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Lamini's Journal (1991 NSX)

17 April 2012
Not really a build thread (at least not yet), more of another maintenance thread for the NSX. Picked up the ride earlier this year w/ 37,000 miles. I came from a 2007 STI

It didnt take long to notice that the car featured a vibrating and other rattling sounds when idle and getting out of 1st gear. Some other features included a surprise inability to (rarely) get out of a gear.

I wanted to enjoy the car before really knowing its internals. I went and took some pics. As you can see, besides the wheels, its STOCK (and an aftermarket Kenwood stereo I'm looking to replace w/ OEM).

Having read all the PPI and inspection threads, and who the experts in my area were, I paid a visit to Ben at Daisy Auto take a looky. It was a wake up call that Ben had made clear to me. I thought, and had planned I would be doing some upgrades (this would have been my Japanese turbo #8), but instead I was made aware that I had a cracked coolant tank (you can see the green leak below, and also notice the stealth license plate from SoS as it only took a day to get a warning from the police that I needed front plates; as well as the new OEM lip (from SoS) as the 1st pic didnt have one; and notice the Honda badge (SoS) :p), and just about everything else was OEM on the 20yr+ old car, and at least a handful of other broke parts.

This could become a long story, and to save the reader, heres the list:

-Replace timing belt, water bump (with new lower cover), tensioner, cam seals, crank seal, cam end plugs, rocker to head Orings, new alternator belt, repack a/c tensioner (required CAM removal)
-Install new thermostat, TW sensor, front radiator hoses, and all remaining rear hoses, and Honda Coolant
- Valve adjustment (twice), install new rear bank coils, spark plugs, PVC valve (Lost Motion Assemblies NOISY).
- Replaced OEM clutch with Science of Speed 350 Clutch, kit with damper delete, rear main seal, reseal transmission, and new Honda MTF flud (motor was pulled out and transmission as assembly). (I must say, the clutch no longer weighs 200lbs, nor does is squeak, rattle, vibrate the car, and GRABs well, at least compared to an OEM clutch w/ 40,000miles).

-Replaced clutch master and slave cylinder; bled system
-Replaced leaking brake master sylinder and bleed system out with dot 4 hd fluid
-R&R intake manifold, reseal w/ factory, gaskets, R&R injectors, install new top orings, new factory fuel filter
-Replaced Oil Pan and Oil pan gasket (did I mention my oil pan had a nice leak?)

I cant just list all that w/o at least one shop pic:

Its a start. Theres still a couple maintenance needs to take care of, but the safety ones are resolved (belts, coolant tank, oil leak, and of course the clutch). Immediate future upgrades include an exhaust system (once all maintenance needs are met). Some time next year will be looking into a turbo kit, until then will see the options are.

I cannot say how fortunate I was to have worked this with Ben. I dont think I would have gotten similar results elsewhere.

Goal is mixture of show and go. Dont think this will be tracked, but could be wrong. NSX has the looks built-in already, power could use some help.

To do list: (you're more than welcome to make suggestions/recommendations!).
Cosmetics (to the eyes/ears) TAITEC JGTC Center Exit Exhaust System. I will be getting w/in the next year, will update here w/ pics. I've learned that it will look just awful w/o the Taitec Diffuser... which of course just doubles the price. Then you realize this has to be custom fit/painted, which I'm sure will add several hundreds. All fine however, it fixes the rear end mostly (minus old tail lights), and gives the NSX some sound besides its sewing machine.
- Bright Light Tech's rear LED lights kit. Will have soon as maintenance needs are met. UDPATE: Vendor might be going out soon so this has become the priority. After some exchanged emails, this aint cheap: 2002+ rear taillights + mods + install..
- Rear Engine Hatch (researching whats available); UPDATE; seems like overseas shopping is only way to go besides OEM/NSX-R replica
- Rear Engine Cover (researching whats available, going for FRP). Theres older pics on this on the net, but nothing I've found that you can actually buy
- Roof intake/scoop; been seeing whats around, I saw these on just about all the NSX's while in Japan. I thought it looked weird I dont see those often here, actually thought the scoop was stock before i returned. Not cheap either (hmm trend?)
- Coolant tank (I've had no luck w/ a specific vendor here, and SoS only sells OEM, looking forward to SCW Performance Coolant Tank; UPDATE SCW now has group buy on this... but dont think I'll make it on time
- Honda Steering wheel; will be getting the non-detachable kit to lose some weight and and get a sports steering wheel set up. Price is a bit high for the kit, oh well, pay to play.

- Leaning towards a Turbo kit - not 100% sure on which path; have been in contacts w/ some turbo builders. Will go with the kit that can work w/ my exhaust setup; ~single turbo GT35R+. Nothing serious, however at least ~400hp @ wheels with little to no effort (low boost setup + 93Octane). Goal is reliability, this is after all, my daily driver. Not sure why I hear lot of smack talk about turbos here... I've driven so many and have not had a single issue w/ a turbo, never been through a turbo failure whatsoever /shrugs. It's this or ITBs, though I'm having difficulty justifying such tiny hp's for all that $$,$$$.
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Nice car! Looks like your off to a good start... I'm sure you want to get a turbo for ur Nsx after coming from a STI :D
Heres the SoS 350 Clutch and Flywheel Kit (Thanks Chris from SoS). Wish I had a pic of the original one, Ben says its the worst he's EVER seen.

I've gotta say I love pics w/ engine removed, so heres another. ONly way to do this job right was to get that all out. And Ben proved it.

Wish I had more, but hope thats enough. You can see the rest here
Just did my first own upgrade.. It was much needed one as I started going back to school, and classes are all at night.

I'll stop rambling and let the pics talk. Headlight #1 took me 1.5hrs :mad:, #2 took <20 minutes. The last image shows the before/after. My confidence in driving at night definitely went up. These are WhiteNSXs 4300k lights.





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Car looks good and it looks like you are going in the right direction. Where was that 1st pic taken ? Just curious because I live in MD too.
Any updates? :) I'm curious how the car rides like now after an year?

I'm in a very similar situation as you - I recently picked up my 1991 NSX with 36k miles on it, and the clutch is in terrible shape. I already did about $3600 of work after picking it up (window regulators, clutch master/slave cylinder, new ignition coils, inner and outer axle boots). But the clutch is still ruining the feel of the car for me - shakes the car when engaging (especially if I give it throttle while feathering), and I'm looking to replace it with an SoS sport 275 clutch next week. You mentioned it shook/rattled at idle, etc - how was the car after the new clutch?

Subscribing to this thread, I am eager to hear about your impressions of your NSX now and before (when you first bought it)! :)
Didnt realize I had replies here. People should be aware that the cost of having an NSX isnt the only cost, the cost of maintenance is not always up front and can be a surprise, as it was to me.

I got some updates, expect them in coming week. I am awaiting a shipment/install of an item, however it doesnt come in till first thing next year. I am fortunate to have the car, though thats just it, until its paid, very little to nothing has been done until its paid off next year (read: turbo).

I havent done the window regulators (please PM me on how you took care of yours, mine is just getting slower and slower!!!). All the clutch stuff was replaced/repaired during the weeks my engine was dropped. The rain caused me to replace all ignition coils (instead of just replacing suspected), put some grease down there while at it.

The SoS 350 (pic above) got rid of the shaking sound, the remaining sounds are my LMAs chatternig. Only reason why they've not been replaced is the downtime/labor it would cause, just to replace LMAs. Thats it, i wish i could remember the sounds from the clutch as I've completely forgotten it. I only hear LMAs chattering at idle. If you're on OEM clutch or high mileage clutch, I'd take it to a shop to get looked at. Ben says my clutch was the worst he's ever seen.

I picked up the car at I believe 37k, and its now at 56,000 miles, all in about 1.5yrs :p. I purposefully took my car to a known shop (Daisy Auto, Ben in Maryland) just so I could put to bed any common issues, I am glad I did. My only issue thus far was replacing this (no VTEC!) http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php/174401-CEL-Code-22?p=1714033#post1714033. OEM parts were cheap, and easy to replace. Oops, I lied, I had to replace the drivers side door handle as it snapped during first colder days of last year (could only get in/out of car by exterior door handle (replaced w/ SoS repair door handle kit myself).

I would inquire WhiteNSX's threads for his kit. If you cant find one, please PM me. Its a tight fit thats for sure.


Updated pics for now:

NSX Type-S Steering wheel + NSX-R Horn + Works Bell Quick Release Hub

Japan Honda Rear Emblem


Painted Brake Calipers and Logo (warning, my Volk GTCs wheels showing their age)
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Major hurdle over with. NSX was paid off late last year.

I attended a window regulator event in MD last year (Hugabusa). Windows now roll up as expected.

I now have a Taitec JGTC Center Exhaust sitting at a car shop, with Taitec Headers + Taitec test pipes coming in next week. Taitec Rear Diffuser to follow, after some maintenance. These would be the first performance/speed mods, finally. Scratch that Turbo idea I planned a couple yrs ago for now, as the car shop has some maintenance plans for me (oil leak, axle leak, vtec solenoids at it again, thermostat stickin, AC broke during summer last year (Thanks Brian for repairing ECU - heater works now after a dozen+ caps replaced) and Im sure that wont be cheap to repair)...

I was probably one of the first to get ARC's rear taillight LEDs which I'll put up here soon.

I did do a major upgrade... though it was getting rid of the aging minivan for a Q7 (turbo diesel) :biggrin:
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Major hurdle over with. NSX was paid off late last year.
I was probably one of the first to get ARC's rear taillight LEDs which I'll put up here soon.

Def one of the first :)

Can't wait to see the pics. It was a real pleasure working with you.
Here's that pic. I can put pics of reverse lights, controller, setup, GT (3 circles), dimmers, or whatever. Thanks for the lights! Turn signals are very yellow and that pic does not do justice. That rectangular 25yr old bar on back of our car with 3 faint circles is now a popping out rectangular bar (not made up of those 8 bit huge pixel LEDs either) that I can toggle to the 3 original circles with the controller (toggle switch). Really updates the back of the car.

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Beautiful, the tail lights make a HUGE difference
Finally got some pics of the TAITEC parts (missing pic of test pipes), hoping to be installed next week:



Havent had updates for a while... Because Santa was late for xmas. Next update they'll be installed !:



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Really loving where this build is headed. Great job at tackling all the maintenance first then doing the epic mods. Particularly liking your choice to go with taitec header and type-s steering wheel. Keep it up!!
Really loving where this build is headed. Great job at tackling all the maintenance first then doing the epic mods. Particularly liking your choice to go with taitec header and type-s steering wheel. Keep it up!!

Thanks MexiRicer, looks like we have similar tastes!

I saw the car for nearly a decade before I saw it in USA. Seeing Acura emblems on this car did not look right. That was my first set of mods (emblems, steering wheel). There were Magnaflow tips on the exhaust as well.. what blasphemy. Glad Taitec came to the rescue. Tires getting on late tomorrow if all goes as planned.
These guys and how they say they will update their builds but never do. /sigh
(Please forgive me and these cell phone pics)

Sure... I only have 1 clip of it with the TAITEC exhaust on :(.

It sounds great every day I turn it on. Ive not seen too many NSXs, however theyre all using the parallel setup it seems.

Not sure how longer I'll have them though with a turbo kit not being too far down the road. Besides the sounds, I'm not sure how many HPs it adds (if any) but I recall being able to spin some tires more easily.