Lee Meinecke's 1999 Integra GS-R
Lee Meinecke was born a Honda man. Okay, not literally a large man made out of Hondas, as Transformers would have you believe, but someone who knew a good car when he saw one. As a red-blooded American and native Alabama man, Lee enjoys the finer things in life. From a fine batch of moonshine, to a thick, juicy steak, folks no longer ask Lee how he likes his meat cooked, they know the answer-same as he likes his GS-Rs: rare.
During his formative Alabama years, Lee couldn't satisfy his automotive hunger. He cycled through four different Accords, a grip of preludes, and an Acura CL-but really fell in love the day the Acura Integra debuted. "I've always loved the Integra, but as a poor college student anything beyond a used Accord just wasn't in the budget," Lee said. But when he got to his senior in college, Lee thought about treating himself to something nicer than a used Accord, and began a lengthy search for his dream: the perfect Integra.
Eight long months of looking yielded nothing, until one day Lee got an unexpected call from a friend telling him about one being sold nearby. In the heart of Alabama, finding an unmolested GS-R is like striking oil, so Lee jumped on the opportunity and picked it up. Happy to be driving his dream car, he enjoyed the Integra bone stock while he finished up the remainder of college.
The moment he graduated and secured a real job with a real salary, Lee was in a position to start modifying. He realized that he couldn't have a built car and not do his own work. To race and maintain it, he'd need to know how to fix things himself. So he got busy and started reading up on parts at Honda-tech.com, drooling over turbo kits and engine mods.
He started with a few requisite bolt-ons like an AEM cold-air intake and Greddy Evo2 exhaust. He even went as far as to add a set of Eibach springs and Bronze Konig wheels. With a few of the parts he wanted secured, Lee thought he was done for a while. Boy was he was wrong.
"The inevitable happened," Lee said. "I began wanting more power." So he got back on the forums, did some more research, and picked up an XS-Engineering turbo kit. With some help from his friend Arthur Wang at Trackmasters, the kit was installed, and the GS-R was pulling an impressive 240whp. With the well-matched GT28R, the car was a blast to drive, and had just enough power under the hood to surprise the local Alabama domestic owners on a few occasions. "It was a great feeling to cause a ruckus on the local racing forums," Lee said.
Less than a year after fitting the turbo, Lee couldn't resist the need for more power. The more he researched turbo set-ups, the more he yearned for more boost. While 240whp was great for a four banger Integra, he just knew he could squeeze a little more out of it. More power, more speed. He was ready to "go all in."
Setting the bar at 500whp, he researched engines and supporting mods to achieve his goal. "I didn't know exactly how much it would cost, but with my desire for quality parts, I knew it wouldn't be cheap," Lee said.
For starters, he picked up a bare longblock from Trackmasters, and then sent it over to Laskey Racing to let them work a little magic. Six weeks later it was back, ready to be fitted with the new turbo setup. While the sleeves were fitted, Lee sent the cylinder head over to local machine shop Portflow for the all-inclusive "works."
While waiting on the engine, Lee and his brother Matt got busy researching everything it would take for the car to make 500whp. After hours of research, the pair decided that fitting a GT3076R to accompany the increased bore would be the best move for the GS-R. They fit it in, and sure enough, first trip to the Dyno the Integra pulled 360whp. Lee was getting closer. Everything was going according to plan until about 1,000 miles into the fun, when a faulty injector decided to let go and the bottom end paid the price.
Lee was disheartened to say the least, but already having invested so much of his time, money, and energy into the GS-R, he couldn't quit now. The block was sent back to Laskey, and a few weeks later he was back up and running with a new 84mm block.
With the car back together and running, Lee transported it to Stage 6 Motorsports to let experienced tuner Mase work the keyboard. Even though the boost was limited due to a faulty controller, he was able to squeeze 503whp out of the Integra.
Goal met, Lee shipped the car back to Trackmasters to let Arthur Wang tool around with it a little more. Pushing the GS-R even further to create as much power as possible, Arthur was able to extract an even more impressive 536whp.
"When I set the goal of a 500whp, daily driven Integra, I had no idea how powerful of a car I would end up with," Lee said. "Living in a state with no shortage of fast muscle cars, the Integra has had plenty of opportunities to dominate Mustangs and Camaros."
On his first trip to the track, Lee brought home an impressive 11.3 @ 128mph, and was named the runner-up in the Import Alliance SFWD quick 8 class. "It was a great feeling to win a competitive sport using something I had dreamed up and created," Lee said.
After years of dreaming of an Integra, two built blocks, plenty of money, and a whole lot of research, Lee had everything he wanted. "The car has performed well and remained extremely reliable after no shortage of abuse," Lee said. "I could never get rid of it. It actually gets respect from non-import drivers and faster racecars at the track. People use my car as an example of how you can tastefully modify an import - and I'm proof that you can make a little four-banger fast if you do it right."
For the future, Lee's got a few things planned, mainly modifications to the cooling and safety systems, and he hopes to someday transition the GS-R from drag to circuit racing. "The suspension is adequate, and the power is more than enough," Lee said. "My future with the Integra lies on getting a few high performance driving events under my belt, and some work toward making it a reliable circuit vehicle."
Bolts & Washers
Micro-polished GSR crankshaft
Setrab oil cooler
T1 catch can
GSR cylinder head
Supertech valves & valve springs
Walbro 255hp fuel pump
RC 1000cc injector
AEM fuel rail
Aeroquip lines and fittings
Garrett T3 anti-surge cover
Edelbrock Victor X intake manifold
Tial 50mm blow-off valve
Full-Race Ramhorn headers
Thermal R&D 3" muffler
Trackmasters 3" test pipe
Tial Vband 44mm
NGK v-power spark plugs
NGK plug wires
Competition Clutch Stage 4 -Sprung 6puck
ACT Street Light flywheel
Quilfe LSD differential
Tein Circuit Master Type RE coilovers
14k front/ 10k rear springs
JDM ITR 23mm Antiroll bars
Skunk2 front upper control arms
Beaks rear lower tie bar
Tein front strut-tower bar
Brembo blanks discs
Hawk HPS pads
Comptech Front Lip
OEM optional sideskirts and rear valences
GM solenoid boost controller
Hondata gear dependent boost
Hondata S300 engine management
S300 data logger
Greddy 52mm oil temp, pressure, and boost gauges
Compustar Alarm turbo timer
PLX M-300 wideband
Spoon Sports shift knob
Arthur Wang at Trackmasters
System Administrator / Army Contractor
Building Hondas For How Long:
Your Dream Car:
GT30R powered Acura NSX
Matthew Meinecke (Brother)
Replace your fuel injectors. Save your engine.
Something as simple as a failed fuel injector can cause a whirlwind of problems for your car and for yourself. Whether you've got an electronic fuel injection system or are a constant injection kind of guy, problems here can destroy your entire engine. If your car has a hard time starting, idles roughly, smells like fuel inside and out, or you've noticed a decline in acceleration, it could in fact be a faulty injector. Don't worry though, injectors are as easy to replace as spark plugs, and a fraction of the cost of replacing or rebuilding your engine. If you're the type who regularly maintains your car, remember that fuel injectors should be replaced every 80,000 to 100,000 miles. By keeping them clean you can make them last longer, but the constant movement of internal parts in your engine will eventually wear them out, so replace them sooner than later. Your engine will thank you, and it might just kick up its gas mileage a little to return the favor.