Civic tuning and performance parts

All you need to know about "Honda Civic Tuning"

The Honda Civic is probably one of the best supported cars from the aftermarket car parts tuning scene.

Having been around for so long it is very well developed and due to this it has legendary reliability and the Civic engines are strong and have a lot to give the potential Civic tuner.

There are also loads of styling parts around with plenty of Civic bodykits and exhausts. There are probably more parts for the Civic than for any other model of car.

So onto the Honda Civic tuning tips:-
All Honda engines are solid, reliable and rev happy. In fact to get the most out of them you need to rev them quite hard.

Before we detail your best tuning upgrade options as stages of tune, let's list the most effective tuning upgrades for you.

  1. Tunes & remaps - remapping, piggyback ECU's and aftermarket ECU's can all make decent gains
  2. Fuelling (injectors & pump) - when you've increased power you'll need to match this with more fuel
  3. Turbo upgrades - Improving the intake with a large turbo and better flowing intercooler will be the biggest power gain you'll see (but one of the most complex).
  4. Suspension Upgrades - always improve your cars handling
  5. Brake Upgrades - Even before adding power improve those brakes
  6. Intake - make sure your cars intake isn't restricted, use performance filters and intake upgrades to improve this
  7. Exhaust - as with 3 ensure there is not restriction in the exhaust, cats are the usual bottleneck

This video guide to tuning cars is a great starting point to work from in your project.

Stage 1 mods: 

Alloy wheels, Remap, Suspension upgrade (drop 24mm - 40 mm.), Sports exhaust, Panel air filter, Lighter flywheel.

Stage 2 mods: 

Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades, Power/Sport clutch, high flow fuel injector, Ported and polished head.

Stage 3 mods: 

Engine balancing, Sports gearbox, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves).

The VTEC mechanism is a clever mechanism that alters the camshaft timing to deliver more air to the engine.

This creates the effect of having two cars, a sedate economical family car and a screeching sports hatch.

Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Non VTEC engines are not fantastic when it comes to tuning so you could do an engine swap and get a 70% power hike plus it would be a better base to work from.

If you have a non VTEC engine then Car Tuning Tips would focus on improving the handling and braking of these smaller engined models.

This will create a fun car that is good in the corners.

The 1.8 VTEC is the engine of choice. The one fitted to the Integra shows how much you can wring out of a Honda engine.

The old rules of 100hp per 1000cc does not seem to apply to the Honda engines.

We have also seen some crazy conversions to the 2.2 Prelude VTEC engine and also there have been some turbo engine conversions.

Whilst these have been done they are not for the fainthearted and really do require a lot of thought and skill to achieve.

If you are new to tuning or have a limited budget stick with a VTEC engine and do the following modifications.

As the engines are happiest when revved hard you need to exploit this. A set of decent exhaust headers will help the flow of exhaust gases from the engine.

A 4 to 1 pipe setup seems to be best suited to the Honda engines. Fit a sports cat and then look to do some fast road cams, air intake and sports exhaust & port matching getting the valves enlarged and a 3 angle valve job will also free up a few more ponies.

For the power mad you always have the option of fitting a supercharger or turbo. Another option you may consider is adding nitrous injection kits, this alone can add 50bhp more power to your engine.

What other modifications?
Brake upgrades should be considered. A 6 pot caliper is probably overkill but will really help the car to stop.

Mate this to a larger brake disk, and high friction sports pads and you will be able to stop in a much shorter distance.

Handling mods are also worth considering for your Civic, we would recommend that you get fully adjustable suspension kits so you can set this up to suit your driving style.

If you are lowering the car then stick with a drop of 40mm any more than this and you need to change the suspension geometry and get the arches rolled.

Further reading.
We suggest that if you want a bit more information on Civic tuning you consult the following sources. TorqueCars have a comprehensive  Civic tuning article and also a very active, friendly and helpful Civic forum.

If you have any tips to pass on please use our comments box below and we will update this article, after all we are all here to share knowledge.

Please also let us know if we've missed out an engine or performance mod that you feel should be included in here.

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Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

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One Response to “Honda Civic Tuning”

  1. keith says:

    hi im wondering whats the best performance exhaust system thats not to loud but thats deep and strong