Engine Swap Time - Swapping a Melons for a V6
Why the Nostalgic Civic EK won my heart, even though I've never even driven it, and the bizarre changes I want to do to it
This was a long time ago... Before we stripped the shell of everything except the headlights, taillights, hood and doors. It's almost a complete restoration.
The car you see above is the dream car of many, many people. Lots of people love the Civic EK9... Unless it's actually a V6 powered EK4. Well, maybe they still love it. Who knows? It's not common. It's not the first time that it has been done, but it isn't going to be the last time, either. But, it's going to be my version, which won't be a drag car, but rather a half-caged street car which tosses out the idea of comfort for the idea of being the lazy man's perfect track toy. The mission for my V6 EK4, which I have affectionately named Eilish (every one of my cars is named after a Saoirse Ronan character), is to be the greatest track car I could make, to accomplish the simple goal of permitting myself to be lazy.
Ontario, Canada proof of ownership. See my hands? That's as dirty as they'll ever be from working on this car.
You see, while I very much love the idea of personalization and customization, I would never build a car like my old Subarus again. I hated the idea of removing just about everything in the car to gain access to the simple things like spark plugs. If you have to move your turbo and intercooler to check your gearbox oil level, that takes a big chunk out of your day that you'd probably rather spend doing something else. I might be wrong, but I might not be, too. And so, when I set out to build this car, I did so with the principles of Colin Chapman and Jeremy Clarkson both resonating in my mind. Imagine some slightly drunk Canadian with a spliff (hey, it's going to be legalized here in a year or two), a hammer and some basic hand tools shouting "simplify everything!" while throwing interior panels out to gain access to wiring with no intention of ever putting them back. Forget that! Interior panels are just going to get in the way of the glorious half-cage I want to put in. But, a flocked dash would be far better for true interior comfort, right? What's better than suede and simplicity? Want to feel something softer than a kitten? You've got a nice, high-quality racing seat and a suede dash. Want to gently electrocute yourself? You've got exposed wires. Got a problem with something? Tug on the wire until you find where it's broken. Fix it. That shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. Back to more important stuff. Vodka, or Irish cream? Maybe the latest episode of Archer, Bob's Burgers or the Grand Tour (you'd better be excited, because I am!) Oh, I know! Ice cream. Anything but spending three hours fixing a car again. Mechanics know the struggle of not wanting to fix cars. I used to be a mechanic, I hate cars for breaking. But, the drive.... The drive has to make up for all the hours of bloody wrists. The time I save not working on the car gives me more time to enjoy the car. It has to sound right, so I am putting in a V6. It has to turn well, so I'm spending several thousand dollars on suspension and aerodynamics. It has to shift right, so I'm designing the best shifter I can make. It has to look right, so I'm putting a full Melons' Better Driving livery. It has to be perfect... And perfect for me is basically a race car that I care about just enough to not crash, but not so much that I have to worry about interior panels and creature comforts like stereos and air bags. Wait, are air bags not creature comforts? My car doesn't have them. What are air bags?
I'll make an exception. Painting? That's okay, I'll spend my time watching paint dry. It is, contrary to popular belief, one of the most amazing things to do, watching your car parts transform right before your eyes.
And so, many minutes of demolition - I mean, controlled removal of interior pieces - later, I am left with a shell. I need some money, but eventually, this oddball V6 with the attitude of "too lazy to care but too passionate not to care" commanding the build process will take shape. And, when it does finally take shape, I'll be driving it. I'll be driving it a lot, actually. Road tripping around to every track in North America, while visiting my friends and getting them to sign it. Then, I'm taking it with me to university in Ireland, where my new friends can sign it. The passion and love of cars shines through even the laziest souls, like the ones who just can't be bothered to put their interior panels back in place.
Did I mention that I want to drive my Civic hard? I hope I did. I hope I can get my Civic onto two wheels like this. What sort of liar would I be if I didn't CurbHop for us CurbHoppers who would rather spend the time on track than in the garage?
Last thing: I'm giving away the interior bits if anyone wants any. Help me clear out my basement, please?
That's it for the first part of the build journal. Hope you enjoyed it, and maybe had a good laugh.