Todd Williammee of Frederick, Colorado, is an auto tech, tuner, and engine builder. We caught up with him on CarDomain and talked a little bit about why he stuck with the D16, $4 parts causing $2800 in damage, and how the number 13 can be both unlucky and lucky at the same time.
What’s your weapon (vehicle) of choice, how did you come to own it, and how do you use it?
1989 Honda CRX, bought it back in 2004 to replace my old CRX. I use it as my drag car. It still has plates and insurance on it and I take it on the street once in a while.
Why did you decide to stick with the D16? What are the benefits/challenges to the D16?
I’ve always liked the D16 ever since I traded my brother a JDM DOHC ZC for his D16Z6 and have stuck with it ever since. Benefits are that blocks and other parts are easier to come by. It’s a lot harder to make power with it, that’s forsure. I could put a K-series, H-series, or B-series and make power and faster times a lot easier, but I like a challenge.
What does it take to keep a 600whp+ 1.6L alive and well?
Well, to keep it together has taken a few years of test and fail and just keep it going. I have figured out lots of weak links over the years. A good stong block and good head. Haven’t made a decent pass with the power up yet so times will come.
Why are you running E85 these days?
Switching to E85 is the best thing I have done to the car. It’s way cheaper than race fuel and works just as good, if not better, and I dont have to drive far to get it.
Ever have something stupid break and end your day? What was that?
Yeah my turbo broke due to a screen being sucked into the comperssor wheel. So now I will never run one on the turbo ever again. $4 screen equalled a $2800 mistake.
Ever have something serious break and risk ending your day, but manage to stay in it? What was that?
I had a internal wastegate break and rigged it with a coat hanger so I could keep it going for the rest of the day.
How often do you get the car out each year?
I try to make at least five races a year. This year we have added a few that are out of state. If the funds were available, I would make more, but each trip is very costly.
Share a cool story from your past and a goal for the future.
Actually, it was this year in May. We were headed to Import Face Off in Las Vegas, Nevada. We had our tow vehicle break down in Utah and got a rental truck to finish towing the race car to Vegas to make the race. At the race, the tech lady put number 13 on the car as my number. Did a big burnout and then the tranny broke at the starting line. Still had the best time at that track, meeting new people, and showing the car.
Share one of your favorite tips/tricks/ideas.
Racing is all about pushing an engine to its limits all day and making it to the end. It’s not always about winning, its about helping others progress as you do and the sport does. Dont give up just because you break a part or lose – keep your head up and move forward.
Are you a gearhead? What does that mean to you?
Yes, I would consider myself a gearhead. Ever since I got my frst Honda I have started putting all my money into my car and live, breathe, and sleep cars. A gearhead is someone who likes – loves – automotive shows, racing, etc., someone who will help keep the sports alive.
Special thanks to all my sponsors, friends and family. Spec Clutch, Wiseco pistons, AIP Electronics, L.A. Sleeves, GRP connecting rods,and M&H Tires.
We here at Gearbox think what Todd’s built does a great job of showing the world what it means to be a gearhead. 600whp+ on 1.6L displacement – at altitude (near Denver) – in a car still favored by many for its fuel economy. This orange econobox has ticked off a best of 10.74 @ 134.69, which is solid any way you look at it. We appreciate Todd keeping us in the loop over the summer, as he broke transmissions, got rained out, and more, trying to get the car to the track before he finished his interview.
How would YOU go about making 600whp?