1994 Honda Civic Hatchback Si
photographer: Eric Kieu
If there are two things that hold true in America, it’s that drag racing and burnouts will never die. Trends on the show scene will come and go, and different car platforms will always die off, but the US is the US. Transcending all boundaries, it doesn’t matter if you drive a Camaro or a Civic, the strip will be calling. A big, smoldering burnout is the late night American entertainment of choice, and the quarter mile will forever remain the de-facto standard of measurement for a car’s performance. Forget the Brits and their obsession with the 0-100-0 test, in America, lining up at the tree is a rite of passage.
With 789hp and 531 lb-ft of torque available at the wheels, Paul Ho’s1994 Honda Civic Si has run a best time of 9.96 at 149mph. Built to be one of the best looking drag cars around, as well as one of the fastest, Ho’s car is street driven and often taken sans-trailer to local Southern California drag racing events. The original plan of attack for this EG was a weekend racer that made only about 550 wheel hp. With sponsors and shops failing to follow through on their word, Ho took the project into his own hands. As the head of research and development for induction and exhaust manufacturer Injen Technology, Ho was in the right position to finish his project. Together, with fellow R&D-man Byron Leggett, Ho formed PB Racing (get it?) and set out to create the fastest street-driven B-series Civic around.
The heart of the beast is a B18C1 Integra GS-R engine block, which was punched out to a 84.5mm bore to accomplish a 2.0L displacement size. Larger-than-stock 9.0:1 compression ratio Arias pistons and rings are now used, hung with billet Pauter connecting rods on a Pauter crankshaft. The cylinder head was lifted from a B16 and received a Manny Rodriguez port and polish with a 3-angle valve job. Custom “secret grind” PB Racing camshafts are used with Skunk2 cam gears to dial in mysterious amounts of lift and duration. Oversized valves are used in the head to support those cams, along with Eibach valve springs and Crower retainers.
A custom top-mount, equal-length stainless exhaust manifold was fabricated to hold the Innovative Turbo T72 dual ball-bearing unit. Custom compressor and turbine wheels were fit into the turbocharger, picked to provide the perfect balance of response and power output. A HKS GT external wastegate is used to regulate boost pressure, and flows exhaust gases into a custom Injen 4-inch downpipe and exhaust system. On the cold side, a custom Injen front-mount intercooler was fabricated, along with all the piping required and a flange for a GReddy Type-R blow-off valve.
The oiling system remains Honda stock, although the ignition has been completely redone using an MSD 7AL-2 CD ignition system and Magnecor 10mm spark plug wires. An Aeromotive fuel pump is used to send massive amounts of liquefied gold to 1600cc/min RC Engineering fuel injectors. A STR fuel rail sits on top of the injectors, along with a custom fabricated PB Racing fuel sump. Accel DFI’s Gen 7 engine management system is tuned to deliver a reality-bending 790 wheel hp. If you’re ever on the freeway and catch a glimpse of a golden arrow shooting down the lane next to you, don’t bother; this car is completely untouchable at rolling speeds.
A Competition Clutch twin-disk setup holds down this prodigious power output, along with the requisite lightweight flywheel. Quaife’s torque biasing limited-slip differential provides extra grip off the line, sending boosted torque into the Driveshaft Shop Stage 5 reinforced axles, which are rated up to 800whp.
Because Ho fully anticipated the speeds at which this Civic would be traveling in competition, one of the first things done to the chassis was the addition of a full roll cage. Painted in a golden hue to match the pristine exterior, the cage is a welcome addition, both in terms of safety as well as chassis strength. More than 500 lb-ft of torque at the wheels was probably the last thing on the minds of Honda engineers when they sat down to design the Civic chassis. Because he has taken his car to such a high level of performance, Ho has had to virtually reinvent his Civic from the ground up.
To ensure proper traction and weight transfer off the line, Leggett spent a significant amount of time fine-tuning the suspension and balance of this Honda. A’PEXi coilovers sit underneath this beast, with 1000lb/in custom springs resting at all four corners. Skunk2 Racing adjustable camber arms are utilized to properly align the wheels, an often overlooked area for any drag car. L-Con Engineering traction bars are the final touch of grace for this EG, ensuring that excessive front control arm movement is kept to a minimum, and pure acceleration is kept to the maximum.
Although a drag car’s brakes don’t need to stand up to strict road racing standards, Ho does drive this car on public roads and serious velocities could be reached. Factory Acura Integra GS-R brakes are used all around, with a stock GS-R master cylinder and brake booster to match. Covering those binders are a set of Japan’s finest forged wheels, Volk Racing’s TE37 in bronze. Sized 16×7, the Volks remain Ho’s street wheel, wrapped in 205/45/16 Toyo T1-S rubber. For the drag races, Ho mounts up a set of 13×9 Bogart Savoy three-piece billet race wheels, covered in stickier-than-glue M&H Racemaster drag slicks.
With the speed aspect more than covered, Ho has only the exterior of his Civic to worry about in order to accomplish his goal of go and show. In order to build one of the best looking drag cars on the circuit, Ho had P.J. Bonifacio Autodesign slather his chassis in gold paint, both inside and out. A Mugen front lip and side skirts add a little bit of edge to the bodywork, while a Seibon carbon-fiber hood, hatch and roof spoiler cut a few excess pounds from the car. The interior is half stripped for competition and wears custom carbon-fiber paneling on the center console and in place of the original airbags. Those racing seats aren’t to be messed with either; they’re Seibon units, manufactured out of super strong, lightweight carbon-kevlar. GReddy water temp, oil temp, oil pressure, fuel pressure and exhaust gas temperature gauges prove to be the sole source of in-car entertainment, besides freeway burnouts of course. Having fabricated a custom PB Racing carbon-fiber sunroof delete panel, Ho’s Civic weighs in at around 2500lbs with Ho sitting in it.
Dealing a serious blow to all the front-drive critics, Ho has consistently smoked American iron on their battlefield of choice, the drag strip. Having built a motor that can push more power than a Viper, as well as a body that could sweep the local shows, Ho can rest assured that he has reached his goals. Keeping this car street legal throughout this build was not an easy task, but Ho now has a car that can provide thrills on the street and absolute terror at the drag strip. Trapping almost 150mph in the quarter mile is no joke for a stock-bodied EG Civic, and just proves that there is still some potential left in the import drag world after all.