The venerable VTEC engine from Honda is one of the most reliable and rebuildable powerplants on the planet. Likened by many to the GM small-block, the SOHC (single overhead cam) four-popper is perhaps the most popular motor with performance enthusiasts this side of Honda “B-Series” or JDM (Japanese domestic model) engines.

If you own a 1996 to 2000 Civic with a VTEC engine there are a number of bolt-on options available that will give you noticeable power gains. However, if you wanted to put some “serious” ponies to the pavement, but didn’t want to completely tear down the engine, your options have been limited–until now, thanks to the Performer X Turbo System.

Engineered by Edelbrock specifically for the D16Y8 SOHC 4-cylinder VTEC, the Performer X Turbo kit (#1500) is complete, 50-state street legal (E.O. #D-215-59) and easy to install. The included piggyback control unit means no additional tuning is required when used on otherwise stock engines. The kit includes a Garrett T28 turbo, pre-assembled as one unit with a Ni-resist cast exhaust manifold, elbow, oil inlet and water lines for the simplest possible installation.

The Garrett ball bearing turbo spools up fast and blows big air, but Edelbrock has waste-gated it down to 6-7 psi. to work with pump gas and still make 60-percent more power than stock. The system includes a high-performance Performer X intake manifold with four extra injectors and a separate electronic controller to add fuel under boosted conditions. It also has an oversized Spearco intercooler and Tial blow-off valve. The Edelbrock exhaust manifold and elbow are designed for maximum flow at high velocity for quicker turbo spool-up.

Edelbrock has also included an AutoMeter boost gauge with A-pillar mount pod, pre-assembled Russell oil, water and fuel lines, an O-ring sealed compressor, inlet/outlet pipe flanges, ceramic-coated turbo piping, high-flow air filter, plus all necessary gaskets, adapters and detailed 10-page installation instructions. You get everything you need to crank your VTEC up to a dyno-tested 176 WHP (wheel horsepower) and 147 ft-lbs torque. That’s more performance than most B-series engine swaps at a street price around $3,500. There’s also good news for ’99-’00 Honda Civic Si and ’92-’95 Civic EX owners. Edelbrock Performer X Turbo kits are coming in early 2004; the street-legal status was still pending at press time.

This installation can be done using common tools and procedures. However, you should have a basic knowledge of automotive repair and modification, and be familiar with and comfortable working on the vehicle. Having a ’96-’00 Honda Civic Service Manual on hand for reference is required. If you do not feel comfortable working on a large project such as this, it is recommended to have the installation completed by a professional mechanic.

Follow the photos as we show you the high points of how Edelbrock technicians took a stock 2000 Civic EX engine to the max by installing the Performer X Turbo System.