683 LB-FT Of Torque
Over the years we've become accustomed (and, dare I say, even a bit blas) to 1,000whp drag cars. Of course, those are usually Nissan Skylines or Mitsubishi Evos. This powerful monster, however, is a Honda Civic Type R kicking out 1,000 whp on the dragstrip and all through the front wheels. You've got to hand it to those mad Brits-they like to be different. The man in question who is hoping to be the first person to drive a Japanese front-wheel-drive car into the 9s in the U.K. is Paul Jones, the boss at TDi North.
Paul bought the car new to be used as his company demo, having spotted a gap in the market for tuning Hondas. Originally, it spent a lot of time on the track before he realized that his customers were more into quarter-mile action. The car has been around for a couple of years now in various different specs all leading up to what's about to hit the strip this year.
Full-Race Garrett ball-bearing...
Full-Race Garrett ball-bearing GT40 turbo kit
"We took the naturally aspirated car using a 2.2L stroker kit and cams up to just over 300 whp," Paul says. "We did hold the naturally aspirated record for a while, which I think was a 13.2 run and that was on road tires." Paul achieved a lot of success with the car running in this spec. "In 2005, I won the Japanese Racer FWD Series," he says. "But, in 2006, the rivals were developing their supercharged cars and we discovered we were out of the game. We made the decision that we needed to do something else to keep up and, as I used to work for Garrett, going for a turbo seemed the obvious way to go."
Paul kicked off the development by sourcing a K24 block (U.S.-spec Honda Accord), mating it to a K20 head and then adding a seriously modified Full-Race GT35 turbo kit. The kit, however, is actually for a DC5 Integra, which has a lot more space under the bonnet. This meant he had to carry out lots of modifications to get everything to fit. The end result was never likely to win any Concours awards, where functionality and power win over appearance. Luckily, that's not the type of silverware Paul set his sights on anyway.
Hondata K-Pro CECU with wideband...
Hondata K-Pro CECU with wideband lambda
What were his hopes for the new powerplant? "We didn't really have a power figure in mind," he says. "The kit was rated at 600 to 650 whp and that would have been enough to beat the supercharged EP3 Hondas." In fact, he recorded 618 whp on his rollers and that was enough for him to return to the '07 Japanese Racer series with a bang, winning several rounds, reclaiming the overall title, and setting a new European record with a 10.82-second sprint.
With that sort of power the real trick is getting it to the tarmac. "When we launched (at 5,500 rpm, changing up at 8,000 rpm when the shift light burst into life) sometimes the car did want to go sideways, so you'd have to correct it very quickly," he says. "And by the end of the run it was getting unstable until we carried out some suspension mods."
Remote twin TIAL wastegates...
Remote twin TIAL wastegates and screamer pipes
But however successful you might be, in this business you can't afford to rest on your laurels, because the rivals are always snapping at your heels. "In the background we were already building another K24 engine for 2008," Paul says. "This was fitted with a Crower 2.6L stroker kit and a GT40 turbo, to provide even more power. With the GT35 setup we were quite often on the rev limiter by the time we crossed the line-we just couldn't get it to go any faster." Unfortunately, there wasn't a suitable GT40 Full-Race kit available off-the-shelf, so Paul ended up with something of a "hybrid guinea pig spec" arrangement. While all of the essential parts for the kit were supplied, Paul remembers that a serious amount of complicated custom fabrication was required to get it all installed and working efficiently. But that's what he does best and the results made up for the hard work.
K24 2,557cc with K20 head...
K24 2,557cc with K20 head and Brian Crower 2.6L stroker kit
AEM high-volume fuel rail...
AEM high-volume fuel rail with RC Engineering 1,600cc injectors
Aeromotive fuel pump and Aeromotive...
Aeromotive fuel pump and Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator