City Turbo Conversion For a First Generation Civic
All of the following info was written by Trevor even though it has been posted by Brendan.
There are many different conversions for the civic. Some include worked 1200’s, 1600’s, 1800’s and sometimes even 2ltr’s. All these are great but sometimes they take away the driveability and fuel consumption that you become accustom to with the civic. The city turbo conversion in most circumstances increases driveability and gets better fuel consumption than the original 1200 (unless your driving around under boost for a long period of time).
The first hurdle you must come across is sourcing an engine. These engines are starting to get harder and harder to find as time goes on due to its popularity. I managed to find mine from a Jap Importer in Sydney and it was just a matter of calling everywhere in the yellow pages until I found one. If possible try and obtain the whole front cut not just the motor, as this will really help down the track. If I knew then what I do now I would have definitely done this.
Before you pull anything apart mark or write down where everything goes.
EG. Make a note of all the vacuum lines and try not to mix any up. Get a good idea of how the wiring is layed out and even take notes. ETC.
The City Turbo has the exhaust manifold on the backside of the motor compared to the civic, which has the exhaust manifold coming out the front. Its almost like its been turned around. To accommodate this you will need to shorten the top engine mount but this is the only major mod that is needed.
The series 1 city turbo has a more civic friendly inlet manifold. This will need no modification to fit. On the other hand the series 2 has a taller inlet and will need some modification to fit. My civic has a series 2 so I had to cut a hole in the bonnet and cover it with a little bonnet hump, I have also raised the bonnet a couple of cm’s so there is enough clearance for the intercooler pipes. I am probably going to change this to a little bonnet scoop for extra airflow anyway. You can avoid this by finding someone that does aluminium welding and just shortening it, or sourcing yourself a series 1 inlet.
Once the motor is in I notice that sometimes the standard cat converter rubs up slightly against the back of the engine bay, as it comes straight off the turbo. This can make a very annoying rattle and also comes very close to the driveshaft. If you try and bend this or move it to much it puts a lot of strain on the back of the turbo housing and can cause damage (as I found out). As the standard cat is a piece of junk anyway the best thing to do is just to fit a big dump pipe off the turbo and run a high flow cat under the car. This gives you a good power increase as well.
There are quite a few different places to fit an intercooler. The most obvious place is next to the radiator behind the grill, but the spark plug leads and alternator can cause some problems if the intercooler is to big. It would be best to use right angle spark plug leads to give you more room. Another option would be to relocate the battery inside the car and use this space for a water to air intercooler or an air to air intercooler but you have to be careful that its getting cold air from somewhere (ie. bonnet vent). I have put my intercooler out the front of the car, in front of the grill but behind the bumper. There is a long sheet of metal that the indicators sit on which can be cut to allow a lot of room for the intercooler. The problem with this is that there is no hiding that it is a turbo and it tends to get a little hammered by rocks from other cars.
Plumbing the intercooler is the same for every spot, just make up some sort of template and get your local exhaust shop to make up the pipes to suit, or just get some mandrel bends and do it yourself. I recommend fitting up an intercooler as it makes a noticeable increase in power.[/b:1keq2rw1]
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