Charles kicked off the transformation by focusing his attention to the 2.3-liter power plant. Dan Paramore Racing of Torrance, CA was called upon to provide the components that would turn the engine into something special. The engine received new ductile iron sleeves that effectively increased the displacement to 2.4 liters, and the stock crankshaft was micropolished and balanced. The stock pistons were replaced with custom 11:1 compression ratio JE pistons that feature Swain Tech poly/molly coatings on the piston skirts and ceramic coating on the piston tops. Charles also specified ultra-strong Crower billet connecting rods and ARP rod bolts to ensure the engine would stay together at high power output levels. ARP also used the bottom end to prototype new main studs. Up on top, Paramore did his magic on the cylinder head by performing a full porting and polishing number and reshaping the combustion chambers. Larger (by 1mm) stainless-steel intake and exhaust valves went in, supported by stiffer DPR valve springs. The head was attached to the block with prototype ARP head studs. The valve train was substantially altered as well, with aggressive DPR camshafts replacing the stock items and AEM cam gears allowing Charles to fine-tune the timing with these new cams. These serious top-end mods were performed with nitrous use in mind.
Now we focus our attention to the top of the engine where the head was been ported and polished by DPR Racing East in Toledo, Ohio. The importance of proper head work can't be overlooked. If you're building an engine, it's an important step. The head is the gateway to the combustion chamber, and a lot depends on it working properly to make good power. That is why this head work was left to the experts at DPR. Porting is a tricky business. There's a fine line between good intake efficiency and too damn-big. Make the ports too big and you lose intake charge velocity, which results in bogging at low engine speeds. Make them the shape and you can make a bad situation worse. And if you're really careless, you can bore right through a water passageway, ruining the head for good. So even though you might think you're a hotshot with a Dremel, let the pro's at DPR port your head. While a lot of attention gets paid to the porting the intake ports, not much goes to the exhaust. Why? Well, its not as important but it's worth making the ports a little bigger and smoother, even though it isn't as exact a science. Usually, deburring the port is good enough for the exhaust-side. The flip side of porting is polishing the combustion chamber itself. This is done primarily to eliminate places where detonation can occur. If you have a small burr or other extraneous piece of metal in the engine, it will get hot faster. A hot spot will ignite gasoline before the spark plug can. This pre-ignition is detonation, and can be ruinous to an engine, especially if it is under extra pressure from higher compression (as in our case) or forced induction. By modifying the combustion chamber, you can also change the swirl pattern inside the combustion chamber to gather the fuel-air mixture around the spark plug for better ignition.
LSR racing is not to be taken lightly. Remember that time you were alone on the freeway, you put the pedal down, and your car squeezed into the 120 mph range before you finally chickened out and backed off? That ain't nothing. (It's also dangerous and stupid on a public road, so don't do it.) If you really feel the need for speed, Bonneville is the place to be. And now, our intrepid photographer has set a new standard, piloting the Progress Group/DPR?Hondata?Vortech Civic to the new world's record in the G/BGALT class. The new record officially makes the green Civic the fastest in the world. The supercharged and heavily modified b16 pulled the Civic to a two-way average of 196.687 mph. Even more impressive was the one-way pass of 204.287 mph. For those of you who pay attention to such things, that's faster than a Civic would fall from an airplane. Just to make it as dramatic as possible, John pulled off this feat on the last run of the day in the last car at the last possible moment. Not that there was any pressure, of course. A hearty congratulations from all of us at HT to the crews who made the run possible.
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