The great MAXERS project car build-off is ON! And this is my Jap challenger!
"There can be only one," growled the bloke in Highlander as he chopped the other bloke's head off. Shit got real in that film, and shit's got real for real over here at MAXERS. Once again Dan (me - tall, handsome, funny) & Millsy (the other one), are facing off in a project car build-off stylee.
Now, I'm not saying I'm going to chop Millsy's head off, his (really small) army of (mostly male) fans would not be impressed. But, we do have history when it comes to modded motor build-offs, and, if I'm honest, he kinda won the last one. I won't bore you with the details, but there was this one time when a ratty Saph Cossie beat a show-stopping R32 GTS-t Skyline in what was clearly a fixed drag race. It's time to put that right, and, once again, it's Europe vs. Japan - this time his Beemer vs. my Type R. And this time I cannot, will not, lose.
I decided not the Max my E36 318is - too much bucks for not enough bang in the engine department - so she's now my trusty daily while the Civic gets a thorough Max attack.
Why the Civic? Well, I wanted a hot FWD hatch - love a bit of FWD, me - and while I was sniffing around Mitsubishi Colt Ralliarts (great cars, but a bit challenged in the looks department), and Nissan Primera GTs (might have been drinking that day!), it was Millsy that turned my eBay attention to the EP3 Type R - reminding me that if I was going to get a new MAXERS project car, I should get one that's seriously tuneable. I thank him for this generous moment of clarity - whilst happily pointing out that it might just be his downfall (evil laugh).
The EP3 Type R has long been a Maxer's favourite, with the venerable K20 engine hitting addictive 8000rpm highs like nothing else out there (that your average chap or chapess can afford). It sure sounds exotic as it rips past the VTEC, but they don't cost exotic.
However, it's not all fun 'n' games - you pay for the top-end power with low-down torque. The standard K20 couldn't even pull down Millsy's frilly knickers! Some Maxers go for a turbo or supercharger - then you're really laughing - while others, the really cool kids, go K24. That's a 2.4-litre bottom end under the K20 head, replacing the stock 2-litre. With a few choice bolt-ons to help it breathe more easily, and a remap, you've got much more torque AND all that lovely, screaming top-end power. It's a win-win. Or, indeed, lose-lose - if you're Millsy in his wobbly old Beemer.
In the pic above is my 260bhp / 200lb-ft, K24 motor, and you can see it's got those tasty, breathe better bolt-ons. Here's the basic tech spec:
Honda CRV 2.4-litre bottom end
Standard K20 head
Tegiwa carbon fibre airbox with scuttle panel air intake
Skunk2 Racing inlet with 70mm throttle body
Tegiwa manifold and full exhaust
So, while the car cost me a fairly hefty £5250, with the K24 work already done - and running like a dream, I might add - and some quality upgrades nestled around that bright-red rocker cover, this might just be the car to break Millsy's heart, without breaking the bank.
On the whole the car is straight and clean in the important places, with just the front bumper and bonnet needing a tidy - likely a quick and cool wrap for now - and the underside wanting a clean up and reseal, like most EP3s these days. Everything works as it should, with that Honda build quality in full effect. These cars and engines will run hard and long, if you look after them.
I like the bread van shape, but put it next to Millsy's wide, low and phat M3 coupe, and the EP3 starts to look a bit like a 6-pint munter. The aftermarket, that's stacked with cool styling and tuning parts for Civics, will have to help me out here. And in a competition - the MAXERS build-off - that will be marked, in part, on looks and styling, I'm already half writing that off as a Millsy win. Unless he goes pink like he did with his last Beemer, of course! I'll let him tell you that story.
The cars will also face-off on a circuit, a drag race, and a viewer vote from all you lovely Maxers out there. So I fully expect to win three out of the four. You know who to vote for!
Lots to do then, MAXERS fans, for both Millsy and I to get our cars race and show ready. I've just sent a long mods list to the guys at Tegiwa Imports - EP3 Civic Type R tuning product specialists - to get the big-bhp-ball rolling. Millsy and I have both done video reviews of our cars in their current states, and he's already starting to crack - under the weight of his lardy BM. While his M3 might have a bit more power - at the moment - it's also a whopping 350kgs heavier than the little EP3. I mean, 350kgs?! That's nearly as chunky as... you guessed it... Millsy's mum!
Take a look at the videos below and let us know who you'll be supporting in this titanic modding battle. And remember, there can be only one!
This next one is good if you're having trouble sleeping at night!