Project Civic SI – Intake and Exhaust
By Aaron LaBeau
When it came time to succumb to the modifying bug with the Civic SI (FA5) I realized in modifying cars we are doing something reflective of ourselves. One of the best parts about modifying a car is making it yours. If you've been reading our publication for a while you know we favor racecar parts and function over stanced out showcars. But, there's that line you cross when your street car loses the comfort and convenience in exchange for that performance that makes your car so different from every other one out there. With this project we're going after that balance between street car and performance and more importantly, the ablity to pass a SMOG check since we live in the people's republic of California. With these goals in mind, eeking out more performance from our SI will be no easy task with a normally aspirated engine that makes nearly 100hp per liter from the factory.
We're covering the bolt-on basics of helping the engine breathe better by adding a high-flow intake and exhaust. Transitioning to the Honda world from compact Nissans is weird. Instead of two or three intakes available for the venerable SR20DE market there are hundreds of choices for the Honda K series of engines. Though, our choices are drastically narrowed when seeking SMOG legal intakes. Enter CT-Engineering.
Powder-coated heatshield and high-flow air filter goodness but most important is the CARB E.O. number on the MAF adapter that allows us to SMOG the car.
|The Holy Grail in the automotive aftermarket! CARB E.O. exemption|
When you look at the CT-Engineering intake for the Civic SI on the web it frankly doesn't look like much compared to their carbon fiber air-box for the NSX but it doesn't carry the NSX pricetag either. When the box arrived at my door step it was much larger than I expected, most of the size attributed to the large heat shield. Short runner intakes for this car are known to get heat soaked, so in this application the heat shield makes a lot of sense. There are only about two other manufacturers that I've seen with CARB E.O. numbers for their intakes and since we plan on using other CT-Engineering parts down the road, at this point we're going for a all parts designed to work together approach.
|Stock vs. modified with the CT intake; the stock hose shown above is re-used in this application|
Howard at Technosquare is the man! He didn’t need the instructions but looks much more official with them in his hand.