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Rebuilding a NSX and does low mileage necessarily mean a good 2nd hand car

31 March 2001
Hong Kong
Hi everyone out there. This is a message from a Hong Kong NSX fan and am thinking of getting one real soon.

I recently saw a 91 NSX (auto) with only 14000 miles on the odometer. My questions are:

1.is it possible to alter the odometer and if so, how could I check whether or not it has been altered?

2. if it has NOT been altered, does a low mileage 91 NSX necessary means it is a reliable car, mechanically and electronically?

The owner has a few other cars and I am told that he seldom drives this NSX for the last few years. So is it a good thing or a bad thing.

Furthermore, the car was rebuilt approximately 8 months ago. When I say rebuild, it means the car was completely was dismantled into pieces, then resprayed, and then reassembled. New nuts (or screws, all aluminum) were replaced. Some upgrades were done to the car, including some cosmetic work was done (for look only) in the engine bay. Can anyone let me know whether or not it is a good thing to do such a thing:- rebuilding a 91 NSX.

The appearance looks great and I am going to do test drive soon.

You urgent advice will be extremely appreciated
IT is very odd that the car would have been unassembled. I purchased a '91 last year with 11k miles and it is perfect. Yes,this car will hold up exceptionally well. With only 14k on the unit you are looking at, it will be difficult to tell it from a new car. Mechanicaly, electricaly, cosmeticaly, these cars are built to last. Ask the guy why he needed to rebuild the car, I've never heard of something like this happening before. Have a mechanic check it well and then be sure to test drive it FAST to be sure the rebuild was not due to an accident (if it was, run from the car). Good luck, this car will exceed your expectations!

This does not sound good to me. Why was the car rebuild? Was the color changed? A lot of damage can be hidden with a new paint job. One thing you might consider if you really think this car is what you want is to have it put on scales and check the corner balance. Frame damage can lead to a car that is not balanced as new. It may LOOK good, but is it still the balanced car that left the factory. Unless you are a VERY competent driver, a "FAST" drive will not show up anything. In fact if the car is not on a race track it will be meaningless.

The NSX is probably the most balanced production car out there today. With maybe the exception of Ferrari!! I do not have any raw data to give you guidelines about the exact wieght balance. Maybe someone on the forum can.

I really recommend you find another car, with NO story behind it.

MY $.02

91 NSX re-built in HK is unreal. Unless it is done by the distributor. No shop locally have the specifications/special toolings for this. Mileage is fair considering owners treat this and most exotics with mostly weekend driving. mine 91 with original 25000 miles on the clock is used on weekends.
as to the price, are we looking at HK$ 200k area.
Thanks a lot guys for your valuable contribution.

To Nicholas421, No I am not that Benny you refer to. My name is Benjamin. I haven¡¦t had a NSX and am looking for one. How about you? Do you live in Hong Kong and drive a NSX?

To Larry:- The whole car, including the bottom, was totally resprayed, and yes, it has changed from RED to silvery grey (the Ferrari colour). All the interior plastic lining has changed including the plastic in between the windows etc.

I cannot tell whether the car has involved in an accident before or not. The engine bay etc looks nice and clean. The original owner puts in a lot of chrome and shinny aluminum. The middleman guarantees that the car has not had any accident before and welcome me to check it inside out with any technician. I was told that the original owner want to ¡§renew¡¨ the car since it is 10 years old (HK¡¦s weather may be different from the States). The owner has put new suspension, new alloy wheels and new AP brakes on it. The old sets are readily available for inspection.

The only thing that I am not so comfortable is that it appears to me that the interior condition does not match the odometer. The leather on the driver seat (the sides) is worn (I checked a few other NSX with higher mileage and this car looks like those higher mileage cars). The leather on the automation transmission handle and the handbrake handle also have the same problems.

Everything else from a preliminary inspection is quite acceptable.

Larry, what do you mean by balance, do you mean the weight on the front and the weight on the rear, or the overall handling?

To Pacacu, do you live in Hong Kong and are you also a member of the NSX Club HK? Is it possible that I can call you up and seek some advices from you? As to the selling price HK$200,000 is where I think it is reasonable to start with, but the asking price from the original owner is much more than that.
Originally posted by NSXBenny:
The only thing that I am not so comfortable is that it appears to me that the interior condition does not match the odometer. The leather on the driver seat (the sides) is worn (I checked a few other NSX with higher mileage and this car looks like those higher mileage cars). The leather on the automation transmission handle and the handbrake handle also have the same problems.....

Something is not right. I have an 95 auto with 17K miles and I show no wear on the transmission handle and handbrake. Also the seats are really just starting to what I call break-in like a glove. Unless NSXes are that rare in HK I'd pass and look for another.
If you are still interestd in buying the car, I would make sure it was inspected by a top rate mechanic and/or body shop, preferably one that knows NSXs. If you can get any members of the NSX Club of Hong Kong to also check it over, I'm sure that would help as well. Good luck. If you buy it, post some pictures!
stay well clear of the car. it is likely a re-built as if the seats are worn, that is the best evidence. for 18000 miles and if so-called pampered, meaning under cover storage, the leather will only be stiff. check if there is a musty smell and mold on the carpet under the seat. another telltale sign if the car been stored or not. if there is so much options/dress-ups on this car, bet you this is a re-con.
yes, I am a member of the club. if the asking price is well over HK$ 250k, walk.
there is a used car dealer offering two '93 models, a grey and a dealer import for HK $ 298k asking.Both are auto in original red color. Re-paint, no matter how well done and if the color is changed , is always worth less in re-sale. please leave your e-mail so I can contact you. Good luck. Take your time, there are a few good Xs in HK

In regard to balance I mean the weight at all four wheels. The car can be put on four scales ON A LEVEL SURFACE, and the weight measured. In a race car you will set this by changing the suspension height. There is no adjustment for this on a stock NSX, however the car is very well balanced from the factory.

To be clear you will measure the weight of the front/right and rear/left. Add these together. Then measure the front/left and rear/right and add these together. The difference in these numbers will show you the "corner balance". I have heard of stock NSX's being within 50-100 pounds. VERY impressive for a street car.

The principle here is the same as a chair with four legs. When the car is out of balance it is like one leg of the chair is too long or too short. If the balance is very bad the car will not handle as the factory intended, since the chassis will be able to "rock" back and forth.

Again, a "fast" street drive will most likely not indicate any issue. On the race track the car will not be so good. I am thinking you may not intent on racing, but this may uncover the results of any frame damage.

You really need to check this car with precision. I still recommend you reconsider, since you can find one with NO story of rework, as others have mentioned. Whe you mentioned that the chassis has also been resprayed, it gives me a bad feeling. If you even change the color there is not a good reason the respray the chassis!!

Best of luck,

Please do not hesitate to e-mail me if I can help in any way.

Thanks a lot gentleman.

Totally agree with all of you. It is just that there aren¡¦t that many NSX in the second hand market in Hong Kong. There may be one or two and it is difficult to find the third one for comparison.

Anyway, I have made a more realistic offer to the owner and I am only willing to talk if that becomes our new starting point. However, I was told that the owner would not consider that.

Pacacu and Larry, my email address is [email protected] . Pacacu, please drop me a note as I guess you will know the current HK market much better than I do.

I guess all of you know exactly why NSX is so attractive and I am very much attracted to ¡§she¡¨ in the same way as you are.