1986 Honda Civic Si – Second To None


There’s always a bit of skepticism whenever innovation occurs. It merely comes with the territory. Any time there is something that has never been seen, read about, or experienced previously, you approach with many doubts. You happen to be human in the end, so it’s only natural to do so; otherwise you’d just believe everything-the act of a fool. Along with this inherit human condition, you are also responsible to learn and understand things. If for some reason you decide on not to, yet again, you are the fool.From the Honda community, innovation has become the motivator in keeping our love of the Japanese automaker alive. Development and experimentation helped to change the landscape in the entire tuner movement, though the ability to swap engines into different platforms wasn’t a common practice at one point. It’s hard to believe, but there was doubters in the past that couldn’t fathom thinking about transplanting an engine with any degree of success-until someone tried. Things have evolved a lot in just the very last five years that what was once considered impossible, is now the typical.

Ryan Basseri of Rywire Motorsport Electronics has done his fair share to contribute to the growth of the Honda community. He was one of the first to really attack customized engine harnesses from your retail standpoint. A niche market, it’s transformed what was after a home-operated business into a successful company now based in Southern California. Rywire is a huge major player in helping to build the new standard in fully customized engine bays and wiring, but Basseri’s latest idea might just be the subsequent big wave of innovation that rocks the foundation of our community.

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Before we receive to that, however, we should give you a little background on the ’86 Civic pictured because individuals who aren’t inside the know have previously cast doubt as to what is really ground breaking about a nearly 30-year-old chassis. The exterior is carefully restored to near showroom condition, the pristine interior appears like it had traveled through time, and the aftermarket exterior add-ons are merely about as rare since it gets for the car of the age. It should also be noted that this vehicle is a true right-hand-drive E-AT Civic which had been transported towards the states direct from Japan some years ago.

The (Civic) originally belonged to my buddy John Nguyen. Ryan says. He had two of these at the time and simply felt that he didn’t have the time [or the resources] to dedicate to both. I loved the condition of the car and all of the rare stuff he had because of it. He wanted my ’88 CR-X therefore we decided to swap shells. I needed some ideas floating around during my head i really planned to bring to life and I thought it’d be really cool to add the latest in motorsports technology into just what is aThe exterior of Ryan’s E-AT has been carefully restored and repainted by 5Fifteen Autobody. A rare Purple Speed front lip and OsakaJDM rear spoiler assistance to add a touch of style towards the boxy ’80s design cues, but it is the things you don’t realize that makes this Civic exceptional. If necessary, master fabricator Jared Seganti was brought in to produce a series of custom components that allowed for each and every panel of your front-end to essentially be removed piece-by-piece. Bolted towards the custom engine support brackets are Hasport mounts cuddling a JDM B18C on a strict diet of PurOl oil and naturally, Rywire harness equipped. Instantly, two things immediately leap out at you; the initial being the 55mm Kinsler individual throttle bodies. Another, for those knowledgeable in Honda engine bays, has to do with that groundbreaking idea we mentioned earlier. There’s no throttle cable in sight, as you can see. Conventional wisdom lets you know that some sort of cabling system is required to open and close the throttles, and most would assume that cable is hidden neatly. In actuality, it’s non-existent. For the first time ever, an ITB-equipped B-series motor is operated under an electronic drive-by-wire (DBW) system. Ryan has come up with a way to control the butterflies on his Kinsler ITBs having an electric servo that drives a pushrod that controls throttle pressure via a custom onboard accelerator pedal. DBW is nothing new in today’s generation of vehicles. Furthermore, engine swaps in ’80s Hondas have been done often before. But this is the novice someone has combined the twoin accordance with the same principles as a factory system, albeit with some important changes. We used AEM’s new Infinity engine management system to create this possible. It gives us the ability to use any pedal with a potentiometer onboard or any throttle body with an electric servo. The Infinity’s Set-Up Wizard does the remainder. The most difficult part was trying to find a throttle body that had the servo that we could retrofit properly. It had to be able to spin the proper direction and also have ease when it came to mounting it. I had a vision with regards to how it needs to be done and my fabricator, Jared, executed it perfectly.

Every creation comes with its fair share of trial and error. Any time you make an attempt to do something that hasn’t been done before you’re more likely to run into some issues. Luckily for Basseri, he possessed a helping hand in Bisi Ezerioha of Bisimoto Engineering. He ended up being working on a DBW system himself on various older model Porsches he was building, so he had experience with the AEM Infinity unit. The man that was called upon to wire up Bisi’s cars was Ryan, so it was really a trade-off in a another’s fields of expertise. Another distinctive Rywire upgrade was this E-AT’s lack of any electrical relays. Instead of using dated electrical components from decades ago, Ryan has opted to operate everything through a Racepak SmartWire PDM unit. The SmartWire is a fully programmable power distribution module that eliminates the necessity for any relays. Switching of inputs, controlling current flow, along with all on-off switching functions can now be manipulated through thesystem is not something that everyone will easily understand right away. Ryan could take his time explaining the entire concept in detail to some large group people and most of them may end up just marveling with the floating engine in the E-AT’s bay. Never mind the technological advancements, they are too busy wondering if the car even runs. His detractors will probably respond to their lack of understanding by proclaiming that the DBW system is pointless or too slow. Skepticism reigns supreme to blind eyes. The aim now is to work alongside experts like Bisi to truly fine-tune and ideal the use of this modern technology. Everything around this point has become very organic but the groundwork has been laid for future success. Those who don’t understand can still appreciate the mixture of brand new age technology with classic Honda design. In the broad spectrum of the entire Honda community, Ryan’s ’86 Si stands alone, as there just isn’t anything quite like it. It’s a completely new consciousness that lives in the ghost of Honda’s past.