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91 NSX "Lazarus"

17 December 2014
91 NSX "Lazarus"

Hello Prime!

I felt like it was time to start recording the build of my 1991 Acura NSX. I decided to name it Lazarus after Lazarus in the Bible. Though the car was not truly "dead" or beyond repair, the most important thing in my life is the fact that I, like Lazarus was once dead, and am now alive, having been given new life in Christ. The Bible describes all men as "dead in their sin" and rebellion towards a Holy God who created us for Him and His glory. It also states that none of us are good on our own, and that we are all sinners, and by choice choose to live contrary to God, instead making ourselves god. Because of this, all men deserve God's infinite punishment in Hell. But God demonstrated His love for us in sending His perfect and innocent Son, Jesus Christ to live a perfect life that we could never life and to die on a rugged roman cross. But because He was perfect, both God and man, death had no power over Him, and on the third day He rose again from the dead, showing He was truly God and that His payment for sin was accepted. Therfore, Jesus offers the salvation to whoever repents of their sin and old way of life and trust in His sacrifice alone to save them. He promises forgiveness of sin and right standing before God, which leads to eternal life with Him in Heaven.

This salvation is described as being "born again" and having newness of life, like Lazarus. But those who reject Jesus will one day face the wrath we rightly deserve. Therefore, i would implore anyone reading this to turn to Jesus, and i would love to discuss or attempt to answer any questions you have about the Christian faith. First and foremost i am a Christian and follower of Jesus Christ, and after that I am a car enthusiast. Since I've been a Christian I've used my shared love for cars as the means to tell others about Jesus Christ and how He is better than anything this world has to offer, whether it's cars, money, success, etc. I'm currently involved in a local car club with a few guys from my church "1:16 Ryders" based off Romans 1:16. My plans for the car mostly include weekend enjoyment/shows/occasional track use.

So without further ado, i'll get to the build thread. :tongue: Sadly, i didn't take as many pics in the beginning as i would have liked, but will for future updates. This is only my second time doing a build thread so apologizes beforehand as my format probably won't be the greatest, feel free to offer advice. My first build (97 Supra) can be found here: http://www.supraforums.com/forum/sh...G-TT-Street-Monster&highlight=his+motorsports

History of the car:
I bought the car in January of this year in FL. It was described as being a mint condition, almost completely stock, clean title, 51k mile car that only needed a interior drivers door handle. However, i was informed the night before i flew down to get it, that it needed a srs cable reel, and had a slight oil leak. Once i arrived, i was very disappointed. The car itself was in much worse condition than described and the seller wasn't very concerned. After looking it over, it had a much longer list of repair and attention. This list included: Paint touchup or full repaint (lots of deep scratches and orange peel), door handle, slow windows, CC unit repair, AC fixed, steering column loose, oil leak, tachometer, cluster lights, abs light on, and a few other things. Well, after some deliberation with my wife, and against my better judgment we bought the car. I figured for the price (upper 20s) that i could hopefully fix most of the issues myself, as i used to own a performance shop and am fairly mechanically inclined. The only mods the car came with was the current set of BBS 18/19 wheels and an RM Quad tip exhaust.

Restoration Plan:
My plan was to build the car in "stages". First came fixing the known issues and getting it drive-able and enjoyable. Second, would be a few modifications and more power. Third, clean up the car both interior and exterior and make it show worthy. The build will progress off and on, as currently i'm finishing up school in Louisville, KY while the car sits in NC in my grandparents garage, and most the work i get done will be on weekend trips or breaks we get.

1st Stage:
After making it home fairly uneventful i began work repairing what i could. I began by fixing the following:
1. A broken off bolt holding the steering column
2. Attempted to re-solder the tach, ended up buying a new one

3. Re-soldering the cluster lights
4. SoS Door handles
5. Cam seals/Vtec solenoid gaskets
6. New tires/alignment
7. SoS CC unit repair
8. Huga window kit
9. Weld cracks in exhaust
10. Fix driver door alarm

Here are a few pics of the car when i first contacted the seller and first saw the car.
What he sent me:

What i first saw:

2nd Stage:
The car seemed to have a slight miss which i spent a few months trying to diagnose before pulling apart the TB/WP and finding the rear exhaust cam being off a tooth (thanks to LarryB and some other primers). After a new TB/WP and valve adjustment the car was running good. Though it was scary for my first time (on an nsx), i really enjoyed doing all the work myself. Though it was running much smoother i was already wanting more power! So i found a used Comptech Header and old style CTSC 1.6 Whipple setup for the future.

Projected modifications for 2nd stage:
1. CTSC hi boost setup
2. Meth Injection to increase safety and help cool
3. Install full headerback exhaust
4. Tuning solution. The used CTSC kit i bought came with an FIC, but as you'll see i eventually switched to aem v1.
5. Install some gauges to monitor CTSC
6. Aftermarket steering wheel setup
7. Buy and Install SoS Baffle and replace oil pan gasket

Ironically enough, the day i got my car running correctly after re-doing the tb/wp i had another major issue. After taking the car down the road to make sure everything was good, the car cut off in the middle of a wot pull. Thankfully i was able to coast back to my driveway. First thought was TB related but, got out, checked everything, saw no issues got back in and it started back up. Yet after parking it for the night, it refused to crank back the next day. I spent weeks trouble shooting issues as my fuel pump was not getting power from the main relay. After much diagnosing (i hate electrical repair) and seeking help on Prime, and a new ignition switch, i concluded by ECU was bad by replacing it with a used AEM v1 and it started right up. So i have a used obd1 ECU if someone wants a repair project lol.

I'm no tuner genius by any means, but i know the basics after much reading/watching my old tuner who worked at my shop with me. Previously, i've tuned an 06 STI i owned, two Supra's (the one i still have), and a custom turbo 91 Honda Civic setup. The car ran pretty good once i spent some time setting up the idle tables and street tuning. But at this time i really needed to get my gauges installed, so that was the next project. After looking at the options on the market, i decided to try to save some money and make my own gauge setup in the center console. At this time i also bought a used Momo steering wheel setup, that i custom wired for cruise control since my cable reel was bad anyway. You can slightly see the finished project in the second picture, but i will get a better one soon! (The top left hole is for my meth warning light)

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I also attempted to fix my abs problem by bleeding my brakes before finding out that my pump will not power on at all. So now i need to decide whether to spend the money upgrading to na2 abs or just do an abs delete. Planning on purchasing a WPPro 6Pot setup this week, so any advice is greatly appreciated :)

In addition to the brakes i started ordering some exterior parts for this winter as my buddy and I have a full repaint in the works but haven't decided between the stock 95-96 Midnight Purple Pearl, or a variation of the GTR Midnight purple.
Exterior plan so far:
-SoS Vector Front bumper and lip
-Seibon Rear Valence
-Difflow diffuser
-DF Stacy Sides w/ splitter
-NSXR Replica Wing
-Lexan Parition window
-Roll/Pull front and rear fenders

Now here's what i need help on, does anyone have any experience doing a roll/pull on the fenders? This will be the first aluminum body i've worked with so trying to get all the information we can before proceeding.

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Things i'm trying to figure out and need input on:
-Rolling/Pulling aluminum fenders
-ABS delete or NA2 upgrade
-recommended weight reduction for street/track (keeping AC, radio)
-Best place to get replacement rubber moldings for doors, windows, exterior
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Looking forward to seeing the progression of this car. Update your thread on supraforums!
If you find yourself in the Asheville area get in contact!
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Looking forward to seeing the progression of this car. Update your thread on supraforums!
If you find yourself in the Asheville area get in contact!

Thanks John! Haha, i do need to update all the recent stuff i've done to it. Would love to do some meets or track days together!

So been spending alot of time thinking on what's next for the car, as i was actually hoping to paint the car this winter but i don't think it's going to happen all at once, but is going to have to go through some stages. I recently bought a set of 18/19 Work Meister S1 3 piece that look great, but don't fit over my bbk without a spacer, and if i run a spacer i'm going to have to do some fender work to get them to fit, so i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place on that since i love the wheels. I've also spent some time trying to wire up my nitrous table on aem to be my meth map and be enabled once i switch meth on, after spending a few hours trying to troubleshoot why it wouldn't work i found a few threads stating that the early 30-1042 aem series 1 boxes had a problem where the switched inputs would not work correctly and needed a update. So i sent off my aem ecu to Streetlightz in CA, one of the few places who still works on series 1 since AEM discontinued service for it. So hopefully i'll have the car running again ready for the dyno once my ecu gets back.

Also have a SoS bored out throttle body incoming so will have to wait for that for the dyno. But since the car is down, and i have alot of free time the next few weeks, i decided to go ahead and pull the dash and all the interior :biggrin: I was planning on doing it at some point anyway because i was planning on repainting the interior during the repaint anyway and fixing a spot that peeling by the pedals. So while the interior is out i'm going to do the following:
1. Fix broken spot on dash
2. Repaint interior body and fix peeling spot under dash
3. Weight reduction - sound deadening, whatever else i can find
4. Lexan partition window - going to have a local place cut me a lexan window
5. Fix my broken center console and repaint it
6. Finish my aem/meth wiring for when the ecu gets back
7. Use some cleaning/leather restore products on my seats

Here's a few pics of my new wheels and the fitment issues with my Wppro. If i can get them to fit correctly they will end up being black with gold rivets on my midnight purple :D



How did you come to the conclusion that your ECU was damaged? What caused the damage? Did you check the usual culprits main relay, fuel pump and igniter unit?

I haven't heard on here of too many ECUs "burning out", even the 91s... Thanks.
How did you come to the conclusion that your ECU was damaged? What caused the damage? Did you check the usual culprits main relay, fuel pump and igniter unit?

I haven't heard on here of too many ECUs "burning out", even the 91s... Thanks.

Yeah i was suprised too! Here's my thread when it happened: http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php/189781-Crank-but-no-start

I replaced and tested just about everything before swapping the ecu for the aem unit. I still have no idea how it happened, or what's messed up, but if anyone needs an extra that wants to try and fix it let me know!
Well been able to spend alot of time on the car this past week and i'm really happy with the progress. I started by going ahead and pulling all the interior out so that i could fix the paint peeling and corrosion under the dash, fix my dash, and remove my sound deadening, i also went ahead and redyed my carpet using Rit dye from walmart and a big trashcan as i was happy with how my supra carpet turned out using this method.

Here is what two hours of trying to remove sound deadening without any dry ice looked like -_- So the next day i went and got 15lbs of dry ice from my local airgas.


It came off much easier once i used some dry ice. My wife actually helped me do the passenger side and i was very thankful. There were some areas that were different material that didn't want to come off at all, even with the ice, so i just left it. I also removed the sound deadening behind the seats, the tcs ecu, the stock footwell speaker and bracket, all together it weighed in around 29lbs all together!

Once i got my dash removed i also found out part of my AC problem i've been having with my heater control valve, the cable was not hooked into the little bracket under the dash!


Once i got all the sound deadening removed i began sanding and using a air powered drill with a wire brush attachment that worked pretty well. Since this is prime i'm sure someone will be upset the way i painted the interior but i don't think it really matters since no one will see it and i mainly did it to prevent further corrosion/peeling. Once prepped i used Rustolem gloss black and removed/moved as many wires, brackets, etc and i'm pretty happy with the way it turned out! :tongue: I also did the same with the trunk area as there were some spots that needed fixing.






NSXR Wing:
While i was working on the trunk i also took the time to repair/install a NSXR wing replica i got from a local primer (JohnWayne). The wing will be wetsanded and recleared when i paint the car but for now it looks pretty good. When i got the wing, it had been on a car that got hit and totaled, one side was completely coming apart at the seem, i used JB Plasticweld made for carbon fiber composites. i think it is either a NRG or Seibon replica, fitment is around 7/10 but i'm not OCD and pretty happy with it, it will be much better in the hands of my body shop :wink:






BBK/Wheel Problem
During this time, i also decided i was going to try and make my wheel and BBK setup work together with the minimal amount of spacer/fender work. I really like these wheels and think they'll look great finished black w/ gold rivets once the car is painted. After emailing Brandon, i decided to start grinding on one of the calipers, it didn't take long to see that just a little bit of grinding made a huge difference in clearance, however i also had to bend the brake line slightly to get it work. Here's a few pics of the finished grinding progress, i will have them redone in a lighter gold to match the accents on the car and wheels. I don't think the grinding will affect the strength or durability of the brakes at all. I will probably run a small spacer in the rear (3mm) but might be able to get by with no spacer in the front now!




My track wheels also arrived from Kuni! They have Hoosier slicks on them, but i think i have decided to pull them off and buy some street/track oriented tires like Toyo R888s as i need to learn the car on the track before going straight all out with the hoosiers. These wheels are much lighter than my 3-piece works though!


Finally here's two pics of the how the car currently sits, still waiting on my ecu to get back.


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Great job on this restoration. Seems like quit a under taking. I would kill the previous owner to making you fly all the way down to florida for this "clean" car.
Great job on this restoration. Seems like quit a under taking. I would kill the previous owner to making you fly all the way down to florida for this "clean" car.

Certainly felt like it! But i've been forgiven for worse, so i've moved on.

Progress on the car has been slow as i'm taking both my final semester of Greek and Hebrew before i graduate in May. I did however get my Ecu back and my switched input/outputs are now working so my meth is wired up perfectly and tuned with the AEM nitrous table so that's ready to go. I had a local window shop replace my parition window with lexan and replace my hatch and windshield seals. They did a great job for the price $350 for everything, but the weight savings was only around 7.5lbs so don't really know if it was worth it. I was able to get my interior back in once i got a new heater valve control motor and hooked up the cable. I also received my SoS Bored TB, as well as a few other dressup parts, and the car is ready to go on the dyno! Possibly in April if i'm able to take time off during spring break, if not it will have to wait til May.

Here's a few recent pics:

Repairing the center console turned out pretty good, you can still slightly see the area where i applied epoxy, but i'm fine with it. I cleaned up and spray painted the radiator brackets and they turned out great! You can also see the difference between the throttle bodies, the difference is roughly 3-4mm, but every little bit helps!



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Well was able to make it to the dyno today.. barely. Had some trouble with my 3piece work wheels leaking around the bolts so i had to pull the tires off and redo the silicon seal just in time to make my dyno appointment. The car was pretty much spot on with my street tune but did gain some up top with some added timing. Was hoping to make more, but i think the blower is maxed out.

Here's basic mods:
Finished tuning my car today on the dyno. Pretty pleased, was a little disappointed with the numbers (was aiming for 390) but the car drives great with no hiccups. Also thought the meth would have given some more gains but it didn't.


91 NSX 53k miles
1st gen ctsc 1.6 whipple hi boost (8-8.5lbs max)
Ct headers, RM exhaust, test pipes
SoS TB, Prospeed CAI
Aem v1 tuned myself on 93 octane
Dual nozzle A.S Motorsports meth injection plate running 50%

1st pull was baseline of my street tune.



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I would be very very happy with 375whp. That would put us right in line with more modern machines.
I would be very very happy with 375whp. That would put us right in line with more modern machines.

Car feels great and is very balanced, can't wait to do some track days this summer/fall. Just feels a little slow in the straight line compared to my 800hp Supra haha
Car feels great and is very balanced, can't wait to do some track days this summer/fall. Just feels a little slow in the straight line compared to my 800hp Supra haha

Anything will feel slow compared to that.
Did you know your rear strut brace was fitted incorrectly?

Mmm... how so?

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Little summer update:
Took the car to it's first car show today at our local cars and coffee. Got to meet another NSX driver, who turned out is the owner of the very 1st NSX i ever drove or worked on at my shop years ago. Had lots of people come and ask about the car, and got to have lots of conversations about Jesus which is the best part about all of it! Bought some bent front lip/splitter ends from another primer and straightened them out and installed them, i like the look but will probably make a solid piece later this summer.

Next up for the car is installing my WPPro BBK and fixing my ABS setup with the 02+ upgrade. While i have the brakes/abs off, we're going to go ahead and start paint by doing the front bay. I'll then take the car to road Atlanta on June 24-26 with MVP track days and after that we will tear the car down for full paint and bodywork. :biggrin:



The depression in the tube is supposed to face downward to give additional clearance around the vacuum pipes. Just flip it 180 degrees and you're good to go.

Ahh, i always assumed it was for the engine cover prop as it lays across there.
8/16/16 Update:

Had the car back together a few weeks after tearing out the whole front bay to do my 02+ ABS upgrade and WPPro BBK install. While i had the time i pulled out everything i could from the front bay, and taped the rest up and began the midnight purple respray! It was a little scary throwing the paint on and fully committing to the color change and midnight purple, but i love the color, though it doesn't show up super well in the bay as there's not much light or sun hitting it to show off the pearl. Overall i'm happy with the outcome and can't wait for the whole car to be sprayed, the front bay looks factory and there aren't any red spots showing through as we got great coverage with the paint. I also took the down time to replace the rear bumper beam with an aluminum one i made and install my new Seibon valence and Difflow diffuser.

While the car was down i did the following:
-Install SoS ABS Upgrade (removed 91 abs ecu)
-Installed factory keyless alarm (car already had the keyless ecu box)
-Installed WPPro BBK and ebrake
-Installed new master cylinder
-Installed new clutch master cylinder & slave cylinder
-Installed SoS clutch damper delete
-Installed HKS Coilovers (really impresssed with the ride quality)
-Installed ARP extended wheel studs all the way around (i have to run a small spacer in the rear to clear with my meisters, and a large spacer to clear with my SSR track day wheels)
-Installed Seibon rear valence
-Removed OEM steel rear bumper beam and replaced with aluminum
-Installed Difflow 02+ rear diffuser





Next up:
Working on fixing an AC leak at the compressor, going to tear it apart this week and redo seals, orings so i can enjoy it the rest of this hot and humid summer here in NC. Also need to adjust, fix my drooping exhaust tips as the adjustment clamps are old are not keeping the tips up. Car should be ready for Road Atlanta this fall!
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Little update, finally made it to the track.

Road Atlanta, November 13-14
Car has been great, was able to attend my first track event in it this past November at Road Atlanta with MVP Track Days. I rushed together a front splitter that we made a custom frame mount for after removing the factory heavy steel bumper beam, however, after a few sessions the splitter began to bend from all the downforce on the back stretch (130-140mph) so we had to remove it. I was still able to click off a 1:43 lap time on the last session while we were chasing a brand new 2016 Porsche 911 Turbo. I believe the car has a 1:39 once we brace the splitter and push the car a little harder. I had heard some bad reviews about the WPPro brakes on the track, but i was super impressed with mine, I also found my car will go through a whole gallon of meth about 2/3 through the session as i had to turn it off once the low fluid light came on. Only thing that didn't do so hot was my trans, i started to get a 2-3rd grind quite often. Here's a quick video. Note this was only a 1:45 lap as the car got a little squirly in one turn!




More boost!
I've now decided i want to build a custom turbo setup and sell my CTSC kit. So i contacted Cody @ Lovefab and ordered a full WAIC kit, i'm a dealer for Precision so i decided to try their new 6062 with the SP QSV. If you don't know much about the QSV It's basically a valve between the turbo and manifold flange that when using a divided turbo housing diverts all the gas into one side, increasing velocity and spool. Spool (full boost) is normally increased 400-500rpms sooner by using this valve. I have made custom turbo kits with these valves for various platforms at my business (Civics, Subaru, Supra, etc).

I'm also going to look at transmission options shortly as the car still has the stock clutch and since i'm starting to get some high rpm grinds in 3rd, nows a good time to go ahead and rebuild it. Still trying to decide whether to go JDM short gears or different final drive while it's apart.
Slight update:

Bought a 3.2 and 6 speed, but ended up finding a buyer for the 3.2 so it's gone, but going to swap the 6 speed in and a new clutch all at the same time when i install my turbo kit. Still waiting on my tb flange to build my custom aluminum intake manifold then the turbo kit goes on and more power! Will post up once i start installing the turbo kit and building the intake manifold.