Dubbed Road Sailing, it was a more performance oriented civic opposed to the standard economy-boxes we all know. It was released with an 1170cc EB1 motor pumping out 70hp compared to the 50hp of the standard model. Engine modifications included twin Keihin carburetors, a freer flowing exhaust manifold, longer duration cam (15 degrees), domed pistons (bumped compression up to 8.6:1), and strengthened crank bearings. [/column]
[column]Handling was increased with a set of stiffer springs (30%), shorter stiffer struts and 13″ wheels wrapped in 155-80-13 tires. The wheels were black with a polished lip and had a red “H” center cap- this is where the red Honda “H” started. Besides the RS badge on the front grill other exterior options included flared fenders, fender mounted rear view mirrors, and a slightly different bumper assembly.
The RS’s were only released in warm red/orange paint schemes. The predominantly black vinyl interior included a wooden steering wheel and shift knob, center console, grab handles, a mechanical tachometer graded to 7k rpm, and a center auxiliary pod with fuel/temp gauges and an air vent. The US gauge pods merely had the gauges for fuel and temp.[/column][/column-group]
The RS head was also different from the standard EB1. The combustion chamber was deeper, which allowed larger valves to be fitted. The pistons where domed to make up for the increased combustion volume in
Along with larger valves, the head had larger ports. If you’ve every seen the original Honda inlet & exhaust gaskets on the standard head, you would have seen that the holes in the gaskets for the ports where a few millimeters bigger than the ports on the standard head. This is the port size on the RS & GL engines.
Which leads me to the EB1 engine in the GL model.
This basically the RS engine but with a down-draught carburetor. In this case, it was a different inlet manifold to standard (larger diameter runners to the ports) with a much larger down draught carburetor. This carburetor was also used on Datsun 1600 engines, so parts were much easier to find (back then) than for the side draught Kehin-Seki. The GL had slightly less power than the RS, but still made for a very fun Civic.
Back to pistons, using the RS pistons with a standard EB1 head gave a compression ratio around 11:1. I had an engine built like this, with a head that had been ported and had larger valves, I believe, from a Coupe 9. What a blast that engine was, but it would ping horribly below 3000 rpm. Had done around 140,000 MILES before it died, piston cracked from too much pinging
2012 new Honda Civic vs 1st Generation Civic RS