King Motorsports Unlimited, Inc. - Mugen Performance Products for Honda and Acura

Interview: The Clevelend Connection - Chris & Alyssa (8th Gen Civics)



Enthusiasts drive out from near and far for our annual Dyno Day in Wisconsin. We love meeting Honda owners and talking about their cars and the attention they've put into them. At Dyno Day 2012 we met Chris and Alyssa, who drove over 400 miles from Cleveland in their color-coordinated & tuned 8th Gen Civics. They joined us again in 2013-- so eager for Dyno Day that they actually arrived a day early and visited our facilities to say hello!

Here are Chris and Alyssa with Mugen rep Onuma-San at Dyno Day 2013 -- betcha you've never seen a pink Mugen t-shirt before!:



We caught up with them recently to talk about their builds...


Q: How did you meet?


Alyssa: Chris and I met in the summer of 2008. I actually initiated it after I spotted his car parked behind a store as I was driving by. It was the first Mugen Si I had seen in person and was a very active member on 8thcivic.com at the time. I turned around and placed an 8thCivic business card on his car with my username on it. A few days later he contacted me and we chatted for a while through Private Message and such and decided to meet to get to know each other and go for a drive. In doing so it evolved a friendship and later a relationship.

Alyssa drives: 2007 Civic Si Coupe - All motor build (using as many OEM parts from other Hondas as possible)

Chris drives: 2008 Civic Si Mugen - Comptech Stage 2 Supercharged

Both cars get stored in the winter but are pretty much daily driven in the few summer months we have here in Ohio.


Q: I like what you said about using as many OEM parts as possible -- the OEM+ approach is popular. Do you guys have other shared functional or cosmetic philosophies?

Alyssa: I think we are both into very similar things when it comes to cosmetic and functional ideas. We both feel a good car is all in the details, especially when modding a Honda since it is usually a very common platform. You have to do things that set yours apart from the rest whether it is a rare JDM build or something made for big power, it isn't really our style to go with what everyone else is doing. I am a pretty big wheel guru and am always taking notice of what set up everyone is going with and how a nice set of wheels and tires can really set the car off.


Q: How about things that you both agree you would NEVER do to your cars?

Alyssa: The top of that list would be anything knockoff. We both say that a certain pride is taken in owning the real thing no matter the product.

Chris: Stickers! They never make your car faster.


Q: I've personally seen stickers add +5WHP at the dyno. (Not really.) Would you ever trade cars? :)

Alyssa: We both get to drive each others from time to time and realize how different they really are. I don't think a trade is in the works any time soon but you never know.


Q: What parts or goals are next for each of you in your builds?

Alyssa: I am continuing with the all-motor build and am looking to have a set of TSX cams, TL Brembo brakes, and eventually am planning some ITB's.

Chris: Dyno Tune by King Motorsports!


Q: How did you decide to make the long trek out for Dyno Day? How was the trip?

Alyssa: We decided on a whim in 2012 to get away after I lost my father to cancer, we needed a weekend of something fun and that was it. After having such a great time last year and gaining even more respect for the guys at King, we decided to do it again this year. It was great, we love the small town feel of the organization and how down to earth everyone was. We brought both cars the first year and decided this year to just bring the Mugen, but in 2014, both cars will be back.

Chris: The trip was great and it really paid off because I actually won a Comp Clutch kit with one of the $1 raffle tickets.


Q: While you were at King you picked up a Mugen umbrella. Do you have any other favorite Mugen bits?

Alyssa: My Mugen GP's are my pride and joy and get babied as much as the car does even when they are in storage.

Chris: My Mugen Blanket with the big kanji letters has been in the back seat of the car since 2009. Anything Mugen like the Reservoir covers, key chains, etc...


Q: What about favorite Mugen parts?

Alyssa: Mugen GP's and Quick Shift Kit.

Chris: My Mugen Exhaust and Suspension.


** Build lists **

Alyssa:
2007 Civic Si Coupe:
~TODA Ported and Polished RRC Manifold
~Import DPS Intake Heatwrapped
~J35 Throttle Body
~Mugen Quickshifter
~Corsport Shifter Cable Bushings
~Invidia Race Header
~Invidia Q300
~Black FD2 Dipstick
~RDX Injectors
~Hybrid Racing Fuel Rail and Gauge
~Hybrid Racing Hoses
~Custom Battery Tray
~ARC Spark Plug Cover
~Pulstar Plugs
~Mugen GP gunmetal Powdercoated Valve Cover
~Mugen Reservoir Covers
~Mugen Black Oil Cap
~Mugen Radiator Cap
~Hondata Flash Pro
~BC BR Coilovers
~SPC Camber Kit
~18" Mugen GP's
~Mugen Heptagon Lug Nuts
~215/40/18 Yokohama Parada Spec 2's
~HFP Brake Kit
~CT-Engineering Rear Sway Bar
~HFP Front Lip
~HFP Rear Lip
~HFP Sides
~GRFXP Taillight Tint
~50%/30% Window Tint
~Mini H1 5000K Retrofit
~OEM fogs w/ 6000K HID's
~08 Si Shift Boot
~Mugen Si Shift Knob
~Strutking Dead Pedal
~Honda Trunk Tray

Chris:
2008 Mugen Si
~CT-e Supercharger
~CT-e 560cc Injectors
~Walbro 255 lph Fuel Pump
~CT-e 3.15" Pulley
~Hondata Flashpro
~AEM Uego
~Skunk2 Megapower Race Header Heatwrapped
~Custom 3.5 Intake Heatwrapped
~J35 Throttle Body
~Boomba Motor Mounts
~Custom Battery Tray
~NGK Iridium 2 Step Colder Plugs
~Wrinkle Red Valve Cover
~Mugen Reservoir Covers
~Mugen Oil Cap
~Mugen Radiator Cap
~Mugen Quickshifter
~Corsport Cable Bushings
~Corsport Base Bushings
~Excelerate Gauge Pod
~Honda Trunk Tray
~CT-e Lowering Springs
~Mugen Visors
~Mugen Heptagon Lug Nuts
~Seibon Carbon Fiber OEM Style Hood
~30%/50% Window Tint
~6000K HID Kit


Alyssa adds this: We would like to thank Bill Turk @ Rick Case Honda for being there from the beginning and parts hookup whenever we need anything, Rick @ Import DPS for building such great products and involvement in the Honda community and last but not least the all the guys at King for doing everything they do!

Here are a few more pictures of their Civics!

 

 

 









Visit the King Motorsports online store for performance & aero parts for the 8th Gen Civic Si!

EP3 Mini-Meet in Washington State


This past Labor Day we gathered a few EP3 Civics together for a Pacific Northwest mini-meet.


Seven EP3 owners from the Portland and Tacoma/Seattle areas met in Castle Rock, WA for grub. Bellies full of pizza, we headed up WA-504 for the 52 mile trip to the Johnston Ridge Observatory overlooking Mt. St. Helens.


Those of us with gray hair will remember Mt. St. Helens as the active stratovolcano that blew its top in May of 1980. The eruption scorched 230 square miles of forest and was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in all of US history. 30 years later, Mt. St. Helens looks downright other-worldly; it's clear something massive, dangerous and powerful happened here. The landscape just looks wrong -- yet it makes a natural sense all its own. It is rare to see so much landscape changed in such a short time.


If I was a better writer I would make some kind of deeply insightful comparison linking the shifting modifications of this landscape to the changes we've seen to our own EP3s over the years. Or to the reputation of the EP3s, or of Honda... but I'll spare you!


The Tacoma/Seattle guys roll up to our meeting point in Castle Rock. Julio leads the way, followed by Rick. John in the silver EP had intentionally popped the hood latch to give his motor a bit more cool air.



This is the 52-mile route we took from Castle Rock to the Johnston Ridge Observatory overlooking Mt. St. Helens.



We made up a nice caravan of seven as we headed up the hill. Here is a great shot Dave somehow took out of his sunroof, while driving. He managed to get all seven of us in one shot!



Dave led up the pack in his Taffeta White Si, setting a good pace on his Buddy Club N+ coilovers and black-coated RSX rims. His HKS exhaust roars ahead on the road that will take us up the mountain past shaded valleys, expansive bridges and wide-open, forested vistas.


Behind him was John -- an OG EP owner in a Satin Silver Metallic sleeper he's owned since it had 25 miles on the odometer. He hasn't stopped driving it since. On the way to today's meet he clicks over to 214,000 miles. John has the rare privilege to pick between an EP3 and an Apex Blue Pearl S2000 Club Racer (CR) in his garage -- and tells us that of all the dozen or so Hondas he's owned, he will never be able to part ways with his EP3. He just loves it too much.


Next was Todd, a Portlander who has quietly modded his white EP for years and has only recently been meeting up with other EP owners. He's a lurker on the forums that we finally got to come out and play. I met him when I purchased his Mr. Alex front strut bar from him in a Target parking lot last year. He's holding his own as we dive into the corners.


Behind him was Julio, driving our most modified EP of the day. Julio's ride has a custom metallic purple (root beer) paint job with genuine Mugen lip & grille on a JDM front end -- and a swapped motor. Actually I'm not sure how many motors he's had in this car. Maybe Julio has lost count too. His car has seen generous iterations of motors, suspensions, aero ... and survived an ordeal involving a turbo setup gone wrong. It's awesome to see that he stuck it out and has kept on modding.


Behind him is Brian, driving a Nighthawk Black Pearl EP on bronze 16" Konig rims with a Greddy exhaust. Springs drop it to an aggressive height. The car itself actually belongs to Dave's twin brother Andy (Yep, twin brothers with modded EP3s. That's how we do it in the PNW). The car is on loan for the day to Brian, who normally drives an S2000. Today he's driving Andy's EP so the car can join us for the drive, even if its owner couldn't.


Nearing the end of the caravan is Rick, with a white EP on bronze wheels with Mugen Sport Suspension. He's sporting a Volvo lip that looks amazing on his front bumper, giving it a nice chin that means business. A small German flag swings from his rear view mirror, a signal of his Bavarian lineage.


Bringing up the rear is me, in my black EP. I'm lamenting having left my Buddy Club suspension set on the softer side, but enjoying this chance to stretch my hatch's legs in a pack like this. It's a fun challenge to be the caboose in a seven-car line. I didn't realize just how much more information I would have to process, since I had a clear view of most of the caravan; Just as the leaders might be speeding up, others might be slowing down in a turn. Some might be tapping brakes to adjust following speed. My solution was to just hang back, to not follow too closely. It was like being the tail on an undulating Slinky, stretching and compressing in waves. I'd say I had one of the best views of the group -- not only did I get to enjoy the amazing scenery but also got to see all these clean EPs winding up these beautiful roads.


In a total coincidence, we actually passed a bone-stock, black EP3 headed the other direction. The driver didn't seem to know he had just passed seven of his biggest fans. Clearly not a fellow enthusiast!


Here we are at a scenic lookout point mid-way up the mountain. Mt. St. Helens is in the background.



Sportin' the license plate frame of champions!




John's EP3, rocking the OEM 15" stockies and experimental plasti-dipped lower chin:




Reaching the observatory, we are treated to this alien landscape transformed by the dome-less Mt. St. Helens. Dave says the mountain lost 1000 feet of height in the eruption. The earth is already starting to push up a new mound in the crater that will one day be a new peak.





As the sun begins to set, we line our cars up for a final photo opp.




Below from left to right: Julio, Perry, Andy.



Below from left to right: Rick, Todd, Dave.




The parking lot for the observatory is massive. Our cars are lined up at the far end of the lot.





A closer look... can you spot the Prius in this lineup? Just kidding!



We decide to let the sun go down so it wouldn't blind us on the drive back.




The 2002-2005 Honda Civic Si hatchback never quite lived up to its overseas, beloved Type-R brothers. Out of the box it looked a bit like an egg, or perhaps a squat version of the Odyssey minivan. Pre-facelift, the car had tiny 15" rims. Despite these quirks, the EP3 provides ample opportunity for customization and dramatic improvements. The Recaro-made OEM seats, rally-style dash-mounted shifter and torque-blessed K-series are still a killer package that is hard to leave behind once you've driven an EP3. This last Stateside Si hatchback has just turned eleven years old and is being discovered and enjoyed by a new generation of Honda enthusiasts.

 

I'm looking forward to what the next decade of changes will bring for our EPs!


Photo credits: Dave O. and Perry W.


** Build Lists **


Dave's EP3
2004 Taffeta White
185,300 miles, owned since 2009
BuddyClub N+ suspension
HKS Hi-Power exhaust
DC Sports shorty header
BuddyClub Short Shifter
Tanabe strut bar
Neuspeed lower x-brace
HFP wing
Seibon CF hood
RSX wheels coated black - Dunlop Z1 Star Spec

Todd's EP3
2002 Taffeta White
87,000 miles, owned since 2003
AEM V2 intake
DC Sports shorty header
JP Performance mid-pipe
Neuspeed short shifter
Metal shifter bushings
15” Kosei K1s powder coated black
Bridgestone Potenzas RE960 205/60/15
Eibach Pro-kit
JDM rear sway bar with Energy Suspension bushings
HFP wing
DIY black headlight housings
Red/Black carbon fiber dash kit

Julio's EP3 (this is just a partial list!)
2004 Honda Rootbeer Metallic
84,200 miles, owned since 2006
K24A4
Hasport I/M Adapter Plate
Hondata I/M Gasket
RSX-S Injectors
K-Pro
DC Sport Shorty
HKS Hi-Power exhaust
C/F Spark Plug Cover and I/M Cover
Corsport Aluminum Shifter Cable Bushings
Corsports Aluminum Shifter Base Bushings
J's Racing Engine Torque Dampener
Buddy Club Short Shifter
JDM 04-05 Projectors w/ 8K HID kit
JDM 04-05 Taillights
JDM Front Bumper
Authentic 04-05 Mugen Lip
Authentic 04-05 Mugen Grille
ARC EK9 Splitters
JDM Rear Bumper and Lip
Benen Rear Tow Hook
Burnt Titanium Mugen Emblems
C/F Mugen Replica Hood
C/F Hatch
C/F Mugen Replica Wing
C/F Spoon Replica Mirrors
OEM Hood Bra
JDM Rear Rebar Mod
EDM DC2 Rear Foglight
Work Emotions CR-KAI (17x7)
Toyo Proxes 4 (205-40-17)
H&R 2" Lowering Springs
KYB Shocks
Corsport C-Pillar Bar
Corsport Rear Strut Bar
Corsport Adjustable Sway Bar Links
Omni Rear LCA's
Hardrace RCA's
Beaks Lower Tie Bar
DC-5 Rear Sway Bar
EM2 Front Sway Bar

Andy's EP3
2003 Nighthawk Black Pearl
92,500 miles, owned since 2006
Tokiko Blues with Neuspeed springs
Greddy EVO 2 exhaust
Injen short ram air intake
DC Sports Titanium strut bar
Neuspeed lower x-brace
HFP wing
HFP Side skirts
Fiber Images CF hood
Konig Helium wheels - Dunlop DZ101

Rick's EP3
2002 Taffeta White
130,000 miles, owned since 2008
17" Rota Tarmac II
Mugen Showa Sports Suspension
04-05 OEM side skirts
OEM JDM Type-R window visors
OEM hood bra (recently stolen but being replaced)
Custom catback exhaust
Short ram intake
OEM JDM RSX side markers (wired into parking lights)
HFP wing
Volvo front valance retrofit front lip

Perry's EP3
2002 Nighthawk Black Pearl
52,000 miles, original owner
BuddyClub N+ suspension
5-lug conversion (from 2003 RSX Type-S)
Mugen MF-10 17x7.5
AEM V2 intake
Greddy EVO 2 exhaust
Seats from JDM Integra Type-R DC5
EDM Type-R headlights with Morimoto projectors
Mugen grill
Replica carbon fiber Mugen wing
Carbon fiber front lip spoiler (Type-R style)
HFP rear lip

 

** Visit the King Motorsports store for parts for the EP3, including genuine Mugen bits **


In the Shop: DC2 Roll Cage Overhaul (updated)

On the fabrication side of the shop: Roll cage construction progresses on Ian G.'s DC2/K20 road race car. Ian purchased this race car out of the Pacific North West and upon delivery was quite shocked by the (lack of) quality of the roll cage. Ian sawed out the original cage and brought the car to us for a proper NASA/SCCA-legal cage that will provide a much higher level of protection and chassis stiffness.

First step is an ugly one: grind out all the remnants of the original cage. Not for the faint of heart but when complete, you have a clean sheet to work from!



Now that the remnants of the original cage are history we can begin by fabricating the mounting plates for the main hoop. We use 1/8" cold rolled steel plate in this instance. We will MIG weld the side plates to the floor first. A hole will be drilled into the floor so we can drop the main hoop down far enough to TIG weld ALL THE WAY AROUND all tubes welded to the main hoop. Once they are welded, the bottom mounting plate is slid under the main hoop and welded into place.



More about King Motorsports roll cage design, fabrication and installation:
http://www.kingmotorsports.com/c-248-roll-cages.aspx

Update 8/30/2013: NASCAR door bar fabrication. Nearing completion of Ian G.'s DC2 race car safety makeover!