MotoIQ’s Project Civic Sheds Weight with Seibon

Moto IQ’s Annie Sam:

What was supposed to have only been a simple six month project to boost Project Civic EJ’s performance with basic bolt-on applications has turned into a two year journey when we blew our head gasket at Buttonwillow Raceway.

Fast forward two years and Project Honda Civic EJ was finally turning the corner to focus more on finishing the build. But then again… as any gearhead would question, are you really ever finished?

Moto IQ's Civic Project

Moto IQ’s Project Civic. Photo credit: Moto IQ.com.

Flashy has never been our style, and we prefer to let our time slips do the talking for us, which is why we decided to keep most of Project Honda Civic EJ’s styling clean and subtle. Besides the Enkei PF01’s rims wrapped in Nitto NT01’s and Skunk2 Megapower Exhaust, the only other major visible modification we opted for was a carbon fiber hood from Seibon Carbon Products.

Moto IQ's Project Civic in Enkei PF01's rims wrapped in Nitto NT01's. Photo credit: MotoIQ.com.

Moto IQ’s Project Civic in Enkei PF01’s rims wrapped in Nitto NT01’s. Photo credit: MotoIQ.com.

Let us rewind a bit so that you can get a greater appreciation of how far this project has come by showing you where it came from. At the beginning of this project, the chassis was pushing 270,000 miles on a clutch that had about 120,000 miles on it and a stock B18C1 which was swapped into the car at the same time. To put things in perspective, the miles I had driven with this car could’ve taken me on 34 trips around the earth.

Photo credit: MotoIQ.com.

Photo credit: MotoIQ.com.

The paint was faded, the trim was cracked, and the door panels battle scarred and war-torn from years of parking in undersized stalls next to oversized SUVs. Throw in a couple of track battle scars collected at places such as turn 10 at Streets of Willow Springs, or turn 15 at Auto Club Speedway and you can only imagine how beat down my little Civic looked.

My little rendezvous with the tire wall at Auto Club Speedway is why I needed to replace my hood, so what better opportunity than this to replace it with a carbon fiber one? I was pretty excited about getting a new hood because since I was 16, I had always wanted a carbon fiber hood. Back then, my only reason was just because they looked so cool. Now that I’m older and wiser, I was also excited for the weight reduction that it gave us.

Civic's OEM hood.

Civic’s OEM hood.

 The stock hood weighed in at 33 pounds.

Seibon Carbon OEM hood.

Seibon Carbon OEM hood.

The Seibon carbon fiber hood weighed in at 19 pounds… that’s a 14 pound weight reduction!

Check out the fiberglass skeleton on the bottom side of the hood, you can see that it’s pretty sturdy. This is one of the important things to look for when shopping for a carbon fiber hood. Some of the cheaper brands skimp out on the support, which makes them flimsy and prone to warping.

Photo credit: Moto IQ.com.

Photo credit: Moto IQ.com.

Another thing to pay attention to are the weaves in the carbon fiber. Seibon uses full single sheets for a clean continuous weave. Fitment is also important. This hood was perfectly shaped and fit as snug as my OEM hood.

How the epoxy is laid also makes a difference in the structural support of the hood, as well as the pattern of the weave. Notice how the weaves are all straight and aligned? In lower quality carbon fiber products, you will often see waves and bumps in the weave – which are usually the result of a lack of attention to detail.

Photo credit: Moto IQ.com.

Photo credit: Moto IQ.com.

The makeover that we decided to give Project Civic was long overdue and well deserved for a car that had been my old faithful for so many years. We decided to take our Civic to the Maaco Auto Body shop in Riverside, California to straighten out her lines and to give her a fresh paint job.

Keep in mind also that we understood the compromise in the end result of what we were looking for. This was never going to be a show car, and it was probably going to see more track days after this project was completed. We weren’t exactly looking for the polished show car finish paint job that you would expect to see at your local Hot Import Nights, just a presentable, track ready machine.

Photo credit: Moto IQ.com.

Photo credit: Moto IQ.com.

While we were at it, we brought in my new Seibon carbon fiber hood to have it cleared/UV coated. Although Seibon’s carbon products all come with an epoxy coating which is already pretty high quality to begin with, it didn’t cost us that much more to throw it in with the pile of fenders and bumpers that we were getting painted at Maaco. An extra UV coating never hurts, especially if you don’t have to go out of your way to get it done.

It only took Maaco one week to get the dings removed, and the car painted. With the exterior done and the engine build in its final stages of being completed, our next step is to take it out to Buttonwillow to see what she can do.

Checkout Moto IQ’s full article on Project Civic here: http://www.motoiq.com/magazine_articles/id/3013/project-honda-civic-ej-gets-a-full-body-makeover.aspx

Shop for Seibon Carbon products here: http://www.Seiboncarbon.com.

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