It’s been said that if tuning is in your blood, it’s there to stay. Navid Pajoufar of Palm Springs, California, realized this years ago, but instead of turning wrenches at the local quickie-lube, he honed his skills across the planet in the Middle East. “I started doing small-displacement motor swaps over there, when I came to the U.S., the closest thing to what I was used to was four-cylinder Honda motors.” Being a tuner, the basic motor swap just wasn’t enough, and his passion grew into this fire-breathing track beast you see pictured.
Navid is the owner and operator of K Powered in his hometown, and even though the shop has only been open for a few years, Navid set forth with a mascot build to represent the shop. And he certainly wasn’t messing around. The patient wheeled in for surgery was a bone-stock DX coupe, purchased from the original owner.
As far as his choice of a coupe, he states, “The fact that the hatch is lighter is all good, but the longer wheelbase of the coupe helps keep it stable on the track.” Navid and his team began with a relatively simple K20 swap, which kept Navid happy for a bit. “I swapped it and it was fun, then did a turbo setup and it was more fun!” Navid drove his hatch just like that until 2008, when he decided to dedicate it solely to the track. Pulling the engine for a major overhaul, Navid replaced the internals of the block with CP pistons and rings and Pauter connecting rods. The head was stripped and sent out to Portflow for some modification and cleaning before being stuffed with a full valvetrain courtesy of Supertech. Legendary IPS cams finished the top end. Navid was new to the K-series community but had fallen in love with them even before the swap; he adds, “B-series cars have been around for years, and they’ve done the research into what works, but the K-swap guys are still getting more and more power.”
A thirsty engine is a lean engine, and Navid avoided any fueling problems with an Aeromotive Pro Series fuel pump and four Bosch Pro Series 2,200cc fuel injectors. Although K-series turbo parts are available off the shelf from a number of companies, Navid wasn’t too keen on having someone else do something he felt he could do better. “I saw my customers drag racing their cars all over, and I figured I could make parts better anyway.” So after locking himself away with his new welder for a week, Navid added a new title to his résumé: Custom Fabricator.
With the heart of the beast back together and in the bay by way of Hybrid Racing engine mounts, Navid’s talents produced a one-off K Powered intake manifold paired to an Accufab throttle body and custom intake system. The exhaust gasses run through more custom work from Navid, with a K Powered exhaust manifold securing a huge BorgWarner S372 turbocharger. Keeping everything from overheating is a K Powered intercooler and ultra-thick radiator. Hiding the fully built heart of the coupe is a lightweight JoJo three-piece front end.
With 42 pounds of boost, a set of steelies on radials certainly wouldn’t do, so Navid opted for a set of 15x10-inch Spinwerks wheels with MT 26-inch slicks and a 15x3.5-inch setup in the rear. Behind the huge drag radials is a one-off suspension setup courtesy of Eibach, whose exact specs are Navid’s secret. The team at K Powered removed every piece of unneeded interior before a custom, chromoly, multi-point rollcage and a single Sparco racing seat made their way into the cabin.
All of the custom fab work you see was created by the car’s owner.
With the Civic completely assembled and running, Navid needed to stretch the car’s legs but ran into one problem. He states, “I live in Palm Springs, the closest tracks to us are Bakersfield or Las Vegas and both are fours hours or more away, so for a test and tune, it’s a huge ordeal.” After almost a year of major difficulties and setbacks with the factory transmission, the Civic was back in the shop for surgery. A custom PPG dog box setup, mated to a Clutchmaster twin disc clutch and DSS Pro Series axles transfer the power properly. After a few test-and-tune sessions, the K Powered Civic stopped the clocks at 8.94. Without a ton of experience and no track in sight, Navid and his guys have made a ton of headway with their Outlaw Turbo class coupe, and are looking to make more moves. “I know we just broke into the 8s, but we’re looking for 7s already.” Lofty goals by most standards, but this up-and-comer is coming up fast!