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My 1st NSX in the Great White North

11 January 2021
Ontario, Canada
Red 1st NSX in the Great White North

Hi NSXPrime:

After lurking for years, I'm on Prime. I’ve always loved Honda motorcycles and cars since they seemed so well designed when I worked on them in the 80’s & 90’s. ’79 XL500, ’83 CX650, ’86 VFR (R, W, & B) and an ’01 CBR929, along with a bunch of Accords & Odyssey’s. But my favourite car ever since I saw my first one was the NSX. Zowsers!

I’ve been looking progressively more seriously to buy an NSX-T for the last several years, mostly on BaT & AutoTrader, a bit nervous about bringing a US car to Canada & still stretching the affordability constraints; they seem to be going up not down! Unfortunately, Autotrader has a fake one every other week to falsely get your hopes up.

But my prayers were answered a few weeks ago when I found what I was looking for (Red over Black with pop-ups) on Kijiji at a dealership only 45 minutes away. It’s now in my garage and I’m over the moon! The dealer kindly volunteered that it had been sold on BaT twice in the past, so I was able to look up a lot of information in those auctions, as well as a previous sale by Prime member NSXSOON, which helped me feel like I knew what I was getting:

At the dealer for a test drive on a crazy day with no snow in December!

Many of my questions were answered, but some searches came up empty, so I thought I’d post the questions here. I can’t wait for winter to end so I can start driving, I’m working to fix it up. At this point I think all I need is to change the transmission fluid, repair the knee bolster, charge the trunk struts (sent to Frank) & maybe set the valves (Rad coolant?):

  1. Is there a “Welcome to NSX Prime” page, other than the sticky at the top of this one, that I’ve just been unable to find?
  2. Other forums I’ve been on for my Jeep, etc. allow personal messages. I see numerous references to it, but I can’t figure out how to do it. Is it time limited?
  3. The recommended service chart in my owners manual is out of date by almost 2 decades. :) Also, with the low miles/year, some of the time intervals seem low – eg. Oil every 6 months & change the timing belt again at 6 years after only 10k miles?
Is there a NSXPrime web page or a chart in my service manual with a list of service items and when they need to be done? The timing belt, water pump, hoses, & clutch were done in 2016, about 10k miles since. Coolant? Valve clearance? Transmission oil? I seem to have most all invoices dating back to 1995 (that took about 8 hours to sort) so I feel confident I can look back to see when any service was previously done.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

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Prime does support private messages; but, you have to have posted a minimum number of times to gain access to that feature (I think the count is 20). You access the PM feature by clicking on a user's name in a post.

In the factory service manual you will find the recommended service interval chart which has the same intervals as the chart in your owner's manual so there is no real new information there. Links to .pdf copies of the 1991 and 197-2005 service manual are available on the Prime Wiki page

Category:Repairing Your NSX - NSX-Wiki (nsxprime.com)

There was a full updated service manual in 1993 and again in 1995 which are not on the Wiki. New manuals are un obtainium; but, you can find used ones on the web

ACURA NSX 1995 Owners, Service Repair, Electrical Wiring & Parts Manuals (diyrepairmanuals.com)

Given the age of the first gen NSX, it will get harder and harder to find dealerships with techs who have experience or who have the formal training to work on the first gen NSX. You should anticipate that you may have to do a lot of your own maintenance depending where in Ontario you are. You will want a service manual.

Depending on the market and the date, Honda did revise the recommended intervals for the timing belt. You will find some recommendations for a 7 year interval. Honda's recommended maintenance intervals are safe for reasonable worst case use. Depending on the amount and how you use the car you can alter them. I don't track my car, I don't drive it in the winter and annual usage now has probably dropped to less than 3000 km / year. My car is a 2000 and the timing belt was first changed in 2010 and I will be replacing it this year so 10 -11 year intervals for me. If you shake the tree, I expect that you will find lots of owners running 10 years on their TB. I don't recall replacement intervals for the water pump; but, I will replace mine at 21 years because it might be a bit much to expect that it will make it to 2032 (next TB replacement). I use full synthetic oil and change it once a year just before I put the car into storage. The one thing you probably should not push too far is the coolant change intervals. Deterioration of the coolant has a significant time component rather than just heat cycling. Depletion of the corrosion inhibitors can accelerate things such as water pump failures.

Its not listed in the service intervals; but, the other item that commonly comes up for replacement is the coolant hoses. Its not that the coolant hoses are prone to failure although tracked cars where the engine temperature goes through a lot of heat cycling have suffered failure of the large hoses connected to the engine and the small hoses on the oil cooler can suffer from deterioration due to exposure to heat and oil. The bigger issue is risk because a major loss of coolant on the NSX can be fatal for the block and heads. If your hoses are 26 years old you might want to be planning on their replacement at the next coolant change (or when you do the water pump replacement).

Since you live north of the border be advised that Acura Canada does not appear to maintain an inventory of any of the NSX parts outside of the common maintenance and wear items. Everything unusual seems to end up on special order from Japan. That being the case, I have found it more effective to order the parts directly from Japan using Amayama.com. Amayama can source parts that are listed as no longer available in North America and can deliver them to my door step in 10 days or less for small packages (faster than the dealership can get them) at a delivered cost that is probably 50% of the dealership list cost.
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Congratulations on your purchase and I hope it brings you lots of "smiles per mile"...

I wrote the intro piece that is at the top of this forum...if you have any questions, please ask.

Your post did trigger a great Canadian vendor for recharging the NSX gas struts (engine hatch and trunk). Frank Irvine at Strutwise in Surrey, BC (just outside of Vancouver)...I had him recharge my trunk struts and it was $15/strut plus shipping. Even going from the US to Canada, it was still cheaper than buying new. I actually have two sets of OEM struts for both the trunk and engine hatch...and I rotate them to Frank when I need to get a "ready spare" set for my NSX. I'll be adding him to the list of vendors on my post.
[MENTION=26435]Old Guy[/MENTION] and [MENTION=18431]warrenw[/MENTION] (Warren Woodcox) are two long-time NSX Owners from Canada. They are a wealth of information for support in Canada.

I don't know if Jessica Gagnon is on NSXPrime, but she is in Ottawa...I know Ontario is pretty big, but it is good to know other owners in the province as she may be able to give a perspective form the T-O-M corridor for shops...

Congrats and welcome!
Sounds like most of the heavy lifting has already been taken care of for you Tim. Timing belt and water pump will be fine for several years yet. Hopefully you have concrete proof they were indeed replaced when indicated. Your hoses will be fine for years also, as your mileage will probably not be crazy. I doubt you plan on driving your car year round in Ontario! A coolant change wouldn't hurt soon, if it hasn't been replaced since the water pump was done.

I would replace the brake and clutch fluid as they should be done every two or three years regardless of mileage. I do my transmission fluid every few years even though the car only sees 500 to 1000 miles a season. Make sure the brakes have been serviced recently, tires are ok, and the tank is full of premium. Then wait for the salt to be off the roads, and drive it like you stole it!
congratulations! Nice to purchase close to home and not having to buy remote and/or across a COVID closed border.
Looks like a well cared for car, even though many owners.

Thanks for the input guys. I don’t know about “concrete proof”, but I’ve got an invoice from First Class Automotive in Orlando, FL, for the timing belt & water pump in 2016. My new pre-drive list – better get to work!
1. Oil & filter, done
2. Air filter, “oiled foam” – replace with OEM, done
3. Fuel filter, (no receipt, but can’t be original since the banjo bolts are reversed), done
4. Cabin Air filter DIY from NSXPrime, done
5. Change Transmission fluid, (age unknown), done
6. Change coolant, (when hoses replaced 2016), done
7. Flush Brake fluid (November 2014), done
8. Flush Clutch fluid (November 2014)
9. Trunk Struts (original) – sent to Frank
10. Repair knee bolster, done

No-one mentioned valve clearance, presumably done 2016 when TB replaced, although not mentioned on the receipt. Manual says every 2 years (or 20kkm). While it was easy on my CX650, I remember it being tight on my VFR & everything seems even tighter on the NSX. Plan to do with TB in 2023.

Lastly, suggestions would be welcome for a good shop for NSX maintenance near London, Ontario. (Ottawa is about 8 hours away.) I’m not sure I’m up for a timing belt, although there’s another NSX owner here in town who’s planning to do his own this summer. I’ll help to see if it’s something I want to tackle.
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Welcome Tim and congrats on the acquisition!

As some have stated, owners in Ontario are largely located within 60mins drive of GTA. I would guess around 50-55 and climbing. There is also an official club called NSXCC (www.nsxclub.ca) that runs monthly events (before covid) starting in spring but admittedly most events are in GTA and surrounding regions. Ottawa chapter is also quite sizeable (10-15) and meets semi regularly for cars and coffee.

I know there are at least 3 former/existing owners from London Ontario and they can direct you their recommendations. I believe Acura West is one, and RMP Motorsport is another. But should wait for their input.

Welcome again and hope to meet you this season. You should join NSXCC as they created a whatapps members only chat room that you will definitely benefit from.

You may also wish to join this Canadian NSX owners FB group as well. Think Warren and Jessica are both on it.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Hey Tim, congrats!

I'm in the London area, would love to meet up and chat when times are better!

I can recommend a mechanic in the area. He's done any of the serious work on mine. Lots of experience on high end cars and the NSX in general.

Through the NSX Club of Canada, we have a couple members in that field as well. Feel free to reach out to us anytime. [email protected]
Old timer, in London
Reach out, and maybe we can all get together sometime during safer times (hopefully coming to a parking lot near you soon)

(one of the original 6 or 7 that started the club oh so many years ago)

So, yes.... Join the club!!!