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Nemo's Garage EM1 Build: Intro

March 13, 2016 5 min read 1 Comment

Hello, my name is Angel and I'm the owner of Nemo's Garage. I hope you've enjoyed browsing the new website! If you aren't a customer of ours yet feel free to browse our parts selection, skim through the blog posts, check out our Instagram page (@nemosgarage) and keep us in mind for your next purchase. If you have already placed an order, we truly appreciate your support.

Today's post is a quick intro to our EM1 project. If you've been following Nemo's Garage on Instagram or Facebook you probably know that we're currently working on a few shop-projects. One being the Nemo's Garage EM1. This project moved slowly for a few months because we have been so busy with our Time Attack EG, the Stickydiljoe x Nemo's Garage EK Sedan (owned by our very own Yuta Akaishi), The Nemo's Garage NSX (owned by Amir Bentatou of Marvelous Tune) and of course the store/website. Anyway, completion of the EM1 has now been brought back to the top of our priorities list, so things will be moving very quickly over the next 2 months to have it ready for an Eibach Meet 2016 debut. We will be sharing photos on our social media accounts but this blog will be updated regularly with much more detail than we can post on IG. Make sure to check in regularly for updates.

I bought this EBP 2000 Civic SI (EM1) as a personal project a few years back. When I picked it up it had 70k miles on it, had been through 2 previous owners and was in excellent condition. Previous owner kept it in a garage so the paint looked great. Interior was also in perfect condition. The only modification was an Injen cold air intake. Here are a few photos of it the day I picked it up.

The plan was for this to be a simple, mostly stock, very reliable practice car to have a little fun at our local time attack events. And that's exactly what I did with it. I added a few simple bolt-ons to the original B16a. Pulled out a few unnecessary bits like the cruise control, AC, interior. Ordered a hood from our friends at Battlecraft. Added coilovers, a set of 15x8 Gram Lights 57DR to fit some 225 Hankook RS3s and it was ready to go.

Cooling down at Streets of Willow next to Yuta's sedan before it started it's wild rebuild.

15x8 Gram Light 57DR. Battlecraft vented hood.

I LOVED this car. It was awesome having such a reliable and low maintenance weekend racer. I could drive it to the track, beat on it all day, drive it back home, give it a quick oil change and repeat over and over again with zero issues. For almost a full year the EM1 taught me a ton, eventually topping out at a 2:06 around BW13 on street tires, SI weight and around 140whp.

Around the end of 2014 I decided to get serious with the EG and focus shifted completely. Racing and maintaining the EG became top priority and the EM1 just sat for months. The EG was already set up so well that with just a few tweaks it was ready to be a serious competitor in it's class and if you've followed us for a while you've probably seen that it performed really great, leading to a bunch of Redline Time Attack 1st place wins, a 1st place win at last years Super Street FFBattle and 2nd place in our class at Global Time Attacks Super Lap Battle.

Ok, back to the EM1. Rather than let it waste away in my garage I decided to donate it to Nemo's Garage to see what we could come up with. Of course our first thought was time attack race car, but we have some pretty wild race-car builds we're working on already. I mean, you can never have too many race cars, but we decided it would be fun to go a different direction with this one. Show car. Aesthetically, our building style just happens to lean toward time-attack and in natural Nemo's Garage fashion we will of course be cutting no corners in the performance department. Not committing to any racing series and calling it a show-car really gives us the freedom to do stuff that is completely unnecessary for a strict race-car (like shaved bays and fancy custom interiors).To be completely honest anything we put together will be track-ready and will likely see some track time by the end of the year. But the focus of this build is not to be as fast as possible, it's to look great and break a few necks at some Wekfest shows around the country. We have many more race projects planned, but after the EM1 we don't have any strict show-car builds planned. So being that this is our last chance to implement some wild, unnecessary ideas, we're going all out with it.

Finally, on to the good stuff! The basic plan is: k20 turbo, full engine bay shave, color change (the new color is very similar to the original EBP), full alcantra interior with some cool custom touches, Exceed JP suspension and aero pieces, a ton of shiny stuff and some titanium accents.

We started by stripping the car. Pulled the engine/trans (and everything else in the engine bay) and the entire interior so it would be ready for a full color change. We immediately took it over to Raul at Twisted Metal Workz in Ontario, CA to start the engine bay shave.

That's right. All metal. Like I said, we didn't want to hold back on anything, so we decided to shave EVERYTHING. Twisted Metal Workz measured and cut sheet metal to the exact size of each hole and tack welded each piece in to make sure not to warp the sheet metal. We did away with the original brake master cylinder, booster and clutch master cylinder, instead going with a custom Wilwood brake set up that is mounted to the back of the firewall (photos coming later). We also made the decision to use a Drive By Wire throttle body so we could get rid of the throttle cable. This is how the engine bay looked when we picked the shell up from Twisted.

We brought the car back to the shop, did a few weeks of test fitting and planning, and then it was off to Jorgie Built for paint. Here's a photo I took the first time I saw it. I was blown away. Kudos to Twisted Metal Workz and Jorgie Built for knocking out this beautiful engine bay.

Within a few months Jorgie Built pulled the windows, painted the entire car inside and out, resprayed fresh undercoat and helped out with a few custom bits that we will reveal later.

This gets us very close to now. We picked up the shell late January and took it directly to Derek at All In Fabrication in Indio, CA for our custom engine bay work including the turbo manifold, charge piping, intake manifold, tucked radiator/intercooler combo and a bunch of other detail pieces. If you aren't familiar with All In Fab, Derek is awesome to work with. He puts more time and work into each piece than he probably should, but the end result is always amazing. We have some really cool pieces to share, but I'll save them for the next update. The shell is currently at All In Fab and will be ready for us to pick up very soon. That wraps up this post and gets you up to speed. Follow on IG to see real-time updates and check back here next week to get the details.

Thanks for following the new build. We promise you wont be disappointed when its done =)

1 Response


October 23, 2017

Nice article. What class did your EM1 run in TT with bolt-ons?

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