CiviK | Vol. I

What I intend on presenting to you throughout these posts titled ‘CiviK’, is a no-bullshit, straight up “build” thread. Personally, I don’t see what I’m doing to the EJ9 something that could be classified as a build. It’s a project though, but, semantics.

Feel free to use this as a reference if you are planning on doing something very similar. There’s more than a few K-Swapped Civics in the UK, but those that have documented their work are few and far between. This is a pity, but I suppose Brits just keep their shit to themselves, whereas the Yanks – who have been chucking K-series engines into everything since the engine was introduced in 2001 – scream and shout about their K-swapped projects. And for that, I am thankful, because there’s a great deal of information available from guys over the pond.

Luckily, you will find some toplads on the scene who not only do the homework, but are kind enough to share the knowledge they’ve acquired with others. Honorable mentions go to: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-YJWXFHiFEqLKtY40L5UWg (Captain’s Vlog), https://www.ek9.org/index.php?threads/jacks-py-k20-ek9-now-going-k20-k24.44021/ (Jack24), and Rus @ Hond-R.

By the way, all following images were taken using a below-average Huawei P10 camera. Don’t expect the usual hi-res, low-ISO imagery. This is just like the forum days in the mid 2000s.

Anyway, let’s rewind back a bit, to December 2020. Call it a Christmas prezzie to myself, I pulled the trigger and went to collect an engine. Yes, before buying a car, because logic is for losers.

For £1650, I bought a semi-complete K20A out of a DC5 Type R that was being split by its owner, due to an excessively corroded shell IIRC. I was aware that this naturally high-revving engine had seen some track time, but the owner of the car seemed to be straight up and didn’t give off any shady vibes as if to hide something was askew with the engine. Upon collection he dropped the oil whilst I was there, no metallic debris plopped out so I reckon its a healthy one.

The MVP in this saga is my bro+ Hamza. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have a space to work and store all my shit. Oh, and the Demio for not letting me down travelling up and down the motorway allowing me to tick off parts on the shopping list.

Autofocus on my phone camera sucks arse. But here is the MPV of MPVs; Toyota Alphard courtesy of the Japanese Domestic Market. I think this was taken on the way to/from collecting the engine. You can see the faint blurriness that was in fact a Phoenix Yellow E46 M3. I admit BMW > Honda when it comes to that colour. Moving on…

This engine came with a PRC inlet manifold, which is stock DC5 spec. I gave it a good old clean with WD40 and wire wool. Those weird streaks going across the inlet runners are where the plastic inlet cover chafes on the manifold, I think. Also original are the OEM fuel rail and injectors that came off of an EP3 Civic Type R.

Refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_K_engine#K20A to familiarise yourself with the various engines and inlet configuration under the K-series family tree.

Pretty sure the engine came with the starter motor too, so I give it a good scrubbing. Word of advice: use K20A hardware, especially with the starter motor and alternator. K20Z engines are common as muck here, but there are subtle but key differences between both engines variants, so make sure to try and stick with obtaining parts from like engines.

The photo on the right shows the area where the hydraulic power steering pump lives. DC5 Type R were fitted with hydraulic, belt-driven pumps. EP3 Type R came equipped with electric power steering which lacks in feedback from what I have heard and read, meaning a lot people with K-swaps using the EP3 K20A2 engine simply utilise a manual steering rack. I prefer the combination of drivability, and weightedness & feel of hydraulic power-steering, so this is another justification I make to myself for shelling out the extra premium for the JDM hotness.

The power steering pump did come with the engine, but the ball bearing was knackered, so I opened it up and replaced it with a new NTN bearing. The old bearing had a part number on it, which I used to cross-reference for dimensions, so that even though the new bearing wasn’t OEM, it still fit like a glove. Unfortunately, I did not take any photos, but it is easy peasy, just remember to take note of what part goes where in case you do the same.

I’m gonna close this part here. From these last couple of photos, you can tell conditions of the initial setting weren’t ideal. Leaky roof kept me well anxious prior to getting hold of a car, but thankfully Hamza let me move into a dry space that’s much more roomy too. Quick Halfords bench purchase came in handy but we went one better, as you’ll soon see.

I’m probably doing an injustice calling this something akin to a “build” thread, but I hope you can take something away from this series.

Advice when buying an engine: if it looks fucked and its been sat out of its original habitat for a while, stay clear, unless of course the seller is reputable and can vouch for the condition of it. Also try and get an engine as complete as, if it comes with the gearbox and wiring loom, you’re onto a winner. NOTE – JDM engines came fitted with LSD, whereas the UKDM/European Type R got left with an open diff. Although, not a problem if you plan on swapping the differential for an aftermarket limited-slip.

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