Stupid Question

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Haha okay i have a really stupid question but i'm just curious to know, what all would you have to do to lets say a 1995 Honda Civic in order to make it a rear wheel drive with a small block V8? Lol. Would it cost alot even if you knew what you were doing and could do everything yourself and make your own brackets and what not that you needed. Can it even be done? I'm not saying anyone would really do it and i really dont think it'd be worth it but i'm just wondering what it'd take to do, and also wouldnt it surprise you if you went to race someone in one and its actually the back wheels that spin lol. Sorry if the question is too stupid to be answered. It'd still be kinda cool to own one, it'd be a definate ONE-OF-A-KIND i would think. :screwy: LOL.

posted by  car_crazy89

Well, first off, you'd need no life. Second, you'd need an entirely new engine compartement because I doubt that motor would fit in there. Third, new frame. Fourth, you'd have strip out all of the interior and make a tunnel for the drive-shaft, then figure out what to do with the exhaust. Fifth, you'd need a new rear-end. Sixth, you'd need an entirely new steering assembly since they won't be getting any power anymore. seventh, you have to solve all the other minute problems that are involved with a project like that.

Would cost you hardly anything if you knew everything that you were doing, probably only about 2 grand if you get it all from a wrecker, but if it's possible? Doubt it. And the work involved would be astonishing.

And when all's said and done, you have a 2500lb paper weight.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

I on the other hand love to encourage these kinds of projects.

Sure it can be done. Damn near anything can be done if you have the dedication to stick with it. I think 88GrandPrixSE may be pretty close on the price though assuming you don't have to rebuild the motor or trans. They are also right on all the work that needs to be done. It is not going to be a simple project by any means.

But hey, if they can take a Metro and turn it into this.... (taken from the GM Heritage center) then you can do the same with your Civi.

posted by  theman352001

I agree. projects like this are what hot rodding is all about.

i wanted to take a '93-94 Civic Coupe and drop in a 9000 rpm Chevy DZ302 V8 driving the rear wheels, just for fun. Love the body shape, and think that getting a pushrod engine that turns higher rpm than the little stock VTEC 4 cyls would be fun to torment ricers with. It could definitely be done cheaply. Street rodders buit new floors in rusted out '20's and '30s cars all the time.

Hell, my buddy built a mid engine Civic in his garage...

And of course, there's the $1800 twin engine Sciroco:

We need more people thinking outside the box like this, not fewer.

posted by  ChrisV

Well thanx for your advice. I dont know why i thought of it, i just like custom things and thinking differently then others when it comes to certain things. I would so love to do it and have some people to help with it, i like to be different whenever possible and this is definately a way to be different. Thanx for the support and thoughts that it CAN be done and at a relatively low cost lol. It seems like the only thing of the original Honda that would be left if the body and interior and everything else would have work done to it or of been changed. It'd take a while but i think it'd be worth the time. Dont know how many people would be interested if it were to ever go up for sale tho lol.

posted by  car_crazy89

You'd need a new interior too, carpet and seats. Tunnel for the drive-shaft......

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

Youy could easily re-use the seats. You could split the carpet down the tunnel and cover it with a raised center consol out of fiberglass for cheap. And the tunnel is just sheetmetal. $50 at most.

Seriously, dude. You need to see car fabrication in action by the guys that do it for cheap. it's not that hard. Did you look at how cheap that Durocco was built?

posted by  ChrisV

Don't ever go into something like this thinking it will sell well, or make money on. Do it for fun. I mean, you might actually make money on it if you get the parts cheap enoguh, and do a quality job on fabricating (i.e. if you could build the car for under $2k, and sell it for $2500-3500, which is entirely possible) but you really can't go into it thinking of that.

Your own labor is ALWAYS free, as you're using your feww time to do it (instead of, say, watching The Simpsons. If it doesn't take you away from a paying job, then that time woudn't have made you money ANYHOW, so you can't consider it a cost, or get money back for it).

posted by  ChrisV

I agree and i thought that the Durocco was pretty cool and cheap also. I wouldn't really want to do it with the intention to sell cause it would be pretty much a one and only model and after putting time and effort into it and actually having a finished product to show off then it gives you something to be proud of. One more question though, would the car look anything like stock still (with minor changes appearance wise)? I'd love to do it but i dont think i could or atleast not until i learn more about metal fabrication and maybe find someone to help and teach me. I know nothings IMPOSSIBLE as long as you have the time/money and patience to do it and stay with it. I like to be different sometimes and this would be a really good way to do it. :thumbs:

posted by  car_crazy89

Could'nt agree with you more ChrisV. Unthinkable projects should be encouraged upon. However, I feel that such a project as converting a Civic into a V8 should be tackled by people more experienced such as yourself. I mean this is'nt a weekend job by somone short of a degree and or several decades of experience, although anything is possible with the right motivation.

The idea is very good. Most people should start with simpler tasks such as building their own exhaust, turbo systems, intercooler piping, headers, etc... Wich is basicly where I started in a local garage welding various metals.

A V8 civic is'nt as farfetched as it may sound. I don't even think the fram would need to be rebuilt. I've seen Cavaliers with big block V8's in them. If they can be fitted with a V8 I know for sure a Civic can be fitted with a V8, somone just has'nt been willing enough to try it yet...

posted by  DSMer

I would bet that Civi would look pretty stock. The only difference may be the front hood depending on how far down you could fit the V8. Oh, and I suppose the tunnel going down the center of the interior would be another visual clue. Otherwise, she would be pretty stock looking.

posted by  theman352001

The center tunnel wouldn't be too big. I've already seen a 4 door Civic with a V6 driving the rear wheels on e-bay, and it looked pretty clean.

Basically, teh thing to do is start measuring things, finding a Civic at a salvage yeard that has teh engine removed.

If you HAVE the Civic, then go find a scrap engine of the type you want to drop in. though the Fords are small and light, the distributor being in front limits how sloped the hood can be. But, it should still fit in there at least as good as it did in my RX7. And since kits are available to bolt a 5.0 into a Focus, I'd say you probably wouldn't have much problem. In fact, in teh focus, only the forward bit of the trans tunnel has to be redone slightly for the trans bellhousing, and teh stock interior bits go back in. I'd be willing to bet you could do much the same with the Civic.

I hung the engine in the compartment and measured where the mounts needed to be, then fabbed them out of scrap metal. If you don't know how to weld, have someone who does do it for you. Not the place to learn welding.

For the Civic, the hard part will be building the rear end. A suggestion would be to find a salvage RX7 like mine, or 300 ZX, or the like, and cut out the whole rear subframe and weld it into the Civic. I know a guy who did that using a Supra subframe and metalwork and welded it under a '65 Mustang...

Another choice is the entire Miata rear end, as it hangs from it's own separate frame. Then you'd only have to make reinforcements for the mount areas. Of course, the Focus V8 conversion uses a live axle and coil springs, which is also relatively simple.

The prime requirement is to measure 3 or more times before even making the first cut or weld, and drawing up the parts with measurements on them.

posted by  ChrisV

Okay well the engine i was thinking maybe a 350 small block (cause i already have one) or maybe a 5.7L (318) Chrysler engine. Which do you think would be easier to mount? Would you actually have to change the whole rear end frame? The interior part doesnt sound bad seeing as how it would be mostly stock looking. I havent gotten the car itself yet cause i wanted to see if it was even possible to do first.

posted by  car_crazy89

Use the Chevy. It's shorter than the Chrysler (btw, the 318 isn't 5.7 liters. The 350 is 5.7 liters.). You can also buy universal street rod engine mounts for teh Chevy, as well as adapt a trans cheaper and easier. And aftermarket aluminum heads and intake are cheaper, reducing engine weight.

And about the rear, yes. In the front, there IS a fairly strong subframe engineered into the unibody. But the rer carries a rear axle that's pretty light duty, so there isn't much reinforcement. You'd have to reinforce it and make a framework thta was designed to hold a real rear differential and suspension.

Something I thought would be cool would be to set up a framework to hold the Porsche 944 rear suspension and 5 speed transaxle, and use the available adapters to hook the Chevy V8 to the 944's clutch setup and torque tube (there are already kits to put the Chevy in a 924/944). That would move the transmission weight to the back, and reduce the center tunnel size, while improving f/r weight balance. Picking up a wrecked 944 can be done for under a couple hundred bucks, and you might even be able to adapt the front suspension, giving you Porsche brakes all around...

You could end up with a pretty frickin' cool and unique car when done, without spending a whole lot of money.

posted by  ChrisV

Excellent suggestion for the rear transaxle setup.

posted by  theman352001

Oh, sorry i got confused about the engine size lol. I think all that sounds great and would probly be kinda easy for someone with experience. I think the sounds of the Porsche setup would be pretty cool and i was liking the sounds of the 350 also. :mrgreen: Where would a good place to look for a Porsche 944 and what parts would have to be in good condition still? Is that pretty much the main things i'd need it the engine (got it), the car, and a wrecked Porsche then w/e minor things afterwards like interior and that. Also, you would be able to use a Civic body kit could you not? It looks like the rear end would definately be the hardest part but i think in the end it would be worth it. Any more suggestions and opinions will be greatly appreciated. And maybe a little list of needed parts (new/used). Thanx. If i find someone with more experience willing to help i will try to make this a reality and i'd owe it all to you for your help and support. I guess this wasnt as stupid of a question as i originally thought lol.

posted by  car_crazy89

Also thought i should ask, would all Civics between 1993-1995 have about the same amount of room in front and need the same amount of work or is there really a difference whether i were to use a 1993, a 1994 or a 1995? I'm more into the thought of 1994-95. What i'm trying to ask is does it matter what year Civic i use 1993-95 lol.

posted by  car_crazy89

You are going to need the rear transaxle out of the 944, the torque tube, and the bell housing. Basically, everything behind the engine. You could check some local bone yards to see if there is anything around. Sometimes you can find them but they don't usually last too long. You could check out: (

You could also look at the PCA website and check your local section to see if anybody is parting one out. The site is:

Porsche Clubs In the World (

You may end up paying a bit more for the pieces though as PCA members usually know what they have.

As for the Civi, either of those years would be fine. I am not aware of any major changes between them.

posted by  theman352001

'93-95 Civics are identical in every way, other than available colors. Visually, they are the same cars.

My idean had been to use one lik ethis:

I think one of thesw with true dual exhaust and a V8 rumble would be fun to mess with ricers and domestic fans alike... :hi:

As for the Porsche bits, find a complete one on ebay. '83-84 944 models can be had for under two thousand bucks in driveable shape, which you can part out what you don't need and end up making money on.

This one has all the suspension and the transaxle, and is $400! =7964320245&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

posted by  ChrisV

That Honda is pretty much what i was thinking. I do know someone who works at a wreckers and he was going to be the one i ask to keep an eye out for a 1994 or 95 Civic. I like the sounds of that Porsche for $400 but the only problem would be is i live in ontario, canada. With that Porsche and the engine i already have all i'd pretty much need is the car itself would i not. I could also ask the guy at the wreckers if they ever get Porsches like that in there but i doubt it or if they do its not very often. He said before i could use his discount on cars and parts (saving money is ALWAYS good) lol. I had also thought about with the Honda, if it is a complete car when i get it then i wouldn't need the engine, trans, front/back suspension and that kinda stuff so i could sell it to make some money back also. If i could get that Porsche i would cause then i'd be almost there parts wise, still the labor tho. Another thing i've thought of is, what if i get the Honda and decide i like it too much to cut up? lol i'd do it anyway tho cause the end product would be worth it. I like all your ideas and help and would love to hear anymore ideas and get anymore help you have to offer, thanx alot.

posted by  car_crazy89

Another problem is that i dont have an Ebay account and my parents dont have a credit card so i couldnt bid on anything anyway. That Porsche does look like a good deal and would help out alot and give me almost everything i need (minus the car itself, Civic). Also if using the front and back suspension and that from the Porsche you could use the steering right? and if so would or could you use the whole steering column from in the car? I'm just trying to figure out for sure what i'd need so i could try to get it all at once. Thanx.

posted by  car_crazy89

I too encourage radical projects! two thumbs up dude, give it a shot and send pics :thumbs: :thumbs:

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

When or if i do this i would definately put pics of it before, during and after and explain the stages that have been done. It probly wouldn't take place for awhile (atleast summer) but i would love to find out all the parts needed, prices/locations or parts, and someone with experience to help. I believe this can happen, i'd just need to stick with it and not give up. Thanx for all your support and beliefs, much appreciated.

posted by  car_crazy89

Let this be some inspiration. This CRX was built for under $2000. .jpg

You wouldn't have to set the engine this far back to do what you want... ized.jpg

Nor would you probably want the interior this spartan (it was, after all, a Grassroots Motorsports Magazine $2204 Challenge race car) .jpg

it ran 12.33 @ 117 mph...

Drop some fat fender flares over the tires, finish off the interior, and you got yourself some cheap fun!

posted by  ChrisV

Haha, thats pretty cool. I just got a couple other questions, how far forward should you have the engine (better balance) and if it is kinda farther back would you have to move the dashboard at all? Also would the tires stick out no matter what you do or is there an easy way to shorten it up or find a shorter axle that will have the wheels closer in? Thanx. I'd really like to actually do this and have fun and play with people alittle lol.

posted by  car_crazy89

I'd move the engine back slightly, but not necessarily as far as Denny had in that CRX. he used the stock dash, too... As far as the tires sticking out, you could fit under the stock fenderwells with the right offset and the right suspension placement (especially if you just used 944 struts in place of the stockers). That CRX used Corvette wheels and suspension and no work was put into making them fit under the fnederwells. Plus, the CRX is a smaller car than the Civic coupe. You really could make it look like the black one I pictured earler in the thread with no problems.

posted by  ChrisV

That is cool as hell... To bad I don't know a damn thing about swapping engines and all the other work needed to do something like this. :D

Edit: I rememeber a bunch of months ago, ChrisV, you said you could easily build a Chevy Nova racecar for under $3,000 (I think that was the price). Can you send me a PM with some info on HOW I could do this? (I love Nova's, and I love speed :hi: )

posted by  CoRPS

Okay that sounds good then. I was hoping that you could make it more original like the pic you had of the black one. It will be awhile before i could do anything except maybe start collecting the parts for now. I would try to and put more work into it just so it looks original Civic. Thanx for the advice.

posted by  car_crazy89
Wheels777 is the guy you want to talk to.

posted by  ChrisV

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