In search of my ideal street car: 2011 Honda Civic Si build (8K+ N/A content inside)
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    1. #1
      Member cournot's Avatar
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      In search of my ideal street car: 2011 Honda Civic Si build (8K+ NA content inside) UPDATED 7/12/16

      UPDATE: MOTOR IS DONE.



      For those of you who don't know, I recently sold my Accord to CarMax after owning it for roughly ~1 year or so. Thread with details here.

      In short, I wasn't super pleased with the driving dynamics of the Accord, which, while certainly fast (for a Honda), was lacking a lot of what I missed from my old 2010 Civic Si, a car that was lively and a bit raucous while being perfectly capable of DD duties.

      After shopping around for a new car, I ultimately fell back to finding the cleanest 8th gen Civic Si I could get my hands on, and after several months of searching, my father did me a fantastic favor by flying down to North Carolina and picking up this clean, never-seen-salt, retired one owner, bone-stock Si with a full stack of service records.






      It needed a few things to be perfect (tires and brakes, to be specific), but otherwise it was the perfect clean slate for me. The goal here is to build my interpretation of the perfect street Honda. It needs to:

      • Remain NA. Shooting for 230-240WHP from the stock 2.0L block.
      • Maintain OEM levels of reliability and OEM service intervals. This means using as many OEM parts as possible.
      • Maintain reasonable NVH levels. I can handle some noise, but refuse to handle vibration and harshness.
      • Keep the body untouched. (No fender modifications, which limits me to stock-like wheel/tire sizing).
      • Maintain and accentuate the stock chassis feel: lightweight, agile, reasonably compliant
      • Have negative scene points.


      To that effect, I've already ordered enough parts to give TFL an aneurism and have begun the build! This is a gift to myself for passing my doctoral qualifying exams--I'm (finally) taking a few weeks off to invest in my life/happiness/hobbies (something graduate students often don't do enough of).

      Step 1 (not really pictured): Brakes and tires.

      Michelin Pilot Super Sport 215/45/17 and Stoptech Street Performance pads with Centric blanks and OEM fluid.


      What can I say, I wanted the best performance street tire--I would rather pay a premium for stock sized MPSS than going with wider Conti DWs or Hankook Evos. It just made more sense to me. Kudos to Costco for having an incredible deal on these, they're going on next week.

      In terms of brakes--an option was to upgrade to OEM TSX/Accord V6 calipers and rotors but I figured for now, I'd stick to stock calipers and try some higher-temp street pads. I plan on ~2 HPDEs a year so that should do fine, no need for a big brake kit or aggressive pads. So far the above combination is great, brakes are stronger than stock, take longer to fade, and don't make any noise. But the dust...it's horrible. I'm finding myself cleaning my wheels 1-2 times a week now .

      Step 2: Intake, custom tune

      Hybrid Racing 3.5" Cold Air Intake and Hondata Flashpro with my street tune™


      So the OEM intake is ridiculously convoluted. Part of this is because the engine bay is tight, so you can't run a big cone-filter-on-a-stick while keeping decent NVH as the S2000 does. The other part is that Honda wanted a certain quality of induction noise (before the stereo-amplified intake noise era)--the drivers fender is, in effect, one large speaker that resonates with induction noise, as the intake goes from the throttle to the airbox, down to a very large resonator chamber, and then up into the drivers fender.

      So the first thing most people do is rip all of this out and replace it with, in this case, one massive filter on a stick. Here are all the OE parts laid out.


      Missing from that photo are all the OE battery mounting accessories. That's right, I have to relocate the battery lower in the chassis to clear the new intake--it happens that the best place to get air (from the front of the car) is where the battery is. I don't have photos of this process because I was too busy cussing and tearing my hands apart. Roughly two hours later I was ready to install the actual intake

      Pictured: one big-ass velocity stack.


      And a throttle with little oil residue-no major oil consumption here


      Intake installed! (Don't worry there's a bypass valve and I don't plan on any river fording).


      So much room (for activities). Engine bay is very empty now, which is always a good thing. Probably dropped a ~5 lbs of weight as well.


      Not pictures: my own Hondata custom tune. Redid ignition tables, VTC (variable valve timing), fueling, and dropped the VTEC point to 4350rpm. This took roughly a day and a half of street tuning but it's running just right. No knocks, perfect A/F, wonderful drivability. No canned tunes here

      Not my dyno but here's an identically spec'd vehicle:


      Notice the very pronounced intake resonance hump in the midrange, and drastically improved top end. The torque curve will smooth out and be flat as a table once I put a header/exhaust on--the stock exhaust is really choking the midrange here.

      Up next: (literally) overnight parts from Japan (FD2 Type R goodness), and the plans for the motor. Stay tuned!

      UPDATE

      I’ll start with some fresh parts I just received—as I’d mentioned before, my focus here is on building a street car, so OEM parts and quality, street-oriented aftermarket parts are being utilized. Honda is nice enough to allow us to purchase JDM-only parts from US dealers, which makes what I’m doing much easier.

      First up, glam shots of the parts.

      ”Generic” (PLM) Tri-Y longtube header with Mil.Spec 100 cell HFC
      Let’s get this out of the way first—this part was purchased on eBay. This is a replica of the OG SSR header that was one of the best header designs for a stock block K20.

      Why would I touch an eBay product?
      1) This is one of the only headers that has a removable test pipe section in which I can have a HFC welded
      2) This is the largest, best performing header that clears the stock steering rack and subframe with enough clearance that I do not need aftermarket motor mounts, which I refuse to run for NVH reasons.
      3) This is a Tri-Y design that should maximize midrange power, which is what I want on this motor.
      4) It’s actually not that bad. The welds are perfect, the flange mates with the primary runner perfectly, it’s stainless, and I got the slip joints welded to prevent leaks.

      A note on the HFC. I know I’m giving up ~5WHP and probably 5lb-ft of midrange torque with a HFC, but I can’t stand the smell of unburnt fuel on a street car and the environment is a consideration. This is the least restrictive HFC that is still 49-state compliant (OBD1), which is good enough for me, I see no reason not to run this.



      Fantastic welds done by Full Time Fab




      Pretty open cat

      Accord V6 “J35” throttle body

      The OE Si throttle body is a 63mm inlet and 60mm outlet, while the Accord V6 “J35” TB is 68mm at the inlet and 65mm at the outlet, a 17% increase in cross section (measured at the outlet).

      While the stock TB is not really all that much of a restriction, this throttle gives you 90% of the gains of even larger throttles, with far better drivability, idle quality, and mates perfectly with the “RRC” intake manifold that I’ll write about below.



      Keihin—but where’s the carb??

      FD2 Civic Type-R “RRC” Intake Manifold

      RRC. These are three really special letters to Hondaphiles. The “RR” signifies the final iteration of the 8K+ K20 motors (“PR” was Gen 1, “RB” was Gen 2). The “C” tends to mean “Type-R” (PRC was the DC5 Type R motor, RBC was the Accord Euro-R motor, RRC is the FD2 Type R motor. If there’s a “B” at the end, these are the more plebeian motors, where PRB is the RSX-S motor, RBB is the Gen 1 TSX K24A2, and the RRB is the K20Z3 from the 8th gen Si. These are broad categorizations but pretty correct).

      Anyway, the RRC manifold is the best stock structure, stock location intake manifold for a K20. Wider, fatter runners and a larger plenum volume mean more mid-range and top-end, especially on a motor that breathes better than stock. The best part of all of this is that it’s cast and machined aluminum—no ugly plastic IM here.



      Those three letters again

      FD2 Civic Type-R “RRC” Oil Pump
      This was a splurge and is going to cost me a fair bit to have installed. The OEM oil pump has two fairly heavy balance shafts to kill low-rpm/idle vibrations so that the idle speed can be reduced to 700-750RPM as it is on the standard car. I could really care less about idle fuel consumption, so running the RRC oil pump with an idle speed of 850RPM is fine with me and is actually more drivable. It also frees up 5-10WHP, makes the motor more eager to rev, and allows me to run a baffled oil pan, which I’m having installed for peace of mind.


      Those three letters again!

      Drag Cartel “Drop In” Camshafts
      It’s pretty tough to improve on the stock K20 camshafts—in fact, the Type R camshafts would have probably been fine for me and gotten within 5-10WHP of these. But I’m trying to get the most power I can out of a stock 2L motor, so upgraded cams were a no-brainer.

      These cams don’t require an upgraded valvetrain (which I would prefer to not have installed—the standard aftermarket valvetrain for this motor uses a Ti retainer which I don’t want on my street car). These have pretty beefy primary or “non-VTEC” lobes, which should really improve the midrange and they will, most importantly, have a fantastic crossover sound, because that’s what VTEC is all about (this is only partially a joke).


      Those are the *exhaust* lobes—pretty big right? No wonder these motors flow so well.


      Cam specs for those that are interested

      All in all, I expect the following numbers: 235WHP, 160WTQ, which correspond, roughly speaking, to 260HP/180TQ. I think that’ll do just fine for a 2900# car.
      Last edited by cournot; 02-22-2017 at 09:27 PM.

    2. #2
      Member elite.mafia's Avatar
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      I miss my dyno blue pearl 2011 SI sedan. I'm an idiot for trading it in for a Hybrid.
      I use @Uber to make money with my car & you can too! Use this link to sign up: http://ubr.to/1VsgDmX
      Earn $750 for signing up to drive with @Lyft in Boston! https://www.lyft.com/drivers/MICHAEL749602

    3. #3
      I like this. I always loved the NA high revving Honda motors. I had a chance to drive and push a track built B18C5 (LS/Vtec) Civic hatch and it was an absolute blast. Much, much more rewarding to push than FI engines. Good luck with the built .

    4. #4
      Member Ross1013's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mike02467 View Post
      I miss my dyno blue pearl 2011 SI sedan. I'm an idiot for trading it in for a Hybrid.
      The only reason I still have mine is because I've seen so many people online sell them and regret it later.

      Re: this thread...this is EXACTLY what I want to do with mine. Good on you OP.
      Past: '06 Accord V6, '95 Taurus SHO, '01 ITR, '98 Civic HX CVT

      Quote Originally Posted by jamerican1
      Dude, you know you're like the opposite of a purist, right?

    5. #5
      threads like this are why i tolerate the bs that is today's TCL.

      nice job, keep us updated.

    6. #6
      Member Dirty Hatch's Avatar
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      Nice to see an 8th gen getting worked on. What kind of Header you going to run? I would recommend a SSR header, if they still make them. I had one on my EP3 and really noticed a difference. You might also want to update the motor mounts with a Hosport Mounts.

    7. #7
      Member Dirty Hatch's Avatar
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      *

    8. #8
      Member Tokyosmash!'s Avatar
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      Scary seeing people have to hunt for clean examples, I remember walking out of Jones Honda in Lancaster PA on March 31st, 2007 with a brand new taffeta white Si coupe.

      I feel old. For the record, I still miss that car too.
      Last edited by Tokyosmash!; 07-08-2016 at 08:25 PM.

    9. #9
      Member Ross1013's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tokyosmash! View Post
      Scary seeing people have to hunt for clean examples, I remember walking out of Jones Honda in Lancaster PA on March 31st, 2007 with a brand new taffeta white Si coupe.

      I feel old.
      You're going to laugh...but IMO the FG2 and especially FA5 are the E36 M3 of the Honda world.

      People priced out of the DC2R market (allegorical to E30M but still much cheaper) are going to eventually gravitate towards the only other Honda ever offered here with the 8,000rpm/FWD/LSD combo.

      These things are the Last of the Mohicans, which is why I'm (planning on) hanging onto mine even though the transmission is acting up a bit. Also helps that mine is the weird rare color that no one bought new.

      And since the earliest ones are coming up on 10 years old, I'd say they are nearing the bottom of the depreciation curve already. Not 100% sure they will go up because a lot were made, but if they do, now is a good time to find unmolested/uncrashed/adult-owned examples like the OP's.
      Last edited by Ross1013; 07-08-2016 at 08:27 PM.
      Past: '06 Accord V6, '95 Taurus SHO, '01 ITR, '98 Civic HX CVT

      Quote Originally Posted by jamerican1
      Dude, you know you're like the opposite of a purist, right?

    10. #10
      Member cournot's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ross1013 View Post
      You're going to laugh...but IMO the FG2 and especially FA5 are the E36 M3 of the Honda world.

      People priced out of the DC2R market (allegorical to E30M but still much cheaper) are going to eventually gravitate towards the only other Honda ever offered here with the 8,000rpm/FWD/LSD combo.

      These things are the Last of the Mohicans, which is why I'm (planning on) hanging onto mine even though the transmission is acting up a bit. Also helps that mine is the weird rare color that no one bought new.


      And since the earliest ones are coming up on 10 years old, I'd say they are nearing the bottom of the depreciation curve already. Not 100% sure they will go up because a lot were made, but if they do, now is a good time to find unmolested/uncrashed/adult-owned examples like the OP's.
      That's actually not a bad analogy.

      The 8th Si is actually pretty high up on the US Honda ladder... 8K+ and LSD was only offered in the S2000, ITR, NSX, and 8th Si.

      And the value has crept up. I paid far more for this 2011 than I sold my 2010 for a year ago, in the same condition with the same mileage.

    11. #11
      Member Tokyosmash!'s Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ross1013 View Post
      You're going to laugh...but IMO the FG2 and especially FA5 are the E36 M3 of the Honda world.

      People priced out of the DC2R market (allegorical to E30M but still much cheaper) are going to eventually gravitate towards the only other Honda ever offered here with the 8,000rpm/FWD/LSD combo.

      These things are the Last of the Mohicans, which is why I'm (planning on) hanging onto mine even though the transmission is acting up a bit. Also helps that mine is the weird rare color that no one bought new.

      And since the earliest ones are coming up on 10 years old, I'd say they are nearing the bottom of the depreciation curve already. Not 100% sure they will go up because a lot were made, but if they do, now is a good time to find unmolested/uncrashed/adult-owned examples like the OP's.
      No laugh here, I absolutly see what you are saying, not many stock cars under $50k I've gotten in to that are as sharp or confidence inspiring as my FG2 was, as I said, I do miss it.

      What color is yours? That funky pale blue?

    12. #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Ross1013 View Post
      You're going to laugh...but IMO the FG2 and especially FA5 are the E36 M3 of the Honda world.

      These things are the Last of the Mohicans, which is why I'm (planning on) hanging onto mine even though the transmission is acting up a bit. Also helps that mine is the weird rare color that no one bought new.
      Dude, Amsoil MTF. Do it. It's easy and cheap, and may fix any transmission issues.

      And... now I'm looking at 8th generation Si sedans again. Damn you, OP. Why wasn't this for sale a year and a half ago? I freakin' live in NC. I mean, I really, really enjoy my rebadged Skyline and it is that affordable "grown up Si" that I was looking for, but there's something about the simplicity of the Si that's very appealing. Hell, even the 9th generation has a bit of that going on, even if it's not as special as the 8th. I'd even go so far to say that the FA5 is the E90 M3, not E36. It's the one to get.

    13. #13
      Member Tokyosmash!'s Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      Dude, Amsoil MTF. Do it. It's easy and cheap, and may fix any transmission issues.

      And... now I'm looking at 8th generation Si sedans again. Damn you, OP. Why wasn't this for sale a year and a half ago? I freakin' live in NC. I mean, I really, really enjoy my rebadged Skyline and it is that affordable "grown up Si" that I was looking for, but there's something about the simplicity of the Si that's very appealing. Hell, even the 9th generation has a bit of that going on, even if it's not as special as the 8th. I'd even go so far to say that the FA5 is the E90 M3, not E36. It's the one to get.
      GM synchromesh fixed my crunchy 3rd gear all those years ago.

    14. #14
      Member cournot's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      Dude, Amsoil MTF. Do it. It's easy and cheap, and may fix any transmission issues.
      Quote Originally Posted by Tokyosmash! View Post
      GM synchromesh fixed my crunchy 3rd gear all those years ago.
      Yup both of these work. I've tried both but stuck to changing the OEM fluid every year (got a free case of it from a friend). It's super easy (easier than changing the damn oil filter on these cars).

    15. #15
      Member Ross1013's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tokyosmash! View Post
      No laugh here, I absolutly see what you are saying, not many stock cars under $50k I've gotten in to that are as sharp or confidence inspiring as my FG2 was, as I said, I do miss it.

      What color is yours? That funky pale blue?
      Redline Orange. By far the rarest one at least to my eye.

      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      Dude, Amsoil MTF. Do it. It's easy and cheap, and may fix any transmission issues.
      You're the third person to say Amsoil, and everyone who's said it is someone I trust. It's happening soon.

      Quote Originally Posted by Samson
      I'd even go so far to say that the FA5 is the E90 M3, not E36. It's the one to get.
      In the sense that it combines the best attributes of the old with the safety and solidity of the new...yes. It's also the last of the high-revving NA Ms so there is that too.

      But, the FA5 is a lot closer to the DC2R than the E90M is to the E30M. Aside from lacking double-wishbone fronts and having a K-series instead of a B, it's nearly the same damn thing.
      Past: '06 Accord V6, '95 Taurus SHO, '01 ITR, '98 Civic HX CVT

      Quote Originally Posted by jamerican1
      Dude, you know you're like the opposite of a purist, right?

    16. #16
      Member Tokyosmash!'s Avatar
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      Redline orange rules.

    17. #17
      Member Ross1013's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tokyosmash! View Post
      Redline orange rules.
      Indeed it does. And I just found this thread, of course it's anecdotal but Redline Orange is the smallest # at 3%.

      http://www.8thcivic.com/forums/civic...-color-35.html
      Past: '06 Accord V6, '95 Taurus SHO, '01 ITR, '98 Civic HX CVT

      Quote Originally Posted by jamerican1
      Dude, you know you're like the opposite of a purist, right?

    18. #18
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      There are days when I miss my 2009 Si.

    19. #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Ross1013 View Post
      You're the third person to say Amsoil, and everyone who's said it is someone I trust. It's happening soon.
      Mine had a very slight notchiness going into 3rd when cold, and popped out right after engagement a couple of times. This was at 34k miles or so, when I switched to Amsoil. It was flawless until I had a minor lapse of judgement and traded it away at 78k. I have some in my garage if you want to come get it.

      Redline Orange Pearl is a nice color, but I was partial to the Habanero Red Pearl of my old car:



      There's a red '11 for like $12k near me. Hmm.

      Anyway, to get back to the OP, overnighted from Japan sounds nice. Did it cost about $15k? Is it going to make it decimate all?

    20. #20
      Member roman16v's Avatar
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      Wow, look at that pedal spacing... just begging for proper heel-toe action! Very nice!

    21. #21
      to the Si thread on the VW forum! After almost 90k trouble free miles, my '09 TW FA5 is still a blast to drive (and paid off)...I hope I get at least another 90k out of it. Looking forward to what you have in store, OP!

    22. #22
      Member welderdood's Avatar
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      Proper.

      I've always loved these cars, nice to see that you were able to find a clean example and are doing some very nice/tasteful improvements.

    23. #23
      Member 88c900t's Avatar
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      Does someone want to convince me to buy an 8th gen Si? From what people have said here, the driving dynamics are great, the reliability is almost perfect, and it should hold it's value extremely well. I've considered it for a long time, and its a more realistic proposition than finding a non crackpipe priced TSX, or even just finding a Kizashi.

      Edit: in another thread, Samson said the Si with ice tires wasn't great in the snow. My Haldex Volvo was surprisingly disappointing for many of the same reasons, anyone with Si experience want to chime in?
      Last edited by 88c900t; 07-08-2016 at 11:27 PM.
      Typical forum guy with busted third-hand cars.
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      88c900t wins again, you really ****ing crush it at listing a ton of cheap options
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      You'll always get a pass due to your history of owning classy and sophisticated automobiles

    24. #24
      Junior Member AutoGolf's Avatar
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      Love seeing this thread, because I've done exactly this. Quickly approaching 230k miles, with 230 whp, using a plethora of Honda OEM parts with some quality aftermarket pieces thrown in. It's a car I never plan on getting rid of. If (and that's a big IF) this motor ever goes, I'll use the opportunity to bump it up to a K24 block with the Z3 head. The thing is, I run this car brutally hard, and it just keeps taking it and asking for more. I've had to do very little to it in the way of repairs, with general maintenance and tires being the majority of the running costs.

      I did make the move to the Accord V6 coupe calipers, and I'm really happy with this. Hawk pads for me, but I'm on black 17x8.5 Enkei RPF-1s, so they hide the dust enough for me.

      I can't stress enough how much I love this car. Practical, engaging, and reliable. The perfect car for me, although my neighbors might say otherwise when the Full Race exhaust fires up at 5 a.m.

    25. #25
      Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      Congrats!
      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
      The family: '55 Ford 351C, '70 TR6 262Olds, '80 Rabbit AAZ, '84 C30 350, '88 Scirocco 9A, '97 Hardbody KA24E, '01 TJ 150AMC.
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      You're always better off with a Citroën.™

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