Each and every week, while perusing the Honda Tuning Magazine reader mail, we encounter a fair share of hate fodder. We don’t mind so much because we enjoy hearing your words of encouragement as well as criticisms to help make this publication even better, and a majority of it is taken in stride. However, there is one particular issue that is frequently brought up that we feel is often misconstrued—the lack of D-series “love.” Many of you feel the single-cam motor doesn’t get its fair shake and, for whatever reason, we purposely exclude it from getting its time in the spotlight. While it may seem like we don’t have “love” for all things D series, the assumption that we don’t care is highly inaccurate. In fact, we enjoy all things Honda when built properly. We take pride in bringing you a variety of different builds no matter how old or new, be it single cam, dual cam, boosted, or naturally aspirated. You just happen to see more of the B and K series because they’re the hot ticket within our community. Even the iconic B-series family has become less prominent, placing the D- and SOHC F-series family on the endangered species list, and the truth is, there aren’t as many high-level single slammer builds popping up these days.
The biggest complaint about the D15/D16 is that they just aren’t capable of making any power. Oftentimes the people putting these motors down have never owned or built one of their own. The vicious cycle of regurgitating incorrect info based on hearsay continues to plague the Honda community. If you’ve personally owned or driven a well-built D-series engine and later moved on to a B, K, or H motor, then you certainly have some credibility to voice your opinion. There does exist a select group of individuals who have been on both sides of the fence and prefer to take the road less traveled—that road powered by just one cam.
320 whp— more than enough for a street car and just enough to have plenty of fun at the tr
Kevin Gonzalez has owned his fair share of Hondas, including B-series-powered models, and has opted to try his hand at the underdog D16Z6. “My first Honda was actually a ’93 del Sol that my grandpa bought me while I was still a junior in high school,” Kevin says. “I’d always been interested in hatchbacks, so I traded with another guy I went to school with who owned a ’92 Civic Si. It had an exhaust and wheels at the time, but I was so clueless about the Honda scene that I didn’t even realize the wheels were Mugen M7s! It needed some work because the body was beat up, so I learned how to do auto-body repair at a body shop owned by my grandpa and my dad. I found out later that it was virtually impossible to get the car registered, so I pulled the B18C1 that was in the car, along with the Mugen wheels, and swapped them over to another del Sol that I bought. I was young and impatient, so not long after I sold that car for dirt cheap and started scouring the Internet for my next Honda.”
Indecisive, Kevin eventually settled for a ’94 Civic DX hatchback that needed a new quarter panel. He then applied his acquired skills as a body repair man and replaced the panel himself, only to lose the entire car soon after in a car accident. He collected the insurance money and once again found himself surfing the web looking for the next used Honda deal. Gonzalez scoured a number of popular online Honda forums and finally found the ’92 CX that you see before you. It looks to be in great condition now, but it certainly didn’t fall into Kevin’s lap that way.
“The whole car needed a ton of work; the body was beat up, the engine bay was a mess, and it had a sock for an air filter! The worst part about it was the transmission mount bracket was completely gone. The mount was held on by a big metal washer and part of a towhook that was pinched together to the leftover portion of the bracket! I was working at another body shop at the time, so I spent all of my hours after work and weekends fixing everything and getting the chassis prepped for paint. I wanted to make it a little faster as well and made the mistake of being cheap and purchasing a generic turbo kit from eBay. I swear it was nothing but problems,” Gonzalez explains. “I didn’t like how the car drove at all with the poorly made turbo kit, so I pulled it off along with the engine and decided to shave the engine bay. I eventually had the Civic exactly how I envisioned it and started to take it out to meets and other events. One night, I made another bad decision and decided to race a friend of mine on the street; I spun out, crashed into a barbwire fence, and ruined the whole car. There was a moment when I thought about getting rid of my Civic after that, but then I told myself that I should rebuild it and make it better than ever.”