What is the most common thing car guys (and girls) dream of? Power of course! There are only a few who finally take action to follow their dreams though, but those who do get high rewards as our today's feature Veselin has found out. His Civic EM2 is truly a Phoenix risen from the ashes.
Like Stanimir of our last K20-EM2 feature, Veselin is a car enthusiast from Bulgaria who has been with Honda for quite a long time. Before he bought his recent automobile six years ago, he had already owned a 6th-gen Civic for five years. He absolutely loved it but it was time to move on and trying something new. Among all the Civics out there, the EM2 offered him the most unique platform to start a new project with and that's where everything has begun! Having a lot of similarities with the DC5 Integra and the EP3 Civic, the EM2 was his perfect choice.
How It All Started
Let's go back in time a bit. Veselin bought a bone stock EM2 back in 2013 and immediately fell in love with the coupe. It was exactly the car he was looking for. Obviously, the car wasn't stock for long since he was planning to race it. Parts by well-known brands found their way into the car. Front lip, side skirts, and a new front grill made the overall looks of the car a bit more aggressive. He also installed Tein N1 coilovers, Skunk2 rear lower control arms and a rear subframe by ASR.
Enough to make it track suitable.
Another Blown D17
Unfortunately, Veselin's D17-engine was no exception when it comes to reliability. One of the crankshaft bearings gave up and left his engine totaled. He expects that a wrong chosen type of engine oil was the culprit.
From there, he had two options. Buying a new D17 for cheap and eventually facing the same problem again, or following his dreams and finally give his car the engine it deserved.
Donor Car From Britain
It didn't take long for him to make a decision and he imported an EP3 Civic right after. By stripping the car down he was able to get all the required parts for the swap.
With a price tag of £1100 + £500 for shipping, the car came out as a true bargain. He drove the EP3 for another two weeks to make sure everything was in working order. The valve cover gasket was leaking oil, but besides this minor issue the engine was operating flawlessly and Veselin started to take the car apart under pretty harsh conditions. No professional workshop or tools at all. Just an abandoned garage with some basic equipment.
First, Veselin gave everything a deep clean and painted the engine bay to make everything look nice and neat. Right after, it was time to fit the engine into the EM2's engine bay by welding in the EP3 engine mounts and mounting the whole subframe along with the engine. Installing the EP3 mounts instead of aftermarket parts took him another eight hours of work but in the end, he was able to save around $600.
"In Bulgaria, you can get an entire car for this amount."
The most challenging part was done. Engine bay and a bunch of other parts also got a little refresh and new paint.
Now it was time to wire in the K20 engine harness. By having the 01-05 Civic K-Swap Wiring Guide handy, everything went smoothly and the engine was almost ready for its first start. As we know from our own K-Swap projects, this must have been an incredible feeling and the results speak for themselves.
The First Start
The car behaves in the way he wanted it to. Aggressive on the track but still a reliable daily driver since Veselin kept some basic comfort features like air conditioning and power steering.
Even though he is really happy and satisfied with the build, he already has some future plans. A K24A3 block and a Hondata ECU will soon find their way into the car to make it even more powerful. We are looking forward to seeing future updates from Veselin and his Honda.
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