Honda Civic 9th Gen Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the Honda Civic 9th Generation!"

One car that keeps cropping up in emails and questions we get sent is the Civic 9th Gen, and what upgrades work best on it. So we've created this article to cover the primary areas you should tune and outline which modifications we feel are the best.

We love the modern look of the mk9 Civic, and it goes some way back to the appeal of the early Mk4 and less of the space age MK8.

This Civic of the ninth generation was never sold in Japan (although the Type R version was available in limited numbers). Civic sedans and coupes from the ninth generation went on sale in the United States for the first time on April 20, 2011 and styling varied according the region of sale, with some sporting more chrome or darker body panel inserts.

  • Sedan/coupe  FB1–6, FG3–4; 2011
  • Hatchback/Tourer FK1–3; 2011
  • Civic Type R FK2; 2015–2017

The 9th Gen Civic is slightly smaller than the 8th gen 9th gen used i-Vtec on intake and the manifolds are cast as part of the block the stroke was increased and it has a lower 7000rpm redline. Most of these are due to meeting emissions regulations and improve the efficiency of the engine, but mods for this are similar to the 8th Gen, with more parts appearing monthly at the time of writing.

TorqueCars will review Civic 9th Gen tuning and provide tips on the premier modifications for your car. A Honda Civic 9th Gen offer good returns when tuned and with the optimum modifications like ECU maps via K Tune or Hondata, turbo improvements, and camshafts you will certainly maximize your driving fun.

History of the Civic 9th Gen Engine

The car came in Sedan, Coupe, Hatch and Station Wagon (Estate) body styles and the

There are forums full of people attempting to swap the K24 with the K20A. However, we don’t recommend that as it is more of a downgrade than an upgrade.

Another great choice of 9th gen engine swaps is the K20Z3 which has plenty of upgrade potential.

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

Tuning the Honda Civic 9th Gen and best Civic 9th Gen performance parts.

Best Civic 9th Gen Modifications

When talking about the greatest modifications for your Civic 9th Gen engine, we are going to concentrate on the tuning parts that achieves the best power gain for your outlay.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your Civic 9th Gen. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

Best mods for your Civic 9th Gen

  • Lighter flywheels - a lower mass flywheel will improve the engines free revving nature. In some cases flywheel lightening is not suitable for all Civic 9th Gen engines.
  • Braking Mods - Stopping your Civic 9th Gen ought to be high on your agenda.
  • Civic 9th Gen Suspension Upgrades - Fitting a suspension kit radically improves your Civic 9th Gen handling Poly Bushes and Coilovers are typically fitted to achieve this
  • Turbo Mods - A New Turbo is the most significant way to improve intake air supply, this means you are able to use more fuel and make better power figures. Notably one of the most costly upgrades it does provide the largest gains.
  • Intake and high flowing exhausts - Be aware on their own these mods won't ADD TORQUE for most setups, but they enable you to lift power after other modifications by losing a restriction.
  • ECU Tunes - A Remapped Civic 9th Gen ECU (Via Hondata or K tune) gives the most advantage with respect to your investment, replacement ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  • Performance cams are generally the biggest mechanical mod upgrade, but they must be fitted by someone qualified to set them up and you might struggle to find one but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft for you.
  • Flowing and porting the Head - Head work will get air flowing into the engine while removing turbulence or restrictions.

Civic 9th Gen Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filters, Intake manifolds, Suspenson (mild drop), Fast road camshaft, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Sports exhaust manifold.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: fuel pump upgrades, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Ported and polished head, induction kit, Suspension (Sports), Fast road cam.

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

Civic 9th Gen Handling/Suspension Upgrades

The first step in harnessing the 9th generation Civics road holding abilities is to adjust the vehicle's handling via suspension mods. The first phase in tuning the Civic 9th generation's handling is to make appropriate adjustments.

A camber kit will allow you to set the optimum camber for cornering, especially if your Civic has been lowered where the OEM settings with be distorted.

The ability to fine-tune the behaviour of a Civic 9th generation suspension is a common motivation for suspension modifications. However, despite this, we continue to see the same errors repeated again after time. Camber bolts are the cheapest fix for this issue and work quite effectively.

We'd go for a set of coilovers that let you adjust the height of the vehicle to match your preferences for driving and how the vehicle is used.

  1.  BC Racing BR Series Coilover Kit
  2. TruHart StreetPlus
  3. Tein Flex Z Coilovers
  4. Tein street advance z
  5. H&R Coilovers
  6.  Eibach Sportline

In determining the suspension settings for my Civic 9th Gen, is there anything I should keep in mind?

Improvements to the bushings

What factors should you consider when setting up and selecting your bushes if your Civic 9th Gen is also used as a daily driver?

Bushes, which are rubber mounts, allow the Civic 9th Gen's suspension components to be fixed to the car's chassis. The rubber ones will lose their shape over time. Interestingly the 10th Gen was fitted with fluid filled bushings, so even Honda saw a need to upgrade this in the next model revision.

Installing new OEM rubber bushes may dramatically improve the performance of your car.

Because polyurethane bushings are stiffer, the ride may be firmer, but the bushings will last longer and maintain the car's handling over a longer time.

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

A new set of polyeyurothane bushes may be able to minimize the excessive play that comes with rubber bushes.

Some poly bushings are hard to locate, but most will find the primary mounts readily available in their local stores Custom poly bushings are often made to your requirements.

How low should you go on the Civic 9th Gen?

When it comes to road vehicles, the maximum suspension drop is 29 - 39 mm, but when it comes to hot hatchbacks with lower OEM suspension, the maximum suspension drop is 17 mm, according to TorqueCars.

These tolerances may be drastically diminished if the wheel size is changed. Even with 16 or 17-inch wheels and conventional suspension, lowering the vehicle may create a lots of issues.

Civic 9th Gen 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. In most cases you will see peak power hikes through performance camshafts on most engines

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

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.

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

Fast road cams tend to increase the bhp and torque across the rev range, you could sacrifice a little bottom end bhp but high end rpm power will be better.

Motorsport cams, increase the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Motorsport camshaft won't do well if driving around busy urban areas.

You should ideally optimize your torque band to your cars usage so for a car used daily stick with a shorter duration Civic 9th Gen camshaft

Set your engine up on a rolling road to see how it responds to camshafts since certain Civic 9th Gen engines react differently to camshafts because of the head and flow characteristics when camshafts are attached.

It is important to consider the map and fuel delivery, as well as the fuel pump and injectors, when determining the power improvements you might expect.

The power band may be altered by adjusting the duration and lift of the intake and exhaust valves, and these settings can be altered on the majority of engines.

Because of this, there are an increasing amount of modifications and performance components available for Civic 9th Gen engines.

ECU Mapping Improvements for the Civic 9th Gen

ECU mapping helps release the full potential of all the upgrades you've fitted to your Civic 9th Gen. ECU remapping is another option using which you can take your Honda Civic 9th generation vehicle’s performance to the next level.

Expect around 15-20% more power after a remap, with some engines responding better than others.

(Sometimes chip tuning the ECU is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and most of these exceed the specs and performance of your factory ECU's but check it has knock protection and that you get it installed right.)

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 results often vary depending on the upgrades you've done and the condition of your engine.

Air Flow improvements on the Civic 9th Gen

Tuning your Civic 9th Gen is all about getting the right mixture of gasoline and air into the engine. The More the merrier as they!

Induction kits will only help to increase power if your cars air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most small engines will see NO LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

  • Skunk2 Composite Air Intake System costing
  • Weapon R Secret Weapon Stealth Air Intake
  • Takeda Attack Stage 2 Cold Air Intake.

Filter upgrades can really help if you are suffering from an intake restriction.

  • Takeda Pro Dry S Air Filte
  • Injen Super Nano Air Filter
  • Weapon R Secret Weapon Air Filter

Intake manifolds enable air from the air cleaner to be sucked into the engine and blended with the fuel.

The Civic 9th Gen's Headers' design and flow characteristics may have a significant impact on fuel atomization and engine efficiency.

When it comes to intake manifolds, I often feel that they require a performance boost, although there are certain manufacturers that provide well-optimized versions and those fitted to the Type R are no exception here, actually being quite hard to improve on.

In addition to larger Civic 9th Gen big valves and port size increases you could do some head gas flowing and further upgrades such as these can enhance your car's performance even more.

Civic 9th 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 9th Gen

An engine's combustion performance is positively correlated to the amount of air it can draw into the combustion chamber, therefore adding a turbocharger increases intake dramatically.

While some engines are rock-solid, others can only handle stock power, every engine has weak points. Find the engine's weak points and upgrade the pistons, crankshaft, and other components to accommodate the extra power.

Many Civic 9th Gen owners spend a lot of money on turbo enhancements only to have the engine blow up shortly after installation is complete.

Bottom-end latency is common with larger turbos, whereas tiny turbos may re-start rapidly but lack peak rpm torque improvements.

To reduce latency and boost top-end power, variable vane turbo chargers have emerged in the past two decades, allowing the vane profile to be adjusted based on speed.

Exhaust flows into two separate streams, each with a distinct profile, in the turbo's twin-scroll design. Their scavenging abilities are also improved as a result.

The MAF/MAP air flow sensor on the Civic 9th generation often shows a restriction when much more air is pushed into the engine.

As compared to the OEM air sensor, a 4 bar air sensor is able to handle substantially larger power increases.

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

Civic 9th Gen Alloy wheel upgrades.

Due to the fact that alloys are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks.

We'd like to point out although they can look cool on the Civic 9th Gen big alloys 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.

Although some people have with bigger wheels we would stick to a 16 inch rim size as the maximum.

  • SSR; BC Forged;
  • VMR; MOMO;
  • Enkei; Gram Lights;
  • Vossen.

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. track legal slick tires work well on Civic 9th Gen, and make a big difference over budget tires.

Civic 9th Gen Fuelling Upgrades

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so need to ramp up the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a bhp and torque increase. Performance fuel pressure regulators can offer improved throttle response.

Injecting gasoline into the engine is the primary function of a fuel injector. Only a limited quantity of gasoline can be delivered by the factory injectors.
In order to attain the desired results, you'll need to add additional items to your vehicle's cold air intake system.
Here are a few ideas to consider:

$900 for Injector Dynamics ID1300x fuel injectors

Injector Kit for SiriMoto EV14 is available for $300.

• DeatschWerks Fuel Injectors for $320 each.

The Fuel Pump

You may update the fuel pump of your Honda Civic 8th generation car with one of the following options:

High Flow Fuel Pump: $100 DeatschWerks in-tank pump

In addition, the AEM High Flow Fuel Pump costs $125.

It makes sense to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add another 20% when fitting an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and allows you some spare capacity should the engine need 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 9th Gen Performance Exhausts

If your present exhaust is causing a flow issue, it's possible that you'll need to replace it. As the manifolds are cast into the block upgrades to these are much harder so focus on the Cat, and catback parts.

Note that performance exhausts alter the tone and sound of the exhaust but won't really add power, unless you are hitting a restriction due to extensive tuning upgrades.

You may get away with moderate power increases on factory exhausts, but once you start pushing the power levels, a better flowing exhaust is a real need.

Just don't use the biggest exhaust you can afford; this will limit the exhaust flow rate. The most effective exhausts for power improvements are typically 1.5 to 2.5 inches in diameter. More important than bore size is the design of the exhaust, particularly around bends.

Adding a freer-flowing high-performance aftermarket version of the catalyst and filters fitted enhances flow and, instead of undertaking an illegal catless alteration, will keep the vehicle on the road. For those who want to keep their vehicle on the road, we recommend performance exhaust systems instead of decat or catalyst removal, which is not a legal modification.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the Civic 9th Gen

The Civic 9th Gen engines are fairly reliable as long as they are looked after and serviced.

Cuts were made to quality and components to match a reduced selling price objective in order to make new cars cheaper, more fuel efficient, and more affordable while the model was built in the throes of the global financial crisis

As a result of customer complaints about the Civic's quality and refinement, Honda upgraded the Civic with new cosmetic and interior enhancements for the 2013 model year, which debuted late 2012.

Honda's 9th generation cars have a low-quality interior as a result of the automaker's decision to save money.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will reduce power and smooth running, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on carbon removal guide To minimize this risk only use quality fuel and don't short journeys.

Regular oil changes are highly recommended on the Civic 9th Gen, and more importantly so when the car is tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you want to disover more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your Civic 9th Gen engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Civic 9th Gen tuning options in more detail with our Civic 9th 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 appreciate people taking the time to tell us what our members have got up to and which modifications work best for them on each model of car. We use your comments and feedback to improve the accuracy of these Civic 9th Gen tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

Check out my YouTube channel, we're regularly adding new content...


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