Idespise the color yellow. Out of the entire spectrum of colors, it's by far my least favorite. But Jeff Diaz is starting to change my mind. When I first caught wind of his authentic Civic Type R from one of my buddies in Seattle I figured, eh what the hell, I'll check it out. I was expecting your run-of-the-mill Spoon theme, but what I witnessed was actually quite different. The fact that Diaz has the balls to run a yellow car on yellow wheels is what really hooked me.
As impressive as an automotive marvel the CTR is, it's old news. Living in Los Angeles there is no shortage of these legendary circuit Civics. But that's not to say that the car is any less amazing. In stock trim the Type R is a very potent vehicle - one that many enthusiasts spend upwards of $8k transforming their USDM CX or DX into clones of. The most popular conversion parts being the coveted 5-lug brake upgrade, B16B engine swap and Recaro SRD seats - none of which were good enough to make Jeff's varsity roster.
Not that there is anything wrong with those parts, but Jeff had bigger plans. Over the years it seems that the Spoon calipers fitted to his car have become a staple upgrade amongst Type R owners (both Integra and Civic). The four piston calipers allow more even pad wear and better pedal modulation - all without having to run a specialized proprietary brake pad like many other brands. They also fit under nearly any 15" wheel which makes them very appealing to our scene. Played? Maybe. Baller? Definitely.
Next in the pile of this man's trash and most men's treasures were the stock Recaros, tossed aside for a lighter, better-holding duo. In the driver's side corner, weighing in at a lot less than the stock seats wearing carbon-kevlar trunks we have the Bride Maxis II. In the passenger side of the ring, weighing in at roughly the same, wearing FRP shorts we have the Bride Zeta II. With the help of this potent gripping duo, Jeff is ready to lay down the 1-2 knockout punch on the track.
Undoubtedly the main contender in this equation is the power plant - the venerable K20A. By now I can presume that most of you are familiar with the engine and exactly how awesome it is. I mean, you read the FF Battle article right?
(Ed note: I wrote this story prior to the outcome of the FF Battle, that's how sure of the K series I am. SK). But the decision wasn't quite that easy for Jeff as he had originally planned on going with a B18C Integra Type R engine.
"Back and forth I decided between a B or K series swap" Diaz tells me, "I actually bought two motor swaps, a B18C and a K20A, just in case." After speaking with some of his friends with K swaps in their EKs his mind was quickly made up. "Yee Vang's response was 'third gear pull is the best!' " Jeff laughs. Rainer DeLeon, who's Civic we featured in our April issue earlier this year added "Don't go B series man, it's the new age and you won't regret going K." And with that Jeff admits "without knowing anything I just dove right in and started buying K series parts so it would run."
It just so happened that those parts needed "so it could run" are at the top of most of our wish lists. Like the car really needs an SSR/DTR header just to run? This guy is a sicko! A three-inch exhaust terminating into a Spoon Sports N1, yes please! I swear if it's not bad enough we have to drool over a K-swapped CTR while our CXs are sitting there falling apart with a breach in the D16's head gasket right around the corner, this guy has to have parts worth more than our car just to run!? Bastard.
But that's just Jeff's style, I guess we can't hate on that. But he did tell me an interesting story that makes me feel a little better about my EK, and it goes a little something like this - "The first week I got it running I drove it around town, probably 1500 miles. I was going down a hill to meet some friends at a mall and at the end of the hill my car just died! I'm thinking oh, maybe the fuel wire got loose. Traffic was passing me by while I was trouble shooting on the side of the road. I was running a Mugen ECU so I didn't think of anything other than fuel being the problem. Five hours later I called one of my friends to help me out and make sure I didn't get hit by traffic. We decided to push the car into a parking lot and I heard some kid say something I will never forget - 'pushing a dope-ass CTR...FAIL!'"
That's basically it, the rest of the story is about how it took forever and it ended up just being a blown main fuse. Moral of the story? Just because you have a CTR with Mugen Power doesn't mean your fuses won't blow and thus you should still check them as if you were driving a lowly base model. So until we can all K-swap our cars we can live vicariously through this amazingly yellow CTR that will probably never be ours. That or we can just laugh and giggle and put "pushing a dope-ass CTR... FAIL!" in our forum signatures. Till next time - Nike SB'd ouuutttt!
1999 Honda Civic Type R
Owner: Jeffery Diaz
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Daily Grind: Autobody And Paint Technician
Under the Hood: 2.0L normally-aspirated K20A; Hasport EKK1 mounts; Hybrid Racing PNP adapter harness; SSR/DTR header; Spoon Sports N1 exhaust w/3" piping, fan switch, temp sensor, brake master cylinder stopper; Karcepts alternator relocater, intake, throttle-body adapter; Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator; Golden Eagle fuel rail; Mugen radiator cap; RBC intake manifold; Hondata intake manifold gasket; wire tuck
Drivetrain: Hasport K-swap axles, Exedy stage 2 clutch
Brains: Mugen N1 ECU
Stiff Stuff: Megan racing type race coilovers; SRR rear lower control arms; Comptech rear sway bar, rear subframe kit, endlinks; ARP extended wheel studs; Blox rear camber kit; Brembo slotted rotors; Hawk pads; Carbing 3-point front strut tower bar; Cusco 6-point rollcage; Next Miracle X bar type II w/butterfly optional sections
Stoppers: Spoon Sports calipers
Rollers: 16X7 +42 Rio Yellow Volk TE37 wrapped in General Tires; 16X7.5 +35 Super Advan SA3R wrapped in Falken Azenis RT-615;16X7 +35 Regamaster Evo Final Version wrapped in Falken Azenis RT-615
Outside: Du-Pont Chroma Primier Y56 Sunlight yellow paint; Sard air duct; J's Racing canards; GReddy front lip (logo shaved); shaved antenna; USDM fenders; battery post mounted in taillight; Spoon Sports mirrors; Bomex wing; VIS carbon- fiber hood, carbon-fiber tailgate; roof painted centari black; JDM optional window visors, rear hatch glass visors; JDM clock badge, center number badge, rear registration badge; ARC side spoilers
Inside: CTR optional column light; S2000 shift knob; Mugen floor plate, dead pedal, pedals, ECU stay, fuel kill switch; F1 spec seat rails; SRR harnesses; Bride carbon kevlar Maxis II (driver), Zeta II (passenger)
Ice: Pioneer source unit; OEM Gathers speakers
Props: My Mom and Dad, R.I.P. Grandpa, I love you Grandma, Jonathan and Monique Diaz, Nerissa and Keo, my niece Nia, my nephew JJ, newly-born Kristian, all my cousins, Yee Vang, Nate Hassler, Dennis Lui, Shafin, Mel Diego, Rainer DeLeon, Steve Kwan, Terry S, Josh Sorriano, Joey, Garret N, Marvin Law, Richie F, the Trik crew, Battle Junkies, NA bros crew, RC crew, Carmelle Marcos, my Pham, Jed Agapalo, Mathly Ho, Vee, Nick and Anthony from elitejdm.com, Ryann Offril, Dennis Paclibon, Chris Darang, Ryan Lubang, Cody Diaz, Edward Sampayan, Marleah Nolasco, Rex Tan, Rey Tesoro, Emerson Sanchez, Mark Reefer, kansaimotorsports.com, Kevin L, Allan, Eric, Jackie, Quan, Hybrid Racing, k-tuned, k20tune, rpmgarage, Karcepts and all the others I forgot -thank you!
WWW: generaltire.com; hybrid-racing.com; kingmotorsports.com (Mugen); mackinindustries.com (Volk); more-japan.com (Bride); seiboncarbon.com; spoonsports.us