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 |   |  2001 Acura Integra Type R - Good News for People who Love Bad Movies
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2001 Acura Integra Type R - Good News for People who Love Bad Movies

A Euro fan converts to JDM-ism with help from an over-the-top Hollywood blockbuster.

Evan Griffey
Mar 14, 2007
Photographer: Andy Bui
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It's easy to talk shit about the technical faux pas of the "Fast and the Furious" motion picture series, especially considering the horrendous start afforded it by the first movie. Did they actually script "MoTec exhaust systems" and "Naws" (we think they meant N-O-S)? And diamond plated floorboards riveted in from the bottom that shake loose and create a light show of sparks behind the car that rivals most 4th of July celebrations?

Though flawed, the movie did bring some fresh blood to the scene. While many were there just for the fashion, though, a few stuck it out and evolved into real, accomplished enthusiasts. John Sry is one such person, he saw the light of the Honda badge following a stint entertaining the European persuasion, namely a 1999 BMW M3, '01 Z3 and '01 Mercedes Benz SLK.

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"After watching '[The Fast and the Furious] in 2001, many ideas came to mind," says Sry. His visions gained some clarity when he chose a brand new Acura Integra Type R as a canvas for his creation. Not only was the car valued for its race-like characteristics, Sry knew that after modifying it he would be pleased with the end result. After a month of searching, he found his phoenix yellow DC2 at an Acura dealership in Tennessee.

The transformation began with the basics: springs, intake, header, and an exhaust system. Then a new set of black Volk SE37 wheels was added, along with an under-body spoiler kit from Wings West. It wasn't enough to impress any show judges, however; the car didn't earn any accolades at its debut in Massachusetts. In order to win at more prestigious events like Hot Import Nights or Import Xpression, Sry needed to distance his vehicle from the competition.

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Not a fan of "crazy widebody kits or wild system installations where monitors outnumber occupants," Sry went with an understated JDM theme, hoping to limit flash but emphasize uniqueness. Towards that end, he decided to change the color, hoping to separate himself from the scores of yellow Rs making the show rounds. Mark2000 Autobody in Worchester, Mass., painted the 'Teg in House of Kolor candy tangerine orange. "I knew it would make a statement once it was finished."

To tighten the focus even further, Sry integrated a supplementary carbon-fiber motif. He added a VIS carbon fiber hood and trunk lid and Signal Auto carbon fiber mirrors, dash kit, and canards. The ITR also runs authentic Mugen aero kit pieces around a full JDM front-end conversion.

In the cabin, previously placed Bride door panels were replaced with JDM panels off a '00 R. Red Recaros supplant the Brides seats, mainly because the old seats weren't comfortable for a big guy like Sry. The extended list of interior JDM doodads screams meticulous: shift boot, center console, clock blocker, airbag tray, climate control, fog light switch, and even a J-spec ashtray and road flare. Other interior mods came from Japanese sources like Mugen and Takata.

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The whip is imbued with Japanese rareness under the hood, too, where one finds a Mr. Alex cooling plate. Sry reports this item was exceedingly hard to come by, and according to his research, no one else has one in North America on an Integra with a JDM front end.

As unusual as the piece is, it gets lost because a fully dressed DRAG turbo kit dominates the engine bay. The kit features a Turbonetics T3/T4 turbo, Tial wastegate, Blitz blow-off valve and Spearco intercooler. "My favorite mod on the car is by far the turbo," says Sry. "I love when the car hits boost, and the sound of the blow-off valve shooting out between shifts."

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Sry also adores the Mugen valve cover. For him, it's one of those iconic JDM parts that started it all. "With so many fake Mugen covers out there, I am proud to be one of the few to have a real, authentic one on my car."

Sry wants everyone to believe this DC2 ITR is a done deal, but we're smarter than that. Very rarely are car customizing endeavors finished, in part because there is no checkered flag. The inspiration just keeps rolling ashore, like message bottles from Tokyo, or poorly made films about the import car crazefrom Hollywood.

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Bolts & Washers
John Sry's 2001 Integra Type R

Unmolested internally, the 1.8-liter B-series VTEC mill gets a big bump in power thanks to a DRAG Generation 3 turbocharger system. Exhaust gases spin the turbine on a Turbonetics T3/T4 turbo before exiting through HKS Super Drager plumbing, with bypass regulated by a Tial wastegate. Meanwhile the compressor section sends a charge to the Spearco heat exchanger that's kept chilled with a Nitrous Express intercooler kit, as a Blitz blow-off valve maintains appropriate pressure in the system.

With more air, fueling had to be upgraded as well, which Sry took care of with an AEM fuel rail and pressure regulator. An MSD ignition and Spoon Sports plug wires and battery give the spark a bit of a goose, too.

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Greater load on the engine necessitated improved cooling to protect it. That's why Sry hooked up a Fluidyne radiator, Mr. Alex cooling plate, and Aerospeed overflow reservoir. A Greddy oil catch can is the other pimpin' tank in the engine bay, one of several attractive pieces underhood that also includes a Mugen valve cover, radiator cap, oil cap, and reservoir cover. A JDM blue Type R VIN badge adds on final wrinkle of legitimacy.

Tein HA coilovers give the DC2 chassis its low-slung posture. Keeping it rigid are Mugen strut tower bars front and rear, and a Spoon rear lower tie bar.

The rollers frame Mugen front calipers, pads, and rotors, and rear Brembo rotors behind their spokes.

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Rims & Rubber
The Integra rolls on SSR SP1 rims with black faces and polished lips wrapped in Dunlop SP Sport FM 901 tires of the 215/40/17 variety.

Outside: The big changes consist of a JDM front-end conversion, shaved door handles, antenna, emblems, trunk key-hole and molded roof rain gutters. An authentic Mugen aero kit was employed to boot, and everything was sprayed House of Kolor candy tangerine orange. A closer examination reveals the finer points: Bomex /Vision carbon-fiber mirrors, JDM carbon canards, hood, and trunk, and a Cusco license plate re-locator.

Inside: The cabin features a multitude of Japanese market minutiae. Recaro seats outfitted with Takata harnesses and pads replace OE, as do the Mugen shift knob, steering wheel, and pedals. A carbon fiber kit spruces up the dash, and nestled therein are a Greddy turbo timer, A'PEXi VAFC controller, and a handful of Defi gauges. Also on the console are Ignited red switches and a Pivot engine start button, and above them is a Broadway mirror for checking backmarkers. More factory JDM grip includes the shift boot, center console, clock blocker, airbag tray, climate control, ashtray, fog light switch, road flare, floor mats, and door panels. Finally, a colored matched NX nitrous tank makes for a fitting last touch.

Jams are kicked out via an Alpine receiver/DVD player/flip-out monitor to an accompaniment of MB Quart front and rear speakers.

By Evan Griffey
272 Articles



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