Installing a turbo kit requires a basic understanding of cars and turbochargers, a safe working environment and proper tools. Experience with previous turbo vehicles or Hondas helps but is not mandatory. A turbo kit install is not a good idea to rush into blind – prepare mentally by spending some time to learn about your turbo and read the EFR training manual. Get a good selection of tools and equipment to tackle the job. If you’re a noob and scared of messing something up, don’t stress – Take it slow and do some research, everyone starts where you are. Start by reading: Maximum Boost by Corky Bell and Street Turbocharging by Mark Warner. We strongly recommend reading the BorgWarner EFR training manual to understand the technology and features found on the EFR turbos. There are many ways to do a turbo install, this article presents a few different options and some “best-practices” and tips specific to this engine and chassis combination. If this article helps you, please share it with others!

 

Regardless of experience level, properly turbocharging a 8th gen Honda Civic Si can be a rewarding and successful project. These K20 engines are unique with their high performance iVTEC cylinder heads and a strong 2.0L bottom end able to reliably generate outstanding power – at low boost on pump gas, using a safe and conservative tune (10-12psi recommended for stock internal K24). One big advantage to using an EFR turbo is they integrate many aspects of turbocharging controls into the turbo – allowing you to start the install by “bench-assembling” the EFR turbocharger and reduce vehicle downtime.

Full-Race’s K-series VTEC turbo kits are based upon the simple principle that high RPM and high VE (volumetric efficiency) engines work best with no restriction on the exhaust side (lowest backpressure possible). Our legendary tubular turbo manifolds, downpipes and exhaust have gained enormous popularity as a result of proven HP gains for many enthusiasts. Each and every exhaust manifold is handmade in-house at Full-Race. We use high grade stainless steel and robotically TIG weld the runners, these are the highest quality and strength welds in the entire aftermarket industry – with not one single failure since we started this process in 2003. As with all of our VTEC turbo manifolds, this design uses long runners and our trademark low-angle merge collectors for maximum flow and minimal pressure drop. The parts you will need in addition to the turbo kit are:

  • Full-Race 3″ Exhaust
  • Clutch: CC stage 4 recommended or Twin-disc for built motors, competitive drag racing and higher boost levels ($1100 includes flywheel)
  • Hondata Flashpro: Mandatory for tuning this ECU
  • Hondata 4 Bar MAP Sensor:
  • OBD1 IAT: You will be eliminating the MAF sensor with this kit, and Full-Race welds in an OB1 IAT bung in the charge pipes, buy one and a pigtail at Honda or clip one off a 90’s Honda (on the intake manifold!) at a junkyard (free-$40)
  • Fuel Pump: Walbro 255lph is an old and reliable favorite, the Deatsch Werks 265c is a perfect replacement for stock and Deatsch 320lph is a good choice if you want to build the motor later down the road. The 320 will fit without cutting but is a tighter squeeze than the 265c. The DW 320 is a turbine design, so quieter than the Walbro 255 and 265c
  • Injectors: 1000cc+! Fuel Injector Clinic, DeatschWerks and Injector Dynamics are all awesome
  • Fuel Pressure Regulator: 06+ Hondas have returnless fuel systems. You may want to upgrade to an external FPR and fuel rail with return line if targetting more than 430whp
  • 2 Step Colder Iridium Spark Plugs (heat range 9): NGK BKR9EIX, aka 2669. A gap of .022 is recommended
  • Hasport motor mounts and Full_Race Traction Balls have a huge improvement to adding traction and stopping wheelhop (wheel hop is bad for your transmission!)
  • Optional components such as Air/Fuel or Boost Gauges, vacuum block of course Full-Race Shift Knob! Email sales@full-race.com and we can get you a package pricing discount.

Once you know the fuel used and boost level/HP target, next select who your tuner will be. We recommend whenever possible going to a local reputable experienced tuner who knows Hondata software and familiar with turbocharged K-Series Hondas. It can be helpful to have someone nearby experienced to lend a hand or look over the car should you have any questions. There are also many excellent E-tuning options to choose from, where the tuner can email you calibration tweaks based on your logs. We’re happy to make a recommendation for you depending on your location and setup.

Tools required are about the same as doing a clutch install (plus a few extras). A good selection of metric combination wrenches, 3/8″ and 1/2″ ratchets with deep and shallow sockets with swivels/extensions, an impact gun (air or electric), a small cutting device (pneumatic jigsaw or electric 4.5″ angle grinder), an adjustable crescent wrench, and a 3/8″ NPT tap. In addition, high-temp anti-seize should be carefully applied to all stainless steel threads and clamping surfaces; Exhaust manifold bolts/studs/nuts, vband surfaces/nuts, wastegate actuator lock nuts and bracket screws, etc they should all have anti-seize!! Also try to have a friend or extra transportation available if you need to run out for something.
Intro: Aftermarket turbos require you to “clock” the center section and bearing housing to suit the application. Prepping your turbo for installation ahead of time saves hours on the install process. In the case of the EFR we also have a wastegate, BOV, coolant/oil feed and drain fittings and boost control all integrated into the turbo. This reduces the amount of parts needed for the install and means we must clock it into position for proper fitment, before taking the car apart. Take your time, starting this step a few nights before you plan to do the install is a good idea, since it will set the stage for everything else to come.

 

Step 1a: Clock turbo, install fittings:

First take off the actuator bracket that comes on the turbo, along with the WG canister, the bracket sent with the kit will need to be utilized. Next, loosen the Compressor V-Band and the other bolts with swivel plates slightly so you can adjust the turbo’s orientation. Next, study these pictures and try to replicate everything as closely as possible. Reference the coolant fitting locations (in on the bottom and out on the opposite side top) using the supplied aluminum -6AN fittings and crush washers. Make sure to use high temp anti-seize on all turbo hardware and the special high temp lock-washers included should remain as pairs – not be separated or lost. They will keep tension on the turbo hardware and make sure the gasket stays leak free, never allowing vibrations or heat cycling to loosen from the manifold.
Once the turbo is clocked, Mount wastegate and bracket, using anti-seize for all threads – the Wastegate actuator arm must sit comfortably without misalignment or binding. Once its centered in the ‘happy place’ the actuator arm position dictates the center-section-bearing-housing’s final resting position. We also recommend to cover the WG actuator canister with the self adhesive gold foil to protect it from the turbine housings radiant heat.

Step 1b: Attach clocked turbo to Manifold:

Bolt the clocked and oriented turbo to the manifold using the supplied hardware and lockwashers + T3 gasket so it looks exactly like the above photos – pay special attention to the WG bracket orientation on the bearing housing, oil feed fitting and the coolant fitting positions in relation to each other. Double check that all fasteners and mating surfaces have anti-seize and are fully tightened, the coolant fittings have crush washers and that only the steel drain fitting’s 3/8″ NPT tapered threads (at the turbo’s oil drain port) has Teflon thread sealant – Do not use thread sealant on the compression fittings such as -6AN aluminum coolant or -10AN aluminum hose ends! However it is OK to lightly apply anti-seize to the aluminum fittings. Next, tighten the oil feed line’s 90 degree fitting to the turbo’s -4AN feed and route the hose toward the right hand side of the engine. When tightening this compression fitting be certain it is tight and will not leak, but also that the stainless braided hose is not touching the manifold’s runners, collector, flange or turbine housing. Take care that the turbine housing’s clamps are located properly in the locked position and fully tightened. Don’t forget the gasket!

Step 1c: Preparing Vacuum Hoses for BOV and boost control:
Insert the supplied 3/16″ vacuum hose on the BOV, and use a zip tie to keep it in place. Attach the Boost control solenoid’s long vacuum hose to the wastegate’s upper nipple, and slide the clamp in place. The only fastener you will need to adjust later is the Compressor Housings’ vband nut (you can leave this just loose enough to rotate the housing by hand, but tight enough that it isn’t rattling or falling off (we will fully tighten it in the car later, along with the downpipe’s vband clamp). Lastly, we recommend using Hondata’s Boost-By-Gear (BBG) and you can plug the boost control solenoid in now. If no boost control is connected to the solenoid you will simply be running low boost all the time, which is perfectly safe for starting with and troubleshooting.

Step 1d: Install WG with bracket, setting the EFR wastegate preload:

The EFR 7064 or EFR 7670 turbos come standard with BorgWarner’s “b2 bent bracket” and mid boost wastegate spring (ideal for 8-12psi boost levels). For any high horsepower builds, the large EFR8374 and EFR9180 come standard with a “b2 straight bracket” and mid boost wastegate spring – this fits perfectly in a 9th gen chassis. Installing the 7064 or 7670 turbo into a Civic Si (like we are doing here) requires swapping the wastegate bracket to the b2 straight bracket (from the 8374/9180) OR Full-Race’s offset bracket (supplied with the kit, shown here). This Offset bracket is the same one used on our 06-11 Civic Si FG/FA kits and requires a 6mm x 1.0mm die for adding additional threads to the mid boost spring – Trim wg arm if offset bracket is used as shown in the photo. For WG preload setting, please see the sheet that comes with your turbo, and also read the training manual mentioned above. In this instance it’s a 100% stock engine only for daily driving on pump gas. This car will not see race gas or higher boost, so we are using a base low boost setting 3-4mm preload (4 turns of the rear nut, locked in place with the front nut) and not connecting the boost controller. Optionally you can use a variety of different aftermarket EFR wastegates to achieve youre desired range of boost targets (many of which are direct plug-and-play no need to add threads with the die). E-mail tech@full-race.com with questions on your application, we will be happy to make EFR wastegate recommendations based on the application, fuel used and target boost level.
After completing this step, you can slip the 3/8″ coolant hose over the -6AN 90degree hose end barbs and use the hose clamps to fasten them securely (use clamps, do not rely only on the pushlock barbs despite what the hose mfg’s claim!). Now you’re almost ready to take the car apart and start attaching the turbo kit to the engine.

Step 2 (or optionally step 3): Drop Subframe, remove all-motor intake, header and exhaust:

In order to access the rear and bottom of the engine it will require similar work to doing a clutch install and also removing the intake/header/exhaust – Also – unplug and remove all 4 fuel injectors at this point.

A very short and simplified version of how to unbolt the front subframe from the frame rails and make room to work: First, safely get the car in the air, remove front wheels, lock the steering wheel in place, disconnect and remove the battery. Next, unbolt universal from steering rack splines (leave plastic alignment tab on the steering rack), unplug electric powersteering rack, unbolt lower control arms to separate from their ball joints (but not separating LCA from subframe), pull axles/intermediate shaft, then lastly using a floor jack or a friend, unbolt and lower the subframe. Having a second set of hands can help make this go quickly. (Your first time is always the hardest, it gets easier from there!). Unbolt and remove exhaust/downpipe, but save 02 sensors – you will need to install them on the downpipe later. Remove air cleaner box/intake and you can either leave the rubber snorkel thing in the fender or you can pull the fender to remove it. Examine all motor mounts for any cracks or signs of weakness/sagging. Examine LCA compliance bushings for damage – especially if the car is extremely low. BTW: now is a very good time to upgrade to an aftermarket 06-11 Civic Si clutch and flywheel. If doing the clutch install at the same time as the turbo kit install, it may be easier — but not necessary — to drop the engine to separate the transmission and tap the oil pan + install the manifold, turbo, downpipe, wastegate, and dump tube assembly. This engine is very easy to drop!

Now is also a good time to trim the extra ear of the transmission, especially if you are running a big-boy EFR8374 or EFR9180. If everything looks good, and the clutch is installed, its time to do some real work!!

Step 3 (or optionally step 2): Prep For Oil Drain:

This can optionally be done as step 2 if you have a second oil pan to prep, helping reduce downtime. You must unbolt the oil pan and remove it from the motor, to be sure all metal shavings are cleared before reinstalling with good sealant (hondabond!). Basically we want to drill/tap above the OEM drain plug, where the aluminum is thickest. Some people prefer to TIG weld this fitting, but most people prefer drilling/tapping to 3/8″ NPT. You can find this tap at any local hardware store, home depot, etc just go slow and don’t tap it too deep. Remove the fitting and check. If you mess it up, its easy to get a bigger 1 /2″ NPT tap and start over.

After finishing this step, clean it. Twice. NO METAL CHIPS!!! Apply hondabond. Reinstall.

Step 4: Oil Feed

This is a simple one: Remove oil pressure sending unit, install BSPT->NPT adaptor, 1/8″ Tee, then -4AN fitting and Oil pressure sending unit on the oil feed tee. Use Teflon thread sealant on all 1/8″ tapered threads here. Make sure it is plenty tight and wont leak, but don’t go crazy overtightening like mad.

Now is a good time to test fit everything and make sure you have the turbo clocked in the correct orientation and WG bracket fitting within the firewall’s space constraints.

Step 5: Trim steering rack tab to protect EPAS (electric power steering) harness from the heat:

When converting this car from NA to turbo, we have to make sure there are no wires near the hot turbo or downpipe. Start with the Power steering harness tab, in order to clear our large high flowing 3″ downpipe, the steering rack strap’s mount must be trimmed for clearance.

Step 6: Wiring and Brake line heat Protection:

Now is an ideal time to gold foil your wiring harness, power steering harness, and anything that is up against the firewall by wrapping with the self-adhesive gold foil. Take your time here and make sure everything is covered to your liking. Spending an extra hour on this step will be worth it long-term. We recommend to use a paper cutter and cut the foil into 1″ strips, then wrapping that like a ribbon around the harness. Most importantly, wrap the wires which run along the firewall AND the powersteering harness at the RHS frame rail since they would be close to the turbine housing and downpipe. If your harness or brake lines are filthy dirty, it may be beneficial to wipe everything down with rubbing alcohol to ensure the foil sticks.

 

We recommend to protect the electric PS rack’s harness along the firewall, to make sure it does not get near downpipe heat. It’s the black harness on the left, this guy forgot to wrap it:

Lastly, it’s also a good idea to gold foil the 90* silicone elbow that will come off the compressor housing and the WG actuator canister as shown previously.

Step 7: Install the Turbo and Manifold on engine:

If the test fit went well, all the wires are protected and the oil lines prepped – the fun part finally arrives: putting the turbo/manifold on the engine for good. The trick to this is the bottom left bolt can be a pain. You either have to start with this one first OR you can relocate a stud to the bottom left and make things easier. Below is a pic of moving the stud (using 2 nuts) and where we relocated it.

Re-use the OEM multi layer steel exhaust manifold gasket, just make sure it’s in good shape (they usually are). Apply high-temp anti-seize to the cyl head’s threads. Bolt the turbo to the manifold, making sure to use the supplied gasket, studs and high temp washer. Place the manifold and turbo assembly onto the engine, and tighten into place. Test fit the oil feed line to your feed fitting and also check oil return angle (should be vertical).

Step 8: Bolt up Intercooler Mount Beam, trim extra sheetmetal under frame rail at charge pipe area

Now it’s time for you to get the intercooler installed. Luckily this isn’t too hard. First, Unplug fog lights, unclip and remove bumper cover, unbolt bumper beam crash bar, and remove plastic shroud on drivers side in front of radiator/ac condenser. Before installing the FMIC, you must rotate the ambient air temp sensor vertically and retighten – otherwise it does not fit between the intercooler and AC condenser.

Once you are done with this, bolt the Full-Race IC mounting beam in place of the stock beam but re-use the stock hardware. Center the intercooler between the headlights, clamped in place making sure there is a clearance around all edges of the intercooler and that there’s nothing touching or rubbing the IC. Make sure to quadruple check with a tape measure that you locate the intercooler directly centered between the headlights before drilling the holes with a 21/64″ bit for the mounting hardware. Here is how we made sure the intercooler was aligned before drilling the first hole:

After the first hole is drilled, tighten the supplied nut/washer/bolt, then triple check measurements/clearance and drill the other side.

Charge Pipe Clearance

After the FMIC is mounted, you’re going to trim and bend some non-structural sheet metal by the driver’s side fenderliner in order to fit the charge pipes through. Take a look at the pics below to get a good idea of how much you need to cut. Note that trimming this is not affecting your car in any negative way.

After you’re done with you are ready to fit the charge pipes. This can be challenging but is not too hard once you have everything lined up. The piping is routed like this to give you the quickest spool possible, so its well worth the effort to get this right. Its easiest to start from the TB leading to the IC’s lower endtank and followed by the piping to the turbo’s compressor 90 degree silicone elbow. The TB and cold side charge pipes are the easiest, just connect all the pipes together starting from the bottom endtank to the throttle body. Put T-Bolt clamps loosely around the silicone couplers, then wiggle everything together (tip: using some soapy water in a spray bottle can help them move into place!).

The hotside piping is routed from the compressor 90 deg coupler outlet. This outlet should be positioned parallel to the firewall, pointing directly at the driver side fender. The charge pipe will go over the transmission, then down around the front-left-wheel to the IC’s top endtank. It’s a little fussy to get everything set but proper angling of the coupler on the turbo and patience threading the pipe by all the lines in the back of the engine bay goes a long way!

Now that you’ve done this, it is time to plug in your IAT sensor. Split open the shield around the MAF sensor’s wiring and follow this DIY from Hondata to splice in the OBD1 IAT Sensor. http://www.hondata.com/help/flashpro/index.html?afm_removal.ht Then place the sensor into the bung that’s welded on the Full-Race TB charge pipes.

Go over all piping and make sure the pipes are not rubbing on anything: hotside pipes/intake tube should not touch any of the wiring harness/brackets/hoses, nowhere on the transmission or shift linkage, and not on the frame rail/subframe. Coldside pipes should not hit the clutch slave cyl hardlines or clip bracket. The aluminum charge pipes should not rub each other, if anything is touching, readjust so there is a small gap. It’s ok to have slight misalignment in the couplers, just make sure the beadroll is firmly seated behind the clamp and everything is resting comfortably. You may need to fold or trim the sharp sheetmetal corner of radiator support (try a hammer or crescent wrench) to make sure there is no rubbing on the pipes. If everything checks out, tighten the clamps using 7/16″ deep socket (or 11mm deep socket)

Install Intake tube

Next, in order to install the 3.5″ Intake, coupler/clamp and air filter you will need to create some space. The shifter cables go under the intake tube, and the heater hoses go above. We add a simple zip-tie to keep the wire harness secure and moved away from the intake piping. We also loosen the heater hose clamp slightly, rotate it counter-clockwise then tighten the clamp, just to keep it away from the intake tube.

You may also gently move the brake lines to massage extra space – gently push against the hardlines with your hands on a rag and it will bend in easily – don’t go crazy, it just takes a little bit of push. You can also install the downpipe and o2 sensors at this time. Do not fully tighten the downpipe vband, it will need final adjustment once the subframe is in place.

Step 10: Going through the plumbing:

A properly primed and leak-free oil feed and drain line are crucial to proper turbocharger health and performance – Triple check your oil fittings at this point since we want the turbo to immediately receive oil pressure upon engine startup. Check -4AN 90 degree oil feed to engine side – make sure it is tightened and will not leak and also tightened at turbo side without rubbing the stainless hose on anything.  Measure the oil drain hose, cut it to length, attach it to the fittings, and use hose clamps to tighten.

TB coolant hoses – these hoses are only used to keep the TB warm in freezing cold conditions. For a performance application (especially a turbo one) we don’t want a heated TB – so we will repurpose these ports for the turbo. Intersting Fact: Coolant is used only for keeping heat out of the turbo’s bearings *after the engine is turned off*. When the engine is running, the oil is doing all of the cooling, the coolant has no purpose. Disconnect and attach the upper turbo fitting (coolant return) to upper TB coolant hose port at cyl head using 3/8″ hose, attach the lower turbo fitting (coolant feed) to lower TB coolant hose port at cyl head.

At this point the entire turbokit is installed, and there should be no extra parts. Give everything a double and triple check then get ready – its time put the subframe/steering rack/suspension back on the car.

STEP 11: REINSTALL SUBFRAME/AXLES + INTERMEDIATE SHAFT/ bumper cover

Be careful not to scratch the headlights or fenders and make sure everything fits comfortably over the intercooler and piping without metal-on-metal contact or rubbing. Readjust the downpipe to make it fit perfectly with the engine mounted in place. Install 3″ Exhaust at this time. Reinstall the O2 sensors and tighten the V-Band clamp. **We recommend that you coat the V-Band clamp’s threads and inner flange groove with high temp anti seize — this helps it tighten straight and the threads will last a long time!**

Now you can fully tighten downpipe on the turbo, Once it’s on and tight, go ahead and put everything back on the car. If you have an ’09-11, you will have to remove driver’s side foglight from bumper cover to fit the intercooler. You can just take out the lights and leave the lenses in, or go for some of the block off plates that are found on non-Si civics.

STEP 12: Battery

We previously removed the battery tray to fit the charge piping. Now, cut battery tray to save ECU mount tab, and reinstall to hold ECU securely. You have a few options for how to handle the battery:

  • Rotate battery and fabricate tray (Easiest, most common)
  • Go to a lightweight mini battery (just don’t leave it sitting connected for weeks at a time without starting the car)
  • Move battery to the trunk: a battery mounted between the rear wheels improves vehicle handling (a good trick to doing this is to get a bmw’s battery cable from a junkyard, almost a perfect fit)

Step 13: Final Details: Install Hondata Flashpro, Fuel Injectors, Fuel Pump, Map Sensor, IAT/MAF and any Gauges:

Now is a good time to look everything over and make sure you are 100% satisfied with the connections and plumbing. There should be no loose bolts, no leaks and nothing rubbing. Fill the engine with oil (synthetic!!) and with your injectors unplugged – so the engine can not fire – turn the key to the start postion and let the engine turn over and build oil pressure within the turbo. After 15-20 seconds of cranking, check the oil level in the oil pan and get ready to finish the fuel system and start the engine.
The Hondata FlashPro is a crucial component for proper turbocharging as it connects from your laptop’s USB port to your vehicles diagnostic port to provide real time programming plus a variety of calibration options and extensive datalogging capabilities. It also gives us full control over the new injectors and boost tables.

-Install 1/4″ check valve in EVAP line to avoid losing any boost to the gas tank. Arrow must point toward the hose going to the engine.