If you grew up like I did sucked into the intrawebz, this man (nor his car) need any introduction. For those of you who are just getting into the scene, or somehow missed the West Coast Honda revolution that is the FF-Squad, then start taking some notes. Jason is one of the forefathers of Honda tuning since the digital age, and by digital age I mean once the Internet became commonplace in every home. There were many that came before Katman and the FF-Squad, but none did as much guerilla work to make engine swaps, ECU wiring and other miscellaneous tasks accessible to the public.
Ironically, I can credit a lot to the FF-Squad and also Super Street for being where I am today. They both paved the way for the cleaner-style Hondas and "JDM scene" we are now overrun with. Thanks to FF-S and SS, I am now an editor writing for the magazine that brought me inspiration, photographing a man's car whose website photos I would right-click and save as. Jason went to great lengths to provide people with pictures of cars, technical write-ups and detailed diagrams... all for free on his site site. Over the years, the site has changed, switched URLs and become everything but extinct. As a matter of fact, if you haven't been there lately, you definitely need to check out the site at www.ff-squad.com immediately.
I don't want to pester Katman to update the thing, since I know he is always short on time and everyone else already asks, but I would love to see a full update (sorry Jason, had to do it). FF-Squad was one of the pioneering crews in the JDM movement, building cars a decade ago that would still be on par with today's standards. Jason and his crew of Honda scallywags were always pushing to have a car that looks great and performs even better. This was back when color-tinted windows, horrendous body kits and extensive graphics schemes were the standard for featured Civics and Integras.
Back in the "good ol' days" I would go to Katman's site to look at the cars and read the random stories he always seemed to have. One day when doing my usual surfing, I read the unthinkable, Jason's first EG build "Blacksheep" had been stolen. It was appalling to me that someone could take a car from another person with absolutely zero respect and completely dismember it. I had no idea at the time that I would go through the same ordeal with my own car, end up working for Super Street and shooting Katman's yet-to-be-built successor to Blacksheep.
The name Blacksheep came from the idea of the build for Jason's first EG. He decided to go with a very unusual and uncommon engine swap, the B17A motor from the first GS-R series of Integras. The cars themselves are very rare with limited production only in 1992 and 1993, thus finding a spare power plant is even more of an accomplishment. Not quite a B18, not quite a B16 the B17 is Honda's Blacksheep DOHC VTEC engine. Jason knew what he was doing as the B17 is a rather brilliant design. The most famed feature of the motor is having the shortest rods of any B series configuration, among numerous other bizarre spec changes. I can't say that's the only reason he built the car with the rare motor. There was also a definite "oh wow" factor to the irregular transplant.
Gaining fame on the Internet, Blacksheep became fairly well-known and the B17 was no longer a gray area for Honda enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the glory behind the build was short-lived. But rather than giving up, when Jason became another victim of theft, he made a personal mission to continue tuning and actually out-do Blacksheep. Wasting little time, Katman searched for his new project. This is where the timeline of BS2L (Blacksheep 2 Liter) begins.
Only two months went by from the time Blacksheep was gone until BS2L was picked up. Once the car was purchased, Jason did all the basics: suspension, JDM accessories, seats, steering wheel etc. As soon as the car was fit for the road, Katman was out one night having some fun when the first hurdle in the build reared it's ugly head. A minor collision occurred when Jason's friend Mark from Slide Squad drove his 240SX directly into the driver's-side quarter panel of the EG crushing it severely. Katman knew he would have some free time on his hands while the car was damaged and decided to get some much-needed engine work out of the way.
The initial build was much different from what you see today, K swaps were scarce and very expensive, so Jason went to the next best thing - the B18C Type R. After fitting the new heart into Blacksheep 2's bay the car took a quick trip to FLM body shop, owned by the father of fellow FF-Squad member Lee Randle, to take care of the crinkle. Once the new quarter panel was installed Jason decided to paint the car a nice grey he had been considering for awhile. Keeping with the theme he didn't want to change the color drastically but added some character by changing to a pearlescent hue.
The new Blacksheep was bringing sexy back and life was good. At least it was good for two months until BS2L encountered it's second collision. As Jason told me he had barely gotten the car back and running when one day he was driving with another FF-Squad OG, Dylan, and got very unlucky. He was exiting a freeway and was in the far left lane when out of no where some d-bag in a red Chevy S-10 pickup cut from the far right lane (which was a right turn only) and made an abrupt illegal U-turn in front of Katman. "I slammed on my brakes and tried not to hit him" Jason tells me, "my driver's side rear wheel actually hopped up the curb onto the median and my car was basically doing a backside smith grind on the curb."
Needless to say, Blacksheep 2 ended up T-boning the pickup and after a short insurance dispute, Jason had to buy the car back and send it right back to the shop. Katman had to replace all the front suspension components as they were bent in the collision, along with all the exterior pieces that accompany the front end. More paint was laid on the car and once again BS2 was in pristine shape. This time Jason was able to enjoy the car for several years, taking it to track events and getting some use out of it. But as time went on the K swaps were getting cheaper and easier and Katman could no longer resist temptation.
The swap wasn't completely finished until January 2005, due to a wait on an R-Crew swap header. When the final bolts were turned and BS2 fired up as a rejuvenated BS2L Jason had really outdone himself. Since the K20 swap was completed, Katman and BS2L have remained fairly low-key, but Jason has been adding bits as time goes on and still has future plans such as a WaveTrac LSD. Super Street has been trying to feature the car for several years now but Katman has been difficult to round up. Although he mostly keeps the car to himself, thanks to previous experiences, you can often find the car at HPDE events and open track days. It's inspiring to see someone bounce back from a loss so well.
Fast Facts1992 Honda Civic CXOwner Jason "katman"HometownPasadena, CADaily Grind WebAdmin/Photographer for JHP USApower 225whp @ 7600 RPM 162lb-ft @ 6700 RPM
Under The Hood 2.0L K20A i-VTEC engine; SX fuel pressure regulator; Golden Eagle fuel rail; MaxBore 64mm bored Type-R throttle body; HKS Sports muffler w/ custom 3" piping (street use); 5Zigen Border 304 muffler (track use); R Crew K series header; Mugen baffled oil pain; DC5 radiator; Hondata intake manifold gasket; Hasport engine mounts; Spoon Sports reservoir covers
Drivetrain EP3 Type-R 6 speed transmission; DC5 base model axles
Brains Hondata K-Pro (street); AEM EMS (track)
Stiff Stuff Koni 8041 struts; Ground Control coilovers w/ Eibach ERS springs (550lb front/ 450lb rear); OEM GSR 24mm front sway bar, ITR 22mm rear sway bar; Password JDM 3pt front tower bar, 2pt rear tower bar, spherical rear camber kit; Energy Suspension rear trailing arm bushings, front sway bar bushings; Mugen front compliance bushings; Vision front circuit link kit; ASR rear subframe brace; Benen rear strong bar; Eastside Muffler custom B-Pillar bar w/camera mount; Skunk2 front camber kit
Stoppers Spoon Sports ITR front calipers modified to fit GSR knuckle; redrilled OEM Prelude VTEC 11.1" rotors (front); OEM ITR rear calipers; OEM EP3 10.3" rear rotors; Earl's steel-braided lines
Rollers Enkei ES-Tarmac 15X7 +42 w/ Toyo R888 225/45/15 (front); RAM's PR-6 15X6.5 +45 w/ Toyo RA1 205/50/15 (rear)
Outside Spoon Sports duckbill wing; JDM OEM headlights, corners, sidemarkers; EDM tailgate and taillights w/integrated rear fog; Battlesheep Nimbus grey paint
Inside Buddy Club Racing Spec driver seat, Type-A shift knob, DC5 shifter box; JDM EG6 SiR passenger seat, EG4 VTi cluster, DC2 Type-Rx pedal assembly; Civic Si door panels, dash, carpet; Sparco Racer 2 steering wheel; Taco Lita antenna ball
Ice Alpine CD/MP3 headunit
Props Blacksheep 1 props: Pat Brennen (R.I.P.), the TBR/FFS Faction, Various OG hybrid members, Eric Bauer, Andrian Teo, Yohei, Joe_R, Dave Scholz, Tam, Eddy Lin, JDM Wong, Dan Phan, The Bombino, Albert Gamboa, Steve Taylor aka Wil Wheaton, Kenji Plennert, Elton Lo, Richard Pang, Sheng Chao, Tommy Liang, Naji @ HAP, Jeremy @ Redzone, TNG, Gabe & Joe @ Eastside Muffler. Blacksheep 2/2L props: AutoFLM - Craig & Lee Randle, Sheng Chao / JDMHONDAPARTS.COM/JHPUSA, Eastside Muffler, Shawn Hillier, Mark Slide Squad, Jay Smith, R Crew, Eddy Lin, AEM 2005, Hasport, Tee Mingh, Jeff Sloan, Tony Jackson, Wully, Suldy, Tanner, Anthony Carney, Jeremy Powell, Robert Green, Frankie @ G-spot Auto, the goons at Pitcrew Motorsports, Adam @ Shinestreet, Josh Solis, AeroDuo, EDICK/NWP4LIFE, Dave @ EVO Garage, 333photo, Sean Bota @ Stoptech, Uros Bokal, k20a.org, hybrids.jp and others I cannot remember at this time, but props to you!
www buddyclub.us; ff-squad.com; hybrids.jp; jhpusa.com; k20a.org; passwordjdm.com; spoonsports.us