led to the piston tops and faulty oiling rings. This setback turned into an opportunity to load up on performance aftermarket internals. With boost as the bull's-eye, a set of 8.5:1 SRP pistons were selected along with some beefy Eagle rods, JE piston rings and ARP fasteners.
The engine was back in the car, and visions of boost materialized. "We tried starting the car but it wouldn't turn over. We took it apart and discovered the rod was too thick and it was hitting the bottom of the engine block," says Alladin. This snafu is common for first-time engine builders. The key is to use the rod company's tech info line to determine if the rod will clear. Then don't believe them and turn the crank by hand to ensure the rods clear before completing the assembly.
Alladin sent his block to High Tech Racing to be notched at the base of the cylinders, where the techs also balanced the entire reciprocating assembly. A Race Engineering block guard was fitted and the engine was re-assembled and topped with a GReddy 50-state-legal turbo kit.
"I drove the car for a few months and felt it just wasn't fast enough. So I took the GReddy kit out and added an A'PEXi kit with an intercooler and upgrade the fuel system. The car was noticeably quicker and I set off to customize other areas," he says.
The fuel system was upgraded with a high-flow fuel pump, AEM regulator, Venom fuel rail and high-capacity 440cc Venom injectors. Alladin also gives high marks to the ACT Stage II he installed to put the boosted power to the ground.
The body was tuned with a mix-and-match of Wings West spoilers, a Xenon rear bumper, Bomex side skirts and a Z-Net front bumper. The Civic sports a City Motorpsorts carbon-fiber hood and Aerogear fenders painted by Team V Autobody.
The Honda flexes Racing Hart C5 aluminum and Yokohama Parada rubber in 18-inch trim. Stopping power has been addressed with a Wilwood front kit that features 13-inch rotors and four-piston calipers. The rear runs stock calipers and stock-sized Brembo hats.
Inside, Alladin went all-out, fitting the Civic with Tenzo R bucket seats, Momo pedals and shifter, B&M short shifter, a gaggle of Auto Meter gauges and leather upholstery work.
Alladin's Civic holds some valuable lessons for those looking to turbo and how to overcome obstacles. A car that was battered by hurricane-force winds is now generating some pressure of its own via turbocharging. To further illustrate some of the pressure possibilities and pitfalls, check out the EG Turbo Kit Showcase and Top Basic Questions sidebars to give you an idea of what kind of kits are offered and outline some of the questions you should ask going into a Honda Boost-Up project.