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Checkerd Blog June 2014

June, 2014

Car Build Part 1

(Sorry most pictures are crappy cell pictures)

Built by: Ansel and Raul
Written by: Raul

When reading this you have to remember this didn't happen over night. We literally made most parts of this car by hand. This has been a long project that tells many stories. The project is far from done, but with the chassis being on the ground it will be a huge accomplishment to us. I didn't want to show the project because I knew I would feel pressured to finish it faster with people asking for updates. We just work at our own pace. We have put tons of work hours and ate lots of pizza. We knew what we were getting into, but damn not sure if we knew exactly how in depth we were getting. Fuck it we did it anyway.

Rewind a few years back, I meet Ansel White. (Early 2010 ish)

Checkerd Sports was still new at the time. I had a few CNC aluminum pieces, couple brands, and of course my s2000 push button kit that started it all, but I wanted to add more unique race parts. After building a few Hondas, I wanted to take it to the next step with my EG4. I needed a cage that would be mean, functional, and also daily driven. I drove up the hill to Lake Tahoe to meet up with Ansel, to get a quote for the cage. He checked out the car and was impressed with the engine bay, and the work done to the car. Few weeks later cage was done, I picked up the car and drove it home with no dash, no speedometer or anything since it had to be removed for welding.

EG4 Cage

Few months passed and Ansel was telling me that he might be moving to his own shop. I told him that would be cool, and we could possibly work together since I always have ideas in my head and I liked his fabrication work. You have to also know Ansel is a Subaru guy, My Civic was the first one he’s ever caged, he normally builds rally cages. First idea I brought him was a K-Series coil cover that would have dimples all the way down. We made a prototype and I rocked it on my engine for a while (still somewhere in the shop), never went into production. We also made an aluminum rear strut tower bar, which also never went into production. I know somewhere out there someone has that bar, sold it on NWP.

CS Coil COver

CS Strut bar

Couple months later, after making a few pieces that actually went into Checkerd Sports production, the EG4 was featured in Honda-Tuning. I learned a lot at Ansel’s new shop, Monzo Speed; bending, cutting, notching, welding, etc. One time I told Ansel we should make our own car, just an open wheel car, street legal, raw and mean looking. He just said yea that would be rad, not really taking it seriously. I always thought it would be bad ass to build my own car, isn’t that everyone’s dream? When I saw the Ariel Atom, it reminded me of all the dune buggies that you see on the street here with plates. I live in Nevada so I can pretty much build anything, throw lights on it and call it street legal. That’s when I decided to start doing research.

Honda Tuning EG4

More months passed and I didn't hear from Ansel, nor did he reply to my messages, just assumed he was busy. Then I got a message saying “I’m a live, Rock and Roll”. Only thing I could think was, what the fuck is he talking about. That was it, and then I didn’t hear from him for another week or so. He then explains to me that he got ran off the road and crashed his Ducati, he was in a coma for a while. He said I moved my shop also and will be moving my stuff if you want to cruise by, but with his brain damage he couldn’t remember his address. I arrived and the first thing I asked him was if he could still weld, he said, “Yea that was the first thing I tried, check out the welds”. It’s like first nature to him, welds of art. Couple months went by, his speech and movement got better and his memory was back in business. I asked him again if he wanted to build a car. He said sure if you got the money. We sat down a few weeks later and talked about a few ideas, browsed a couple books of different suspension and steering designs.

The build begins! (2012 ish)
I knew the heart of this build had to for sure be a K20A Type R. Went home pulled the K20 out of my EG4 for mock-up of the engine mounting. You know pull your engine out of your car to do a “quick” mock up and put it back in, people do it all the time right?

EG4 K20A

We started by putting the K20 on the table and leveling it out.


Started to build a frame for the engine.

ENgine frame

While all this was going on I was also collecting a bunch of S2000 Parts.

S2000 parts

The Floor and wall came next. Tacked everything down to the table.

Making the main hoop felt like a huge accomplishment at the time, to us it was starting to come to life! I think we sat back and looked at this main hoop for a while after we made it and tacked it down.


hoop with seat
hoop with seat

Took all the S2000 knuckles and put new wheel bearings and ARP studs on them.

Next was connecting the rear to the mid section, which would also be used for A-arm mounts.

It was easy to use the Hasport EGK1 Mounts for the sides, but we needed to make a rear one. I also wanted it to match the other billet aluminum ones.

Side mounts no tacked, just chillin, but you get the idea.

Bottom A-arm tabs tacked on. Making the A-arms I think was the part that took us the longest. I left this part mostly up to Ansel, he knows all about roll centers, geometry, etc etc.

The making of the bottom rear A-arm.

Contacted Tracy at PSi. He helped us a lot with the build of the shocks. Remember we are building a car, we can't just buy shocks off the shelf. After a couple days of talking to Tracy we came to the conclusion of getting some Penskei shocks. He sent us a dry shock to use as a mock up to get some specs.

Penskei SHock

Tapped the shock so it wouldn't get damaged.

Making the A-arms we needed some ball joints. I took some factory Honda ball joints and had some cups made for them so we can press them in and make A-arms with them.

Looking for location for shock tabs. Old s2000 wheels pictured.

Now pictured with the real wheel we are using.
Gram Lights

New Toyo 275/45/17 mounted up.

Now here is were we get crazy. Making a one off billet aluminum engine mount by HAND, no mill. Cut and drill. Yep took me a full day to make this, but it came out pretty good.

rear engine mount

Tacked up the tabs for it, and of course went to dimple city.

We put the top A-arms to the side after making one set and not liking the clearance of them. We started working our way forward.

Side "door" bars

Since the engine mounts were done it was time to remove the engine.

Which brings us to our next piece. Eventually we might have to remove the engine so we made a removable top X bar that can be unbolted. (Pictured above)

X bar

One of my favorite pieces from this build is the Tilton pedals. After making a mock up of the first set of pedals we received, we realized we had the wrong pedals. Cut that off and started over. With the right pedals this is the first place we put the pedals, eventually you will see why they had to be removed and re-located.

Tilton Pedals

This is pretty much the point where we are not exactly sure what happened, but we stopped working on the chassis for about 6 months. The "chassis" was welded together and removed from the table.


During the down time I messed around and made a few things.
I made a 7.3mm spacer to place behind the rotor of the s2000 knuckle and BAM, DC5 Brembos bolt on.

Tight squeeze with the wheel on.

Skip to next year (2013ish)

I decided that this thing needed to be rolling soon. We re-arranged the shop and pulled the chassis out of the corner and picked up were we left off. (Rear A-Arms)

Finished the top rear A-arms, but decided we didn't like the clearance of these either. We left them on there for now and decided to move to the front in the meanwhile.

With the shock mounts being done, we were able to send all the vehicle dimension specs to Tracy so he can custom build the rear shocks for us.

For the steering rack we had planned on using a S2000 rack. The thing about that rack is, ITS HEAVY. We put it off to the side and decided to look for a lighter rack. The goal of this car is 1500 pounds or less.

Then I decided to check out a spare Civic rack I had in the garage. Seemed like the rack was just too crappy for how much work we were putting into this car. Did some research and decided I wanted a Lotus Elese steering rack. Got really lucky and actually found a person selling it locally, what a crazy find.

Front end being built.

Front wheels and tires 245/45/17

Front wheel mock up, measuring up where the wheel will go to build A-arms.

Building the front lower A-arms

Jig to duplicate the other side

Ansel's weld porn

Top A-arm mounts and steering rack mounted.

Shock mount, dimple city.

Making of the front top A-arms

Child Labor with Enzo

Plenty of room at full lock on the rack.

Notice anything different in this picture? Oh yea we had to convert the car to right hand drive. Since we originally planned on using the s2000 steering rack, it's a front steering rack. Well the Lotus Elese rack is rear steering rack so we decided to flip the rack to work with front steering knuckles, making the car right hand drive now. Which brings us to our next do over. We had to cut the nice pedal mounts we made the previous year and start over and make them on the right side.

New pedal mounts and rack completed on the right side. Third time is a charm for the pedal mounts.

Couple weeks later front shocks arrived from PSi.

This is pretty much were we are at. Chassis is ready to be put on the floor just waiting on heim joints for the rear A-arms. Thanks to Summit Racing, should of had them yesterday, but they forgot to ship them :/

After a long night, finally she's home.

The chassis will be displayed at the Checkerd Sports Summer Meet, June 28th. Come check out all the hard work we have done so far.
The DC5 donor car will be here soon so we can use the engine from it.


Q: Will the car be street legal?
A: Yes

Q: Will the car have body panels
A: Only a few up front to cover electrical and to prevent debris from flying up and hitting us.

Q:Will it have 2 seats?
A: Yes 2 Status Racing Ring seats

Q: What engine will be in it?
A: Stock K20A Type R.

Q: Will it have windscreens?
A: Not sure yet, will probably just wear a Guy Manuel helmet when I drive it around.

Q: What is the weight goal?
A: 1500 pounds or less with full tank and groceries.

Any other questions just follow us on IG or FB and ask. Instagram