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Arkaid's '98 NA2 Coupe Build Thread

24 August 2016
Hey guys, it’s about time I started a build thread. I always end up getting too far into builds before I have a chance to fully record all the steps, but wanted to start this one before I get too far in (only a year lol).

I came from the BMW world (current E46 and E30 M3 owner), but the NSX was the first real “dream car” for me; while other kids growing up wanted Diablos and Testarossas I was enamored with the Honda. Fast forward a few years and I had a 996TT that I just couldn’t connect with, so I figured now was as good of a time as any to finally turn that dream into a reality.

Like everyone, I wanted an NA2 coupe but knew finding one would be impossible. But, after judicious searching, I had seen one come up for sale in 2014 and saw the now-current owner, Mike, was an enthusiast and had a build thread on Prime.

I ended up buying another NSX in the meantime, but kept tabs on this particular one for nearly two years. I had talked to Mike on a few occasions before but we got re-connected through my good friend and now-former NSX owner, Will, in mid-2017. The cards fell into place at the end of 2017, and a few weeks later I flew out to the East Coast to see the car in person, drive it in the pouring rain (lol) and buy it.

The car had roughly 94k miles on it and plenty of goodies on it when I got it but I wanted to make it my own. I had a lot of really nice parts on my previous NSX, so I set out with a plan to swap my parts over where possible.

My previous NSX-T (Now owned by my good buddy Tony [MENTION=21122]Ready2Huynh[/MENTION], it’s awesome that I get to see it so often and he’s made it look 100x better than I ever could):


Some pictures of the coupe under Mike’s ownership:






How it looked the day I bought it:



And here it is coming off the truck back to SoCal:





Washing away the road grime from 2 weeks on a truck (albeit an enclosed one):



Dual Kaiser silver action!

When I got it, Mike kept it in great shape but there were a few things I knew I wanted to take care of. First, I wanted to go back to the OEM clutch as I couldn’t deal with the chattery drivability of the SOS, even though it was a 275, their mildest setup. Second, I felt the wheels didn’t fit the car the way I wanted them to, so I sold them to my buddy Jimmy [MENTION=25869]flexthatdx[/MENTION] and put on my Prodrives from my old NSX. Third, while the AP-X exhaust was nice, it was no ARC, and it just so happened that I had that piece of unobtainium on my old car :D.




While Jawn/Jon (@Track Addict) had my targa taking my old parts off of it, I brought the coupe down to him and asked him to swap over my goodies (non-compliance items, test pipes, brake refresh, clutch slave/master cylinder, and front sway bar among others) and replace the clutch with OEM. He ended up coming up with a hybrid clutch using an OEM flywheel and friction disc coupled with the SOS pressure plate that works beautifully. If anyone wants the SOS flywheel and disc for cheap hit me up; both items have less than 5k miles on them. While I was there, we also swapped over my JDM tail lights, replaced all 4 fender liners and repainted the slats in the lower front bumper back to black instead of body color. Mini resto-mod process, I guess.
Slowly, I started to plan out my next item, wheels. While I don’t consider myself a purist, my style has always been OEM+. My dream with the NSX has always been to build a hot-rodded / modded Type S (at least a poor man’s version, not like [MENTION=18194]Honcho[/MENTION] or [MENTION=34522]NSX_n00b[/MENTION] 's excellent builds :D). My targa had Pole Positions and a Momo Zagato wheel, so I figured I had the interior parts mostly squared away. I figured, what better car to do an upgraded Type S build on than an NA2 c00p? So, I started looking for OEM Type S wheels again. I had been after a set on and off for 18 months, but the timing was never right.

Finally late one night, I got a text from my homie Robert @MexiRicer that a used, not great condition set had popped up on Yahoo Japan Auctions. Immediately I asked how we’d get the wheels here and we formulated a plan. Fast forward 2 days and 72 bids later(!), the wheels were mine. It took almost 2 months to get them from Japan as they had to be shipped by sea, and I had a minor meltdown along the way thanks to an epic April Fool’s troll by Robert.

When I did get the wheels, they were in completely miserable shape:




Check out the tires :O


Test fitting them up. I wanted to originally refinish them to Washi Grey (well, Pewter Grey), but once I got them on the car, I wanted to keep them their original silver.


I had my guy Mike at Tru-Wheel in North Hollywood take a shot at refinishing them back to their original color and to say he did an incredible job is an understatement.



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I got the car back from Jon, drove beautifully and the ARC w test pipes sounded sublime. I figured I would throw my LM’s on while I was waiting for the tires for my Type S’s to come in.



I then loaded the wheels with some Hankook RS4 rubber and got them on the car the next week; now we’re talking.




Only problem was the wheels (being stock offsets and widths) were too sunken in for my tastes. I grabbed a set of 30mm rear spacers from Robert and a set of 25mm for the fronts. Looked much better.


I spent the rest of the summer prepping for NSXPO in September. I was never quite happy with my ride heights on my JRZ’s (I actually had reverse rake for a while), so I started messing around. Finally, I ended up buying a second jack to jack up the hub with so I could more room to lower the spring perch. I ended up going a little overboard, lol.


I loved this front height but I was scraping everywhere I went.


So I raised it back up a quarter inch and the drivability was perfect. I’ll drop it back down once I get around to wiring up my cups.

its insane what a difference the right stance and getting the wheels flush does to the look of these cars. Great looking car, the longer I've owned mine the more the Type-S wheels are growing on me, but I do like the look of those Prodrives
Amazing start so far Akbar :biggrin:. Very honored to have contributed to your beautiful na2 c00p build process so far and hopefully wont be the last. That April fools joke will go down in my books as one of my greatest trolls ever LOL... Great method on using a second jack to lower the front perches down a bit more eh... Say, did you still need a half mast switch for your cup kit wiring?? :rolleyes:
its insane what a difference the right stance and getting the wheels flush does to the look of these cars. Great looking car, the longer I've owned mine the more the Type-S wheels are growing on me, but I do like the look of those Prodrives

Thanks! It really does make an amazing difference.

Amazing start so far Akbar :biggrin:. Very honored to have contributed to your beautiful na2 c00p build process so far and hopefully wont be the last. That April fools joke will go down in my books as one of my greatest trolls ever LOL... Great method on using a second jack to lower the front perches down a bit more eh... Say, did you still need a half mast switch for your cup kit wiring?? :rolleyes:

Thank you bro! Many more buffoon questions to come, lol. And I actually already ended up grabbing a half mast switch from Marc a couple weeks back :(

I had always wanted a Type-R maintenance lid and really wanted OEM without forking over the cash for a brand new one from Japan. I had hit up [MENTION=21864]Ira[/MENTION] earlier in the spring about possibly buying his OEM lid as I’d heard he would be prepping his car for sale. He was nice enough to circle back around and let me grab his three weeks before NSXPO. A few orders placed to Mike @comtec and I was off to the races mounting up the lid.


Spent a Saturday doing a mild paint correction on the car (Mike had kept the paint in amazing shape).




I hadn’t seen Ramon in over a year and I had a slow afternoon at work so I scooted down there for a quick oil change. Was great to catch up with him, I counted 9 NSX’s in the shop and he said that was a slow day :D


NSXPO ready!
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September rolled around and NSXPO was here! I made the trip up to the Bay Area with the Socal boys: Tony, Marcellus @Marsbars, Vince (sorry Vince I don’t know your handle!), Fred @FF Drifter and Graeme @CDX_NSX. Epic caravan and some solid In-N-Out and gas station hangouts were had.




My old car and my new car together (see, what did I tell you about @Ready2Huynh making it look better than I ever could…)


XPO was a blast; it was great to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in a while and great to finally put faces to names I had seen on Prime or on FB.


May leading the charge:


Me following Mars over the Golden Gate Bridge:


The first day, Friday, was kind of a bummer though; I absolutely SMASHED my front lip pulling onto the grass for the Golden Gate Bridge shot lol. I went over a patch of grass and didn’t see the huge dip right after it. The force was hard enough to take off my tow hook cover; thankfully Mars was behind me and saw it and grabbed it.


Oh well, still looked alright from far away:


After that, I was in kind of a bad mood but at least it was only the lip that took a beating and not the bumper.



But, a quick trip to Home Depot and a wipe down and it was good as new.

Saturday I had to stay in and work so I missed the drive to Alice’s and ended up heading there late. I flew down Skyline to make it just in time before the group began the Canepa drive.



Seeing Canepa and walking around the building in person was an incredible experience. I’ve been following them in magazines since I was 12 years old and to see the hardware in person was pretty unbelievable.




Three Kaisers posted up next to each other @Ready2Huynh, yours truly, and @neuronbob)


Lip looking a little better than the prior day:


Steve (@whiteNSXs) and I had been trading PM’s for a few months and I finally got to meet him in person to check out his immaculate GPW NA2 coupe (THE white one). Dual na2c00p action!!


Tony, me and Conrad’s MCB. That thing was BEAUTIFUL!


I didn’t get any pics of the banquet dinner but that was a lot of fun as well. Gan-san spoke, so that’s always a treat. [MENTION=25247]MexiRicer[/MENTION] almost won a brand new SOS 275 clutch too but he was sadly outbid.

Sunday morning I snapped a few early morning shots of me, Adrian @Hapa88 and Vince before we headed back down to Socal (Eric @akira3d making a guest appearance in the background :D)



Incredible troll by @titaniumdave, who needed to give some parts to Jon before he left. I guess he can’t leave if he can’t get in his car! hahah


I unfortunately didn’t get to meet him in person but I had heard a lot about Jhae (@Teej) and his NSX from the Socal boys so I figured I needed to get a pic of his car.


The Sunday caravan home was just as epic. Newly engaged couple Randy and Bryana (congrats again guys!) joined us on the way back along with Adrian, Vince, Tony, Mars, Jon and myself.


Thus NSXPO 2018 drew to a close. Hopefully will be able to make it out to XPO 2019!
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Great thread. Loved falling the NSXPO trip and the start of your car. Car is beautiful.
wow those wheels are so nice! they look even better than the all coveted 02+ wheels
Great to meet you [MENTION=33027]Arkaid[/MENTION] ! We Kaiser owners have to stick together. I was out around 0600 on Sunday morning for my own side trip to SoCal, so I didn't get any last-moment pics myself. See you in DC?
Thanks, all!

To bring it up to current; the next few months I got jammed with work so there wasn’t a whole lot of playtime with the car. I took it out for our local Socal BBQ – got there a bit early so here I am posted up with the GOAT himself:


And that’s it for now; I have a lot of parts in the works and waiting to go on still, but, that’s for another day. I promise I’ll do a better job keeping this updated…
I took it out for our local Socal BBQ – got there a bit early so here I am posted up with the GOAT himself:

The only goats that I am familiar with

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Great shots and a fun time! Glad you're engine the Type R Lid :)
Beautiful car. Looks perfect. Awesome build thread, looking forward to your progress.


The only goats that I am familiar with

Hahaha. Let's be honest though, nasty, OD and mateus's solo on drown are the real winners on that album :D

Looks great, wheel set up looks much better on both cars lol

Thanks! And it really does, I can't park next to Tony anymore, makes me look bad!

Ah the memories!

It was an awesome event and per usual your photos were excellent Eric :)

Great shots and a fun time! Glad you're engine the Type R Lid :)

Thanks Ira! Great meeting you in person and yes, definitely enjoying the lid.

I have some major updates in the works, stay tuned...
The Type-S rims make it perfect!

Thanks! Yeah, they're an amazing wheel, I got really lucky.

Update: Car now has increased off-road abilities :D

I have always loved the look of a low NSX but thought it impractical. I spent entirely too much time around the Socal crew and they corrupted me with their seemingly magic ways of driving their cars on the floor, so I toyed with the idea of an air cup system. I liked the idea and price point of the Stanceparts cups as I didn't think I needed the sophistication of the iLift. I was originally going to get a full Stanceparts kit and call it a day, but two things irked me: I) I only really needed a front lift and I thought the idea of a 2 gallon, trunk-mounted tank would take away from the more OEM-like aspects of my build, and II) I wanted to utilize the OEM switch panel and switches for stealth. I am a sucker for doing things clean and I loved the tank and compressor setup my buddy [MENTION=21934]nsxnemo[/MENTION] had utilized for the front where the spare tire would normally go. He was also able to wire up the cups to the OEM switches, so I decided this was the path I wanted to take.

Fast forward 6 months later and I finally get my act together to piece together the cups, tank, compressor, switches and supporting fittings. I made my way down to Nemo’s house and we spent the day wiring everything up. It worked flawlessly and most importantly, everything came out looking exactly the way it did before, except now I had lighted switches and front lift capability! We wired up a seat heater switch for my cup up/down positions, an OEM fog light switch for when I eventually get my fogs, and a JDM half mast switch so I can kill the compressor whenever I need to (very useful for starting the car without the compressor drawing amps from the battery, or for killing the noise when I hardpark in front of the massive 8-person crowds at the local cars and coffee).

Tank and compressor in:


Dash out (I also finally found out that I am NOT pulling out my annoying aftermarket alarm due to the complexity of the wiring to the brain):


All installed:


New ride height. Low, but not completely slammed:


All in, I estimate I’m now getting around 2-3 inches of lift and it’s made driving the car really fun. Now I just need to get myself a new front lip...
Very Nice! Kaiser such a good color and with the Type-S wheels it looks great.