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RickRolled – 1990 Honda NSX revival

28 August 2018
Hey Prime,

I'll start off by saying that the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] gen NSX has always been my dream car ever since I was a little kid. I've always wanted one. I was able to pick one up on Labor Day weekend, 2018. The car is a 1990 JDM Honda 5-speed. Imported to the U.S. by the PO. The 80[SUP]th[/SUP] one ever made (VIN# NA1-1000080). It had 48k original miles on it when I picked it up. I flew out to Washington State to get it, about 45 minutes outside of Tacoma WA. My fiancé and I drove it all the way back to Kansas City. A 28 hour drive. First off- I had never driven a RHD car before, but I also only had driven a manual a couple of times, and I had never owned one. :highly_amused:

The car as it sat when I picked it up:

I knew the drive back would definitely be a learning experience. If you've never driven through the mountains in Washington, that was by far the best road trip I've ever been on. Not only because it was in my dream car that was so perfect to drive, but because the scenery was so beautiful.

I didn’t ever want to take a break from driving (switch with my fiancé). The car ran flawlessly over that 28 hour span. We stopped 3 times at hotels and air BnB’s to sleep.

I had plans for the car in my mind before I even picked it up. I definitely wanted to paint the roof red. I love the 95 and up look of the color matching roof. I knew I wanted to tint the windows, and I wanted new wheels and exhaust. I knew (from the PO) that the stereo wasn’t working. I definitely wanted to upgrade that, just didn’t know how I would go about doing that yet. (was considering double din, etc.)

I got home and the first thing I did was start to make modifications. Washington requires front plates which I immediately took off. (KS does not require them) I knew the car had been repainted at some point when the car was in Japan. They did not do the greatest job, they didn’t remove any parts off of the car, just taped and sprayed. This left an ugly front bumper that I fixed right away. It was also a little bent up.

I’ve always been a huge fan of BBS wheels and I would have maybe kept these on if all 4 center caps had been included, (there was only 3) and if they were 17/18. (They are 16/17) Those wheels might be for sale soon, not positive, I might want to keep a backup set.

I definitely wanted a new set of wheels. So I shopped around and finally decided on CE28’s. 17x8 +33, 18X9.5 +40.

Also, the 5Zigen Fireball exhaust sounded REALLY good, but I did not love the way it looked. I decided on the ARK DT-S burnt tip exhaust.

The 5Zigen Fireball exhaust is for sale.

I then had the car tinted, roof and pillars painted red, got some new rotors and pads, and put the new wheels and tires on. I did most of this stuff at the same time.

that is 30% all around 55% on the windshield. It definitely looks darker inside than it does outside.

Then put the wheels on.

At this point, I was pretty happy with the results thus far. The car had pretty drastically changed for the better. Now it was time to attack the stereo.

I ended up going to santa fe auto sound in the KC metro area. If you are anywhere near KC, they are the best in the city.

I ordered a nav pod and the screen that science of speed offers.
Because the bose system was completely non-functional I figured there was two separate ways to go about this. I could:

#1 . Install a double din and have two screens.
#2 . Go with a single din in the glove box.

I leaned towards going with #2 , because the previous owner had done A LOT of work restoring the car back to the original interior, and it was brand new. Also I leaned towards option two because I didn’t want to ruin the nostalgia of the 90’s interior. I wanted to keep it looking as factory as possible. I just didn’t know what we would display on the screen. I wanted to display at least a back-up camera, navigation, etc.

We put our heads together and ended up going with a nav pod that ran completely independently of the single din in the glove box. We ran an HDMI back to the driver’s seat, with an adapter for my note 8. It mirrors my phone so I can literally watch/play anything. I like to keep it displaying Spotify, but I can watch youtube, youtube TV, Netflix, HBO, use google maps for navigation… anything I can use on my phone. I often joke with my fiancé about how we could have used the setup on our 28 hr drive back home. This solution is also future proof. Rather than a double din that ends up dated, I can get a new phone and still use this.

The science of speed screen comes with a remote, and has multiple inputs. I have the first video in connected to the back up camera. It interrupts the HDMI when I put it in reverse, and switches back to HDMI after moving out of reverse. I can also switch inputs (via the remote) back to the camera and view the camera at all times. I’m thinking about maybe doing a front camera in the other input at some point.

With the single din, I have bluetooth hands free calling, and I use bluetooth pretty much 100% of the time with it connected to my phone. It has HD radio, sat. radio, 2 usb’s, but I don’t really use those. Santa Fe put a volume knob in the center console and that has been amazing to use. Haven’t had to lean forward to turn knobs while not looking at the road, it’s just right there and I don’t have to look at it when changing volume. I can push down on the knob to change presets and the corresponding light changes colors based on what preset I’m in.

The stereo was very expensive. Mostly because of labor. They ended up making custom tweeter pods, a custom sub box, and a custom amp rack. They included the factory trunk light in the amp rack for me. They implemented a remote sensor and put it just beside the (clean) tape deck. I can just point the remote at the factory radio and it will skip songs and all that without the glove box open. They also installed a much needed security system and keyless entry. The components of the system were not cheap either. No use spending a lot of money on the labor just to put crappy speakers in it.

2 6.5" focal flax, 2 focal tweeters, and a 6" JL sub. The sub sounds like a 10 and the focal flax’s sound amazing.

I was very happy how the stereo turned out and I was planning on stopping the mods for a while, but you all know that never works.
Next thing I wanted was to close that wheel gap down some. Thankfully the car came with coilovers so I went lower just a smidge. KC doesn’t have the best roads and I scraped a lot already, so I was not able to go super low. I also added 20mm spacers on the rear.

Next I installed a shorty antenna.

My to-do list seems like it’s never ending and probably always will be. I don’t plan to ever sell the car, so I’m comfortable making as many mods as necessary :biggrin-new:.

I ordered new taillights from Marc at NSXshop. My current taillights are the originals, they are cracked and getting water/condensation in them.

Now my to-do list is:

Fix a bend in the front left fender.
HID kit
Fender liners in the front (did not have them before)
and front wheel spacers. I have 20mm in the rear. I measured the offset for the front. I got 10’s and 12’s for the front. I’m gonna put a 10 on one side and a 12 on the other side and see which fitment I like better. I just want them to be flush with the rear wheels.

After all that (should be done by Friday) I’m painting my calipers a gunmetal grey, and I am getting the car wrapped in avery carmine red.

This is the carmine red:

I am excited about the wrap. The car currently is 2 different colors, and the clear is flaking in places. Probably going to have to do some sanding before we do the wrap. Whoever painted it in Japan only painted parts of the car. The skirts and the wing are still factory color and whatever red they used was the wrong color… not to mention it’s a sub par paint job.

I do marketing/video work for my buddy that owns the shop it’s getting wrapped at.

I did this video here:

I paid for materials but I am trading services with him so no labor. He does the SunTek paint protection clear wrap as well. He was thinking about maybe wrapping the whole car with that after we do the avery red. The wrap would last forever and the SunTek would bring out more in the wrap.

I’m eager to get the car back on Friday with the left front fender bend fixed, HID kit, taillights, fender liners, and front wheel spacers done. It’s been 6 months and I think I’ve made some pretty decent headway. The car isn’t going to need anything cosmetic done after the wrap and painted brake calipers. I’m planning on keeping the body stock forever. I’ve been flirting with the idea of going turbo…. I might go with the AP-X Angus turbo kit at some point (after the wedding).

I’ll post pics when I get it back on Friday and again when I get the wrap done. I am hoping to get the wrap done fairly quick with a bunch of car shows coming up.

Last edited:
and so it begins. We started the wrap yesterday. It looks exponentially better. Especially in person. You can only capture so much on a phone camera. We just did one panel so far, and this was before we put clear paint protection wrap over the top of it. The plan is to wrap the entire car avery carmine red, and then wrap the entire car again in a clear, suntek paint protection film. Should make the wrap last forever. Especially considering I don't daily it and it only sees nice weather. You can also see in the pictures where the front left fender was fixed. It's going to be so clean I can hardly contain the excitement lol. We are having to sand parts of the car to smooth out the paint before we wrap it. The main thing that is going to make a huuuge difference is uniformity. The car was painted at some point in Japan and only parts of the car were painted. The factory parts of the car are oxidized and the clear coat is starting to peel off. The parts that were repainted are too bright. Can't wait for it to be one color.

I'll post more pics as the wrap goes along.