Like many others, Mohammed Zulfikar Rahman made his maiden voyage into New Zealand’s bustling automotive tuning scene in a Honda. Say what you like about the brand, but you can’t get past the value for money it offers young enthusiasts such as Mohammed. This value, coupled with a new-found love for high-revving naturally aspirated (NA) engines, soon saw him pushing the limits of his first vehicle, a Honda Integra DB8 Type R.
After he’d removed the rev cut and found out the hard way that factory-built motors don’t last too long at 10,000rpm, a good friend — AJ Kumar — suggested that the DB8 should be sold and replaced with a much lighter Honda Civic EG. The thought of going even quicker with similar power led Mohammed to promptly sell the Integra and purchase an EG4 Civic with a B18C engine.
A few bolt-ons later, and Mohammed’s newly purchased EG Civic was producing 130kW at the wheels, but it wasn’t quite giving him the high-revving satisfaction he was after. He needed something more. To ensure he wouldn’t have another disaster on his hands, an engine capable of the onslaught was built at Speedfactor. Initially, power rose to 155kW at the wheels on a run-in set-up, and the final tune saw the power climb again, to 167kW at the wheels — astronomical power for an NA engine.
Mohammed explained the sensation: “When I first drove the car, it felt faster than most of my friends’ turbo cars. The VTEC sound was like a gunshot going off.” With the engine complete, all the car needed was the paint job to match, but, again, disaster struck. This time it wasn’t the engine, as Mohammed explained: “I was washing the Civic outside my friend’s garage, and suddenly two people came up and approached me. One of the two guys came up to me and pressed a firearm against my forehead, and demanded that I give them the keys. Fearing for my life, I gave them the keys, and watched them drive off at speed.”
Gobsmacked, with the sponge still in his hand, the hose running, and an empty parking lot, Mohammed was hit with the reality that his pride and joy — his dream car to be — was gone. To this day, the Civic has not been found. “It was the saddest day of my life,” Mohammed told us.
The Civic was gone, yes, but Mohammed’s drive to build another was not. After a very long year of working and saving up the coin once again, he finally had enough to purchase a second Civic. The hunt for another hatch took him closer to home than originally thought, as Paul at East Tamaki Spraypainters had a tidy track toy up for grabs — an EG3, complete with a B18C engine. A deal was struck, and Mohammed once again owned a Civic — this time, though, it would be completed. “It felt so good when I drove it — it felt like I got my car back,” he said.
As the Civic was already half painted upon purchase, the paint job was finished, and Mohammed had his sights set on yet another angry B18C build, but one that would be much more aggressive than last time.
The Civic was sent back down south to Speedfactor, and, within one month, Mohammed had himself a fully built, super-high-compression B18CR. With extensive porting, forged high-compression pistons, Eagle rods, and Brian Crower’s most aggressive B-series camshaft, the Civic laid down an impressive 170kW at the wheels tuned with a Hondata S300 — three more kilowatts than the old tune, and this was just the run-in.
After a few thousand kilometres were driven, the Civic went back for its final tune — the result being 180kW at the wheels on 98-octane fuel, 13kW more than the last set-up, and 50kW above the original engine. “The best part of this set-up is that VTEC kicks in at 7000rpm, where most turbo cars are changing gears, then it pulls all the way to just under 10,000rpm,” Mohammed explained.
It’s safe to say that he is stoked with the final product but still thinks about where the old car would’ve headed and what fate it suffered in the end. The fact that daylight robbery can and does happen in this country blows us away, especially when it happens to hard-working folk such as Mohammed.
His plan is to take it to the race circuit, drag strip, and out into the twisties tell us that Mohammed won’t let the setback set him back any more, though, and he is determined to get the most out of a build that was essentially built twice.
1994 Honda Civic (EG)
- Model: B18CR, 1800cc, four-cylinder
- Block: Wiseco pistons, Eagle conrods, ARP conrod bolts, ARP big-end bearings
- Head: Ported and polished, Stage 3 Brian Crower camshafts, Supertech oversized valve springs, Supertech retainers, JE head gasket, ARP head studs, Gates Racing cambelt
- Intake: 74mm S90 throttle body, custom cold-air box, four-inch air filter, Skunk2 Ultra Pro racing intake manifold
- Fuel: Walbro 500hp fuel pump, AEM fuel rail, Bosch 440cc injectors, Sard fuel-pressure regulator
- Ignition: MSD coil pack, MSD spark-plug leads, Iridium spark plugs
- Exhaust: PLM 4–2–1 stainless-steel headers, 2.5-inch exhaust system, GReddy muffler, 2.5-inch tip
- Cooling: Aluminium radiator, Samco radiator hoses, aftermarket fan
- ECU: Hondata S300
- Other: Partially deloomed, D1 Spec oil catch can
- Gearbox: Five-speed S80
- Clutch: Exedy heavy duty
- Flywheel: Exedy lightweight
- Diff: S80 LSD
- Struts/springs: Bilstein shocks and springs
- Brakes: Znoelli rotors, Znoelli brake pads
- Other: DC2 Type R hubs, Skunk2 rear lower-control arms, rear strut brace, C-pillar bar, Beaks lower tie bar
- Wheels: 14x6.5-inch BBS replicas
- Tyres: 195/60R14 Firestone TZ700
- Paint: Resprayed gunmetal by East Tamaki Spraypainters Ltd
- Enhancements: Aftermarket headlights, HID conversion, 35-per-cent tints, duckbill rear spoiler, aftermarket front lip, tow hook
- Seats: Recaro SR3
- Steering wheel: Momo
- Instrumentation: Autogauge water temperature and oil temperature gauges
- Power: 180kW (241hp) at the wheels
- Driver/owner: Mohammed Zulfikar Rahman
- Age: 25
- Location: Auckland
- Build time: One month
- Length of ownership: One year
- Thanks: Evan Pittman at Speedfactor, Gregg Ross at Brain Payne Motors Papatoetoe, Paul and Lynda from East Tamaki Spraypainters Ltd, my brothers Iftikar and AJ Kumar, also a big thanks to everyone who helped build my dream car
This article originally featured in NZ Performance Car Issue No. 232. You can grab yourself a hard copy or digital copy at the links below: