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1993 Honda Integra And 1995 Honda Integra - Joint Venture

Two friends put sweat equity into their Integras

Jonathan Thompson
Jun 15, 2011
Photographer: Chris Dornon

Street Level
Robert Grime's '95 Integra LS
A joint venture occurs when two or more parties gather, sign paperwork, and vow to work together on a certain project to benefit the group as a whole. In the automotive sense of the term, Robert Grimes of Woodstock, Georgia, and Alfredo Santos of Kennesaw, Georgia, locked themselves into a joint venture ever since the duo met in their early high school days. Their brotherhood began due to an unlikely sourcea Ford Taurus. Before meeting Alfredo, Robert owned the unflattering Ford. Alfredo, who owned an Integra first, used to clown on Robert between classes about the Taurus and its rear-bumper-burning exhaust. The rocky initial encounters soon turned into a lifelong friendship once Robert purchased an Integra of his own. In the beginning of the relationship, Alfredo acted as the sensei, teaching Robert the way of Honda. Over time, Robert graduated and became a true believer himself, as the two performed the majority of the work on their coveted projects. Together, they’ve attended car shows, meets, races, and enjoyed their hard work in the famous Georgia red clay.

Hutp 1106+joint venture+jon and chris.JPG Photo 2/12   |   1993 Honda Integra And 1995 Honda Integra - Joint Venture

Robert’s DC4 was not always as awesome as it is today. In high school, he drove around town with the basic bolt-ons: cold-air intake, DC header, and GReddy exhaust system. It looked like your typical high school kid’s car, he chuckles. The Integra went through many phases, parts, and engines over the years, until one day Robert sold his ’97 Civic hatchback. The proceeds from that transaction created a cash-backed opportunity, and a slew of high-quality parts were quickly en route to Robert’s home. Once the first round of serious modding was complete, Robert decided to sell yet another of the rides in his stable in order to plunk down three stacks for something he had always wanteda ’98 JDM ITR motor.

While Alfredo began to prep the new powerplant, Robert was busy performing a wire tuck on the engine bay. He removed the ABS system and installed OEM Integra RS brake lines. After the wire tuck was complete, Alfredo proceeded to bolt in the B18C with a trusty set of Hasport engine mounts. A Circuit Hero velocity stack with custom intake piping, KIDD exhaust manifold, and Buddy Club Spec 2 exhaust system were added to the ITR engine to ensure ample amounts of adrenaline during spirited driving sessions. The A/C, power steering, heater, blower motor, and other various oddities were ditched for the DC4’s slimmer, healthier lifestyle.

Next, Robert attacked the exterior. He knew the original ’95 front bumper cover had seen better days, so he dialed up the local Acura dealer and placed an order for a brand-new OEM ’98-’01 Integra front end. He also decided to spend some time on the interior, and painstakingly removed the sound deadening material. Taking advantage of the opportunity with the interior gutted, Robert installed a brand-new OEM carpet kit and a pair of highly sought after fire-red JDM ITR Recaros.

Hutp 1106+joint venture+jon and chris.JPG Photo 3/12   |   1993 Honda Integra And 1995 Honda Integra - Joint Venture

It took eight full years and hordes of cash for Robert’s vision to come to fruition. I paid for it all, and it took years of work, buying and selling other parts, and even other cars to get my Integra to this level, he says. One factor that added significant time to the project was his philosophy on purchasing parts. I will not buy any fake parts. Don’t sacrifice and get a knockoff when you can save more, and just get the real deal, he explains.

Robert reflects on the culmination of his Integra and is content with where the DC4 is today. In your own build, make wise decisions and never think that it cannot be done, because if you hang in there and keep on pushing, you will achieve your goals, he asserts. Robert is grateful for Alfredo and their brother-like friendship. You add everything up and with true friendship it’s a wonderful thing to have, he says. Alfredo and Robert’s joint venture continues as the two Georgia boys move forward in their ever-evolving Honda projects. Their platforms may change, but their love and respect for Honda and one another remains steadfast.

Bolts & Washers
Propulsion
B18C engine
Hasport engine mounts
Circuit Hero air-intake system
KIDD exhaust manifold
Buddy Club Spec II exhaust system
NGK spark plug wires
NGK spark plugs
Koyo radiator
Samco radiator hoses
Skunk2 short shifter

Stance
Function Form Type 2 coilovers
Benen Industries B-pillar bar
Megan Racing C-pillar bar
Cusco front and rear tower antiroll bars
Beaks rear lower tie-bar
ITR rear lower anti-roll bar
Skunk2 lower control arms
ASR subframe brace
CTR 5-lug conversion

Resistance
Fastbrakes front rotors
Powerslot rear rotors
Hawk brake pads
Spoon Sports brake calipers
Motul racing brake fluid
Earl’s Performance lines and fittings

Wheels and Tires
15x7 Mugen MF10L (+42 offset)
195/45-15 Toyo Proxes T1R

Exterior
Pearl White paint
Mugen rear wing

Interior
Recaro seats
Nardi quick release
Nardi carbon-fiber steering wheel hub
ITR shift knob
ITR shift boot
JDM ITR instrument gauge cluster
OEM black carpet
Pioneer CD player
Alpine navigation unit
Acura OEM first aid kit

Props
My parents, Alfredo Santos, Heather Santos, Chris Dornon, Will Myers, Weksos Industries, JHPUSA, Steve @ Hmotorsonline

Owner Specs

Favorite Website
www.honda-tech.com
Screen Name or Nickname
95jdmdc4
Building Hondas For How Long
7 years
Your Dream Car
Honda NSX Type R
Build Inspiration
Cars in magazines, shows and meets
Current Stable
’96 Civic Hatchback
What’s Playing In Your iPod/CD/ MP3 Player Right Now
Owl City
Greatest Movie Of All Time
The Dark Knight

Street Level
Alfredo Santo's '93 Integra LS-S
Alfredo obtained vast amounts of knowledge working on many Hondas over the years, and was physically involved with every aspect of his build. He installed the ’98 JDM ITR engine and JDM B16 cable tranny, and even added some extra horses to the infamous powerplant. An ARC air-intake system, KIDD exhaust manifold, and Tanabe Hyper Medallion exhaust round out the bolt-ons. To help the motor and tranny live together in perfect harmony, Alfredo opted for a Skunk2 short shifter, Exedy Stage 2 clutch, and a Fidanza 7-pound flywheel. The addition of a Hondata S200 and P72 ECU increases the DA9’s competitive advantage at local showdowns. Ed Sent of Balance Performance in Sugar Hill, Georgia, was called upon to perform the tuning duties on a Dynojet chassis dyno.

Hutp 1106+joint venture+jon and chris.JPG Photo 7/12   |   1993 Honda Integra And 1995 Honda Integra - Joint Venture

The exterior and interior also received gracious amounts of Alfredo’s time. Fortunately, he was able to find a killer deal on Craigslist, as someone was selling a grip of JDM XSi partsthe second-gen Integra now sporting almost as many overseas goods as domestic. Adding a little more flair to the exterior is a VIS carbon-fiber hood, and ARC canards to add a few extra swagger points.

Hutp 1106+joint venture+jon and chris.JPG Photo 10/12   |   1993 Honda Integra And 1995 Honda Integra - Joint Venture

Alfredo’s DA has sported more shoes than a Jordan aficionado. Rocking roughly 16 sets of wheels in the span of just five years; that’s roughly three to four different sets each year, and these are only the wheels that Alfredo remembers owning. He mixed it up with OEM and aftermarket choices, including OEM classics from the EM1, GS-R, LS mesh wheels, and many more. In the aftermarket department, Alfredo recalls some of his favorites, I liked the 16-inch bronze Volk TE37s, 15-inch Work Equip’s, 15-inch white Regamaster Evos, 15-inch Volk GRN-Ss, and 15-inch Enkei RPFs, he states like a proud father. All of those wheels would be pointless without a decent ride height, and Alfredo chose to completely overhaul his aging suspension system to balance out the Integra. He first installed a set of Function Form Type 2 coilovers, then added Skunk2 lower control arms, and finally an Energy Suspension master bushing set for a stiffer and more positive ride.

Hutp 1106+joint venture+jon and chris.JPG Photo 9/12   |   The DA is a classic chassis and the B18C is a classic powerplant. Santos made a wise decision in matching the two for a timeless combination.

So what’s next? He’s already begun working on a ’99 Civic Si that he eventually plans to K-swap. It’s a great platform for me to try my first K-swap, he explains. Even though he’s moving on to another project, he can’t help but think about his DA9. When I purchased the Integra, I drove down the highway with the sunroof open just thinking about all the plans I had for the car. The Georgia summer air felt so good. I’ll never forget that day, he recalls. Learning so much over the years of working on his car, Alfredo is well aware of the ups and downs that come with project builds. There will always be bumps in the road, but it’s how well you overcome the obstacles that will determine how successful you are, he asserts. Applying that train of thought to the new Civic project is a sure sign of a successful build on the horizon. Oh, and Robert is also toying with the idea of scooping up an EM1 as well. Looks like the joint venture will continue.

Hutp 1106+joint venture+jon and chris.JPG Photo 10/12   |   1993 Honda Integra And 1995 Honda Integra - Joint Venture

So what’s next? He’s already begun working on a ’99 Civic Si that he eventually plans to K-swap. It’s a great platform for me to try my first K-swap, he explains. Even though he’s moving on to another project, he can’t help but think about his DA9. When I purchased the Integra, I drove down the highway with the sunroof open just thinking about all the plans I had for the car. The Georgia summer air felt so good. I’ll never forget that day, he recalls. Learning so much over the years of working on his car, Alfredo is well aware of the ups and downs that come with project builds. There will always be bumps in the road, but it’s how well you overcome the obstacles that will determine how successful you are, he asserts. Applying that train of thought to the new Civic project is a sure sign of a successful build on the horizon. Oh, and Robert is also toying with the idea of scooping up an EM1 as well. Looks like the joint venture will continue.

Hutp 1106+joint venture+jon and chris.JPG Photo 11/12   |   The DA is a classic chassis and the B18C is a classic powerplant. Santos made a wise decision in matching the two for a timeless combination.

Keepin’ It Real
Genuine parts cost real money but there’s a good reason why. Mechanical engineers spend countless hours on expensive machines developing high-quality parts. These well-crafted components utilize premium-grade materials and sometimes years of R&D. Companies also comply with safety regulations to protect their workers, consumers, and the environment. Alfredo and Robert understand this reality, so they’ve made a habit out of saving their greenbacks to only purchase legitimate products. In the aftermarket performance industry, there are a number of knockoff parts that don’t utilize nearly the same amount of foundation work, and more often than not, simply duplicate an item and sell it as their own. Questionable materials and a lack of safety are the key areas that might have you thinking tw ice about what you buy and install on your pride and joy.

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
B18C engine
Hasport engine mounts
ARC air-intake system
KIDD exhaust manifold
Tanabe Hyper Medallion exhaust system
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
NGK spark plug wires
NGK spark plugs
Fluidyne radiator
Samco radiator hoses
JDM B16 transmission
Skunk2 short shifter
Exedy Stage 2 clutch
Fidanza 7-pound flywheel
Hondata S200
OEM P72 ECU

Hutp 1106+joint venture+jon and chris.JPG Photo 12/12   |   1993 Honda Integra And 1995 Honda Integra - Joint Venture

Stance
Function Form Type 2 coilovers
Skunk2 lower control arms
Benen Industries rear lower tie-bar
Energy Suspension bushings kit
EM Racing C-pillar bar

Resistance
Brembo rotors
Hawk brake pads
Motul racing brake fluid
Goodridge lines and fittings

Wheels and Tires
15x7 Volk GN-R (+35 offset)
205/50-15 Falken Azenis RT615K
ARP extended wheel studs

Exterior
VIS carbon-fiber hood
ARC canards
JDP Engineering carbon-fiber front lip
JDM XSi fenders
JDM XSi power folding mirrors
JDM XSi thin side moldings
JDM XSi taillights
JDM XSi 1-piece headlights
JDM XSi bumper lenses
JDM XSi VTEC rear glass decal
JDM XSi emblems
JDM XSi hood bra
Benen Industries towhook

Interior
Complete JDM XSi interior
Personal Grinta steering wheel
NRG quick release
MOMO steering wheel hub
Skunk2 shift knob
OEM ITR shift boot
Mugen pedal set
Alpine audio system
Broadway rearview mirror

Props
Wife, Heather
Parents
Close friends
God
Matt Lester @ Kauffman Tire
Big Wizzy - db4lyfe

Owner Specs

Favorite Website
www.honda-tech.com
Screen Name or Nickname
gen2freak
Building Hondas For How Long
12 years
Your Dream Car
Porsche GT3
Build Inspiration
This magazine
Current Stable
’97 Civic Hatchback
What’s Playing In Your iPod/CD/ MP3 Player Right Now
Usher
Greatest Movie Of All Time
The Transformers series

Connect
Benen Industries
www.benen.com
Falken Tire
www.falkentire.com
Hasport Performance
www.hasport.com
Hondata
www.hondata.com

By Jonathan Thompson
48 Articles

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