What do you do when you share a name with one of pop culture's most elusive characters? You make everyone forget about the red and white stripes and goofy glasses by shoving a 500hp Integra down their throats.
Since the import scene's early days, one deciding factor has earned our peers' respect. No matter how much money is spent or the number of primered parts left unpainted, the underlying factor that warrants admiration is power. No, not the totalitarian type, but horsepower. For those who would build engines making lots of it, others would be more inclined to overlook a mismatched set of wheels or incorrectly angled exhaust. If that engine made power, that car had balls. Someone got something negative to say? Line it up, run it and your lips can be read in the rearview mirror.
Waldo Duarte is familiar with this concept. He didn't know too much about anything JDM or how to fit the mold of a JDM-themed vehicle, so for his next project Waldo set out to build a car with power. Aesthetics would have to take a back seat. With that in mind, the Gardena, Calif., native located and purchased what he deemed his "dream car" in the form of a '95 Acura Integra LS. Most might reach higher and shoot for the Type R, but Waldo had a plan. The Integra he envisioned, however, probably had an engine. This one didn't. If anything, this Integra represented the blank canvas for the artist to make his vision a reality. "I bought the car without an engine," Waldo says. "Luckily, I was building a '91 Integra at the time and had an extra engine lying around."
The extra engine that would eventually find its way into the DC was also probably not what most would envision, but Waldo believed the B18A1 to have potential. To get the most out of the non-VTEC and to realize variable valve timing, Waldo took on the role of Dr. Frankenstein, laying plans to build a hybrid LS-VTEC powerplant. The principles involve mating the larger displacement B18A1 block with the high-flowing VTEC cylinder head. B18/B16 hybrid theory implies the best of both worlds but, unlike R. Kelly and Jay-Z, both get along and will make your money worthwhile. What would make this combination of low-end torque and high-revving endurance even more potent? Boost, of course, and a turbo always makes for the ultimate wildcard for any engine setup.
Reliable horsepower is key, so Waldo made plans to help safeguard the boosted Frankenstein. RS Machine in Norwalk, Calif., was called upon for a full port and polish of the B16A cylinder head as well as sleeving the block to protect it from boost's high stresses. Once machining was complete, the engine saw further upgrades in the form of Arias pistons, Eagle connecting rods and Supertech valves, springs and retainers. "I decided on Civic Type R camshafts to complete the internals of the engine," Waldo says. With the engine ready for boost, Waldo spared no expense, dropping a sizable chunk of his savings on a complete Turbonetics turbo kit. This kit includes a giant snail in the form of a T3/T4 turbo, cast-iron manifold, Evolution series wastegate and Raptor series blow-off valve. Rev Hard intercooler piping circulates fresh air from the Spearco intercooler to the JG Edelbrock intake manifold and exhaust gases are expelled through an A'PEXi exhaust system. RC Engineering 1,600cc injectors and an SX fuel pressure regulator aid in getting the proper amount of C16 race fuel to the combustion chambers. Enjo Precision engine mounts assist in keeping the soul of this Frankenstein strapped to its host. A Hondata S300 engine management unit controls boost and manages engine functionality. Final engine assembly and tuning duties were completed by Jency Carranza at Do-It Dyno in Signal Hill, Calif. "At 26 psi of boost we were able to make 501.7 hp," Waldo says.
To assure that all 500 of those horses make contact with the pavement, Waldo installed the Driveshaft Shop's Level 5 axles and upgraded the Integra GS-R transmission with a Stage 4 clutch and flywheel from F&S Clutch.
The build's next stage involved upgrades to the stock suspension of the once engineless DC chassis. Edelbrock (yes, musclecar aficionado) provides ride height management duties with its IAS adjustable coilover system and Energy Suspension bushings take the place of the dry, worn-out stock pieces. An Integra Type R five-lug conversion gives Waldo the advantages of the slightly larger discs necessary for slowing down this 500hp brute. Splitting time with drag slicks are Dunlop tires mounted on 16x7 Rays Gram Light 57C wheels in gold trim.
The interior of this monstrous Integra reflects a more subtle feel. Waldo admits not knowing much about JDM parts but reminds us that though it may not be 100 percent JDM, he gave it his own "personal touch." Stock LS-trim seats were removed and swapped for JDM Integra Type R Recaros along with a plethora of other JDM Type R parts including the R instrument cluster, MOMO steering wheel, shift knob and boot. Auto Meter Cobalt series gauges monitor any changes in boost pressure and operating temperatures whether Waldo is running on the track or cruising the streets of Southern California.
The JDM Integra Type R theme is carried over to the exterior as a complete JDM Type R front end sits in place of the once round-eyed U.S.-spec facia. As a sort of signature to his own style, Waldo uses Seibon carbon-fiber fenders, hood, front lip and side skirts; a look he used on his previous project, a second-generation Integra. Other than the carbon-fiber pieces, the rest is resprayed in a brilliant PPG Milano Red-a popular color among Integra owners. A freak accident at a drag event involving an engine bay fire would prove to be a blessing in disguise. The flames gave an engine bay respray that now match the equally glossy exterior. And before you ask, we're not going to ask Waldo if having a red and black exterior has anything to do with his mysterious red and white counterpart. That, of course, would just be too easy.
What's next for Waldo Duarte? He hopes to add subtle touches here and there as he learns more about the many JDM parts available for his Integra. Seat time at the track is also another possibility. "I was very impressed when I ran an 11.7 at LACR (Los Angeles County Raceway) in Palmdale when we first had the motor tuned," Waldo says. "The car started out as a bare shell and I felt like I accomplished my dream."
Bolts & Washers
Waldo Duarte's DC2 Integra
B18C1 cylinder head
Enjo Precision engine mounts
RS Machine sleeves
Eagle connecting rods
Ported cylinder head
JG Edelbrock intake manifold
JG Engine Dynamics cam gears
Skunk2 70mm throttle body
AEM fuel rail
AEM fuel filter
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
RC Engineering 1,600cc fuel injectors
SX fuel pressure regulator
Turbonetics T3/T4 turbo
Turbonetics cast-iron turbo manifold
Turbonetics Raptor blow-off valve
Turbonetics Evolution series wastegate
2.5-inch Rev Hard intercooler piping
A'PEXI 3-inch N1 exhaust
MSD spark plug wires
MSD distributor cap and rotor
MSD 6AL ignition box
F&S Stage 4 clutch
Driveshaft Shop Level 5 axles
Odyssey PC680 battery
Hondata S300 engine management
Edelbrock IAS Performer coilovers
Password:JDM front and rear strut bars
ITR five-lug conversion
Rims and rubber:
16x7 Rays Gram Lights 57C (+42 offset)
205/45-16 Dunlop SP Sport FM901
PPG Honda Milano Red paint
JDM ITR front-end conversion
ITR rear spoiler
JDM power folding side mirrors
JDM Honda Access window visors
Seibon carbon-fiber hood
Seibon carbon-fiber front lip
Seibon carbon-fiber fenders
Seibon carbon-fiber side skirts
JDM ITR Recaro seats
JDM ITR MOMO steering wheel
ITR shift knob
JDM ITR instrument cluster
A'PEXI turbo timer
Auto Meter Cobalt-series gauges
Pioneer PC360 head unit
Jency Carranza at Do-It Dyno
Street Invasion car club