It's amazing how much things change over time. You know, like how gas used to be around $1 a gallon about a decade ago (Hell, we all know who we can thank for that mess). Or how about that import drag racing; not only did it have a huge following in the early to mid 90s, but that it was also one of the major factors in setting the sport compact scene off. Oh! Here's a big one that will trip you out. Remember when the B-series, at one point and time, was the engine swap of choice for Hondas and quite possibly the most modified import engine in the country, if not the world? Well, not so much anymore.
Sadly, the B-series engine will vaguely be remembered when the cyborgs take over in 2019. They've already began to slowly bow out of the picture, making room for the bigger and badder K-series over the past few years. Even a guy like Gil Salazar of El Cajon, California, who already had one of the premier Honda/Acura's with his 2001 Integra Type R, opted to swap out that B18C5 in favor of its big brother, the K24A1. But there's no way he could just leave it at that, considering that his newly acquired motor fell a little short in the horsepower (160hp), redline (6,500), and compression (9.6:1) departments. Those three figures aren't exactly what everyone has came to expect from Honda engines, and definitely aren't anything to sport a chub over. We're used to low torque engines with high horsepower that can rev to the brink of 10,000rpm without breaking a sweat. We guess somebody has to tell the muscle car meatheads that there is a replacement for displacement and Gil was determined to find it.
To kick things off, Gil had the K24 engine sent to Blueprint Racing in South El Monte to get completely torn down, balanced, blueprinted, and reassembled with a plethora of beefed up internal components. Everything from forged Wiseco pistons and Pro I-Beam connecting rods, down to a lightened OEM crankshaft were stuffed into the machined 2,354cc block. The top end wasn't left out; it awaited an equally extensive destiny of its own. The dudes at Blueprint Racing managed to work in a full port and polish job with their custom pro valve job for more flow, and reshaped combustion chambers before reconstructing the head with race valves, dual valve springs, titanium retainers, and Skunk2 cams. After slapping the two engine halves back together, Gil had a weapon that was more lethal than LeBron James on a fast break in the open court. However, Gil's bank account isn't loaded like the reigning MVP (and poor sport), Mr. LB23, yet he still managed to front the cash to have the majority of his parts special ordered or custom made. Not too easy in this dwindling economy. With the help of Hasport engine mounts and a Chasebays harness, the freshly-built K24 motor lined up perfectly in the engine bay without any clutter. Dare we say that it fits better than the B18C5 did from the factory? Sure, why not?
So why have all of this work done to what is already considered a relatively advanced motor? Was it simply to have bragging rights when he pins the Church Automotive Dynapacks? Not highly likely. However, he did manage to push out a naturally aspirated 265hp and 200lbs-ft to the wheels on just a partial tune. He had to rush and prepare the car for the FF Battle just a week away, but is aiming to hit 300hp and 215lbs-ft respectively when all is said and done. Did he build it to have a badass car to impress chicks? Possibly, but Gil swears he's happily married (though we've never heard of such a thing). From what he tells us, the sole purpose of the motor swap and engine build was because Gil wanted to dominate the competition at the track. Not the drag race track, though many of us have fond memories of the port-a-potties at Los Angeles County Raceway up in Palmtucky. This new engine was designed for the abusive life of road racing and its Falken RT-615 tires will more than likely never touch any public highways.
But doesn't it take more than a buff motor to compete in road races? Shoe betcha. That's why his suspension component list is longer than Shamwow Vince's rap sheet. With Tein N1 racing coilovers, a Mugen rear sway bar, Wicked Tuning front lower control arms, and a grip of other various braces and bars Gil better have a good dental plan because his chassis is stiffer than a 1990's Peter North hopped up on Viagra. More so than just trying to rattle his own wisdom teeth loose, Gil's elaborate suspension set up allows him to hug corners at the track and remain in full control of his vehicle. We feel sorry for whoever has to do his alignment. The interior of this once bone stock Type R has been damn near completely stripped out, minus the dash, in the hopes to shed any unnecessary weight. Think of it like a colon cleansing for your car, only a lot less disgusting and embarrassing. Safety-wise, Gil is surrounded by a custom six-point roll cage and strapped down with a Takata five-point racing harness, while he plops his torso into a Spoon Sport Kevlar bucket seat.
We'd like to think that we've all grown past the days of so-called racecars rolling around with primer paint, black steel wheels, no bumpers or hood, plexiglass windows duct taped down, and "All Throttle, No Bottle" written with shoe polish across the side. Though the grassroots look is somewhat compelling, that's not exactly easy on the eye. Thankfully, Gil's car was shipped off to Mobworks to re-spray his Type R in the glistening factory Nighthawk Black Pearl paint while adding on the Japanese front end and J's Racing aero parts for additional down force at the higher speeds bigger tracks require. Yeah, people have been doing the JDM Type R front end conversion for about a decade, but it still looks dope, and way cleaner than the regular bug eyes. In fact, because Gil didn't opt for a bulky body kit, from the outside you could barely tell that this was a full on racecar.
We could only imagine what was going on in Gil's mind when he decided to rip apart one of Hondas flagship cars, tear out its heart and soul, and attempt to resurrect it with vastly superior parts. Not to mention being patient during the two-year hiatus while all the work was being completed. Was it worth all of the money and time? Only Gil can answer that, but we have a fairly good idea on what he'll say. At least now, Gil will have some battle stories to tell his kids in the future. Better yet, a trophy to show them by winning the Unlimited FF Class at Super Lap Battle. That way, they'll know that "Circuit Hero" isn't just old pops' screen name. Hmm. He might have to get past those Hasport guys first.
Revenge Is A Dish Best Served With Chips and Salsa
Nestled somewhere deep in the southern tip of San Diego County is a city known as El Cajon where you'll find a World War II Museum, exquisite Mexican food, and a shop called Revenge Motorsports. Like many of us, owner John Mets (who may or may not still be rocking his Mohawk) got fed up with the bad service he got from so many shops when he was younger. Rather than sit around and bitch about it like the rest of us, John decided to take initiative and start up RMS. With over 10 years of experience, John has built a crew of technicians to handle pretty much any of your import automotive needs. OK, maybe some domestic ones too. Current projects are a JZA80 Supra, supercharged NSX, and S13 drift 240SX. Not too shabby of a lineup. It just goes to show that you don't always have to drop big money at a shop to get quality work.