Leon’s K-Swapped EK4 Build…Part 1

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It’s been quite some time since our last post on the site; I took some time off to regroup and come up with a plan for the direction in which I would like to take the site. In addition to that, we were then struck with the Covid pandemic and those plans I had needed some reevaluating given the circumstances. Thankfully we are finding a way out from under the pandemic and adapting to a new normal. Given the current circumstances, I figured now would be a good time to revive the site and bring you guys some new content along with wrapping up a few builds which I’ve already started. 

Today I’m bringing you guys Leon’s K-Swapped EK4 build, which I featured on the site a few years ago in the early stages of the build. We lost contact and throughout that time the direction of the build has changed a significant amount. Currently, Leon’s goals are to have a street car that is also capable of holding its own when taken to the Bushy Park Circuit for a track day session. 

I’ll start off with a slight recap of where the car was a few years ago and bring you guys up to when Leon made the decision to rebuild from the ground up…

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In the infant stages of the build, Leon wanted a way into the K Series world and opted to go with a K20A3 motor. He made some minor changes and swapped out the plastic intake manifold for the PRB Type R manifold. This setup was then mated to a 6 speed EP3 Type R gearbox and lifted into the EK4 chassis…  

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While Leon was at it, he swapped out the dated factory headlights for some black housing replacements…

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Previously the car had a 99-00 Type R replica lip, wanting to change the look on the front end… 

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Leon went ahead and picked up a 96-98 Type R replica lip and paired it with Top1 Motors winglets…

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A glimpse of the headlights in place and the bumper fitted…

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While Leon was in the assembly process he picked up a set of Type R cams with hopes of eventually swapping them over and doing the rocker conversion… 

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Given how the car felt with B16A motor, Leon wanted to ensure he wouldn’t have any braking issues going forward with the swap. He opted to pick up a set of Wilwood 4 pot calipers…

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With the swap completed, Leon was able to hit the streets…

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But not before he paid a visit to his painter and had him lay down a fresh coat of yellow on the Wilwood calipers… 

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Having gone through the teething phase, Leon was ready to officially hit the streets and picked up a set of Sparco wheels… 

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Shortly after completing the swap Leon ran into some drivetrain problems and upon further inspection, it revealed he had broken an axle. Taking the news in good spirits Leon decided to replace them with a set of Insane Shafts 500hp units… 

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Fortunately the Sparco wheels didn’t last very long; Leon swapped them out for a set of JNC 006 wheels in a 15×8 +18 sizing wrapped in 195/50 Hankook Ventus V2 rubber…

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Giving the car a significantly more aggressive appearance… 

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This would go on to be the most favorable appearance the car had… 

 

Things were going in the right direction until one fateful evening driving around the city Leon hit a manhole cover damaging the sump in a serious way…  

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After getting the car back at home, the teardown began… 

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A view of the damaged sump pan alongside a new one as reference. Those familiar with K series would know, after experiencing an impact on that level the likelihood of the motor surviving is slim to none. And unfortunately the A3 wouldn’t be lucky enough to make it through…  

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In the process of pulling the motor, Leon would come to notice a few other areas in which required serious attention… 

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A closer look at the header would reveal a series of structurally damaging cracks… 

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While removing the shifter cables Leon noticed that those too have seen better days and would be added to the list of things to be replaced… 

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After the motor was pulled, Leon went ahead and removed the subframe pending his next move… 

With the motor pulled Leon started to look at his options, which were either to find another A3 motor or repair the damaged parts from his. Neither of which proved to be favorable and Leon decided it would be best to speed up his timeline and source a K24A… 

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On that note, that’s it for today’s post, thanks for taking a look at Leon’s K-Swapped EK4 build. Stay tuned for more to come on this build as it progresses.

Sol’s EG Circuit Build… Introduction

 

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No stranger to the site, we kick off yet another project under construction from within Sol’s stable; this time in the form of a EG hatch. Many of you would have seen his current EK9 Civic build but prior to that he owned a Honda Civic EG6 with a Drag Cartel K24 NA motor that was prepared for the Bushy Park Racing Circuit.

Unfortunately Sol was never able to fully enjoy the car due to mechanical failure on its debut race weekend. Following this the car was subsequently banned from the class due to several rules changes. Given the level of performance the car was able to put out in that short lived weekend pushed Sol to continue with the FWD platform. Having a car built within the class specifications coupled with some additional seat time, it would be possible for him to be a front runner. 

A plan was devised for him to source a EG shell and begin a build from the ground up. With the plans in motion it wasn’t long before he came into possession of a shell which would be built to Group 3 class specifications. While in the midst of consulting over the selection of parts for the build, it led him to kickstart his Group 2 EK9 Type R build.

Sol came across a Civic Type R that was in the works for the track. Fully consumed by the racing bug, Sol jumped on the opportunity and purchased the car which would most certainly be completed before his EG build. In doing this, it would allow him to get some much needed seat time around the track in preparation for the group 3 car. Having a car within the lower group meant the chassis would require less fabrication and with this, it sped up the time frame for completion. 

Already having plans well underway for the Group 3 car, the guys went to work on the preparation of the chassis eliminating anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. We’ll be taking a look at some of the steps that were taken throughout this process. 

Before we can get there I thought we can start at the beginning when Sol acquired his first EG circuit build and work our way forward. 

 

For those who may want to view either of these builds I’ve provided the links below:

Track Bred EG6 Build…

Sol’s EK9 Circuit Build…

 

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Upon purchasing the car, Sol immediately made a few changes, the biggest change was a quick stop over at the paint shop where the car was blown in a gloss black… 

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Being fresh out the booth the car was then transported back to the garage where the guys would apply the finishing touches just before his debut on at the Williams Industries International Race Meet… 

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All systems were a go, throughout the testing and practice sessions Sol was shaping up to be right on the pace of the front runners within the group… 

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Along came qualifying where Sol shocked the masses and was able to secure pole on his debut with a blistering time of 1:04.499 ahead of the favorite out of Trinidad Kristian Boodhoosingh by 0.390 sec. This achievement was somewhat bittersweet, soon after the team would realize the motor had blown and Sol wouldn’t be able to compete on race day. 

Moving forward, the plan was to replace the motor and have the car back up and ready for the start of the upcoming season. However, due to a few drastic rule changes which would deem the car illegal to compete in the group with an aluminum firewall and modified floor. It left Sol at the crossroads as to either have them replaced with OEM pieces or build something completely different for the group. 

With the success from the race weekend, Sol assessed his options and opted to take the plunge. A hunt for a fresh EG shell was in the works to hit reset on the build and have a car that will undoubtedly be within specifications for Group 3… 

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After some searching and convincing he was able to acquire an unmolested EG4 that would be perfect for the plans he had ahead… 

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Donor chassis loaded up and in route to the garage where the guys will begin the teardown for a more accurate assessment of the chassis… 

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A shot of the donor shell next to his previous Group 3 EG6 build…

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The shell was placed on jack stands signaling the beginning of the teardown process… 

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Factory dash removed so the guys can get view of any rust damage which maybe hiding… 

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Being a dedicated circuit car, Sol went ahead an purchased a full Custom Cages unit to be fitted to the chassis…

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More and more of the Civic was torn apart, pictured after the radiator support was removed along with all the suspension and electrical components. The reason for the small cross bar fixed to the front of the chassis is due to the entire factory radiator panel and lower cross member being removed. This bar will be important during the build process to constantly check and recheck the levels as the build moves forward…

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The radiator support was temporarily removed for ease of access while working on reinforcements for the chassis… 

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A view of the gutted interior still very much in the beginning stages of chassis preparation… 

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 After taking a full assessment of the interior, any additional metal was removed leaving only what was absolutely necessary… 

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Based on the design of the Civic’s chassis and suspension layout, Fred opted to build a cage that will deliver the maximum chassis stiffness based on the factory suspension pickup points. Careful attention was paid to the details of  how the front subframe is mounted to the chassis…  

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A view of the prior rust damage that the car suffered, which now needed to be dealt with once again…

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Fred began to remove some additional metal from the fender to allow for the cage to be tucked and tied as close to the Civic’s frame as possible… 

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A look at some of the unwanted metal removed from the Civic’s chassis…  

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The car was then placed on a chassis jig designed specifically to allow the shell to be held perfectly level on its lateral, longitudinal & diagonal axis…

 

Already having a purpose built race car on hand, a few items will carry over onto the newly acquired EG shell…

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The function 7 spherical LCAs will be retained for the new build… 

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A custom spec ASP header was selected for the motor package associated with the previous car, this too will remain going forward… 

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 Having the shell securely mounted to the jig, Fred began to strip the existing paint from within the engine bay to get a move on with the next stage in development… 

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The installation of the roll cage… 

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A few progress shots of the Custom Cages unit fitted in place. The design of the touring car inspired front section of the roll cage adds a degree of discipline to the seating arrangement in that; the roll cage is actually designed to stiffen the entire firewall and subframe attachment points while extending along the side sills and connecting to the main roll cage safety structure… 

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In so doing, the seat rails are integrated into the sill bars and provide exceptional stiffness across the width of the driver compartment. Thus providing a completely integrated member with zero torsional deviation at high cornering speeds and G loads…

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Similar to the Group 2 car, Fred removed a portion of the floor and built a tunnel to route the side exit exhaust…

 

That’s it for the first post on Sol’s EG4 build; thanks for taking a look and stay tuned for more to come on this build. 

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