TORQUE GT ● BLOG
It’s now been over a year since I took on the EK9 project.
A year of gradual improvements and fixes, slowly bringing the car up to par. A year of sensible decisions and measured choices.
But as with any project that starts out sensibly, I'm growing tired of doing things because they need doing. I want to do something that appeases my inner child, something that gave the otherwise sensible Civic some character. Previously ('Josh's EK9 Project - Part 3') I focused my efforts on getting the car handling and stopping like a Type R should. Now it was time to make it sound like a race car!
Of course, an exhaust system was in order.
This presented quite an interesting opportunity. The Civic is essentially bone stock engine-wise (with the exception of the J’s Racing intake) so dyno running the car before and after would let me see what could be gained in terms of power just adding an exhaust and manifold. Having exchanged a few messages with our friends at Engine Tuner in Plymouth, myself and Torque's lead technician Paul headed off, armed with a brand new Fujitsubo RM-01A and SuperEx exhaust manifold.
After a quick drive down to Plymouth, we arrived and immediately set about getting the EK9 on the rollers.
After a good amount of runs, we started getting consistent results around 170hp; we'd reached our benchmark figure. Now for the fun part!
With the car cooled down sufficiently, we got to work removing the old exhaust and header to make way for the beautiful new Fujitsubo system.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, Fujitsubo are one of the oldest and most well respected exhaust component manufacturers in Japan. As the European distributor, we were fortunate enough to visit the factory back in 2017 and take a look around their amazing operation. Where many companies have migrated their manufacturing abroad to bring the cost of parts down, Fujitsubo have kept everything in Japan and still do a suprising amount by hand. So well regarded throughout Japan, Fujitsubo manufacture many exhaust components for OEM manufacturers. The lastest generation of Nissan GTR utilizes a Fujitsubo made exhaust straight from the factory. If that isn't a major endorsement, I don't know what is.
The Fujitsubo SuperEx manifold uses a 'Tri-Y' 4-2-1 layout with 1.77" primaries and a 2.4" collector. Not only does it flow better, it also saves weight at close to 5kg less than the stock Honda part. To top it off, it also looks awesome! The quality of the welds and the overall finish is flawless.
Now, I’ve tried to rationalize replacing what was an otherwise perfectly fine exhaust on the basis that, sooner or later it’ll start to blow. After all, it’s certainly looking a bit crusty after many years of use. With that being said most of the exhaust came off the car with no trouble, with the exception of the bolts connecting the catalytic converter to the centre section. Some gentle persuasion with the acetylene torch soon remedied this.
Out with the old...
... and in with the new! The Fujitsubo manifold is beautifully made, as you'd expect for a premium product. Fitment is absolutely perfect and the fitting kit included a complete set of gaskets and lots of replacement fittings, making installation a breeze.
With the header in place we mounted up the RM-01A cat-back exhaust. As with the manifold, this was totally pain free to fit. Whatsmore, it looks awesome! The tip is not too big at 3.5" and perfectly suits the EK9's styling. The main pipe diameter is 2.4", so is perfectly matched to the collector on the manifold. With that being said, the standard catalytic converter has been retained for now, so there is a slight restriction here.
With the exhaust and manifold fitted up, it was time to get back on the dyno to see the result of the mornings work!
With the final runs completed the results were in. All said and done, we'd gained a touch over 11hp and around the same in torque. A nice healthy increase that I'm really satisifed with. But it's not all about the figures.
Changing out the exhaust was as much about improving the way the car sounds and feels as it was about extra power. After taking the long way home across Dartmoor, I can confidently say that this has been achieved. The engine feels sharper and pulls nicely all the way through the revs. As for the noise...
Overall, I'm super happy with the results. The noise from the exhaust when motorway cruising isn't obnoxiously loud, but when you drop a gear and really stretch your legs the note is to die for. By far, one of my favourite modifications so far.
Huge thanks to the guys over at Engine Tuner for letting us use their ramp and dyno for the morning!