What Nose Masks (Bras) Are Available?
See Paint Protection for alternatives to nose masks.
See Radiator Protectors for information on modifying nose masks to protect the radiator as well.
[[Image:fullnosemask.jpg" alt="fullnosemask.jpg (8530 bytes)" align="left" width="235" height="162" />[RHU] I bought the Acura dealer supplied nose bra, and I love it. It is the best fitting bra I have ever used.
[JJN] I picked up my Acura brand bra from a mail order distributor (who is now out of business) and it works great. Easy to install/remove (5-10 mins each) No negative paint affects, actually looks very cool (on black anyway) with NSX stitched on the nose and is keeping my car's nose perfect. Just wish it reached up and covered some hood, it only covers the nose, but otherwise an excellent fit. I picked it up for $100. [2000/1/23 update] Does a great job protecting the bumper only - good for the $100. protecting the whole hood and side mirrors would be better. One gotcha - right above the turn signals the seam is made of a vinyl that hairline scratches the finish so you need to put a piece of terry there if you use it.
[LE] I have to drop the hood from about 1/2 open with the nose mask in place.. sometimes I even have to give it
a little extra push on the way down. Normally (without the nose mask) I can drop it lightly from 8-10 inches.
Also, the first time you install a new Acura NSX nose mask, it will be DIFFICULT. It will be MUCH easier to install in the future once that it's stretched out a little. I've got two and I fought with both of them for 30 minutes the first time I put each of them on, but after that it takes just a couple minutes.
Replacement OEM Nose Mask Attachment Hardware
Nose Mask Hardware Kit, part #08P35-SLO-200R1, iincludes 2 stainless snap screws, 2 oversize plastic washers, and 2 rubber expansion nuts.
[MCA] A few folks have asked about the Colgan full-coverage front nose mask for the NSX. I saw a few of these at NSXPO, and they had a lot more coverage than my OEM mask. Not sure if they make them for the 97+ chin spoiler. Check out http://www.autobahnint.com/AIM_store/Html/Colgan/COLGAN_CUSTOM.htm
The OEM nose mask is fine. The Colgan gives you IMO better coverage by picking up the headlight covers and part of the hood. There are also (I believe) those semi-rigid humps that deflect air (and bugs and small debris) over the hood.
[HS] The best bras in the world are made by a company called Colgan (they're in Southern California 1-800-447-2727). No other bra company even comes close in terms of fit and finish quality. They've be making and selling bras for probably 35 years. Only the Porsche factory has been making them longer (Porsche invented them).
[RHU] Colgan makes a great mirror bra. Imparts had the best price on the mirror bras, by far.
[KP] I've installed both... up close and personal. The Colgan provides better coverage especially the top of the headlights and a little more hood area (as someone else has already mentioned.) However, in terms of fit, the factory bra is much, much, better than the Colgan. There's no question for me that overall, the factory bra is better. The Colgan mirror covers are cool though. Both my NSX and the Type R have at least one noticeable stone chip in their mirrors.
[RCH] I chose Colgan over factory simply because Colgan offers more coverage, especially the hood. The fit is not too bad. However, the hood becomes very very hard to close with the bra on. I'm wondering if this will put unnecessary stress to the hook that holds the hood down.
The headlight covers are nice, but when headlights are in use, the covers tend to flap at highway speed. (At first, I thought the covers would fly off.) The deflector (a ridge) on the hood section is rather cheesy looking.
SpeedLingerie makes color-matched bras that won't flap at highway speeds. $499.99 plus $15.00 S/H (in US). They also make side mirror covers.
SpeedLingerie - Factory color matched custom designs offer ultra performance on road & track. Toll free (800) 570-1579 Direct (408) 871-7907 Fax (408) 871-8053 Email [email protected]
[TEC - 2000/9/7] I know of a few Ferrari owners that are very happy with it...both in color matching and fit. I also know of a Porsche owner who was not so happy with color matching and fit...but they were very willing to make it right for him.
Closing the hood with a nose mask installed
[KP - 99/1/12] Adjusting the hood was the first mod I had to do after buying my 91 with 8K miles. There is no adjustment on this latch. If your hood doesn't close properly, then you have to place shims under the bracket on the hood to improve its "reach". The manual refers to some unique shims from Acura. I think the only come in one size and you may have to use more than one. I improvised with something else and it works fine. However, it is considerably more difficult to close with the bra. (I cringe when having to drop the hood this far!)
My advice is to experiment with home-made shims or buy the Acura ones. Try to get the hood adjusted so that it closes easily without the bra but it's not so loose it rattles. Once done, it should close a lot easier with the bra installed. Oh, a helpful hint. Put a couple of pieces of masking tape down on either side of the latch and place a pencil mark on the latch and each piece of tape. When you remove the latch to install the shims, you can align it with the pencil marks you made.
BTW, I think the trunk uses shims for adjustment as well. It looks like mine has two or three under it.
Proper use of a nose mask
A nose mask will scratch and even discolor the paint if you leave it on all the time. But if you make sure the nose mask and car are both clean and dry you'll be fine. Any dirt will rub against the paint and scratch the finish. Make sure the nose of the car has a good coat of wax to help protect it. Also, if you leave it on the car all the time the paint will not fade evenly.
Whatever you do, don't let a wet nose mask dry in the sun while it's on the car. The water can steam and cloud the paint permanently.
Which Cover Is Right For Me?
A custom fit car cover will follow the contours of the car very snugly, much closer than a generic one. When used outside, this is an advantage because a custom cover will not be as susceptible to flapping in the wind (which, it seems to me, is not good for the finish). When used inside a garage, the snug fit of a custom cover limits the ability for certain pests to nest underneath the cover - a mouse might still squeeze in, but not a squirrel, cat, etc. In either location, dust will be less likely to accumulate under a custom cover also.
Also recommended is a lockable chain to hold it down; some places will include this, others will charge an extra $10 or so. This will prevent theft as well as hold it down in strong winds, although you'll find that a good custom-made cover will fit pretty snugly as soon as you fit it around the two rear-view mirrors, even before you then fit the ends down over the bumpers.
There are a number of different fabrics that car covers are made out of. Each has pluses and minuses. These include:
1) All cotton - softest material you can buy, but wears out the quickest. Breathable (good). When off, compact; easy to wash.
2) Poly/cotton - wears better than cotton, but still wears. Still fairly soft. Breathable (good). When off, compact; easy to wash.
3) Layered fabrics, such as Evolution 3 and its improved version, Evolution 4; also called Technalon. Very thick, like cardboard. Hardly wears at all. Still fairly soft on the inside; claimed to not harm the finish. One-way breathable, i.e. moisture can evaporate, but will keep outside moisture out (better). MUCH easier to put on when outside, especially when windy, because it's a heavier weight fabric and it's less likely for a gust of wind to pick up the whole car cover. Very bulky; must be washed at an extra-large machine at a laundromat.
4) There are some other, thin fabrics that some of the places have, one of which is actually Tyvek (the fibrous looking stuff that's used for some indestructible envelopes). I'm not impressed with these because they're really not very soft at all and I'm worried about the finish.
So you've got to decide on which fabric cover you want. I like the Evolution 4 stuff if the cover will be used outdoors, for several reasons. It provides better protection against rain and moisture, it's less likely to get whipped around by the wind, it will hold up much longer, and because it's so thick, it can even provide some slight protection against door dings (if you don't park in the far far corner of the parking lot like I do). I have one of the Technalon covers myself, even though I use it primarily in the garage at home.
BHMA makes numerous car covers of different fabrics. Their "Blueguard" is an all-cotton cover. The Acura car cover is a poly-cotton blend with the soft backing. A few NSX owners have reported problems receiving the products they order from BHMA in a timely manner.
[RBR] While the sun isn't as bad in New England, we do get some pretty nasty storms (particularly this summer). Anyway, I got a cover from Big Sky (in R&T) made from the NOAH material which seems to be one of these non-woven fabrics. It fits extremely well (at least on black NSX's) and does not soak through - a little water seems to get through, like dew after a very heavy rain, my theory is it is water vapor going through the cloth and condensing out. Supposedly it breaths so the car won't cook, I've had the car out in what passes for sun here and haven't seen it be a problem.
[BL - 99/3/29] Here's how I cleaned my OEM Acura cover. I bought a really mild liquid laundry detergent, I think it was called Ivory Snow or something like that (it's meant for very delicate fabrics and the like), and took it to the cleaners for washing in an industrial size waching machine. Came back with no problems.
[DOH - 99/3/29] I washed mine in my washing machine under the delicate cycle. Then dried it under low. The cover came out like new, but fits a little tighter now <g>. You may want to let the cover air dry.
[CA - 99/3/29] Do NOT use dryer softener sheets when drying your car cover OR towels used to dry your cars, they will leave some funky smudge marks and they are hell to remove.
[KS - 99/3/29] Just to note - there are differences between the thinner poly-cotton car covers (I think this is what Acura's is) and the thick, layered fabrics such as Technalon, Evolution 3 and Evolution 4, etc. These may account for differences in cleaning advice. Specifically, the poly-cotton car cover will fit in a home washer, whereas the layered fabric car cover needs a bigger washer such as at a laundromat (not "cleaners"!) - mine fits in the extra-large 30 pound washer at the laundromat so I don't need the extra-extra-jumbo-huge 50 pound washer. And the poly-cotton car cover will produce lint whereas the layered fabric won't.
[JFR - 99/3/29] I made the mistake of drying my factory NSX cover in the dryer once (I think it was on "low"?), and I shrunk it. Pretty hard to stretch it over the mirrors now. Since then I've just washed it and spin dryed it, then air dryed it for a day or two drapped over some chairs in the living room (my wife's pretty good about this!).
Also tried to wash it in the bathtub once -- big mistake, as it a heavy, drippy mess to get out of the tub. Instead of washing, I often just get two or three people to hold it and shake it out.
Can Covers Cause Problems?
[KJ] Here's a cautionary story from the MR2 list. Coastal dwellers, beware:
"I went on vacation, and so I slap on my car cover. Well, living near the beach, I get fog at home, and the moths like to use my car cover for "cover."
It was the middle of August in California, and unfortunately (for the bugs) it gets hot and they get trapped under the cover - a few moths got baked under my cover. Well dead moths are great to eat, if you're an ANT! So by the time I got back from Vegas, I had , oh... 10 BILLION ants on , and IN my MR2. I killed as many as possible off the top. And they kept coming. So I washed the car, and they kept coming. So I opened the front hood, and 10 million more. I had to spray RAID all over my car, and I mean soaked in it. So I get into my car and guess what? YUP, they made there way into the vents. I had to spray RAID inside my car and in the vents to get rid of them damn ants. Even today I found one. Every time I turn on the AC one comes flying out. THAT SUCKS!!"