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2001 Acura Integra GSR - Crossroads

Sometimes A Little Outside Influence Can Be Positive

Rodrez
Feb 2, 2010
Photographer: Nick Parker

Terry Suvonnarith's '01 Integra GSR
Peer pressure. It's something we're warned about from the earliest stages of life. Whether it's parents, guidance counselors, or anti-everything campaigns, the idea of avoiding outside influence is pounded into our heads throughout the majority of our scholastic careers. We're trained to ignore that little devil on our shoulder and do our best to steer clear of the various traps that pepper our daily lives. This is, of course, for our own protection, but at times it's that very pressure that can actually have a positive effect in the long run. Terry Suvonnarith of Seattle, WA, was plagued by thoughts of giving up on his long-term GSR project, but eventually found that the pressure was far too intense to deny.

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In late 2001, Honda introduced the RSX under the Acura banner as a replacement for the ultra-successful Integra chassis. Boasting more power than its predecessor, Terry had thoughts of purchasing the next generation sport coupe. He recalls, "The RSX was just coming out. After looking at the RSX and the Integra, I ended up going with this car because I got a killer deal on it that I just couldn't pass up. Plus, it was silver, and I already knew I'd be installing a JDM front-end on it!" With the seductive "new car smell" occupying its cabin, Terry headed home with his new love and began brainstorming his next move.

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In the midst of making minor changes to the GS-R, tragedy struck in the form of serious body damage. While backing out of his driveway during one of Seattle's cold spells, a layer of ice on his driveway managed to push the Integra right into the side of another car. The nauseating metal-on-metal sound sent chills down Terry's spine, and for a moment, hopelessness set in. However, that feeling was quickly swept away once the refined JDM front end and fresh re-spray made their way to the chassis. To add even more character to the makeover, the body shop shaved the factory emblems, added keyless door handles, and color matched an ultra-rare Feel's front lip. To separate himself from the usual 15- and 16-inch wheel crowd, a set of 18-inch Racing Hart C2s made their way under the arches. If you've ever thought to yourself that anything larger than 17-inch rollers would look silly on an Integra, Terry's masterpiece most likely shattered that idea into a million pieces.

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Shortly after the car had fully recovered from facelift surgery, another flash of bad luck engulfed the project. Terry explains, "I don't know what happened, but somehow the bolt that holds the crank pulley on was completely sheared off, and it was really bad. So I basically had to pull the whole motor." With the motor in dire need of a rebuild, it was decision time. Terry could have had the motor rebuilt to factory specs and live happily ever after; or he could listen to that little devil on his shoulder and build a monster. Eventually, the little guy won, and the motor was sent to Golden Eagle for a whole new bottom end. Assuming the tough part was behind him, Terry experienced a wakeup call when he received word from his builder, asking for his plan of attack. "I couldn't decide if I wanted to boost it, or put together an all motor setup. The block was just sitting at Golden Eagle and they needed an answer so they could determine what compression pistons to use." After going back and forth for what seemed like an eternity, the decision was left to fate. He literally grabbed a coin and flipped it. "Heads for NA, tails for boost," he adds. The finger of fate revealed heads, and high compression pistons were immediately enlisted for active duty. As the build total added up, and the headaches associated with waiting on parts and finding the time to install them began to weigh heavily on his mind, Terry reached a crossroads. "I was just tired of all the hassle, and the car was pretty far from completion. It got to the point where I really just wanted to sell everything." With thoughts of throwing in the towel, it was his close friends and family who steered him back on course. The peer pressure that he'd always been taught to look past took a turn and resulted in setting him back on track. With a fresh state of mind, he was more eager than ever to finish the project.

Htup_1003_05_o+2001_acura_integra_gsr+side_view Photo 5/14   |   2001 Acura Integra GSR - Crossroads

The bulletproof block and a head built for high revving abuse both play supporting roles for the coveted Jenvey individual throttle body kit. A quartet of runners supplies an ample amount of oxygen to the battle-ready power plant. However, it's the fine tuning that can make or break a car's absolute power output. Seattle's Honda community is one of the most progressive in the U.S., but highly skilled tuning facilities aren't exactly over-populating the city. To make sure his build would reach its full potential, he purchased a plane ticket for a well known SoCal tuner to fly out to Seattle and deliver a house call. Temporarily satisfied with the results, Terry had a feeling there might be more power on tap, so he decided to try a different dyno wizard. "I was talking to Bisi of Bisimoto, and he was planning on making a trip to Seattle for an event. I asked him if I could hire him to tune my car while he was in town, and he was cool enough to help me out." After a second dyno session, this time with the precision-minded Bisi, the Integra produced a peak of 223whp with 153 ft lbs of torque. But more important than the impressive power number was the increased drivability on the street. Terry states, "anyone who drove my car before and after Bisi's tuning will tell you it's a night and day difference. His fuel map and fine tuning made all the difference in the world. I couldn't be happier."

Htup_1003_06_o+2001_acura_integra_gsr+aem_ecu_shot Photo 6/14   |   2001 Acura Integra GSR - Crossroads

Terry's project Integra may have been plagued with bits of bad luck, but in the end, it was the peer pressure from those close to him that led to the work of art you see before you. His build is proof that sometimes a little outside influence can be a good thing.

Htup_1003_07_o+2001_acura_integra_gsr+header_view Photo 7/14   |   2001 Acura Integra GSR - Crossroads

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
B18C1 engine
AEM 1050 management
Golden Eagle HD sleeves
Eagle GSR lightened crankshaft
Eagle H beam rods
Arias pistons 12.5:1
ARP rod bolts
ACL bearings
Toda C2 camshafts
Portflow port/polish
Portflow valve springs
Portflow titanium retainers
Rev flat face valves
Jenvey 48mm individual throttle bodies
Hytech header
K Teller 2.5in piping
Mugen twin-loop muffler
RC 440cc injectors
Walbro 255 LPH fuel pump
GSR transmission
Competition Clutch 6 puck
Quaife limited slip differential
OEM ITR 4.78
Mugen oil pan
C&R aluminum radiator
HaSport engine mounts
Jim Fab torque mounts
Z10 breather tank

Htup_1003_08_o+2001_acura_integra_gsr+engine_shot Photo 8/14   |   2001 Acura Integra GSR - Crossroads

Stance
Function/Form Type II coilovers
JDM ITR front anti-sway bar
Comptech rear anti-sway bar
Skunk2 front camber kit
Ingalls rear camber kit
Function 7 ITR lower control arms
JDM ITR 36mm 5-lug conversion

Resistance
Powerslot brake rotors
JDM ITR calipers
Earl's stainless brake lines

Htup_1003_09_o+2001_acura_integra_gsr+cam_view Photo 9/14   |   2001 Acura Integra GSR - Crossroads

Wheels and tires
Racing Hart C2 3-piece 18x7.5 +45 offset
Falken 452 tires 215/35-18

Exterior
JDM ITR front end conversion
Shaved moldings, badges, rear wing, antenna
OEM sedan door handles (no key holes)
Seibon carbon fiber hood
Feel's front lip
OEM options lip kit
Custom billet aluminum hood spacers
Craft Square carbon fiber side mirrors

Htup_1003_10_o+2001_acura_integra_gsr+rear_view Photo 10/14   |   2001 Acura Integra GSR - Crossroads

Interior
Blitz Power ID meter
SPA dual gauge - oil pressure and temperature
AEM wideband gauge 30-1040
OBX dual gauge cluster
Custom wiring harness
Bride Zeta III with hyper black padding
Buddy Club rails
Takata short harnesses
Speedware stainless harness
Kei Office steering wheel
Mugen sport pedals
Feel's shift knob
Signal Auto steering wheel quick release
Splash billet aluminum steering wheel boss
JDM ITR gauge cluster
JDM ITR door panels, arm rest delete, clock delete, shift boot
CDM airbag delete
K Designs rear seat delete kit
Relocated battery and fuse box

Props
My parents, fiancée, Function/Form, Bisimoto, Al Books custom welding in Burien, and to everyone who helped contribute and supported making this project happen. Thank you to all of you, I truly appreciate what everyone has done. The list is very long, but I'll keep it short and simple. In loving memory of my dad: Arack Suvonnarith.

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Owner Specs

Screen name or nickname:
Spriggan

Building Hondas how long:
7 years

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Dream car:
1962 or 1963 Chevy Impala

Build inspiration:
Ron Bergonholtz' '91 Integra

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What's playing in your iPod/CD/ MP3 player right now:
West coast music

Greatest movie of all time:
Akira

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Seattle Honda
Everyone remembers the '80s and early '90s grunge rock explosion that produced a brand new sound echoed by young men with unkempt hair and torn flannel shirts. Seattle, WA, served as the Mecca for teenage angst reflecting battle cries that carried from underground clubs and dive bars all the way to the top spot on your local radio station. Today, some 20 years later, Seattle is once again making a name for itself. This time, it's the high-quality Honda builds and other import projects that are garnering both media and internet attention. The variety of chassis selection stretches from old school nostalgic, all the way to the present, with some enthusiasts placing an emphasis on appearance, some concentrating on pure function, and others, like Terry Suvonnarith, merging the best of both worlds for the ultimate build. With a growing population of well over three million residents and a Honda movement already in full stride, don't expect the wave of well-built project cars to die down anytime soon.

Sources

Skunk2 Racing
Norco, CA 92860
951-808-9888
http://www.skunk2.com
Seibon Carbon
City of Industry, CA 91745
877-473-4266
http://www.seiboncarbon.com
Toda Racing
Irvine, CA 92618
949-336-6299
http://www.todaracingusa.com
Bisimoto
Ontario, CA 91761
888-922-6686
http://www.bisimoto.com
By Rodrez
537 Articles

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