Hot Wheels Civic Project

I bought this 98 Civic after my EF sedan got totaled. Some guys hit the brakes hard on his Corolla and wadded up the front end on the EF. In my haste, I bought a hunk of junk. First mistake, I bought it in the dark. Second, I was in a hurry and needed to get some wheels under me.

The #1 reason I even purchased this car was because it had working A/C. Which was true… for the most part. I’ll save that for later though. The night I picked this abused automobile up from the neglectant individual I noticed that someone had rigged up a odd-ball setup for the ignition coil. Later I found out that someone had mated a Accord cap and coil to a Civic distributor body. Quite ridiculous.

On top of both window regulators being bad and having to replace those the week after I got it home, I also discovered that the car had been stolen at some point. The guy I bought it from had done some tricky zip tie work and reposted the lock solenoid just well enough with the plastics in place the key was a little loose after start up. Later I discovered this…


So, I got the car up to a somewhat daily driveability state and then Irma came and threatened all of us Floridians. As it was my first hurricane in Florida we gathered our belongings and headed North like the media was telling us to do. On our way back from south Georgia lo-and-behold the A/C compressor locked up tighter than Fort Knox. So much for that.
After we got back home I started focusing on taking care of some of the more minor things. My original tails were weather and falling apart so I picked up a set of 50/50’s.

Shortly after that my first transmission took a dump.


Six months in and I’m thinking the worst is behind me at this point. Well, my timing belt had other plans.


Around this time I happened to be playing Hot wheels with my, at the time, 5 yr old son. He happened to pick up the all too famous Super Street, Honda Challenge, Hot Wheels Civic, and handed it to me stating,“This car is like yours Daddy!”
I took a look at the car he had handed me and realized what it was, to which I replied, “Well, your close but there are some differences.”
He asks,“Are you going to make your car like that?”
I said,“Well, that wasn’t the plan, but would you like me to build the car like this?”
The one magic word that no father can resist came spilling from my son’s enthusiastic mouth. “Yes!” That ladies and gentlemen is where the title of this build comes from.
While my car is black, I will be keeping it as such. I have color changed a car before and wish never to engage in that nightmarish endeavor again! So, I like the electric blue of the Ford Racing blue. It’s popular and that makes it easy to accessorize in that hue.

This is a render that I worked up on Forza 7. Unfortunately they took the EM1 off the car roster so all I had to work with was the hatch. Plus they don’t offer the Wings West kit any more for accessory bumpers so I had to use the BYS bumper, but the idea is there.
Now for the hard part. Finding the real parts…


A little while later I was able to source some original Racing Hart rims. They aren’t the C5 like the original build, but with the changes that I already have planned I think that the C2 Evolution will work well.



Going to be totally cool of cool.

Thanks @backwoods! I appreciate the support!

Also around the time I picked up the Harts I was able source some minty coupe door panels for myself. Since the drivers side was crumbling the worst I replaced it first.

Feeling happy with the results and knowing I would run out of day light soon, I decide to give her a little shine session before I retired for the evening. When I got to work the next the sun was hitting just right!


Shortly after I started being able to set money aside to begin rebuilding the A/C system and started accruing parts…

I feel I need to mention at this time that about three month before the tragic parting of my EF I had bought another EK. The plan was to put the EF down and drive the EK daily. Well, the EF went down alright, just not how I had planned. So with the black one I now had two EK’s. The other begin a Inza Red Pearl LX automatic sedan. Here they are together.

My wife drove the red one after our Honda Odyssey unfortunately got repo’d.
Driving home from work one afternoon I started to learn the lesson of buying cheap Ebay aluminum shifters. Went to put it into third while coming of a intersection and threw my shift knob into my passenger floorboard! LMAO!


So the next month I had finally scraped all the parts together to start pulling out the busted A/C components, start flushing lines and renewing seals!

Once I had gotten all the lines loose and out of the way, I went to pull the condenser to flush it out, only to discover it had a leak.
So that halted progress on that project. I got lucky in the fact that I had more than one objective that weekend so I broke the brake cleaner and stainless brush out and got to cleaning the brakes, prepping them for paint and the new rotors I had in store!

The next weekend was fortuitous! The condenser came in, the lines were all flushed and ready to go, and everything went together pretty flawlessly. Once I got everything reassembled I quickly drove to my local shop and had the system recharged! Ah, to have cool air again!

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With the accomplishment of the A/C system going together, I felt pretty accomplished again and decided it was cause for a celebration. So I washed and waxed both cars and then relaxed under the awning in my beach chair with a few cold brews!

The next week on the way to work, the coupe decided to throw a fit again and lost the “bitch pin” while I was driving! I was in astonishment to fact that I was even able to find it again! I had to have my wife drive out with some tools and the jack to I could reinstall it on the side of the road. I found out that day that the shift linkage that connects to the transmission shift rod was wore out and that is why the pin fell out.


Now, buying old used cars like this, you never really truly know what you are getting yourself into until you are hip deep into it and there’s really no point in turning back. Such is the case with this car. I never knew that the previous owner cratered this poor engine at least once in it’s life but I sure found out when about every five or six months it decided to blow a head gasket! This was gasket #2 and I had just done a wrinkle red on the v/c about a month before…

Right around this time I started getting really paranoid about driving on my Harts to and from Tampa everyday and I got me some Spun brand wheels to do my daily duties on. I got invited to a local car show/charity event held by the local High School to aid in raising funds for their Shop Program. I’m not going to deny anyone the opportunity to broaden their minds through education! So we broke the buffer out and shined the old turd again!

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With the success of the red wrinkle finish, I poked around and found that VHT also makes the wrinkle in a blue as well. Yeah, we bought that!


Was able to drive it for about four months without the head gasket issue rearing it’s ugly head. Then it started over heating again. I’d had enough. So I gathered the parts of a extra engine I had and refreshed them in order to pull the blown Y8.

One thing went wrong with the seemingly straightforward build. My boss at the time put my pistons onto my rods. One of the pins got stuck halfway on and he used the press to push the pin the rest of the way onto the rod. Neither of us thinking much about it at the time, didn’t take into consideration that we might possibly collapse a piston. Yep, that’s exactly what happened. I had to drive the car for the next year suffering through the car trying to work around the knock sensor going off because the piston skirts was bouncing off the cylinder walls bad enough that, at rpm over 1200, it sounded like the car was going to toss a rod! Why didn’t I just fix it? Shortly after I got engine installed the machine shop I was working for in Tampa got bought out by a roofing company. Under the promise that the roofing company was going to keep the machine shop going a few of us stuck it out. They gave us just over a year and closed the doors on us two days before Thanksgiving. My hard times, just got harder…


During the shutdown, I was able to move some parts, acquired a set of 18" Harts and found out they were just too big. Still needing some daily rollers I posted them up online and had a guy hit me up for a trade for some TR Motorsports C-1’s. I’d had a set of these wheels a while back when I was running CRX’s so I was more than happy to make the trade. Shortly after getting them I had to paint them white! Lol!


Shortly after that, I found my first real carbon fiber car part online. I worked a deal and a week later and a long drive I brought home a very tired original APC Carbon Fiber hood!

After about three hours of elbow grease and polishing compound the results weren’t great but it was better than what it was!


Right before the machine shop shut down I knew I probably wouldn’t have the opportunity present itself again. When I got the TR’s the kid I got them from only had three of the four center caps. Personally, I can’t stand wheels without center caps, so…

I made some!


HECK YEAHS dude this is awesome, sweat equity projects are the most rewarding!

@CodeFault005, pretty cool to be able to make those center caps.

Cool carbon hood, I never knew APC made them for our civics.

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@nwp4ever thanks! That’s the third set I’ve made now. I only have two sets left and if you like those, you’ll love the other set I have!

I’ll try and snap a picture of the APC tag still under the hood. Might be a little difficult as it’s just laying on top of the car at the moment.