Chase Mcmaster's '90 CRX HFChase McMaster's Alabama-born, California-raised CRX build begs the question: Is this an East Coast or a West Coast car? Oftentimes, the geographical location of a build determines the outcome. Factors like culture, weather, and parts suppliers can drastically affect a build. Luckily, Chase's ED8 benefits from both coasts in becoming a true bicoastal build. Experiencing Chase's CRX is like listening to a perfect blend of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" and 2Pac's "California Love."
Like most Honda heads, Chase fell in love with the brand because of its simplicity, ease of modification, and "the ability to put so much originality into them." More specifically, he chose the CRX platform because he fell in love with it at the age of 15 and it's been his favorite car since. Having purchased the car in Alabama, he held off on the build until moving to California. Chase transplanted to California in an effort to expand his upstart automotive repair/wiring business, ChaseBays. The build began with modest intentions. Eight months and 18 g's later, the custom Rex evolved into a complete restoration. He explains that he used cash straight from his business to finance the project. "I wouldn't have gotten so deep with the build if I had built the car in Alabama," he says. "Out here everyone goes crazy, so I had to go balls out." Picking up eight sponsors in California didn't hurt either. He also credits his car crew dAng! back home and other East Coast aspects in contributing to the build. "In dAng! we all influence each other and give each other ideas," Chase says.
The process began when Chase stripped the CRX and sent it to Woody at HoodFab Paint for a few coats of Lexus SC430 Egyptian Sand Metallic paint. Following that, Chase towed the Rex home and quickly put it on jackstands. That's when the build crossed into extreme makeover territory. "I didn't even know where to begin reassembly," he says. However, don't be fooled. Within eight months, 20-year-old Chase produced the Rex that exists today. He completed all of the custom work minus powdercoating, which Jon at Wuhhht Duhh's Powdercoating performed.
After assembling the essentials, Chase dropped in a '06 K20Z1 RSX Type S longblock that he sourced with 800 original miles. The entire car exemplifies his attention to detail, but it's the wire-tucked engine bay that really shows off his skills. "The car looks like it doesn't even run," he laughs. Hasport EFK1 mounts secure the engine while a Full-Race Pro Street EF/ED radiator and SamcoSport hoses keep temperatures cool. Web Cam AS2 camshafts coupled with Supertech valvesprings and retainers add extra insurance for high shift points. A Password:JDM Kevlar plug cover and Karcepts A/C, power steering, and alternator relocation kit further the illusion of a wireless engine bay. A Trick Flow filter, Aeromotive regulator, Golden Eagle Pro Series rail, and a Walbro 255lph pump allow a generous and clean flow of fuel. A Vibrant 3-inch intake pipe, K&N filter, DC Sports K-swap header, Camino Mufflers 3-inch mandrel-bent exhaust, and Vibrant race muffler convert fresh goodness into spent greatness. A Quaife limited-slip differential and Kaiten 9-pound flywheel work together to transfer power to Drive Shaft Shop 2.9 axles while a Hondata K-Pro ECU properly manages the engine. Chase also chose 15x7 Enkei J-Speed III rims wrapped in 195/50-15 Yokohama S.Drive rubber. Brembo blank rotors, PBR ultimate ceramic pads, Earl's stainless steel lines, and ATE Super Blue fluid helps prevent the inevitable California roll. He adjusts the 12kg/mm front and 10kg/mm rear Ksport Kontrol Pro damper system as needed. Further stiffening is accomplished with a Next Miracle X brace, Benen rear lower tie-bar, and an ETD Racing/K-Tuned EF K-swap traction bar. Skunk2 rear lower control arms ensure track readiness at all times.
Halfway through the build some of Chase's East Coast friends visited him in California. While listening to techno, he and his homies let off some steam by dancing around the car. The humbled Chase smiles behind a black T-shirt as he dances with a socket wrench. Fortunately, the camera kept rolling and the clip landed on YouTube-search phrase "Partyin around the Rex." Please refrain from food and drink before viewing the video to prevent serious health damage from intense and uncontrollable laughter.
Following his YouTube fame, Chase focused on the exterior, after completing the engine and suspension. JDM CRX SiR doors, a complete front end, mirror block-offs, and visors comprise the majority of the exterior. Smoked bumper/taillights also give the CRX more uniqueness. While most cars have more exterior mods than a Playboy Bunny, Chase enjoys the clean OEM look. "Originate, don't duplicate. Be original and build the car for you," he says. Striving for that last bit of originality, Chase opted for Status Racing "The Ring" bucket seats in Kevlar while utilizing OEM seatbelts mounted to Nagisa Auto's EF8 seat rails. "I don't think I've seen a CRX with these seats," he says about one of his car's favorite features. A custom ChaseBays shift knob attached to a Karcepts shifter kit enjoy center stage while an EF8 gauge cluster monitors engine vitals. A Nardi sport rally 350mm steering wheel handles quick U-turns when in hot pursuit of attractive females, and a Password:JDM Kevlar fuel pump cover contrasts well with the generous metallic sand paint inside the vehicle. A Pioneer head unit and Memphis Audio 6.5-inch front speakers stream music beats between high-revved shifts.
"When I finished I was like, 'holy crap.' I spent a whole lot but it was worth it," Chase says. Not to mention smoking a Dodge Viper SRT-10 and a '08 BMW M3 "was pretty cool." Chase describes the constant battle between East Coast and West Coast cars as lame and adds: "They both hate on each other but they both inspire and influence each other without even knowing it." The question still lingers. "I don't know if you can call it a West or East Coast car, but the car is registered in Alabama," he says in his distinct southern twang accent breathing in warm California air. Case closed.
Bolts & Washers
K20Z1 engineRSX Type S transmissionHasport EFK1 engine mountsWeb Cam AS2 camshaftsSupertech valvespringsSupertech retainersVibrant 3-inch intake pipingK&N air filterDC Sports headerCamino Mufflers 3-inch pipingVibrant race mufflerWalbro 255-lph fuel pumpGolden Eagle Pro Series fuel railRussell Pro-Classic lines and fittingsTrick Flow fuel filterAeromotive fuel regulatorFull-Race Pro Street radiatorSamcoSport radiator hosesPassword:JDM Kevlar plug coverPassword:JDM hood dampersKarcepts accessory relocation kitKarcepts shifter kitKaiten 9-pound flywheelQuaife limited-slip differentialDrive Shaft Shop 2.9 axlesHondata K-Pro ECU
Ksport Kontrol Pro coiloversNext Miracle X-barBenen rear lower tie-barETD Racing/K-tuned traction barSkunk2 rear lower control armsPowdercoated suspension arms
Brembo rotorsPBR ultimate ceramic brake padsATE Super Blue brake fluidEarl's steel-braided brake linesChaseBays AN hard-line brake linesRelocated proportioning valve
Rims & Rubber:
15x7 Enkei J-Speed III (+35 offset)195/50-15 Yokohama S.Drive
JDM EF8 front endJDM EF8 doorsJDM EF8 mirror block-offsJDM EF8 window visorsLexus SC430 Egyptian Sand Metallic paintSmoked taillightsSmoked bumper lights
Status Racing "The Ring" Kevlar bucket seatsNagisa Auto's EF8 seat railsNardi Sport Rally 350mm steering wheelEF8 gauge clusterPassword:JDM Kevlar fuel-pump coverChaseBays shift knobChaseBays military-spec engine harnessMemphis Audio 6.5-inch front speakers
Friends, family, God, Pat, Denita, Lane, Taylor, Woody at HoodFab, Leo and JP at Password:JDM, Sean and Josh at Status Racing, Jon at Wuhhht Duhh's Powdercoating, Mike at ETD Racing/K-Tuned, Tad at Drive Shaft Shop, Keenan at Memphis Acura, Alex Soto at Web Cams, Carlo at Camino Mufflers, Anthony at Arrows Project Loungism, my East Coast homies, my West Coast homies, anyone who helped, you know who you are
Building Cars How Long:
About three years
Emerica KSL Dos
Can't Miss TV:
The Office and Family Guy