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Acura RSX DC5 - Hawaiian Punch

Island Fever Makes For One Clean RSX

Joey Lee
Aug 15, 2008
Photographer: Henry Z. DeKuyper
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There Are Three Great Things About Hawaii: The beaches, the women, and the food. Make that four things-you can't forget the cars. Often overlooked, Hawaii is responsible for some of the most impressive builds in North America. Reminisce back to the Internet's early days when enthusiasts late night browsed for Honda inspiration and stumbled upon sites like www.dohcresearch.com or www.teamrice.org. Sites like these featured some of the sickest Hondas of their day with Civics pushing incredible numbers, rockin' A'PEXi Skyline intercoolers, and monster-sized turbos-at least for back then. Hawaiian tuners have always known how to build clean rides yet they never forget to add the flare and bring the drama. The JDM-reminiscent, back-in-the-day look was the norm, and island builds almost always included the little details that made each one distinctly Hawaiian. The Web sites are gone, along with many of the cars we remember but, like anything else, a new generation of tuners has stepped up to reinforce the Hawaiian presence.

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Consider Albert Callo the test subject for this new breed of what the islands have to offer. Albert and his crew Intrigue have been working hard to establish themselves as THE car club to be thought of whenever the Hawaiin Islands are mentioned. Albert's Arctic Blue Pearl RSX is just about the islands' closest equivalent to Japan's DC5 Honda Integra Type R. The entire build focuses on every JDM piece available with the exception of the steering wheel not being on the right side. The exterior features a multitude of JDM DC5 R parts like Type R headlights, side markers, door visors, and a rear spoiler, all the way down to the little details like the JDM DC5 gas tag decal, "2 Stars" decal, and SRS "Caution" tag. You figure that Albert would complete the JDM look by swapping on JDM DC5 front and rear bumpers but he decided to go a different route and one up the rest by fitting the RSX with an authentic ings+1 aero kit. The stock hood was removed in favor of a blue pearl-coated VIS carbon-fiber one and, oh yeah, all color-matching services are courtesy of Tech One Custom based out of Honolulu, Hawaii.

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The all-out JDM theme is carried over into the interior of this R replica with a DC5 Type R MOMO steering wheel, instrument cluster, red stitched shift boot, and center console. Albert doesn't fail to amaze by including other JDM knickknacks like a DC5 Type R cup holder, doorsills, and even a Type R coin holder. Talk about attention to detail. Albert shifts in style and burns his right hand on hot sunny days thanks to a Spoon Sports titanium shift knob, and a set of ever-popular Takata four-point harnesses keep him firmly in his seat as he cruises the island.

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Every enthusiast knows that you can't cruise if the car's stance is weak so Albert hammered his blue RSX to the floor with JIC FLT-A2 coilovers. Cusco front and rear strut and shock tower bars help to strengthen the chassis and add additional bling. Structural rigidity is improved inside with Cusco B-pillar bars and a J's Racing C-pillar bar. Conventional wisdom might say that a JDM-inspired DC5 Type R replica should run the original Type R wheels or at least something similar in dimension but Albert stepped way out of the box and bolted on some 19x8 gold Rays Engineering G-games 77W Vaio wheels. Fitting the DC5 with 19-inch rollers may be considered automotive sacrilege to some but Albert contends that he'll simply "let the haters hate," so hate on if you will. The 19s are wrapped in Falken Ziex rubber and, to make the wheels fit, Albert had to use an Ingalls rear camber kit to "allow" for them to clear. Cool. If it makes the haters feel any better, the guy does have a 17-inch Integra Type R wheel in his car, even if he does only keep it in there as a spare.

Hawaii was once known for its wild, boosted Hondas but Albert again decided to differ from the norm and went for a naturally aspirated K setup. The cylinder head is worked over with Crower Stage 2 cams, valves, springs, and titanium retainers. An Injen cold-air intake pulls cool airflow into an Accord Euro R intake manifold while BDL delivers gasoline to the RC Engineering 440cc injectors through one of their special fuel rails. Exhaust gases are delivered from a Buddy Club race header and spewed out through a Buddy Club Spec-II cat-back exhaust system. Albert's attention to detail is apparent throughout. For example, the JDM ITR valve cover is accented by an ITR dipstick-a mod only those in the know would spend the effort to source. Such details often go unnoticed by mere spectators but are exactly the kinds of things that set Albert's RSX apart. Albert's engine bay also acts as a mobile Spoon Sports catalog with everything from oil and radiator caps to a Spoon Sports Earth Code grounding system. Even the transmission's guts received due notice. The tranny was taken apart so that Albert could install a JDM DC5 Type R 4.7:1 final drive gear along with a DC5 Type R limited-slip differential. Even the stock shifter bushings were yanked and upgraded with Integra Type R pieces. All of the additional power from the naturally aspirated K20 is delivered to the wheels thanks to an Exedy Hyper single clutch and 9-pound lightened flywheel, also from Exedy.

Some might say that the wheels Albert chose are too big or that the camber is just a bit too extreme but, in the end, all of this just happens to be the nature of the game. Others will always have something to say, whether it's good or bad, but the careful attention Albert paid throughout his entire build should overshadow any kind of disagreement on something as trivial as wheel choice or camber geometry. No part of this RSX was left untouched. Albert didn't build this car for the purists. He built it for himself, and to get his crew noticed. Straight from Albert's lips: "Let the haters hate."

BOLTS & WASHERS

Propulsion:
Innovative engine mounts
Crower Stage 2 camshafts
Crower valves
Crower valvesprings
Crower titanium retainers
JDM DC5 Type R valve cover
JDM DC5 Type R dipstick
Accord Euro R intake manifold
Hondata intake manifold gasket
Spoon Sports oil cap
Spoon Sports radiator cap
Spoon Sports reservoir covers
Spoon Sports spark plug cover
Spoon Sports magnetic drain plugs
Spoon Sports engine torque damper
Spoon Sports Earth Code grounding system
Samco Sports silicon radiator hose kit
Hondata K-Pro ECU
BDL fuel rail
RC Engineering 440cc injectors
B&M fuel pressure gauge
Buddy Club header
Buddy Club Spec II cat-back exhaust
Injen cold-air intake
Injen window washer fluid relocation tank
Karcepts throttle body adapter
Cusco oil catch can
Energy Suspension front-mount insert
TEIN hood dampers
Exedy Hyper single clutch
Exedy lightweight flywheel
JDM DC5 Type R 4.7:1 final drive gear
JDM DC5 Type R limited-slip differential
JDM DC5 Type R shifter bushings

Stance:
JIC FLT-A2 coilovers
Cusco B-pillar bars
Cusco front strut tower bar
Cusco rear shock tower bar
Mugen rear upper bar
J's Racing C-pillar bar
EM2 front antiroll bar
Ingalls rear camber kit

Outside:
Ings+1 Body Kit
JDM DC5 Type R headlights
JDM DC5 Type R amber side markers
JDM DC5 Type R door visors
JDM DC5 Type R rear wiper plug
JDM DC5 Type R spoiler
JDM DC5 Type R side decals
JDM DC5 Type R emblems/decals
VIS carbon-fiber hood
Carbon-fiber license plate frame
Mugen license plate bolts

Inside:
JDM DC5 Type R MOMO steering wheel
JDM DC5 Type R gauge cluster
JDM DC5 Type R cup holder
JDM DC5 Type R shift boot
JDM DC5 Type R center console
JDM DC5 Type R doorsills
JDM DC5 Type R coin holder
Spoon Sports titanium shift knob
Takata four-point harnesses
Broadway mirror

Rims & Rubber:
19x8 Rays G-games 77W Vaio +42 offset
Falcon Ziex Tires
JDM DC5 Type R 17-inch spare tire
Gorilla anodized blue lug nuts

I.C.E.:
Alpine double-DIN head unit
Rockford Competition highs and mids

Props:
Drew Arine
Honda Tuning Magazine
Henry Z. Dekuyper

OWNER SPECS

Hometown:
Oahu, Hawaii

Most Played in the iPod:
2Pac "Hit 'Em Up"

Favorite Kicks:
Jordan 3 Black Cement

Recent DVD:
Rocky Balboa

Bogus traffic ticket:
Got pulled over for racing from a helicopter and arrested

Mac or PC:
PC

Favorite non-Honda:
'03 Infiniti Q45

Porn star pick:
Tia Tanaka

Hottest model:
Misa Campo

Sources

Hondata
Torrance, CA 90503
310-782-8278
http://www.hondata.com
Buddy Club
909-923-9188
www.buddyclub.us
By Joey Lee
243 Articles

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