The EF might not be the most desirable Civic platform, but that hasn’t stopped Ollie Mcchesney building one of the country’s wildest Hondas from one
Once the engine combination had been dummy fitted, the Civic was taken on the long trip south to the Taranaki, so that friend and auto sparky Matthew Newport
could put together an all-new chassis loom, and strip and modify the factory K20 engine loom to keep things clean and simple
There are those people who walk among us that like to build things a little different to the norm. They have no interest in following the sheep and doing what everyone else does just because it’s easy. No way, these guys are forging ahead and doing things the hard way, simply because that’s the only way to achieve their vision. But when you end up with a car like Ollie Mcchesney’s EF Civic, you damn well know the path taken was the right one.
Yip, that’s right, hidden somewhere under the
Yip, that’s right, hidden somewhere under the aero is an EF Civic that Ollie picked up four years ago for the measly sum of $1800, already half stripped and fitted with a B18C. “I wanted to do something different from the usual DC/EG route, and the EF is a light chassis while still retaining the trailing-arm rear end,”
aero is an EF Civic that Ollie picked up four years ago for the measly sum of $1800, already half stripped and fitted with a B18C. “I wanted to do something different from the usual DC/EG route, and the EF is a light chassis while still retaining the trailing-arm rear end,” Ollie explained.
The original build plan was for a cheap track hack to contest Honda Cup, but of course what you’re looking at here is not a cheap hack, nor is it powered by a B18C, it’s in fact one of the wildest Honda builds we have set eyes on here in New Zealand in a very long time.
As you would expect, the EF was lightning fast with the B18C thanks to its featherlight weight (under 900kg), but with plans to compete in the Honda Cup, Ollie looked at what would be the best power-plant option to fit within the classes, and purchased a B16C to build up. That plan wasn’t going to stay on course for long, as he explained. “When my dad upgraded the K20 to a K24 in his Honda Cup DCR Type R, we decided to swap the K20 into my EF.” He sourced a set of off-the-shelf mounts through a friend in the US, otherwise the conversion required only a small notch in the chassis and the removal of the front cross member to convert the car to a traction bar set-up. This modification rendered the car illegal for Honda Cup. “I decided I would then build it up to compete in SS2000, which allowed me to build the much wilder car that I had always wanted to eventually do.” Ollie began thinking up a wild aero-equipped EF, making numerous sketches, with inspiration coming from the likes of the Tactical Art EG6 Civic from Japan. “I took the car to a panel beater with a set of Buddy Club P1s mounted, and told him to build everything around those.” When it came to aero parts like the front and rear diffusers, Ollie got into the build after plenty of research — when you work seven-week stretches out at sea things like this can fill in the time quite well. Alongside the
research, some serious online retail therapy saw Ollie returning home to stacks of boxes filled with plenty of engine bolt-ons from companies like K-Tuned, and suspension components from the likes of Hardrace.
But there are some parts that are best built not bought, like the custom headers put together by Ollie’s flatmate, Brendan Duncker, who just happens to run his own fabrication shop. The headers are really a piece of art, with plenty of function built in. The sweeping equal-length runners collect ahead of an expansion chamber, then lead into a three-inch side-exit pipe. The combination gives some great mid-range gains in both the power and torque curves.
At this stage the block and head remain internally stock, but with the supporting bolt-ons, including the RRC intake manifold and Blox 70mm throttle body, the AEM EMS-4–controlled K20 is producing 165kW to the front wheels. That’s a figure Ollie plans to increase to 180kW-plus with a set of big-lift cams and some head work in the near future. But in the meantime the 165kW combined with a well-thought-out suspension package, a 1.5way MFactory LSD and a kerb weight of 880kg is proving to be a rapid combination.
When it came to the suspension package, Ollie enlisted the advice of some of New Zealand’s best FWD guys to ensure it would work as desired. Looking underneath will reveal a set of custom-valved Fortune Auto coilovers, a swag of adjustable arms fitted with spherical bearings, and J’s Racing roll-centre adjusters and adjustable ASR sway bars.
That advice from the likes of Grady Homeward must have been good, as the Civic has really hit the ground running. With only a few track days under his belt and the obligatory teething issues sorted, Ollie nabbed his first podium in his first-ever race in the Classic Japanese Series, lapping a best of 1:16 around Pukekohe even when forced to deal with slower lap traffic.
These lap times should slot the Civic into the mid to pointy end of the SS2000 field once he makes the jump over sometime next year. But considering that was his first ever race, you can expect those lap times to improve over the coming meetings, which should ensure the EF’s a very competitive car.
What makes this car so damn cool is not the fact the spec list would be like a wet dream for most Honda-heads, it’s how those parts came together to create such a wild machine, so much so that you almost forget it’s an EF Civic hidden in there somewhere. It just goes to show what you can create in the shed at home if you plan out and research every step of the build.
We suggest that after reading this you go and Google EF Civic, you will be shocked at just how different they are, we certainly were.
What makes this car so damn cool is not the fact the spec list would be like a wet dream for most Honda-heads, it’s how those parts came together to create such a wild machine, so much so that you almost forget it’s an EF Civic hidden in there somewhere.
With an MFactory 1.5-way LSD fitted, the Honda has no problem with torque steering. Ollie also puts this down to the set-up in the car, achieved thanks to the help of a few very knowledgeable FWD experts
The factory fuel tank has been retained under the car, with a lift pump feeding through a small fuel cooler to a surge tank and Main Bosch 044 pump, all enclosed in a alloy box as per MSNZ rules
One of the cool custom touches is the bias box Ollie built to house the twin Wilwood master cylinders, allow for bias adjustment and retain the factory pedal box