Back in the Saddle Again

Ramping up on wrenching for faster Hondas.

 

By Brian Gillespie

 

I love making Hondas fast, and the last few months have been fun. We’ve started building project cars again at Hasport. It’s been a minute. Two years ago I took a little break after this happened.

The crash wasn’t the main reason for the break, but it changed the priorities for a bit. Building that car took a lot of time and effort and afterwards I needed to focus back on business. But after all, our business is modifying Hondas. So, it’s back to building Hondas.

Over the last couple of months things have been cooking in the shop.  We’ve built a K24 swapped DA Integra, B18C5 powered road racing CRX, and J35 powered drag Civic. Each of these cars are being built to learn something. The DA because I’ve kind of ignored that chassis over the years. The CRX, to see what it takes to build a competitive road race car. And the EG to explore and learn more about drag racing.

 

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My son drove the DA at Super Street FF Battle this year. The car had a few problems and I feel lucky it was running at the end of the event. Originally we planned to supercharge a B16 and slap it in, but shortly before the event decided to switch to a K24. Dumb idea. A little too ambitious for the time available. BTW, thanks Loi Song from Sportcar Motion for lending me an axle so I could use it to rebuild the DA's axle. This kept the weekend from being a total loss. We've won that event in the past and with some more development the DA can win too. A bunch more development.

 

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The B18C powered CRX was loaned to Oscar Jackson Jr. for the SCCA National Runoffs. He ran it in STL. I wish I could say that was a success, and it was sort of. Oscar Sr. did a phenomenal job of setting the car up for Daytona. Carefully balancing the car to handle both the high speed oval and slower infield to give his son a car that could do the job. Unfortunately, he was taken out by a competitor who was driving too fast to make a corner. It looked like he tried to use Jr.'s CRX to scrub speed but wound up taking the CRX and his own car out. Oscar Jr. was in second at the time. Bummer. We will continue to develop the CRX over the next year and see if we can do better at the next Runoffs.

 

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After tuning on the dyno at Xact Dyno, the J35 powered Civic will debut this weekend at an IFO event. It's been fun building this one because it is so different from any other projects. I'm hoping for smoother sailing than the last two builds. This car will serve as a learning platform for not only drag racing but J-series performance development. Will this car work in some class, or just be used in some sort of index class? Shall we go nitrous, supercharger, turbo? Stay tuned and we'll see.

We’re going to document these builds and others coming up in the Projectcarpalooza section of VTEC Academy. We have a lot of other project cars to add on top of these too. How about a ZC powered 81 Civic for cruising, an H22 powered Integra for atocross, and J swapped 01 Civic for the hell of it. What one interests you? How about something else? Let me know in the comments below.

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Brian Gillespie
Technical Editor at VTEC Academy
Brian Gillespie fell in love with the Honda brand in 1974 when he owned and raced a CR 125 Honda Elsinore. Many Hondas later he started Hasport Performance with his brother Keith. The last 17 years have been spent developing all sorts of engine mount kits, paving the way for nearly every Honda engine swap that's since taken place.