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2002 Acura RSX Type-S - Rookie Move

When a first-time car builder surprises the world with a top-notch Acura RSX at SEMA

Aaron Bonk
Jan 23, 2017
Photographer: Jofel Tolosa

Ten years ago, Marshall Angel didn't really know all that much about building a Honda. He mobbed around in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, he'd never so much as thrown an intake on a car of his own, and he vaguely knew the differences between a K20A2 and a K20A3. And so what?

2002 acura rsx type s sheepey built intercooler Photo 2/17   |   2002 Acura Rsx Type S Sheepey Built Intercooler

The RSX Marshall's since built up that displayed at the '15 SEMA Show and the 10-second quarter-mile that it'll soon be capable of proves that none of that matters. "I learned that the motor that came out of my specific car seemed to be the godfather of all K-series motors," he says. Spoken from the mouth of a bona fide rookie, Marshall's since gone on to figure out a whole lot more about Honda's K-series underpinnings than just being able to distinguish between its two interpretations of i-VTEC. And you've pretty much got to if there's any hope of you exhibiting whatever it is that you've built at the world's largest automotive aftermarket trade event.

"The biggest challenge," Marshall says, "was getting [the RSX] ready for SEMA." In a little over three months' time he did more to the car than you've done to yours in the last three years. New paint, a shaved engine bay, an overhauled long-block, and a custom-fabricated turbo system all happened about as fast as it's taken you to color coordinate all of those fruit-colored washers underneath your hood and figure out how exactly you'll position that JDM starter pack of decals along your back bumper. Marshall's Acura goes beyond sticker deep, too. Under the Seibon carbon hood sits a 2.4L short-block bolted up to the RSX Type-S' native top-end, both of which have been modified and stuffed with the sort of internals you'd expect of something able to handle one of Precision's 6262 turbos.

2002 acura rsx type s jdm integra type r front bumper Photo 6/17   |   2002 Acura Rsx Type S Jdm Integra Type R Front Bumper

The rest of the car doesn't disappoint, either. RAYS Gram Lights, AP Racing brakes, and Type R Recaros are all indicative of the sort of cars Marshall's side venture, Raceworz, attracts, an organization he co-founded that combines drag racing, car shows, audio competitions, dyno testing, and more all into a single event. "After years of throwing local meets and small dealership car shows," he says, "it's evolved into something much, much bigger." Don't call Raceworz a show and don't call it a drag race, though; ask Marshall and he'll tell you "it's an experience."

2002 acura rsx type s civic si intake manifold Photo 7/17   |   2002 Acura Rsx Type S Civic Si Intake Manifold

Given Marshall's involvement with Raceworz and the sort of RSX he's gone on to produce, and knowing that this is the first car he's ever modified isn't an easy thing to grasp. "I've helped many friends and others with their builds, including my Raceworz partner's S2000," he says, "but the RSX has been the only car I have personally owned and modified." And yet you'd never assume such a thing.

2002 acura rsx type s s2000 instrument cluster Photo 8/17   |   2002 Acura Rsx Type S S2000 Instrument Cluster

But Marshall isn't taking all the credit. Although he'd handled the RSX's original engine rebuild, local K-series expert Jose Hernandez was brought in to assemble the new, larger-displacement engine that was designed to push the Acura into 10-second territory. Paintwork, electrical bits, and the custom turbo system were all also farmed out to the appropriate experts in an effort to get exactly what he was looking for. "A lot of the work and parts installation was done by me personally in my garage or at Sheepey Built." The results are an RSX of the sort of caliber you're probably not used to. "I decided to finish this build and take it to a whole new level for a couple of key reasons," Marshall says. "The RSX community has diminished and seems to be comprised of mostly younger kids without much income to mod them." At least that's how Marshall reasons why he hadn't seen nearly as many well-rounded entry-level Acuras for the few years leading up to his build. "I felt I needed to build an over-the-top car in some regard."

Just like the Civic hatchback you've modified beyond its limits that you told your mother wouldn't get so much as some lowering springs and an intake, Marshall's RSX wasn't supposed to end up this way. "My intent for the car was to daily drive it and lightly modify it with an exhaust, intake, wheels, and suspension," he says. "That evolved when I first started seeing turbo RSX builds [online] and finally getting to drive in a friend's [turbocharged], K-series-swapped hatch. It really sent me over the edge with a bug to mod the car." This isn't the first time boost has had that sort of effect on someone.

2002 acura rsx type s engine bay Photo 12/17   |   2002 Acura Rsx Type S Engine Bay

For Marshall, there was never any question about whether or not he'd end up with Acura's '02-and-up Integra-replacement. "The car was chosen by me in the early '00s when I first saw the Acura RSX commercials on TV," he explains. "The only other car I wanted was an EP3, but I ended up finding an '02 RSX in white, which is the exact one I wanted." Other than that Jeep Cherokee that got in the way, the whole thing worked out pretty much as he'd planned.

2002 acura rsx type s rays gram lights 57dr wheel Photo 13/17   |   2002 Acura Rsx Type S Rays Gram Lights 57Dr Wheel
2002 acura rsx type s jdm integra type r recaro seat Photo 17/17   |   2002 Acura Rsx Type S Jdm Integra Type R Recaro Seat
By Aaron Bonk
385 Articles
2002 Acura RSX Type-S - Rookie Move
Tuning Menu
Owner: Marshall Angel
Hometown: Dublin, CA
Occupation: owner of Raceworz
Engine: Innovative engine mounts; 2.4L block; Wiseco 87.5mm 8.8:1 compression pistons; Eagle H-beam rods; Fluidampr crankshaft pulley; Supertech valves, springs, retainers; K-Tuned throttle body spacer; '06-'11 Civic Si intake manifold; Precision 6262 turbocharger; Sheepey Built exhaust manifold; TiAL 60mm wastegate, 50mm blow-off valve; custom test pipe, hard fuel lines, steel-braided vacuum hose, oil catch can, shaved valve cover; K-Tuned 3" exhaust, upper and lower coolant housings, coolant cap, hoses, A/C and power steering delete, throttle cable bracket, coil pack cover; Walbro 400lph fuel pump; Golden Eagle fuel rail; Injector Dynamics 1,000cc injectors; Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, fuel filter; CSF radiator; Jegs -AN fuel and coolant fittings; Russell nylon-braided fuel and coolant hose; relocated fuse box and battery; tucked headlight, fuse box wiring harnesses; Skunk2 valve cover washers; Downstar K-series bolt kit, dress-up washers
Drivetrain: Competition Clutch Stage 4 clutch; Hybrid Racing shifter box; K-Tuned shifter cables and transmission bracket
Engine Management: Hondata K-Pro; Wireworx engine wiring harness
Footwork & Chassis: Function & Form Type II coilovers; JDM Integra Type R front and rear sway bars and control arms; custom front strut bar
Brakes: AP Racing four-piston front big brake kit with two-piece 330mm rotors; Wilwood single-port brake master cylinder; Password:JDM brake booster delete plate; custom ABS delete and tucked lines
Wheels & Tires: 18x9.5" RAYS Gram Lights 57DR wheels; 235/40R18 front, 225/40R18 rear Continental Extreme Contact DW tires; 8mm rear spacers; Project Kics R40 Iconix lug nuts
Exterior: custom pearl white paint; shaved engine bay; JDM Integra Type R front bumper, headlights, badges; A-Spec front spoiler; VIS side skirts and rear bumper spoiler; Seibon carbon-fiber hood and rear wing; Password:JDM bumper quick-release fasteners; custom-mounted back-up camera
Interior: JDM Integra Type R Recaro seats; Crow Enterprises six-point harnesses; Autopower four-point roll bar; custom C-pillar bar; Nardi 330mm steering wheel; NRG quick-release hub; S2000 instrument cluster and push-start; suede headliner; Skunk2 shift knob; PLX DM-100 Touch multi-gauge and DM-6 gauges; Ortiz gauge pods; Pioneer navigation; JL Audio amps and speakers
WWW: raceworz.com

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