Help for 02 Civic Ex

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I'm just getting started on my car, and I'm not planning to go crazy on it anytime soon, but I just want a little bit more power right now. It's a 2-door, 02 Civic Ex, and when I got it it was already lowered, had an AEM short-ram intake, and a carbon-fiber hood. So what's next? Can anyone (that knows what they're talking about) give me a few suggestions on what I can get? I'm not looking for anything too expensive, but maybe something like headers and an exhaust? But I don't know which brands would be better for my car, and after reading DSMer's post on exhausts, I understand that the exhaust I get shouldn't be very big, since my car has low power. So could someone tell me the advantages of getting headers first or exhaust first, or if there's something else that I should get before that? Thanks.

posted by  y.e.c.

are headers and exhaust the only two upgrades you know of? headers can be effective, but you're best bet is for a trubo kit. If you have the money, buy a complete kit, new piston heads, connecting rods, and a crankshaft. Also, if you have a car with milage in the 6 digit range, don't bolt on any parts. You're gonna break stuff soon. whats your money situation?

posted by  Godlaus

The thing with turbo is that it would cost a lot more. I'm not looking to fix up my car that much right now, I just wanted a little more power. Yes, headers and exhaust are almost the only things I know. I'm just getting started, and I'm trying to learn more. Since I'll be saving up for these things by working at a part-time job, I'm not looking for anything expensive.

posted by  y.e.c.

Oh, by the way, my car just broke 50,000 miles, not nearly in the 6-digit range yet.

posted by  y.e.c.

While this may not be true for many cars, such as my own Eclipse GS-T. It is found to be very efficient with Hondas if you replace the intake manifold with a higher flowing one and possibly a larger throttlebody. In your situation a better exhaust header would server some purpose and a 3" exhaust would'nt exactly hurt you. The problem with Civics are that you really have a wierd starting ground. You won't just be able to boost power without either swapping, turbo-ing, or putting a nitrous system in.

If you're not as serious as you say you are invest in a nice exhuast and exhaust headers. Possibly a new intake header and throttlebody. Then I'd get a honda box(ECU) and have that tuned for the maximum performance out of thos bolt ons you added. What you must realize is tuning makes the most power, not the bolt-ons. So if you want some decent power, help your engine breathe and exhale a little better then get a honda shop to tune the fuel map to work better with the new airflow. Thats about the best advice I can give you short of installing a nitrous system or adding a turbocharger.

posted by  DSMer

Tuning makes the most power, not bolt ons? You mean tuning bolt on parts? How about a stroker kit? take of the rev limiter, and you've got yourself an s2000.

posted by  Godlaus

Thats the common misconception that inexperienced "tuners" have. No a stroker kit and a rev limiter will not create an S2000. However, a nice exhaust, intake, cam gears, valve assembly, port job, and modified fuel rail with the proper tuning can produce power outputs greater than or equal to S2000.

Brutforce, and bolting on things to an engine won't make best power. However, tuning an engine can give you far more power than most bolt ons will be able to create. Thats why race cars spend so much time under the wrench, its not to add stuff to it. Its to tune the car, dial it in right, and get the maximum power outputs availble to be used in that specific type of racing. A finely tuned N/A Honda block with bolt-ons will slap a blown S2000 with no tuning anyday and if you have'nt realized that by now you should possibly persue some education in this field.

posted by  DSMer

Thanks a lot! I'll go for it!

posted by  y.e.c.

Perhaps I should make myself more clear. I meant s200 in terms of where the most power is made and how it tachs out at 9000. So, my bad there

But, what you're trying to tell me is that by tuning stock b16, you can have a s2000 equivilant motor? By adding the intake, you're lowerin low RPM horsepower, and I presume you're going to get the camshaft and gears for High RPM's too. port job is gona be fairly expensive also. so, why not put in a high rpm altenator too, seeing as how you think this car is going to run around all day at 6000 RPMs.

Honestly, I think it's a middle path thing here. It's both. You can make the most power by getting powerful bolt on parts and making them effecient and tuning them correctly.

Dunno what you mean by under the wrench, I thought they were under it so much because they were under so much stress, they had to replace the transmission after every race.

posted by  Godlaus

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