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1994 Honda Del Sol - Second Time Around

Like Godfather II, This Sequel's Better Than The First

Brian McGurk
Feb 9, 2010
Photographer: Henry De Kuyper

George Ferreira's 1994 Del Sol Vtec
In a time long forgotten, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, before Mugen and Spoon parts were even an option when you wanted to modify your import, when Kaminari body kits and flashy 18-inch rims took precedence over go fast bits, many a rare car was subjected to the style of the times, never to return to their former glory. This confusing and frightening time was known as the early 2000s. George Ferreira and his '94 Del Sol VTEC lived in this time, but have shed their flashy accessories, converting to the gospel of OEM simplicity.

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George and his Del Sol were featured in Honda Tuning many moons ago with the Del Sol sporting a Carisma/Wings West body kit and 18-inch Racing Harts. At the time the car was the epitome of cool, and with a Jackson Racing supercharger straddling the factory equipped B16, the little EG2 pumped out 215hp at the wheels. George never really stopped modifying his little targa-topped coupe, and in 2007 a simple engine rebuild snowballed into the 400+whp beast you see today. George began pulling off body bits and engine parts in December, in an unheated single car garage in Massachusetts-not exactly ideal conditions if you know the weather in the northeast during December. "I don't have a lift or anything, only a floor jack and some jack stands. It really sucked, especially laying on the cold concrete floor." Supercharged B-series cars usually suffer from a bad case of heat soak at a certain horsepower level. George had hit this wall and simply wanted more power. George is all for keeping the rare factory-equipped B16 in his Sol. So instead of swapping engines, he disassembled the little B-series and after some cleaning, stuffed it with Wiseco pistons and Eagle H beam connecting rods. A full '01 Type R valve train, including cams and Skunk2 pro series cam gears, was packed into the head after a good cleansing, and a set of ARP head studs were installed to keep the head firmly attached to the bottom end.

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After some Internet consultation, George opted for a turbo setup sporting a T60-1 turbo mated to a Peak-boost rams horn manifold. The hot side of the turbo setup was treated to a Tial 44mm wastegate, with spent fumes being fed through a 3-inch down, and exhaust system exiting through a Magnaflow resonator and muffler. Air is cooled as it enters the engine through a PWR intercooler, passing a 50mm Tial blow-off valve, and after clearing the Max-bore throttle body, is divvied between cylinders via a Skunk2 Pro series intake manifold. A well-built motor is nothing without supporting mods, so George opted for a quartet of RC 750cc injectors and a Walbro 255lb fuel pump to keep the turbo beast's thirst quenched, while a Koyo double core radiator keeps the internal temps manageable.

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Before reinstalling the newly built heart into the Sol, George called up his good friend Kevin Desousa for a little spot-welding session. During the downtime, George got busy customizing his wiring harness for a stealthy wire tuck to match his freshly shaved bay. Since the Sol was going to have to go to paint anyway, George decided to ditch the body kit for all-OEM body panels and JDM one-piece headlights. Instead of cutting up his brand new '97 front end to match his intercooler, George recruited his welder to modify the intercooler to actually fit the bumper, keeping the clean OEM lines intact. "The welding process was very time consuming, especially modifying the intercooler to fit behind the OEM bumper. All the work was done in my little garage in a New England winter; not an easy feat," George says.

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With a fresh coat of paint and the interior already sporting a JDM Type R steering wheel, Sparco pedals, a DC sports shift knob, and gray leather reupholstered OEM seats, George installed VDO boost and oil pressure gauges and called the interior finished. Half a decade ago George replaced the OEM suspension with KYB struts and Skunk2 Springs, and topped them with a CTR front tower bar. Because you can't have a fresh motor with tired suspension, George swapped the worn bits with Omni Power full-street coilovers, a Mugen front shock tower bar, and upgraded the anti-sway bar with a pair of 26mm alternatives. Big wheels add weight, so the hefty 18-inch Racing Harts were swapped out for much lighter 16-inch Rota J Specials wrapped in Falken Azenis. NSX calipers and Type R pads replaced the OEM brakes, while re-drilled 11-inch Brembo Prelude VTEC rotors ousted the worn Brembo rotors George had been using. A one-inch Type R master cylinder and Goodridge braided steel brake lines help keep the Sol decelerating when George throws the anchor out. A competition stage 2 clutch and pressure plate clamped between transmission and engine was the final piece installed prior to re-installation.

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The Sol was running, but not optimally. The engine break-in period was capped off with a trip to the East Coast's foremost engine tuner, Jeff Evans. Six hours and three states later, George arrived at Jeff's and the tuning went well. That is, until the stage 2 clutch was overmatched, and began slipping. The experience called for an upgrade to a stage 4 unit, and a return trip to the dyno that resulted in reaching a peak of 425hp, with 269 lb-ft at 19lbs of boost. Don't think George is done with the Sol after nearly 10 years and two complete lives; it's not done yet. "The whole body kit and big wheels thing died off, and I'm always trying to do something big to it every year. It's a hobby, and I'll keep doing it until my son gets it."

Bolts & Washers

Peak-boost Rams horn turbo manifold
Peak-boost 3" down pipe
Garrett T3 60-1 Turbo
PWR intercooler
Custom intercooler piping
Hondata S300 ECU
AEM boost solenoid
Tial 44mm wastegate
Tial 50mm blow-off valve
Wiseco pistons
Eagle H-Beam connecting rods
OEM bearings
OEM B16A head gasket
ARP head studs
01 OEM Integra Type R camshafts
01 OEM Integra Type R valves
01 OEM Integra Type R valve springs
01 OEM Integra Type R retainers
Hondata intake manifold gasket
Skunk2 Pro Series cam gears
Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold
RC 750cc injectors
Walbro 255lb fuel pump
Maxbore throttle body
Custom polished catch can
10AN valve cover breather
10AN Russell Braided lines
Koyo aluminum radiator
Spoon Sports radiator cap
Custom 3-inch exhaust piping
Magnaflow resonator
Magnaflow muffler
Motorola 2.5 bar map sensor
Competition stage 4 clutch
Competition pressure plate

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Omni Street Full coilovers (10k/8k)
Mugen front strut tower bar
OEM 26mm front sway bar
OEM 26mm rear sway bar

99 OEM Acura NSX calipers
Brembo Prelude VTEC rotors re-drilled to 4x100
OEM Integra Type R pads
Goodridge steel-braided lines
OEM Integra Type R master cylinder

Rims & Rubber
16x7 Gunmetal JSpecials
205/40/16 Falken Azenis RT-615s

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Shaved '97 OEM Del Sol bumper.
'92-'95 Civic Ex front lip
JDM 1 piece headlights

'99 JDM Integra Type R steering wheel
Sparco grip pedals
DC Sports shift knob
VDO boost gauge
VDO oil pressure gauge
'96-'97 spec interior

My wife Stephanie, my son Ethan, my sidekick Vince, my brother-in-law Noah, Jay Nig, Kevin Desousa, Jeff and Andrea at Evans, Ken at Peak-boost, Rodrez

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Owner Specs

Favorite Website

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Screen Name Or Nickname

Building Hondas For How Long
Since 1996

Your Dream Car
Bugatti Veyron

Build Inspiration
Nothing really. I just like working on Hondas.

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What's Playing In Your Ipod/ CD/MP3 Player Right Now
Linkin Park

Greatest Movie Of All Time

The Sincerest form
We'd all be rocking one-off wheels, custom paint, and over 1,000hp if money were no object. In this harsh place called "reality" people have to work hard to scrape together enough money to afford any mods, let alone the expensive ones. That's where the knock-off community comes into play. Love it or hate it, no matter which side of the fence you're on, it will continue to prosper. George is one of those guys who have come to a happy medium. When asked about his choice of Rota wheels, he said "In the car scene, a lot of people bad-mouth Rotas, and most don't know what they're looking at. I'd much rather spend $1,500 on my motor and buy high quality power-producing parts that'll make me go faster, than rock some big-money wheels. As long as they're clean, that's all that matters to me." George's wheels aren't produced by a big name Japanese company, but trust us, you'll hardly even notice. In fact, you'll probably just remember his taillights as all 425hp spin those wheels into the horizon.

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Wiseco Performance Products
Mentor, OH 44060
Falken Tire
Fontana, CA 92335
Torrance, CA 90503
Peak Performance
Lake Forest, CA 92630
By Brian McGurk
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