19th Nov2018

Cut It Up!: The PowerNeedy S2000

by Michael Chandler

You guys remember Rhett, right?  Had that really cool Integra GSR, ran time trial in NASA Utah with it.  Ringing a bell?  If so: good!  If not: click that link, read it, then get back here.  Anyway, he”s back with a new car!  He sold, or traded, the Integra and now he’s traipsing around in the best Miata ever: an S2000!

Of course it’s making crazy power.  It wouldn’t be his car if it wasn’t.  Hanging off the DocRace manifold is a Turbo by Garrett Gen 2 GTX 3582R (just like what Hert has on the Twerkstallion).  Attached to that is a PowerNeedy downpipe, and oval stainless steel exhaust, that exits right out the center of the rear bumper.  A 45mm Turbosmart Hyper-Gate wastegate and electronic boost solenoid regulate boost, and a set of Injector Dynamics ID2000cc injectors make sure there’s enough fuel for all that air being crammed into the engine.  He then hit it with the Science of Speed catalog.  SoS is represented by a catch can, V Mount intercooler and twin pass radiator, surge tank system, axle spacers, billet twin disc carbon clutch, and flywheel.  Most people would be cool with that, but not Rhett.  Oh no…

NOPE! He also hit the suspension with the SoS catalog a few times! Spherical suspension joints, extended ball joints, and bump steer joints join billet aluminum reservoir clamps and non-compliance toe joints.  Somehow the camber ball joints are from SPC and not SoS, but you can’t win em all.  There’s a Gendron Motorsports sway bar up front, and on all four corners are RZ RS dampers with Eibach springs on them.  Those Eibachs are 1100lb/in in the front, and 1000lb/in in the rear.  Why?  BECAUSE THIS IS NOT A GAME!!!

You may notice that this body work is familiar.  If you’re weeb trash like myself, you’ll know that this is the J’s Racing Type GT widebody in all carbon.  It provides all the street cred one could need, and is actually functional!  I asked him why he went with an off the shelf kit, as opposed to getting buck in the garage.  Here’s what he told me

Make no mistake I really enjoy cutting stuff up and making parts, as I have changed many things on the wide body kit to make it better. Seriously though if something is already manufactured that has been wind tunnel tested and proven why start from scratch? Just because you can make it doesn’t always mean its the best or most cost effective approach. We do this as an after hours shop so making time to work on cars can be very limited. On some things like the J’s Type-GT wide body kit that puts you leaps and bounds ahead of the curve even though we have made many changes to improve its functionality.

And about adding stuff to make it better.  He made and installed hood and fender vents.  There’s that big ass APR GT-1000 swan neck wing that’s attached to the chassis for maximum effect.  That hood vent necessitated the cutting of the Seibon hood, carbon fiber of course.  And the Seibon carbon trunk kind kits around the wing. Oh, and there’s MORE SCIENCE OF SPEED STUFF HERE TOO!  Just some tow hooks, but still.  And the hard top isn’t some super rare, carbon-kevlar piece of magic.  It’s just the OEM one.

The interior is just as much business as the outside is.  Which is to say: nothing but.  Race TechnologyDASH2 Pro dash, CAN and GoPro interfaces, and data logging capture and relate all the information Rhett needs to improve lap times.  He maneuvers the roided up roadster with a 350mm Sparco wheel.  He has another Cobra Evolution seat in this Honda, and a full on fire suppression system.  This si the last of the SoS stuff: a NSX Type S shift knob, AND AN ENTIRE ROLL CAGE.

Because the car is serious business, it runs on serious tires.  Hoosier A7’s to be exact.  He’s got 18×11 and 18×12 Forgestar wheels, and behind those massive rollers are StopTech brakes.  Up front he has the C43 system, and in the rear is the ST22.  Despite the different kits in the front and rear, he’s running one pad compound: the StopTech race compound.

I like the S2000, I really do.  BUT I was curious as to why Rhett went with one, instead of another front wheel drive chassis, or even an NSX. 

The S2000 still to this day has massive amount of aftermarket support, and parts availability. The aftermarket availability for aero, turbo kits, suspension, etc.. is still plentiful and being developed despite the fact the last S2000 was discontinued almost 10 years ago. I will always have a passion for the NSX and the majority of the FWD Hondas. The issue with the NSX are parts are very expensive, as they made very few of them, and the aftermarket availability is very limited. We were pioneers for going fast in a turbo FWD Honda and helped shape some of the current big names direction to get where they are now. I really enjoy problem solving, designing, and creating to overcome a problem, but when we started to make the integra really fast and competitive the parts that were available through manufactures began to fail far to frequently, and being a privateer, it became too expensive to keep the integra on the track.

Fair enough.  This car is amazing, and as is evident in his performance at Super Lap Battle the S2000 is one of the chassis to beat for the RWD classes.  I’m just glad this thing gets on the track, as opposed to be a garage queen/hard parker.

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12th Nov2015

Classics Never Go Out of Style: Integra Type R

by Michael Chandler

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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.

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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.