The ultimate automotive authority

Tuner / 01-05-18

2000 Honda Civic EM1 – Speed Merchant

By Francis G. Pallarco


A purpose-built drag car

Speed. The strongest motivating force behind most, if not all, enthusiasts who engage in motorsports. The feeling is unlike anything, which strongly explains why they keep coming back for more. What’s great is that anyone can always go faster. Although not everyone succeeds and it’s not always as simple as it seems, but going fast simply never goes out of style. This holds true in the realm of drag racing, where speed is measured down to the last hundredth of a second. Something that Mark ‘Macoy’ Yanson understands fully well as he says, “My passion for drag racing started like 6 years ago, racing on the streets of Bacolod City illegally. More specifically along the infamous Bacolod-Talisay highway during the weekends. Friends and peers would go there to test, gauge and race cars from 11pm ‘till the cops arrives.” Just like most, this passion soon progressed into more serious builds like their newest 1320 projectile and properly doing it on the drag strip. I mean serious because this is a purpose built racecar and it’s actually their second full-on drag car. Mark’s brother, Chris, already has a DC2 carbon fiber bodied drag car with a fully built K24 turbo engine that’s making 1000hp.Getting straight into the heart of the build, a K20 engine was chosen as race engine builder/tuner Ralph De Jesus of RDJ Tuning Solutions explains, “I noticed that Chris’ K24 has way too much torque for the Clark track. Even with all techniques on getting traction, I couldn’t tame the K24’s massive torque. So we decided to downplay the engine and stick with a K20.” The 2.0-liter aluminum block was re-sleeved with stronger Darton sleeves, which replaces the factory steel cylinder sleeves. A set of forged pistons went in as well together with billet aluminum connecting rods. The factory cylinder head was tossed in favor of a brand new CNC machined head made by 4 Piston. The better flowing head features a precise CNC valve job as well as a power producing exhaust port design. Using a Speedfactory/BWR exhaust manifold, a 76mm Precision turbo was mounted on top that’s rated to support up to 1250 hp. Not to miss are the gaping, custom stainless pipes for the intake, exhaust, and wastegate that collectively looks intimidating. “This engine was built to put out 1200hp on methanol, but right now, we’re still shaking down the car and making barely 600hp on 15psi. In time, we’ll turn it up to 50psi and shoot for our target hp and hit the 8s.” Currently it has laid down a solid 10.38 seconds @ 130 mph at 10 psi with around 500 hp. But as of this writing, its been turned up to 18 psi and 680 whp. Ralph notes that in 2018 we should be be seeing 40 psi and 1200 whp that’s really taking them to the 8’s.In terms of tuning, Engine management duties are taken care of an AEM Infinity ECU with numerous sensors to effectively monitor the engine as Ralph elaborates, “I don’t think anyone in the Philippines uses the auxiliary input channels from a stand alone and really use its function. Take for example, the fuel pressure sensor. Some don’t even bother to log this very important sensor that may affect the overall fueling of the car, making compensations automatically when fuel pressure changes due to boost, or whatever. It also has a protection feature that the engine will stall if fuel pressure goes below to whatever I set…that goes for oil pressure and oil temp sensor as well. I even plan to a put transmission oil pressure, and crankcase pressure in the future to log the engine’s health.” For Ralph, the most important aspects in a drag car that you pay close attention to are, “In my work, I’d say the engine and making sure the engine runs in tip top condition. Within tuning, getting traction and how the car puts the power down would be the most important aspect.”Beyond the obvious race spec hardware that can be found almost everywhere, a lot of detail also went into the layout of the interior. Taking center stage is the Racepack IQ3 dash monitor that’s able to show all the important engine parameters and even more, negating the need for auxiliary gauges. Then there’s the carbon fiber pod for all the electronics and the Tilton pedals. With this much power, the stock gear set of the transmission has been upgraded to a PPG dogbox. Unlike normal helical cut gears, it uses large straight cut gears (dogs) that don’t use a synchronizing mechanism that allows for fast and clutchless shifts necessary in racing. Transferring all that power to the track are sticky drag slicks, requiring the use of heavy-duty Driveshaft Shop pro level axles with larger CV joints and splines so it won twist or snap under load. Want to know what’s its like to drive it? “It’s a different world… no amount of money can buy the feeling of 3rd and 4th gear G’s…. to me, winning is just a bonus, but gaining friends and enjoying the G’s is bliss to me… The thrill and tension really excites me especially the adrenaline you feel when staging your car from the 3rd yellow light ‘till the finish line you’re in a different dimension.” Mark notes. Overall, this epic build epitomizes how a modern front-wheel drive drag car should be built as it fuses functionality and everything needed to go fast in the quarter mile.2000 Honda Civic EM1 (coupe) Mark “Macoy” Yanson Engine – K20A Base engine Engine Block – K20A block with Darton Sleeves, Speedfactory outlaw spec pistons, L19 Head Studs, BME aluminum billet connecting rods, ACL Race Bearings, 4 Pistom oil pump, Moroso Oil Pan, ATI Race Damper Pulley Cylinder Head – 4 Piston CNC machined cylinder head, Berylium Valve Seats, Ferrea Competition Valves, Valvesprings, & Titanium Retainers, Webcam Camshafts Pro Spec Induction – Skunk2 ultra race intake manifold, Skunk2 90mm throttle body, 3.5″ aluminum charge pipes, Precision Turbo 7685 turbine, Speedfactory 1200hp intercooler, Tial bov and wastegates, Speedfactory/BWR T4 exhaust manifold, Skunk2 Fuel System – Injector dynamics 2000cc fuel injectors (8 pcs), Weldon 2345 fuel pump, Weldon 120psi fuel regulator, Weldon Fuel Filter, Skunk2 Fuel Rail, Teflon tubing steel braided hoses (for methanol), 5L fuel cell plastic (for methanol) Electronics – AEM Infinity ECU, Racepak IQ3 dash, Race spec oil pressure, fuel pressure, oil temp pressure sensor Drivetrain – Pfitzner Performance Gearbox dogbox, GForce Long Shifter, Clutchmaster tri-disc, Clutchmaster hydraulic release bearing, Drive Shaft Shop pro level axles, ASP flywheel scatter shield Horsepower – Current whp – 680 whp @ 18 psi Target whp – 1200 whp @ 40 psi Best E.T – 10.38 seconds @ 130 mph Suspension – Strange coilovers, FCS trailing arms Brakes – Wilwood front drag brakes, FCS lightweight rear drag brakes, Hydraulic E-Brake Rollers – Belak Custom drag wheels  (F-15×3.5, R-15×9), M&H Drag Slicks (15x26x12), M&H Frontrunner Tires  (15×3.5) Other Stuff – Kirkey aluminum racing seats, Simspon Safety Harness, Tilton drag pedals, Strange Steering Column, Vibrant Clamps, Stroud Safety Chute, Fire Sense fire extinguisher, Kudos To : RDJ- for engine setup and building and tuning JEM Performance – conceptualization and chassis design Powerhouse Motorsports – mechanical work Vallacar transit – fabrication and fiberglass works Yanson family, Circumferential Auto Sports, Vasquez brothers