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EK Honda Civic 96+ CX/DX/HX/EX, SiR, Si (Canada)

Articles and Writeups:

   *  "Finally" ScottDR's 96 EK Hybrid Story

    *  EK Info from Matt Blodgett

by Lawrence Hwang

     Before you read beware that I am a first time tech writer. I am simply sharing my experiences and will appreciate any comments. I am not responsible for anyone and/or their properties as a result of reading this page. So please bare with me and here we go...

A Word of Advice

    1996+ models are all OBDII compliant and the law only permits same year or newer engine hybrids.  If you want a reliable hybrid just like how Honda does it (ie. JDM EK4 SiR, EK9 Civic TypeR, USDM Civic Si) then stay with OBDII. Trying to go OBDI will require some serious work including endless wiring problems as well as check engine lights if not done right. In short, don't mess with it unless you really know what you are dealing with.

    Other than ECM/ECU plug differences, OBDII engine basically has an additional O2 sensor behind the cat and a crank fluctuation sensor located near the oil pump.

    Also, DO get your engine, transmission, axles, wiring, ECU, engine mounts, shift linkage... from the SAME car if you can. There is always something else that you need even if you buy a "complete swap". So pump up your love for the sport and prepare for the worst.

Engine Choices

    Surprisingly, EKs are as good of a hybrid choice as the EGs.  Despite the cost, everything is plug n' play.  With the increasing demand in DOHC VTEC engines, we are facing more choices than ever.  If you live in California, smog check is inevitable.  Getting a USDM (United States Domestic Market) engine will save you a lot of trouble - at the very least get the USDM block.  For other lucky enthusiasts from other states JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) engines will give you a little more power right out of the box.  Be sure the buy the ones with no water in it.  Please look up the engine specs from the swap info page on Hybrid for further details.

1.  JDM B18C Spec R/USDM B18C5
2.  JDM B18C/USDM B18C1
3.  JDM B16A/USDM B16A3
4.  USDM B18A (why would you not want VTEC? ;)

    Frankly, we will always quest for more power no matter which engine we start with, so starting with 1.8 will save some regrets in the long run.  Because EK weighs a lot, a similar EG swap may be a little faster.

What You Will Need

(From the donor car)
1. DOHC power plant

2. Transmission

3. Axles
    -DC integras, EG Del sol VTEC, 99+ US Civic Si

4. ECU
    - Match your engine, OBDII for less trouble

5. Engine wiring harness
    - It is the plugs that you need

6. shift linkages/shifter
    - DC integras, EG Del Sol VTEC, 99+ US Civic Si

7. motor/transmission mounts
    - you need all mounts except driver side mount (right below the sprockets) where you will use your stock one.

   - you will need a 99+ USDM Civic Si rear upper mount.

8. Exhaust manifold
    - get a nice light one while you are at it.

9. Catalytic converter
    - you will need a larger than stock one if you want to run the JDM 98Spec ITR's 4-1 header.

10. Del Sol VTEC/99+ US Civic Si A/C mounting bracket
    - to match your AC compressor make. ie. Nippondenzo (only if you want AC)

11. Helms factory service manuals.
    - One for your stock EK and one for your DOHC engine.


    You will need an engine lift to do the swap. If you have the cash, dish them out and have an engine put in your car.  If not, or if you just want to enjoy the physical swap, rent or borrow an engine lift. Do not plan to finish a swap in one weekend. I gaurantee you that some thing will come up and you will have to walk to work. Have a second car ready if this is your daily driver. Make sure that you have 99% of what you need before pulling anything. Frankly, with your Helms manuals, you really don't need my amateur advices here. Just follow it carefully and you are all set.

    Basically DO this:  ( I am writing from the top of my head, so correct me if you spot anything )

    - Jack up the car, put it on jack stands.
    - drain coolant into a bucket.
    - pull off front wheels.
    - disconnect, remove battery as well as battery base.
    - unplug ECU.
    - remove air intake.
    - unplug all the plugs that you see that go to the engine, tranny, distributor, intake manifold...etc.
    - pull the whole wiring harness out of the car. That's right, the main wiring harness from the engine to the ECU.
    - mess with the wiring. (This will take all day)  Please refer to wiring section.
    - disconnect shifter from tranny, pull out the shifter along with linkage.
    - pull off AC compressor.(I don't know the proper procedure to discharge the F13... figure out the proper way).
    - disconnect and pull out header.
    - disconnect the front shocks, lower arm and the axles. CV joint will come apart if you pull. Pry, don't pull!
    - remove the 32mm nut at the front hub to completely pull out the driveshafts (axles).
    - check that the engine isn't still connected in anyway except the engine and tranny mounts.
    - use your lift to secure the engine/tranny position.
    - remove all mounts.
    - pull out the engine/tranny.  Be sure to check if you still have all 10 of your fingers.
    - match the new wiring to your DOHC engine, simulate and figure out where everything goes.
    - change the driver side engine mount to your stock EK mount.
    - drop in your DOHC and secure all mounts. Be careful and be patient.
    - now do the reverse of engine removal and you are done.

    Now, for the details, Helms will tell you.  I can only tell you that everything fit like factory.  If in doubt, please visit your local Honda dealer and pop a hood of a 99 Si and compare your engine against it.


    I guess this is where all the problems are.  If you don't have Helms... Forget it, pick up a copy before you start.  Basically, you use what you have, add what you don't have and change the plugs to the GSR plugs if your EK plugs don't plug in. Do verify each and every plug for their functions and connections. You are learning what the car needs and this will make trouble shooting a lot easier. After messing with the wiring, do a test fit on the DOHC engine before droping the it in.

Example: 1997 EK with 1997 USDM GSR B18C engine.

You should see this from both your OBDII EK ECU as well as GSR ECU.  The above B plug is here on denoted as C.

    Let us first compare plug A of DC GSR (above) to the EK (below).  Remember, most of your changes are on the engine wiring harness side. You either lengthen, shorten change plug or add plug to your wiring on the engine side. The only time you will need to mess with these plugs are when you are adding a wire. Our goal is to feed the GSR ECU every wire that it needs, what ever it does not need, we can just forget it.
   We see that 1-4 are the same. 5 and 6 are O2 sensors. Although the color of the wires differs they have the same function. You will need to extend the O2 sensor plugs to plug into the new location on the header and behind the cat.
   7 is EGR for the EKs. GSR doesn't have that so just forget it.  8 is VTEC solenoid valve.  GRN/YEL wire for both EK and DC.  You will need to add this wire to your main wiring unless you had VTEC.  9-12 are the same.  13,14 only exist on EK.
15-25 are the same. 26 is the IAB SOL for the GSR. Does "secondary butterflies" ring a bell? You will need to add this wire.  27 is the same.  Forget the rest.  There, you are done with plug A.  If you are tired.  Put it off and come back later.  Overworking is very bad for your health... unless you are Mr. Bauer who never yawn, sleep or get short, car slave... ;)

    Now, let's look at plug C.  The reason it is C is that there is a plug B which is used for automatics, which, we should never get involved in.  Pin 1 and 2 are the specialities of OBDII, CKF sensor.  If you don't have this, you are messing with the wrong wiring harness.  1-18 looks the same.  19 is for automatics.  21 is light green for the barometic sensor.  Frankly I don't remember what I did with this guy.  If you know what it is, please let me know.  27-29 on the GSR ECU is for the automatics.  So there, nothing for you to do except to plug it in.

For the D plug, 1-5 are the same. 6 is the knock sensor.  Again if you have DX/CX, add a wire.  The rest are all good.  Just plug it in and you are set for the ECU side.

The engine side is more of a pain than the ECU side. The reason being that GSR uses a different style of engine harness.  EGs are straight plug in from the engine side, but for the EKs, it is easier to use your existing engine harness and modify as needed.

Cool Things I Learned

1.  Running a straight pipe is illegal. But if you are going for a track event, pick up a DX after market cat-back exhaust for your EK hatch back. Connect it to any GSR header and it will bolt right up without the cat.

2.  Notice that sorry little thin radiator in your EK? Don't worry, pick up a stock 96+ Automatic model EK dual core radiator. Cut off or just forget about the ATF bypass down there and you got yourself some cheap, geniune honda sports radiator.

3.  Want to rub your EK the TypeR way?... Well DC2R suspension components BOLT up.  However, I have heard that integra shocks are little longer than EKs... I need to look into that.

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Swap Info

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