The S2000 Can Be A Tricky Car To Modify, But Perhaps Not For The Obvious Reasons. While The Screaming F20c Motor Responds Favorably Enough To Most Mods, The Difficulty Often Lies Within The Owners' Minds As They Try To Decide Which Direction To Take. With A Car Like This, Being Nearly Maxed Out From The Factory, The Question Becomes Whether Or Not To Change The Demeanor Of A Vehicle With Such Strong Intention And Character. In Other Words, Is It Blasphemy To Add Boost And Risk Changing The Personality Intended By Honda?
While the answer to a question like that will always lie in the eye of the beholder, these decisions can be made easier by remembering the "whatever puts a smile on your face" rule of thumb. It is all too common for S2000 owners to spend a painful length of time torn between a turbo, supercharger or even individual throttle bodies, only to pick one and eventually realize another would've suited their needs better. This was the case with Greg Park of Norwalk, Calif.
Back in 2002, Park bought his S2000 brand new and transformed it into the vehicle you see here. Although aftermarket parts were still trickling onto the market at the time, Park began right away. Starting from the ground up, a set of Advan RG II wheels and Yokohama rubber replaced the stock wheels and tires, while the suspension was swapped for shock and springs courtesy of Zeal. The already stiff S2000 chassis was further reinforced by way of a front strut tower bar from Opak Racing, and an underbody chassis brace from Cusco. The six-point rollcage, also from Cusco, doesn't hurt either.
Around this time, the S2000 aftermarket began to take off and Park went ahead and started with a simple cold air intake setup from AEM. While this was good for a little, more kick and a great sound, he quickly realized that simple bolt-ons weren't going to cut it for him. He contacted Vortech and arranged to have the centrifugal supercharger system installed right away.
With the car now getting its first taste of boost, the next step was finding a clutch that could handle the additional power the supercharger offered. Deciding not to beat around the bush, Park went straight to Exedy for a twin plate carbon clutch setup and threw in their lightweight flywheel while he was at it.
Now satisfied with his car's drivetrain and chassis, he began looking at braking solutions. The stock S2000 brakes are known to have great pedal feel straight from the factory. However, this solid pedal action can sometimes inspire a touch of more confidence in the driver than what the car's brakes are actually capable of. It was time for Park to remedy that. Unfortunately, there weren't many aftermarket brake options available for the S2000 at the time, but after enough searching he was eventually able to find a brake kit from Project Mu. By the time he had everything installed, his new brake setup included rotors, front calipers and pads from Project Mu and brake lines from Goodridge.
Shortly thereafter, Park installed new Exas III seats from Bride and replaced the seatbelts with four-point harnesses from Willans. At this point, he was happy with the way the car was turning out and decided to begin thinking about his car's other source of entertainment-the audio system. He opted for the touchscreen mini computer from Xenarc as his head unit, complete with a Pentium processor and PS2. It is complemented nicely with component speakers from Sony and a Kicker sub.
At this point, he realized it was time to begin thinking about the car's appearance and began trying out various body kits. After various kits were put and eventually removed, he finally settled on the GP Sports kit shown here. The carbon-fiber hood, trunk and hardtop come courtesy of Seibon.
However, as time went on, Park began to question his decision to go the supercharger route. Since a centrifugal supercharger tends to mimic the power curve of the stock motor, Park says he simply wasn't getting enough low-end grunt to satisfy him, although the car was certainly faster overall. The lack of low-end kick is by far the most common gripe from S2000 owners and the main reason they begin modifying their cars. In Park's case, he realized he needed to start building the motor up again to better suit his needs.
Choosing to stick with forced induction, he decided he would see what lay down the turbo path this time. The Top Fuel system was the way to go so he ordered it from Japan. When it finally arrived he immediately raced to Design Craft in Lake Forest, Calif., for the build.
The block was machined and the head ported. Pistons and rings from CP were fitted, as were rods from Cunningham and bolts from ARP. The compression ratio was lowered to 9.5:1 to allow for the new boost pressure and displacement was upped to 2.1 liters. A BDL fuel rail was installed and fed by a new Walbro 255lph pump. GReddy's oil relocation kit came in handy, along with a B&B oil cooler.
The turbo kit was installed with an internal wastegate, the blow-off valve came from HKS and an intercooler by Blitz. After custom engine mounts were designed, the car re-emerged from Design Craft sporting a fresh HKS GT2535 turbo sucking in air through a Sard system and out through a 3-inch free-breathing exhaust from Spugen. The final touch was a 1052U engine management system from AEM to help every work together smoothly.
Greg Park says this setup is good for 346 hp to the wheels and that number is achieved at nearly the same rpm as the stock motor's peak. Perhaps more importantly, 305 lb-ft of torque is now hitting hard, even below 3,000 rpm. It's safe to say that he got his low-end grunt fix.
Although he never intended for his S2000 to go further than a few bolt-ons, it took the turn down the forced induction path to a supercharger and then onto the current Top Fuel turbo setup. Luckily, he says he's finally finished with this build, after more than $35K in extras. This is easier said than done, unless of course it's true that he's already begun his next project, an Acura NSX.
Bolts & Washers
Greg park's 2002 S2000
The F20C motor is force-fed by a Top Fuel turbo kit with a Blitz intercooler. Internals are from CP, Cunningham and ARP. It is managed by an AEM EMS and feeds power through an Exedy clutch and flywheel.
Park's S2000 features Function-B6 shocks and springs from Zeal. Opak Racing's front tower brace and Cusco's underbody chassis brace stiffen the car.
Project Mu rotors and front calipers help stop the S2000 in a hurry. Pads are also from Project Mu and the brake lines are from Goodridge.
Rims & Rubber
The S2000 has 17x7.5 front and 17x8.5 rear Advan RG II wheels fitted with a set of 225/35 front and 245/35 rear Yokohama ES100 tires. Offset is +43 for the front and +48 at the rear.
Exterior:The car features GP Sports front, side and rear skirts. The hardtop, hood and trunk are from Seibon. Kool Kustoms did the paint job.
Interior:Inside are the S2000 sports Exas III seats from Bride and Willans four-point harnesses. Additional info is displayed on Blitz gauges. The steering wheel has been swapped to one from an '05 S2000 and the pedals are from Project Mu.
The entertainment system features a Xenarc Technologies touchscreen computer monitor as its centerpiece. The sound comes through Sony component speakers and a Kicker subwoofer. The setup also features a PS2 and a Pentium 3 mini PC.