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My BB 96 build/repair/upgrade thread

4 June 2012
Edmonds, WA
Hey guys, just started to do some work and turned out to be a bunch of work so I decided to start a thread to document it.

Here's my intro thread; http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php/173996-I-got-me-one!!!!-BB-96!/page2

Within the first few weeks of owning the car, I had the TB/WP repair done with a bunch of other things (valve adjustment, valve cover gaskets, etc.). I also changed out the radio volume knob cuz it was worn out. Oil pressure gauge is inop. Tried to diagnose it as per the shop manual. No results. So I bought the SoS oil pressure sensor upgrade kit but that did absolutely nothing. I'll try diagnosing again. Perhaps I didnt have a good ground?? Also had Frank from Strutwise rebiuld the trunk and glass hatch struts. I dropped em off at his shop since he's nearby.

I bought a set of Swift springs on '04 struts from hearttohateu a while back and decided to install them last week. Reading the manual and NOT searching on Prime first, led me to "rookie" mistakes. I was a certified Mercedes mechanic for 2 years so Im definitely mechanically inclined but FAR from a master tech. The inner cv boot of the passenger side axle was leaking grease so I ordered the boot and decided to do it all at once. I dove in and got at it but made the mistake of popping out the lower control arm ball joint!!! EEEEEKKKK!! On BOTH SIDES!!!

I got the outer axle shaft out of the wheel hub but the inner one connected to the intermediate shaft was a BITCH! After trying the manual's suggested method (big screwdriver and pry) and LarryB's suggested method (two pry bars/screwdrivers and pry on opposite sides) AND Shawn's suggested method (pry bars) and failing miserably, I felt like a needed a boost in morale, something to make me feel like Im making progress so I cut the boot and pulled the axle off leaving the inner carrier still stuck to the transmission.

Not quite the way to do it but oh well. Still prying, no luck. I thought Id turn my attention to something else as to not get so stressed over it. So I went over to the driver side to get the strut out and overzealously undid THAT lower control arm ball joint! *FACEPALM* Moving right along, I got the strut out and just stopped there.

I gave up for a few days, plus I had to work. I come back to it the other night and I rummage through my tools and thought Id try these on the carrier still stuck in the tranny....

they worked!!! Not the typical method tho. I put the small one like this...

and tapped it in with a rubber mallet and then it jammed in there. I put the larger one in and did the same thing, hit it a few times and they both fell out. I looked up and VOILA!!! THERES A GAP!! So I took a big screwdriver and used it to pry it out the rest of the way. SUCCESS!!!

At this point, not knowing what to do with the ball joint and how to get them back in, with the suggestions from LarryB and Shawn, I thought Id try to take them out and rm and try to get it back in the control arm. So I take out the hub and both control arms. This morning, I finally got some time to mess with it again. I put the whole wheel assembly on my bench and held the lower control arm to the bushing and smacked it a few times with my trusty rubber mallet and it went in enough to get the beefy washer and nut onto it and use my air ratchet to get it back on. AWESOME!!!

Did it to both sides. While I was at it, I decided to spray some brake cleaner on some towels and wipes/scrubbed away the dirt on the arms. So this is how it sits now, awaiting parts.

On order are all the coolant hoses and transmission oil seals and cv boots for the driver side axle. While I already have the driver side wheel assembly out, I figure I might as well do the axle boots on that side too.

So on order are;
Spark plugs
All coolant hoses
CV boots
Fuel filter
Radiator cap
The little "figure 8" gasket
VTEC solenoid gaskets

Im gonna try to save the coolant seeing that its barely 2 months old and I have to wait for the hoses to come in before I put the passenger side axle in so I can access the oil cooler hoses easier. Please feel free to offer any advice for the coolant hose replacement! Thanks for reading. Thanks Shawn and LarryB for all the help and time out of their busy schedule. Love this forum.

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As she lies......

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Welcome to the nsx restoration club...
The parts finally came in from Acura and my weekend finally came around so I was able to continue.

Replaced all the coolant hoses
Replaced fuel filter
Brake fluid and clutch fluid flush
Lubed the sliding bolts on the brake caliper
Replaced rotors and pads all around
Replaced spark plugs
Replaced VTEC solenoid gaskets
Replaced the thermostat
O-rings for radiator valves

I did run into a problem though. When I went to remove the battery to install one of the radiator hoses, I found that the POSITIVE battery terminal was crazy corroded and I could NOT get the nut off no matter WHAT I did. Poured some Cola on it to clean it up a bit then used a tiny screwdriver to scrape off/dig into the corrosion as much as I could. That nut is completely seized on there. I thought of ordering the whole cable part but routing it looks like a bitch. I carefully pried the terminal up and surprisingly, it came off the battery. Im thinking I'll have to use a bit of careful force to get it back on in the meantime. Any suggestions?????

Still waiting on the passenger side oil seal where the axle goes into the intermediate shaft. I ordered the wrong part. Once that goes in, my baby will FINALLY be BACK ON THE ROAD!!!

Here's some pics (in no particular order)

Old spark plugs. They dont look too bad actually.

Motul brake fluid

O-ring for the valve on the radiator

VTEC solenoid (spool valve) with old gasket removed

New coolant hoses

Coolant reservoir out of the vehicle to be cleaned

New and Old t-stat

Part of the caliper removed to clean and lube

New fuel filter

Thanks for lookin.

Go Hawks. :)
nice work ethic ! wish I had your mechanical skills. If it involves more than 3 bolts im out
Thanks. Just like I told my wife, working on cars is kinda like working on a big ass lego set. Lol. All the pieces fit together. Just gotta know what goes where and if its assembled when you found it, just know what the part does and put it back where you found it.

Anyway, for an update, last week I put everything back on (to the manual's torque specs and I mean EVERYTHING). I started the car the other day and did the coolant bleeding sequence and it didnt overheat so it seemed like I bled it "perfectly" but we'll find out tonight. I didnt cover the old coolant that I drainged into a bucket and since it was sitting so long, I was paranoid about floating dust and other particles in the air so I just bought 5 jugs of coolant from Honda. Ive never been this paranoid but after all, it IS an NSX. :biggrin: I ran it to operating temp and it began to smoke out of the reservoir a bit since the instructions said to turn the rad cap only past the first notch but no CEL or leaking fuel or any other malfunctions from any of the newly installed/replaced parts. I tried to put a wooden block against the rim of the cv joint where the cv boot is so I can hammer it into the transmission but after a few smacks, it tore a tiny rip in the boot so I had to order a new one. New boot came in 2 days ago and tonight is my friday so I will be able to finish it up. I got a tip from LarryB on how to get the axle back in over the circlip without my silly 2x4. He says to install the outer end of the axle into the wheel hub then align the splines on the inner end and grab the lower control arm (which should be and is still unbolted) and pull/snap/slam/pop it in that way. I will get that in and take it for a drive and hopefully the coolant really is bled properly, if not, that will prolong my night a bit. Took some pics from last week but I'll get those up later.

Oh, as pictured above, I couldnt get the positive battery clamp off so I clipped it and installed a new piece to it. I noticed that my battery was from 2001 so I bought a new Honda battery and it fired right up. Man, I missed that exhaust sound!!! I also installed a battery tender to the battery posts also.

I also bought and installed (from SOS) the DF intake snorkel in the driver's side fender, NSXR CF shift trim/boot, and the VVS delete (havent installed that yet tho).

Gonna look into some more mods soon. Ones I have in mind are sway bars, NSXR chassis bars, 02 rear valance, spacers for the wheels since Im most likely gonna pick up some 02 rims since I cant stick to one set of aftermarket rims, some test pipes or high flow cats and probably a CTSC also.

I'll take a peek at the window regulators tonight too.

Til next post.
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Did I not put the fuel filter part in?? Well, lemme tell you, its a BIIIIIITCH!!! I'll try to take some pics sometime but prepare to be a contortionist. Im exaggerating a bit, but it is a pain in the ass. There's a PERMANENT metal bracket that comes down diagonally RIGHT on top of the fuel filter. Even with my decent array of tools, its hard to get at...with extensions and swivels and all. I had to twist so hard to loosen the banjo bolt that the semi-circular bracket holding the filter in place twisted a bit. Pretty frustrating. I unbolted that little fuel filter bracket and that didn't help so I put it back on and just used a small 3/8" air gun and zapped it real quick and it came off with no hassle (Thank God). Little bit of gas to catch so I put a bunch of rags everywhere. Ive never been the guy to take out the fuse and turn the engine over a bit to relieve the pressure or whatever, call me lazy, call me stupid, its no big deal to me. It worked. Install in reverse order and that's it.

As for an update, I JUST took the trickle charger off and drove it for the first time since November. For the "winter storage argument," I filled the gas tank and put fuel stabilizer in, turned on RECIRC mode, connected trickle charger and put the shifter in reverse, E-brake down. That was it. I totally forgot to pump up the tires to 40psi so it sat at 32 all winter. I drove for a few miles and the flat spots went away. Funny enough, after a trip to Walmart, I took a detour home and got pulled over for no front plate.....just got a warning. Whew!!

I got a set of 02 OEM wheels but they're more scuffed than described to me. Thinking about refinishing or selling them and getting those CEs from Source1 if they're not sold. Need to get some spacers if Im sticking with OEMs.

I need to find a weekend and tackle the battery cable replacement too. Aaarrgghhh. Also, my ongoing quest to fix/replace my oil pressure gauge on the stock cluster. Might have to resort to aftermarket gauge. ANNND the amber lens on my OEM deck is crooked and shows the green illumination from the deck. DAMMIT!!!

More later.....

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Lemme know if you got any questions on the fuel filter.

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Oh, make sure you install the hoses back on the same orientation as on the old fuel filter, lol.

Heres a pic of the fuel filter as I was describing. You can see how it can be tough to get a tool in there and try to get any leverage whatsoever. You can see the small bracket holding the filter in place. Just unbolt that and then angle the filter out so you can zap it with a air gun and there you go.

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I finally got around to installing the 02 rear valence. MUCH easier than I thought. I don't know if anyone's tried to do it without removing the rear bumper but through the search, I found Shawn saying that the bumper must be taken off so that's what I did. He mentioned that it takes him only 5 minutes. Going in blind, having never messed with the bumper yet, it took me about 15 minutes to remove the rear bumper. I was worried that I would need an extra hand but turns out I didn't. As illustrated in the manual, there's only a handful of bolts to take off to remove the entire bumper. If you have small/skinny hands like me, you can probably reach and disconnect the license plate bulb connector before removing the bumper. Was in a bit of a time crunch so I didn't take pics of all the bolts in the process. If you THINK you've taken them all out, like with MOST things on cars, you shouldn't have to force it out. Ease it out and a jiggle here and there and it should come off. I put some microfiber cloths on the (cool) exhaust tips so I can rest the bumper on them if I needed to while removing/reattaching the bumper. Helped a lot.

Once you take the valence off, there's 2 pieces of styrofoam and the metal beam. It makes things easier if you unbolt and remove the beam. Then just put the new valence on and everything goes back where you removed em from. Overall, took me 1.5 hours from start to finish.

I love the valence and I don't know if its just me but it seems like looking DIRECTLY from the back, the wing is too thin and everything below the taillights look too thick. Oh well, Im not the one staring at the ass. :)

Up next.....15mm spacers for the front wheels and 25mm in the rear. 02 wheels dropped off yesterday for refinishing. CANT WAIT!!!!

Oh, here's the heir to the NSX....

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My wheels were refinished and I picked em up from the shop the other day. They turned out GREAT and were a hell of a deal. This guy seems reputable so Im hoping its not one of those "you get what you pay for" type things. So I took pics of my install of the front spacers. I went with 15mm in the front and 25mm in the rear. Got the rears off a Primer and the fronts off ebay.

I didnt get any pictures of the rears because its pretty straight forward - take the wheel off, put the spacer on, use the supplied nuts, torque them down, put the wheel on, torque the lug nuts. Like so....

I was under the assumption that the fronts would be exactly the same. I opened the box and I see this....

I didnt expect to have to do any stud work. Here's what I did;

I took the wheel off, removed the brake caliper and used a bungee to hang it from as to not stress the brake line by hanging freely. Lastly, removed the brake rotor. As you can see, the....we'll call it the dust plate, is there. I unscrewed that. Theres 4 screws, easily stripped so be careful. The dust plate cant be removed unless youre taking apart the hub. I just left it floating loosely.

I WD40'd the wheel studs and then hammered them out. Give em a solid wack or two and they should come out.

To remove the OEM studs, you'll have to mess with the rotation of the dust plate and the hub to where the stud will slide through an opening on the dust plate and out the back.

This is one of the 2 tricky parts in the whole ordeal. The dust plate wont allow you to install the new longer studs completely away from the hub, not that I could figure out anyway. So I decided to cut out an indentation in the plate.

Sorry, thats my black gloved finger pointing to where Im about to cut.

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I guess I forgot to take a pic of the cut that I made. In this picture, you can sorta see where I needed to cut. The long straight part (the part of the plate that faces forward) on the plate is where I cut. Its rotated so I can install the studs. I rotated the hub and pryed against it so it would go into the hole.

Once it got to THIS point, I used a different pry point. It was so easy.

When I got all the studs through. I founds some big nuts to use as spacers and then took a pass-through lug that came with the rear spacers and tightened them down until they pulled themselves through. I used pliers to hold it on the backside until it caught a little bit in the hole and held itself in.

If you have a sexy sidekick like me, have him tighten down the lug while you use a prybar to counter him as to not have the hub rotate.

Reinstalled everything and torqued the wheels and........VOILA!!!

<a href="http://s754.photobucket.com/user/RLEE327/media/NSX/CFEF3B94-2298-4324-9FC2-DCDDDE777244.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i754.photobucket.com/albums/xx189/RLEE327/NSX/CFEF3B94-2298-4324-9FC2-DCDDDE777244.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo CFEF3B94-2298-4324-9FC2-DCDDDE777244.jpg"/></a>
<a href="http://s754.photobucket.com/user/RLEE327/media/NSX/692E8810-84C6-4284-9FAD-4B5FDBC68FA5.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i754.photobucket.com/albums/xx189/RLEE327/NSX/692E8810-84C6-4284-9FAD-4B5FDBC68FA5.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 692E8810-84C6-4284-9FAD-4B5FDBC68FA5.jpg"/></a>

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Rear; <a href="http://s754.photobucket.com/user/RLEE327/media/NSX/8FE5F394-58A7-4397-96A5-994ADAAB4CCF.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i754.photobucket.com/albums/xx189/RLEE327/NSX/8FE5F394-58A7-4397-96A5-994ADAAB4CCF.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 8FE5F394-58A7-4397-96A5-994ADAAB4CCF.jpg"/></a>

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Thanks for reading. Next up....fix my silly deck with the amber screen hanging at a slant so that the green illumination shows through.

And maybe replace my springs with the coils sittin in my garage.
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So about a month ago, my driver side door, all of a sudden, wouldn't open from the outside. Ever since I got the car, the door took a lil bit of oomph after you pull the door handle out. I couldn't find any info on prime pertaining to this issue. I took apart the door and this is what I saw.....

The grommet to the rod that activates the door latch was gone. I found one of the pieces and I tried this...

..but it was only one sided so it didn't work at all. Im a really skinny dude so I was able to slide my skinny ass arms in the door to be doin all this without taking the entire window assemblies out.

I looked on oemacuraparts.com and this LOOKED like the piece that is supposed to go there..

...but I couldn't figure out how it went. Its only a $2 part so whatever.

It worked up until yesterday. Again, all of a sudden the door handle from the outside didn't wanna work anymore. Im 99% sure that this thing failed again due to me not knowing how it was supposed to properly go on. I ended up finally taking the entire latch assembly out to see if I could modify it or something but there's not much to that rod.

Im just gonna have the local dealership mess with it cuz they wont have to diagnose and I'll tell em exactly what to do. Id rather they be responsible for it instead of having to go back in that mess again.

So YESTERDAY, I had a free day to work on my car. I installed the upper and lower NSXR chassis bars.

The upper one is a lil annoying since you gotta remove the bumper and the plastic piece that guides the air to the radiator. Removing the bumper was easy.

Putting it on seemed to be troublesome. It was somehow "off balanced". One side would go on easily but you would have to force the other side on to get it aligned and vice versa. I kept looking around for things that could be blocking something. Couldn't find anything until I jokingly said, "man, maybe we should just remove the Styrofoam". I popped the foam out from the right side of the bumper for no reason and between the foam and the bumper was this.....

I guess this car has been touched more than I thought.

The bottom one was real easy. I was able to install it without removing anything in the instructions (lower the battery tray). I just "weaved" it in upside down then twisted it right side up and bolted it up.
Hello guys,

Well, Ive installed a few things since my last entry. I'll try to catch up. Ive installed a Seibon lip. There's not much to installing that. Just remove the bolts that hold the OEM lip on and then line up as many holes as you can for the new lip and bolt/expansion clip em in.

Next item was the Momo Tuner Steering wheel that I got off Craigslist and the standard Works Bell hub from SOS. I chose to go with a standard hub as opposed to a quick release because Im a small guy. I don't really have any use of a removable steering wheel. I followed the instructions in the How-To I found using the SEARCH. Pretty straight forward. The only issue I had was the plastic sleeve that goes around the hub. Ive never installed one so I wasn't sure it went on.

When I installed it, it seemed to be too long so I trimmed 2-3 "steps" off the end of it so it would be snug, as shown above. The issue was the front end, the steering wheel side. It was flush but it didn't have anything to hang onto so whenever I turned the steering wheel, it would move out of place and rub against the base of the hub.
Like so...

So one hot day, I was messing with it and it felt more pliable so I moved it around and pushed and pulled and it slid right over the back of the steering wheel and now sits around the back of the steering wheel. Now, the rear has a little space because of when I trimmed it. So all is good now, lol. Honda horn button is in my PO Box actually waiting for me as I type this.

I recently went on a lil roadtrip with a friend in the X down the Oregon coast and up to Portland and up towards Lake Chelan and Twisp and Winthrop and back to I-5 via Sedro Woolley. It was amazing. Here's some pics.

Recently, I bought a Seibon Type R wing off the FS section here for a great price. I installed it yesterday and Im pretty happy with it. The fitment is ok but it sits a little bit to the left as you can see in the pictures. You can tell unless you look at the gaps on each side.

All you need are; a 10mm wrench or socket, some plastic trim piece removal tools and some solder/solder gun and heat shrink. I took pics AFTER the install so forgive me for being incomplete. The OEM wing has "caps" that screw onto the threads sticking out of the wing itself whereas the Seibon wing has bolts that you have to thread into the wing so an extra hand would be pretty helpful. I did it by myself but I needed to be very careful.

These are plastic trim piece tools that I have left from when I worked there. Obviously you can use any generic plastic tools.

So for removal, just unscrew the bolts and carefully lift up the wing. My OEM wing was pretty stuck on there even with some elbow grease. I pulled it up a bit here...
(Yes, I know that's not the OEM wing)
and stuck the white plastic tool in and slowly progressed it forward and up it came. I loosened the bolts but not all the way as to keep the wing from slipping out. So I carefully pried off both sides and pulled it up off the body. The brake light harness is on the driver's side of the wing. Theres a grommet so pop that out and then get the connector out and unclip it. The clip barely fits in the hole so you have to maneuver it a bit. I don't have any pictures of it. I cut the wire off the OEM wing side and soldered that to the wires coming off the Seibon wing.

THe grommet wouldn't fit underneath the Seibon wing cuz the hole is very tiny. I had to trim down the TOP HALF of the grommet. Its oval but it has a 2-3 inch piece sticking up guiding the wires up into the wing. I cut it all off so only the bottom half of the grommet is left. Like this...

When I bolt the wing down, it compresses against the bottom half of the grommet so it should make a decent seal.

Heres a few pics of the fitment I mentioned earlier.

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congrats on the new wing! i'm glad your happy with it. it was sitting in my basement for way to long lol. nice build btw
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Great pics and descriptions. Definitely will come in handy later.

How do you feel about getting 25mm spacers for the front too? I'm planning on doing 25mm front and rear with the 02+ wheels.
Thanks guys. B2, that's pretty aggressive but I'm considering it. When I back out of my driveway at an angle, the compressed front suspension as I'm coming down the curb (whichever side I comes down last) squeaks because it runs the fender liners. Hope that makes sense. So any wider would require fender work. I keep thinking I'll end up buying TEs but I love the 02s. I probably won't do anything for awhile but I do want to have it a bit more flush.
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Quick note. BallerBolts.com are some shady scammin ass mfuckaz. Took my money n NEVER communicated. Got a few updates on my car for you guys. I'll get around to posting pics n details soon.

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I was in the market for some wheels and I was close to buying TE SLs but for some reason, I just couldn't pull the trigger. I looked on instagram for CE28 Genesis edition because I always loved the color and it seemed like a great fit for the NSX. Miraculously, I saw a set on an S2000 in Long Beach. One of the guys from Forbidden owns the car. I asked him the dimensions and if he would be willing to sell them and oddly enough, he WAS!! So I snatched em up for a STEAL. It has a few scuffs but I dont see how they can be refinished without removing the stickers so I'll just have to deal. Only "bad" part about it is they're very aggressive - 18x9+35 / 18x10.5+18.

When I installed the wheels, my car was a bit too low. The tires were touching the fender liners. They were 235s in the front so I had to get 225s and drop from 40 to 35 aspect ratio. Or was it 30 to 25....lol, either way, I had to go thinner. Still had issues. I couldn't turn lock-to-lock. I inspected it and this was the culprit.

The metal vertical beam right behind the wheel. The wheels were so wide that it stopped at that beam. SOOOOO......I trimmed it down with MINIMAL clearance. Just took a dremel to it (cuz that's all I got).

All is good. There was about a........6"x8" I had to cut out of the inside of the fender liner. The outer edge is all still intact and in place. I really didn't wanna lose any of the liner because it helps protect the fans on each side in front of the wheels. Tire rubs at the top only on sudden dips. Other than that, its ALL good. Lovin the look. I posted a question in the Prime FB group and asked about rolling the fender and there was one particular guy who was REAL butt hurt which was really annoying cuz I dont recall asking for his opinion. Just had to vent about that, lol.

Anyway, here's the finished product.......for the wheels anyway.

The wheels, obviously, make a big difference. In both looks AND performance. Much more stable and handles a bit more solid. The wheels are much lighter than the OEM 02s.

I installed the motorized HideThePlate.com piece on the front bumper also. Right under the emblem. It works nice. I like it. The installation was pretty easy. I didn't have time to take the bumper off but once I do, I will re-check it and fortify the installation to make sure it is nice and proper. My only gripe with the product is that its a remote.....like a car alarm remote. I was expecting a switch that would be hard-wired. Otherwise, its a neat product. Pics soon.

Got a good deal on JDM taillights also. Pretty straight forward install. Remove taillights> cut slits into the gasket in order to remove the old wiring>install wiring into JDM taillight assembly>install new gaskets>button it up and you're done. The car tried to be funny and lit up the brake light warning light and so I just turned the key off and then back on and it went away.

Lastly, I FINALLY figured out what the hell is wrong with my Defi oil pressure gauge. I applied power to the gauge and it lit up. Nearly friend my fingers off trying to pin the wires to power it up, lol. I thought the issue was the gauge since the controller lit up but I guess it didn't send power to the gauge so I ordered a new Controller II. When I hook that up, I'll be installing a USB outlet in my dash next to the gauge.

After that, hopefully I can get this bumper....
.....and some sides. Then I was thinking of wrapping it flat white. That'll probably make someone butthurt a lil bit too, lol. We'll see if I get that far.
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