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 |   |  1996 Acura Integra LS - Law-Abiding Citizen
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1996 Acura Integra LS - Law-Abiding Citizen

Life is a never-ending chase when you’re running from the law at 10,000 rpm

Joey Lee
Jun 25, 2012
Photographer: Sean Bradford
Htup 1207 01 o+1996 acura integra LS+driver side profile Photo 1/7   |   1996 Acura Integra LS - Law-Abiding Citizen

Disclaimer: The following story depicts acts of “spirited driving” that may or may not be true and/or safe. We do not condone illegal activity of any kind and ask that you respect the rules of the road. Safety is of the utmost importance. Please follow the regulations enforced by your local authorities and drive safely.

Life at Honda Tuning magazine can be a mundane one. While it is true that we occasionally get to enjoy a few perks that the average enthusiast might not get to experience, those moments aren’t as common as one would imagine. The majority of the time, we’re either working toward a deadline or we’re hunting down more feature cars to pounce upon. Throughout the day, one of our favorite pastimes is logging on to the Honda Tuning Facebook fan page and looking through the countless viewer comments. Some good, some bad, we’d be lying if we said that we didn’t find many of the comments absolutely hilarious. There are posts that are comedic in nature because they’re said in a joking manner, but there are also those insanely absurd comments that just make us chuckle a bit. Whenever a photo of a Honda is posted on the social media site, it’s almost guaranteed that someone will either express how they would build said car much better, or they might proclaim how much faster their car is than the one posted. There are also never any real facts to back up these claims because, as we all know, when it comes to the Internet, the butt and/or mouth dyno rules all.

Htup 1207 04 o+1996 acura integra LS+2000 integra headlights Photo 2/7   |   1996 Acura Integra LS - Law-Abiding Citizen

The truth of the matter is there are people who like to think their cars are fast, and then there are the ones that are actually fast. For as long as this automotive subculture has existed, there has been a clear division among the doers and the talkers. You won’t find Dan Hamilton doing much jaw jacking on the Internet. He’s never been much of a talker because he and his ’96 Integra are (apparently) too busy running from the law. Dan cannot necessarily dive into details about his legal issues, but we’ve gathered from conversations with him that some of them are related to his tendency to drive in a “spirited” fashion. “I originally purchased this Integra because I needed a new daily driver,” Dan says. “I had to find another car because my ’91 Integra had become very popular with the local police. I paid $2,300 cash for this car. It was in pretty decent shape and the motor had only 99K on it. The only downfall was that it came with an automatic transmission. I tried to convince myself that it might actually be a blessing because it would make me drive ‘normally,’ but that thought didn’t last very long.”

The Integra wouldn’t remain untouched for very long. It sat in his garage for a couple of weeks until he totaled his DA Integra one day. You can already assume how he went about wrecking his car. Regardless of how it happened, he moved his attention toward his newly acquired DC2. The only deterrent that prevented him from regularly leaving the confines of the legal speed limit was the auto slushbox, which he quickly replaced with a five-speed transmission from a B16A-powered Civic del Sol.

“It (the Integra) was fun for a little bit. I even added a nitrous oxide kit, but I got bored with it after a while. When winter rolled around, I decided to tear the whole car down and build it from the ground up. My goal was to perform a massive weight reduction operation on the chassis itself. Shedding unwanted weight would only help to make the car faster. I also ditched the stock motor and went with a fully built LS/VTEC motor capable of hitting 10,000 rpm. Many said it couldn’t be done, but I proved them wrong. The motor ran incredibly strong, and I even added a set of 52mm TWM individual throttle bodies,” Dan explains.

Htup 1207 07 o+1996 acura integra LS+memory S68 carbon fiber bucket seats Photo 3/7   |   1996 Acura Integra LS - Law-Abiding Citizen

As Dan stated, one of the essential goals of his project was to shed any and all unnecessary weight from his Integra. To accomplish this, he spent a lengthy amount of time removing all of the car’s sound-deadening material. Once the substance was void from the chassis, he reinstalled only the most vital items inside the cockpit. You won’t find any carpet in his DC2, only the door panels and dashboard remain, along with a set of Memoryfab buckets that replace the much heavier OEM seats. Both airbags have been deleted as well; a JDM ITR block-off plate now resides on the passenger side, while a Personal Neo Grinta steering wheel replaces the driver’s side. In the engine bay, all creature comforts are long gone. There’s no sign of air conditioning, cruise control, and no antilock brakes. Even the high beam lights and the brackets holding them in place on the bug-eyed front end are nowhere to be found. Dan uses small sheets of carbon fiber in an attempt to mask the now-exposed holes in the bumper. The heaviest items on the exterior of the Integra, besides the shell itself, would have to be the hood and rear hatch. Hamilton promptly removed those and traded the sheet metal components for carbon-fiber versions. After the diet was complete, Dan’s Integra weighed in at just 1,941 pounds!

Dan’s thirst for more power and speed ultimately lead him to sell his LS/VTEC powerplant. Like his previous setup, he just wanted more. Luckily, he was able to sell his built motor for $5,500. He then used that money to invest in a K20A2 long-block. Along with his friend John Schill, the pair beefed up the guts of this K motor before adding yet another set of TWM ITBs, backed by a set of Kelford 179-C camshafts. The menacing grunt of the lopey-cams at idle are a favorite of Dan’s long-term build. “I get a lot of comments from others when it comes to the way this car idles,” Dan states. “It attracts a lot of attention. I’ve even heard people liken the sound of my motor to that of a small-block American V-8 engine—I love it! I am by no means a domestic car killer, but I’ve earned some respect from them. I’ve been known to make some serious highway pulls in this Integra, and I (allegedly) have taken the car to speeds well beyond the printed numbers on my speedometer. The only problem I’ve encountered with my car is that it’s impossible to take my foot off the gas once I’ve gone full-throttle.”

Htup 1207 06 o+1996 acura integra LS+personal neo grinta steering wheel Photo 4/7   |   Stripped interior, lightweight bucket seats, carbon-fiber replacement bits, and Spoon wheels continue Dan's extreme weight loss program.

We couldn’t imagine why Dan has ongoing problems with the law or legal issues with local authorities; he seems like quite the safe driver—said no one ever.

Bolts & Washers

2003 K20A2
HaSport EGK1 mounts
Kelford 179-C cams
Milled cylinder head
Eibach valvesprings
Supertech retainers
Cometic head gasket
Balanced crankshaft
ARP head studs
Hybrid Racing timing chain tensioner
JDM FD2 Civic Type R pistons and rings
ARP rod bolts
TWM 52mm individual throttle bodies
TWM carbon-fiber velocity stacks
DTR-Fab 4-1 Megaphone V-band header
Custom V-band exhaust with Vibrant Performance 3-inch piping and muffler
Walbro 255lph high-volume low-pressure fuel pump
Lucas 550cc fuel injectors
TWM -10AN fuel rail
Russell -6AN Pro Classic fuel lines/fittings
Earl’s -6AN fuel filter
Aeromotive -6AN A1000 fuel pressure regulator
Koyo radiator, DC5 RSX-spec
HKS radiator cap
Flex-a-Lite cooling fan
Samco Sport cooling hoses
NGK BKR7E spark plugs
Custom powdercoated and air-brushed valve cover with -10AN welded bung
Custom oil catch can
BDL oil cap with custom carbon-fiber insert
Password:JDM coil pack cover
Custom Miller Lite VTEC solenoid cover
Road Sailin’ Industries oil dipstick
OEM 2003 RSX Type-S manual transmission
Competition Stage 3 6-puck unsprung clutch
Competition Ultra Lightweight flywheel
OEM 2003 Civic Si axles

Htup 1207 05 o+1996 acura integra LS+K20A2 engine Photo 5/7   |   Kelford cams and TMW 52mm throttle bodies help motivate an already stout K20A2

255 whp and 167 lb-ft torque

Skunk2 Pro Series coilovers
Skunk2 front upper control arms
Comptech tie-bar
Comptech 22mm sway bar
Energy Suspension bushing kit
Password:JDM 4-pt rear bar
Password:JDM C-pillar bar
Function7 rear lower control arms
L-Con traction bars

Fast Brakes slotted/drilled 11-inch brake rotors
Hawk PC brake pads
Spoon Sports twin-block front brake calipers
Stoptech brake lines
Custom brake line tuck

Wheels and Tires
15x6.5 +45 Spoon Sports SW388
195/55-15 Advan Neova
ARP extended wheel studs

Htup 1207 03 o+1996 acura integra LS+spoon sports SW388 Photo 6/7   |   1996 Acura Integra LS - Law-Abiding Citizen

Custom two-tone 2000 Integra rear bumper
Paint-matched OEM side skirts
Resprayed front bumper and engine bay
Custom carbon-fiber roof skin
C-Wings carbon-fiber hood
NIN carbon-fiber rear hatch
JDP Si-VTEC carbon-fiber front lip
Custom carbon-fiber high beam delete plates
Spoon-replica carbon-fiber side mirrors
Aerohatch hood latches
JDM Si-VTEC front bumper lights
JDM Si-VTEC front emblem
Lamin-X clear protective headlight, bumper light film
OEM 2000-spec taillights
Custom hood spacers
Relocated battery in passenger-side fender well

Custom 6-pt rollcage
All sound-deadening material removed
Memoryfab S68 carbon-fiber bucket seats
Interior upholstery delete
Takata safety harnesses
Personal Neo Grinta steering wheel
F1spec shift knob
OEM ITR gauge cluster
OEM ITR center console
OEM ITR climate control
OEM ITR door panels
JDM ITR window switches
JDM ITR radio delete plate
JDM ITR passenger airbag delete plate
JDM ITR clock delete plate
JDM ITR armrest delete
JDM ITR shift boot
Wink rearview mirror
Custom-made steering wheel quick-release

Hondata K-Pro
Auto Meter ES oil pressure gauge
Auto Meter ES voltmeter gauge
Auto Meter shift light
8000K Xenith Xenon HIDs
CTEC battery gauge with charger port
Moroso battery cut-off
NRG dry-cell battery

Special thanks to my mom for dealing with me, living and breathing cars for the last 13 years and causing a ruckus for 29 years; thanks to all my friends for helping or just drinking a beer with me while I worked on the car; big thanks to Mike Zusin from Track.One for hiring my ass!; shout-out to the champ Tony Stewart, kill ’em in 2012, too; finally, thanks to my amazing girlfriend Caitlin Juranek for putting up with me and always being there!

Owner Specs

Daily grind
Auto technician at Track.One

Htup 1207 02 o+1996 acura integra LS+JDP si VTEC carbon fiber front lip Photo 7/7   |   1996 Acura Integra LS - Law-Abiding Citizen

Favorite site

Screen name
Not so JDM Dan

Building Hondas
13 years

Dream cars
JUDD V-8-swapped S2000 or turbo K-swapped NSX

Inspiration for this build
Everyone and all those who doubted me

Future builds
This car isn’t done yet, but my RSX is next

Run Dan, Run!

If you are a member of the Maryland State Highway Patrol, you definitely shouldn’t read the rest of this blurb.

Dan Hamilton, who was once a native of Sykesville, Maryland, has since relocated to the state of Tennessee. He may or may not be running from the police, we aren’t sure, but he has found a home with Track.One Motorsports. There, he is helping out his good friend and fellow speed addict Mike Zusin with the daily operations of his business. Track.One is a shop dedicated to making cars of all makes and models go fast and can only benefit from the knowledge of a self-taught mechanic like Dan Hamilton. Maybe he’ll be so busy making other people’s projects go fast that it will keep him out of trouble for once! (Don’t count on it.)


Energy Suspension
San Clemente, 92673
HASport Performance
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Track.One Motorsports
By Joey Lee
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