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EG Hatchback RWD Conversion Ideas

 
Old 01-19-2019, 10:51 PM
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Default EG Hatchback RWD Conversion Ideas

I'll say this up front just to be clear- I'm just in the beginning planning stages for a build within the next couple years. I don't have the ability to start this right away, but I do plan on doing something starting in about a year from now. I'm open to suggestions, as I'm fairly new to the world of cars. I do plan on doing a good chunk of the fab work myself, which will both save money and add time to the project, and I'm OK with that. I think I like the idea of a RWD setup using a K24 motor, but I've had the idea of a J32 also floating around...

I currently daily drive a 1992 Honda Civic VX hatchback, bone stock. It is actually in pretty good shape, motor runs great, and by this time next year I plan to have it essentially totally rebuilt (to stock-ish) with a few upgrades like suspension and some creature comforts, as I really do enjoy driving the car and love the gas mileage and how fun it can be to push hard on my curvy back roads. That being said, I've never really been a Honda guy, but this car has changed my mind. I've fallen in love with the looks and how great it drives, even with worn out suspension and under 100 horsepower. I can easily see the appeal of swapping in a more powerful motor and really letting it rip! I'll have to buy a second car to do the swap, as I 100% am going to keep the quirky D15Z1 and it's lean burn in my current car.

So, I'll have a 5th gen Civic hatchback to turn into a weekend canyon carver and to take to some occasional track days. I don't plan on trailering the car, so it needs to be built mildly enough to retain the reliability to drive roughly 15k miles a year without any crazy problems due to asking too much from the car. I'm not completely sold on the RWD aspect of this, as I'm not yet sure how the handling and overall performance would turn out versus just a regular motor swap keeping it FWD. My gut is telling me RWD would be a bit easier to shuffle around a good road course, but I worry there might be too much weight in the front of the car to show any improvements good enough to justify the conversion from FWD. Any thoughts or references on the weight distribution aspect of this? I know the logistics of making it mechanically work are possible, and really not THAT bad, all things considering. I can weld (I'm not a pro, but I can do basic stuff and I'm learning more as I go), I've got a copy of SolidWorks if I need to design any new brackets or whatnot, and I work at a plant that can laser cut and bend basically any part I design as long as I pay raw materials cost, which is hardly anything compared to buying pre-made stuff. My ideal goal is to be able to make in the neighborhood of 300 whp, no forced induction. I could be convinced to run a turbo setup though if I can guarantee the maintenance or reliability wouldn't prove to be a problem. With a turbo I'd expect more than 300 whp, though.

I basically want to built a somewhat unique car that will be an absolute blast to drive in the mountain roads and have fun at the track without being "that guy" getting in the way. RWD is appealing, but again my biggest concern is the weight distribution. Any thoughts or advice?
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: EG Hatchback RWD Conversion Ideas

Personally I'd recommend keeping it FWD, and if you want to make 300WHP N/A you'll have to do a fairly serious K24 build.

AWD conversions on these cars are hard, time consuming, and (potentially) very expensive. RWD conversions are even less common as the entire engine has to be rotated inside the bay - Nothing will fit as it's supposed to from the factory.


It would be easier to get a FWD hatch to handle appropriately around the bends and twisties than a RWD or even AWD swapped hatch. There are tried and proven suspension combinations and parts that will make the car succeed with FWD, in comparison a lot of the RWD and AWD things you would have to figure out yourself.

"Built" K24 all motor + PNN4 transmission + Good LSD + Good tires + Coilovers, Rear Sway Bar, Rear LCA, New Bushings all around. Bam, you're done.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: EG Hatchback RWD Conversion Ideas

Originally Posted by Chance EG View Post
It would be easier to get a FWD hatch to handle appropriately around the bends and twisties than a RWD or even AWD swapped hatch. There are tried and proven suspension combinations and parts that will make the car succeed with FWD, in comparison a lot of the RWD and AWD things you would have to figure out yourself.

"Built" K24 all motor + PNN4 transmission + Good LSD + Good tires + Coilovers, Rear Sway Bar, Rear LCA, New Bushings all around. Bam, you're done.
That's basically what I'm trying to be sure of before making a decision and buying parts- I don't want to spend the time and effort to do something if there is no performance benefit to it. There are a good many very fast FWD cars out there. I'm sure I'd have an absolute blast in basically anything once it's on the track, and I know I won't be setting any records with any car I build. I have always dreamed of having a car that was as fun to drive as my motorcycle was to ride- instant throttle response, nice fat power band, and quick handling. I'm basically hoping to build something that any motor sports enthusiast could take to their favorite canyon or mountain road and walk away with a big smile on their face.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: EG Hatchback RWD Conversion Ideas

K24 N/A is a great option for throttle response and a large amount of low and mid range torque.

There is an AWD subforum now on Honda-Tech, if you wanted to check for more information there about an AWD conversion. For your goals, I wouldn't recommend going through an AWD conversion, but I'd recommend RWD even less. Keep it FWD and build the suspension around that and your goals.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: EG Hatchback RWD Conversion Ideas

The only way I see a k24 setup being effective in a rwd platform would be a mid engine setup but I'm unsure as to how it would effect handling. To be 100% honest, I've owned a **** load of cars ranging from 100-450whp fwd, 200-400whp rwd and a few 300-550whp awd cars. After that I can say I'm really not a huge fan of rwd, they are unpredictable when overpowered and usually the cars feel like they want to try to kill you if your not careful. Being that you are somewhat a beginer I would recommend something very basic and simple, a 300whp ls turbo eg is plenty of power to have tons of fun with and with the right tire setup on it and a big rear sway bar the car will handle amazingly. Don't doubt fwd, it's not as horrible as people think, there's allot of really fast egs in auto-x and road racing that do awesome in the twistys. Plus stock engine placement and a direct bolt in swap like a ls motor gives you much more reliablility then some back yard engineered mid engine rwd setup.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: EG Hatchback RWD Conversion Ideas

Originally Posted by K7-1Ktrevor View Post
The only way I see a k24 setup being effective in a rwd platform would be a mid engine setup but I'm unsure as to how it would effect handling. To be 100% honest, I've owned a **** load of cars ranging from 100-450whp fwd, 200-400whp rwd and a few 300-550whp awd cars. After that I can say I'm really not a huge fan of rwd, they are unpredictable when overpowered and usually the cars feel like they want to try to kill you if your not careful. Being that you are somewhat a beginer I would recommend something very basic and simple, a 300whp ls turbo eg is plenty of power to have tons of fun with and with the right tire setup on it and a big rear sway bar the car will handle amazingly. Don't doubt fwd, it's not as horrible as people think, there's allot of really fast egs in auto-x and road racing that do awesome in the twistys. Plus stock engine placement and a direct bolt in swap like a ls motor gives you much more reliablility then some back yard engineered mid engine rwd setup.
Yeah I am definitely leaning towards keeping the FWD for this build and staying with what is known to work. Lol I still canít shake the desire to build something crazy, but Iíve already started drawing up plans for a full custom tube frame mid engine RWD car- will probably build and equip it similar to a formula 3 car for the track
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: EG Hatchback RWD Conversion Ideas

I had a ls turbo eg back in like 2008-2009 that was a stock motor on 17lbs with boost by gear. It would run 11's in the quarter, handled amazing and stIll was able to get 34mpg and I had a total of about 4K into the car. That would be my recommendation. Build the suspension and brakes right now while you drive the car so you can get it dialed in then put together a full swap and drop it in in a weekend once its ready. Civic vx's are really sweet cars and it's a great platform to start with. My ls turbo with boost by gear would screech tires 1st-4th, it was litteraly dialed in to being right on the edge of traction and each gear got faster. This was with 314whp/280 tq.
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