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Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

The Loi-Spec ITR Collective

Dec 19, 2012
Htup 1301 01 o+loi spec acura integra type r+voltex type 13D GT rear wing Photo 1/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

When the Integra Type R was first introduced to U.S. consumers in the late ’90s, the enthusiast market was already well versed in its attributes. The dreams of every Honda boy racer, the high-revving 1.8L, no-nonsense, undoubtedly race-inspired coupe made for the complete package. With so much momentum behind the wildly popular ’94-up Integra chassis, Acura was certain that a limited edition, hopped-up version of the sporty third-generation Integra was sure to be a monumental hit—and the company was right. Those lucky enough to get their hands on the illustrious “R” were blessed (or cursed) with one of the most highly-sought-after cars of the ’90s, and in our circle, that love affair still burns.

Today, you can find used ITRs still carrying their value, and if you search long enough, you might actually find a clean title chassis for sale that hasn’t been raped by theft and/or vandalism. As of late, many ITR owners fall into one of two categories: Those who keep their cars safe from harm at all costs, relishing in the fact that they own a piece of Honda history, with lingering thoughts of keeping the car forever. On the other end of the spectrum are Loi and Brian Hua and Lewis Liang of Loi-Spec Garage. They don’t mix thoughts of their ITR projects with inclinations of long-term pampered care with the possibility of turning a profit later on down the road. In fact, they have but a few basic goals with these cars; hit the track, and go faster. That’s it. However, that doesn’t mean the cars aren’t completely street-friendly, or able to park next to high-dollar show cars and fit right in if they so choose. They wear their battle scars like a proud, belligerent colonel, and make no qualms about holding hands with a sky-high redline all day in the desert heat of their favorite track. We present to you the Road Warriors, three avid enthusiasts with simple, purpose-built cars that do work on the regular. Enjoy…

Loi Hua’s ’01 Integra Type R

The name Loi-Spec has probably streamed across your computer screen at one point or another, whether it was on a forum, Facebook, or perhaps the Raceline track series coverage that we provide here in HT. While most would assume it refers to a shop or tuning firm, it’s actually just Loi Hua’s group of friends and family that started out improving their own cars for track days. Eventually, his efforts led to word-of-mouth advertising that now has Loi putting in a few extra hours as he’s started to work on other enthusiasts’ cars as well.

Htup 1301 04 o+loi spec acura integra type r+JDM front end Photo 2/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

We first spotted Loi’s white ITR during a track event one weekend, then took note of it at the annual Eibach Meet the following weekend, and yet another track event shortly after that. He adds, “I’d built a white ITR and was thinking about selling it when I came across a black one. In the end, I bought another white ITR, but after a few months I sold it and finally picked up this black one. I got it for 12 grand and only 100K on the odometer with a clean title. It’s in excellent condition with the original engine and trans.” So clean, in fact, that Loi vowed to leave the interior intact, unlike his previous track machines. However, after removing the rear panels to avoid scratching them while transporting spare parts and tools to the track, one thing led to another and before long, most of the cabin was stripped down just like his previous builds.

Under the hood, upgrades are based solely on reliability and longevity. Basic exhaust, header, and intake changes were made, and attention was focused toward entering and exiting turns like a bat out of hell. Zeal Super Function coilovers with custom Swift springs and a rear Mugen antiroll bar help keep the shiny side up, while a Gear X 4.928 final drive and Cusco one-way limited slip do their job of transferring the power properly to the meaty 225/45 Nitto NT01s.

Htup 1301 05 o+loi spec acura integra type r+hasport mounts Photo 3/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

With so many street and show cars sporting massive rear wings and aggressive aero, Loi found himself grouped with the “race-style” crowd. He adds, “Some people thought that the Loi-Spec cars just park, but they don’t know that we’ve attended every Raceline track event since last year.” The Loi-Spec name may just represent a group of friends and avid track junkies, but Loi hinted there is a very real possibility that a garage open to the public could happen in the near future.

Bolts & Washers

HaSport mounts
AEM cold-air intake
Bored-out ITR throttle body
JG Edelbrock header (modded 2.5 collector)
Mugen first-generation cat-back
Test pipe
Spoon Sports Kevlar plug cover
Samco radiator hoses
Exedy Stage I clutch
Exedy flywheel
Cusco 1-way LSD
Gear X 4.928 final drive

Htup 1301 08 o+LOI spec acura integra type r+B18C5 Photo 7/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

Zeal Super Function coilovers
Swift springs, 18K front/13K rear
Mugen 26mm rear antiroll bar
Hardrace rear trailing arm bushings
Skunk2 front camber kit
SRR rear camber kit

Spoon Sports twin block calipers
Project Mu rotors
Project Mu Club racer pads, front
Project Mu HC+ pads, rear
Project Mu brake fluid
Goodridge stainless lines

Wheels & Tires
Volk TE37 15x8 +32
Nitto NT01 225/45-15 front
Nitto NT01 205/50-15 rear

Htup 1301 09 o+loi spec acura integra type r+voltex type 13D GT rear wing Photo 8/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

JDM front-end conversion
Loi-Spec front splitter
Special Projects P1 splitter brackets
Spoon Sports front lip
Spoon Sports side mirrors
Voltex Type 1 3D GT rear wing

Recaro Profi SPG
Mugen seat rails
Mugen Type 3 steering wheel
Works Bell short hub
Works Bell Rapfix quick-release
JDM Type Rx pedals
Spoon shift knob
Spoon ’98 spec cluster

Holly Ly, David Lam, Toan Nguyen, Renee Lee, J&R Auto, Raceline USA, Moshi Moshi Motors, Danny Nguyen of JDMzipties,

Owner Specs

Daily grind
Sales associate at a beauty supply store by day, mechanic by night

Htup 1301 07 o+LOI spec acura integra type r+mugen steering wheel Photo 9/22   |   Bare-bones interior armed with only the necessities.

Favorite site

Screen name

Building Hondas
8 years

Dream car
None, I don’t dream about what I can’t afford

Inspiration for this build
My friend Larry’s ITR gave me the inspiration to start building my own

Future builds
To find a Phoenix Yellow ITR with U.S. front end

Htup 1301 10 o+loi spec acura integra type r+JDM front end Photo 10/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

Lewis Liang’s ’01 Integra Type R

Lewis Liang first stepped foot on the track last year during a Raceline event at Chuckwalla, and like so many others, he was instantly hooked. And though he was new to the environment, he wasn’t new to cars in general. He adds, “I’ve been into cars since I was 12 years old—ever since my dad started his shop selling JDM parts. I fell in love with the scene, and I’ve seen it in its prime time to now, and that’s why my build (though purpose-built) is still JDM-inspired.”

An overtly aggressive exterior, complete with Voltex GT wing, Loi-Spec front splitter, and custom-vented fenders house a fully built 2.0L B20/VTEC conversion, complete with Toda Spec B cams. Of course, we’ve all heard the naysayers claiming the CR-VTEC setup is on borrowed time, but with almost two years’ worth of abuse now behind him, Lewis’ Integra could be the poster boy to actually promote the torque-filled Frankenstein combo. Like Loi, this ITR is armed with a modified transmission that includes a complete gearset with final drive, and a Kaaz 1.5-way LSD. Buddy Club RSD coilovers, and upgraded bushings assist the TE37 SLs in their duties. Inside the gutted cabin you’ll find little more than essentials like the bevy of gauges to monitor vitals, a massive Fastline extended shifter, and a pair of Recaro seats. This simple and effective recipe is certainly nothing new, and Lewis has embraced the fundamentals as he’s developed the vehicle right alongside his ability as a driver. He adds, “Ever since that first day with Raceline, I’ve been working on the car to make it better on track. We overhauled the car from the ground up, changing every little thing that we could to make it perform at its prime. I feel like I’m still new at this racing thing, but I’m getting the hang of it and improving pretty fast.” His dedication is apparent, especially since he was ripping up Streets of Willow less than 24 hours before the shoot!

Htup 1301 11 o+loi spec acura integra type r+voltex GT rear wing Photo 11/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

Bolts & Washers

B20 block
B18C head (ITR)
Hondata management
HaSport mounts
RS ITR-spec pistons 12:1
OEM rings
Eagle rods
Toda Spec B cams
Skunk2 intake manifold
Skunk2 flat valves
JG Engine Dynamics headwork
RC 440cc injectors
Walbro fuel pump
AEM 3-inch cold-air intake
Bored-out ITR throttle body
Hytech exhaust
PLM header
Test pipe
Spoon Sports plug wires
Koyo radiator
Samco radiator hoses
Complete gearset and final drive
Exedy Stage II clutch
Exedy flywheel
Kaaz 1.5 LSD

Htup 1301 15 o+loi spec acura integra type r+B20 block Photo 15/22   |   This B20/VTEC combo sports high-comp pistons and Toda cams.

Buddy Club RSD coilovers
10K front, 12K rear
PCI solid bronze bushings
Hard Race rear trailing arm bushings
Skunk2 front camber arm
Dog Fight rear camber arms
Cusco front shock tower bar
OEM ITR rear shock tower bar

Htup 1301 14 o+loi spec integra type r+spoon sports lip Photo 16/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

Project Mu discs
Project Mu CR pads
Motul RBF600 fluid
Goodridge lines

Wheels & Tires
Volk TE37 SL 15x8 +32
Yokohama Neova 205/45-15

JDM front-end conversion
Loi-Spec front splitter
Spoon Sports front lip
Loi-Spec vented fenders
Bumper grille delete
OEM ITR optional side skirts
OEM ITR optional rear valence
Voltex GT rear wing

Htup 1301 12 o+loi spec acura integra type r+sparco special edition champion steering wheel Photo 17/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

Recaro Pole Position, driver
Recaro SRD, passenger
Sparco Special Edition Champion steering wheel
Mugen pedals
Mugen shift knob
JDM carbon-fiber bezels
Gutted interior

Loi-Spec Garage, J&R Auto, Raceline USA, JDMzipties, Raymond Lee, Brian Hua, David Lam, Holly Ly

Owner Specs

Daily grind
Eat, sleep, race

Htup 1301 17 o+loi spec acura integra type r+loi spec vented fenders Photo 18/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

Favorite site

Building Hondas
4 years

Dream car

Inspiration for this build
Car that I can drive the crap out of on track

The Loi-Spec ITR Collective
NSX or S2000

Htup 1301 20 o+loi spec acura integra type r+mugen rear wing Photo 19/22   |  
J’s Racing, Mugen, and Volk used in their natural habitat—the track.

Brian Hua’s ’97 Integra Type R

The third part of this story wasn’t supposed to be an ITR at all—actually, it wasn’t even a coupe. It was Brian Hua’s deep blue, turbo Integra sedan that stuck out like a sore thumb on track day, but alas, we were too late. But back to that in a moment…

Three older brothers with an affinity for cars left little doubt that their younger sibling would eventually find his automotive obsession. Having gone through a number of cars, Brian had found his match in a champagne Integra sedan. Swapping the entire interior to black, adding a JDM front end, then having the car sprayed in a custom blue, as well as turbocharging the four-door left Brian with a true sense of pride in his efforts. With the prodding of a few friends and some well-placed advice from his brother Loi, a trip to Chuckwalla got the ball rolling. He states, “After a couple of runs with my car and of course, spinning out 99 percent of the time and eating dirt, I realized that I never really knew how my car handled, and that’s a big no-no. I had to learn everything about my car, and it took a few track events for me to improve my knowledge, as well as a few blown motors.” The damage ran further than just his ego, as the bills from his weekend adventures began to pile up, and Brian found himself in debt. “I had to sacrifice my personal spending to pay off my debt, but that was fine for me.” Seeing his younger brother deal with blown motor swaps, Loi offered to trade his white ITR for the sedan in the name of reliability. It was an enticing offer, but one that Brian had to step back and really think about seeing as how he’d put so much time and effort into the sedan. After making a few laps in his brother’s ITR, and experiencing a lighter, quicker, more nimble chassis, the decision-making process became much easier. Very mildly modified, Brian’s ITR is set up for track day fun, but left with plenty of room for growth as his driving skills continue to progress, and funds allow.

Htup 1301 22 o+loi spec acura integra type r+volk TE37 Photo 20/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

Bolts & Washers

HaSport mounts
5zigen header
GReddy SP2 exhaust
ITR 4.4 final drive
ACT Stage II 6-puck clutch
Exedy flywheel
Kaaz 1.5-way LSD
Koyo radiator

Htup 1301 19 o+loi spec acura integra type r+B18C Photo 21/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

Zeal Super Function coilovers
Swift springs, 18K front/14K rear

Spoon Sports calipers
Project Mu discs
Project Mu brake pads

Wheels & Tires
Volk TE37 15x8 +38
Advan AD08 205/50-15

JDM front end conversion
J’s Racing fenders
J’s Racing canard
Mugen rear wing

Htup 1301 21 o+loi spec acura integra type r+MOMO tuner steering wheel. Photo 22/22   |   Loi-Spec Acura Integra Type Rs - Road Warriors

Recaro SPG seat
MOMO Tuner steering wheel
Spoon shift knob
Fastline extended shifter
S2000 pedals

Loi Hua for teaching me about cars and helping me wrench, Tuyet Ha, Tai Hua, Lewis Liang, J&R Autobody, Raceline USA, Moshi Moshi Motors, Danny Nguyen and JDMzipties, Sunny and Dude

Loi-Spec Garage

What exactly is Loi-Spec? Loi Hua states, “It started out as a hobby, but as time went by, people saw the quality of work on our cars and then we were asked to do a few jobs by friends. After that, it just became word of mouth that Loi-Spec does quality work. We do what we do because we love cars. My girlfriend actually started a Tumblr and a Facebook page for other people to see what we do. Surprisingly, it blew up pretty fast. I had a lot of compliments on my car and my work. We gained followers on Tumblr that would ask questions about their own cars, or ask about ours. Some even follow up when we go to track. As for Facebook, it gave us another way for people to follow up on our builds and events and to comment or ask about us as well.”


Nitto Tire
Cypress, CA 90630
HASport Performance
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Koyo Cooling Systems
Irvine, CA 92618
Raceline USA
Temple City, CA 91780
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