Technical : C-WEST/BC/Hankook S2000

The C-West S2000 first gained noto- riety in November 2005 when the dry- carbon Honda was freshly shipped in a container from Japan just a few days before its U.S. race debut. With minimal changes performed on the vehicle’s suspension, the car was quickly whisked off to Buttonwillow Speedway as it prepared to wage war in the Super Street and eurotuner Time Attack (Super Lap Battle). The S2000 competed in the Unlimited FR Class and was driven by Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada, using of all things a stock JDM 2.0L motor. The naturally aspirated S2000 ran an amazing 1:53.147 time and was named the Unlimited FR Champion that year. The win was a bittersweet victory for C-West and its S2000 because the car was immediately taken back to the U.S. facility, never to be seen again, sitting in storage for the next two and a half years.

When the ’05 champ seemed to have been forgotten, the car was surprisingly resurrected, with the help of Gary Castillo, owner of Design Craft Fabrication, in early 2008. Castillo just so happened to work in a shop adjacent to C-West, walking past the S2000 on a daily basis while the car sat around catching dust. Sympathetic of the car’s status, he knew something had to be done. With a ’08 season proposal to run the S2000, with C-West Japan’s approval, the car was given a basic tune-up before it was officially un-retired and trailed back out onto the tracks. Using an over-the-counter GReddy turbo kit on the factory engine, the car was taken to a local track event where the now-turbocharged powerplant and lightweight chassis seemed to work well for both driver Tyler Mcquarrie and the C-West S2000.

As time progressed, the S2000 went through numerous changes and picked up sponsors like BC (Brian Crower) and Hankook tires-lending a helping hand to improve its record-setting times at numerous tracks events. Follow along as Turbo magazine and Design Craft Fabrication prepares to swap out the tired 2.0L mill with a custom 2.4L powerplant. You can bet this team, with its new engine displacement and numerous upgrades, is eyeing the coveted track record of 1:43.523 that was set by HKS and its CT230R at Buttonwillow in 2007. Only time will tell before this carbon machine has what it takes to be crowned this year’s Super Lap Battle champion.

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Gary Castillo three days after the new engine was installed and the shakedown at Willow Springs Raceway during a Super Lap Battle qualifying event.

Honda S2000 Building New Engine

In building the new 2.4L engine, Castillo used a set of ACL flash-treated rod bearings. BC offers a full set of ACL flash-treated bearings with its stroker kit, which was used for this engine. The advantages of flash treating a bearing is a surface that is stronger, due to the similarities of being heat treated. Because the bearing is sold through BC, they can offer close-to-factory-spec clearances
Honda S2000 Measuring Ring Gaps

Ring gaps were measured per cylinder.
Honda S2000 Stock To New

Here’s an image comparing the stock Honda piston material sleeve to a Darton ductile iron sleeve. The Darton sleeve fortifies the sleeves while making it a closed-deck block. The sleeves were installed by Steve of Race Engine development in Oceanside, Calif.
Honda S2000 Cp Pistons

The newly acquired CP pistons were measured half an inch from the bottom of the skirt to get accurate bore size. A quick measurement of the piston revealed they were 88.91mm.
Honda S2000 Bc Rods

The BC rod uses the same center to center with the factory rod but pin location on the piston is modified to accept the larger 2.4L stroke.
Honda S2000 Preparing Ring Gap Clearance

Castillo prepares the ring gap clearance for the pistons. The CP pistons come with a ring gap spec sheet designed for street, strip, and race applications. The C-West/BC/Hankook S2000 went with a race application gap.
Honda S2000 Oil Ring Set

The oil ring set comes with a fourth oil ring expander, which compresses the oil ring to make up the difference of the pin height placement rather than using aluminum buttons.
Honda S2000 Stock Block Water Jackets

A close-up of the stock block water jackets.
Honda S2000 Iron Ductile Sleeves

The Darton iron ductile sleeves were machined for closed deck yet it allows coolant passage for extra cooling through the cylinder head.
Honda S2000 Arp Main Stud

ARP head studs come with Allen heads on top to tighten by hand and ensure install heights are correct.
Honda S2000 Aclmain Bearings

ARP main studs and head studs were used, along with ACLmain bearings.
Honda S2000 Different Size

A drawback when using ARP head studs is the bolt and stud protruding a little higher than the factory studs. Here’s a photo of the area we had to modify to give clearance for the oil pump.
Honda S2000 Main Girdle

The assembly shows the main girdle on the block using ARP studs.
Honda S2000 Die Grinder

Using a die grinder, the surface area was modified to make clearance.
Honda S2000 Removing Old Valve Seals

In order for the new BC spring seats to be installed, the old valve seals were removed and replaced.

C-West/BC/Hankook S2000 Shatters Records Again On July 12, 2008The Super Lap Battle was another good shakedown session for the C-West/BC/Hankook S2000. After our win in Utah we were intent on getting even more power out of the car. The new BC 2.4L stroker engine and GReddy T618Z turbo should be able to handle horsepower levels in the 600-zone, but we are only at half that power. As happy as we were about finally finding the problem that led to a loss in power, it was the challenge of solving the issue that was killing us. We were able to get the power up but we had to rely on deactivating Honda’s VTEC control. This was a temporary fix because the car should jump up in power once the issue is resolved. We’re looking to make over 100-plus more horsepower out of the engine once we can solve the VTEC issues. Nevertheless, the boost was not falling off like it did in Utah, and power was pulling throughout the powerband so we were forced to run the car as is. Upon our first run session we decided to run the boost controller on low and also run the C91 Hankook tires at a moderate pressure. After our first three passes, race driver Tyler Mcquarrie explained that he had to battle a slight understeer issue at the high-speed turns as well as an aerodynamic drag issue in straight-line, high-speed performance. When the timing sheet was posted, it revealed that we broke last year’s track record time of 1:28.10 posted by HG Motorsports. On the S2000’s first run session it blasted a time of 1:25.05, shattering the record by over three seconds. For the next pass the decision was made to lower the wing by 10 degrees and reset the tires to a much lower pressure and change the rear shock adjustments. On the Honda’s second pass it was obvious the changes worked when a 1:23.50 time was announced. The next closest competitor was Tanner Foust in the Crawford Subaru with a 1:37.20. With two more runs left in the day, we were left with the one of two decisions: unload even more power in case one of the competing teams was holding back or play it safe or leave the car as is. The decision was made to try and get more power using a set of BC prototype cams for our third run. During the run it was obvious that we didn’t have the proper fueling and timing, so Mcquarrie decided to scratch session three. The original BC cams were reinstalled and boost was turned up 4-more psi for the fourth and final run session. With track temperatures cooled off, the S2000 stopped the clocks at a record 1:23.14. Due to traffic, the car was not able to get a clean third pass, and results have always shown us that with the Hankook tires the third pass always runs the fastest with the rubber up to temperature. While we did ended up winning the event with a record time for the Super Lap Battle, an interesting note about the time was that it is the only production car to run that fast at Willow Springs, compared to full-tube chassis cars and open-wheel cars. The time falls in Willow Springs record list at number 26 in the Top 65 cars fastest to run at the track. Keep in mind that this weekend’s win is all testing for the big race coming this weekend at California Speedway. Be sure to look out for upcoming magazine coverage in Super Street, Modified, Turbo, Import Tuner, and Sport Compact Car. Hope to see you all at Auto Club Speedway, formally known as California Speedway.Gary Castillo, Team Design Craft

Redline Time Attack, Buttonwillow, Mar. 22-23First Place Unlimited RWDFirst Place Unlimited ClassFirst Place OverallOne of five cars to run in the 1:48 timezone

Super Lap Battle, Long Beach Grand Prix, Apr. 19-20Second Place Unlimited RWD

Redline Time Attack, Utah, June 28-29First Place Unlimited RWDFirst Place Unlimited classFirst Place OverallFirst Place Super Session BattleTrack record

click HERE to read more

source: turbomagazine
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Nismo GT-R GT3

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

Nismo’s Nissan GT-R GT3

When tuning your own car it’s a good plan to take influence from other top cars, but it’s a risky business as just because somebody else has done something doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best way to do it. One way to be almost assured of choosing the best way is to take your tuning influence from a race car, as they have had insane amounts of development and testing; if they are doing it, you know it works.

The thing is though, a lot of race cars these days are so far from the road going version they’re just not relevant enough to take influence from, and we’re sure a lot of you turned the page and thought to yourself; “Why the hell is a carbon body race car in Fast Car?”. Well wonder no more, as unlike most world class race cars, the Nismo GT-R GT3 really is just a modified version of the Nissan GT-R production cars you see on the UK’s roads. The sceptics among you are probably still thinking; “Yeah right, I doubt there is any standard parts left on this beast”, but even we were amazed how closely related this thing is to a standard road car. There’s no carbon fibre space frame chassis here, the shell is straight off the production line at Nissan, and things like the chassis rails, sills, floor pan, suspension turrets, inner arches, screen pillars and bulkhead are totally standard; which in fact is more than we can say for a lot of modified road cars we know and love.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

The ‘surprisingly standard’ theme continues under the bonnet, where the engine looks pretty standard, as to be fair, it is. The Nissan GT-R road car comes with a 3.8ltr twin turbo VR38 engine pushing out 545bhp, and this car comes with the very same engine, albeit with a quoted power of “500bhp+”.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

The reason for the vague power  figure is because in GT3 racing they have what they call the ‘Balance Of Performance’. This basically means, in an attempt to keep the racing close, the organisers can at any time choose to restrict power on winning cars, and allow slower cars to up their power levels. The guys at JRM who build these cars for Nissan’s motorsport arm Nismo, fully admit they could easily make the car so much wilder in every aspect, but the ‘Balance Of Power’ rules means they can’t go too crazy, but the potential is there should they be allowed to.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

GT3 rules also mean while the engine and turbochargers have to be standard size, there’s no problem with monkeying about with the turbo internals, and while exact specs are secret, it’s safe to say they are pretty special inside, and more than capable of pushing out big power if the race organisers decide to allow it! Power is only one part of tuning though, reliability is another, which is why despite almost factory power levels, the engine runs two huge intercoolers, a big alloy rad, and a huge oil cooler too.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

Another big difference compared to many tuned road cars is there is no show under the bonnet of this car either, it’s all go. No fancy hose connectors, no polished parts, just good old rubber pipes and Jubilee clips; things that JRM and Nismo know can withstand even a solid 24 hours of hard racing with no problems at all.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

The final thing worth mentioning about the engine is the exhaust system, which in all honestly sounds flippin’ incredible. With heat-wrapped 2.5-inch exhausts from each turbo travelling along the inside of the side skirts and exiting under each door, the GT3 is not only pretty damn loud, but the rapid-fire pops and bangs on the over-run make a WRC car sound tame; it really is the best sounding GT-R we’ve ever heard. Some things on this car are far from standard, most notably the absolutely awesome looking bodywork. Before you start to wonder, no, the carbon Nismo wide body kit is not available for sale at any cost! “We get calls and emails on adaily basis asking to buy the kit” Mark from JRM laughs, “But it simply isn’t available; thankfully there is plenty of bodywork and tuning options available via our sister company, Sumo Power”.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

Every exterior body panel, including the roof and doors, are made of carbon fibre, and while they keep the original GT-R looks, they seriously pump up the styling thanks to the massive arches, aggressive bumpers, a vented bonnet, rear diffuser, huge front splitter, and one of the biggest rear wings we’ve ever seen. The amazing looks are why they get so many requests to buy it, but the real reason for the bodywork is pure performance. The lightweight bodywork helps this car weigh almost half a ton less than the standard GT-R, every vent and duct helps channel cold air to and away from all the vital components, and the front splitter, rear diffuser, and rear wing are just three of many parts that help push the car to the ground with enormous downforce, so much so that the rear wing is attached to the chassis; if it was attached to the boot lid like most cars it would simply crush the lid down at speed! And those wheel arches? Well they are to house a set of very serious wheels and tyres…

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

The GT-R road car wheels are massive, 20-inches in fact, but this is for looks reasons rather than performance, and because of this the GT3 car has more conventionally sized 18-inch rims. Smaller diameter they may be, but they are ridiculously wide; 13-inches wide front and rear! Proving the bigger isn’t always better when it comes to alloys, we think the 13×18-inch Volk Racing VR G2s the GT3 car runs looks far better than standard rims, and when it comes to grip, the lightweight Volks wrapped in 310mm wide racing slicks are on a whole different planet. Even removing these wheels are a piece of cake, thanks to a giant centre wheel nut replacing the usual fi ve studs, and no need to struggle getting a trolley jack under the low body kit either; simply plug an air line in to a fi tting on the back bumper and the car instantly jumps high off the ground on its ultra-trick air-jacks.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan
Behind the super-wide alloys are brake discs that are the same size as the standard GT-R items at a pretty huge 380mm, but the front calipers are Brembo racing units with the thickest brake pads we’ve ever seen. On the rear the calipers are actually totally standard; like we said earlier, if it’s good enough for a top race car, it sure don’t need changing on a road car!

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

While this car has an amazing amount of similarities to the standard road car, one big change is it’s no longer four wheel drive; every last bit of power is channelled via a carbon propshaft and rear mounted sequential gearbox to those huge rear tyres.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

Despite the lack of four wheel drive, the GT3 can launch, corner, and brake far better than a standard GT-R, even in the slippiest of weather conditions. This is thanks not only to the aforementioned upgrades, but also two things a lot of people hate on tuned road cars; ABS and traction control. The reason for this is while standard ABS and traction control setups are intended to stop doddery old ladies crashing in the wet or accidentally doing rolling burnouts, this car has super fast reacting motorsport systems. These are fully in-car adjustable via dials on the dash, enabling the driver to adjust the amount of help he gets from them depending on track and weather conditions. This means he can drive as hard as possible without worrying about either the electronics interfering with his driving, or falling off the track when on the limit.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

With similar power to the standard GT-R you might think the GT3 accelerates about as quickly too, but in fact it’s far faster. While the production GT-R weighs 1750kg, thanks to a serious diet this car weighs just 1300kg, that’s not much more than a Corsa VXR; and we’re sure you can imagine how fast a 550bhp Corsa would be! Another way of looking at it is the standard GT-R has about 314bhp per ton, but despite having no more power this beast has 423bhp per ton; more than even a Ferrari F50.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

So, despite being unable to buy the body kit, having an engine that’s nearly standard, not being road legal, and costing around £375,000 to buy, this is still, without doubt, the coolest god damn Nissan GT-R on the planet, and the perfect one to take influence from when tuning your own car. Do we all want one? Hell yeah! Now, where’s that lottery ticket…

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

 

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

TECH SPEC NISSAN GT-R GT3
ENGINE
‘Production based’ Nissan GT-R VR38DETT 3799cc V6 engine with variable cam timing, twin standard size turbos with uprated internals, standard blue injectors, standard twin electronic throttles, twin 2.5-inch titanium side exit exhaust system with two straight through silencers per side, Samco turbo inlet hoses, high capacity twin front mount alloy intercoolers, top mounted oil cooler, PWR alloy radiator, single AFM conversion, Pectel SQ6M race engine management, ATL race fuel tank, solid engine mounts, lightweight race battery, oil breather system and catch tank, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, in-car adjustable ECU with four maps.

TRANSMISSION 
Rear wheel drive conversion, Hewland six speed sequential transaxle dog engagement gearbox, semi-automatic steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, lightweight carbon fibre prop shaft, lightweight drive shafts, ultra-light flywheel, quad-plate Sachs racing clutch, rear mounted transmission oil cooler, in-car adjustable traction control with 7 position controller.

SUSPENSION
Ohlins TTX race coilovers, adjustable bladed front and rear anti-roll bars.

BRAKES 
380mm racing brake discs front and rear, Brembo 6pot front race calipers, standard Nissan GT-R rear calipers, race brake pads front and rear, AP Racing in-car adjustable brake bias controller, Bosch Motorsport M4 in-car adjustable race ABS system with 12 position controller, carbon fibre brake ducts in front bumper and rear arches.

WHEELS+TYRES 
13×18 Volk Racing VR G2 centre-lock wheels front and rear with 31/71×18 Michelin slick tyres.

EXTERIOR
Production Nissan GT-R steel chassis, complete carbon fibre bodywork, including doors, wide front and rear arches, front and rear bumpers, vented bonnet, roof, front splitter, and rear diffuser, carbon rare mirrors, Plastics4Performance polycarbonate lightweight windows, quick release bonnet and boot lid with aero catches, three way adjustable carbon fibre rear wing, rear wing supports bolted directly to chassis, race air jack system, carbon rear window strengthening bars, ATL twin race fuel fillers.

INTERIOR
Full FIA weld-in six point roll cage including door bars and roof reinforcement, Nismo GT Pro III carbon racing seat with cool air ducting system, flocked dash, Motec digital dash, height adjustable steering column, fully heat shielded floor pan, ducting from bonnet vents to standard interior air vents, carbon fibre trim panels, reverse lever and brake bias control on carbon centre console, dashboard mounted dials for ABS, Traction control, and ECU maps, AP Racing race pedal box, four point bolt-in rear bulkhead brace.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

 

 

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source: fastcar

MEET THE GANGSTER OF DRAG RACING

I was in full Speedhunting mode when I attended March Meet last month, scouring Famoso Raceway to bring you the best the nostalgia drag race world had on offer. Of course there were gobs of old school dragsters and gassers, but I was looking for that one special car that stopped me dead in my tracks. I found it – but I hadn’t a clue how far down the rabbit hole it would take me (and a whole crew of my fellow Speedhunters too).

I spotted Randy Winkle’s ’57 Chevrolet gasser in front of one of the paddocks and was sure I’d just struck feature car gold. As I crawled all over, around and under the car Randy walked up and we made our introductions. I told him about Speedhunters and that I was looking for drag cars to feature, to which he responded, “Oh this isn’t the race car, I just built it to tow that one around the drag strip…” Wait. What?

Randy invited me to step into his personal garage space (on track premises I might add) to say hello to his little friend – a 1967 front engine dragster (FED) named O’ Black Betty.

I worked my way into the garage and slowly circled the baddest FED I’d ever seen. With each question answered it became apparent that this guy was legit.

He was there when it went down the first time around, and he’s seeing to it that history is preserved. This matched pair is the proof: FED racer and Chev gasser.

Specifically designed to complement each other, the combo just couldn’t get any more gangster. Can you imagine the intimidation factor when this set-up rolls through the pits?

Most race teams get by with a daily driver Chevy pickup to tow their race cars on the weekend. I think Randy’s level of commitment to keeping the scene alive is pretty evident at this point.

He’s even started an exclusive club for like-minded racers, called the Famoso Mob. They recently returned from a trip to New Zealand where they schooled the Kiwis on vintage American quarter mile machines.

As if that weren’t enough, Randy and his Famoso Speed Shop were consulted as nostalgia racing experts for the upcoming movie Snake & Mongoose. Randy and his good friend Stormy Byrd are even behind the wheel in several scenes, and O’ Black Betty makes a cameo appearance as well. I think we’ve found the right guy to show us what this scene is about.

I know it’s a strange way to start a car feature but we’ll begin with the FED’s tow hook, specifically the finish. Famoso Speed Shop isn’t just building period-correct race cars, it’s building them on a show-worthy level. I’m sure the chrome bill for this build is ample evidence of my assertion.

So let’s get the necessary stats out of the way: 179″ wheelbase, 800hp, 750lb/ft and 1300lbs. It’ll go 7.40 in the 1/4 mile…

…if you have the stones to strap in and hit the loud pedal.

That’s a 383 of 1971 vintage, stuffed with race parts and pressurized by The Blower Shop. The blower restraints are necessary by today’s rulebook, but notice he went with silver so they disappear against the chromed engine.

Sitting behind a blown small block running at full tilt isn’t the safest place to be, but the restraints and belt guard will keep parts from going airborne if something pops. There’s a reason dragsters are built with the engines in the back now – to avoid getting sprayed by stray engine parts, fireballs and hot oil mostly.

To be honest though, it’s the aesthetics that intrigue me most; like the matching cowls at the front of the engine and driver’s compartments, and the way the three ribs on the blower scoop match the three red stripes on the bodywork.

The visor on Randy’s helmet even echoes the shape of the cowls and has gold lettering too. It’s probably coincidence, but still cool.

I’ve always liked nostalgia dragsters with a little bodywork on them, especially since each body is hand-formed to its respective chassis.

Not only does the bodywork enclose the updated roll cage, it also shrouds the ‘chute and hides the mounting points for the wheelie bar.

Check out how the character line flows down and forms a nice angle of attack. I wonder if Famoso Speed Shop knew it was using car design tricks when forming the sheet metal.

The tail fin formed into the bodywork is what really grabbed me though. Famoso Speed Shop’s Mike Alspough put considerable effort into crafting a beautiful body for this nostalgia racer – and succeeded quite nicely.

That’s a handbrake to the left and a shifter on the right, custom built with giant ball bearings welded on the ends. Remember that chrome bill I mentioned earlier?

Inside there’s not much of a seat, but you don’t sit there long anyways. The green button on the steering wheel activates the trans brake and launch control.

The term nostalgia dragster might make some of you think these guys are running outdated technology, but really it refers more to the layout and the spirit in which these machines are built. Randy said they have updated a few things for the sake of staying competitive, like the MSD distributor which allows them to use launch control by omitting spark to certain cylinders while the button is pressed.

The Wilwood brakes hiding out inside the 16×12-inch E/T rear wheels appear to be late model as well, but disc brakes have been used in drag racing since the mid ’60s so they get a pass.

No brakes on the front though, since it barely has tires anyways. I love the juxtaposition of the massive slicks out back with front tires that are barely suitable for a bicycle.

Randy lists them as 17-inch spokes. I’m guessing they’re 2-inch wide, maybe. Check out the typeface on the sponsor logos too.

All of the logos were applied by hand using period-correct fonts. That’s real gold leafing, edged with hand-painted pinstripes, then finally sealed under plenty of clear coat. Pretty good for a race car, eh?

Let’s not forget that badass ’57 gasser that got us here in the first place though.

Despite Randy’s claim that it was just built to tow O’ Black Betty we think it’s a feature car in its own right, so stay tuned.

I have a hard time choosing a favorite between these two, as each is amazing in its own right. We’ll let you be the judge once we show you the ’57 gasser in greater detail.

It does a pretty fine job of pulling the FED around though, doesn’t it?

 

Words by Keith Charvonia
Instagram: SpeedhuntersKeith
Email: keith@speedhunters.com

Photos by Sean Klingelhoefer
Instagram: seanklingelhoefer
Email: sean@speedhunters.com

Additional photos by Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto
Email: larry@speedhunters.com

 

Randy Winkle’s 1967 Front Engine Dragster – O’ Black Betty

Numbers
Max power – 800hp, max torque – 750 lb/ft, weight – 1300 lbs, ET – 7.40 sec

Engine
1971 Chevy 383 ci, 8:1 compression, AFR head machining, Scat camshaft, Manley valves, springs, push rods, retainers and lifters, ARP head bolts, copper head gasket, double roller timing chain, Crower connecting rods, ARP connecting rod bolts, Scat crankshaft, Famoso Speed Shop engine mounts, The Blower Shop intake manifold and supercharger, Enderle fuel pump and fuel rail, Lemons headers, NGK spark plugs, MSD spark plug wires, coil and distributor, Excel battery, wiring harness and cosmetic modifications by Famoso Speed Shop

Driveline
Powerglide transmission, Ford 9″ differential, SFI flexplate, gearing: “I will never tell!”

Suspension/Brakes
Solid mounted rear suspension, chrome front suspension links, Wilwood rear disc brakes, parachute

Wheels/Tires
17″ spoked wheels with Avon tires (front), Rear – 16×12 E/T wheels with M/H Racemaster slicks (rear)

Exterior
Famoso Speed Shop customized chassis and hand-formed bodywork, paint by Mikey and the Paso Boys, graphics by Jamie and the Paso Boys

Interior
DJ Safety harness, unknown vintage steering wheel, Kurtz steering hub and quick release, Famoso Speed Shop shift and brake levers

 

 

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source: speedhunters

Project Honda Civic Si Part 1: Engine Upgrades And Much Improved Drivability

Sportcar Motion

Loi Song and Sportcar Motion have unofficially become the standard destination for SoCal’s K-series crowd. Whether it’s a mild street setup like mine, or an all-out, hard-core race demon like their supercharged, record-setting ITR, the crew at SCM can make it happen. That doesn’t mean that they don’t do plenty of work on every other type of Honda motor, but the K series is certainly a specialty of theirs.

I contacted Loi about having SCM give me a hand on installing some of the new parts that were piling up in my office. Dealing with just about everything K swap related, not to mention plenty of eighth gens day in and day out, SCM is more than familiar with every square inch of the Si’s engine bay.

Hybrid Racing

Project Si Engine Upgrades Hybrid Racing Shift Cable Kit
Project Si Engine Upgrades Shift Cable Kit JPG

The shift cable kit from Hybrid Racing is a direct replacement, features aluminum rod ends

If you didn’t know about Hybrid Racing before, you’re no doubt familiar with its name at this point. The company has spent the last few years offering a long, long list of high-quality K-series goods to make your car faster, cleaner, and most importantly, make your life a little easier. When I first introduced the Project Si series, I touched on a few of the quirks that seem to pester the majority of eighth gens on the road. The first being that loud “click” which chimes in every time the clutch pedal is engaged/disengaged. Oh, and that lazy clutch pedal is a bit of a nuisance in its own right. I lived with it for a while, but decided I needed to find some sort of fix, and fast. Talking to Tim Schultz of Hybrid Racing, he mentioned they’d come up with a solution for the problem in a clutch master cylinder upgrade that would not only eliminate the click, but would also improve the car’s lethargic clutch pedal feel. Using an EM1 CMC and a braided stainless line, the Hybrid unit is a direct bolt-on with no need for any modification. The eighth-gen CMC, with its plastic internals, uses a transfer chamber that inherently slows fluid down as you work the clutch, causing mis-shifts and aggravation. The EM1 CMC uses stainless internals and is a direct swap. The clutch feels much more solid and swift, with a slightly lower engagement point that aids in smooth pedal work. And that brings me to the next problem: the shift cables.

Project Si Engine Upgrades Clutch Master Cylinder JPG

Here is the Hybrid (EM1) clutch master cylinder compared to the stock Si version. Stainles

To be quite frank, I hate cable shifters. They often feel soggy and unresponsive, both of which I was experiencing. Part of the problem, other than regular wear and tear on any used car, is the fact that Honda relies on quite a bit of plastic with the stock cable system. Hybrid Racing on the other hand, does not. It has put together an entire cable replacement assembly that includes stiffer cables with 6061 aluminum rod ends and metal retainers to really tighten up the shifting. Some on the forums have complained about the price of the Hybrid Racing shift cable upgrade, but I have to disagree. Pricing is a steal in my mind, especially after putting some miles on the Si stirring through the gears. If I were to do this entire project all over again, the Hybrid Racing shift cables and CMC would, without question, be the very first on my list—even before suspension or power parts. Drivability is far more important than power or handling, in my mind.

Project Si Engine Upgrades Hybrid Racing Universal Fuel Rail JPG

Hybrid Racing also supplied its universal fuel rail for the project. Produced in 6061 aluminum and T6 heat-treated, the rail even has a fitting that allows mounting of a fuel pressure gauge.

Drag Cartel, Hybrid Racing, HaSport, Skunk2, and Triad Powderworks

Project Si Engine Upgrades Drag Cartel Drop In Cams JPG

Drag Cartel’s Drop-In-Cams are mild enough to not require aftermarket valvesprings or reta
Project Si Engine Upgrades Timing Chain Tensioner JPG

Anytime you upgrade cams on a K-series motor, a stronger timing chain tensioner is imperat

As I’d talked about during the last installment, the engine bay, cowl, and engine position make for some frustrating installation sessions. To make things a little easier, Sportcar Motion dropped the entire motor, which granted more than enough access to swap in a set of Drag Cartel’s new Drop-In-Cams, a freshly powdercoated valve cover, and Skunk2’s low-profile valve cover hardware kit that really cleans up the look of the valve cover. If you’re asking where the valvesprings and retainers are, they’re not needed. Drag Cartel’s Drop-In-Cams work with the stock valvetrain, and I even hit the dyno to see what they could do. (See Part 3 for dyno results.) With the motor dropped, it also granted access to the timing chain tensioner upgrade from Hybrid Racing. Designed from scratch, Hybrid’s tensioner relies on a dual-ratchet design and heat-treated chromoly piston system that actually fits into the timing chain guide tighter than stock, which means you won’t run into alignment and wear issues. It’s a little piece of insurance that everyone should take note of when switching to aftermarket cams, whether they be aggressive or mild, like the DC Drop-Ins.

Project Si Engine Upgrades Valve Cover Hasport Mount Kit JPG

Triad Powderworks took care of the powdercoating duties on the valve cover and HaSport mou

With the cams and tensioner installed, the motor was set to be bolted back in, but not until the HaSport motor mounts arrived. HaSport had long offered a rear replacement mount for the eighth gen but eventually created an entire mount kit that utilizes the three main mounts: rear, driver side, and passenger side. For a street application, Brian Gillespie of HaSport recommended HaSport’s 62a bushing. This would aid in keeping the engine planted and in transferring torque without causing excessive rattling in the cabin. HaSport does offer a stiffer race application for track cars as well. Like all HaSport mount kits, these were designed using CAD/CAM software, produced in billet aluminum, and the fit and finish are exactly what you’d expect from the industry’s best motor mount supplier—spot-on. Upon initial startup, the mounts can be felt, but as the idle mellows, the vibration is much like that of the stock mounts at stoplights. It’s when you begin slapping through the gears that you really feel them doing their job.

Although the HaSport mounts look great in their polished form, I thought I’d send them, along with a spare RSX valve cover, to Triad Powderworks for a different color. Andrew, owner of Triad, was given the task of coming up with a one-off color. My only direction was that it be some sort of bronze. What he developed was a deep bronze color with a hint of gold that looks stunning when the sun hits it. Smooth coating is something you’ll get from Triad, but the artists there also take the time to clear out any leftover material from the valve cover before returning it to you. It’s a very important step that many aren’t aware of. Bolting a freshly powdercoated valve cover onto your expensive motor with abrasives floating around on the underside is a great way to destroy your pride and joy.

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source: hondatuningmagazine.com