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Old 7th September 2014, 13:39   #1
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Default Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story – A Race Concepts build!

Hi everyone, Posting on behalf of my buddy who is yet to get accepted into this forum. So, he wanted me to start a thread dedicated to his car. So this is his story about his 2002 honda city vtec turbocharged as written by him.

My Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story - Jagadish Gowda

Well as the title says, this is the story of my journey of acquiring and turbocharging my Honda city vtec. I am grateful that I had the pleasure of knowing Joel Joseph for some time now. I met him through my biking journey, where he pimped my Yamaha R15 back in 2010. I was immediately impressed with his ethics and the way he went about his work. So in 2013, he offered me a spin in his fully built NA street Vtec and I was absolutely amazed at the level of performance that was obtained from this tiny 1.5 engine and I immediately requested Joel to plan something for my car. That NA Honda City had driven me mad. I had a 2006 Baleno which I thought was the best bet (has Joel’s full exhaust system) and after tasting the Vtec, immediately decided to sell and pick a Honda City VTEC. We found a clean car in a week and after putting down our thoughts, we finally decided to start the work on my car and Joel had convinced me to go the boost way. Turbo.

My car was a bone stock Vtec used by a higher official in a reputed organized . I personally am very particular of how my car looks and runs and don’t settle for anything less unless I am truly satisfied. Now Joel went about ordering and making the custom parts right from the intercooler, the turbo, wastegate, blowoff valve, RC spec forged pistons, RC spec forged connecting rods, race bearings, valvetrain etc. A few weeks later, the parts arrived and we were excited to start the engine bit. Well all shiny parts accounted for, next was the build.

Joel first started off with the engine. The internals was all swapped to handle the boost. The head was worked on by Joel by giving a stage 3 turbo flow treatment with lot of stuffs etc. Then went in uprated valves, springs and retainers. All the OEM belts were changed. The engine was put together in a week with Joel personally checking clearances and bolting the engine together. Meanwhile, the engine bay was cleaned and the wiring harness clearly sorted. The vaccum and coolant lines were swapped for braided Samco pipes. Engine was installed and a new custom intake manifold made specifically for turbo was built by Joel. Stock exhaust was used and the car was up and running in a weeks time and it was time for break-in of the fresh engine. We also swapped the gearbox final drive ratio with a custom cut shorter ones. Joel personally manufacturers custom gears and final drive ratios for the Honda city, so we we had a wide choice of ratios to choose from.

After taking delivery of the car, I was surprised to find that the engine was butter smooth. The car was smoother than the stock car. I started the tough job of doing the running in of the engine. I drove the car up and down from Bangalore and Chennai. Finally after 1500 Kms in a month, the car was back at Race Concepts for the next step of mods.

Joel then installed the intercooler the right way. The reason I say this is, the Honda city does not have enough space in front to install the intercooler the right way. I have seen many builds where the intercoolers have been installed the wrong way! So, Joel installed the intercooler with perfect spacing and by not cutting much of the bumper, then planned the turbo plumbing for the car. A custom turbo exhaust manifold built inhouse at Race Concepts was installed. Joel took a whole week to make this piece of art personally. The Garrett GT28R turbo was installed along with an Turbosmart external wastegate, blowoff valve, Walbro fuel pump, Turbosmart fuel pressure regulartor, High flow injectors were installed to satisfy the fuelling of the car. A larger throttle body, K&N filter was installed to help with the breathing of the car. The RD 0901 ECU with 1.5 bar map sensor was wired in, with the Apexi turbo timer, Greddy profec electronic boost control, AEM UGEO WB and Autometer boost guage for handling boost duties. A custom 3 way coilover and RC strut braces were also installed to help tame the beast around corners. A full stainless steel exhaust was built, which was a work of art. Every part of the fabrication was painstakingly done and the plumbing etc was done to get max turbo efficiency without any turbo lag, pre boost. Which is what we got in the end!

Installation took close to a month time, including the fabrication, tuning and everything. Finally, D-day appeared to finally take the car home. The journey from the planning to execution was just over a month and the end result of all those sleep less night was finally in front of me. I could not believe what I was seeing. It was like I was seeing a Turbo job being done abroad, the fit and finish was amazing, close to few that I had seen abroad. The boost was set to 8 PSI and I took delivery of the car, Joel asked me to drive around and return back after few days. He wanted me to get used to the car and get a hold of the power delivery. It was Joel’s birthday and he didn’t refuse to work. Made a turbo base map in just 15-20 mins from scratch and delivered the car. I was simply amazed with the throttle response and precision. It was my first feel in a turbo car in the driver seat (although Joel has exploited me in the past with the 400hp EVO he built) and it was something else. I drove the car around without a single drop of oil or coolant leaking for 300kms over the weekend, for which was a shake-down drive in city. Most builds show colors at this stage itself. The rev limit was set at 5500 and I would hit the limiter in 5th in no time. Easily tracking in excess of 160kph. Effortless was an understatement.

Finally we decided to increase the boost and start tuning the car. That’s when we realized how mad the car was. Post 5500rpm, there was some mental horsepower waiting to unleash. The initial 380cc injectors were beginning to fall on their knees with boost kicking in hard. The boost was increased to only 9psi and power was evil post Vtec kick in. Around the same time, we decided to put the car on the dyno and see what numbers we can get. The car was taken to a roller dyno at RD and we decided to see the magic numbers. We managed to pull 175whp with just 9psi boost and with the injectors maxing out after 6500rpm. It was quite a shock to us. We expected a lower figure. All this still with a stock camshaft. A stock vtec on the same dyno makes 80whp.

This was over 200% clearly on our very first attempt.

Joel soon got a call from a reputed auto magazine for a shootout of the Race Concepts’ Honda City VTECs and we had our NA street Honda city and my turbo lined up for the shoot. That’s when we decided to push the limits of the car, in terms of top speed and acceleration. The car ran on a shorter final drive with an 8000rpm rev limit. Wheel spin was an issue with the car spinning all the way till 105kph. The only person who could tame the car during launches was Joel himself and he has the best drag times in the country for Elapsed times in a given car. After over 15 launches, Joel decided that its best we settle with a full close ratio gearbox to get traction and improve the quartermile times.

Next was replacing the gear ratios with custom cut gears by Joel. The stock 1st and 2nd gear was maintained, with custom 3rd, 4th and 5th gear ratios. The final drive was again replaced with a really tall one. The traction woes were then sorted to a great extent and it was time for the drag race at Kari Speedway on 29th-31st August 2014. Meanwhile I also did a reliability trip with friends for over 1000kms. What shocked me was the fact that we didn’t even have a single drop of oil leaking or anything to worry about, no boost spike, nothing. The car ran flawless and returned nearly 10kmpl with mental highway driving. Something that I never even expected. I had pretty much clocked nearly 3000kms after the Turbo and we were then set for the drag.
We drove down to Coimbatore for the race weekend, drove around places in and around Coimbatore and even forgot that we had a race weekend. The car pampered us that much. The race weekend had 2 rounds. We swapped to Joel’s MRF track rubber from his race car and made final minor adjustments and were all set. To our disappointment, the drag was organized in the reverse way, which was a downhill course. We still decided to give it our best shot. Wheel spin was going to be a bigger concern despite running slicks as the surface was very slippery and it rained in and out. Joel managed to clock the fastest time in my car and we also beat an EVO X in one of the runs. The uphill runs slowed all the cars by over 1-1.5 secs. Meanwhile it was a treat to also watch Joel take out super cars and set the fastest time of the day in his NA Vtec. We had loads of fun and we reached back Bangalore without anything to attend on the car. That’s what I call a reliable and fun build. We pushed the car to nearly 14psi with pump gas all over, the car was mad. It would torque steer violently under acceleration but the handling dynamics set by the team just forgives all the drama. The suspension, braces, wheels, tyres, power delivery etc just make it all an experience when the throttle is buried. All this, still with a stock cam.

I would like to thank Joel and his Race Concepts team for the wonderful car they built. The build continues as we speak, with more boost and lot more refinements that is being planned by us. My dream of driving a fast Honda is now a reality and I am excited as a little kid, each time I turn on the key. Reliable and fast, is never this easy. I have seen several builds by various tuners, but was always skeptical about tuning my car to such an extent and keeping it reliable. I am one happy person today. Never knew tuning can bring so much excitement to ones life. On the downside, I cant drive anything stock anymore

Few Pics.

Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story – A Race Concepts build!-img_4626.jpg

Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story – A Race Concepts build!-pic2a.jpg

Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story – A Race Concepts build!-pic3a.jpg
Note from Support - Post edited to confirm to forum rules. Please avoid mention of high speed driving or overtaking bigger German cars on the highway and such posts as it can come across as street racing and careless/reckless driving.

Last edited by n_aditya : 31st October 2014 at 14:31. Reason: Straightening images. Thanks!
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Old 7th September 2014, 20:55   #2
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Default Re: Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story – A Race Concepts build!

Specs of the car :
8.4:1 compression ratio
Forged custom oversize pistons
Forged steel connecting rods
Forged Steel rod bolts and head bolts
coated race engine bearings
Race Concepts' Stage 3 turbo cylinder head upgrade
Stiffer valve springs
Titanium retainers
Custom grind VTEC camshaft (awaiting install)
Adjustable timing wheel
DENSO spark plugs
Stock flywheel
Race Concepts' custom Turbo spec manifold
Oversize throttle body
High flow 440cc injectors
TS fuel pressure regulator
Walbro race fuel pump
Apexi Turbo Timer

Close ratio gearbox with custom cut 3,4,5 ratios
Shorter ratio final drive
Stage 2 clutch - Exedy

RD0901 Engine management with on-board 1.5 bar map sensor
Apexi Turbo Timer
Greddy profec Electronic Boost controller

Induction system:
Garrett GT28R series ball bearing turbo with custom housing
Custom RC inhouse header manifold
Bi-metal intake plumbing
Custom sized Intercooler
Stainless steel downpipe and dual stage full exhaust system
TS Blow-off Valve
TS External wastegate 40mm
Silicon joints and hoses
Silicon coolant lines

Uprated Mintex race pads
Rear disc conversion (in progress)
Uprated front disc rotor
Front and rear steel braided brake lines
Upper and lower/front and rear body braces
Custom 3 way adjustable coilover suspension
Enkei RPF01 forged wheels
Maxxis 205 MAZ1 tyres

OMP deep dish race steering wheel
Skunk2 metal gear knob
Bride Carbon Fibre CUGA seats

Performance data:
Current output around 250-260whp, max target around 280-300whp
0-400 mtrs - early 14 secs
Current boost rating - 15psi with pump gas
Max boost - 22psi with97 octane
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Old 8th September 2014, 14:37   #3
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Wow. Nice stuff. What rpm does the turbo kick in? What boost does it make at that rpm? Curious because I am planning to do a similar setup on the corolla. But was looking at a smaller turbo.
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Old 8th September 2014, 15:15   #4
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Default Re: Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story – A Race Concepts build!

I have sat in this car, and in gear acceleration it looses traction. But it is a nice highway cruiser. There is lot of time spent on this build. The intake and exhaust manifolds are pure delicious. I love those mintexs. There is nothing like overtaking a fast German on the highway. Have fun and safe drive.
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Old 13th September 2014, 08:51   #5
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Default Re: Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story – A Race Concepts build!

Phew what a write up, Karthik.
Thanks kutlee, it sure is a lazy and relaxed cruiser on the highway. We have already done 3 road trips and its super fun.

The car is currently being pushed on the dyno with the stock cam to extract as much reliable street horsepower as possible with pump gas. We reached 220whp and the injectors maxed out after 6000rpm. We are trying to get as much as 250-260whp for daily drivability with a stock camshaft.
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Old 30th October 2014, 22:57   #6
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Default Re: Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story – A Race Concepts build!

Can you please upload a video. Cant wait to hear what it sounds like.
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Old 31st October 2014, 09:56   #7
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Default Re: Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story – A Race Concepts build!

Nice write-up and a very nice car, speedfreak. How did all of that cost, if you don't mind me asking? I know that money is not a factor when it comes to such builds, but I would still be interested to know.

200% increase in power? Absolutely amazing! Kudos.
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Old 31st October 2014, 12:03   #8
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Default Re: Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story – A Race Concepts build!

Sorry to ask but if you dont mind can you please tell me the total cost of the above mods and if this is your daily drive 'Kitna Deti hain'? And any issues you facing.
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Old 12th December 2014, 03:01   #9
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Default Re: Turbocharged Honda City VTEC story – A Race Concepts build!

Originally Posted by coloneljasi View Post
Nice write-up and a very nice car, speedfreak. How did all of that cost, if you don't mind me asking? I know that money is not a factor when it comes to such builds, but I would still be interested to know.

200% increase in power? Absolutely amazing! Kudos.
Please PM him directly to know the costs. These projects are too close to us to be discussing in the open. The car is now making 300% the power of stock. Its indeed not meant for the "Kitna deti hai" individual since its meant to be an absolute cracker when the throttle is pressed. Yet, under sedate driving style, returns north of 10kmpl, under low boost conditions.

Plan is now to push the package to touch the 350 crank horsepower mark.
The car runs on stock camshaft.
Will post the developments!
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