Eibach’s Annual Honda Meet Shows SoCal’s Sweet Side

Eibach Suspension’s Honda Meet celebration, already regarded as the largest Honda and Acura meet on the West Coast, became even bigger for 2017 as the company moved their festivities to a brand new location inside Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway’s Fan Zone.

With a look of exhaustion and elation all caught up at the same time, co-organizer Matt Rodriguez (Rodrez) pointed towards the entrance and said, “Just check out that line of people waiting to come in. We would have never been able to accommodate this amount of cars or spectators at our previous location.”

“We initially had 900 cars registered for this event with 90 more signing up last minute. We added an additional 100 more cars on event day so we’re talking over 1,000 cars in attendance. The turnout was insane!”

The struggle was real as Ryan Hoegner—Marketing Manager at Eibach Springs—and his coworkers worked tirelessly to complete his 1998 Acura Integra Type-R Integra build in time to debut at this year’s event. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, Hoegner took on double duty as co-organizer of the Eibach Meet.

Hoegner’s ITR build features a fully-gutted and caged interior along with a K20AM engine swap using a stock long block and a mix of parts from Hondata, Hasport, K-Tuned, Skunk2 and of course Eibach coilovers.

Ryan “Rywire” Basseri put the Honda tuning world on notice with the debut of his RHD Integra Type R in 2016. Basseri mentioned that the car was imported from Japan ten years ago and has been a continual work in progress since he’s taken ownership.

Under the hood, the turbocharged K24 is fully-built and uses a dry sump oil system for superior oil control. Basseri pulled out all the stops when designing the drivetrain, using a sequential transmission with pneumatic paddle shifters all controlled by the MoTec standalone ECU. Basseri—owner of Rywire—knows a thing or two about motorsports wiring and electronics, and decided to convert this car to a drive-by-wire throttle system, and implemented a set of eight injectors, then tuned the MoTec system to activate the additional injectors at higher rpms for a staged delivery sequence.

Inside the car resides a custom dash with MoTec digital display, a full roll cage, and a Recaro race seat. Most recently, the car was painted using the Porsche Pure Orange color and followed suit using the Porsche style livery emblazoned with the Rywire company logo on the doors. He estimates the car to make approximately 700 horsepower, and has already begun planning his next round of modifications.

A lot has changed since I last saw “Big Mike’s”1992 Prelude when it graced the cover of Honda Tuning Magazine back in 2012. At the time, the BB2 ran a naturally aspirated engine with Kinsler 57mm individual throttle bodies. The Prelude was definitely an eye-catcher back then, but not to the level that it is today. Big Mike pulled out all the stops in 2016 in order to debut his car at SEMA. It’s worth noting that the car was completely torn down and rebuilt in less than 8 weeks prior to the event, which included all the custom fabrication. The exterior of the Prelude consists of a Jun Auto hood and modified front bumper, custom fenders and PCI side skirts. Livery was inspired by F1 and the Williams Martini racing design. The car also wears a custom-designed Wilwood big brake kit with 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers.

Under the hood resides a Garrett GT2867 turbocharger, custom Rywire tucked radiator, custom oil cooler using a Vibrant Performance core, Wisecraft swirl pot, and Garrett intercooler core. Even the valve cover was customized specifically for Mike’s car. Additional modifications include a drive-by-wire throttle body setup pulled from a Subaru STI and wired up to work on the F20 power plant. The engine was originally found in the JDM Honda Accord.

The interior was completely redone in suede and the dash was smoothed out to give the car a retro look. Integrated into the dash is the Motec keypad, which controls the entire vehicle’s electronics ranging from the fuel pump to the AiM dash display. A K-tuned shifter originally from an RSX was reworked to fit properly and work perfectly with the transmission. The rear seats were eliminated to retrofit a trick fuel system which uses dual AEM fuel pumps and a Nuke Performance surge tank. The customized front fenders allow fitment of wide 17×9.5-inch front Volk CE28 wheels with beefy Falken Azenis 275/40-18 inch tires.

The website Jalopnik best summed up the thoughts and minds of consumers when they mentioned how “Acura ruined the TSX Sport Wagon.” The TSX Sport Wagon came under mixed reviews by many as it was too compact to be considered a true wagon, while others complained that the 2.4-liter engine was simply too underpowered for the 3,600 pound curb weight of the vehicle. Even with the negative feedback, in 2014 the TSX Sport Wagon was the bestselling wagon on the market.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then this TSX Wagon is a true eye-opener. As I stood there snapping photos, I overheard a curious onlooker say “damn this looks good!” and I couldn’t agree more. The wagon was upgraded with JDM headlights and a number of Mugen products including the hood, front grill, lip spoiler, and window visors.

I decided to move in for a closer look and immediately noticed behind the Volk CE28 wheels resided a set of Mugen brake calipers. Baller!

This road-race car owned by Philip Robles is the definition of true form and function. Robles (seen in a number of photos wearing his cowboy hat) built this Civic for the true purpose of driving the crap out of it at the local tracks in Arizona. In order to fit a set of 15×9-inch wheels with 275-wide Hoosier racing slicks, Phil originally bolted on a set of J’s Racing over-fenders but swapped them out for wider Chargespeed over-fenders. As the car currently sits today, the exterior was reworked with a Rocket Bunny EG Wide Body Kit. The vented carbon fiber hood is a J’s Racing piece while the J’s Racing 3D GT wing is bolted to the rear.

The interior was kept simple as weight savings was the name of the game. A full roll cage adds protection and chassis rigidity while an AiM MXL2 digital dash, Sparco steering wheel, Recaro SPG seat, and Takata 341 harness is all that’s needed to pilot this beast. The climate control system was removed and replaced with carbon block-off plates. A set of Tein RE coilovers, Volk ZE40 wheels and Spoon Monobloc brake calipers provide ample handling and braking capabilities when blasting around the circuit.

Engine upgrades consist of a K24 engine using a RBC intake manifold and R-Crew headers. Tuned with a Hondata K-Pro, the engine delivers a respectable 230 wheel horsepower.

Winner of this year’s Eibach Meet’s Best Engine Bay Award went to Megaman Lopez and his DC2 Integra with its meticulous underhood setup. Representing the NV US Las Vegas chapter, Lopez mentioned that he shaved and tucked his engine bay to deliver a no-nonsense layout. From the Kinsler individual throttle bodies to the carbon fiber hydro-dipped starter and alternator to the Downstar spike hardware, it was the attention to detail continuing into the smallest items which separate his ride from the rest.

He goes by the name of John FOB. It’s highly unlikely that FOB is his last name, but I’m guessing it’s a nickname that’s been stuck to him from his adolescent days.

“We literally finished working on the car right before the meet,” says FOB.

This JGTC-inspired Acura NSX pulled in a steady crowd of onlookers throughout the day due to its monstrous list of modifications. Some of the highlights include the Kyushu Danji wide body kit, Midnight purple 3-stage paint job, custom dry carbon front splitter, carbon fiber fender louvers, JGTC headlight cover and rear LED taillights, APR custom GT rear spoiler, and Signal Auto air intake snorkel. The tires stay planted to the ground through CKS coilovers, Stance air cups, and RB big brake upgrade at both ends. A set of 18-inch Volk TE37’s in bronze are wrapped in a set of Toyo R888 255/35-18 up front and 335/30-18 in the rear.

Engine modifications to the NSX came in the form of a 3.2 NA2 engine swap that was built and blueprinted by Mark Johnson. Forced induction is provided by a Vortech V3 supercharger with a custom water-to-air cooler that delivers 570 horsepower though an OS Giken twin-disc clutch and LSD, 4.40:1 final drive and upgraded NA2 six-speed transmission. Full tuning capabilities are achieved through an AEM Infinity standalone engine management system.

The interior has also been completely upgraded; leather with white stitching has been applied to the seating surfaces, and a suede headliner installed up top. FOB integrated a Honda S2000 instrument cluster and finished it off with SPA Technique racing gauges. A Recaro ASM seat with Taitec seat rails keeps his posterior firmly planted at all times. Additional upgrades include a Cusco 4-point roll cage, carbon fiber glove box delete, Key!s Racing steering wheel, HKS boost controller/knock amp, and carbon fiber center console.

This Civic wagon was a definite head scratcher as the build concept was completely off the wall. Who am I to judge what’s considered cool? You be the judge.

Team Aldaz represents Rosarito Baja California, México with their turbocharged drag EG Civic.

Chrome sitting on chrome was the theme of this Honda RSX in front of the ICB Motorsports booth. The highly-polished valve cover and intake manifold including the Turbonetics turbocharger mixed in with a slew of Hybrid Racing components to create a long-lasting impression. I should also mention the Mugen goodies bolted on including the body kit, seats, and steering wheel.

Gutted, caged, and running a high compression engine with ITB’s, this RHD Civic looked to be a work in progress as it looks to be a formidable track car once completed. The Civic sits on a set of Volk TE37’s with a Circuit Dreams NBC Racing front bumper and fenders.

Perhaps you’ve seen this bald Asian guy at track events or showing off the latest and greatest trends from Japan on the Chronicles Vlog—he’s kind of a big thing! At first glance, he might look like he’s up to no good, but he’s actually a nice guy. Yuta Akaishi along with Kristian Wong partnered up to open up a shop called Battle Craft, which caters to the Honda market and offers many hard to find products only available in Japan. I snapped a photo of Yuta sporting their newest design—the 44mm Hyper Teardrop billet shift knob. Battle Craft will also offer a 40mm design which will be available in early June.

This Civic EK owner wasn’t afraid of infusing some VIP cues into his ride with the creative usage of window curtains and drink holders. Check out those bamboo floor mats! A set of Fifteen52 forged Formula wheels slammed on airbags finished this car off in style.

The second-generation Prelude was Honda’s most popular model in the 80s. Its 1.8-liter, DOHC twin-carb engine delivered 100 horsepower, while the later-model Si used the 2.0-liter B20A power plant producing 110 horsepower. In today’s time, witnessing an early Prelude on the street is as rare as a Sasquatch sighting, so it was rather unexpected to see one on display at this meet. The owner keeps his Si in show condition while adding a few modifications including JDM window visors, 16-inch BBS wheels and rear window louvers, which perfectly suited cars of the 80s time era.

RC’s Garage helped out by trailering Mike Schietroma’s ’99 Honda Civic from Arizona to this year’s event. This was the second time I was reunited with Mike’s ride. There was so much attention paid to the little details that RC’s Garage and Mike added into this project build; from the shaved-and-tucked engine bay to the custom interior, I caught myself finding something new that I had missed previously.

The K24A2 is equipped with a JDL Auto Design exhaust manifold, All-In Fabrication center-feed intake manifold, and Garrett GT35R turbocharger. Injector Dynamics ID1000 fuel injectors flow through a K-Tuned fuel pressure regulator while boost is regulated by a Turbosmart 45 Hypergate wastegate and blow-off valve. Exterior modifications consist of Backyard Special bumpers, JDM side moldings, Project Mu calipers, Volk Racing CE28N wheels and air ride suspension. Last weekend the car and entire crew made the long haul to attend the Orlando Eibach Meet, and made the return trip across the country to roll into Fontana, CA. Talk about some serious dedication!

This year’s event brought out over 40 vendors displaying cars and their latest and greatest products.

Honda Corporate brought out the new Civic Si and Type R to display the next generation of Tuner-inspired cars. The 2017 model, which debuted at the New York Auto Show, will begin selling in late summer or early fall with an estimated sticker price in the mid-$30,000 range. Packaged to deliver 306 horsepower from a 2.0-liter iVTEC turbocharged engine with a direct injection fuel system, Honda is hedging their bets that their newest sport compact car will be the next big thing to hit the tuner market and a much needed injection to their sales since the demise of the S2000 more than 6 years ago.

I bumped into Brian Gillespie, owner of Hasport Performance, as he was busy shooting footage for his next series of Nacho Speed Garage.

“I’m going to go head down to check out the Type R at the Honda booth and hope they let me pop the hood so I can get a closer look at how they designed their motor mounts,” he said. You can bet Brian is already thinking one of two things—the first would be if the 2.0-liter engine can be swapped into another Honda chassis and the second would be if he can get a set of Hasport motor mounts developed when the Type R releases in a few months.

GReddy Performance took part in joining the festivities by teasing the crowds with the soon to be debuted 2012-2015 (FG3/FB2) Civic EX turbo kit. GReddy collaborated with Rev Hard to create a bolt-on turbo kit that delivers dyno-tested 70 horsepower gains—at the wheels—with optional exhaust, fuel management and fuel upgrades.

“We’ve teamed up with the legendary Myles Bautista and his company Rev Hard to develop a turbo kit that includes a GReddy RH-54G turbocharger, T-24 tube and fin intercooler, polished intake pipes, and downpipe including all the silicone hoses and hardware.” says GReddy USA president Kenji Sumino.

“We’re currently in the planning phase for future turbo kits, but there’s been discussions of going back to our roots and coming out with kits for the older-gen Hondas like the CRX, Civic, and Integra.”

Jesse Temores’ infamous Spoon-themed, ’91 JDM CRX was on display at the Nemo’s Garage booth. This yellow machine is known as KILLR-B was transformed from a stock commuter into a functional street build. Under the hood sits a B18C5 Type R engine sourced directly from Spoon Sports in Japan, along with additional Spoon parts including the ECU, radiator, oil cooler, brakes and tower bars. A Type R 5-lug conversion hub setup and Spoon Monobloc calipers peek from underneath a set of 16-inch SW388 wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan A048s.

Exterior modifications include a Euro rear bumper along with Xenon front and rear lip spoilers which were painted in black for a distinct image. The vehicle was converted to RHD with proper California Highway Patrol certification. A JDM glasstop roof was also grafted onto the vehicle for the authentic Japanese look.

The interior also received a full upgrade with the use of a Cusco full roll cage, Spoon Sport bucket seat, Spoon steering wheel, shift knob, and interior trim pieces that were sourced from the European market.

Another car sitting inside vendor row was Sportcar Motion’s drag Civic—better known as Little Red Riding Hood—which was on display in the Gearspeed Performance booth. SCM’s drag machine is powered by a K24 block sleeved by Golden Eagle and topped with a Portflow ported-and-polished K20 cylinder head. Other notable parts used to produce the massive power are Cunningham rods, AFT intake and exhaust manifolds, Forge Motorsports intercooler, 2,200 cc injectors, dual Turbosmart 45mm wastegates and 50mm blowoff valves, and a Garrett GTX4292R turbo. This beast of an engine is tuned through a Hondata K-Pro engine management system.

In order to successfully deliver all 1,031 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque though a set of M&H 24.5-inch slicks, SCM replaced the factory trans with a PPG gear box with straight-cut 1-4 gears by Gearspeed and Driveshaft Shop 5.9 axles. PCI full spherical bushings and Skunk2 drag coilovers keep the Honda firmly planted as it blasts down the quarter mile.

“The car is still a work in progress,” says SCM owner Loi Song. “We hope to work out any remaining bugs before we begin shakedown testing at the drag strip”.

Charles San Gil has endured a long and arduous journey to complete his Honda S2000 to its present state.

“My S2000 has gone through a number of changes as this represents version six,” says San Gil.

“The last engine was an LS1 that suffered catastrophic failure during a track event when it overheated. That was when I decided to replace the motor with a LS2 rather than rebuild it. We dropped in an LS2 crate motor from Road Racing Top End that was equipped with a three-angle valve job, Texas Speed/TSP Torquer V3 cams with rocker bearing upgrade, double valve springs with titanium retainers and GMPP head bolts. In addition, we installed a set of Flying Miata headers, F-Body oil pan, T56 6-speed transmission, 92mm billet throttle body, LS2 6-puck clutch, one-piece lightened driveshaft, LS1 HP Tuners unlocked LS1 PCM ECU, and the LSX Wire Harness Analog to Digital gauge conversion.”

The exterior consists of a JGTC inspired one-off body kit with a Forbidden USA carbon fiber OEM style hard top, APR carbon splitter, Spec D headlights and Battle Aero Chassis mounted swan neck spoiler. A set of custom MST wheels reside on all four corners wrapped in Continental DW Extreme tires, 245/35-18 up front and 295/35-18 in the rear.

“I take the S2000 out to track events on a regular basis with the most recent being the Optima Street Car Challenge. The car still retains a perfect 50/50 weight balance even though the LS2 weights 70 lbs. more than then original F20C engine. I was able to lighten the weight of the LS2 by moving the engine farther back and removing all the unnecessary accessories like the AC system” says San Gil.

If you live, breathe and dream about Hondas and Acuras, the Eibach meet is the perfect event to satisfy your cravings. It sure satisfied mine!