Design Craft Fab ECS
You've no doubt heard the rumors, probably read more than a few posts, and if you're anything like me, your curiosity has been driving you crazy over the past year. I'm referring of course to Gary Castillo of Design Craft and his new ECS (Electronic Control Sprocket) system; a technical term that essentially arms the torque-shy F20C/22C with iVTEC technology. The idea had been running through Castillo's head for quite some time, but as you can imagine, it's not something you just toss together on a whim. He adds, "I'd thought about this for so long. When I wasn't working, I was playing around with the different components, constantly measuring and coming up with different theories. I've actually been working on this system since '08." The long-term research began to pay off, and once he felt he'd had a grasp of the inner workings and the supporting cast of components, he began testing and development on the BC/C West race car. The results on the turbo roadster served as a wake up call; 91.5hp, 122.1 lb-ft of torque! Amazing results, and proof that his theory was spot on.
Back in January of this year, Scott "seafood king" Tsuneishi of Import Tuner Magazine actually wrote a story on the ECS system. At that time, I was excited to see so much R&D going into the F series motor and must've bugged Scotty two or three times a week after the article went to print. I wanted to know when it would be released, how reliable it was, and everything else associated with this ground-breaking conversion. The initial kits were no doubt rough, but served as test beds to compile information, test reliability, and refine the system's aesthetics. If you compare the photos of the ECS kit back in January to today's much sleeker look, the difference is night and day.
On the left is the original prototype,
With a head full of questions to throw at him, I sat down with Castillo to get some clarification on the details of the ECS kit, how its development has gone, and what we can expect.
Rodrez: Alright Gary, first off, what prompted the idea of adding iVTEC to the S2000?
Gary: Well I'd originally tried to put a K20 head on an F20, but after researching the process, I realized that custom parts were going to be way too much money. The idea of doing a full K20 swap was also an idea, but I just feel that the F20 is a superior motor. The K20 was designed after taking cues from the F series motor in the S2K. The F20 block is great, and I love the head, the only thing missing is the newer iVTEC technology. That's where Design Craft and the ECS come in.
and on the right is the new, refined version (shown without oil lines and intake manifold)
Rodrez: Last year you laid out this entire system for an article, but everything was still very raw. You also posted a "feeler" thread on the S2000 forums and took a little heat.
Gary: Yeah, the prototype was just that; a prototype. It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't meant to be. When I made that thread on the forums, the members had no idea that I'd already been well into the testing phase. I figured having data and real world experience to back me up would be a good idea, especially a competition car like the BC/CWest S2000 that takes a lot of abuse. There were definitely some people who were quick to assure me this was completely impossible, and they presented their thoughts in detail, but I was confident in the system. The design was pretty basic, but as you can see, it's been refined quite a bit since then.