IS THE HONDA CIVIC DX COUPE A GOOD CAR TO MAKE IT IMPORT RACING STYLE, OR IS ANOTHER MODEL LIKE A HONDA LX OR EX BETTER TO MAKE IT IMPORT RACING STYLE, IM LOOKIN FOR A MANUAL TRANSMISSIION WITH 2 DOORS...
The coupe is a better choice as far as overall body rigidity. In other words, you'll have less chasis flex with the coupe; the chasis design of the coupe makes it stronger than the hatchback. Less chasis flex results in better control of the car. The CX hatchback will be the lightest of the EK chasis Civic's. You should invest in parts to stiffen rear section of hatchback chasis. Here are some specs on the two motors offered in 1996-2000 USDM Civic -
CX / DX / LX - D16Y7
Horsepower - 106hp @ 6200rpm
Torque - 103ft-lb @ 4600rpm
EX - D16Y8
Horsepower - 127hp @ 6600rpm
Torque - 107ft-lb @ 5500rpm
If you are not concerned with weight or swapping the stock motor, choose EX model. It has a SOHC VTEC, rear disc brakes, and all the power options. Plus, the EX ECU and transmission are slightly more aggressive, resulting in better performance. Depending on your budget, you should first upgrade intake and exhaust. Opening the intake / exhaust is one of the best ways to make power. Most Honda motors have very restrictive intake and exhaust systems. Installing a Skunk2 throttle body / intake manifold will result in good power gains. I suggest a 2-piece design exhaust manifold, incorporated with a stainless steel cat-back exhaust system. DC Sports makes a decent stainless steel exhaust header. Tanabe makes good cat-back systems for Honda. Install a 2-piece exhaust header because they are slightly easier to install than 1-piece designs; use a stainless steel exhaust manifold if you have the money. After installing bolt-ons, you should -
#1 Re-map ECU, let me know if you need to know how, this is also the cheapest way to make better use of your newly installed parts
#2 Re-program ECU, using Hondata re-flash, then get your motor dyno tuned
#3 Purchase a "piggy-back" AFC unit, such as Apexi NEO, then get your motor dyno tuned
#4 Purchase a "stand-alone" unit, such as AEM EMS, then have motor dyno tuned
Dyno tuning is the best way to get the most performance out of your motor.
I run a 1993 CX hatchback. I chose the CX because it does not come with air conditioning or a factory radio. Of all the models offered, the CX is the lightest. The rear/cargo area of my hatchback has been modified to increase body rigidity. I installed a C-pillar bar along with a rear tower brace, and some minor welding on subframe to increase stiffness of chasis. If you are unfamiliar with pillars, here is an explanation -
A pillars - located in between windshield and driver/passenger side windows (front dash)
B pillars - located in between front and rear doors on sedan, or in between driver/passenger doors and rear side glass on coupe/hatchback
C pillars - located in between rear side glass and rear windshield (back dash)
Hope this helps your build, let me know if you need further help.
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