Anthony Sanchez lives his life at an accelerated pace and has accomplished a lot in a small slice of time. A long-time power enthusiast, Sanchez has taken a well-traveled route in pursuing his passion. When it comes to cars he rolls Hondas and has gotten in a few street races in and around the NYC area. His first Honda was an all-motor EG hatchback that he went an impressive 10-and-1 at the local street race scene in Manhattan's West Side Highway spot. He says he has tallied $15,000 worth of victories with the lone loss belonging to a B20-powered hatch he gave one car-length to. His biggest single score was $2,000.
In 2005, Sanchez took his hatch to a Street Wars event at Englishtown Raceway Park and raced to second place in his class. Like many before him Sanchez found the drag strip more intoxicating than the street. He also saw an opportunity to go faster-a lot faster.
It was time to drop a turbo into the equation. A formula for boosted bliss was hashed out between Sanchez and Ralphy Estevez of DRT (Drag Race Technology). The new creation would be a street/strip proposition with most of the heavy-footed antics going down on the strip. The car, a 2000 EK Civic coupe, was designed to be easily upgraded to compete in the NHRA Sport FWD Class.
Ralphy and DRT enlisted a B18C block and had Z-10 Motorsports perform all the proper machining including the installation of cylinder sleeves. Ralphy personally handled the assembly, loading the fresh block with Arias 9.0:1 slugs, Manley rods and a knife-edged crankshaft. When it comes to building a big-boost bottom end it's all about tolerances: tolerances in both the machining and assembly aspects of the buildup.
Another area of concern, especially in a high-revving application like the Honda B-series, is the valvetrain. To spin the works to five-digit engine speeds DRT employs a set of Type R cams while fortifying the head with REV Competition Series valves. The Competition Series, one of five different lines offered by REV, utilizes EV-8 materials and REV's solution heat treatment for added durability. Ralphy performed a full port-and-polish regime on the casting and modified the head to accept 1mm oversized valves on the intake side. We wondered what you get with 1mm bigger valves and put the question to Ralphy. "The Honda head flows good numbers right out of the factory. With factory valves the exhaust side usually outflows the intake at around .200 to .250 inches of lift. After you port the head the flow numbers really change. So for street cars I like to use 1mm over intake valves to help balance the flow out."
On the fuel side the Civic relies on an Aeromotive high-capacity pump and adjustable regulator to feed four 96 lb/hr injectors. With a flood of fuel at the ready, manipulation of boost and tuning dictate the success of the setup. A Garrett GT40, with its advanced aerodynamics and ball-bearing center section, provides the pressure. The power-trippin' trio of a TiAL Sport 40mm wastegate, Blitz Dual SBC boost controller and TiAL Sport blow-off valve regulate the boost to 14 psi on the street and 30 psi for "special occasions." The boost traverses a big-bore throttle body and STR large-plenum intake before heading into the chambers of horror inside the B18C's combustion centers.
Once the charge air is in the combustion chamber it is zapped to life with an MSD-enhanced spark and, thanks to deft tuning, bodacious power is unleashed. Ralphy wired up an ever-popular AEM EMS and tickled the keys to the tune of 646 whp at 30 psi.
As impressive as the peak power figure is this Civic displays supreme driveability and delivers the goods throughout its lofty rev range. This is, after all, Sanchez's primary mode of transport so optimal off-boost behavior is required. He has tried to resist temptation but Sanchez reports the car is 2-0 on the West Side. A roll bar is going in and the Honda is going legit as the latest plan calls for more appearances at the strip.
Running a fast pace in the right place is a good thing and like many who have dabbled in the street racing scene Sanchez sees the downside is much more drama than it's worth. It will be interesting to see this Civic morph into a full- tilt racer ... or remain a boosted street prowler while his all-motor car is converted to a serious drag race machine. Hmm, what would you do? To boost or not to boost that is the (tough) question.