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Twisted Type-R

Rolling Four Deep Is Better Than Two

Robert Choo
Aug 1, 2002 SHARE

I remember the very first time my car was featured in Turbo. It was in 1996 and the lead photo was my yellow Integra doing a burnout. The honor I felt that an import magazine would do an article on my car left me speechless. Seeing the article three months later in hard print took my breath away yet again. I was so proud of my car. I carried the magazine everywhere to show my friends and family. It was like a fantasy come true. Well for William Law of Southern California, that so-called "fantasy" has come true three times over. William's first feature car was an immaculate and pristine white 1995 Acura GS-R converted to JDM-specifications in our (Next Level Integra) June 2000 issue. The following year in April, William created another masterpiece, moving from his Honda roots by creating a Nissan 240SX powered by a modified SR20DET engine. However, the 240SX was no ordinary Nissan; it had major reconstructive surgery to adapt a S15 front end to the factory sheetmetal.

William did it again only six months after his 240SX hit the presses. As expected, William was not going to stray to far from his Honda roots. His platform of choice was a 1996 Acura GS-R with a twist--four doors. When we asked William, "Why a four-door?" He replied, "Because no one has done one yet." Well the pictures speak for themselves, as the GS-R obviously lives up to William's standards.

From the outside, the Integra's fighting stance was made possible with the JDM-spec four door Type-R sheetmetal front-end. A VIS Racing Sports front bumper adds to the aggressive appeal of the Acura. William wanted something different when it came time to choose a color for the Integra. His color of choice was a custom purple hue mix. The color of the vehicle has gained the nickname of "Barney-mobile" by many of his close friends. Along with importing the front-end for Law's Integra. V-Spec Performance in Baldwin Park, Calif., was also responsible for swapping the four-lug factory suspension pieces with the Type-R's five-lug set-up. The wheel and tire package can make or break a vehicle. Fortunately, Law chose 18-inch Blitz Techno Speed Z2 racing wheels wrapped with 215/35ZR Nitto NT-555 rubber to provide the footprint.

Law's rides have never been known to be slugs and the Integra's beautiful sheetmetal barely scratches the surface of his workmanship. As if the front-mount intercooler nestled behind the bumper is not a dead giveaway. Take a peak under the hood and you'll see that is where the real work begins. Where the GS-R engine once occupied the space, a fully built Type-R/B20 combo now resides in its place. The Japan-spec 2.0-liter CR-V engine was outfitted with stronger internals, which include 9.0:1 compression, Arias pistons and Crower connecting rods. The entire reciprocating assembly was balanced and assembled by Dr. Charles Madrid at Atomic Performance in Fullerton, Calif. As the bottom-end was being fortified, the head was sent to KG Precision Engineering for porting and polishing. Once the porting was complete, the head was given a three-angle valve job and outfitted with oversized stainless-steel valves and high-tension dual valve springs. ARP head studs secure the top and bottom halves together. Factory Integra Type-R bumpsticks control valvetrain events, allowing ample air to reach the combustion chamber while spent gases are expelled to the turbocharger.

Choosing the correct turbo can determine the horsepower output of an engine, and more importantly, the driveability of the car. Too big a turbo and no power will be made at low engine speeds. Too small a turbo and peak power will be sacrificed. When it came to turbo sizing, William called on the services of Fastrax Turbo Technologies to size the correct unit for his hybrid powerplant. Fastrax selected a T4/T3 hybrid turbocharger utilizing a T04E 57-trim compressor wheel for compression duties. Boost pressure has been regulated to 1.0 bar via a Blitz Type C-42 wastegate and Blitz SBC i-D sequential boost controller. Ensuring the engine doesn't go nuclear from extreme charge air temperatures, a Blitz front-mount intercooler is on call. Prior to reaching the Type-R throttle body and intake, a Blitz Super Sound blow-off valve releases boost pressure between shifts for faster turbo spool up. On the exhaust side, spent gases from the turbine blades are expelled through a three-inch downpipe. From the downpipe, exhaust is hurried along a custom three-inch stainless-steel exhaust system outfitted with a Blitz Nur-spec canister.

Like many of William's toys, the Integra runs an A'PEXi Power FC fuel computer for engine management. The Power FC unit is responsible for controlling the Type-R/B20's four 700cc injectors to perfect harmony. Ignition calculations are also handled by the A'PEXi computer, as Ultra sparkplug wires transfer the amped charge from an HKS Twin Power and factory coil combo to Blitz Iridium-spec 77 spark plugs. Although the engine is still being broken in, William thinks the Frankenstein hybrid and turbo combination is good for 300-horsepower at the wheels.

In order to handle the extra power, William also made sure the transmission was up to the task. The Type-R transmission was modified with a KAAZ limited-slip differential for better power distribution. An Advanced Clutch Technologies six-puck clutch transfers the power from the flywheel to the drive wheels.

As much as the performance aspect of the vehicle has been addressed, William states the car is purely a street car. And from the look and sound from the driver's seat, we surely agree. The original complete interior has been swapped out in favor of, what else? A factory four-door Type-R black tweed with factory Type-R Recaro seats. Door panels are also of the Type-R badging as well as the steering wheel, center console, instrument cluster and brake handle. Tunes were also addressed in William's ride and the head unit is a Clarion Max 2256 double-din tuner, which features a cassette and single-disc CD player. Canton 5-inch speakers are on call up front while the rear decklid houses two 6 in coaxial speakers. In the trunk, four 8in Rockford Fosgate Punch-series subwoofers are housed in a custom enclosure. A single Aura Audio amplifier powers the entire system. The interior is also accented by a gaggle of Blitz components that include Full Auto Turbo Timer, SBC i-D boost controller, Power Meter and 60mm boost gauge.

William told us that it took him six months to build this commuter and he says it's a work in progress. As the article goes to press we just heard that William has picked up a 1998 Lexus GS300. Who knows, maybe you might be reading about a twin-turbo GS300 in a future issue of Turbo. Based on William's reputation, don't be surprised when you do.

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By Robert Choo
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