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First time nsx owner buying questions

9 July 2012
Hi guys first post here!

I am looking to go check out a 1996 Red/Black NSX-T automatic with targa top.

100k miles

The price is great 17k!

Only problem it is salvage title.

Is this a good buy?

Anything i should look out for?

An older lady is the owner of the car.

Thanks a lot! Looking forward to being a part of this great family!
Only problem it is salvage title.

Is this a good buy?

You will need to post details of the damage that caused it to be salvaged, and the repair. The more photos the better.

Plus a VIN to help you dig up any known history of the car.
The automatic is a big negative for most buyers (myself included), so make sure you REALLY are ok with an automatic before pulling the trigger.

With a salvage title the devil is literally in the details. If you are mechanically inclined and are planning on getting your hands dirty (or have friends with those qualifications) that may not matter for the $17k price point. There are certain people in this community for whom simply having a starting platform at $17k makes it a good deal. As I am not one of them though (I manage to screw up simple mechanical repairs like replacing a light bulb), so I really can't comment there.

In short, I would say:
[1] go in with eyes wide open that you may be spending another $10k on this car
[2] recognize that this sale price is hampered by the automatic transmission & salvage title and that means if you ever try to resell it, you are going to be in a similar boat
[3] learn as much as you can about all the details
[4] bring along someone who is experienced with these particular vehicles when you inspect it.

Good luck!
Where are you located? If you're in Chicago, you might want to hit up Brylek here on Prime. He is very knowledgeable about the NSX.
Automatic...salvage title...100k miles...

That will certainly be a tough resale when you go to sell it down the road.

I'd keep looking if I were you.
As with anything, you will get what you pay for. I'm not saying 17K isn't a good deal. You have not provided enough detail to render an opinion. You should, as was said by others, get as much documentation as possible on the damage and repairs. Also any maintenance records as well. You need to know whether the timing belt and water pump has been changed because that can be a very large expense and this is just the begining of the inspection process. Don't be so anxious to buy the first NSX you see. Because you may be disappointed with the performance of the auto trans and the lower HP associated with it. In short listen to the more experienced Primers on this site and do your homework. AND check the Wiki. It has loads of info for what to look for when purchasing an NSX.


Good Luck and welcome to Prime.
Thanks guys for the responses and great info.

I looked through that wiki and boy am i glad i did. Helped alot thanks!

Thanks for reminding me of the timing belt hopefully it has been replaced if not ill have to knock another 1 or 2 thousand off the price.

Any oppinions on the overall price of 17k if everything checks out mechanically and body work is good??
Any oppinions on the overall price of 17k if everything checks out mechanically and body work is good??

Truly impossible to say until the details of the damage/repair are known.

Was it hit in the front or the back? Or was there some other reason it was totaled? Flood? Fire?
Any oppinions on the overall price of 17k if everything checks out mechanically and body work is good??

The big question is whether your insurance will pay out what you put into the car in the event of a claim. If they won't, then you have to be comfortable with the possibility of eating the portion that you won't recover.
oh wow am i an idiot.

the car has been fixed it is now a rebuilt title their is no noticeable damage anywhere on the car.

im sorry i think of salvage and rebuilt as the same thing.

some of you have said things about putting 10k into the car and i was like wtf. hahah

or do you mean still put another 10k on top of the rebuilt
or do you mean still put another 10k on top of the rebuilt

Even though all may "look" fine, looks can be deceiving unless you really know what you are looking at. This isn't a civic, so a big repair bill isn't entirely out of the ordinary. It also depends on how "perfect" you want things to be.

This thread from McNice always reminds me that a car that looks good to the casual eye can still have some serious problems: http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php?t=154961

"After I got home I took the car to Radley and, while they couldnt find any problems with my coolant system, they told me that my EPS rack had an internal failure and needed to be replaed ($6k part). There were other issues as well... the front rotors were warped, I had a tear in my targa seal. The dream of owning an NSX felt like it was quickly turning into a nightmare. There were other issues with the car as well... crappy aftermarket clutch, torn trunk seal, electrical issues.

So at this point I brought the car to Ben, and he confirmed my fears... the car I bought was seriously hurt. The clutch master/slave cylinders were leaking, brake master cylinder was leaking, the tie rods needed to be replaced. He had some serious concerns about the condition of the engine and did some further tests. The long story short is that the engine had a stuck shut thermostat for a long time, resulting in a blown head gasket and possibly a blown head. Due to the head gasket leak my cylinder #6 had pulled in coolant and was misfiring. I was faced with either buying a new engine or completely rebuilding what I had."
now thats scary, but the worst possible end result.

have a good PPI on the car if it passes the inspection of an NSX Certifed Mechanic then go for it.

I know people say salvage history is a bad thing, yes they are right if they are talking about a civic or a camry dime a dozen and not hand made.

if repairs are done right I would drive it myself.

but you can tell very quickly if they were jury rigged.

take it to someone that knows the NSX and get an expert opinion.


also read this about buying a used NSX
print it out and read it
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so purchased this bad boy for 15k.

it needs some little peices here and there but the engine runs good and body looks great.

timing was done at 80000 miles so no worries there.

there is a little play in the steering wheel I heard this was something to do with the tierods? also heard this was expensive repair.

for 100 000 miles looks very nice in and out!

do you think at 15k this was a good purchase?

also can someone point me in the direction of na upgrades for this motor?

Thank you guys for explaining what i should look out for in buying an nsx i really appreciate it!

there is a little play in the steering wheel I heard this was something to do with the tierods? also heard this was expensive repair.
It depends on what it needs. The tie rod parts aren't too bad, but it may need ball joints. Ball joints are expensive because you have to replace the entire knuckle.

If you're in the Chicago area, you should know that Ted, the lead NSX mechanic at Muller's Woodfield Acura in Hoffman Estates (about ten miles west of O'Hare) is the most experienced NSX mechanic in the entire Chicago area. He's also the best guy at diagnosing and fixing suspension issues that I've ever met. He's fixed numerous suspension issues on my NSX and other cars, issues that other competent mechanics couldn't figure out. So if there's play in the suspension, he's THE guy to go to, bar none.
congrats on the purchase

your gonna love it once she has all the bugs worked out.

then let the modding begin LOL

your wallet will not like you :biggrin:
Congrats. Not sure if you did a thorough PPI or had a bodyshop look over the car, but might be a good idea just for piece of mind. NA mods? Take a look at the SOS ITB setup and maybe even consider doing a 6 speed conversion. Sadly, everything when said and done may cost more then your purchase price. :) But, if you're happy with having an automatic; just drive it and maybe do some light mods such as suspension, wheels, exhaust, etc.
Hey thanks alot.

i dont want to invest too much into the car since i bought it for 15k.....

i think i will do some exterior mods since they are cheaper but of course its going to be super clean! no rice:tongue:

The exhaust was changed out not sure if body shop did it or its aftermarket part though.

I heard intakes dont do anything for this car is this correct?

Yes id rather prefer the manual, but at least i have tiptronic shifting in the 1996 i am very happy about that.

Thanks again for the support