Sometimes it's as easy as answering an ad in the classified section of the local paper. Other times finding that perfect project car is an epic tale of misfortune, struggle and finally, perseverance.
Such was the case for Jeff Taylor of Burlington, N.J. It started on a lonely section of the New Jersey Turnpike as Taylor was commuting home in his fiance's Geo Tracker. He was cut off and busted some gymnastics moves, with the Geo rolling several times before coming to rest on its lid. Taylor was unhurt and he was impressed the Tracker, though totaled, was able to start and drive home after being pushed back on its feet.
"After we were married in Jamaica, we went in search of a new car," says Taylor. "Low and behold we bought a '94 Integra, a GS-R no less. I was fooling around with a Dodge Caravan Turbo and a slammed Mazda B2000 mini truck project. After five years of [my wife] commuting, I saw my opportunity to wedge myself behind the wheel of the GS-R. She now drives an Accord V6. I started the "modding" straight away with basic bolt-ons and the car was quite competitive. I was netting 13.7-second quarter miles at about 99 mph."
The Integra remained in this state of tune until another misfortune struck. "A friend of mine we call Nizz balled up his 1998 Integra Type R and I arranged to buy the car from the insurance company. With the help of some friends, we had the pristine 8000-mile B18C5 in the car running with no malfunction codes. The car was a blast."
In 2000, Taylor transitioned to the track as the Acura became a weekend strip warrior. "I hooked up with A&H Motorsports, added Toda Spec-B cams and a few other tricks and was running 13.2s all day. I ran in the all-motor ranks at E-Town's Import Survivor Series and NIRA races and either won or was runner up all year long."
It soon became apparent that Taylor had to go beyond bolt-ons and cams to keep the competitive juices flowing. During his battle sessions at E-Town, he met Raphael "Racer X" Esteves of DRT (Drag Race Technologies).
After the season, Taylor took his Integra to DRT for a "beyond basics" buildup. "We took the stock B18C block, re-sleeved it with Darton sleeves and bored it to 84mm, " says Ralphy. "We used Endyn's Rollerwave pistons with a hearty 13.3:1 compression ratio and Eagle rods because the quality's good for the price. The pistons, rods, crank, damper and flywheel were balanced and lightened. Then new bearings went in and the block was assembled."
The head had its own challenges. The machining and porting was different than most set-ups because the engine was slated to run 50mm TWM individual throttle bodies. "This was very tricky," says Ralphy. "Because the individual throttle body's manifold acts like a funnel to create velocity, the runners start out big in the outside and get smaller as you go into the head. DRT has a special porting regime for this application."
For the valvetrain, DRT went with Toda Racing cams, valvesprings, cam gears and oil pump gears as well as Ferrea valves and ARP fasteners.
With no turbo or nitrous to pack in the air, an all-motor engine must maximize its breathing-both inhaling and exhaling. For the latter, DRT and Taylor turned to HyTech Exhaust. "John custom made the header with three different secondaries which allowed us to change the lengths and actually tune the header for power," says Ralphy. "This meant we could match the exhaust's ability to move air (gases) out the engine to the induction system's ability to move air into the engine."
In between these two "respiratory" events is the ever-important combustion cycle. Combustion means fuel and DRT put together a system that, amazingly, retains the OE pump. In this application, -6 line runs to a TWM regulator and 440cc injectors. Ralphy wired up an Accel DFI system and tuned the combination on DRT's Dynojet. The results are a rockin' 242 hp and more than 150 ft-lbs of torque in the engine's sweet spot.