The Place


report from the field, by Joe Rogers

Finally stopped making excuses and drove over to visit Gil at his shop, The Place Racing (http://www.placeracing.com/). Parked out front are a couple handfuls of Hondas and Gil's ubiquitous slammed crew cab dually. Inside, its a combination of life and death, as old motors are being pulled and new motors being dropped into new homes. Gil greets me and invites me to take pictures of whatever I want. [ Camera disclaimer: I like to get close with my Kodak DC-40, but that sometimes means the flash is too strong. I need a Kodak DC-120 with the external flash option. So, don't waste your time complaining about image quality.] First thing that gets my attention is a pair of CRX front clips. A little peak under the hood confirms my hunch. B16A powered CRX Si-Rs! The right one has already donated its motor, but what’s left is still very interesting. All four motor mounts look different, including the drivers side mount! [JDM CRX Si-R vs. US CRX ]. This is really important. I was under the belief, that with the JDM B16A cross members, the B16A1 engine brackets, and a Y1 transmission you could bolt in a B-series motor. Having seen these two JDM B16A powered CRXs, I now know that the drivers side mount is not compatible with the US mount. I know many people have used this mount to install B series motors, but now that I have seen the real thing, I am totally convinced that using the stock US mount is WRONG. Its too narrow, and not in the right position to put the motor where Honda intended it to go.

A little more searching around the B16As, showed the known stuff, like the cool dash, the 9500 rpm tach, and this cool key Si-R key.

I took a bunch more pictures and made some thumbnail sheets, with descriptions.

The most impressive things to me were the pre-fabricated parts that Gil has created. The wiring harness and shift linkage were really sweet. He even has a H22A shift linkage that allows you to use your stock shifter console in the 5G civic and no sloppiness in the linkage. Gil sure seems to be putting his ME degree to good use. His mounts, linkages and other welded parts all look very strong, robust and well designed.

The parts room at The Place was very impressive. I've never seen anything like it at any other speed shop. The organization of the parts is bordering on anal-retentive. It looks like Gil bought a labeler and just went crazy. Everything had its place and was easy to find. Plenty of HONDA OEM and custom parts, which should mean faster swaps with fewer trips to the Honda dealer. There are several of the small drawer storage systems, with the little 1"tall by 2" wide drawers. Each one is labeled and the stuff in the drawers actually match the label! Very efficient and did I mention impressive?

Unfortunately we didn't get to go for a ride in anything that day. There was a 2.3L powered CRX sitting out there tempting us, but Gil was too busy, and the rain made it a bad idea anyways. Maybe next time.

One of the nice parts of the visit was talking with the customers hanging out that day. Most of them were familiar with the HYBRID page, and had nothing but compliments. All commented on how much nicer the discussion board is now that the password system is up. Thanks guys. Its almost weird having Gil on the board, answering and asking questions like us mortals. We are lucky, because he's been doing these swaps for several years now, and I am very impressed at the system he has developed. Swapping motors is Gil's main business now, he no longer bothers with accessories. He clearly Gil likes the challenge of motor swapping. If you think you have a challenge, or are looking for a shop that has lots of experience, give Gil a call (626-488-9666). Better yet, e-mail him.

Cover page
Swap Info

We strive to provide the most current information available.  However, the information contained within these pages is subject to change without notice.  Please read the standard disclaimer.  Feel free to e-mail any errors or corrections.

(C) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 HYBRID
Comments? Suggestions? Feedback?
Send e-mail to: HYBRID editors