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 |   |  2002 Acura RSX Type-S - Cross-Continental Motivation
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2002 Acura RSX Type-S - Cross-Continental Motivation

A few chance encounters result in podium finishes

Dec 16, 2013

One glance at Jose Guzman's Arctic Blue Pearl Type-S, with its expensive JDM bits and pieces spattered over an overtly sanitary appearance, and you probably draw your own conclusion rather quickly as to what this car was built for. After all, you've been somewhat conditioned, albeit unknowingly, to assume that high-dollar Japanese aero garb is nothing more than an additional piece of flair in a community hell-bent on outdoing one another in hopes of moving up that imaginary ladder supported by street cred and "likes." Funny part about a car like Jose Guzman's RSX is that it's what you can't see that makes all of the difference in the world.

2002 acura RSX type S recaro pole position seat 05 Photo 2/21   |   2002 Acura RSX Type-S - Cross-Continental Motivation

What's quickly becoming a well-sorted track car was once a full-time street car with little more than a few bolt-ons. Originally purchased in 2006 at a dealership in Orlando, FL, with just 40K on the odometer, the car was mildly modded, and was then put into hibernation for an extended amount of time. Guzman adds, "It sat in my parents' garage for about two years because I was getting stationed overseas in Japan. Once I arrived in Japan and got settled in, the mod bug bit me. I started buying parts and shipping them over to the U.S.--I seemed to have an addiction to Mugen DC5 parts." After completing his overseas duties, Guzman was then stationed in California where the build continued, and he attended a few meets and events. "It wasn't until I met Richard Payne from Garage Spec Motorsports that the build started picking up some momentum. He helped me with a lot of the new mod installs and suggested ideas on the build."

Time went by, and on a whim Guzman attended a few track events, first as a spectator, and shortly after decided to pick up a helmet and try a few sessions in his own car. Like so many before him, he was instantly hooked. He recalls, "It was lots of fun. That is, until I spun out at Buttonwillow in the rain and landed in the mud. The car was covered in mud, it was horrible, and to this day, I am [still] finding mud in strange places!"

Another turning point came about after a chance encounter with Justin Wesseling of Circuit Dreams by JW Racing, along with his father Jerry at Cal Speedway. Taking an immediate interest in Wesseling's Honda Challenge Civic, the two exchanged numbers and began devising a game plan to take the RSX to the next level in order to become more competitive. Many of Guzman's original mods were then sold in order to accumulate seed money for a K24 block to replace the car's tired, original 2.0L. Supporting mods are fairly simple with an emphasis on usable torque, rather than peak horsepower. Subtle compression remains, as the only block changes are the micro polished and properly balanced crank, while the original K20A2 head received Portflow's handy work, along with a set of Skunk2 valvesprings and retainers that support a set of OEM TSX cams. A custom Circuit Dreams 3-inch intake and BPI flow stack bring air in, while a one-off ASP header directs spent gasses to custom exhaust piping and a J's Racing 60R muffler. To avoid starvation on track, a K20 oil pump conversion and Circuit Hero oil pan baffle were both added to insure reliability. To many, the combination might appear rather simple, almost to a fault, but the results certainly are not, with a dyno finale of 275 hp and 210 lbs-ft tq.

In stark contrast to the mild engine development, suspension upgrades are anything but. Relying on a laundry list of aftermarket bushings, both polyurethane and spherical, tie-bars, upper and lower support bars, end links, roll center adjusters, and much more, the RSX delivers a level of handling light years beyond what the original chassis was capable of. J's Racing fenders provided enough clearance for 17x9 +36 SSR Type C's up front, while the rear relies on 17x8 +42 for a staggered set up that Guzman assures us has been very beneficial to the cars overall handling.

2002 acura RSX type S js racing fender 11 Photo 6/21   |   2002 Acura RSX Type S Js Racing Fender 11

After fulfilling the propulsion and suspension requirements and significant testing, the team felt that the RSX could benefit from some additional downforce. Guzman states, "The car needed more aero, so Justin tasked Jerry with building custom risers for the Mugen wing and a custom splitter with PCI brackets for the BYS front bumper." The rear bumper was trimmed significantly and a Max Racing vented hood was added to aid in cooling. The result is an aggressive look that seems to be quite effective; helping to bring home multiple top three finishes in competition.

Weekend track days are the focus, but that hasn't stopped Guzman from driving the car on the street, even attending a few meets here and there for fun. Admittedly, parking lot encounters involve fielding a large number of questions about the cars aero enhancements and its aggressive demeanor. When asked about any future plans for the build, Guzman had this to say, "After a lot of testing and podium finishes at a couple of HFF events and Super Lap Battle, the car is becoming pretty competitive, holding its own on the track against lighter Civics and Integras from older generations. My goal for the car is to continue to develop it and have fun with it!"

Bolts & Washers

K24A4 block
K20A2 head
Hondata K-Pro
Avid Racing mounts
Micropolished/balanced crank
Machine work Circuit Dreams by JW Racing
10.7:1 compression
ARP head studs
Portflow Competition cylinder head
TSX cams
Skunk2 valvesprings
Skunk2 retainers
Circuit Dreams 3in intake
Bpi flow stack
ASP custom 4-to-1 header
ASP high flow cat
J's Racing 60R muffler
Custom exhaust piping
Karcepts cruise control delete
Checkerd Sports fuel rail
Checkerd Sports fuel pressure gauge
Earl's fittings/lines
Acura RDX injectors
Trac Tuff timing chain cover baffle
Trac Tuff ground kit
K20A2 oil pan
Circuit Hero oil pan baffle
Koyo radiator
Circuit Dreams overflow
JAZ breather tank
Mugen thermostat
Mugen fan switch
Mugen radiator cap
Mugen oil cap
Mugen coil cover
So Honda Garage dipstick retainer
Gear Speed assembled transmission
Gear-X final drive
TWM short shifter
Toda race clutch
Toda pressure plate
Toda flywheel

2002 acura RSX type S circuit dreams intake 03 Photo 10/21   |   2002 Acura RSX Type-S - Cross-Continental Motivation

275 hp, 210 lbs-ft tq

Tein mono-flex, custom rates
Tein front camber plates
Cusco 25mm rear sway bar
Circuit Dreams custom front sway bar
Hard race front/rear end links
Energy Suspension bushings
Hardrace rear camber kit
Cusco front brace
Alex rear brace
Mugen mid-bar
M&M Honda C-pillar bar
Buddy Club roll center adjusters
ITR aluminum front LCAs
PCI spherical bushings
J's Racing steering tie rods
Spoon Sports front tie-bar
Spoon Sports rigid collar
Function 7 rear LCA
Progress rear tie-bar
Comptech rear lower tie-bar
J's Racing fender braces
ITR front/rear aluminum bumper supports

Brembo ITR calipers
Science of Speed rotors
Hawk HP Plus pads
Goodridge lines
Motul RBF 600

Wheels & Tires
SSR Type C
Dunlop Star Spec
Front: 17x9 +36
Rear: 17x8 +42

2002 acura RSX type S spoon sports gen II steering wheel 06 Photo 14/21   |   2002 Acura RSX Type-S - Cross-Continental Motivation

Backyard Special front bumper
Circuit Dreams custom splitter
First Molding canards
J's Racing fenders
Max Racing hood
Mugen hood pins
Mugen wing
Circuit Dreams wing risers
Mugen front/rear tow hooks
Circuit Dreams custom rear bumper
Vision Type MC mirrors
C-West sideskirts
ITR HID headlights
JDM taillights
OEM Optional window visors
ITR "H" emblems

2002 acura RSX type S circuit dreams rear bumper 12 Photo 15/21   |   2002 Acura RSX Type S Circuit Dreams Rear Bumper 12

Recaro Pole Position seats
Buddy Club seat rails
Sparco Hans 5-point harness (driver)
G-Force 4-point harness (pass)
Autopower rollbar
Spoon Sports Gen II steering wheel
Mugen steering wheel hub
Razo pedals
ARC shift knob
Garage Spec shift extender
TWM short shifter
Defi Advance BF gauges
Defi Advance Control Unit
ITR doorsills
ITR gauge cluster
ITR center console
ITR door panels
ITR carpet
ITR floor mats
ITR shift boot
ITR radio delete panel
ITR push button start
Mugen mirror cover
Spoon Sports wide rearview mirror

My wife Connie, Jose Guzman Sr., Harlinda Guzman, Stefan Barbu, Giovanni Arriaza, Daniel Butler, Justin Wesseling, Jerry Wesseling, Jonny Soto, Richard Payne, Billy Edwards, Freddie Lozada, Frank at JRZ, Ryan Novak, Church Automotive, Circuit Dreams by JW Racing, Gear Speed, Garage Spec Motorsport, BPI Flow Stacks, K-Tuned, RTG Motorspor, Novak Mechanical,

2002 acura RSX type S circuit dreams custom rear bumper 08 Photo 16/21   |   2002 Acura RSX Type-S - Cross-Continental Motivation

Owner Specs

Daily grind

Favorite Site

Screen name

Building Hondas
11 years

Dream car
BMW 1 Series M

Inspiration for this build
Max Racing DC5

Future build
Time Attack TSX

2002 acura RSX type S mugen wing 02 Photo 17/21   |  
Mugen spoiler perched on Circuit Dreams custom wing risers.
2002 acura RSX type S backyard special front bumper 09 Photo 21/21   |   2002 Acura RSX Type-S - Cross-Continental Motivation


Circuit Hero
San Diego, CA 92111
Torrance, CA 90503
Checkerd Sports
Carson City, NV 89703
Circuit Dreams by JW Racing
Lake Elsinore, CA
By Rodrez
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