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Changes by year

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Hi, All -
A month or so ago, I was turned on to this link: https://www.nsxprime.com/wiki/Changes_by_Year

Now, the link looks to be dead. It showed wonderful information about all the changes that Acura did to every year of the NSX, including one year where they made the body from "stronger and thinner metal". I can no longer find this information, but I suspect it is in here somewhere. Can someone guide me, thanks!

- Rob
 
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We will be re-populating all of the FAQ and Wiki content into the NSX Prime Library. Please bear with us as all of this stuff will have to be manually added back.
 

RYU

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Hi, All -
A month or so ago, I was turned on to this link: https://www.nsxprime.com/wiki/Changes_by_Year

Now, the link looks to be dead. It showed wonderful information about all the changes that Acura did to every year of the NSX, including one year where they made the body from "stronger and thinner metal". I can no longer find this information, but I suspect it is in here somewhere. Can someone guide me, thanks!

- Rob
If you have any specific questions in the meantime, let us know and we can help. I general i'll try to hit the highlights below. I'll ignore all automatics and just focus on manual cars

91-94 3.0L 5 speed Coupes
95-96 3.0L 5 speed Targas on OBD1
97-01 3.2L 6 speed Targas (some coupes exists but very rare) OBD2
02-05 3.2L 6 speed Targas, facelifted design, minor interior changes (fabrics, colors, etc), ULEV

We can really get into the weeds on mid model year updates like how the 6 speed became a dual syncro setup in the newer years, etc so if you have a specific question just ask.
 
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Honcho, RYU -
Thanks for the replies. I will be patient and just check the site every week or two.
- Rob
 
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Esquire -
Thank you so much! From afar, it appears that a '97-'99 is a high point in the development of the NSX?
- Rob
 
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Esquire -
Thank you so much! From afar, it appears that a '97-'99 is a high point in the development of the NSX?
- Rob
The biggest changes occurred in 1997. The move to the 3.2 and 6-speed was a big investment by Honda. To offset the weight of the bigger brakes, engine and transmission, they revised the alloy used in the body panels. It's thinner and lighter than the 91-96, but just as strong.
 
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the highest water mark was the 99 Zanardi...
 
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Honcho -
Much though I would love a '99 Zanardi, probably not happening! (But thanks DocJohn!) Back to the high water mark. For '97 let's not forget the larger intake valves. "Stronger, thinner aluminum" - I want to know more. You can't change physics, and I'm sure the previous alloy was cold-worked to the nines during the stamping processes. The alloy was changed, but to what, and from what? How thick was the sheet stock before this change and after? Another mystery - "Improved Noise Vibration and Harshness". I would love to know exactly what was done where to get this. Another big one - "New aluminum alloy in selected areas to reduce weight and increase rigidity". So, they change the alloy on existing parts or made new parts to increase rigidity? Adding new parts doesn't exactly reduce weight, of course. After they did the finite element analysis once Ayrton Senna said basically that the car was too floppy, did they re-do this again to increase rigidity? Hmm, I wish I was a Honda engineer in those days! PS - I don't even own an NSX, but I am planning to, and I'm just in the "wisdom-gathering" stage that I always do before buying a new-to-me car.
- Rob
 
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Honcho -
Much though I would love a '99 Zanardi, probably not happening! (But thanks DocJohn!) Back to the high water mark. For '97 let's not forget the larger intake valves. "Stronger, thinner aluminum" - I want to know more. You can't change physics, and I'm sure the previous alloy was cold-worked to the nines during the stamping processes. The alloy was changed, but to what, and from what? How thick was the sheet stock before this change and after? Another mystery - "Improved Noise Vibration and Harshness". I would love to know exactly what was done where to get this. Another big one - "New aluminum alloy in selected areas to reduce weight and increase rigidity". So, they change the alloy on existing parts or made new parts to increase rigidity? Adding new parts doesn't exactly reduce weight, of course. After they did the finite element analysis once Ayrton Senna said basically that the car was too floppy, did they re-do this again to increase rigidity? Hmm, I wish I was a Honda engineer in those days! PS - I don't even own an NSX, but I am planning to, and I'm just in the "wisdom-gathering" stage that I always do before buying a new-to-me car.
- Rob

The 1997 suspension settings were slightly revised in terms of damping force and spring rate- this is likely the source of the NVH marketing statement (many owners claim that the 97+ cars "ride" better than the older ones). Suspension bushing and motor mount rubber remained unchanged from the 91-96 cars.

The "new aluminum alloy" is what I mentioned. It's used in the body panels- fenders, doors, trunk and hood. While it's mostly a weight-related change, I suppose the stronger panels would add some rigidity in the case of the fenders and quarters, which are securely bolted and glued to the unibody. technically, they are "new" parts in that they have unique Honda part numbers, but they were made on the same stampings as the original pieces.

The main rigidity improvement comes in the thicker extruded side sills and B-pillars, which was originally done for the 95 T model and further revised for the 97+ cars. All 97+ hard tops keep this thicker metal, making them the most rigid NSXs ever made, more so than even the NA1 NSX-R. They did not do the 6-month campaign of track driving and finite element analysis that they did for the original car, but I'm sure the Cray was involved in calculating where and how much extra metal was needed for the T.
 
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Arent the 2002+ coupes even lighter, with the new gen ABS and fixed headlights saving a bit over the pop-ups ? Granted coupes for these years seem to be restricted to the NSX-R and maybe some EU/JP models...
 
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Arent the 2002+ coupes even lighter, with the new gen ABS and fixed headlights saving a bit over the pop-ups ? Granted coupes for these years seem to be restricted to the NSX-R and maybe some EU/JP models...
The revised bumper, headlights and ABS do reduce weight, but I believe the 2002+ gained weight in other areas due to crash safety requirements. Thus, the curb weight of a 2002 NSX-T is about the same as a 1997 NSX-T.
 
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Honcho -
For "improved NVH", one might read, "softer rubber in the shock mounts". That will do it, though at the expense of handling crispness. Ditto for the engine mounts.
I am interested on knowing how you know that they made the longitudinals and the b-pillars stronger. That would certainly stiffen up the car! So, with the hard top clamped down, this car is pretty stiff, I would guess. Cool stuff, thanks for your input!
- Rob
 
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Honcho -
For "improved NVH", one might read, "softer rubber in the shock mounts". That will do it, though at the expense of handling crispness. Ditto for the engine mounts.
You would think so, but the 97+ cars use the exact same shock mount rubber and engine mounts as the 91-96 cars. Those parts never changed for the entire production run.

However, there are differences in rubber. The NSX-R, Type-S, Zanardi and S-Zero all use stiffer rubber in several parts, including the engine mounts. All of these have different part numbers compared to the "normal" NSX. Many have a "-900" suffix.

As for the thicker metal, it was highlighted in Honda's 95 marketing materials for the new NSX-T. I've also seen a 97+ side panel cut held up next to a 91- you can clearly see the difference in thickness- it's not subtle.
 
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Honcho -
Wonderful info, thanks! I saw a picture of a bare shell with the longitudinal cut out - someone shot it at NSXPO.
Is there a parts list one can use to convert an NSX to an R?
- Rob
 
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