What defines a true import "enthusiast"? The debate has gone on for what seems like ages now. On one end, you have individuals who look for the rarest JDM parts and build strictly show cars. At the other end of the spectrum you have the guys who are all about stretching their cars to the limit and powering through hairpin turns at their local track events. There isn't one definite way to build a car. Let's face the facts; despite what many will tell you, there certainly isn't a definite way to build a Honda. You could honestly go either way; after all, you should really be building it for yourself. No matter which end of the spectrum you will eventually find yourself leaning toward, know that a truly great build, a universally respected build, comes from an individual who finds the perfect balance between the two. Having a beautifully built car that doubles as a track-terror is like having the proverbial cake and eating it too.
Will Salazar from San Diego knows this to be true and his quest to find this balance started at an early age. "My first Honda build was a 1988 CRX HF in 2000," says Salazar. "I used to drag race it at Southern California track events and various open Carlsbad import days." The then 18-year-old Salazar had gotten off to a pretty good start, especially since he was growing up in a city known for producing great Honda projects along with an older brother who was also heavily involved in the scene. "The [CRX] had a lot of modifications, including a complete B16 swap with full suspension and brakes. It just needed a JDM EF8 front end and paint job to finish the build."
Unfortunately, a series of events followed that would not allow the build to ever be completed. One day at work, a truck plowed into Salazar's pride and joy and completely totaled the vehicle. "Luckily for me it was struck by a local company's work truck and its insurance company was able to compensate me for about $11K for the price of the car and all its modifications. Moral of the story: Save all your receipts!" exclaims Salazar. Though the shell was ruined, the heart of the CRX-a B16 originally from a '00 Civic Si-remained intact. Salazar knew that this motor was special. Among his peers, it became somewhat of an anomaly. Consistent mid-13 second passes in the quarter-mile with merely an Iceman cold air intake, Mugen chipped ECU, and 20x8-14 MT slicks was all Salazar needed to decide to keep the motor for his next project.
The shell of the '93 Civic CX that graces theses pages was purchased as just that, a shell, back in 2003 from a friend of Salazar's that worked for Eibach Springs. The only thing done to it at the time was a set of Tein RS coilovers with machined perches designed to accept custom 600-pound front and 900-pound rear Eibach springs. Salazar had purchased the shell with plans to reuse the heart of his old CRX, but before dropping the motor into its new home, he decided to add some upgrades. An ITR manifold and Spoon header found its way onto the motor and headwork came in the form of Buddy Club Spec-3 cams and a Port Flow valvetrain. With the headwork completed, Salazar decided to take it to Shaun Church at Church Automotive Testing for dyno tuning and the B16 was able to produce 178 hp. "I needed more power. I decided to stick with the B16, leaving it stock bore and stroke, and I built it."
The next step in Salazar's quest for power was to install CTR pistons and ARP rod bolts to strengthen the bottom end and ditch the previous cylinder head with a Comptech Machine street ported head. With the assistance of a new Toda 4-2-1 header and RC 310cc injectors, the motor made vast improvements and was able to produce 201 hp with 124 lb-ft of torque. For many tuners out there these new results would be adequate, but not for Salazar. "After battling my brother's built Integra Type-R and testdriving his 1.8 liter at Streets of Willow Raceway, I wanted more torque," says Salazar. "I was contemplating swapping in a built 2.0 liter, but a couple friends were trying ITBs at the time and had gained a lot of midrange horsepower and most importantly torque. I decided to give it a shot since the motor was so fresh and healthy anyways."
A tremendous amount of time and research left Salazar with a decision to make. "Toda individual throttle bodies would suit my power needs best," claims Salazar. "However, Toda had recently discontinued its ITBs, forcing me to search endlessly until I found a mint set." He then had a friend fabricate a Honda TPS adapter plate so that the ITBs would work flawlessly with a Hondata S300 EMS. Salazar and Circuit Hero in San Diego subsequently installed the ITB setup along with some other goodies like bigger RC injectors of the 370cc variety, SX external fuel pressure regulator, Earl's in-line filter, steel braided lines and AN fittings. The built B16 would see its best numbers yet, yielding similar horsepower numbers but a noticeably large jump in torque numbers. "After everything was said and done, we were able to pull 142 lb-ft of torque! The entire power band was so much better," says Salazar. "It had such a wide powerband that resembled a 2L engine, which was the most important goal for road racing. The previous setup had a power band that was too peaky and had to be revved out super high in order to make the car go anywhere." Providing proper torque transfer comes by way of an ACT Xtreme pressure plate and six-puck sprung ceramic disc along with a Kaaz 1.5 way limited-slip differential.
To help get this car around the track, the original Tein RS coilovers that came with the shell remained intact; though Mugen front and rear strut bars were added for additional suspension support. The belly of the beast is strengthened by a Kirks Racing six-point rollcage that was sent out to John at Revenge Motorsports in San Diego for a custom x-brace. The "shoes" of the Civic are a completely refinished set of 15x6.5 WedSport TC05's on popular Falken Azenis tires. To help prevent the car from flying off the track, Salazar chose the combination of ITR front brakes, Fast Brakes upgraded rear brakes and Motul fluids.
With the stop and go department in full effect, it was time to match the freshly completed motor with an equally impressive exterior. Whether he's on the move or not, a build of this caliber deserves to be seen. With that said, Salazar was able to source an authentic Mugen EG6 front lip and Spoon mirrors before stripping the entire car completely and sending it off to one of Southern California's most renowned body shops, MOBworks, and getting the EG re-sprayed Milano Red and the roof a custom MOBworks Bentley Black. Salazar then topped off the exterior with an authentic Spoon Sports carbon-fiber EG6 duckbill wing, J's Racing air duct and Circuit Hero canards.
No build is complete without the proper goodies and trick parts for the cockpit. The driver is held firmly in place courtesy of a pair of Mugen S1 bucket seats and ber-rare Mugen edition Takata harnesses. If you ever happen to run into Salazar at a local San Diego area mall, you'll probably see him holding a Mugen SW36 steering wheel thanks to a TAS quick release that enables him to carry it to the most absurd places. Completing the Mugen ensemble is a Mugen pedal assembly and shift knob that is corrected for track use with the help of a Circuit Hero shift extender. Custom coated Benen carbon Kevlar ECU and fuel pump covers highlight the rest of the interior in addition to a myriad of JDM EG6 interior pieces.
The saying goes that "When it's all said and done, inevitably, more is said than done." Will Salazar and his Civic would prove otherwise. Salazar is a man of few words who definitely lets his actions speak for him. In this case, his ride speaks volumes. If you've never had a chance to see the car in person, you're missing out. The pure sound of the motor itself is beautiful. We often get asked what makes a vehicle worthy of a feature. The answer remains the same for anyone who asks: Balance. Perfect balance, and Salazar has found it.
Bolts & Washers
Will salazar's 1993 honda civic cx
The Milano Red EG currently houses a B16A2 out of a '00 Civic Si and features a Comptech USA street head port with full radius valve job, Skunk2 Stage 2 billet camshafts, Skunk2 sprockets, OEM ITR valves and Port Flow valve springs and titanium retainers. The block is upgraded with 81mm PCT CTR pistons and rings with the stock rods shaved to fit PCT pistons along with ARP head bolts. The stock intake manifold has been ditched and Toda Racing individual throttle bodies now sit in its place. Exhaust gases are expelled through a Toda Racing 4-2-1 header, Circuit Hero test pipe and Buddy Club Spec-2 exhaust. The 11.2:1 compression motor is connected to the chassis via Avid motor mounts and completely assembled by Circuit Hero. Aesthetically, a Mugen valve cover, first generation oil cap, oil filter and reservoir covers accent the engine. Electrical power comes courtesy of a NRG cell race battery and Buddy Club grounding kit. All wires have been tucked away thanks to Circuit Hero. To help properly cool the motor, a Fluidyne fullsize radiator from an Integra has been swapped in and connected to the motor with Samco radiator hoses. The transmission was completely rebuilt by Circuit Hero with new OEM synchros, Kaaz 1.5 way LSD, and ACT Xtreme clutch kit. Fuel delivery comes from a Walbro high-flow fuel pump, plumbed with custom Circuit Hero steel braided lines, filtered by an Earl's inline filter, and regulated by an SX external FPR. RC 370cc injectors bring the fuel to the motor and are electronically controlled by a Hondata S300 EMS.
The EG Civic on ITBs put down 201 hp and 142 lb-ft of torque on the dynapack hub dyno at Church Automotive Testing in Wilmington, Calif.
Salazar's EG rides on Tein RS coilovers with pillowball mounts and custom machined perches designed to house custom Eibach 600-pound front and 900-pound rear springs. The chassis is strengthened by a Kirks Racing six-point rollcage with custom rear x-brace fabricated by Revenge Motorsports in San Diego. Mugen front and rear strut bars were added as well as EM Racing pillar and trunk bars. Rear lower subframe reinforcement comes from Comptech along with a 22mm rear sway bar.
Rims & Rubber
The wheels are 15x6.5 super solid forged WedSport TC05's that have been refinished. The 9-pound wheels are connected to the ground with 205/50-15 Falken Azenis 215 tires.
Stopping power is done through ITR calipers up front, Hawk HP pads, re-drilled Brembo Prelude rotors, Fast Brakes rear 11-inch rotors and rear calipers. Motul brake fluid is delivered by BFGoodrich steel braided brake lines from a 96-spec ITR master cylinder and brake booster.
The exterior is accented with an authentic Mugen EG6 front lip, Spoon mirrors, Spoon carbon-fiber duckbill wing, J's Racing carbon-fiber air duct and Circuit Hero canards. The entire body, inside, outside and engine bay have been completely re-sprayed by MOBworks in a brilliant Milano red hue with the roof sprayed a custom MOBworks Bentley Black.
The inside of the EG is literally a Mugen catalog, featuring parts such as Mugen edition Takata six-point harnesses, Mugen SW36 steering wheel with TAS quick release, Mugen pedal assembly and shift knob. The shifter is extended by a newly released Circuit Hero shift extender. Salazar drives the Civic sitting on Mugen S1 buckets on MemoryFab low position seat rails. JDM EG6 gauge cluster, clock, audio console and climate control replace the stock USDM units and the door panels have been reupholstered with tweed fabric. Oil pressure and temperature is monitored through Auto Meter gauges as well as a Halmeter AF30 air/fuel meter.
It is nothing too spectacular for this weekend track car. Music is produced by an OEM ITR amber head unit and Sony Xplod speakers.