By on March 23, 2011


Those of you who follow 24 Hours of LeMons racing know the tale of the One Lap Integra, an Integra GS-R that got knocked down to LeMons price range because it had been rolled into a ball by a leadfooted previous owner. The car was hopeless, but the 170-horse B18C1 engine and transmission are in good shape… and now I’ve bought them for my beater ’92 Civic DX.

I’m also getting the complete, un-butchered wiring harness, ECM, instrument cluster, and everything else, courtesy of Hoonatic Racing team captain John and his meticulous car-stripping skills.

I’ve owned many Civics over the years, at least one example of each of the first five generations (after Soichiro Honda died, Civics became too bloated for my liking), but I’ve never done any serious modifications to any of them. My current daily driver has been the most reliable vehicle I’ve ever owned, but the 102-horsepower D15B7 under its hood just can’t make any power in Denver’s thin air. The solution: bolt in a bigger engine, just as our forefathers did when dropping 427s in their ’55 Chevys.

The only problem with the deal is that the engine is in Texas and I’m in Colorado, but that problem has been solved by the members of the Team B League Film Society – How I Learned To Stop Whining And Love The Judges Mercedes-Benz W110 LeMons team. They’ll be hauling their car up to Colorado for the second annual B.F.E. G.P. race in July, and they’ve agreed to include the GS-R goodies on their trailer. It’ll be a long four months to wait, but so worth it! I’ll be the owner of the world’s only fifth-gen Civic with a B18C1 and no wing!

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17 Comments on “Engine Swap: Hoonatic Racing Integra GS-R Engine Now Destined For My Civic’s Engine Compartment...”


  • avatar
    CraigSu

    Yes!  This will make your Animatronic Screaming Skull Brake Lights that much more useful as you hoon your way to a 170-hp fiery death.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Ah, the B18 swap.  That brings back memories, mostly unpleasant, of helping friends of mine who were meeting some truly shady people in a mall parking lot at an odd hour of the night and carrying a B18 out of the back of an ex-delivery van.
     

  • avatar
    John R

    I think I have an inkling of what my mid-life crisis is going to be like.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Get a old Miata and an LS-X and mate the two.  That would an EPIC mid life crisis.  I think mine is going to involve trying to shoehorn a 250cc engine into a 150cc scooter.  (Why?  Because I can mo-fo!)

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      At least you won’t be going the full lunatic/retard route, I hope; it’s been amazing what humility and a Pacer have netted me from some extremely talented people in the wiring, bodywork and interior fields, mainly because it’s not going to be yet another Camaro/Firebird/Mustang/G-Body wild custom to be lost in a sea of similar vehicles at the weekend show-n-shines. Of course, with no support from Year One or any other “serious” restoration company, the search for replacement parts and donor cars to replace the swiss cheese body work from sometime in the early 80s has been a continuous litany of pain and frustration.

      Still working on sourcing some good teak lumber for the cargo area: damn the torpedoes, fools speed ahead!

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Godspeed, Felis, godspeed!

  • avatar
    jimbowski

    B18 power ftw!  On a side note, my 93 integra has been sporting a B20 for about a year now, and the car couldn’t be happier.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      Great combination…man, I sure miss my old 90 Integra. Everytime I see one, I think about asking the owner if they want to swap it with my 98 3.2TL. But, the TL is a great car too.

  • avatar
    mechimike

    Please tell me you’ll be leaving the 13″ poverty wheels and skinny-ass chinese radial tires!

    A buddy of mine came to my office yesterday and asked me about getting a Civic for a cheap beater car.  I told him to find a DX- the most bare boned, stripped down version, and make sure it has the D15 engine.  Sure, head gaskets are a normal maintenance replacement item (as are timing belts) but it will run and run and run and get 40+ mpg pretty much however you drive it.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      That’s one of the great secrets for any true street sleeper: taller aspect ratio tires have a longer-than-wide contact patch, which provides superior traction for acceleration at those all-important stoplight contests.

  • avatar

    Sheesh, Murilee, you should probably be arrested for having too much fun. Now I want my own Hoonatic integer-powered ’90-era civic hatch. Steve? Can you do anything for me?

  • avatar
    geozinger

    A couple of years ago, a buddy of mine finally took his 91 Civic hatch off the road, after a fender fell off in traffic. He sold it to another friend who was going to race the car in the 4 cylinder division at the local oval track. The friend promptly stripped out the B15(?) motor and stuffed in a Mopar 2.2 mit turbo/3 spd torqueflite automatic.
    Honda to honda swap? (According to a coworker here) Easy. Honda to Mopar swap? Far out, man.

  • avatar

    “The solution: bolt in a bigger engine, just as our forefathers did when dropping 427s in their ’55 Chevys.”
     
    Uh, no. The solution is to bolt on a turbo to make the air more dense.

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    You guys want a far out engine swap?  A high school buddy had a 302 2 barrel powered ’73 Mach 1 with auto.  That generation of mustangs were bloated and slow.  His big brother had a 68 ’428 SCJ Mustang that was awesomely quick.  His father had a Pinto.  Big brother wrecks the ’68.  They transplanted the driveline from the 68 into the Mach, which woke it up.  The engine and tranny from the Mach went into the Pinto.  No one was expecting a Pinto to have that kind of power and it was a blast!

  • avatar

    I’d like to see someone stick a Renesis into a Deux Chevaux.

  • avatar
    itsgotvtakyo

    Get ready to have some fun!


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