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 |   |  1994 Acura Integra LS - The Transformer
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1994 Acura Integra LS - The Transformer

Haters Gonna' Hate....

Jonathan Thompson
Sep 29, 2010
Photographer: Quickworks Photography

Kevin Nguyen's '94 Integra LS
"That Integra looks whack. He has no style, nasty camber, and my homie did that color combo first." "What a waste. All that power and a ridiculous suspension setup." "Man if I had that DC2, here's what I'd do to it..." That's what the haters were saying online and with their little cliques just moments after the 2010 Wek'Fest event. But once they see the Teg up close, they're often times awestruck by the sick turbocharged B18C5 powerplant, the attention to detail, and so much more. That night, deep in sweet, sweet dreamland, they see visions of the '94 LS with its right-hand drive conversion chilling in a parking lot with extreme low offset classic M7s, followed by utter terror as that same car violently rips down the quarter-mile in just 11.8 seconds with a drag suspension setup. They wake up in a cold sweat to Kevin Nguyen, owner of H1 Garage, out of Stockton, CA. In silence they listen as he explains, "It's quite simple dude. I adjust the camber in the rear, put on some drag tires, and I'm good to go." The haters shield their secret love for Kevin's well-rounded transforming Teg, and everyone moves forward.

  |   1994 Acura Integra LS - The Transformer

Kevin's seen and heard it all. "People love to hate, but I have the speed to back it up," he says. He's also been around it all. He's owned over 100 Hondas as a shop owner and a hardcore Honda enthusiast! His current arsenal consists of a '99 Acura NSX-T and a soon to be turbocharged H22 Hatch-all sporting Kevin's white and gold color scheme. Very few people can say they've owned 100 cars, let alone 100 vehicles of the same make. Kevin first fell in love with Hondas as he grew up watching his older brother work on a '91 Honda Accord. He also became addicted to speed while hanging with his friends at street races.

The build began in the summer of 2008. Kevin was window shopping on the Internet when he came across a stock-looking '94 Integra with a RHD conversion and a B16A engine. He had always dreamed of owning a RHD Integra. "A RHD Honda is the best," he explains. He phoned the owner and haggled for two weeks before plunking down a couple fat stacks. "The car was so plain," he says. His friends agreed, but Kevin already had his sights set on a path that very few chose to walk down. "My goal was to have the best Integra out there," he calmly states.

  |   1994 Acura Integra LS - The Transformer

The B16A went first. Kevin mated a fully built B18C5 with a Garret T4 70 A/R turbocharger. The monster engine produces 489 wheel horsepower at 20 PSI according to the Dynojet system. He also slapped on some rare 16x8 Spring Hart CP-Rs and some other goodies. Kevin enjoyed the car at a few car shows and meets. Then he remembered his original goal was to put his Teg on the map in a big way. "I decided to go for the ultimate build that would empty my pockets. I knew from the start that it would all be worthwhile," he says.

In the fall of 2009, Kevin began a complete makeover. However, the project nearly ended in disaster. A friend welding the firewall accidentally sent sparks inside the cabin. Those tiny sparks quickly turned into menacing flames. The fire damaged the headliner, carpet, door panels, and the Bride seats before they were able to contain the blaze. "I realized my interior was fully gone and lost hope in my car," he recalls. The setback turned into motivation as the mere thought of the torched cabin angered Kevin. He was now more determined than he had ever been.

  |   1994 Acura Integra LS - The Transformer

Kevin utilized his friends and powerful Honda networking in his pursuit of awesomeness, "along with Rockstar energy drinks," he adds. HiWire tucked the engine harness and brake lines. White Mike shaved his engine bay. Derek from Parris Engine Dynamics built and tuned the engine. Quyen Tran from West Lane Muffler and Performance custom fabricated parts. Angkor Auto Body and Paint applied fresh coats of ITR Championship White paint. Chen Stiller and Miccy Le helped with logistics and the custom interior. T-Bone provided turbo related assistance and Ralph Wright of Simple Wheel Werks sourced and customized the highly discussed rare wheels.

And rare wheels they are. Kevin prides himself on them. "I'm the only one with custom deep dish, re-barreled, 24-karat gold dipped Mugen M7s," he proudly says. He absolutely loves his one-off rollers and plans to keep them forever, despite his wheel whorish tendencies. The wheels alone were nearly a quarter of the project's total budget. Altogether, Kevin funneled $20,000 into the build-no credit cards or loans from grandmamma either. "I work hard for my money yo. All cash dude," he asserts.

  |   1994 Acura Integra LS - The Transformer

Currently, the DC2 is filed under non-operation with the California Department of Motor Vehicles for this year. Kevin primarily uses the Integra to promote his shop. He likes to attend car meets and shows to display his creation and he's already managed to scoop up thirteen trophies. He also thoroughly enjoys racing the burly beast in heart-pounding passes down the dragstrip-after a quick rear camber adjustment and installation of drag wheels and tires of course.

Kevin recalls one special moment that occurred before he checked the non-op box on the Integra's renewal form. There was a certain red Dodge Viper owner in town. The owner was known for talking smack. "He thought he was so badass," he says. Kevin kept seeing the Viper around but was never in his Integra until one particular day. The two happened upon each other at a stoplight that is known in the area as a "spirited driving" zone. Suffice to say that after a certain order of events, that same Viper owner stopped running his mouth.

  |   1994 Acura Integra LS - The Transformer

After reflecting on the past, Kevin begins to discuss the future of his Integra. "I'm going to keep it forever," he asserts. He has some ambitious plans though, including increasing his boost beyond 20 PSI. He's also considering customizing the already insanely-built Teg to be the new home of a S2000 F20 or F22 power-plant complete with rear wheel drive capabilities. And to piss off all of the haters out there, he plans on boosting that setup as well.

Bolts & Washers

  |   1994 Acura Integra LS - The Transformer

B18C5 engine
B18C1 head
Displacement: 2.0
Bore: 84mm
Stroke: 89mm
Compression ratio 9:1
Hasport engine mounts
Crower Stage 2 camshafts
Skunk2 Racing valves
Skunk2 Racing valve springs
Skunk2 Racing retainers
ITR keepers
ITR rocker arms
4 angle valve job
Ported and polished head
Milled head
Knife edged crankshaft
Golden Eagle sleeved cylinder block
Golden Eagle connecting rods
Arias pistons
O-ringed block
Moroso oil pickup
Garret T4 70 A/R supercharger (chrome platted)
TiAL 38mm wastegate
West Lane Muffler and Performance
custom 2.5-inch intake piping
Godspeed intercooler
Blitz blow-off valve
RPM Service 72mm throttle body
Rev Hard intake manifold (chrome platted)
Spoolin Performance custom
side exit exhaust system
Walbro 255 lph fuel pump
Earl's Performance fuel filter
Earl's Performance lines and fittings
JDM Sport fuel pressure regulator
STR fuel rail
RC Engineering 1000cc fuel injectors
NGK 7 spark plugs
MSD ignition plug wires
MSD ignition coils
MSD digital 6AL 2-Step ignition box
ITR LSD equipped transmission
Competition Clutch Stage 4 clutch
Fidanza flywheel
Skunk2 Racing short-shifter
Driveshaft Shop axles
Godspeed radiator
Custom radiator hoses
Mugen oil cap
24-karat plated valve cover
Hondata ECU
S300 data logger

Ground Control coilovers
Koni Yellow dampers with extended top hats
Cusco 6-point rollcage
Miracle X crossbar
Miracle X option bars
Beaks lower tie-bar
ASR subframe brace
BLOX lower control arms
BLOX alignment kit
Suspension Technique bushings

Brembo cross-drilled brake discs
EBC Green Monster brake pads
Summit Racing brake lines

Wheels & Tires
Front: 16x8 Mugen M7 (+15 offset)
Rear: 16x9.5 Mugen M7 (+15 offset)
Custom re-barreled rims
Custom 24-karat plated rims
Front: 205/40-16 Falken Ziex 512
Rear: 215/40-16 Falken Ziex 512
(Drag Race)
Front: 15x9 Modified 15-inch OEM spares
(+20 offset)
Rear: 15x3 Modified 15-inch OEM spares (+5 offset)
Front: 22/5-15 Mickey Thompson Drag Slicks
Rear: 24/5-15 Mickey Thompson Radials

ITR Championship White paint
Right hand drive conversion (CHP blue tag)
JDM ITR frontend
ITR front lip
ITR rear valence
Power 40 mirrors
EGR rear roof spoiler
OEM sun roof visor
OEM window visor
EDM rear taillights
Shaved front license plate holes
Shaved side moldings
Shaved antenna
Shaved trunk keyhole

Bride Brix-I seats
Takata safety harnesses
JDM ITR steering wheel
BLOX shift knob
Spoon Sports gauge cluster
BLOX boost controller
Auto Meter boost gauge
GReddy turbo timer
DC5 carpet
DC5 floor mats
JDM ITR full interior
Headliner wrapped in Bride upholstery
Door panels wrapped in Bride upholstery
Kenwood head unit

Minh Le "Miccy", Chen Masauan "Kim"
Hai Le, Quyen Tran, Son Nguyen
Hoang Dao, Hai Le, Og Thang,
Thuc Huynh, White Mike, China
Ralph @ Simple Wheel Werks
Derek @ Parris Engine Dynamics
N1 Concepts, West Lane Muffler and Performance
Angkor Auto Body and Paint
H1 Garage, 1320 Racing

Owner Specs

Favorite website

Screen name or nickname

Building Hondas for how long
Nine years

Your dream car
I already own it

Build inspiration
All the haters the ever doubted me, including myself

What's playing in your iPod/CD/MP3 Player right now
Dorrough's "Ice Cream Paint Job"

Greatest Movie Of All Time
Legend of Speed

Custom rollers
The low offset style often involves expert customizing, and the sheer number of choices is mind boggling. Ralph Wright and Paolo Caoile of Simple Wheel Werks in Stanton, CA, have customized wheels for over five years. They've built two-piece and three-piece rollers that range from 14 inches to over 20 inches. The shop can change everything on a wheel; from the bolt pattern to the type of lip, and even the diameter.

Ralph says the process can take three to four weeks and typically ranges from $1,200 to $3,000 depending on the desired options. The machine work and final assembly are all done in-house while any kind of plating, powdercoating, and painting are outsourced. "We treat every order like a custom order. We like to go over all of the details with the clients because our goal is to make them happy," he states. The shop takes local, national, and international requests.

Simple Wheel Werks • [email protected] • 714-651-7239


Skunk2 Racing
Norco, CA 92860
HASport Performance
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Competition Clutch
Conyers, GA 30012
Golden Eagle Manufacturing
San Dimas, CA 91773
Long Beach, CA 90801
By Jonathan Thompson
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