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1992 Acura Integra GS-R - SID Vicious

This Da Is Bringing The West Coast Heat

Joey Lee
Feb 8, 2010
Photographer: Rodrez

SID Cardenas' '92 Acura Integra GS-R
The 2nd generation Acura Integra was one of the most popular and heavily modified Hondas of its time. In the early-to-mid '90s, Ron Bergenholtz had the DA to beat; early 2000s saw Joel Ray's timeless build; and still later, Parnell Navarro and his orange Mugen Integra were a force to be reckoned with. Today, you don't really see too many DA Integras that capture the spirit like those of the past. Sure, you'll go to a meet occasionally and see one on a nice set of old school wheels, but it's either missing something or is beat up from years of use. It's almost impossible to find one with that unique style and flare possessed by the current generation-until now that is. Sid Cardenas unknowingly took the mantle and now has arguably the most recognizable 2nd generation Integra in current times. We say "unknowingly" because he never intended to land this role. No, this Integra came from humble beginnings.

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"I originally picked up this Integra after my wife found it on the G2IC forums," Cardenas says. "The guy only wanted $1,200 for it. I ended up selling the wheels on it for another $400 so when it was all said and done, I only paid $800 for a 1992 GS-R." For those who are unfamiliar, the DB2 Integras are actually quite rare. There were only about 2,200 units ever sold, and being able to find one in the used car market for only $800 was definitely a nice come-up. With such a low price however, the car had some obvious short-comings.

"The Integra was pretty beat-up," Sid says. "Rust was eating up the quarter panels and the bumpers were rattled-canned." It was pretty apparent that the previous owner didn't know what he had or just didn't care enough to maintain it. Luckily for this GS-R, the new owner worked as an auto body tech at Beyond Auto body repair.

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"Working at a body shop definitely came in handy. I did all the work on it myself, minus the paint." Cardenas had the coupe re-sprayed in Honda Championship White, slapped on his new Greddy SP2 cat-back, and thought he was good to go. The original plan was to just restore the Integra and keep it as stock as possible, but as any enthusiast knows, one modification leads to another and the rest is history.

"Most of my ideas came from my coworkers," Cardenas says. "My painter, Red, had a BMW M3 at the time and he had smoked headlights and taillights. I really liked the look of it so we tried it out on my car. I loved the look so much that I ended up smoking my faded carbon fiber hood as well." Some of you readers may be familiar with his other co-worker; Arnel Ortiz (Sept '09 cover of HT). The owner of the now infamous Phaze2 Civic worked alongside Cardenas at the Temple City, California, body shop. They developed a friendship, often exchanging ideas while wrenching on each other's cars. "My first set of wheels was a set of Work Equip 03s that I bought from Arnel. I really liked the low offset and negative camber look. Hanging around Arnel and the rest of the Phaze2 guys taught me a lot about wheel fitment." The more he learned, the more aggressive he wanted his wheels to be. The Equip 03s just weren't cutting it anymore and were eventually replaced. Now under the slammed stance of the GS-R sits a set of low offset 16x8 Work XSA 02C rollers.

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Sid soon found himself with an itch to do something major for the annual Eibach event. With Arnel's assistance, he decided to attempt to wire-tuck his engine bay. "I guess we didn't work out all the kinks because it actually broke down on the way to Eibach 2008. It was dead on the road and I had to get the car towed home," Sid remembers. "After that whole ordeal I was pretty frustrated with the car and I pretty much gave up on it." Now it may sound like Cardenas gave up on his car a bit too soon, but this wasn't exactly the first time it happened. Earlier in the year, he had made the trek to NorCal for a J's Gathering event and broke an axle on the way there. He had to replace the axle on the spot at the event just so he could get the car home. Bad luck seemed to follow him whenever he tried to go to an event, so his aggravation was warranted.

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"I have a love/hate relationship with this car," Sid explains. "I actually put it up for sale but quickly changed my mind. I just couldn't let it go and end things that way." Feeling beaten and a bit deterred, Sid decided to get back to work on his project. He dropped the B18C and meticulously went through his harness and repaired it. Before re-installing the engine, he went for a much wilder look and re-sprayed the engine bay in a custom purple hue. The two-toned look along with the aggressive stance and low offset wheels fit the west coast "Cali-cruiser" style that Phaze2 has become renowned for.

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"I fell in love with the Integra all over again after the makeover. I find that if I keep changing things up here and there, I can't stay away from it. I look back now and I can't believe this project has come so far. From wanting to keep this thing as stock as possible to having it now slammed, gutted, and caged-it's the total opposite of what I planned, and I love it!"

Bolts & Washers


Hasport engine mounts
Skunk2 intake manifold
Yowai-SS Power Chamber Intake System
DC Sports 4-2-1 exhaust header
Buddy Club test-pipe
Greddy SP2 cat-back exhaust
MSD sparkplug wires
YS1 transmission
ITR shift linkage
ACT Stage 2 full face clutch
ACT Street lightweight flywheel
Hasport C/V half-shafts
Fluidyne radiator
Samco Sport hoses

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Ground Control coilovers
Ground Control extended top hats
Koni Yellow adjustable shocks
Blox camber kit
Skunk2 rear lower control arms

Brembo brake rotors
Hawk brake pads
Earl's brake lines

Rims & Rubber
16x8 Work XSA 02C (+10 offset)
195/45-16 Yokohama S-Drive

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PPG Honda Championship White exterior
PPG custom purple engine bay
JDP front lip
JDM window visors
JDM headlights
VIS carbon fiber hood

JDM ITR Recaro seats
Takata MPH340R safety harness
Momo Team steering wheel
NRG Quick Release hub
Skunk2 shift knob
Auto Power 4-point roll bar
NEXT Miracle X bar

God, My mom, wife, kids, family, friends Paul, Jeff, Tom, and Joe at Beyond Auto Body My painter Red, Free Joe (Swifty),, Phaze2xDoods!, FNF crew, Jon, JP, Tuan, DJ Serts, and Kevin at Fast Auto Works, Steve at HMOTORSONLINE, Norman at Streetlightz, JHP USA, N1 concepts, Wek'Sos, Donald at Tire Central, Everyone else who gave a hand in my build, you know who you are.

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Owner Specs

Favorite website:

Screen name or nickname:

Building Hondas for how long:
About 7 years

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Your dream car:
Audi R8

Build inspiration:
My family and friends

Whats playing in your iPod/CD/ MP3 player right now:
West Coast hip hop

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Greatest movie of all time:
Blood In, Blood Out - Bound by Honor

A Quick Lesson In Wheel Disks
From looking at these pictures of Sid's gorgeous DA, you may have noticed that his Integra has what looks to be a wider wheel up front, otherwise known as "front" or "reverse stagger". If so, then you're also probably wondering why his wheel specs are listed as the same front and rear. This is no mistake. The wheel width and offsets are the same, but the difference is the disk option. Most Japanese aftermarket wheels have either a standard disk, what Work Wheels calls "A-Disk", or a low disk, which Work deems "O-Disk". The low disk is an available option to enthusiasts who want maximum rim depth, or that "deep-rim look". It's not so much offset related but more in the curvature or flatness of the rim face. Certain wheels also have a high or "big caliper" disk option, otherwise known as "R-Disk". High disk wheels are designed for maximum brake caliper clearance for those individuals with big brake kits or larger calipers. In this instance, Sid's Integra has the O-disk Work XSA 02Cs up front, and the standard disks in the rear. Class dismissed.

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Buddy Club USA
Ontario, CA 91761
Work Wheels
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Ground Control Suspension Systems
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
HASport Performance
Phoenix, AZ 85040
By Joey Lee
243 Articles



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