2000 Civic SI Build

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The quest to go faster

2010 - 2012



11/12/2012 - Been busy over the last month with both work, and getting "Little John" and the Civic together. Took some extra time to make sure all tolerances were in spec, didn't over due it with the rest of my schedule and enjoyed the build. Got the motor in on Sunday November 4th. Had primed the oil pump and saw the needle fluctuate on my oil pressure gauge after cranking the motor with the coil and injector leads disconnected. Hooked up the coil and injectors and started her up. Sounds real good. Oil pressure gauge was showing no pressure, but the pick up line comes off the reomote filter so I gave it  a couple more seconds. Red oil pressure light on dash was also on, so shut it down. Pulled one of the remote oil filter lines and some oil did come out. So disconnected the coil and injectors again, hooked up the battery charger and cranked the hell out of it. Hooked everthing back up and restartrd it. Same problem, so shut it down. Total run time, maybe 30 seconds.

Even after the original motor started to make noise from the rod a couple months ago, the oil pressure remained at 75 to 80 lbs. Took the pump off when I disassembled the motor. Started working on cleaning and disassembling the pump itself but couldn't get the screws off that held the cover over the gears. Cleaned everything real good with solvent, a brush and dried with the air compressor. Let everything set a couple of days and rotated occasionally just to make sure there was no residual sovent insie the pump. Put some assembly lube in it and manually turned the pump to get the lube in it, the packed it full of petroleum jelly and turned it some more. Set it aside as it was ready to go. Well, aparently there was some damage to the pump that I didn't see. This caused the pressure problem. So ordered a new GSR oil pump from Hinderer Honda, and another set of ACL main ans rod bearings just to be on the safe side. Going to put everthing back to gether this weekend. I am confident that it will be ok after this. However, just for back up I have my fingers crossed and have said numerous prayers.

10/11/2012 -
Been a long day already. Went over to Loughman Automotive last night around 10:00pm and John helped me with the new bottom end. I had a piece of crap rod stretch gauge that didn't work right. Finally left his shop around 2:00am and headed home after getting the pistons in, rods torqued and mains torqued. Stopped by the shop on the way and dropped everything off. Finally got home around 2:30am. Was at my shop around 8:00am and put the GSR head together. Then cleaned my head up real good. It is now ready to bolt on.  Shipped the GSR head to the new owner.  My new Tilton Twin Disc Clutch and Fluidampr came in yesterday. All necessary parts are now here. A couple misc o-rings and should have the motor sitting in the car on Sunday. We will see.!

10/09/2012 -
Was at shop this morning getting a GSR head ready to ship out (this was the head on the long-block I bought from the jumkyard), while cleaning, noticed cylinder #2 had an exhaust valve with pieces missing out of it. Junkyard won't do anything for me. Gonna email the buyer, not right to ship out to him. Anyway, may be eating a GSR head.

Got my pistons and rings together. Big difference between the normal wrist pins and the heavy duty ones I got from Wiseco. Can't wiat to get her rolling.

10/07/2012 - Was at shop today, got a lot accomplished. Got the block drilled and TimeSerts installed. Shouldn't have any problem with head studs pulling out. Also got the rings fit for each cyliner. Motor now has a name. View the build sheet for "Little John"  (I will be updating periodically).

09/16//2012 - Was at shop today and opened up motor. AEM adjustable cam gears in it. Uh Oh!  Decided to check further as I wanted to put my B16 head/intake on the bottom end. This thing had a 3 layer MLS gasket on it. Not putting it in without checking  bearings and bottom end. Everything on bottom end looked OK. Decided rings and bearing would be good to replace. So ordering parts to put back together.

09/13/2012 -
Moter showed up today. Has 174,000 on it. Doesnt look like it has ever been opened up. Should I just put it in or should I check it out? Don't want anything leaking so I will probably change valve cover gasket and peak inside.

09/11//2012 -
Was out running errands on Sunday with my wife and she noticed a noise. After listening to it, it was definately a rod bearing. Oil pressure is fine but noise is getting louder. Time to put build on fast track. So yesterday I found a complete long block at a junkyard in Joplin, Mo. Payment made, so its on the way. should be here Thursday.

07/10//2012 -
Found a GSR block and bought it off Ebay. Its bare, but give me a starting point for the new build. Decided to go B18C1. Now have to figure what rod/stroke combo I want. Should I stroke it? or not?

07/01//2012 -
Last couple of months been working on driveability and tuning. Got the AEM adjusted where the AFR and EGT's were pretty good. So, time to put the turbo on. Everything bolted right up, a little tuning to get the AFRs where the needed to be, and off we go. At idle I had serious oil burning in the exhaust. Didn't notice anything will driving though. Shortened the #10 oil drainback line for the turbo to make it as straight and short as possible. Drove the car again and same thing, bad oil smoke at idle. Wasn't sure if it was the seals leaking on the turbo or not, so took it off. No oil smoke at idle. OK, so is the turbo bad or is there something else wrong. Decided to research a little further. About four years ago I put a crankcase Evac system on the car. Crankcase breathes through two #12 lines on the back of the block and three # 8 lines from the valve cover, all going to the oil/air separator. From there the exhaust pulse pull the pressure from the motor. This would explain why no oil smoke while driving. Higher exhaust velocity creates more negative pressure to pull the pressure from the crankcase. The evac system is working as designed. Now for the idle issue. Compression test showed that I had good compression for the piston ring package I have in the car. So moved onto the leakdown test. Cylinder #1 had 42% leakdown. Cylinder #2 had 64% leak down. Cylinder #3 had 45% leakdown and cylinder #4 was at 38% leak down. Sooooooo, bottom end is shot. Well, I need to drive car so we will work on new engine over the winter.

04/12/2012 - Been working on the brakes lately. Just finished the front big-brake upgrade. WOW !! It definately stops now. Its amazing the difference in diameter and thickness of the new rotors and pads (11.8" diameter and 25mm thickness compared to stock 10.3" diameter and 21mm thickness). There is a lot more surface area to contact the rotor. They look awesome and I am happy that I am using OEM parts that I can purchase at any auto parts store in an emergency. Brakes have a real good feel. For now this is the parts list that works on the front:


Parts for the rears are in. Will hopefully get them on this weekend. Going from the stock 9.4" rotor to the 10.22" 2003 Civic SI EP3. I am using calipers and brackets from a 2003 Acura RSX (. This allows the bigger rotor and considerably bigger pads. The nice thing is there is no modifications needed ther than using the parking brake bracket of the original calipers.


04/05/2012 - Got my new wheels today - 17" Konig Zero-In's. They look real good. Eleven spoke with a red paint stip on the inside that matches my car. For tires went with Kumho Ecsta 4X. Sizng is 205 40/17. Nice aggressive look, low sidewall and wider than my 15's. Seems to handle well.


Off to Tire Discounters tomorrow for my alignment.

Next project is to get the A/C working. I never finished it last year, so I am ready to get it functioning.

Clutch has been pushed back to May, with Turbo going on in June.

01/04/2012 - The weekend before Christmas was on the freeway and the car died. Was on the side of the road for two hours before the wrecker got there. The wrecker dropped the car at my shop and I took it apart. Distributor broke again. In the last year and a half I have been towed five times. Once for a timing belt, and four times for the distributor. Sent the distributor back to MSD. Their engineers are going to look at it and try to figure out what is going on. The latest parts that broke were MSD's upgrade parts to fix this problem. In the meantime ordered in a new Honda distributor from my local dealer. Will run that until I can get the coil on plug setup together.

Been researching the big brake upgrade. Don't want to do StopTech or Wilwoods. I don't like the price and am afraid if I got out somewhere and had a brake problem I wouldn't be able to find pads or rotors. So, going to use all factory parts and put an 11.8" setup on. Still undecided as to whether I want to use ITR hubs, redrill my hubs for 5 lugs, or drill the RSX-S rotors for a 4x100 bolt pattern. Will probably just drill the rotors as there is nothing wrong with my hubs/bearings at this point. Plus OEM rotors are cheap and I could always have an extra drilled and ready. Definately using the EBC Red Stuff pads. If it wasn't for the disributor I would have the brakes done.

Hoping to get the twin disk clutch in and finally get the turbo on by end of April. We'll see.

12/10/2011 I can't believe its been a year since I have done an update. I've done some modifications this year, but most of the year was maintenance and repair on a car with 160,000 miles.
I should have the new clutch in by March or April 2012. This is the last piece I am waiting on to be able to bolt the T4 on and crank the boost. Here is whats happened to the project over the last twelve months.

December 2010 - Lots has happened since my last post. Between Christmas and New Years the modified OEM distributor that I was using went out. Well, I had the bright idea to tow it home using the Jeep. I should never have hooked onto the core support that I built. About a mile from home there was a turn with a bump. Pulled the whole drivers side of my newly fabbed core support out and broke part of the fiberglas fender. So, there was another project to keep me in the garage. New headlights, radiator, intercooler, electric fan, etc...... It was all tweaked pretty good.

January 2011 - Purchased an MSD 8488 Pro-Billet Distributor . Had it in the car a whopping 4 days before the cam gear pin broke. Contacted MSD and they sent me a new one. Their customer service was very good, just had to wait a little while for shipping to and from their location. New one went in and all was good.

April 9, 2011 - I ordered a new A/C condensor, compressor, dryer and purchase all the factory lines. The lines won't fit since the core spport has been moved four inches forward in the car, but I fugure I can cut and modify them as I need to.

April 2011- I ordered in enough Dynamat and DynaPad to do the entire passenger compartment and trunk. Stripped the vehicle inside and stuck DynaMat on the floor, inside the doors, on the firewall, on the inside of the rear quarters, throughout the trunk, etc.... Probably added 100 pounds to the weight of the car, but the noise reduction was well worth it.

June 12, 2011 - Drove the car for a few months trouble free. On the way to church I was running the car pretty hard when the head gaasket let loose. Went in to church, let it cool down, said some prayers and when I came back out car ran fine on the way home. No more smoke, and no water leaking? Got it home, parked it and ordered a new Mr Gasket MLS Gasket for it.

July 2011 - After the head gasket came in I started putting her back together. Got the head on and started the torque sequence. Everything was fine while tourquing the first sequence to 25 foot pounds. Started round two increasing the torque to 50 foot pounds. When I got to the third stud it spun in the block. Finally, I found the cause of my head gasket problems over the years. The threads in the block for the head stud was stripped. After removing all the studs I found three additional holes that were ready to go. Now what? After a little online research I found out that people were talking about TimeSerts. Did some checking around and found I could get the kit cheaper through my local Honda dealer than I could buy it online. $365 dollars and a week later I was the proud owner of a TimeSert kit for a B16.

TimeSert installation is interesting. Basically a TimeSert is a solid helicoil. While helicoils are more "spring like", a TimeSert is a solid piece that accopmplishes the same thing. However a TimeSert is supposed to be able to accept higher, and more accurate torque values. Installation is very similar.  
Doing the first hole is a little scary. You tape off any area that you don't want metal shavings to get into, bolt on a metal alignment plate, drill a big hole into the block, then tap it and install the TimeSert with a spcial driver.


After installing TimeSerts in all the head stud holes, she went back together. Torqued everything to 70 foot pound and felt confident that blown head gaskets were a thing of the past.

While I had the car apart I made new A/C lines so that I can finally use the Air. I had ordered the aluminum line, adapters, fittings, and a brazing kit from Docs Blocks. Taught myself to braze and made my own custom A/C lines.

Bolted the turbo back on and refit everything with the A/C condensor and compressor attached. Had to make a few adjustments for things to fit.


July 19, 2011-
Got everything together, went to start the car and no spark. Still won't start. Noticed the MSD cap was bad, the little ball in the center of the cap that the rotor touches was gone. So got a new cap and rotor from Jegs.

July 20, 2011 - Spoke to Erik as MSD. He helped me troubleshoot and test the coil, coil driver, and distributor. I decided to put an OEM distributor back in to see if the car would start.

Ordered OEM distributor off Ebay. 

July 25, 2011 - Got the OEM Distributor. Put it in and car started right up.

July 26, 2011 - Spoke to Erik again. Since it wasn't clear what was wrong he had me ship the distributor back to them for repair.

August 8, 2011 - Purchased an AEM EMS and RC 750cc injectors. Can't wait to get my distributor back so the tuning can begin!

August 27, 2011 - Getting ready to move. Not sure what size garage I will have, plus I need more space to work on the Civic. So, I rented a shop. Know I have all the room I presently need. Its pretty cool, 28 x 30, heated, air conditioned, electric, water, bathroom. Now all I need is a lift.

September  12, 2011 -
Finally got the MSD Distributor back. Put it in. Car won't start. The distributor came back with a replacement cap and rotor, which I had already replaced. They said nothing was wrong. Car still won't start with the MSD setup. Have the OEM distributor back in, but it isn't right. Car runs, but there is something wrong with the distributor.

October 6, 2011 - G
ot frustrated and ordered in a new coil driver and coil. Replaced the coil driver first and the car started. Sending the original one back to MSD for repair. That way I will have a spare coil driver and coil, along with an OEM distributor.

Had the rear window replaced. Tired of the weld splatter that was in the lower corner, and the messed up tint.

October 24, 2011 - The master cylinder is getting weak. Having to do the double pump to get pressure to stop. Replaced the master cyclinder with an OEM replacement. Also installed speed bleeders on all four calipers. Purchased a vacuum bleeder to bleed the brakes. Got most of the air out, but still some left. Went to Lowes and bought parts to make my own power bleeder. It worked real well brakes are good now.

October 30, 2011 - Started playing with the AEM. Raised the fuel and ignition cutouts tp 9700 rpm. Shifting at 9500 rpm is a whole nother thing. You watch the tach climb past the 8200 rpm factory redline, past 9000, you just keep praying that nothing blows apart, then you shift at 9500 rpm and drop back into the normal range. Wow!

November 6, 2011 - New pictures of the car after buffing and waxing. It needed that bad.


November 15, 2011 - Timing belt problem. Actually the Gates Blue Racing belt had the teeth stripped off it at the crank and the crank would spin with nothing to grab onto, cams didn't move. Belt was four years old, exposed to the elements, and abused. Can't complian.

While I was waiting for the belt I made the lower brackets for my headligts. When I made the new core support last January I never made the lower headlight brackets. The headlights always bounced a little since the were only held on by two upper bolts. After the new brackets were installed headlights are soild, and now adjusted at the right height so I should be able to see better. Also repositioned the bumper cover to close the gaps around the headlights.

I put on a new Gates Blue Racing T227RB belt, replaced the upper motor mount, set the timing, and off I went.

December 6, 2011 - Damn distributor! On the way to the grocery store, driving like a normal person, the pin for the cam gear on the distributor broke again. After some reading in the forums, this is a common problem. MSD is sending new parts as it is still under warranty. If this doesn't last I will be moving on to a Coil on Plug setup.

12/08/2010 I've had the car home for a couple of weeks now. Running great. If the cold and snow would go away I would wash and re-buff it.


Some of the final pictures before I brought it home


Got to work on the car Sunday and yesterday (Wednesday). Body is all done. Hood is painted. Gauges are all mounted again. Was able to put the deck lid on. Intercooler piping is on. Most of the interior is together. I painted the hood hinges and installed them. The weather stripping I bought didn't fit right so I had to remove and reinstall the original factory stuff. Thank goodness I didn't damage it when I took it off. Windshield is being installed tomorrow. I already have a replacement "Slower Traffic Keep Right" sticker ready to be put on. Another couple of good work days and I will be back on the road.


Favorite picture of the build.....

10/30/2010  Car is coming along good. After hours and hours of body work, replacing the drivers side door, removing the factory antenna, mounting a power antenna in the drivers quarter panel, the car was finally ready to paint. Did some primer work in the driveway just to check for any bad spots.



Added a second muffler to the system to try and quiet it down. Kept the Magnaflow at the rear of the car and added a 6" round, 20" long Magnaflow just after the converter. Its better, but still waitng to get the T4 on it. That should quiet it down dramatically. I realize that I am only going to quiet a 3" exhaust so much. But boy it sounds good up top.

Built all of the intercooler piping. Used 2 1/2" aluminzed steel, cut and tack welded to fit. Have it over at Burdens for final weld, will pick up Monday. Got the Forge Motorsports Recirulating Diverter Valve (blow off valve). Its a nice piece. Will be mounting it on the upper pipe near throttle body and plumbing into the piping before the turbo to reduce noise level.


Put a new head unit in. Got a Pioneer DEH-P6200BT. Real nice. Has the hads free that automatically connects the blue tooth to my Droid. Using the IP-Bus cable am able to control the new PC through the head unit. It is nice to have AM/FM back in the car. Haven't had that since 2003 due to using the PC for music.

Last weekend got the windshield out and stripped the car back down. Did final touchup, then sealed, primed and painted the body. I want to make sure and thank Don from Dons Rod Shop in Liberty Township for all his help. Without his help, experience and facilities the body/paint wouldn't have come together yet.




Car has now been clear coated, hood and deck lid are finished (thanks Don). This weekend we will get the hood and deck lid back on and get the doors back together with the new weatherstrip. Then work on the bumper covers, side skirts and wing. Hopefully I will be back on the road a week from tomorrow.

Its been a long time since I updated this page. Lots has happened with the car over the last couple years. Most of it has been done within the last ninety days. Due to quitting a job and starting a new business, there hadn't been much done other than upkeep until this last April. In April I started ordering in parts, having parts made, and fabricating my own pieces.

My original car computer has been replaced with an MSI Netbook. It does everything the old system does as far as GPS, music, OBDII connectivity, and more. Plus it takes up less space. Shortly I will be installing a single DIN flip up VGA monitor. After all these years I want to have a radio back in the car so, out comes the built in monitor.

The old exhaust was shot. So I bought 90 and 45 degree mandral bent angles, along with some straight pipe and custom fabricated my own 3" exhaust from front to rear.
Installed the fittings for both O2 Sensors, an AEM Wide Band O2 Sensor and a fitting for the EGT gauge. Then ran the exhaust through a 3" Magnaflo Catalytic Convertor and a Borla XR1 Sportsman Muffler. Exhaust comes apart in six pieces all connected with V-bands. This setup was way too load. It sounded like uncapped headers. So I did some research and installed a Car Chemistry Exhast Insert. This did quiet the car some, but the biggest difference was that it lowered the pitch of the exhaust. At 3,500 rpm you could still feel the inside of your ears vibrate. It was not comfortable. So off came the Borla and on went a 3" Magnaflo muffler. The car is still load, but now it is driveable without attracting the authorities (as long as I am good with the throttle). But boy it does sound good up top!  


To fit the T4 with my SPA Top Mount Turbo Manifold into the car required some major fabrication. I had to completely cut out the radiator core support. Basically everything between the headlights and in front of the motor was cut out. Then I created my own core support and moved the radiator forward in the car by 4".  I had to go to hood pins as the car no longer has a hood latch. It took a little bit of time to get the bumper cover, headlights, and everything else to fit, but now there is plenty of room for the A/C condensor and all the intercooler piping, plus it looks sweet. Since I don't have the injectors or AEM EMS yet I went ahead and used a piece of 90 degree pipe as a "turbo bypass" until I get the balance of my parts. Had a local machine shop fabricate me the spacer I needed to bolt a V-band setup onto the T4, along with an adapter to fit the T4 to the SPA manifold. This lets me run the car naturally aspirated while having the exhaust completely built and fitted for the turbo with no additional mods. Four bolts and one V-band and the turbo bolts in. Who says that a top mount T4 turbo with a 3" exhaust wont fit into a Civic?

The problem...it doesn't fit


Lets cut everything out of the way and start over


Trial fitting everyhing


New Core Support and supports for Headlight / Hood Pin area

Test fitting with the T4 and Downpipe installed

Downpipe and Turbo Bypass installed
The Turbo should finally be on in August or September. Car is scheduled for paint in September also. I am going to stay with the Milano Red that the car came with from the factory, but will probably add some striping to spice it up a little. I will keep you posted.

If you have Questions or comments feel free to email me

04/18/2017 02:10 PM