It appears the age of tacky "personalized" Hondas may be nearing an end. Aside from the usual stragglers, many of these cut-spring warriors are now retired, having been sent to the great cube-maker in the sky or into the unsuspecting hands of older ladies looking for a good buy on a used ride. Perhaps it's time for heartbroken Honda lovers to breathe that sigh of relief, to pry the plywood off their windows and see who's left out there, still faithfully wrenching away. For the most part, it's either clean, near-stock examples owned by drivers wishing to enhance their daily commute just a touch, or full-on, leave-no-nut-unturned monsters. The latter is where we'll find this 2002 RSX Type-S, owned by Kiet Hong of Boston, Massachusetts.
This car has taught Hong patience, and to date, he's easily spent more time waiting for the right mods and installs than actually driving it. Only fitting, since the RSX was a "plan B" to a new M3 - one for which he'd been in a seemingly endless holding pattern. Ironically, he eventually lost his patience waiting for the BMW and bought the Acura.
Either way, now that Hong was sporting a shiny Type-S in the driveway and had the M3 deposit back, his new plan was simple: to have the first RSX with a Veilside kit and a boosted motor. At least that was the original idea. Little did Hong know the project it would become, and the time, sweat, and money it would require.
Wasting no time, the stock suspension was yanked out and replaced with a set of HA Coilovers from Tein. The chassis was tightened up by way of an engine damper from J's Racing. The car is further held to the road courtesy of a set of Toyo T1-S tires, rolling on Volk Racing TE37's (18x7.5) with a custom black color scheme.
Satisfied with the car's road manners, Hong decided it was time to get to work putting some power down. He knew the only way to achieve a marked level of grunt was with some assisted breathing. After waiting in vain for an HKS turbo system that never seemed to materialize, Hong had to start considering other options. Despite the excellent reliability and emissions-legal perks, the GReddy setup wasn't the one either. Finally pleased with the design of a kit from Cybernation Motorsport, he took the plunge, and was soon able to consistently put down 305 hp to the wheels, at 9 pounds of boost. This setup was enough to keep a smile on his face, at least for a few months. But Hong soon realized he could only be happy with more boost - rarely a good thing to mix with the high compression found in the K20's combustion chambers.
The decision was made to build the motor from the ground up, starting with JE pistons, Crower rods and Darton sleeves - none of which were readily available at the time. An agonizing year and a half later, the RSX returned - with a motor perfectly suited for higher-boost situations. Along with an intercooler from XS, a Tial wastegate, the requisite HKS Super Sequential BOV and tons of custom piping, the Turbonetics 62-1 BB turbo is helping the motor now produce nearly 400hp at 14psi.
This wouldn't be possible without an upgraded fuel system, of course. The 550cc injectors, working alongside a Walbro pump and an AEM fuel rail and pressure regulator, have proven to be up to the task. Ignition has also been upped, with the help of a Twin Power from HKS. Making it all work together comes courtesy of Hondata, with a K-Pro EMS ECU.
Keeping all this power in check would become quite an ordeal for the stock brakes, so those quickly made their way to the door. Replacing the front brakes is a complete big brake kit from Rotora, while the rears are Power Stop cross-drilled rotors. StopTech's stainless steel braided brake lines connect these to stock cylinder assemblies.
So, with all the requisite go-fast bits taken care of, Hong figured it was time to make the beast a jaw-dropper visually as well. The Veilside kit had been removed in 2005, and the car has since been sporting a new kit and a new Porsche Red paintjob, which he figured would stand out easily enough among the RSX crowd. With a front bumper from Top Secret and the rest from Charge Speed, this RSX is certainly unique. The hood, trunk, fuel door, and side mirrors have all been replaced with carbon fiber bits. Rounding it all off are JDM headlamps with HID bulbs and JDM side markers.
It wouldn't make any sense to have a stock interior mated to the extreme exterior. Along with a plethora of dials and gauges too long to list, the RSX's stock seats have been replaced with Bride Brix, in red, of course. To hold himself in place as securely as possible, Hong opted for a four-point harness from Takata. The back seats have been reupholstered similarly, and the pedals and shifter have also been swapped for JDM (and Mugen).
Nearly from the get-go, Hong knew his ride would need some serious ICE. It now features a 7-inch Panasonic monitor complete with an 8-disc CD changer, a DVD and a PS2 - with all the sound being sent to a tasteful trio of 10-inch Rockford Fosgate Punch subs, as well as to MB Quart two-ways and components.
Hong tells us that 500+ hp is only a few weeks away, once the weather cools off enough for more frequent dyno runs. This won't be the last we'll be hearing from him, as we're sure he'll manage to find something somewhere on this RSX that has yet to be improved upon. Until then, this will simply have to suffice.
SpecsRSX Type-S[Max Power: 393 BHP][Max Torque: 317 lb-ft]
Under The Hood:Honda K20 DOHC iVTECTurbonetics 62-1 Ball Bearing TurboHKS Super Sequential Blow Off ValveTial WastegateXS- Engineering IntercoolerCustom Polish Intercooler PipingCustom Turbo Manifold and DownpipeHondata K Pro EMS ECUHKS Filter550cc Fuel InjectorsCustom Fuel Return LineWalbro Fuel PumpAEM Fuel Pressure RegulatorAEM Fuel RailGReddy Oil Catch TankHKS Twin Power IgnitionACT 4 Puck ClutchTanabe Super Racing MedallionJ's Racing Valve CoverMugen Oil capMugen Carbon Fiber Spark Plug CoverDarton SleevesJE PistonsCrower RodsC&R RadiatorNX Intercooler Spray
Stiff Stuff:Tein HA CoiloversMugen Upper Front Strut BarCarbing Rear Lower Strut BarJ's Racing Engine Damper
Rollers:18x7.5 Custom Black Volk Racing TE37Toyo T1-S
Stopper:Rotora Front Big Brake KitsRear Power Slot Cross-Drill Rotors Stop Tech Stainless Steel Braided Rear Brake Lines
Exterior:Top Secret Front BumperComplete Charge Speed KitCharge Speed Carbon Fiber TrunkBuddy Club Carbon Fiber HoodSignal Carbon Fiber MirrorsJDM Black Housing Headlights with McCulloch 12,000K HIDJDM Side MarkerMugen Fuel Cap CoverCustom Carbon Fiber Gas Door
Interior:Bride Brix SeatsTakata Four-Point HarnessReupholstered Rear SeatsCusco Pillar Side BarJ's Racing C Pillar BarJDM PedalsCarbon Fiber Dash KitDefi Link Gauges (Tachometer, Boost, Fuel Pressure, Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, Water Temp, Exhaust Temp)Blitz SBC ID Boost ControlBlitz ID Power MeterA'PEXi S-AFC IIAEM UEGOMugen Shift Knob
Ice:Panasonic 7-in. Monitor with DVD PlayerMB Quart 6x9 Premium ComponentsMB Quart 6x9 Reference Two-Way Speakers(3) 10-in. Rockford Fosgate Punch dvc He2 CapacitorPanasonic 8 disc changerPlayStation 2Buddy Club Battery