Before you decide to quickly glance through the next couple of pages, try to sit back and clear your head for a minute. By now you've probably exhausted yourself from trying to decipher what Tetsu is really trying to say in this month's Tetsu's Tales. Don't even bother to look at the photos on these pages in detail. Take your finger and place it on this page to use as a placeholder. Before you close this mag with your finger in place, try to dig through the depths of your memory to find what a great Integra build looked like in the early half of the 2000s. If you were a Honda head during that time then this should be a pretty simple task. If you weren't or are relatively new to the Honda scene, think about what's become popular within the last year or so. Okay, go ahead and close this mag now and take a quick moment to think. I'll be right here waiting when you come back.
Alright, welcome back. Looking at the Integra on these pages, is it pretty much what you pictured in your head? It should be because you probably already saw this ITR and it's the freshest image in your memory. It might also be because this ITR is a good representation of what was huge during the beginning of the decade. A kitted-out Integra with an ITR conversion and 18-inch Volk Racing wheels or Racing Harts was the epitome of what everyone strived for during that time period. Sure, some guys were still rocking Black Widow body kits or some random adaptation of another kit but the enthusiasts with the best builds had the harder-to-come-by, authentic Japanese kits like this C-West N1 kit. Back then, there was no such thing as low offset, "stanced-out" cars. 18-19 inch wheels on Hondas were considered "aggressive".
For you newer guys, you were asked to think about what has become popular within the last year or so. It can be debated, but the hot ticket in late 2009 through 2010 in the Honda community was the re-emergence of aero, namely complete fiberglass body kits. Honda enthusiasts no longer laugh or look down on those with kits as long as they're authentic Japanese components that give off that "track" look. You don't even have to actually race or track your car. If you have the kit and it looks functional, you're generally accepted and even praised today. They say that history repeats itself and trends tend to recycle and in this instance, that evidently is very true. The only difference is that the wheels today aren't getting larger in diameter-they're just getting substantially wider.
The earlier experiment may have been a failure because it was probably more difficult than it had to be, but the point was that this Integra Type R #973 is a living example of what was popular almost a decade ago and still continues to be relevant today. For all intents and purposes, this Integra is frozen in time. Not just in terms of appearance but also because it literally has not be driven since 2002. Feel free to go ahead and re-read that last sentence.
"I purchased this Integra Type R brand-new in 1998," the owner, Shane Noble says, "I fell in love with the car and I told myself I would never sell it. Then one day, I just decided I wouldn't even drive it. The car has 16,000 original miles since I stopped driving it in 2002." It definitely sounds a little crazy but this ITR hasn't clocked a mile in almost ten years! The JDM cluster that was swapped in with a Mugen speedometer even shows zero miles on the odometer. Shane sounds a little crazy right about now, but we're sure he has his reasons.
"I've been busy," Shane explains, "I own Tintmasters Motorsports and we have four locations within North Dakota and Minnesota, and it keeps me pretty busy. I mean, I love my Integra, that's why I decided to preserve the car and park it. It took me five years to build it because I've been so preoccupied with running the business. I honestly think I took a little too long on the project because some of the parts have become dated and need to be replaced."
You may be wondering why an ITR would be built to this extent if it isn't even driven. Well, it isn't driven because it doesn't have to be. Shane's ITR is actually a shop vehicle that represents his business and still makes appearances at events for promotional purposes. The North Dakota and Minnesota regions aren't really known for their Hondas and Acuras so an ITR built to this extent is a good tool to show enthusiasts what these cars are capable of.
When he states that some of his parts are "dated", he definitely isn't lying. Behind the JDM Type R conversion and under the hood are a number of old parts you may or may not have heard of. Shane even has an original set of "Skunk2" (we can't use the original company name here due to legal reasons) cam gears. The valvetrain also consists of older Skunk2 components. The newest upgrade to the B18C motor is a Bisimoto header that drives exhaust gases (if he decides to ever drive it again) out through an older JIC Magic Spartan titanium exhaust. When was the last time you heard of someone running or even talking about a JIC Magic exhaust system?
Footwork is equally reminiscent of the time period when Shane last operated his ITR. Behind the discontinued 18-inch Volk LE28Ns are Spoon Monoblock calipers and A'PEXi World Sport coilovers. A Benen Industries 3-point strut bar, which is definitely rare by today's standards, sits perched on the front shock towers while a JIC Magic unit is secured to the rear suspension. The interior is a blast from the past as well, featuring Recaro SRD seats, which have now been superseded by Recaro Speeds. Shane also has a large Broadway rear view mirror and a set of Razo pedals in his ITR. We're almost a little sad to see that he doesn't have a complete white vinyl interior and tweed door inserts.
No matter what modifications he has done to this ITR, the greatest thing about this build is that it's a legit Acura Integra Type R with less original miles in 13 years than most people would put on a normal car in one year. It's pretty unbelievable. Other than the re-sprayed body, everything done to this ITR is reversible, helping to keep this Type R's value from ever decreasing. On the other hand, it's incredible to see that he hasn't parted the car out and the look he achieved years ago is still very relevant and popular today. It's a time machine that stays in place. It reminds the past of how great Honda builds looked then and an example of how guys should build and preserve Hondas in the future.
1998 Acura Integra Type R #973
Owner Shane Noble
Hometown Fargo, North Dakota
Occupation Owner Of Tintmasters Motorsports
Engine 1.8L Honda B18C5; original "Skunk2" cam gears, Skunk2 Stage 3 camshafts, high-compression oversized valves, high-rev dual valve springs, retainers; ARP head studs; Spoon Sports 2-layer high compression head gasket, thermostat; TODA Racing timing belt; Vibrant Performance timing belt tensioner, test pipe, overflow tank; Fluidamper Race Series crank pulley; Hasport engine mounts; balanced crank, rods and pistons; TWM Induction 2000 Series 50mm individual throttle-bodies, carbon-fiber horns, fuel pressure regulator and fuel rail; Blox vacuum manifold; Walbro 255LPH fuel pump; RC Engineering 650cc fuel injectors; -6 AN stainless fuel lines; Aeromotive fuel filters; E-85 fuel conversion; Bisimoto Engineering custom stainless header; JIC Magic Spartan Titanium exhaust system; Denso Iridium spark plugs; NGK spark plug wires; MSD Blaster Coil and distributor cap; Moroso oil pan; ENEOS fluids; Koyo aluminum radiator; Samco Sport cooling hoses; Mishimoto radiator fans w/custom shroud for Bisimoto header; Beatrush cooling plate; Gates "Shrink" hose clamps; Optima battery; custom semi wire-tucked engine harness; ABS delete; power steering delete; Password: JDM radiator brackets; STR cam seal
Power Est. 200WHP
Drivetrain J40 transmission; Exedy Stage 2 clutch and flywheel; Skunk2 dual-bend shift lever; ENEOS transmission fluids
Engine Management AEM EMS
Footwork & Chassis A'PEXi World Sport coilovers; Cusco 25mm rear sway bar; Benen 3-point strut bar; JIC Magic carbon-fiber rear strut bar; Function7 rear lower control arms; Skunk2 front camber control arms; Buddy Club rear camber control arms; Comptech rear lower center brace; T1R rear C-pillar brace; Energy Suspension Bushings; Full Race traction bars
Brakes Spoon Sports 4-piston Monoblock brake calipers; Hawk Performance HP Plus brake pads; Russell stainless front/rear brake lines; Cusco master cylinder brace; OEM Honda Civic 40/40 non-ABS proportioning valve
Wheels & Tires 18x7.5" Volk Racing LE28N +48 offset; 215/35-18 Toyo T1S; Project KICS R26 Neo Chro lug nuts
Exterior C-West N1 front bumper, side skirts and rear bumper; JDM ITR conversion; Seibon JDM OEM hood and trunk; cut/rolled front fenders; Vision Technica carbon-fiber side mirrors; FAL rear window; Password: JDM tow hooks, fender bolts; Lamin-X head/taillights; PIAA horns; JDM Earth Belt
Interior Recaro SRD seats; Sparco seat rails; Takata MPH341 safety harnesses; Sparco harness bar; Spoon Sports steering wheel, Duracon shift knob; NRG short hub and thin quick-release; Razo carbon-fiber pedals; Mugen instrument cluster; JDM air bag block-off plate; carbon deck tray; Broadway mirror; AEM wide band O2 sensor; Defi oil pressure and water temperature gauges
Audio Kenwood KIV-700 head unit; JL Audio components; Infinity Kappa 10" subwoofers, Kappa 5 amplifier; custom carbon-fiber woofer enclosure built into the tire well w/amp rack/battery
Thanks You Tintmasters Motorsports crew; Kyle Morrow; Scott Thomas; Eric Freitag; Jason Christopherssen; Troy Conner; Brandon Bartleson; Shane Zietz; Chris Nelson; Brian Adams; Sean at Motovicity; Danny at Keystone; Leo at Password: JDM; Brian at Mackin Industries;Sheng at JHP; Jim at Honda of Bemidj; Chris at TLG-Auto; Omar Izaquirre