B-Series Honda CRX Si – The Giant Killer


Unless you’re a local, this aggressive black CRX’s 52.05 track time at Pacifico Sport, and 1: 10.88 at Autodroma Interlomas probably doesn’t mean much to you, though it should. You see, both locations are based in Chile, where owner Felipe Gaete Moran resides, and both locations afflict house very competitive racetracks that meet the needs of time attack events. Still, unless you’ve actually driven on these tracks yourself, the times are nothing more than a few digits, right? Well, just to give you a sense of how impressive those digits really are; similar lap times are reserved for tuned R35s and modified Porsche 997s on slicks. What’s more impressive would be the fact Felipe’s CRX slays dragons with a mere high compression B-series powerplant and a full blown obsession with finding the perfect balance ofhandling and powerbefore the lightning quick laps being brought home, Felipe was actually a student carting around in a 1977 Honda Civic with thoughts of possibly swapping a D15B under the hood. He adds, That’s all I had when a friend explained to me he wanted to show me something that makes me go crazy. He took me to this place and there it absolutely was; this black CRX. I borrowed totally of the fee for the vehicle, which had been $2500, in a tax free zone of Chile. I wanted it, though it was nuts paying that amount for a CRX at that time!

The last owner didn’t like the harsh ride, though the ’91 CRX had actually been imported from Japan and even included a set of Tein coilovers. For that reason, he had swapped a collection of Integra shocks and springs that elevated the 2-seater to new heights and as Felipe describes it, [it] looked like a CRV!

1991 honda CRX si danger motors custom cage 08

1991 honda CRX si 949 racing wheels 11

1991 honda CRX si B16A head 13

The automobile was torn down quickly but hit a stopping point quickly due to Felipe’s status being a student. Money was incredibly tight and wanting to build something remarkable, the new owner spent the following three years by using a bare shell and a head full of ideas that teetered on what his bank account enables. After saving up enough money, a B20B swap was finally within reach and soon found its way under the hood. Shortly after installing the 2.0L B-series, clutch and transmission woes began to arise. Fortunately, Felipe could find an ORC clutch and a used Spoon LSD to have an affordable amount and had Julio Bravo of Bravoracing piece everything together. This was at the first try I could really run the car. It wasn’t enough to beat the times that Porsches were recording at that time. As money allowed, more modifications made their way to the build, including headwork and a set of Crower cams, although some Evos and WRXs were the first victims on this little Honda. PIC Select coilovers and a long list of chassis braces and crucial bushing upgrades were installed as driver development continued to advance. In an effort to gain more traction, wider, staggered 949 Racing wheels were installed and the factory gears were ditched to opt for shorter MFactoryFourth and Third, and Fifth gears. An easy but effective setup that essentially harnessed every ounce of power from the non-VTEC mill with thefrom a $2,500 Honda, instead of just getting mad, they get faster. Felipe adds, It happened. The Porsche and GTR owners began to really tune their cars. We were still the fastest but those R35s were right around the corner. We decided to drop a VTEC head on the B-series block. The VTEC conversion was accompanied by a group of Toda VTEC killer cams and a whole new beast was unleashed. Throughout the cars next outing a valve spring decided to commit suicide at the worst possible time-the Time Attack finals. Down but not out, Felipe borrowed a customers K20 swapped EG and managed to muscle his method to a Third Place finish with the finals-enough beingthe entire year prior, many had high hopes and big expectations for Felipe in 2013. A solution was expected from the giant-killer CRX after news had spread with regards to a GTR recently breaking the track record, that has been then taken by a Porsche. The answer came in the form of a rebuilt B-series (B20) block using Wiseco pistons and Eagle rods that pushed compression all the way up to 13: 1. To bring in more air, a Skunk2 Ultra (street) intake manifold was installed and greatly increased midrange output while bringing the power output up to 245whp. A rematch was inevitable.

Competing from the Open Class that Felipe calls home means you’re facing the important boys. Which is, cars which can be fast right out of the box, or heavily modified for track use. What which means is that competitors have the choice to run slicks rather than radials. With the newfound power, a collection of Hankook slicks, and packed with confidence in his CRX, Felipe took back what was his, and currently holds the background with no intentions of letting it slip away.

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