Loyalty is nothing new to the world of tuning. Whether this entails choosing your parts, hiring a shop, joining a club or even picking up your girl on the way to a show, loyalty in some shape or form is often the greatest common denominator. But perhaps the greatest sign of allegiance is sticking to the same auto manufacturer, project after project.
Inevitably, technologies and part suppliers will change, car clubs and shops will fold, and your girl will leave you (sorry to break the news). But car manufacturers? They aren't likely to go anywhere anytime soon. And while some people may venture to something different for their next build, others like Darren Law of Calgary, AB, wouldn't dream of it. He's a Honda guy, and that's just the way it is.
Darren's first car was a black spray-painted '77 Honda Civic with chopped springs. He then graduated to a '78 Civic, an '83 Civic, then to an '88 Honda CRX. From there, a Prelude, another two Civics and finally this white DC2-R you see here. He says, "I have always been into Hondas, and I'm planning on getting another Honda after the Type-R is gone." We won't argue with that.
When a friend was selling his '98 DC2-R, Darren wasted no time and snatched it up. While the car came with a decent list of mods already, primarily in the styling department such as a Spoon Sports carbon front lip and Ganador mirrors, the first order of business was to increase power. So with the help of the team at Speedtech Racing Development (STRD) in Calgary, the fully built B18C5 was swapped out in favor of a K20A. "The power [of the stock K20A] is relatively close to the B18C5 while offering stock motor reliability for daily driving, yet it still works well at the track," Darren says.
The original T1R after-cat exhaust was upgraded to a T1R 70mm RS system and T1R headers were also installed, both creating better airflow and increased power. Without compromising performance and the overall JDM flavor, the DC-5 (Acura RSX) Koyo radiator that Darren installed for a more show look was quickly restored back to the Tabata fitting. In addition, the J's Racing two-way LSD and J's Racing Hyper Single clutch kit were chosen for their on- and off-track functionality.
The DC2's JDM styling that Darren was attracted to in the first place was good, but there was no way he would leave it looking JDM stock. "I couldn't have the car look the same, so I added the J's Racing 3D GT wing and carbon canards, a VIS carbon trunk and some graphics for the occasional show I do," he says. A Spoon Sports S2000 rear diffuser was later added. "I was searching for a diffuser I liked, but couldn't find one. Then I saw a Honda EK with an S2000 Spoon diffuser, which looked really cool. So I ordered one and the boys at STRD made it work with my Type-R," Darren says. Other exterior fittings include Aztec side skirts, an OEM rear valence and an OEM JDM DC2 HID setup.
The suspension and footwork were also enhanced, beginning with the stopping assembly. The existing Spoon brakes were replaced with a Spoon Monoblock S2000 brake upgrade, paired with Spoon rotors front and rear, and Seido-ya brake pads. This impacted the offset with the Mugen MF-10 wheels that were on the car, so they were replaced with a set of 17-inch Takata Green Volk Racing CE28N rollers wrapped in Falken RT615 rubber. T1R titanium wheel nuts and Goodridge stainless steel lines also thrown into the mix. In true JDM fashion, the DC2-R was tightened up with a J's Racing tower bar and C-pillar bar, a Spoon rear tower bar, Do-Luck rear cross bar and a Cusco rear sway bar.
The interior was already well equipped, but changes were in order, of course. The JDM Recaro seats weren't cutting it in the sharp corners, so Darren opted for a set of Bride seats with Takata harnesses to provide the extra security. Nic Chow, the previous owner and a good friend of Darren's who actually consulted on the car's rebirth, suggested they install a STACK ST8130 race meter - very slick instrumentation that replaces most gauges with a single display, providing an extremely clean look without compromising vital information. The interior also includes a Mugen FG360 steering wheel with a Momo hub, Mugen pedals, an Alex quick release, a JDM rear bench, a Cusco rollcage and carbon reinforcement bars, a Spoon titanium shift knob, and a ZOOM carbon rearview mirror, just to name a few.
While loyalty is certainly a prevalent force, it certainly isn't a prerequisite when it comes time to begin a project -perhaps "passionate" is a better way to describe it. The aftermarket industry is evolving and we'll all be there for the ride while our ideals and preferences change along the way. Whether we decide to build a Japanese platform today and USDM tomorrow, the fundamentals of tuning won't change. Neither will devotion and passion, regardless of the choices we make. The work STRD has done to build this clean and classic JDM Type-R pays homage to being loyal, but more importantly, remaining passionate.
Specs & Details
'98 Acura Integra Type-R
Engine JDM Integra Type-R K20A
Engine Modifications J's Racing big-bore SPL throttle body, oil pan, valve cover, oil cap, pol catch tank; Hondata intake manifold gasket; Spoon spark plug cover, thermoswitch, thermostat, magnetic drain plugs; A'PEXi super ground system; Hasport engine mounts; AEM fuel rail, fuel pressure regulator, fuel filter; Tabata dual-core aluminum radiator, radiator cap; T1R 70RS exhaust system; DC Sports conversion exhaust manifold, Samco Sport hose kit; STRD intake; FAL Fan
Engine Management Hondata KPro Drivetrain J's Racing 2-way LSD, hyper single clutch kit; Axel System driveshafts
Suspension J's Racing front strut tower bar, C-pillar bar; Spoon rear tower bar; Do-Luck rear cross bar; Cusco rear sway bar; TEIN RA coilovers
Exterior JDM Honda DC2 front end conversion w/ HID, rear valance; J's Racing 3D GT Wing, carbon-fiber hood, canards; Spoon front lip, S2000 rear diffuser; Aztec side skirts; Ganador mirrors; VIS carbon-fiber hatch
Established in 1988 in Osaka, Japan, J's Racing holds a solid place as one of the most well-known JDM tuning companies. Making some of the most highly sought-after parts for Honda and Acura cars, and demanding a premium price tag, it can be difficult to locate older parts that are usually discontinued once the cars they are designed for are no longer in production.