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1999 Acura Integra GS-R - Project DC2

Onward And Upward.

By , Photography by , Loi Song,

The Acura Integra, much like the Honda Civic, defined a generation of modern-day hot rodders. With its relatively light chassis, excellent suspension setup and plethora of B-series engine options, it was the perfect FWD platform to modify and go fast in. In early 2000, the Integra was replaced with the RSX, but to much chagrin, the RSX proved to be inferior to the Integra in many ways and never really caught on.

To this day, there are few FWD cars (new and old) that can compete with the Integra's bang-for-the-buck performance, hence why it's been in our project car stable for more than two years. There's just so much you can do in so many different ways, but the end result is always the same: it's an incredibly fun car to drive.

Our DC2 Integra started out life as a '99 GS-R model, but upon purchasing it sight unseen (other than a few photos) from an auction house for just over $2,500, it turned out that all the guts of the GS-R were replaced with LS model parts, including the engine. The body was also heavily vandalized, but that all made it an even better candidate for a project car.

The exterior mattered the least, as the goal was to build a fast and fun street/strip car with a modest budget. However, if you look at the photos right now, the paint is really starting to show its age and it's becoming increasingly difficult to drive the car with pride. A paint job is on the wish list, but the DC2 has always been more about performance than looks. Paint is a low priority, so unless we find someone to paint the car on the cheap, it'll stay that way.

At the heart of the chassis is a K20A2 powerplant. Simply put, it's by far the best modification done to the car, albeit a complicated one. The K-series swap in the Integra chassis provides power potential that no B-series can match. With simple bolt-ons (K-tuned intake and header, a Church Automotive reflash and a Vibrant 3-inch exhaust) our K20 made 228 whp and 173 ft-lbs of torque. But the best part of all is how rock-solid reliable it has been. Oil changes are the only maintenance item ever done to the motor, with countless track days under its belt. Despite the initial high buy-in price of a K-swap, it proves its value the more you use it. These days, it's even easier than ever to install with companies like Hybrid Racing and K-tuned building swap-specific parts.

Using the Type-R's amazing handling prowess as the driving force behind our suspension buildup, our DC2 has been equipped with a complete Type-R brake setup, including the control arms, calipers and hubs. After all, it's hard to beat Honda OEM quality. We replaced the stock struts and shocks with KW variant 3 coilovers that have provided a great amount of adjustability to properly dial the suspension setup in. So far, it has worked incredibly well both on the track and off.

The latest and probably last additions to the setup are Type-R front and rear sway bars. By flexing less than the GS-R bars, they help improve cornering grip by transferring more contact patch to the opposing tire in a corner. Sportcar Motion took care of the relatively simple install. While the front bar bolts in, the rear stock GS-R subframe can't be used with the Type-R sway bar. You could replace the subframe with a Type-R unit or just buy an ASR subframe brace that allows the use of the Type-R sway bar.

If you've been following the DC2 Project car closely, you'll remember that a couple months back the decision was made to build the car into a more track-oriented vehicle. That meant a rollbar was welded in, courtesy of Robi-Spec, and rattled-canned black by yours truly to avoid rusting. The carpet was reinstalled to keep it somewhat street-worthy, but anything of significant weight was tossed. The sunroof was pulled and plugged by a carbon-fiber cap by, and just before the photo shoot for this issue, the heavy metal hatch and hood were replaced by carbon-fiber units from Seibon.

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