683 LB-FT Of Torque
Over the years we've become accustomed (and, dare I say, even a bit blas) to 1,000whp drag cars. Of course, those are usually Nissan Skylines or Mitsubishi Evos. This powerful monster, however, is a Honda Civic Type R kicking out 1,000 whp on the dragstrip and all through the front wheels. You've got to hand it to those mad Brits-they like to be different. The man in question who is hoping to be the first person to drive a Japanese front-wheel-drive car into the 9s in the U.K. is Paul Jones, the boss at TDi North.
Paul bought the car new to be used as his company demo, having spotted a gap in the market for tuning Hondas. Originally, it spent a lot of time on the track before he realized that his customers were more into quarter-mile action. The car has been around for a couple of years now in various different specs all leading up to what's about to hit the strip this year.
"We took the naturally aspirated car using a 2.2L stroker kit and cams up to just over 300 whp," Paul says. "We did hold the naturally aspirated record for a while, which I think was a 13.2 run and that was on road tires." Paul achieved a lot of success with the car running in this spec. "In 2005, I won the Japanese Racer FWD Series," he says. "But, in 2006, the rivals were developing their supercharged cars and we discovered we were out of the game. We made the decision that we needed to do something else to keep up and, as I used to work for Garrett, going for a turbo seemed the obvious way to go."
Paul kicked off the development by sourcing a K24 block (U.S.-spec Honda Accord), mating it to a K20 head and then adding a seriously modified Full-Race GT35 turbo kit. The kit, however, is actually for a DC5 Integra, which has a lot more space under the bonnet. This meant he had to carry out lots of modifications to get everything to fit. The end result was never likely to win any Concours awards, where functionality and power win over appearance. Luckily, that's not the type of silverware Paul set his sights on anyway.
What were his hopes for the new powerplant? "We didn't really have a power figure in mind," he says. "The kit was rated at 600 to 650 whp and that would have been enough to beat the supercharged EP3 Hondas." In fact, he recorded 618 whp on his rollers and that was enough for him to return to the '07 Japanese Racer series with a bang, winning several rounds, reclaiming the overall title, and setting a new European record with a 10.82-second sprint.
With that sort of power the real trick is getting it to the tarmac. "When we launched (at 5,500 rpm, changing up at 8,000 rpm when the shift light burst into life) sometimes the car did want to go sideways, so you'd have to correct it very quickly," he says. "And by the end of the run it was getting unstable until we carried out some suspension mods."
But however successful you might be, in this business you can't afford to rest on your laurels, because the rivals are always snapping at your heels. "In the background we were already building another K24 engine for 2008," Paul says. "This was fitted with a Crower 2.6L stroker kit and a GT40 turbo, to provide even more power. With the GT35 setup we were quite often on the rev limiter by the time we crossed the line-we just couldn't get it to go any faster." Unfortunately, there wasn't a suitable GT40 Full-Race kit available off-the-shelf, so Paul ended up with something of a "hybrid guinea pig spec" arrangement. While all of the essential parts for the kit were supplied, Paul remembers that a serious amount of complicated custom fabrication was required to get it all installed and working efficiently. But that's what he does best and the results made up for the hard work.
Strapped to the dyno and controlled by the brainpower of a Hondata K-Pro ECU, the engine recorded a most satisfactory 850 whp. Since then he's added the gas, which should see the car hitting 1,000 whp-and still fully road legal. "Everything on the car is based around the magical 1,000 whp figure," Paul says, except for the gearbox.
Paul had high hopes of setting a time that would strike fear into his rivals when he turned up at the final event of the 2007 season with a potential 1,000 whp under his right foot. But the gearbox was a weak link, as you might expect, and blew up on his first run. Game over for 2007.
Paul will be contesting the Japanese Racer Series again this year and hopes to take the crown for the third time. He's invested in a PPG gearbox, which has already been proved on the strip to cope with 1,000 whp, so that should sort out the weak link. He'll also be competing with a new head and probably relocating the gas bottle into the passenger footwell to lower the center of gravity and provide a shorter pipe run. "With the gas my aim is to break into the 9s," Paul says. "Whether we can or not is a different matter. The proof will be in the pudding."
Brian Crower 2.6L stroker kit
CP low-compression pistons
Brian Crower Pro series connecting rods with heavy-duty ACL bearings
Brian Crower balanced crankshaft
ARP rod and head bolts
ERL Performance Superdeck I sleeved block
ERL Performance high-flow oil pump
Cometic Gasket head gasket
Full-Race Garrett roller-bearing GT40 turbo kit
Remote twin TiAL wastegates and screamer pipes
Hondata K-Pro ECU with wideband lambda
AEM 3 bar map sensor
JDM ported and flowed inlet manifold
RC Engineering 1,600cc injectors
AEM high-volume fuel rail
Aeromotive fuel pump
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
Goodridge fuel lines
Hondata heat shield gasket
TODA throttle body
HKS induction system
Brian Crower F1 spec cams
Valvesprings and titanium retainers
TODA vernier cam pulley
TODA heavy-duty timing chain adjuster
HKS iridium spark plugs
Spoon earthing kit
Spoon race battery and stay kit
Spoon oil cap
Vision oil breather catch tank
Spoon magnetic sump plug
Spoon reservoir covers
Pace alloy radiator
Mugen high-pressure radiator cap
Mugen thermostat switch
Mugen N1 exhaust system
Enjo engine mounts
NOS progressive wet system
Quaife five-speed dog box
Quaife limited-slip differential
Competition Clutch twin-plate lightened and balanced flywheel/clutch kit
Drive Shaft Shop driveshafts
Quick Shift kit
Spoon four-pot brakes
DBA grooved vented discs
AEM rear big disc upgrade
Stainless Steel brake lines
Ferodo DS2500 pads
Tein mono flex coilovers
Mugen N1 track rods
Spoon upper and lower strut braces
SPC rear alloy arms
SPC camber adjusters
Buddy Club P1 SF alloys 7.5x18
Buddy Club alloy wheel nuts
215/35R18 Yokohama Parada Spec 2
Nemesis body kit
VIS carbon bonnet
VIS carbon adjustable rear spoiler
VIS carbon tailgate
SPA carbon mirrors
Corbeau carbon Kevlar FIA race seat
Titanium eye bolts
Mugen HOA rollcage
Carbon door cards
AEM air/fuel ratio gauge
Defi boost gauge
Blitz R-VIT digital display
HKS EVC 6 boost controller
Spoon steering wheel
Spoon titanium gear knob