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

NZ Performance Car - - 1988 Honda Civic( Ef3) - WORDS: MAR­CUS GIBSON PHO­TOS: ADAM CROY

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

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