To be honest we weren't sure if we were going to start a new build this winter. Things have been so busy at the shop that we haven't even had time to finish the next stage of Joe's DC5 and haven't been able to get much track time on the EG or CTR during the second half of 2018. But then, our friends of Tune't introduced us to their DC2 project and the ideas started to flow. They were quietly working on this Integra that they had told us about briefly, but they always have so many projects in the works we didn't put much thought into it or what it could potentially turn into.
One day during this past summer we were just BSing at the shop when the DC2 came up and the story behind it... Their friend Brandon, one of the original Tune't builders had unexpectedly passed away a few years earlier. This was his DC2 and the guys told us how they've wanted to rebuild it for him for years and told us about some of the issues they had run in to, plans changing over time, typical long-term build issues. It's hard NOT to want to be a part of something like this. 3 childhood friends honoring their fallen member by completing his build. That's cool as hell.
By the end of that conversation we were all in. Over the next few days, a rough plan started coming together. Pat (one of the 3 who make up Tune't) owns a new Civic Type R and loves the power it puts down with oem reliability so we made the decision and started hunting for a K20C1 power plant for the DC2. There aren't a ton of wrecked CTRs out there, and VERY FEW that have been in a rear or side impact collision serious enough to total out the car. And even then, many owners buy the wreck back to attempt a rebuild or to keep parts. After 3 months of hunting, we were almost giving up on finding a k20c1 swap when a friend alerted us that he heard one was coming up for sale at a salvage yard in Florida. We called, confirmed the details and the next day the swap was on it's way to the shop. With the heart of the build secured it was time to start locking in the full plan and get started on the extensive repairs the shell would have to go through just to get it back to a clean slate.
Here are the very first pics of what we started with 2-3 weeks ago.
The Tune't boys have tried to slowly get this build going over the last 2 years. One of the stops was a fabricator who welded a cage in. The cage wasn't terrible but it wasn't quite up to our standards so we'll be having it redone. The fabricator, due to miscommunication, also deleted the roof molding and some of the body lines. Normally with a shell this far gone it would be much easier to just buy a new shell and start from scratch. But since this car holds so much sentimental value, we had to salvage it. We sanded the filler off, hoping the fabricator had skimped and filled the moldings in with bondo or a similar filler. No such luck. Under a thin layer of bondo metal had been welded over the groove where the molding usually sits. Check it out in the photo below. In our opinion the shaved moldings dramatically throw off the lines of the car and HAD to be undone.
The cage wasn't terrible but we are pretty picky about styling and want to make sure we have a SAFE cage. The K20C1 should be able to give us some serious acceleration in this light Integra chassis.
We needed a donor car to cut the whole upper half of the cabin off and replace the roof and upper portion of the pillars, and since we were going through all this work to replace the roof, we figured we might as well hunt down a Type R or RS so we could delete the sunroof (weight savings and more room for our cage). We got really lucky and found a wrecked RS that was being parted out only 10 mins from the shop. It had been in a serious front end collision but everything we needed was in near perfect condition. The next morning we went to check out the shell, it was exactly what we needed. The 5 of us picked the suspension-less shell up, dropped it on the trailer, and headed to Erik at West Jones Auto (the same body shop that painted our Copper 93 Civic EG years ago). Our integra shell followed a few days later and Erik got started with the repairs.
The entire roof was cut off the RS. It's a bummer to see an RS's end. But at least the parts are being put to good use.
The outer skin was cut off of our DC shell, so no structural cuts were made to our car. Then the RS roof skin was skillfully welded back on to our shell.
A few more small pieces were swapped out to get our shell on point. After a little over a week at West Jones the shell came back to Tune't. We had Erik cut out the old cage since it was going to be replaced anyway. And after all this work just to start the build with a clean shell!! Haha
This is how the car sat when it came back from West Jones Auto on Monday. Roof is replaced, cage is cut out and ready for our fabricator to get back in there and start all over.
Now, our first hurdle in this FK8 swap is physically getting the k20c1 in to our Integra shell. We haven't seen any mounts hit the market and were hoping that wasn't because of size issues (the C1 is a lot bigger than older k20a/a2/z1 design). We remembered seeing Hasport posting several vids a few months ago test fitting the k20c1 that they pulled from their own CTR just for test fitting purposes. We've run Hasport mounts in all of our projects and they have always performed flawlessly, so we hit them up to see what they thought about getting a kit made for our project. Without hesitation, they said they could take care of us. We set a date and the motor was picked up just days ago by Brian, the brains and mad scientist of Hasport. He's taking it back to Hasport HQ in Arizona and in a few weeks we will be getting our swap back with some fresh billet mounts to bolt this monster into our DC chassis.
Make sure to follow @hasport and @vtecacademy for updates on development of the mount kit (that should be for sale in a few months by the way).
So now you know the basics. DC2 chassis, CTR k20c1 turbo swap. I don't want to give too much away before we lock in the parts, but exterior will be classic Japanese styling with a little extra here and there. In typically Nemo's fashion, everything will be over-built to ensure performance and reliability. And of course, the fit and finish of everything will be second to none. This is a very new swap so we're expecting to run into a few hurdles, but nothing we can't handle. We've got a few interesting partners working with us and a some new parts being developed to make this swap easier for future builders. We're aiming to have the build complete for an Eibach Meet 2019 debut followed by a slew of time attack events through the 2nd half of 2019. It's going to be a fun year ;)
Next time we see this swap it will be ready to drop into the integra. Then we start working on making everything else fit.
Let's finish off with a few pics of the Tune't FK8 and NSX. Just a few hundred grand in Honda's sitting in this driveway...
Currently on oem wheels until the replacement ZE40's come in for the two that were damaged.
Tune't NSX, rocking a 20/21in staggered set of Advan GT wheels. A similar spec to the HKS NSX that we fell in love with in Japan when we visited Tokyo Auto Salon. Currently wrapped in tan, but will be matte white in the next few weeks.
Check back in a few weeks for our next update! You can also follow progress at: @Nemosgarage, @Tunetlife, @Hasport_performance