12th Nov2015

Classics Never Go Out of Style: Integra Type R

by Michael Chandler

Integra Type-R feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-20

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

What we have here is, arguably, the best front wheel drive sports car ever made.  Perhaps one of the best sports cars to come out of Japan in the late nineties.  It was light, it was agile, it made 197 horsepower from 1.8 liters.  It was the thing of legends: a giant slayer made by the same people who made humble econoboxes.  From 1997-2001, skipping 1999 entirely for some reason, Honda sent a little over 3800 of these glorious cars over here.  And my friend Jeff has one, and has had one as long as I’ve known him.

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He’s kept his build simple.  So simple that he ditched the supercharger that was on the car when he bought it.  I think the car is better for it.  “Why fix what isn’t broken?  It came with many interior, exterior and performance upgrades from the factory.”  Indeed it did Jefferson, indeed it did.

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He’s kept the exterior mods to a minimum.  A Seibon carbon fiber hood replaces the factory metal piece, and a Shark2 antenna replaces the bigger OEM aerial.  The wiper for the rear window has been deleted, and some S2 Carbon Works winglets add a little something extra to the front end.  Interiorwise, the car hasn’t really been changed much.  You aren’t seeing any pictures of it, because I always think that the interior is 99% OEM and unchanged.  That’s wrong, because I always forget about the AEM UEGO wideband and oil pressure gauge in the gauge cluster bezel.  ALWAYS!

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Anywho, the Integra Type R was already a brilliant handling car from the factory.  Other Honda owners would clamor for OEM ITR springs, struts, chassis bracing, and other suspension bits to improve the handling of their cars.  The only thing not OEM on Jeff’s car are the H&R springs.

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A set of Highland Bronze powder coated Kosei K1 wheels are on, instead of the OEM wheels.  The Kosei’s measure in at 15×7, with a +35 offset.  Those are wrapped in a set of 205/50 Yokohama S.drive tires, which provide plenty of grip for some spirited driving.

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Under the Seibon hood is the ultimate version of Honda’s B series of engines: the B18C5.  1.8 liters, twin cam, variable valve timing, with hand polished intake and exhaust ports.  It has higher compression, lower friction pistons compared to the Integra GSR.  It has a single port intake manifold, and a larger throttle body.  The camshafts have higher lift, and longer duration.  Everything about this engine is better than the B18C1 in the GSR.  And Jeff has done nothing to any of that.

Integra Type-R feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-7

He’s added a Comptech Icebox intake, and replaced the header with a JDM 4-1 piece.  Between the header and the Tannabe Hyper Medalion exhaust is a high flow catalytic converter.  The combination makes for a sound that isn’t the raspy garbage people think of when they hear “modified Honda”, it sounds good.  An Exedy clutch replaces what would be, at the youngest, a 14 year old clutch.  A B&M fuel pressure regulator and 255 lph Walbro fuel pump are still around from the supercharged days, but why replace two fully functioning parts?  Crome engine management runs inside the P30 ECU.

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A carbon fiber spark plug cover sits atop the classic Wrinkle Red valve cover.

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“What makes a great Integra Type-R isn’t what’s done to it, it’s what isn’t done to it.”  That quote has guided Jeff in his build, and it’s a good one.  The Integra Type-R will live on as a classic, an example of the epitome of how good a front wheel drive car can be.

BONUS IMAGES

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*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
10th Feb2015

La Flama Blanca

by Michael Chandler

La Flama Blanca Evo X Michael Chandler CAMautoMag

If you’re familiar with RallySport Direct, then you’ve undoubtedly seen this car.  If you think that this is the company’s car and I had to twist a bunch of arms to be able to take pictures of it, then you’d be wrong.  All I had to do was ask Dallin Felton, because he’s the guy who drives it and has been molding it into what you see here.

La Flama Blanca Evo X Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

Dallin is a regular guy, just like any of us.  The biggest difference is that he happens to work for RallySport Direct, whereas we do not.  That, and he has a history of building some awesome cars.  He had a Daytona Violet M3 and a Voltex Evo VIII, so having him take the reigns of the Evo X project wasn’t that huge of a stretch or risk.

La Flama Blanca Evo X Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-7

White is the color of choice for the Evo, as it is for the rest of the RSD fleet; however, this one is accented not with blue, gray and pink like the rest of the cars.  It’s strictly white and red, aside from the windshield banner of course.  For everyday use the car rolls on a set of 18×10.5 Volk Racing TE37RTs, covered by a set of Bridgestone Potenza RE760’s.  The Potenza’s measure in at a healthy 275/35.  Behind the red Volks you see the factory red Brembo brake calipers and the Stoptech slotted rotors they clamp down on.  The slotted rotors are part of Stoptech’s Sport Kit which comprises of the slotted rotors (front and rear), stainless steel brake lines and their Street Performance brake pads.

La Flama Blanca Evo X Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-3

The car has an aggressive stance, but not crazy like a Bond villain.  The Ohlins Road and Track coilovers allow for the height adjustment, while a lengthy list of Whiteline components (ball socket end links, 27mm sway bars, control arm bushings and rear control arms, and roll kit) round out the rest of the suspension set up.  Why the high dollar coilovers and half the Whiteline catalog?  Because La Flama Blanca goes and gets it on the autocross course in the Street Mod class.  That’s also why there’s a set of 18×10 Advan RZ’s with Hoosier A6s sitting in the garage.

La Flama Blanca Evo X Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-6

There is a healthy amount of APR Performance products on the car.  From the front splitter to the big GTC-300 wing.

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Even the Vortex Generator is an APR piece!  The short antennae is from Cusco, and calling it short is very generous.

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There’s no massive diffuser, or uber rare bumper on the back of the car.  It’s almost entirely factory save for the APR spoiler, a La Flama Blanca decal, and the tip of a Tomei Titanium cat-back exhaust.  Ahead of that is a Tomei test pipe and Big Mouth down pipe.  There’s also a Tomei upper intercooler pipe made of Titanium.  Aside from the shiny pipe and the TurboSmart Dual Port blow off valve, there’s nothing screaming performance about the car.  The AMS front lower motor mount and shifter bushings are hidden down under the motor, and the Exedy twin plate clutch is a piece that never sees the light of day.  Even the interior is deceivingly pedestrian, save for the AEM UEGO, AccessPORT V3, Fat Perrin shift knob.

All of that go fast stuff you don’t see, or don’t notice because you’re used to seeing EVERY Evo X with parts like that, adds up.  The numbers they add to are 293 horsepower to the wheels and 289 lb/ft of torque.  That ain’t bad, but it’s also subject to change.  If you owned a company that sells parts for a living, wouldn’t you want to throw a bigger intercooler or turbo or cams or whatever else suits your fancy at your shop car?  Stick around.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler
*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

14th Nov2014

SEMA Shots: Stay Crushing FRS

by Michael Chandler

SEMA 2014  Wednesday CAMautoMag.com-6

Words by Michael Chandler.  Photos by Michael Chandler and Joey Harrington

I saw a lot of people complaining that every car at SEMA was sporting a Rocket Bunny kit.  There were a ton of cars sporting the kit, because it’s the popular kit. It’s also because in the last couple of years there have been more kits released for more chassis.  Before the craze hit, you could get a kit for the modern Nissan S Chassis (S13, S14 and S15) and the Toyobaru twins.  Now you can get the kit for the afore mentioned chassis, the NSX, R35 GTR, FD3S RX7, and E36 chassis BMW 3-series.

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But before all that the only kits you saw were on the FRS/BRZ, and before everyone at SEMA had one there were only a handful.  Four to be exact at the 2012 SEMA Show.  Three belonged to big companies, and one was in the hands of Robert Kochis.  He poured every last cent into his build, and even Muira-san came over to help fit the kit.  It was an intense build that begat the Stay Crushing brand.

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Since then we, and thousands of other people, have seen the car progress and the Stay Crushing brand grow.  At this year’s show, after some drama getting in to it, we got to see the 2014 version of the car.  This year it had the V2 Rocket Bunny kit, and accompanying canards.  It was also sporting a prototype Big Country Labs wing, which is ridiculous and obnoxious and perfect for this car.  Almost any car for that matter, but that’s neither here nor there.  We’ll eventually get around to doing a full on feature shoot, but in the meantime go support him!  Buy a sticker and a shirt!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

17th Oct2013

Reader’s Ride: Randy Reed’s v7 WRX STi

by Michael Chandler

Randy Reed v7 WRX-4

We’ve known for years that the home markets for certain manufacturers have been getting far cooler things than we get here in the land of freedom and bald eagles and deep fried bacon.  But what if you, between pieces of said bacon, decided you wanted one of those not available rides?  For a while, you did nothing but deep fry more bacon and be content with what you had.  Randy Reed of Greensboro, NC did not do that.  He wanted a bug-eye STi, so he made one.

Randy Reed v7 WRX-1

He slapped a JDM v7 front end on, and a front lip as well.  The headlights were upgraded with a Morimoto projector HID kit, so as to see better.  ChargeSpeed air ducts replaced the fog lights and a pair of carbon fiber STi side markers were popped in.  The 4.5″ carbon fiber hood scoop brings in much more air and the occasional bird.  Out back a wingless trunk from a 2.5RS was painted matte black, fitted with a STi badge, then installed.  Keeping flying debris in check are a set of Rally Armor mudflaps.

Ahead of those mudflaps are a set of 18×10 Rota SVNs wrapped in Nexen rubber.  Well, most of the time they’re there.  With winter approaching Randy picked up a set of Enkei Evo 6s.  Yes, they have winter in North Carolina.  Yeah, I was surprised too!

The suspension and brakes on this bug-eye are pretty straightforward: ISC N1 coilovers with camber plates and STi brakes and hubs.

Randy Reed v7 WRX-3

Inside is pretty simple as well.  Full USDM STi interior, JDM floor mats, SPT boost gauge and a Blitz turbo timer.  He sticker bombed the dash insert around the stereo, and he chucked the OEM head unit for a pop out unit with a 7″ screen.  When he’s not changing radio stations, he’s changing gears via the short throw shifter toped by a Blox neochrome shift knob.

Randy Reed v7 WRX-2

And now on to the good stuff!  Here is the V7 STi motor, sitting comfortably in it’s natural habitat.  For those unfamiliar, it’s a 2 liter motor with forged internals from the factory and a bigger turbo.  In this case it’s a VF30 to go with the bigger top mount intercooler.  Getting fuel to this home market masterpiece are a set of 750cc injectors.  Getting the exhaust gasses away from the motor are a 4″ bellmouth down pipe feeding into a DC Sports exhaust.  Sitting almost out of sight is a Grimmspeed 3 port boost solenoid.  The car received an open source tune via a Tactrix setup and put down a very healthy 307whp and 300lb/ft.

Making that power useful is the drivetrain, which received its fair share of upgrades.  A USDM six speed transmission pulled from a 2005 STi was fitted with the two liter starter and works like a dream.  A Clutch Masters stage 2 competition clutch and an Exedy lightweight flywheel were thrown into the mix for added driving pleasure.  Because a transmission swap in a Subaru isn’t as straightforward as it seems, the axles have been swapped out for a set from The Driveshaft Shop and a R-180 rear end had to be installed as well.

Randy Reed’s STi sits as a testament to what a motivated man can do when he wants something you can’t just run out and buy.

Want to see your car on here?  Send us some decent photos and a list of the modifications and we’ll get something going!

Words by Michael Chandler, Photos by Randy Reed.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

12th Jul2013

Simple S2000

by Michael Chandler

Nathan S2000 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-15

 Keep it simple stupid

Simplify then add lightness

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

There are hundreds of quotes talking about the greatness of simplicity, and at one point we have all said we wanted something simple.  But some of us end up with something overly complicated and regret taking the path of over complication.  Nathan Luong has taken his Honda S2000 down the path of simplicity.

 

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The most noticeable modifications the the exterior are the Voltex Type 1V Wing, the OEM hard top and front lip and the APR GT3 carbon fiber mirrors.  Most people keep Honda’s roadster as a soft top, so seeing one with a hard top is a bit of a rarity.  Seeing one with the Voltex wing is a bit more of a rarity.  And you don’t really see Modulo badges everyday either.

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Nate also popped on some clear side markers from a S2000 CR and an AP1 S2000 rear bumper.  Underneath the Voltex wing is a smaller GT Motoring duckbill spoiler.

 

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The car is a bit more stiffly sprung thanks to a set of KW Variant 3 coilovers and a Cusco strut tower bar.  It sticks and stops better thanks to the 255/40 Advan Neovas wrapped around the 17×9 Enkei PF01s.  It’s not pushing a penny across a parking lot low, nor is it a super meaty track car stance.  It’s a nice look for a street car, and capable enough to turn some laps on a track if the situation arises.

 

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The simplicity continues under the hood.  An AutoTecknic carbon fiber cooling plate helps direct airflow to the K&N intake.  From there it makes it way through the engine and out of the car by way of an HKS 75mm exhaust.

 

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Cabin wise it’s painfully simple: Bride Vios 3 seat on Buddy Club Super Low Down seat rails, J’s Racing shift plate and a Team VooDoo shift knob.  He’s had that shift knob in all of his cars, and probably will continue to keep it in all of them.

Is this the most intensely built S2000 ever?  Not even close.  Is it a fun driving, handsome roadster?  And then some.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.”  This car embodies those words.

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
06th May2013

D-Spare S13: All Dressed Up, and Ready to Go

by Michael Chandler

D Spare livery redesign Cover Michael Chandler CAMautoMag done

Brandon’s car all last year was purple.  He got his license in a purple S13 with a 1JZ.  But then he went to Formula D Long Beach in a matte black 2JZ powered car.  This wasn’t right, and the universe cursed him with engine troubles.  So, taking a page from history, he went back to what worked.  And made it sparkly and far more colorful.

D Spare livery redesign Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-8

The sparkly purple paint job, which was shown off at the D-Spare Demo and the most recent iDrift event, has been accentuated with some bright stripes crisscrossing the car and new stickers from his sponsors.

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The “Insanity Is The Motive” sticker has been ditched in favor of one showing his eagerness to fight or two step tandem.

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Thanks goes to GodSpeed Project, Lowered.eu, RaceCo, WheelDude.com, The Racing Edge, Car Crafters, Corbeau, Stick-It Vinyl Graphics, Feal Suspension, Metric Motors, driftmotion.com, Brody, Jose, Joe, the D-Spare guys and everyone else who has helped in getting the car ready for Atlanta.

 

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.

 

Off
26th Sep2012

It Plays: Audi S4

by Michael Chandler

At the last Slammed Saturdays I threatened to bring my camera gear and pick someone for a quick shoot.  This lovely red B7 S4 revealed itself as a strong candidate.  So I walked up to Alex, the owner, as he was mowing down some french fries and pitched him the idea.  He was down, and so we moved the car and got down to business.

The S4 has always been a handsome vehicle, not requiring a whole lot of modifications to make them truly proper.  A set of wheels, coilovers and uncorking either the twin turbo 2.7 liter V6 or either of the 4.2 liter V8s do the trick nicely.

The devil is in the details, and if you were just going to say “Oh, coilovers and wheels?  I guess thats cool…” look at the wheels again.

Those green calipers?  Yeah, they’re not Audi calipers.  They’re Porsche calipers, and Porsches can stop pretty good.  So yeah, just wheels, coilovers and a set of freaking Porsche calipers mean this B7 S4 plays.

Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

*Article, photos and video are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.com

27th Jul2012

It Plays: Subaru BRZ

by Michael Chandler

Subaru BRZ
Most of us have seen a Subaru BRZ on the road by now, but how many have been modified? I’m not talking about tinted tails or stickers, I’m talking lowered on Volk Racing wheels modified.
Lowered BRZ
Obviously I’m leading into this edition of “It Plays”. Brody, the owner of this BRZ doesn’t mess around. You’ve no doubt seen his white WRX track car in our coverage of Lap Battle. That car has been HEAVILY modified, but Brody swears he enjoys the gas mileage on this car too much to get crazy with it.

BRZ on Volk CE28N
And you can’t blame him for not modifying it too much when he has a track car(WRX) to play with, and a weekend car(DR30 Skyline) to enjoy.

Slammed Subaru BRZ
So far the car is just being enjoyed with some Volk Racing CE28N wheels, Tein coilovers, tint, and a modified 3rd brake light. It’s looking just right.

BRZ Fender

Words and Video by Trent Bray, Photos by Michael Chandler

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com

17th Aug2011

It Plays: 2005 Acura RSX Type-S

by Michael Chandler

Modified Acura RSX-S

I’ve known Nate, the owner of this Blaze Orange RSX Type-S, for a few years. He used to own an EP3 Civic Si, and oh how the jokes about him punching his radio flowed.  Thankfully he stepped his game up and bought something with a proper K-series. Something that doesn’t require man on radio violence to change gears. (more…)

09th May2011

It Plays: 2005 Scion xB

by Trent

Slammed Scion xB CAMAutoMagOnce upon a time, Nik, the owner of this 2005 Black Cherry Pearl Scion xB, had a Skyline. Back when he and his wife lived in Okinawa, Japan they both had turbo 5 speed Skylines, and very little money. Nik and his R32 GTS-T had a few too many run-ins with the cops, so his wife made him agree to buy a car that wouldn’t get him thrown in jail. And that is how he came to own his xB, which he calls “STATUS:LOW” Follow us after the jump for more on this xB. (more…)

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