Well, well, well. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time. Welcome to the build journal for my little hatch. This is gonna be a timeline of the build as well as a depiction of the reality that we don’t always show about the build on social media. I have a feeling this may be long winded so if that’s not your sort of thing, don’t feel obligated to stick around. I used to enjoy reading through extensive build threads and blog posts back in the heyday of forums and as I was just a lurker back then, always wanted a space like that for myself to collect my thoughts and progress as well as allow others to give fresh input and comments. By the time I was fortunate enough to get a car and start building, The forums had significantly dropped in engagement. I still posted, but never really kept a build thread with updates etc. I hardly ever took progress pictures and for that I will apologize because that’s gonna greatly affect this journal in the beginning but I’m hoping creating this will help motivate me to document things better in the future. With that being said, here’s where the fun begins:
6 Years ago, late March 2016, I bought myself a 1998 DAP Honda Civic CX hatchback. Originally, I bought it because I wanted a hatch since I was a kid and I needed a cheap daily. I planned to boost my other car at the time which was a Scion tC. Thankfully I talked myself out of that and sold/parted the tC out and bought an s2000, but that’s for a different build thread. Anyways, it started out its life as a daily. Purchased from its 2nd owner.
I found some meshies on Offer Up or something that had better tires than the little steelies it came on so I went and swooped those up. Also took the liberty to get some 60% ceramic tint on the car to try and combat the heat with no A/C. A few stickers later and here we are.
After a while I couldn’t deal with the body roll when I was trying to follow my buddies lines just messing around in canyons and freeway on ramps and shit so I opted for some cheap coilovers that were for sale used at the time. I didn’t want to sink too much money in the car yet and I was still using it as a daily. The coilovers I bought were function and form type 1s but they had upgraded spring rates which, if memory serves me correctly, were 16kg and 12kg. In a stock ass civic with all seasons this was absolutely tragic but extremely entertaining. I regretted them almost instantly but, eh, looked better. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
The car pretty much looked like this for a while. I was just driving it and enjoying it for what it was. The major thing I did change was I got rid of the giant stock steering wheel. I picked up this J’s racing wheel from a friend at the time, as well as picked up a used spoon hub. I had a yoshioka edition works bell quick release from my previous tC build. I somehow managed to crack the spoon hub so I replaced it with a works bell short hub which was a MUCH better driving position with the quick release
Eventually though, I was tired of my extremely worn out clutch and long ass gear ratios. I decided to put a jdm d15 trans in it as well as an ACT stage 2 clutch (idk why, just cause) and an ACT 10.9 lb flywheel. It was really fun to drive in its own way. I have absolutely no pictures of the progress or the parts which I regret now. I basically did the whole swap + rebuilt the axles in my school as part of the automotive lab which made it super fun. Like 2 or 3 of my friends helped in the class and we got credited for it. Also threw an EX cluster in so I could see my RPMs.
After the transmission was sorted, I decided the coilovers were no longer entertaining and were just wildly uncomfortable. I decided to buy Ktuned K1 Coilovers. Ride quality was miles better but I wouldn’t say comparing my old set really says anything. I also went ahead and bought a Ktuned shifter and a circuit hero shift plate. Nice and simple set up, no real complaints other than the fact that the hybrid shifter is just inherently better lol
Next, the wheels. 16x8 +25 Volk TE37VSL 2016 Edition. These were originally ordered for my buddy’s fit but he sold the car so I scooped them up and wrapped them in Bridgestone RE760s.
I blew a hose so I decided to refresh the coolant system. Threw a half size koyorad in, new thermostat, and new hoses. No pictures
Around this time is where I took a trip out to AZ to run track support for a couple drift buddies and I ended up blowing a head gasket on the way back lol. So I decided to take the opportunity to learn some new things and try out a mini me swap. I bought a y8 head from a friend which ended up being a z6 head lol, so I bought another y8 head, OEM gasket, y8 intake manifold, ARP studs, and a P28 ECU with a Hondata S300. After a lot of trial and error with figuring out different sensors and wiring in the vtec solenoid etc., it was finally running pretty well again. (minus having to delete the iacv causing pretty annoying cold starts lol) Note: picture is from like a month or so and super filthy.
Once the car was running, I finally decided to throw the seat in the car which was sitting in my room forever, a bride zeta II from an old HKS demo car. Passenger seat was an ITR seat I got from a buddy. Right around that time I also picked up some CTR headlights. This is when I felt like the car was really starting to come together and definitely no longer committed to daily duties lol
I picked up a UKDM cluster after the EX cluster started acting up. It still showed MPH and had amber lights which I swapped to LEDs. The person I bought it from swapped in a CTR bezel which cleaned it up a lot.
I wanted to do a rear disc conversion, so I found some db8 rear trailing arms for sale and picked up some PCI rear trailing arm bushings to throw in them. Around the same time a friend of mine found some Function 7 LCAs and subframe brace and a Wilwood BBK on offer up for insanely cheap so I picked all of that up.
After all that I finally went and decided to swap out the engine mounts lol. Got some pretty non aggressive hasport mounts. I don’t exactly know which ones cause I got them used (pictured slightly in the engine bay shot lol)
I got an SIR lip shortly after because good god did it need something lol
I really wanted to get a full body kit but I couldn’t afford to do that so the lip would do. Picked up some visors at some point as well but they didn’t last long lol
I found a SIR bumper and fenders for super cheap so I picked them up but literally ended up just selling them and never even test fitted them lol
Auto power half cage was next. This is a bolt in type. With the cage I picked up a race quip harness.
Now, my favorite part of the car, the battle craft hood. Love this thing. Never painted it though because I kept saying I’ll just paint the whole car but never saved up enough
Same thing goes for the JUN eyelids I never had painted lol
Oh hey, also never got these fuckin C-West side skirts painted.
I was always unsure of what to do exhaust wise, but I stumbled across this Blood Sport muffler. Honestly never heard of it before I picked it up, but hey, looked pretty good lol
After some track time, I noticed a lot of play in the front. Also when I came back in, a friend of mine told me my whole front spindle had a lot of movement when I was braking at low speeds so I figured I needed upper control arms. I definitely did once I got down in there and looked lol But I decided to just go full send and buy PCI upper and lower control arms, compliance bushing, and rear toe arms. Also installed some Tactical Art camber arms I had since like 2018 lol.
During this whole journey over the last 6 years, I went through a whole lot of shit lol but towards the end (2021) I was mentally going through alot and also was unemployed for a while. The car started sitting around. I had all those suspension pieces for months and didn’t install them because I had no motivation to work on the car. I finally gained enough motivation to throw the PCI stuff on, and immediately it overwhelmed me. I thought it would make me excited but it didn’t. I started worrying about all the other shit I still needed to do to the car and how, at the time I couldn’t really do any of it because I didn’t have a job. On top of that I still have an s2000 that is in rough shape that I’ve been trying to get back together as well.
So, I started parting out the civic. I hated every moment of it, but the parts started selling so fucking fast and I needed the money so I just kept going. Eventually, a friend of mine made an offer on the car + the rest of the parts I hadn’t sold yet. Him and his gf wanted to build a track car together. Still not able to find a job, I bit the bullet. They bought the car off me under the condition that I get first dibs when they decided to sell it.
So this is where the story ends… or not.
My friend picked up the car in December 2021. I waited to release liability since the car wasn’t being driven since I never got it aligned after messing with the car so many times during the part out. Plus it needed a smog and they were getting blown off by their smog guy.
The couple started going through some shit to say the least. Car never got registered. Eventually they asked if I could get a smog so I did. Around this time is when everything kinda hit the fan and they split up. The car was supposed to go with the girlfriend, but she had nowhere to put it and didn’t even know how to drive it lol
She also managed to sign and date the title incorrectly. At this point, I’m employed again, in a much better mental state, and extremely nervous about getting my smog guy wrapped up in this mess lol so I offered to take the car back.
And here we are. Technically, the car never left my ownership, but it was missing from the driveway for the last 3-4 months. I was planning on selling it to a different friend who was asking, but once I showed up to give the money back, I realized nostalgia wouldn’t let me sell it again. I started having other ideas. (I still have the Battlecraft Hood in storage)
I built the car originally with no plan. My only goal at every point of this car was to learn. I used it as a test mule during every automotive lab I could at school and at home. Everytime something went wrong, I tried to find ways to improve on it. I also jumped on deals when I saw them and just bought stuff in no particular order. It served its purpose for exactly what I needed it to do. It taught me how to wrench and it taught me how to drive. But, it was never the car of my dreams. Just a random collection of stuff.
The car gave me what I asked for, and I thanked it by selling it. Now, it’s redemption time. This time around I’m going to enjoy the process. I’m getting rid of all the things I bought out of pure impulse and starting completely fresh. I do wish I never sold the CTR Headlights though.
Progress and updates are gonna be extremely slow as I do still have the s2000 and a Fit and also life outside of cars lol. If I stumble upon some more disposable income maybe the updates will start happening sooner. For now, I’m so sorry if you read all the way through this. This thread is really just for me. I know NWP is not as lively as it once was but I really felt I needed to give a timeline for the car and a space to give updates to stir up some motivation to take more pictures. If you did make it this far and you liked this blog style kind of approach I guess stay tuned for some hopefully interesting things in the future. For now, Im just happy to have a new beginning with this little hatch.