A few issues ago I unveiled a 1992 Integra GS-R as the new project for 2014. As I explained in that article, the car is definitely rough all the way around, but with a clean title and its original B17 under the hood, I jumped at the opportunity to build the very chassis that had originally sparked my interest in Hondas so many years ago. Now, as rough as the car is, I'm confident it can be brought up to respectable standards with a number of new parts, some restoration, and plenty of time. With so much already on my plate, I had a tough time deciding which area to attack first. Ultimately, I chose to start with the fabrication and performance end as it typically takes the longest and will essentially buy me some time since I don't have the space to keep another car at home.
Spearheading the fabrication portion of the build is Whitfield Racing in Upland, CA. If you don't know about the Whitfield resume or Jason Whitfield's history in the automotive industry, you're missing a major chunk of the history of the Honda community and I urge you to brush up on your knowledge. You can find a Legends Series interview with him on the Honda Tuning magazine website.
When I discussed the build with Whitfield, I explained that I wanted to keep the original B17, rebuild it, boost it, and incorporate technology that simply wasn't available in the early '90s as an off-the-shelf option.
In the introduction story, we took a look at one of Whitfield's DC2 exhaust manifolds that would have to be reworked in order to fit the DA/DB2 chassis. The reason for that is the shape of the second generation Integra bay is quite a bit different when compared to its younger brother. For example, the space between front core support and the front of the engine is shorter, as is the area between the back of the shock towers and the firewall. With some rethinking and metal massaging, Whitfield created a '90-'93 Integra-specific exhaust manifold and the Comp Turbo mock-up snail now fits perfectly. Additionally, there's enough room behind the driver's side headlight for an intake or in our case, an intake box.
Now obviously there's no pre-made intake box for this particular combo, and that's exactly how Whitfield prefers it. As with any high level fabricator that I've ever dealt with, custom one-off pieces are their pride and joy, and opening the door to progression and creativity is what Whitfield Racing is all about. Spend 10 minutes discussing your build with Whitfield and you're quickly drawn into a brainstorming session steeped in feedback, suggestion, theory, and most importantly, genuine hands-on experience. He recommended building a box that would receive fresh air from a duct that will eventually reside in the front bumper. On the opposite side of the bay, the area behind the passenger side headlight would be the perfect spot for a breather box and my only request was that it not look like every other polished rectangular box with AN bungs and a filter on top. What he came up with is a sleek breather box/overflow tank combo that features dual flush mounted filters and a sunken AN fitting panel. The end result is a one-of-a-kind piece custom tailored to fit the contours of the engine bay perfectly.
Every custom turbo setup is going to need some various bits and pieces for completion, including clamps, piping, and some fabrication-friendly parts. Vibrant Performance offers every conceivable turbo part you can possibly imagine and they shipped over a number of goodies for the build including their Vanjen clamp system, intercooler (we'll get into both of these in an upcoming issue), flex pipes, and various straight and curved tubing that will be used for the exhaust and the intercooler. The number of products added to Vibrant's parts catalog over the past two years is staggering and they're showing no signs of slowing, with new parts constantly being made available. If you're looking for something to create, complete, or even update your turbo kit, jump on the Vibrant website and you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for; these guys offer it all.
You've no doubt heard of Goodridge brake lines and probably seen the name mentioned in the spec list of countless feature cars in Honda Tuning magazine. What you might not know is that Goodridge offers way, way more than just brake lines. They've got a massive catalog filled with all types of oil and fuel lines in different sizes, materials and customizable lengths as well as AN fittings, bungs, and everything in between. We ordered 12 feet of Goodridge 210 series black hose, 3 feet of 200 Series steel-braided line, multiple AN adapters, a number of swivel hose ends and plenty of heat sleeve. The quality is apparent with absolute precision used on the materials, the threads, even the actual finish—all top notch. As the build gets deeper, we'll be incorporating the Goodridge lineup along the way.
Fabrication is obviously the focus for the next few months, but in the meantime, I sourced a carbon-fiber hatch and hood from Seibon to replace the damaged stock panels. Paint had peeled up around the window seal on the rear hatch and allowed rust to settle in. Up front, a massive dent in the hood was also showing some rust and though they could probably be repaired, I figured it would be a good chance to drop a few pounds.
The factory Integra hood is around 40 pounds, and there is a pretty significant weight savings with the Seibon hood weighing about 21 pounds. The construction is rigid, so if you're using the factory hood prop, the carbon version won't easily warp and fitment will remain true over time. It's a direct replacement and as with any aftermarket panel you'll need to take your time to line up each side for a solid fit. Fender-to-hood gaps should be even on both sides and if the piece is made of good quality, you'll realize a close-to-OEM fit and that's exactly what we got with the Seibon hood.
In terms of weight, the hatch is a little different. The large window and rear wiper with its motor tip the scale at almost 70 pounds, while the Seibon carbon-fiber hatch itself is just 11.6 pounds! Obviously the window will make a large difference in that number but if you recall from the last installment, FAL provided their ultra-lightweight rear and side window replacements. I won't be including a rear wiper or defroster on my car as it's not a daily driver, but you can opt to use your factory glass (with wiper and defroster) on the Seibon carbon-fiber hatch and still drop a good amount of weight. Just like the hood, we were able to line up the edges of the Seibon hatch with ease and the hatch-to-quarter panel gaps were even on both sides with no need to trim or modify anything—true direct bolt-on. Once the car hits the body shop, the FAL rear window will be installed along with the rear side windows.