This Epic 1994 Honda Civic Hatchback Mixes Old
Jul 31, 2023
With three decades separating the present and the launch of the 1992-95 Honda Civic, arguably the most popular choice to modify of the entire 11-generation chassis bloodline, most every build these days involves some restoration along with modification. With that in mind, builders have to make a tough decision in terms of direction when they choose between the period correct approach and the option of adopting a more modernized style. Or, if they're anything like Roger Dejesus, they combine elements from both sides.
When Roger picked this 1994 Si up from a friend six years ago, he knew there would be plenty of time and money invested in converting it into a capable street car. "My friend Rick had it for over 10 years before selling it to me as a roller. It was painted about 15 years ago and had sat for a long time and though it needed a lot of work, I figured it was a great start." For the next few years, Roger chipped away at completing the interior and dealing with the car's wiring whenever he had free time.
Eager to get the car up and running, Roger went back and forth on whether to go the classic B-series route or prepare the bay for a more modern K-series. "I wanted something unique and old-school but with some new technology and parts," he says. For the old school part of that formula, a B20 VTEC combo was put together but it's the interesting shaft-driven supercharger that has the older crowd remembering the old days, and younger enthusiasts scratching their heads.
Today, supercharger kits are usually based around a Rotrex unit, but a few decades ago Vortech took one of their off-the-shelf units and positioned it on the transmission side of the DC2 Integra and EM1 Civic, and utilized a shaft that runs across the engine, just above the header, and connects to a drive unit mounted right next to the cam gears. The system provides a boost in horsepower and was praised for its instantaneous torque that Honda's B-series was known to lack.
The Vortech B-series kits are seldom seen these days, but Roger was determined to track one down. "I had a few notchback Mustangs in the past and one of them had a Vortech, so I wanted one for this engine. Finding one for the B-series was no joke—all of them were either beat up or missing parts, but I finally got lucky and found this one on OfferUp." Originally mounted to his B20 VTEC, the kit brought power up to 260 hp, but it wouldn't last long as the stock block called it quits in rather short order.
Before the downtime, Roger was dealing with cooling issues and heat soak that seemed to plague the boosted engine bay. "I started hitting up some friends and Henry at TwoStep Motorsports talked to Kevin about it and with everyone's input, we came up with the set up I have now." That set up now relies on an electric water pump that replaces the belt-driven unit, and a custom water-to-air system was fabricated by TwoStep Motorsports along with HL Customs' water reservoir and heat exchanger. With these changes, cooling issues are a thing of the past.
To replace that blown CR-V engine, a GS-R block was fitted with an LS crank, custom Traum pistons, and Eagle rods which bring displacement up to 1.9 liters. Additional period-correct goods can be found in the form of an Edelbrock Victor X intake manifold and throttle body, while modern touches include the aforementioned fab work and coil-on-plug conversion to do away with the B-series' notorious distributor issues. With Hondata's S300 allowing the fine tuning and KV Tuned behind the laptop, the supercharged combo is good for 391 hp with 235 lb-ft of torque. The car made an appearance on "THIS vs. THAT" last year to race a rear-wheel drive, turbo K20 EJ hatchback and proved its worth:
For the past few years, Roger's EH has maintained a relatively stock exterior beyond a rear wing but he decided to make some changes recently. He adds, "My friend Richard had a Mode Parfume kit he wasn't going to use and asked if I was interested. I took it and the plan was to install it on another car I'm working on. My buddy Erick stopped by my house one day and we got to talking and we took the kit out of the boxes and started test fitting. Well, long story short, the next day I took it to get color matched. Thank you, Erick, for convincing me it would look great—man he was right."
The Mode Parfume pieces don't depart too far from Honda's original intent, but a reshaped bumper with an integrated lip and a carbon fiber splitter update the front end. MP's EK style side skirts replace the rounded OEM pieces, an angular hatch wing reshapes the rear's appearance, and a pair of carbon mirrors were bolted in place. The same Desert Sage Metallic paint that the car was purchased with is in place, with the front getting a refresher to welcome the new front bumper.
In the years that Roger has improved upon the car in just about every way, he's completely revamped the suspension, including a switch to PCI spherical bushings throughout the car's rear, ASR sway bars, a traction bar, roll bar, and a custom R Fab shock tower bar. Front braking was addressed with Wilwood calipers and rotors, and GS-R calipers are used in the rear, also on Wilwood rotors.
Maintaining a very complete street car, Roger's interior is kept simple and tasteful with a set of Recaro SR4 Tomcat buckets replacing the original Si seats, and a Momo wheel relieving the factory wheel of duty. An S2000 cluster takes the analog gauges to a more modern digital status, and R Fab's custom pedals and shifter add appearance and driver feel.
Restomod Civic builds are all the rage, and Roger found a way to tie the past with the present in a way that's not overdone and in no way half-baked. It's a recipe that's been done time and time again, but it's the execution that makes his build stand out.
1994 Honda Civic Si
Owner Roger Dejesus
Engine B18C1 1.9L stroker; Innovative mounts; B18B 89mm crank; Traum 12:1 82mm pistons; Eagle rods; ARP 8740 head studs; Cometic .030 head gasket; Supertech titanium retainers, valve springs; 3 angle race valve job Skunk2 Pro 1 cams, cam gears, Mega Power exhaust; 1320 4-1 header; Vortech supercharger, blow-off valve; Two Step Motorsports custom water-to-air intake system; Edelbrock Victor X intake manifold, throttle body; HL Customs water reservoir tank, heat exchanger; Meziere electric water pump; 255lph fuel pump x2; Full Blown dual fuel pump hanger; FIC 1000cc injectors; Speedfactory Racing coil-on-plug plate, distributor delete; Accel coils; billet valve cover; Downstar Inc. hardware; Hondata S300 V3
Drivetrain B18C1 transmission; Comp twin disc clutch, flywheel; M Factory LSD; R Fab shifter plate; Energy Suspension bushings; S2000 brake master cylinder; Chase Bays clutch line
Suspension BC Racing coil overs; ASR subframe brace, front/rear sway bars; PCI camber kit front/rear, spherical rear LCAs, trailing arms, toe links; Blox front traction bar; Autopower roll bar; R Fab shock tower bar
Braking Wilwood front calipers, front/rear discs, brake master cylinder booster delete; GS-R rear calipers; Chase Bays brake line tuck kit; stainless steel brake lines
Wheels & Tires Volk Racing TE37SL Super Lap Edition 15x8.0 +35; Federal 595RS-RR 205/50
Exterior Desert Sage Metallic paint; Mode Parfume front bumper, carbon splitter, carbon side skirts, rear wing, carbon mirrors; Seibon carbon fiber hood, hatch
Interior Recaro SR4; JDM ITR rear seats; Momo steering wheel; Spoon Sports horn button, shift knob; NRG short hub, quick release; R Fab foot pedals, shifter; S2000 gauge cluster; Circuit Hero foot rest; PLM X-bar; Pioneer double-din
Thank You Henry @twostepmotorsports thanks for the sick engine build and always helping out with any questions I may have, also Frank and Carlos helping out in any way they can, thanks vatos. Kevin Valdez @kvtuned, thanks with the tune and always helping fix issues with the cars fuel system. Jeremiah and Emmanuel @HLcustoms, thanks for all the support you guys have done for me. If you live in Bakersfield and need any fab work hit them up. Jon and Josh @churchofLS, two of the most solid guys, always supportive, thanks. Shoutout to the CLK boysz you know how we do, lol! Lastly, I want to thank my kids and girlfriend for being always supportive of this hobby that takes a lot of time away from them and they know I'm always there for them 100%1994 Honda Civic Si OwnerInstagramEngineDrivetrainSuspensionBrakingWheels & TiresExteriorInteriorThank You