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1990 Honda CRX DX - Underdog Status

TB wanted to show the K-series fan boys that the B-series motor wasn’t dead.

Brian McGurk
Jan 3, 2012
Photographer: Matt “Rodrez” Rodriguez

When Hondas first hit their stride in the competitive drag racing scene, the B series was the king of the hill. As time went on and technology progressed, the B became overshadowed by the new kid on the block: the K series. What’s an old-school B-series lover to do when the local track is dominated by K power? Stick to his guns, like Aweis Adde, TB to his friends, of Lemon Grove, California. As the owner of TB Motorworx, he spent a number of years blasting down the 1320 in a 900+ hp turbo hatch. Looking for a new challenge, TB wanted to show the K-series fan boys that the B-series motor wasn’t dead. In fact, it’s better than ever on the competitive front. He adds, “I loved having forced induction, but it was just so expensive and stuff kept breaking. I wanted to build a naturally aspirated car and show everyone what a B series can do.”

Htup 1201 01+1990 honda crx dx+cover Photo 2/11   |   10.48 @ 134.00

TB started with a donated CRX DX that was admittedly haggard and not his first choice. “The car was free and I really couldn’t afford anything else, so I had to make do with what I had.” He started by gutting what little interior the car had and adding a fresh coat of flint black metallic on the classic, followed by a custom cage and a single custom Sparco race bucket. The 20-plus-year-old suspension was swapped out for custom Strange Engineering coilovers and TB Motorworx antisway bars. Even with no motor up to this point, TB knew a set of Bogart Pro4 wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber would be the right choice to get the power to the ground properly.

Wanting to show what a potent powerplant the B series can be if massaged correctly, he started with a B18B block as the foundation. With the lower half stuffed with a TB Motorworx-designed crankshaft, pistons and connecting rods built by Crower and Wiseco respectively, the new hard parts took an already respectable 1.8 liter up to a monstrous 2.3 liters. This would no doubt level the playing field as the K crowd was relying on 2.4L displacement in most cases. A fully ported B16 head filled with a one-off valve drain designed by TB Motorworx and produced by the best names in the business took care of the top end, while fuel delivery came by way of a Walbro pump and 630cc Injector Dynamics fuel injectors mounted to a Kinsler fuel rail. TB was confident he could design a better intake system than what was already available; “I wanted to design something similar to an F1 car, but everything I came up with would’ve been way to expensive. So I basically cut off all the fancy stuff and this is what we came up with.” TB’s unorthodox intake system has raised more than a few eyebrows. Mated to a set of Kinsler individual throttle bodies, the simple, almost archaic-looking system has netted 320hp dyno pulls and consistent mid-10-second quarter-mile runs.

After competing throughout the West Coast, TB was forced to put his name on the line when some of his East Coast rivals had a few things to say about his 10-second assaults. He adds, “Some of the East Coast guys started running their mouth about how we were running nitrous or something like that. One of our buddies paid our way across the country, and we showed up at Englishtown to show them what the car could do.” Not only did TB silence his detractors with a 10.54 quarter-mile run, but after some slight tweaking, jaws hit the floor when the TB Motorworx CRX broke the world record for a naturally aspirated B series with a run of 10.48!

TB and his crew made the best with what they had and ended up at the top of the food chain. Like any fierce competitor, he’s nowhere near being finished. With some recent tuning tweaks he’s managed to squeeze some additional power out of the B-series motor and has a new, more aerodynamic chassis in the works. When asked about the future, TB states, “With our new engine and chassis setup we’re gunning for low tens, high nines. And of course, we’d like to hit our mark at Englishtown.”

TB “Works” Motors
TB’s adventures in motor building sprouted from humble beginnings. He recalls, “I used to be a little street racer in San Diego, I was hanging out with my friend Lavelle Shepard and he got me into the drag racing thing.” After some time spent in school and in the local pits at the drag strip, TB figured if he’s building all these engines for his friends, why not do it under his own shop name? “I had my own ideas and wanted to do my own stuff, so I needed a shop to show everyone what my vision really was.” That was years ago, and now TB Motorworx has evolved into a full-service race shop, offering everything from hard-core motor building to intricate cage work. TB could have let his now record-setting run go to his head, but he’s not one to forget his roots. “This is all about hard work, and we’re still a small shop. Honestly, anyone can do it. The secret is to remember to have fun.” Wise words.

TB Motorworx: www.tbmotorworx.com

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
B18 block (now 2.3L)
B16A head
HaSport engine mounts
TB Motorworx custom crankshaft
TB Motorworx custom pistons
TB Motorworx maxi light connecting rods
TB Motorworx custom intake
TB Motorworx custom intake manifold
TB Motorworx custom camshafts
TB Motorworx custom valves
TB Motorworx custom valvesprings
Crower retainers
Ferrea rocker arms
Walbro 255 fuel pump
Injector Dynamics 630cc fuel injectors
Kinsler fuel rail
Kinsler individual throttle bodies
Earl’s fuel lines and filter
Airmotive fuel regulator
Custom aluminum radiator
Custom exhaust system
Bisimoto custom exhaust manifold
Denso spark plugs
Denso coil packs
MSD DIS-2 ignition
Power
320+ hp
Stance
Strange Engineering custom coilovers
TB Motorworx custom sway bars
Skunk2 alignment kit
Resistance
Stock
Wheels and Tires
Front: Bogart Pro4, 13x8 Mickey Thompson 24.5x9
Rear: Bogart Pro4 15x4, Mickey Thompson 15x4
Exterior
Stock
Interior
TB Motorworx custom rollcage
Custom Sparco bucket
G Force safety harness
Electronics
AEM EMS
Props
My wife and family, all my friends, my parents, Dre, Jeremy Sanchez, Lavelle Shepard, Josue, Adrian, Jose Puto, Big Ed, Johnny Campo, Jamie at Dynomite Tuning, Larry Holt Jr., anyone else I’m forgetting

Owner Specs

Favorite websites Honda-Tech.com, TBMotorworx.com
Screen name or nickname
TB
Building Hondas for how long
15 years
Your dream car
Nissan GTR
Build inspiration
Love of drag racing
Current stable
’95 Civic
What’s playing in your iPod/CD/MP3 player right now
Akon
Greatest movie of all time
Scarface

Sources

Wiseco Performance Products
Mentor, OH 44060
440-951-6600
www.wiseco.com
Pann Auto Performance
San Diego, CA 92111
858-278-7266
http://www.pannauto.com
Crower Cams
San Diego, CA 92154
619-661-6477
http://www.crower.com
Bisimoto Engineering
Ontario, CA 91761
888-922-6686
http://www.bisimoto.com
Rev Racing Engine Valves
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
800-398-6348
http://www.revvalves.com
By Brian McGurk
47 Articles

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