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April 2014 Spotlight - Spouting Off

Rodrez
Mar 7, 2014

There's a lot of information out there, some good, some not so good. Having spent way too much time online over the years sifting through forums, blogs, websites, and more recently, social media; some of the same theories seem to repeat themselves over and over again so I put a few together (in no particular order).

"My boy made way more power!"

One thing that all motorheads can or at least should agree on is that no two engines are the same. For example, you can take a pair of B18C5 powerplants, bolt on the same exact parts, run them on the same day, same dyno, same tuner, and you're going to get varying results. They might be close, but there's always some separation in one category or another. This becomes even more apparent when people compare engines that rely on forced induction. What one guy's engine makes at 15psi isn't necessarily what you're going to make at that same level. Accept it, move on, and realize that arguing about two different dyno results in two different parts of the country is pretty pointless. You should be concerned with what you drove in with, what you left with, and how safe your setup looks on the dyno.

"That's so rice!"

The term "rice" has been around for decades. Domestic enthusiasts established it as a derogatory term for any Japanese (or other Asian) vehicle. To be clear, any import, non-american brand (Ford, Chevy, etc) was considered a "ricer." However, nowadays people have tried their best to redirect the meaning toward a car fitted with inferior or gaudy aftermarket parts. Those with higher priced imports feel that they're beyond that term, and they push it toward anything Honda-related as our cars are popular to modify and relatively low budget. Still others have done all they can to completely redefine the term by tacking on the not-so-clever acronym: Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancements. That's not what it means at all.

Fact is, the term has always been fired off with bad intentions and going by the loose guidelines set forth by Internet know-it-alls across the globe, there is nothing you can do to your car that won't be considered "rice" by one group or another. The fact that fellow import enthusiasts now use it to bash one another is yet another sign of our communities immaturity.

"Bye-bye, handling."

The J-series swap is one that brings about plenty of controversy. For most, the sheer size of the compact V6 compared to a typical Honda 4-cylinder means a huge weight increase and absolutely horrid handling. I've seen some wacky numbers spouted off, sometimes claiming a 300-500lbs increase over an H-series engine. The truth is the weight difference is closer to 65lbs when compared to the H22. Still, that's a good amount of weight and it can no doubt affect handling. But consider this for a moment: many of the guys preaching about weight and handling are Civic owners that have gone from a D-series that weighs a little over 300lbs, to a B or K-series engine that weighs over 100lbs more. If they went with an H22, tack on an additional 50lbs or so. Funny, the handling woes that they're preaching about are right under their own hoods and somehow, they've managed to deal with it. Proper suspension, corner balancing and common sense can make a pretty big difference.

"lol, del Slo!"

One of the most played out nicknames applied to any Honda is the "del Slo." The name came about due to the vehicle's curb weight, which some feel is through the roof. Now, since the del Sol falls into the '92-'95 category, it has always been compared to the fifth-gen Civic. Everyone knows that the EH chassis Civic, below the Si trim, is extremely light and it's true, the 2-seater del Sol carries a bit more weight in its midsection but it's not sporting a muffin top by any means. The S model comes in at under 2,300lbs, and most are going to boost it, swap it, or both, which means the power to weight ratio is going to probably be outstanding. You can bring up the heavier VTEC model but keep in mind it already has the DOHC heart and 4-wheel disc brakes, which you'll probably opt for anyway. Heavier than a 92-95 Civic? Yes, but not a pig by any means.

"Why?? What a waste..."

I've seen some oddball swaps and crazy builds over the years and while I wouldn't spend my time or money on many of them, I can appreciate someone's passion for any car project that they take on. After hearing so many complaints about things getting stale and everyone doing the same thing, I'd expect people to be excited about outside-the-box thinking.

When I did a story on the first (that I know of) K24 swapped S2000 a few years ago, all hell broke loose. When I revisit the swap on the HT Facebook page every once in awhile, it gets nasty pretty quickly. Truth be told, the F20C engine is just plain awesome. It loves to be revved; and who doesn't love blasting to 8 or 9K with ease? With that being said, as an S2000 owner, I feel the pain of the torque-deprived and those that have blown their money on bolt-ons only to come home defeated, having gained only smidgens of power. Not everyone wants a turbo strapped to his or her engine, and some start looking for other options. People tend to get very angry when they see someone building a car in a way that doesn't align with their personal vision. Take the anti-SOHC crowd for instance. It's engraved in their heads, no matter what you do, it's never going to be as good as a DOHC mill. The fact that many of the single slammers built right now make far more power and torque than say a K-swap with bolt-ons that probably costs far more, doesn't seem to sink in. In their eyes, it's inferior which, if you really stop and think about it (less money = more power, more torque), doesn't really make much sense.

By Rodrez
624 Articles

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