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Honda build

I’m looking to purchase a super cheap 2000 Honda Civic Ex coupe (manual) shell and mod it out. I understand Honda parts are someone cheap and easy to find but I’m not sure all the parts that are required for the build. I’m doing this as a hobby thing and also to teach myself how to do something new because I may want to get into the car mechanic scene, I’ve always loved cars. I just need help in coming up with a list of parts in hopes of getting around 250 hp without boost. Ofc I haven’t purchased the car yet but I’d like to get a general understanding of what I’ll need. Ofc thst all depends on the condition of the car itself but I can judge what I do and don’t need off the list on my own. I’m new to the car scene and I want to learn more and have been told Honda civics are a great start.

Generally you will need 4x more $ than expected.


Unless you have experience with a wrench and routine car maintenance (which I doubt, from the tone of your message), getting straight to the engine mods will be quite a challenge and I’m with @Barkydog, it will be quite more expense than initially planned.

No offense, but if you’re really so green . . . you might be better off with a domestic brand

For example a small block Chevy . . . there have been several generations, parts are plentiful and by virtue of the numbers generally cheaper than similar parts for an import engine

And there’s also Ford . . .

I take it you’re on the young side, as such, you might want something “sporty”

Am I even close . . . ?

I suggest buying a Mustang or Camaro. You can pick up an older one for a reasonable price.

To me the word 'Shell ’ means it does not have an engine or transmission . I could make a 3 page list and still not have every thing on it that might be needed .
Sorry Noah , but what you want here is the same as running before you can walk .


I agree with Barkydog and thegreendrag0n. It WILL cost a lot more than you figure on. I’ve been involved with car and motorcycle projects and the “what’s next”: question never ends.
Also agree with db4690-about a Ford or Chevy.

Without boost you’re going to need Nitrous to get 250 HP and that can be expensive to keep those bottles filled and praying the engine does not let go. Nitrous explosions can be catastrophically bad and costly. Good luck

Nitrous at it’s best. Or worst. Looks like he Camaro I saw go up in flames at the drags some years ago.

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I think it’s great you want to learn something new. However, no need to re-invent the wheel. Try to position yourself so you can follow the particulars of someone who’s already done something like this. Suggest to read some issues of Honda Tuning magazine as a way to get started. You may be able to find an article that is near to what you want, then all you have to do if repeat what they did w/some minor mods. I expect 250 hp without boost is going to be a challenge. If you do achieve 250 hp or anything near it, be sure you understand all the suspension, steering, and brake system ramifications that much power in such a small car entails, so that you have both a fun AND safe drive. I went to a classic car show last summer where they had a classic 1960’s Mini configured w/an engine over 300 hp (turbo design in this particular case), and pretty much everything else in the car had to be re-configured to safely handle that much power.

I’d guess the most simple path is to swap an Accord engine into the Civic. What’s involved to do that? No idea.

I would guess that some [smaller] Acura body is a very close relative of Civic and that car may become a good transplant donor for the base engine.


I can remember when the Acura Integra was the most commonly stolen car for precisely this reason–it was possible to swap the Integra engine into a base model Civic for a huge performance boost. Nowadays, there is a huge market in JDM engines for these cars.

Small block Chevy 302 or 350 would be nice and cheap to buy

I do actually. Not cars necessarily. But I’ve worked on 4cyl, v6, and v8 boat engines over the past 5 years. But cars I have a decent understanding of what goes where I just never had a car to work on myself. Always been friends cars or when I was a mechanic for 8 months, didn’t learn a lot of modding when I had the job just maintenance and oem replacements blah blah blah

Nope, I’m looking for the stanced our look and I have a specific car in mind I’m getting in two weeks. Already has a few “major”things done if you want to look at some pics here. I’ll also screenshot the mod list.

I know it’s different than what I originally said but I’ve found a car that has everything I want and the potential for more for super cheap

All I see is someone unloading their already-thrashed junker for $2k. You won’t be able to test-drive this car, because “ignition is bad, key won’t turn”, but you’re expected to take their word for it that the engine and transmission are ok. All this difficult work done, and “car has low idle most likely needs a tune” does not bode well for me, but hey what do I know?


I have mixed feelings reading the replies.

The replies are true that Noah Appleby will almost certainly spend 4X more money than initially planned. And it’s true that he’ll make many mistakes along the way. And that it’s a project that will never be “done”.

However, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I went though a similar path years ago. And it was the mistakes I made where I learned the most.

You’ve received great feedback here from some very experienced mechanics. Do listen to the feedback and learn from it. But don’t let it stop you from trying, or let it stop you from making mistakes and learning from them.

I’ll do something rare for me and partially disagree with @db4690. His suggestion to get a domestic certainly isn’t a bad one, but Hondas are pretty easy too, and parts availability both OEM and aftermarket for the Civic is very good. There’s a lot of good information floating around online about performance upgrades if you know where to look. Which, admittedly, I kinda don’t anymore because it’s been so long since I was modifying a Honda.

Temple of VTEC and Honda-Tech would be good places to start your research. And you should research things before you buy the car because it will give you an idea of what to look for, how much the whole thing might cost, etc.

BTW, performance mods and “stanced look” don’t belong in the same car.

Me thinks the seller is not being as informative as they should be . All those parts but needs a tune up and won’t start because of ignition switch ? Sounds like something is being hidden .


I’ve already test driven it. Ignition key has been replaced and the engine and transmission only have 80k on them. I’ve had my mechanic look at it and it’s fine it just needs a tune just like the guy said

The car I’m looking at has ABS and is well suited for performance as well as the stanced look