What is the long shot pipe dream of most street car owners? One of the top three has to be showing up to the big throw-down with a racecar engine under the hood. Not a built engine but a drag strip proven, single-digit powerplant. Jason Jarmon of Garland, Texas called up Kenny Tran at Jotech Motorsports and this dream car was on its way to reality.
The basis of this silver and black attack is a 1995 Integra that Jason scored for $1500. The Acura was an auto-shifting, non-VTEC LS that burned more oil than fuel. More than rough around the edges. It was a pile-the perfect candidate for an all-out buildup. Aesthetically, the Integra was greatly enhanced with a JDM Type-R front end conversion and two-tone paint scheme executed by Bruce Liu of New Concept in Plano, Texas.
Pop the hood and you can immediately see that the hurting LS is history. In its place is a spare Jotech race engine from the 2003 engine program. The B18C, built by none other than Kenny Tran, is a stock block proposition fitted with AEBS ductile iron sleeves, which via a slightly bigger bore, bumps displacement to 1.9 liters. The engine's balanced and blueprinted reciprocating components consist of 9.5:1 Arias slugs and Pauter connecting rods swinging on a polished and knife-edged crankshaft.
The VTEC motto, "life begins at 5700rpm" is half the story here as Honda race engines turn big rpms to generate their impressive peak power output. That means a stout cylinder head and valvetrain are must-have mods. Kenny enlisted Bill Craddock of Bill Craddock Enterprises (BCE) to realize this portion of the dream. Craddock port-matched the head and performed an extensive polishing of the runners and the bowls. With an eye on 9000-rpm engine speeds, the head was assembled with REV hard parts. Stainless REV valves, stout double spring REV valvesprings, titanium REV retainers and custom Jotech cams ground to the same specs as Kenny's race cams.
When it comes to boost things get secret. The B18C is pressurized by a Garrett GT-series turbo that sports secret specs because it came right out of Kenny's race engine. Also scavenged from the Jotech race inventory was the Integra's custom Full Race Motorsports-fabbed header. The rest of the turbo system includes a Precision FMIC, a TiAL blow-off valve with boost control falling to the tag team duo of a TiAL 46mm wastegate and a GReddy PRofec B boost controller. The downpipe and exhaust are one-off Jotech pieces with the exhaust system featuring three-inch stainless-steel pipe and a custom muffler. A high-volume Edelbrock intake manifold ensures the boost flows smoothly into the head.
With a well-sized turbo and free-flowing head there are three remaining factors that directly impact the output and reliability of a turbocharged Honda engine-fuel enrichment, spark intensity and tuning strategy. Again, using his racecar as a template, Kenny dished the love out to MSD enlisting MSD's Digital-7 capacitive discharge box, HVC coil pack and plug wires. On the fuel side an Aeromotive pump with 1,100-hp capacity feeds 1,000cc injectors through -10 line. Under the tuning banner Kenny wired up a MoTeC M4 stand-alone engine management system, a unit very similar to the M48 unit in Kenny's racecar. The main differences between the two units being the M48 can drive a total of eight injectors compared to the four for the M4 and the M48 has more control over ignition events. It is also a little easier on the wallet.
The engine needed to be detuned to run on gasoline. The high boost button was set to 27 psi and low boost was dialed in at 12 psi. Kenny started the M4 programming with a map from his racecar. "The big difference was converting from methanol, which burns cooler and therefore takes more volume to make power, to gasoline. Spool-up time for the turbo was also a concern because the turbo's behavior with the two different fuels was night and day. I am really happy with how it came out; we tuned the car in 15 passes." On Jotech's Dynojet the B18C topped out at 643.2 whp and 399.2 lb-ft of torque. We have a dyno chart that encompasses the final four passes and it testifies that the engine was eating up the boost as output jumped 260 whp from the first pull (run 12) to the final pass.
Being a Honda drag racer Kenny knows a thing or two about the weaknesses in the Honda driveline. Changing axles after every pass used to be a fact of life but pushing the envelope has led to the development of heavy-duty driveline parts that make the Honda driveline significantly more reliable. These leading edge components have trickled down into the street market.
Jason's Integra is running a set of Driveshaft Shop Stage V axles. Taking its cues from a Tilton twin-disc Cerametallic clutch, a Quaife differential puts the twist on the new-age axles. Kenny also went inside the Type-R transmission and shot-peened, cryo treated and REM polished some of the key components. All the bases have been covered and it should be interesting to see how long these pieces stand up to over 640 whp.
The Integra has the right kind of footwork for the street. Jason went with TEIN Type-Flex coil-overs. The Type-Flex are the most economical coil-overs that also allow for the use of the TEIN EDFC system. EDFC stands for Electronic Damping Force Controller and the system is basically cockpit remote control for coil-overs. The driver can adjust the damping force of the front and rear shocks separately from the easy-to-install 1/4-DIN controller. The EDFC has a memory function that allows the driver to program a baseline setting, which can be used for everyday street driving. When conditions merit a more aggressive setup the user can re-tune the coil-overs on the fly and later return to the baseline setting at the push of a button.
Stopping power has been addressed with trick Powerslot rotors, Project Mu pads and stainless brake lines working in accordance with the OE calipers. The Acura's rolling stock is made up of sinister-looking blacked-out 15-inch Nippon Racing five-spoke wheels that scream urban warrior and Nitto drag radials.
Since Jason plans to flex this brute's muscles to their fullest, Brink Racecraft of Dallas, Texas installed a six-point roll cage. This is a serious street car and it will be interesting to see the silver and black attack drop the big boost throughout the Big D.