January 21, 2011 By Francis G. Pallarco

Honda Civic EK Hatchback


Words and Photos by, Francis G. Pallarco

Here’s one show n’go EK hatch that’s loaded with nothing but the best.

According to owner TJ Pangilinan, this stunning EK hatch was already a show n’ go car right from the start. In fact, it served as Team Cabspeed’s ongoing project since 2001. Upon its completion, they entered the car in a local car show and ended up hauling all the major awards. Why shouldn’t it? The car was patterned after Spoon’s EK9 hatchback. This included loading it with GENUINE Spoon Sports products, namely the Spoon Sports Carbon Fiber hood and carbon fiber wing, side mirrors, steering wheel, gauge cluster, titanium shift knob, oil filler cap, radiator cap, magnetic drain plugs, reservoir covers, strut bars, twin block brake calipers, adjustable cam timing gears and decals. Most of which according to TJ were ordered straight from Type One, the official retail store of Spoon Sports in Japan.
Fast-forward to today where the car has transformed from being a Spoon-themed car into a more performance-oriented racecar/streetcar that has performance as its main and sole mission. As such, let’s turn our attention to the engine where it matters most as race engine builder Wahlen “Doc” Pangilinan explains some of his thoughts behind the engine mods. “We chose to use a B20 block from a CRV as this was more robust and allowed us to use bigger pistons.”  “It was then beefed up with Arias (Low comp) Forged pistons, Eagle connecting rods, and a Golden Eagle block guard.” While it may look simple enough, but whenever one is building a high horsepower Honda engine, block guards can be an essential item to have. This not only allows maximum cylinder head coolant flow and provides strength to the sleeves, but also prevents sleeve walk that can cause premature head gasket failure according to Golden Eagle. Because of its admirable flow characteristics, a Type-R cylinder head was used and assembled with Blox dual valvesprings and Titanium retainers. Orchestrating the opening and closing of the valves are Type-R camshafts along with a Spoon Sports adjustable cam gears. Ingesting all pressurized intake charge is a JG Victor X intake manifold and a Type R throttle body assembly. Although the (B-Series) stock or Type-R intake manifolds work well, but when extensive engine mods are done, it can become insufficient. This is why, unlike the stock intake manifold that features a small plenum and runners, the JG Edelbrock Victor X manifold incorporates a large plenum with large runners for high-compression or forced-induction engines according to Edelbrock.


Coming down to the turbo set-up, it’s important to note here that it was installed by TJ himself along with the help of some friends. This included the stainless steel exhaust manifold design, the flow path, and TIG welding. A Garrett GT3076R ball bearing turbine was chosen, as this unit is capable of supporting medium displacement engines to up to 525 hp. A Tial 44mm wastegate keeps the boost level regulated accurately as the excess intake charge is expelled through a turbosmart blow-off valve. Finally, the exhaust gases are routed through a custom 3-inch stainless full exhaust system fabricated by Cabspeed as well. The Fuel system utilizes a set of Injector Dynamics (1000cc/min) saturated injectors, AEM high volume billet aluminum fuel rail, B&M fuel pressure regulator and a Walbro 255LPH in-tank fuel pump. A Demon fully programmable ECU along with a Motech 3 bar MAP sensor takes care of Engine management chores. Power is transmitted through a Limited Slip Differential and a long ratio 2nd gear. Making sure that every ounce of power gets to the transmission, an AP Racing twin plate-racing clutch was installed alongside with Type-R axles. According to “Doc”, the engine set-up pumps out 410 horsepower and 327 lbs/ft of torque running on pump gas tuned at a conservative 13psi of boost.

To make it handle well around the track, it uses a set of fully adjustable BC Coilovers that enables TJ to adjust the handling characteristics of his car depending on the circuit. The chassis is stiffened with Spoon sports stru bars, Function 7 rear subframe brace and Lower control arms. Front and rear stopping power consists of big inch AEM rotors, VTTR racing brake pads, and Spoon Sports 4 piston calipers using Motul RBF 600 brake fluid with stainless braided brakelines and brake calipers. Wheels? This car has 3 sets to choose from, ranging from TE-37’s to Advan RG1’s. Inside is just as functional as the serious hardware it wears. Spoon Sports Carbon Kevlar bucket seats cradle the driver with 3-inch Sparco seatbelts. A rare Spoon Sports gauge cluster, steering wheel and titanium shiftknob keeps the Spoon Sports JDM theme alive. Other stuff include Defi black face gauges, Defi link Display, Buddy club shift light, and Demon on board real time logging via a laptop computer. With all the mods done to this car, I think this represents the future of Honda EK hatchback set-ups. With everything that this stunning car has, I don’t think it needs anything at this point. Well, except maybe for a full tank of gas and a clear stretch of asphalt.

Tuner Mods
Honda Civic EK Hatchback
TJ Pangilinan
Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija

Engine: B20, 2.0-liter, Inline-4, DOHC
Engine Mods: Arias 9.8:1 compression forged pistons, Eagle H-beam connecting rods, Type-R cylinder head, Blox dual valvesprings and Titanium retainers, Type-R camshafts, Spoon adj camgears, JG Edelbrock Intake manifold, Type-R throttle body, GReddy Kevlar timing belt, Cabspeed custom SS Top mount turbo manifold, Garrett GT3076R turbo, Tial 44mm external wastegate, Intercooler, Turbosmart blow-off valve, Cabspeed custom SS 2.5in charge pipes, 3in SS downpipe and full exhaust, Injector dynamics 1000cc/min injectors, AEM fuel regulator, B&M fuel pressure regulator, Spoon Oil cap, Koyo radiator, Samco radiator hose, Spoon radiator cap, Spoon magnetic drain plugs,
Engine Management: Demon programmable ECU, Motech 3 Bar MAP Sensor
Transmission: 5-Speed manual with LSD, AP Racing twin plate racing clutch
Horsepower: 410 Wheel horsepower and 327 lbs/ft of torque running on pump gas tuned at a conservative 13psi of boost.
Suspension: BC Racing fully adjustable coilovers, Spoon Sports strut tower bars, Top Fuel 0-1000 curtain bars, Function 7 rear subframe brace and lower control arms.
Brakes: Spoon Sports 4 piston twin block calipers, VTTR brake pads, AEM 13.1 inch rotor discs (F), AEM 12.1 inch rotor discs (R), Earl’s stainless braided brake lines, Motul RBF600 brake fluid.
Rollers: Volk Racing RE30 17s with ADVAN Ad07 215/40r17 — Volk Racing TE37 17s with Nitto Neo gen 205/40r17 — Advan RG1 17s with Bridgestone RE55s 215/40r17
Outside: Custom Spoon yellow paint, Spoon CF hood, Spoon CF wing, Spoon side mirrors, Spoon decals, HID
Inside: Bride Low Max Stradia Carbon Kevlar seats, Spoon Sports gauge cluster, Spoon Steering wheel, Spoon titanium shift knob, Defi black face gauges, Defi link display, Buddy Club shift light, US ver 2din AC panel, Alpine iphone/USB stereo, Alpine 4 channel amplifier, MTX separates

Kudos To-: Pangilinan Family (Dad, Mom, Kuya Wahlen, Jung), Cabspeed crew (Jfak, Omar, Ephraim), Philgerma Mfg, Michael Paglinawan of Richmond Auto Parts, Ryan, Leo and Cris of Speedworks, Allan Manalastas (A1), Haru and Olga Ono, Macky Garcia

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