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Acura Integra Type R - Chad De Los Santos

First Person: The Trials and Tribulations of "Going Turbo"

Staff Reports
Sep 12, 2005 SHARE
Turp_0508_01_z+acura_integra+front_view Photo 1/1   |   Acura Integra Type R - Chad De Los Santos

Chad's exquisite Integra illustrates the passion and determination it can take to reach show-and-go nirvana. We have elected to let Chad tell his story of perseverance and let the pictures show the result of his efforts.

475 WHP @ 28 PSI
After purchasing my Integra Type-R I didn't want to go in the same path as most Type-R owners go ... with simple bolt-ons. My main goal was to go turbo because at the time most modified Type-Rs were all-motor. I wanted to take it to the next level. A few months later I had a basic turbo kit installed, staying with stock internals. The car was my daily driver and after driving the car hard for a year and putting a lot of stress on the engine, it leaned out and blew two pistons.

The problem was running the stock internals, with an already high compression ratio. Which on a turbo engine means detonation and bye-bye to your engine. Most people who install turbos don't go through the research of what's needed in the install and fail to keep up with the high maintenance that's needed with a stock internals/turbo setup. They have the idea that all they need to do is install the kit and you're automatically fast without worrying about any problems.

I cleared my head and devised a game plan. I decided to upgrade to low-compression pistons and forged rods. Thinking that would be the solution to my problems. My upgrades were only a temporary fix because in a couple of months my engine blew again. The problem this time was a spun rod bearing which shot through the block and caused a big crack on the crankshaft resulting in a seized engine.

Now my engine was really gone and my car was down for the count. During that period I finally decided to do some research and to get some professional advice. I talked to Ryan Takashima from Injen Technology and he mentioned a couple of shops that were reliable but most were in the Los Angeles area. I really didn't want to have my car towed that far. That's when he mentioned a shop in San Diego county known for building top-notch engines-Advanced Engine Breathing Systems (AEBS), in nearby Miramar.

The shop setup was clean and they had some cars being worked on that were owned by some well-known tuners like R.J. de Vera. At that moment I knew my car was at the right place.

At first, my intentions were to get the engine fixed, which required a new block and crank. After a week I came to realize that instead of doing things halfway, it would be to my advantage to just go all out. AEBS owner, Ben Ma, and I discussed what I should do to the engine with the budget I had, which was no limit. He said I was going in the right direction by upgrading the pistons and rods but also advised building up the rest of the engine to balance it out. He had the engine blueprinted, started with upgrading the majority of the engine's internals.

First we decided that instead of just creating high-horsepower output we should also make it more reliable by reinforcing the block. AEBS installed one of its own block sleeves and Ben suggested Ross pistons with a 9.5:1 compression because AEBS has used them on a lot of engines and found them to be quite reliable. Included were Pauter forged 4340 chrome-moly rods. The crankshaft was balanced and shot-peened as well.

For the head, Ben suggested going with an aftermarket cam and to upgrade the valve train components to accommodate the cam and increase the rev range of the engine. He suggested Crower Stage 2 turbo cams with REV titanium valves, valve springs and retainers.

Next, AEBS increased the size of my turbo and wastegate from a Garrett T3 and 35mm wastegate to a hybrid T3/T4 Garrett turbo and a TiAL 45mm wastegate. Later, Ben approached me and said AEBS was developing its own intake manifold. I was happy to be one of the first Integras to run it.

Another important element, besides reinforcing all the engine's internals, is fuel and engine management. On the hard parts side I went with Bosch 550cc injectors and a high-flow pump. On the software side I swapped my previous fuel-only piggyback computer for a Hondata system. AEBS installed and programmed a Hondata Stage 2 ECU system.

Before running the monster on the dyno an Exedy Stage 3 clutch was installed to harness all that VTEC-enhanced horsepower. After two days of dyno tuning, AEBS coaxed an amazing 475 whp at 28 psi.

Post dyno mods were aimed at reliability. A Nitrous Express N-tercooler sprayer, GReddy Type RS blow-off valve, Stage 2 axles, Fluidyne radiator and FAL cooling fans all address reliability and durability in different areas of the driving experience.

With a pristine and powerful B-series beating under the bonnet, I wanted to make my car look complete. I turned to the exterior and interior and aimed for an extreme JDM look. I added a JDM Bomex body kit because I planned to use JDM Integra Type-R headlights.

After competing at a couple of shows, I got a lot of attention but wasn't winning any trophies. I gathered all the tips given to me by the judges and took them into consideration as I planned a new set of changes. One judge told me to work on suspension and brakes and another told me to work on the interior. I respect their opinion because they know what is needed to be a show winner. The next stop was at Team Prototype who helped get the Integra to the next level with a number of custom touches and the use of a good combination of off-the-shelf stuff.

Under the car went A'PEXi coil-overs, Skunk2 camber plates and a Rotora front brake upgrade. On the inside, Team Prototype busted out a wicked carbon fiber dash, center console and a grip of other CF interior tricks. Bride bucket seats, DJ safety harnesses, a six-point Autopower roll cage, Sparco pedals and a Spoon shift knob round out the interior mods that have put me over the top.

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Sources

Flex-A-Lite
Fife, WA 98424
253-922-2700
http://www.flex-a-lite.com
GReddy Performance Products
Irvine, CA 92618
949-588-8300
http://www.greddy.com
Hondata
Torrance, CA 90503
310-782-8278
http://www.hondata.com
TiAL Sport
Owasso, MI 48867
989-729-9973
http://www.tialsport.com
A'PEXi
Orange, CA 92868
714-685-5700
http://www.apexi-usa.com
Bomex USA
Chatsworth, CA 90240
310-527-3111
http://www.bomexaeroco.com
Nitrous Express
Wichita Falls, TX 76310
940-767-7694
www.nitrousexpress.com
Ross Racing Pistons
El Segundo, CA 90245
800-392-7677
rosspistons
Skunk2
Norco, CA 92860
951-808-9888
http://www.skunk2.com
Crower
Chula Vista, CA 91911-5899
Fluidyne Racing Products
Ontario, CA 91761
Sparco
800-224-7113
www.sparcousa.com
By Staff Reports
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