If you’re like most Honda enthusiasts, you’ve no doubt thought about owning another version of your favorite whip. We see it all the time. An Integra coupe owner purchases a second Integra, this time a sedan to haul around friends or a growing family. Something about the feel of that car keeps them wanting more. Then there’s the guy who modified his daily driver too much and needed a milder commute to work but couldn’t imagine owning a different model. The idea crosses many a mind, but only a few actually plunk down the green stacks. Dave Nguyen happens to be one of those people. He’s the proud owner of two Insights that have become very well known for their quickness in the Bay Area. Dave is also the owner of DNR Performance, located in Hayword, California. The shop specializes in dyno tuning, engine building, and focuses mainly on Hondas. Dave’s had his hands in a number of street and race builds, including a trio of all motor K-CRX race cars that sit proudly in the 10-second range. Insights plus a wealth of performance knowledge and experience equals something special.
The white Insight started off as a daily commuter in 2008. Dave found the car in San Diego, and the price was extremely low due to a bad IMA battery. The perfect platform as plans didn’t call for keeping the car a gas-sipping snail. The car was stripped down and sent to the body shop where it was freshened up. Once back in his hands, Dave and his crew spent day and night finishing up the car for Wek’Fest 2011. The big show was important as it was in his backyard, and showing DNR’s handiwork was critical. After the scramble to attend the biggest car show in California, focus was turned to blasting quarter-mile times. A best of 11.4 at 120 came by relying on some old-school throttle in a body in the form of 120 shot of nitrous. “I thought of going nitrous with this car because it was the easiest way to make power for higher gears, while running naturally aspirated on the first two gears for better traction,” he explains. David’s white Insight’s K motor is outfitted with Wiseco pistons and rings, Blueprint connecting rods, and Blox Racing valvetrain goodies. Air enters the Blox Racing air filter and velocity stack setup that is attached to a custom cold-air intake. A Walbro 255lph fuel pump sends the go-juice to a Golden Eagle fuel rail and lastly to RC Engineering 750cc fuel injectors. Spent fumes exit in a quick fashion via a Blox Racing tri-Y exhaust manifold. A Blox Racing test pipe allows air to move easily through a custom 3-inch exhaust system, and a Vibrant 3-inch muffler informs Bay Area residents that the Insight is no longer a puny gas miser.
Dave had been hinting at forced induction and, out of nowhere, his girlfriend granted his wish with a KraftWerks kit for Christmas. Ecstatic, Dave went right to work trying to install the kit, only to find that the position of the motor wouldn’t allow the space necessary to fit the kit. He adds, “With the custom mounts, the charger would not fit regardless of what we tried. So I opted to just buy another Insight and start over.”
After searching high and low, another Insight, this time in black and also plagued with a bad battery, was found and purchased. The teardown, much like the white version, began immediately. The donor motor would come from one of the DNR-built all motor CRXs, and careful planning was involved to ensure enough room for his unused supercharger. The black Insight’s engine is based on a K24A4 block/K20A2 head. Supertech pistons and rings are stuffed into the 2.4L with a bore slightly larger than stock at 88mm. Skunk2 Stage 3 cams, valves, Pro Series valvesprings, and titanium retainers ensure nothing breaks at the top end under boost. The head was also ported and polished by Dave at his own shop. An Aeromotive 340lph fuel pump, Injector Dynamics 1,000cc fuel injectors, an R-Crew Racing fuel rail, and an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator complete the fuel setup. Spent gasses exit via Six Sigma’s 4-1 exhaust manifold, custom 3-inch piping, and a Vibrant 3-inch stealth muffler.
With Wek’Fest 2012 right around the corner, Dave made the mad dash to display both cars at the event, then hit the track to see how the black Insight would do when put to the test. “It was déjà vu all over again, but this time for the 2012 show. Sunny from Franklin Auto Body Shop worked his magic on the paintjob two weeks before the show.” Long nights of hustle and plenty of sweat went into the car, and just like the first time around, Dave made it just in the nick of time. In the end, the black version of Dave’s Insight obsession blasted a 10.9 at 124 with only 8 pounds of boost. For now, Dave is mainly driving the black Insight as the white Insight is undergoing surgery. Looking for faster times, he’s decided to turbo the white car with his sights set on 500 to 600 whp. “I like driving both cars, they’re total sleepers. I don’t get second looks by the police.” While he goes all-out on the strip, he admits to possibly partaking in the occasional street standoff. With two race-ready, K-powered Insights, that’s just double the trouble.