Holy Smokes! Watch This Portuguese Diesel Swapped AWD Civic Eat Up The Dunes

Jose and his friends were looking to compete in the upcoming Maroc Challenge, which is something of a home brew off-road competition in Morocco.

Off-roading has gained an impressive following over the years from its humble origins both in the farm field AND on the battlefield. Modern, purpose-built machines have grown in size with a host of interior appointments swaddling the driver in the lap of luxury while fording a river, rock crawling, and demolishing sand dunes. Yes, the day's of grandpa's Willys Jeep are long gone.


But custom built cars have popped up with greater frequency as the home built craze has made even the modest family sedan a would be off-road star. And it's not just an American phenomenon either; it's become quite international.

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Enter Jose Dinis de Matos and his sixth-generation Civic (MA8) from Portugal. Jose and his friends were looking to compete in the upcoming Maroc Challenge, which is something of a home-brew off-road competition in Morocco. So they set about converting their Civic into a diesel swapped AWD mini-monster.


Starting out with a 1.6 liter D16 inline-four diesel engine from another sixth generation Civic they then got all Doctor Frankenstein on the car. The AWD drive conversion was a bit more complicated and required cutting out, fabricating and welding in pieces from several different models. The AWD and rear frame work was courtesy of a first generation HR-V. And the original Civic and donor car was used and modified accordingly. You can see above how extensive the job was. It looks pretty beefy.

The five speed manual transmission, drivetrain, ECU, and select interior bits were an amalgam of parts from various donor cars. The stance is right on and from the videos it looks like its more than capable. Jose and his buddies, and they do look like a tight crew, then set up mounting a roof rack with lights and extra tires. They'll need it for the Maroc Challenge. Morocco is no joke. That's some hard country to test out a vehicle. On the plus side, the Civic is a solid platform to start with and the diesel unit should give the car a substantial range. Good luck, Jose. Buckle up.

(via Engine Swap Depot)

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