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LaffyTaffy's 1991 NSX Build

19 January 2017
Savannah GA
Hey all!

I just bought a 1991 NSX in Formula Red with 106kmi on it! I've been dreaming about owning this car since I was a kid, and I finally managed to get my hands on one! Now that I have it, I'd like to take care of several maintenance and repair items that it needs and then modify it for light track duty. The goal for the car is to be a comfortable and reliable DD that can handle the occasional HPDE without breaking a sweat.

The maintenance and repair items that I've identified so far are:
- SRS Light: The SRS light stays on constantly, and based on what I've seen in these forums it looks like a new SRS module (or one repaired by BrianK) is the answer here. The car also blows the SRS fuse immediately upon startup, which supports the case for needing a new SRS module.
- CC INOP: The cruise control doesn't work, which makes long highway drives a PITA. The forums indicate that a new cable reel should help fix this issue. The steering wheel is in pretty rough shape as well, so I'll probably get it re-upholstered while the airbag is already out.
- Engine bay leak/smell/smoke: I've noticed a burning smell from the engine bay after driving, a few drops of something on the garage floor, and even white smoke from the engine bay after driving. Again, based on forum research here I suspect the issue is leaky spool valve gaskets that are leaking oil which is then dripping on the exhaust and causing smoke. New spool valve gaskets are already in the mail :smile:
- Crankshaft pulley: I've read the horror stories (and even seen a few photos) of crankshaft pulleys separating and doing all sorts of damage. IMHO it's worth the couple hundred bucks to get a new pulley and a pulley shield to keep things from getting ugly.
- Timing belt: it was last changed in 2010 but I don't want to take any chances.
- Center console trim: this car was daily driven for 27 years and some of the interior trim shows it .I'd like to replace the center console trim with a black single-DIN piece (the car came with an aftermarket head unit), but I've been having trouble finding one. All the ones I find seem to be carbon fiber and that's not the look (or the price point) I'm going for.
- Radiator: plastic end tanks and rubber hoses after 27 years (or however long) just scream "stranded on the side of the road" to me. New aluminum radiator and rubber hoses should fit the bill. eBay radiator probably, because I'm cheap.

The mods I'd like to do so far are:
- Cat-back exhaust: I'm looking at an eBay catback, because I'm cheap. Maybe headers eventually.
- Clutch damper delete: I've noticed some strange behavior from the clutch pedal and based on forum research I think the clutch damper is at least partly to blame.
- Compliance pivots: I'd like to get the front compliance clamps and the rear-beam non-compliance bushings to eliminate some of the sluggishness in the steering response. I will probably also need to replace the rest of the suspension bushings and possibly new steering rack bushings as well.
- Wheels and tires: the car came with 18s in the front and 19s in the rear, which just seems like way too much tire for this car (certainly at stock power levels) and makes driving in parking lots even harder than it needs to be. I'm considering going to 17s all around. Enkei TS-9's in black, to be specific. I'd also love to get a set of the stock wheels for track days. The tires will be cheaper in the stock size and the reduction in peak grip will help me learn the limits of the car better. Lower grip will also keep the lateral loads down, reducing the need for oil starvation mitigation, and hopefully it'll also ensure that if I do something stupid (which I will eventually) it'll be at a lower speed than if I were on super grippy tires :smile:
- Accusump: The NSX is, at the end of the day, a street car and isn't designed to withstand sustained lateral G's at high RPMs. Especially with the VTEC system stealing some of the available oil above a certain RPM, it doesn't seem to be worth the risk of encountering oil starvation on track and toasting an engine. Accusump should eliminate the oil starvation concern, especially on less grippy tires as mentioned above.

I've already done a car-phone delete. The storage space in that car is so limited as it is, as cool as the armrest phone is I didn't think it was worth the space. If anyone has a false floor for the armrest storage for sale, I'd love to take it off your hands.

Those are my "big" plans for this amazing car! We'll see where she ends up. Pics and updates to follow! Thanks for reading!
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Here are a few pics of the condition the car was in when I bought it. It needs a little TLC and I hope to be able to refresh it a little, but it's not bad for a car that was DD'd for 27 years! The exterior is in great shape. Getting the steering wheel and the armrest re-upholstered and fixing the trim around the radio should tidy up tbe interior a bit.

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The finish on the intake manifold cover was peeling off, so I decided to help it out a little bit. I just scraped off the bits that were easy to get off and left the rest alone. I'd like to get it re-finished at a local machine shop, which I suspect will be cheaper than buying an aftermarket one but I haven't gotten any quotes yet. The intake manifold looks weird without the cover!

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As cool as the center console phone is, if I 'm gonna daily drive this car I'm gonna need storage space and the NSX has very little to spare so the phone had to go. I didn't remove all of the electronic modules yet, just the handset itself. Just a few a screws and a plug and the handset comes out. The rubber insulation on the phone cord was almost all the way gone (hence the rainbow spaghetti), and what little was left was crumbling all over the cabin. I suspect that 27 years of Tallahassee heat did it in. If anyone is selling a false floor for the center console, I'd love to take it off your hands!

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The SRS light stays on constantly when the car is on. The forums indicate that if the 10A fuse continues to blow, the most likely cause is a bad SRS module. I checked the 10A fuse and it was blown. I replaced it with one of the spares and after starting the car the SRS light still came on. I checked the fuse again after shutting the car down and it was blown again, so I suspect the SRS module is to blame. I think I'm going to send it to BrianK for repairs (if that's still a thing). Otherwise I think eBay is my only option.

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Went to replace the spool valve gaskets but got stuck when I couldn't disconnect the electrical connectors. This will give you some sense of how mechanically inclined I am (not very). Ran out of time to work on the car, but I'm gonna try it again soon to see if I can get them off. I found this Prime post (http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php/144455-spool-valve-connectors) where someone else was struggling with these too, so at least I'm not the only n00b out there who can't get these things off. I tried the suggestion in that post, but no luck. I was attempting to follow this walkthrough: http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php/113606-Spool-Valve-Gasket-walk-through-(pics)

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New floor mats! Zanardi edition. Shout out to Science of Speed.

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I was stopped at a red light and got hit from behind by a Pontiac Solstice on 6/6/17. Car was totaled. I bought it back from the insurance company for $6k and got the right rear quarter panel and control arms repaired. I re-registered it with a salvage title. Then it blew a head gasket. I got that repaired. Also did maintenance on the brakes, CV boot, and a few other things. Then I accidentally dropped a wrench while trying to tighten a battery terminal, caused a short, melted the brake line and set it on fire. Got all that fixed. Then the AC went out (car is located in Savannah GA, so that makes it un-driveable) and the mechanic said it would have to be converted from R-12 to R-134a. Then the trunk seal started leaking. I decided the car was too much of a hassle and a money pit and donated it to charity. Proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Atlanta, GA. It'll go live at auction on 10/18/19. VIN is JH4NA1159MT000102. Note the car has a salvage title, even though the listing says "clean". Auction listing is here: https://www.iaai.com/VehicleDetails...similarVehicleItemId=&isNext=&loadRecent=true