Honda Civic 6th Gen Mods

"All you need to know about Honda Civic 6th Gen Upgrades!"

Can a Civic 6th Gen be tuned? Yes, it can and it's one of the most well supported cars out there when it comes to mods.

So we will focus on the best mods for your Civic, and what the best performance upgrades will be for it.

This is one car model that keeps cropping up in emails and questions we get sent. Commonly when it comes to the Civic 6th Gen, what parts work best on it. So we've put together this guide which goes over what we feel are the primary areas you should tune and outline which modifications we feel are the best.

The Honda Civic 6th Gen make a good tuning project and with a few sensible mods like remaps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will increase your driving enjoyment.

The Honda Civic 6th generation vehicles have been extensively modified and upgraded. If you also own a car of this generation and are looking to take its performance to the next level, here are some options for you.

We shall review Civic 6th Gen tuning and outline the best upgrades.

Check out our video introduction to Honda Tuning, all you need to know about mods and upgrades on your Honda.

Best Civic 6th Gen Mods

Even Though specific mods are are common on Civic 6th Gen it doesn't mean it is good, we shall concentrate on the best mods that will give your Civic 6th Gen the biggest power gain return for your cash.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & Exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Check out our video introduction to Honda Civic Tuning, all you need to know and full guide.

Best Civic Mods

  • Civic 6th Gen Suspension Upgrades - Fitting a more sporty Suspension kit radically improves your Civic 6th Gen handling Poly Bushes and Coilovers are typically fitted to achieve this
  • Performance Camshafts are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but we recommend they be fitted by someone who knows what they are doing and it can sometimes be hard to find one but you might have a local firm to regrind a stock cam .
  • Flowing and porting the engine head - for larger gains, you will get better flow and make a more efficient engine if you do this to support your other mods.
  • Braking Mods - Stopping your Civic 6th Gen should be high on your agenda.
  • Turbo Mods - forced induction is the most dramatic method to raise the intake air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make better power figures. Typically one of the most complex mods but provides the best gains.
  • Hondata or K tune ECU Mapping adjustments- A Remapped Civic 6th Gen ECU provides the most advantage for the money, aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  • Intake Upgrades and high flowing exhausts - Be aware on their own these mods won't ADD HP in most cases, but they enable you to enhance power after other modifications by freeing up a restriction.
  • Low mass flywheel - a lower weight flywheel will noticably improve the engines rev changes. Not always not a great upgrade for all Civic 6th Gen engines.

Civic 6th Gen Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Suspenson (mild drop), Remaps/piggy back ECU, Intake manifolds, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Sports exhaust manifold, Fast road camshaft.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Fast road cam, Suspension (Sports), high flow fuel injectors, fuel pump upgrades, induction kit.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Engine balancing & blueprinting, Competition cam, Twin charging conversions.

History of the Civic 6th Gen Engine Specs

Tuning the Honda Civic 6th Gen and best Civic 6th Gen performance parts.

Engine swap options for the Honda Civic 6th generation

B18C1, B16A2, B18C5, B16B, and D16Y8 are simply a bolt-in swap. However, VTEC requires wiring.

Swapping the B16A3 or the D16Z6 is fairly easy due to the bolt-in ability we should point out that besides wiring the VTEC, the OBD conversion is also required.

The bolt-in switching aspect of the B18B1 makes it the simplest to change out of the lot.

The Honda Civic 6th generation's H22A engine is the most difficult to replace since it is not a bolt-in swap. Consequently, shift linkage from Hasports is now a must-have tool. Aside from these requirements, the VTEC also needs wiring.

We have Civic tuning guides covering Civic 3rd Gen Mods, Civic 4th Gen Mods, Civic 5th Gen Mods, Civic 6th Gen Mods, Civic 7th Gen Mods, Civic 8th Gen Mods, Civic 9th Gen Mods, and Civic 10th Gen Mods

Civic Camshaft Upgrades

Getting a fast road cam will raise the upper RPM range power which makes it a best mod for NASP and turbo petrol engines, but not so much on diesels. This will usually provide good top end power gains through performance camshafts on most engines

If you have VTEC, you can get the VTEC to cut in at lower RPM ranges, giving you a sportier cam profile over more of the engine's power band.

It is simpler to get VTEC to kick in sooner than it is to find and install a fast road cam, therefore this is our preferred solution for people wishing to improve the cam profile on their Mk6 Civic.

The camshaft profile plays a big part in the engines power output so camshaft upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen camshaft profile, so large bhp gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

Fast road cams usually bump the bhp and torque through the rev band, you could drop a little low down torque but your top end will be higher.

Competition cams, bump the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Competition camshaft will just annoy you whilst in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your bhp range to your preferences so for a car used daily stick with a fast road Civic 6th Gen camshaft

Some Civic 6th Gen engines respond differently depending on how well made they are, when camshafts are fitted depending on the camshaft being less aggressive camshaft durations so view each engine and camshaft as unique due to manufacturing tolerances and quality variations so check your engine on a rolling road.

The ecu map and fuelling and fuel pump and injectors also will say much on the power gains you'll achieve.

Extending exhaust or intake durations can adjust the power range, and on most engines there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations and valve lift.

Review your options and then find your upgrades and set yourself a power target to save yourself from expensive mistakes.

Handling/Suspension Upgrades

Upgrades to the Civic 6th Gen's suspension and handling. A car’s suspension plays a key role in its ride quality.

Handling tweaks are often the initial step for the Civic 6th Gen.

We would choose a set of Adjustable Coilovers that enable adjust your ride height to adjust your handling to suit your needs

What considerations must you make when setting up and selecting your suspension if your Civic 6th Gen serves as a daily car as well?

Improvements to the bushings

Enhancements to the bushings: Things you need to know

The suspension components of the Civic 6th Gen may be mounted to the car's chassis through bushings, which are rotatable rubber mounts. These rubber ones will start to fail as they wear out.

Brand New OEM rubber bushings may have a major impact on the performance of your vehicle.

Because the polyurethane bushes are firmer, the ride may be a bit rougher, but they will last longer and maintain the handling.

Worn bushes may also quicken the demise of other suspension components due to the increased vibration and play.

With a new set of poly bushes, the excessive play associated with rubber bushings may be mitigated.

You may struggle to find a full set of poly bushings, but most stores have the primary mounts available. You may be able to have custom poly bushings created to suit your needs.

A frequent misconception is that the best setup would be a non-adjustable suspension system that lowers the vehicle by 60mm purchased from a franchised component shop.

Claims are often made that all Civic 6th Gen models and years may be able to utilise the same suspension kits sold by vendors.

To adequately support a diverse variety of vehicles, the "compromized" approach is obviously a mistake as engine weights and equipment trim levels all affect the cars handling characteristics.

How low should you go on the Civic 6th Gen?

TorqueCars research and testing indicate that the maximum suspension drop for most road vehicles is 24 - 36 millimetres, whereas the maximum suspension drop for hot hatchbacks with lower OEM suspension is 17 millimetres.

Tolerances may be greatly diminished by altering the diameter of the wheels. Lowering a vehicle, even with 17-inch wheels and stock suspension, may create several issues.

So if you want to upgrade the suspension of your vehicle, here are some of the options:

Lowering Springs & Strut Kits

By lowering your car, you cannot just give it an aggressive look but can also improve its handling and the ability to corner. Some of the great options when it comes to lowering springs and strut kits include but are not limited to:

  1. Tein front and rear lowering coil springs which costs $220;
  2. Eibach Pro-Plus front and rear handling lowering kit that costs around $700;
  3. AirREX front and rear lowering Air Strut Kits. They cost around $3300.

If you want to easily adjust the height of your vehicle, coilovers are your best bet. Get yourself a set of premium quality coilovers like the KSport Kontrol Pro Front and Rear Coilover Kit. They cost around $850.

Other impressive options include the Skunk2 and TruHart front and rear coilover kits.

Brake Upgrades

When everything else has been taken care of and the vehicle can deliver exceptional performance, now it’s time to fit effective brakes that can stop the car as quickly as possible.

We recommend going for a brake kit like the Power Stop Street Warrior Z26 Drilled and Slotted Disc & Drum Front & Rear brake kit.This kit costs around $280 and thus delivers excellent value for money.

Quick Note

Be careful when upgrading your brakes as the prices of these parts can swiftly go very steep.

ECU Mapping Improvements for the Civic

ECU mapping should help to fully realize the full potential of all the upgrades you've fitted to your Civic 6th Gen.

Several companies exist out there that offer ECU engine tuning/remapping services for the Honda Civic 6th generation vehicles.

PureTuning offers Stage 1 ECU Remapping after which the company claims a performance boost of 17 hp and 32 Nm.

These are impressive figures and the performance boost will be worth noting.

(Sometimes chip tuning the ECU is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but make sure it has knock protection and that you get it correctly setup.) It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but your mileage often depend much on the upgrades you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Civic Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloys are less heavy they improve performance and they will help to cool the brake disks.

Once all the performance upgrades are complete, you must also go for upgrading the wheels of your Honda Civic 6th generation vehicle.

Some of the companies that offer impressive wheels for these cars include but are not limited to:

  1. Vossen;
  2. MRR;
  3. MOMO;
  4. SSR;
  5. BC Forged.

We can't go into too much detail here about tires but they are how the car puts the power down on the road so are a critical choice. soft compound tires work well on Civic 6th Gen, and make a big difference over budget tires.

We'd like to point out although they can look cool on the Civic 6th Gen big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

Due to this we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 17 inches, although we know some of our members have installed larger rims with no problems.

Air Flow improvements on the Civic

Forcing more fuel and air into the Civic 6th Gen engine is the whole point to any engine upgrade task.

Cold Air Intakes

The cold air intake system is one of the best ways to improve the performance of your Honda Civic 6th generation vehicle.

The Injen IS Series Short Ram Air Intake System is a great option that costs around $200. The part number for this upgrade is IS1545P.

The best thing about this part is that it is covered by the manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty which means that you can have the performance boost with complete peace of mind.

Another choice is to go for the AEM Aluminum Short Ram Air Intake System which will set you back around $300.

Performance Filters

Air filters normally obstruct airflow to the engine which restricts such engines from delivering their optimal performance.

Alternatively, you can install a performance air filter in your car that will not only allow more to pass through but also blocks harmful dust particles side by side.

Here are some of the options that you have in this regard:

  1. Mishimoto Performance Air Filter;
  2. DC Sports Air Filter;
  3. Weapon R Secret Weapon Air Filter.

Such parts usually cost below $60.

The intake plenum flow the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders.

The size of bore and shape and flow rate of the Intake manifolds can make a big effect on to fuel mixing and power on the Civic 6th Gen.

I usually find plenum chambers are in dire need of performance upgrades, although a few car makers provide reasonably well designed plenum chambers.

Larger valve conversions on the Civic 6th Gen, doing a bit of port matching and head flowing will also boost bhp and torque, and importantly will raise potential for a better bhp and torque increase on other upgrades.

Civic 6th Gen Turbo Upgrades

NA (naturally aspirated) engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your Civic 6th Gen

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes major power gains.

Installing a turbocharger or a supercharger is the perfect way to get more power and torque from your engine.

Some of the best options for the Honda Civic 6th generation vehicles include but are not limited to;

  1. BorgWarner AirWerks S400SX SuperCore Turbocharger;
  2. KraftWerks Supercharger Kit.

Such high-performance parts however require the use of premium quality fuel (US 91 Octane or higher) and colder spark plugs.

There are common areas of failure for every engine, with some being over specified and some only able to handle stock power. See where you'll find these limits and fit better quality components to handle the power.

We see many car owners spending a lot of money on turbo charger upgrades on the Civic 6th Gen only to have the whole thing literally blow up on its first outing after it's used on the roads.

Large capacity turbos commonly suffer low end lag, and little turbos spool up quickly but don't have the peak end bhp gains.

Thankfully the world of turbo units is always increasing and we commonly find variable vane turbo units, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and push these at differently designed vanes in the turbocharger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is not unusual that there is a limit in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the Civic 6th Gen when considerably more air is being drawn into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped power at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although harder to setup. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.


The use of intercoolers is highly popular among car enthusiasts as they ensure the supply of cold dense air to the engine which is vital for providing ideal performance figures.

The fresh air is rich in oxygen and as oxygen is required for combustion, the higher the amount of fresh air, the higher the power output.

Try the Mishimoto Universal intercooler that can be had for around $200 and works best for the 6th generation Honda Civic vehicles.

Another option is the GReddy Intercooler kit which delivers much better results but this part costs significantly more than the universal intercooler. The cost of the GReddy Intercooler kit is around $750.

If you want to replace the radiator of your vehicle, you can try the Koyo Aluminium radiators which cost around $350.

Boost Controller

You can improve the performance of your Honda Civic 6th generation vehicle by using an effective boost controller.

Some of the best options for vehicles of this generation include:

AEM Tru-Boost Boost Controller: costs around $330;
GReddy Profec Electronic Boost Controller: costs around $400;
HKS EVC Electronic Boost Controller: costs around 400.

Civic 6th Gen Fuelling Upgrades

When you raise the torque you will need to ramp up to the fuel system.

More torque needs more fuel. Boosting the fuel pressure provides a more snappy the acceleration responsiveness.

After you have performed all the performance upgrades, you are all set to get high-performance numbers.

However, it is worth noting that the extra airflow is no good for your engine if you don’t ensure a constant source of abundant fuel to it.

After all, the combustion process takes place when the air and fuel mixture burns. Thus, you also need to upgrade the fuel delivery system of your Honda Civic 6th generation vehicle if you want to get the enhanced performance figures.

You have several options that can be performed, some of which include:

  1. Installing newer and high-performance fuel injectors;
  2. Fixing a new fuel pump;
  3. Installing a new fuel filter for getting better results;
  4. Fitting a fuel kit.

So, let’s discuss some of the options that you have regarding these parts:

For fuel injectors, you can choose the parts from DeatschWerks that will cost you around $320.

DeatschWerks also offers fuel pumps which cost around $120 whereas the High-Performance fuel filter from AEM will set you back around $130.

The SiriMoto K-Pro E85 Flex Fuel Kit is a great option and this part will cost less than $300.

Don't forget to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add 20% when fitting an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and gives a bit of spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

Civic 6th Gen Performance Exhausts

You may need to upgrade your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that your flow rate is fine even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Please dont run with the biggest exhaust you can source this will slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Common exhaust restrictions come around the catalysts installed, so adding a freer flowing high performance aftermarket one unlocks that lost power, and instead of doing an illegal catalyst removal, will keep the car road legal. We note that performance catalysts perform comparably to catalyst removal and have the added benefit of keeping your car street legal, as decat or catalyst removal is not a legal mod.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the Civic 6th Gen

The Civic 6th Gen engines are fairly reliable as long as they are well maintained.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a very common problem on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on intake cleaning guide By avoiding short journeys where the engine doesn't warm up and using good quality fuel you can reduce this risk.

Frequent oil changes are highly recommended on the Civic 6th Gen, and more so when the car is modified and will help maintain the long life of the engine.

If you want to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your Civic 6th Gen engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Civic 6th Gen tuning options in more detail with our Civic 6th Gen owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Honda tuning articles to get insights into each modification and how effective they will be.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love to hear what our members have got up to and which parts work best for them on each model of car. We use your comments and feedback to improve the accuracy of these Civic 6th Gen tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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