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New owner in NC!

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Good Morning NSX Prime!

Well, bucket-list car ownership achieved. I got back home to Durham, NC, last night with this bone stock red/ivory '91 (JH4NA115XMT000481) that I picked up on Tuesday in Minneapolis. After getting expensive shipping quotes from companies I didn't trust, and outrageous (IMO) quotes from companies I did, I decided on an adventure and drove it 1,100 miles. So, what was a 83K car is now 84K LOL. In the end, that might not have been the wisest decision (see below), but I did bond with the car. It's safely at home joining my AP2 S2K, 996 C4S, and e36 M3 sedan (on the chopping block, I think). Luckily I like wrenching because the NSX will need some.

So, what went wrong? The very first day of ownership I damaged it, hitting 1/2 a retread standing on end in the dark. There was no way to see/avoid it at night and it ripped the brand new front lip off the corner. I repaired it on the road with the limited tools I brought and was amazed at how there's hardly any lasting damage: true catastrophe avoided. And, on the second day while overtaking a dump truck on a 4-lane the dang thing threw a rock that chipped the nearly perfect original windshield. Finally, at a rest stop I noticed the driver's blinker sitting funny and couldn't get it to snap in securely, so I removed it lest it fall out or jiggle around and cause damage. I'll have to trouble-shoot why it's not secure, but something in the retaining mechanism is amiss. In the end I'm not sure driving it was the right call, but it was an adventure and live and learn!

So, what was most surprising? It's an old-ass car and smells like an old-ass car, like an old Honda to be specific: old plastic and leather. And, despite the car being in very good shape it's still got lots of tiny cosmetic imperfections--paint chips and scratches--if you're picky looking at it (I went over it for hours before even starting it). I had to change my paradigm about what to expect from a well-cared for car that's lived a 31-year life. It ain't perfect.

What are immediate needs (all known pre-purchase)? The oil pressure gauge doesn't work, so I guess I'll buy the SOS sender relocation kit. The braking system is really weird and performs intermittently: a hard stab of the pedal elicits good stopping power, but sometimes a long gradual deceleration results in running out of pedal. That made for an exciting drive home! Even sitting at a stop light with constant brake pressure can cause the pedal to slowly sink to the floor. The master was replaced and the lines were bled, so it must be the ABS (not sure why a faulty ABS affects the conventional system)? Should I install an elimination kit, the S2K upgrade, or the full-boat NA2 upgrade? Finally, the left rear CV boot was slinging grease. The boot itself looks intact, so I guess it's the band. Will I have success having it repacked and the boot replaced, or do I need a new/re-built axle? Incidentally the only surprise, other than the blinker, was that my speedometer seemed to get less and less accurate, reading way too low. No wonder I was overtaking everyone: I thought I was doing 70 in a 60 but Waze indicated 82!

Okay, I'm sure more to follow. Just trying to keep this a relatively brief introduction LOL.

Sasha
 
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Welcome!
Glad to have another owner in the state, Im up in Asheville.
Every may there is a big NSX meet in Raleigh you should plan to attend.

Look forward to seeing you on the roads!
 
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@Ex36 welcome to NSX Prime!

What a great adventure story- 1,100 miles in a new-to-you 91 is no joke. Make sure to post a build thread to document your progress on the car- we love those here!

Here are some (hopefully) helpful answers to your questions:
  • The brake issue is actually the caliper pistons and seals. If they've never been serviced (likely), you get exactly the behavior you are describing. In Japan, they must be serviced every 5 years by law. The reason is that moisture accumulates in the area and rots out the piston. This causes a poor seal and the fluid becomes "spongy". Moreover, the pistons no longer side in and out smoothly. The fix is to remove the pistons, clean them, and replace the rubber seals. You will have to inspect the machined surface of the brake pistons. If they are rotted out and corroded, you'll have to replace them. You won't believe the difference in feel once they're done. Here is a picture of the front piston from my 92. This level of corrosion is considered repairable and you can re-use the piston: 20181024_204531.jpg
  • Because it is a 91, there's a pretty good chance that the oil pressure gauge itself is the issue. Honda had a defective run on the early cars and there was a TSB to replace the gauge unit. Basically, any NSX with a 91 VIN lower than 887 had to replace both the sender and the gauge. For cars with a VIN between 887 and 3162, only the gauge was bad.
  • You CV joint is likely fine, but it will need service. To do it properly, you must remove the rollers, clean them, and re-pack the needle bearings with fresh grease. This requires a steady hand, tweezers and a lot of patience. :) Most shops just wipe everything out with a dirty shop rag, put some new grease and slap on a new boot. That's won't address the critical part of the assembly, which are the rollers. When the rollers fail, you need a new driveshaft, which is about $1,000 per side these days. I just did mine: 20220824_215552.jpg
  • I doubt there is anything wrong with your ABS system, but in general the 91-99 ABS system was marginal at best even when working properly. Both the S2K and Genuine NSX 2000+ system are VASTLY better in both feel and function. Brake line kits are available from several vendors.
  • The front turn signals are held in place by a spring clip on the outside edge and a single captive screw on the inside edge. The screw likely came loose. Fairly easy fix. A slightly harder fix is if the clip-nut that the screw goes into has come off. You need to pull the bumper to fix that.
  • Finally, the fairly incredible NSX factory paint process is your friend here. A good detailer can usually bring out the very best of even the 30-year old paint. The only thing they can't fix is clearcoat peeling and the color fade on the front bumper. It may be worth having a body shop address those (repaint bumper and re-clear the car after paint correction) for a less-expensive fix that will look almost like a new paint job.
 
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@Honcho thanks so much for your thorough reply!

Yes, car-nut friends are saying I was a nut to drive the car! Maybe. But the various bouts of bad luck could have happened within a mile of my house, too. Nothing caused awful permanent damage. Now I've saved $3K to put towards fixes LOL!

Is there a turn-key brake caliper re-build kit that you're aware of? Maybe time to just do a big brake kit LOL!

Yes, my car is an early '91 build: #481. I know SOS sells the sender relocation kit and I could start there since I don't think it's a bad upgrade anyway. If that doesn't fix it, MITA sells the side gauges.

Any thoughts on the speedo? Is there some kind of sender that could be bad? I feel fortunate I didn't get a ticket--I saw multiple cops and slowed in time, but apparently was still speeding moderately!
 
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@Honcho thanks so much for your thorough reply!

Yes, car-nut friends are saying I was a nut to drive the car! Maybe. But the various bouts of bad luck could have happened within a mile of my house, too. Nothing caused awful permanent damage. Now I've saved $3K to put towards fixes LOL!

Is there a turn-key brake caliper re-build kit that you're aware of? Maybe time to just do a big brake kit LOL!

Yes, my car is an early '91 build: #481. I know SOS sells the sender relocation kit and I could start there since I don't think it's a bad upgrade anyway. If that doesn't fix it, MITA sells the side gauges.

Any thoughts on the speedo? Is there some kind of sender that could be bad? I feel fortunate I didn't get a ticket--I saw multiple cops and slowed in time, but apparently was still speeding moderately!
I think it is fantastic that you drove it! Centric sells front and rear kits that I use all the time. They don't include the Honda special greases though. You can buy the Honda kits from MITA and they have the super cool greases. I buy them and then re-use the extra grease with the Centirc kits LOL. Once you service the OEM brakes, you won't want the BBK anymore. Most people that upgrade were driving on tired old brakes. Properly sorted NSX brakes are really, really good.

I hate to say it, but you are likely experiencing capacitor failure on the gauge cluster board. The pot adjuster for the speedo really doesn't help here. You can send the board to BrianK and he will replace the capacitors. This is a mandatory service on the older cars and eventually, ALL NSXs will need it. The caps are just ageing out.
 
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Congratulations on the new car, I have the same issue with my brakes but I changed the master cylinder and it helped not losing pressure but I still need to rebuild the calipers for sure, I ordered the rebuild kit several weeks ago from summit and one other place but I haven't received them yet, cause they are backordered.
Let me know on the weekend if you are free swing by the house is wake forest NC, I used to live in durham but moved recently. If you need any help let me know
 
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@antonio116 I'd love to pay you a visit over in Wake Forest. I'm tied up the next couple of weekends but then could get free, although my NSX may not be particularly road worthy yet (never mind I drove it 1,100 miles but I probably shouldn't have, given the brakes LOL)! Is there a way to PM on here?
 
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Welcome and congrats on picking the best color!

Your description of the under-reading speedo has me worried that I might have the same thing. I thought I'd get used to reading the small KPH on my USDM NSX in Canada, but when I added my GPS unit with speed readout, I realized my speedo is reading ~10% too low. Time to start investigating...
 
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