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2002 GPW NSX Build Up

11 February 2009
1036NA's 2002 GPW NSX Build Up

Hello Prime!
Just wanted to share my story with you guys :) Long story so jump to photos if you aren't interested LOL
I have lusted for this car since I first saw it in 1992 (I was 12, but even more so back in 1998 when I as next to the Zanardi)
My wife found this photo just before I purchased my car...

8/3/13: So in early August, I made a trip from SoCal to NorCal to pick up a 2002 Grand Prix White NSX-T with ivory/white interior (Unicorn).
After spending weeks going back and forth with the seller, everything ended up checking out and it seemed like he was the perfect seller and I was the perfect buyer.
3 buddies and I made the trek up early morning in an E92 M3, also in beautiful Alpine White :)
Our plan was to do a turn around trip but my buddy made a call to one of his buddies and found out that he lived 2 miles from the seller's house.
So our plan was to make it up, test and inspect the car and then have some dinner and crash out early to head back on PCH all the way down.

My biggest fear outside of the car being in good shape was how the car was gonna drive.
About 6 weeks prior, I met up with a guy in Manhattan Beach who was selling a 97.
When I went to test drive it, I was all smiles, couldnt stop smiling. The car felt so good, lots of torque. I was about to make an offer on it but I told him that I was gonna let him know by the weekend because I wanted to do some research on it. He told me that it had a salvage title but it wasnt a big accident and not to worry.
Well turns out, it was a big deal when I googled the VIN and found the original owner was on prime and he wrote out exactly what happened when he crashed it.
The car had some mods on it so I didnt know whether the car drove like that normally or if it had parts that make it feel that good.

As I continued to look, my buddy Chad threw me a little NSX meet in front of his restaurant. He was very eager for me to get one and wanted to convince me. At this point in time, I was getting a little burnt out looking for one as it was over 3 months of seriously looking and over 18 months of on and off searching. After driving a handful of NAs, I was still conflicted about how the power was gonna be on the NorCal one because I drove such a variety of NAs by this point. Also met Chris and Jason for the first time... my compas <3

Before we did drive up, I have to give much thanks and praise to Jim @ Colonge for doing the PPI. Jim, what a professional... on every level. He took the time to explain to me his findings and really took the time to listen to me as well. Wasn't brushing me off or acted like he's heard what I had to say a thousand times. Pretty astounding considering he's around these cars all the time. I still have yet to call him after purchasing Uni to let him know I finalized it and if you are reading this Jim, I do apologize but once again, thank you so very much!

As we finally turned on to the street of the seller, the intensity was mounding and I couldnt wipe the damn smirk off my face. We finally saw the front end of Uni (thats her name lol) we knew it was all good from there. As we did the visual inspection, every component was just stunning. Then when we started her, my face almost cramped from the shear smile that froze on my face. The seller told me to take her around and that's just what I did. The best part was, it drove just like the one in Manhattan Beach but it was so much better... Already just around the block, I was getting people breaking their necks just to get a glimpse of the unicorn. It was a blessed day to say the least.


When I got back to the house, I let my buddies know it was a "go" and we finalized the deal after a little more negotiations. The seller who requests to stay anonymous was an awesome seller and thank you again for your part. We then headed to my friend's place a few miles down where we parked the NSX and M3. It still hadnt occurred to me that I now owned a 2002 NSX. It was unreal, just a dream... now that at the age of 33 it has happened, it's just crazy to realize. But seeing the M3 and NSX next to each other, we knew we couldnt just leave the cars there. We were in NorCal of all places and we just had to go for a drive. So we headed north to the Golden Gate.

We noticed a dark cloud looming over the city and as we got closer, it only got darker and more ominous. By the time we got to the Golden Gate and that hill (where everyone takes photos) the fog was so thick we couldnt see much. However when we pulled over at the view points, we had a few fan boys that were yelling out "NSX, hell yea!", "I love NSX!".... it was thrilling... We took some photos and then toured SF. By the time we got to the Wharf, we got screwed cause it was so packed and so much traffic just to get out. But got more people cheering the car on... I knew at that point I had to get used to that type of response. lol... even a cholo gave me props....

When we got back, it was about midnight and we crashed and woke up around 7am to start our journey down PCH. Long story, shorter... it took us 10 hours but had a blast driving all the way down. Pulled over a few times to snap more pics.
Wiping off the tree sap from the night before.... the NSX was so beautiful the trees cried all over it... thats the only reason I can put in my head without getting angry lol

I hope this was somewhat enjoyable to read.... I know I can yap too much... I will continue to talk about the work I am doing to the car and date it so you guys have a time frame.

Special thanks to my buddy Isaiah for driving us up to NorCal, my buddy Pro for being Pro and Lloyd for tagging along. Special special thanks to my wife for letting all of this go down! <3

Car Specs on pick up: 74,XXX miles, JDM Front and Rear Fenders, Downforce Type R Spoiler, Procar CF Valance, Alpine headunit and amp, ATi Super Damper
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10/1/13: I wanted to drive around in the NSX for a year before doing any mods to it because I know it in its stock forum but when a prime member was selling a brand new set of KW V3's for a good price, I had to jump on it and that is the start of the mod bug... I still have not installed them as of yet because I am waiting for my wheel selection.

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10/13/13: Cleaned ignition switch and resoldered main relay due to car randomly turning off while idle

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10/15/13: Bought Berlina Black Side Ducts and installed it a week later

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11/22/13: Went to my buddy Randy at Evasive Motorsports to pick up my Red Jersey Recaro Pole Positions
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Nice way to start off the build :). Looking forward to more pics and the story..... I'll just come down lol
1822 posts?! You are a post whore <3 Update your Avatar lol

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So today was the day I decided to gut my ivory interior and go with a red/black setup. Trying to source black interior parts was a bit tricky but I was able to find a German vendor who has all sorts of parts of nsx. I also found a fellow nsx owner in norcal who had a salvage yard who also had a good selection of parts as well. I was able to purchase all the rear bulkheads, door panels and trim along with the misc buttons and levers.

Some photos of the car's ivory interior

As far as the carpet goes, I read a lot of good things about the TFent carpet and was lucky when a fellow prime member was selling his locally. So with all the pieces in hand, I was ready to start the conversion.

Here are some photos of the night a few buddies came over to help gut her. The last one is a test fit of the seats inside the car.... made me cry

As I started to rip out my interior (which took about an hour and a half with a buddy, thanks Tim), I realized that ivory interior was basically worthless since I cant think of one person who would say, "You know what, I really need Ivory carpet"... lol. So I had an epiphany, ivory would be the best color to dye because it is the lightest color of all the oem carpets. So I decided to do some research and found a lot of guys on HondaTech dyed their carpets black and got good results. So I figured, sure why not? They are gonna get trashed or thrown away anyways.

So went to Walmart and grabbed every bottle of Red I could find. Cherry red was the one by my Walmart. I know from online that they also had Crimson red. I think this one is slightly darker but its all relative as you can dilute different amounts to get a desired result.


I found a large plastic bucket (I think 22 or 32 gallons) and hooked up my hose to my hot water tank and filled it up according to the instructions. I think I used 3 bottles of RIT Dye and 3 cups of vinegar. I cleaned my carpet cause it was dirty and because the carpet is nylon, vinegar was recommended. (I have read that many people leaving their carpets in the dye for a day or two but the instructions specifically say that anymore time past an hour is basically a waste of time as the dye will no longer be able to be absorbed). So I started...

All 4 pieces fit the tub just barely so I had to keep rotating the carpets to get even coverage. Did this for an hour and then I rinsed all over my yard. My neighbors giving me a crazy look... perhaps it was my jumpsuit? Turned out awesome except for one thing... the mixture made it look like a royal red (maroon and purple-ish). It was a nice color but I wanted it to be more like the Recaro Red which was brighter red. So after all the hard work I put in, I was left in a pickle. Leave it the way it is or I can go back to the store and buy some orange dye and try to balance the dark purple tones out to a deep red. It was a gamble as I didnt know if color mixing on dried carpet would result in the theory I had in my head.


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11/24/13: Next day, being the anal bastard I am, I decided the next to go for it and buy the orange dye to try and "neutralize" the red. Basically had to do take out everything again, hose, water heater, vinegar etc. The tricky part was trying to figure out how much orange to use. I decided on one bottle as 3 bottles of red was heavy. After a few mins, I could already tell that the purpish tones were going away and it looked really good. After 20 mins of rotating, I realized that the orange was becoming a lot stronger so I pulled it right away and started the rinse. Again my neighbors are looking at me strange.

*Side note, what was even funnier was when I had to dump the red dye the day before. Instructions say that it is safe to pour down drain but I didnt want to stain my bathrooms and potentially spill everywhere. So I loaded it on a dolly and wheeled it to the nearest storm drain. I got some cardboard to keep the dye from staining the concrete red (because it will) and started to pour it in my crazy man jumpsuit. Again neighbors are looking at me like I just liquified a person in acid like Breaking Bad. LOL!

End result, the color was awesome... slightly darker than my Recaro's but that was fine. I know that even if they were the same color, the carpets would always look darker cause its always in the shadows. I did notice a few spots were the orange dye didnt perfectly absorb but I was ok with it since they were under the seat or floor mats. Here are some of the photos of the finished product and with them installed in my car. Will follow up with the ivory components in another post.
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Congrats. I felt the same way when I picked up my 91 last year. Now she is sitting in the garage waiting for the freezing cold to be over. Damn NY cold spells
Great Story! Congrats on your Beautiful NSX! ENJOY:)
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Must be nice bro!! Keep it OEM!!!
Congrats, the car looks great. Been wanting a GPW myself and am jealous to say the least.
@ryu, if your ass is too big, let's just say that you did but didnt... ;)

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Congrats, the car looks great. Been wanting a GPW myself and am jealous to say the least.

thanks :) LBBP is pretty though...

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<embed width="440" height="420" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://v5.tinypic.com/player.swf?file=34e2rk7&s=5">
Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

Must be nice bro!! Keep it OEM!!!

that boy is cute... must be handsome like his daddy lol

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nice write up compa.. #mustbenice! :smile:

mi amor!

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great looking car and cool story.

Love the pics and reading thru your journey

Appreciate it Vietboy... I have a NFR AP2 :)

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Great Story! Congrats on your Beautiful NSX! ENJOY:)

Cheers Single Samurai!

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awesome story! you need to flood this thread with more pictures :biggrin:

I will do my best LOL

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Congrats. I felt the same way when I picked up my 91 last year. Now she is sitting in the garage waiting for the freezing cold to be over. Damn NY cold spells

Ive seen how cold it is everywhere but Cali... stay warm...

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wow great story congrats

Thank you sir!

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i only recall one white on white 2002+ sold during the past few years... congrats!

so few.... thank you

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Congrats! Looking forward to getting to know you and car throughout the years. She's a keeper!

Wait, are you trying to ask me out or my car out Regan?
Great thread!

Congrats on your NSX!
keep the build updates coming... prime needs a fresh young-in build thread to re-vitalize the build section here.
looking forward to this build! Congrats!
Thanks syn... !

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keep the build updates coming... prime needs a fresh young-in build thread to re-vitalize the build section here.
:).... I dont know if my car will live up to anyone standards... wont be doing anything nuts... just a clean build... "I like OEM better... BAB" (inside joke)

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11-22-13: So I put in a lot of work searching for OEM black replacements parts for the interior and after 4 weeks, finally found parts thru a Germany and NorCal salvage yard. Rear bulkhead, corner bulkhead, door panels, all the trim pieces and buttons/levers. The one from Germany arrived about 10 business days after and the one from NorCal came in about 3 days. I was excited as this was going to be a simple swap of my ivory panels to the black panels.

However, when I got all the pieces, a few things bothered me and I started to debate the use of the replacements. I ended up swapping everything as I paid good money for the parts. Main complaints were the black were faded in certain parts or had white calcium build up. In addition, my white on white dashboard and door panel has a very subtle white stitch that goes thru the dash to the door panels. The older NA1 door panels I got were black stitching.

I spent some good time putting all the pieces in and as I was about 95% done, I ran into a hurdle and it was a big one. The center rear bulkhead from a NA1 and my 02+ NA2 center bulkhead were not the same. Unfortunately there is a extra "step" on the older one that works with the older armrest. The split NA2 armrest that I had did not work with the older bulkhead.... FML! As I tried to source an older armrest, I was taken back by how expensive armrests were and how difficult it was to get one.

Once again, I had to make a tough decision... wait til I can find an armrest and deal with the wear of the older pieces OR wait another week and if no one would buy my ivory pieces I had for sale, I would try to dye or spray the ivory components as they were in great condition. As much as I did not want to do this, my thoughts were, selling the black pieces will be easier than selling the ivory pieces and it was a good way for me to recoup $1000+

I unintentionally went with two different systems when I started the vinyl spray. Duplicolor vinyl spray and SEM vinyl spray.

When I first started, went to my local automotive store and bought Duplicolor vinyl spray as a google search showed good results... When I talked to the young employee, he stated that he sprayed his interior and it has held up well. He suggested that I clean surface well and use the adhesion promotor by Duplicolor and then spray paint on top. So I bought several cans and went home and started on the smallest piece I could start with. The armrest lower ivory pieces... it also conveniently came off the top parts of the armrest. I really wish that Honda made the tunnel pieces removal as well.... sigh. I cleaned with a mix of isopropyl alcohol and water (I know some would argue against using alcohol but since it wasn't leather, I thought it was ok). I then sprayed several layers of adhesion promotor and then a 4 coats of the black vinyl matte. Turned out really good.


Then before I started my tunnel piece, I took a piece of leather I had in the garage and sprayed the promotor and red vinyl spray. I let it dry for an hour and then I did a mean scratch test and a fold and rub test to see if the paint would chip or peel. To my surprise, it held up really well. So I decided to go forward with the tunnel. (as a note, later when the paint got to fully cure, I did the same test and the paint did chip and peel off however I think it was because I did not prep the surface and it was leather and not vinyl).


The hardest decision of the dashboard piece was, 1. remove the whole dash or 2. cover up everything and spray the tunnel inside the car.... A tough decision but I went with #2. My car being a Targa was a huge help as ventilation was very low to begin with in the foot area. Again I cleaned, sprayed promotor and then paint. Results were good. Later on the passenger side, I noticed there were a few spots of tiny ivory specs peeping thru. I think that happened when I ran my hand across the vinyl to try and smooth out the paint that was "oversprayed". Touched it up and its golden. Paint is holding well.

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Gosh, another white one in Socal? And, recently Ramon acquired a white one that looks just like mine. I am becoming too common...Just kidding. I am just jealous of your unicorn.

I remember 5-6 years ago, before I had my NSX, I saw a White on White parking on one of the streets in San Francisco Union Square. I almost pee in my pants. I had to gather myself and clam down when I saw it. I think that was the car.

Congratulation, and I look forward to meeting you.