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 |   |  2005 Acura RSX Type-S - The Miracle Build
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2005 Acura RSX Type-S - The Miracle Build

This supercharged Acura RSX is proof that no setback is ever too much.

Joey Lee
Mar 19, 2012
Htup 1204 01+2005 acura rsx type s+cover Photo 1/7   |   2005 Acura RSX Type-S - The Miracle Build

If there’s one thing we’re beat over the head with by our parents from a very young age, it’s that things can always be better. Of course, on the flip side, we learn very early on that things can often be much worse. It’s usually a humbling experience or two along the way that helps us to draw a distinct separation between the two. A normal part of life, we all grow from triumphs and setbacks. Both are feelings that are almost essential during your car-building experience. Being an automotive enthusiast parallels everyday life in that you (hopefully) learn to overcome your obstacles and you appreciate the end result of all of your hard work. It’s common knowledge that at any given moment, you can run into some serious problems both mechanically and financially. How you overcome and move on is as essential to your project as it is to your character. And like anything else, no matter how difficult things become, there’s always someone who has either experienced it already or has seen much worse.

Htup 1204 02+2005 acura rsx type s+front view Photo 2/7   |   2005 Acura RSX Type-S - The Miracle Build

Take Zach Zweifel, for example. An enthusiast not unlike yourself, he’s seen his fair share of setbacks. The Janesville, Wisconsin, native has probably suffered through one of the most epic hurdles of anyone we’ve ever spoken with. Zach is an inspiration to us all, but before we get to that, let’s get to know a little about the history of his immaculate RSX.

“I originally bought this car with no intentions of ever modifying it,” Zach says. “It was just supposed to be a daily commuter, and I promised myself I wouldn’t touch it. I was naïve in thinking that promise would last, though, and eventually dove right into getting my first mods for it.” Cosmetic alterations were the first on Zach’s itinerary. His RSX still carried a factory warranty, and he didn’t want to do anything mechanically to void that safety cushion. He also didn’t want to go over the top with the aesthetics, so he sourced an OEM-optional A-spec lip kit, OEM foglights, and other minor upgrades. Once the kit was on, the tuning bug came knocking on Zach’s door often—and he was hooked. Feeding off of his own hunger to modify, Zweifel soon purchased an intake, header, and exhaust like most enthusiasts. The performance products he installed could very easily be switched back to factory components if he chose, thus retaining his warranty, but one fateful night of spirited driving immediately changed all that.

“I call it the ‘money shift,’” Zach says laughingly. “I was making a hard pull on the car and shifted from third gear to second quicker than the blink of an eye. In that short span of time, I managed to destroy my factory K20Z1 engine and kissed my warranty goodbye. I had my RSX towed to the dealership, and the techs there told me it was the worst engine they had ever seen. It was clear I wasn’t going to get a replacement from the dealer, so I just decided to go all-out and build away—that’s how I ended up with the K24 motor!”

Htup 1204 03+2005 acura rsx type s+engine Photo 3/7   |   After adding the grunt of a K24 heart, Zach wanted even more torque, and opted for a Jackson Racing supercharger.

While a failed shift and the trashing of a marvel like the K20 isn’t something you can simply brush off, Zach approached the situation positively and used his mistake as motivation to build his idea of a better RSX. Zach was always a hands-on type of guy and mechanically inclined, so an engine swap was a walk in the park. He even took the time to install his first significant power-adder in the form of a Jackson Racing supercharger, a potent addition to the already torque-happy 2.4L.

It was during the early stages of his rebuild when he experienced an epic setback that Zach still bears the scars from to this very day, both physically and mentally. “I always call this RSX my ‘miracle build’ because there was a point in time when I didn’t know if I would ever be able to use my arm again. Three years ago, I was on a snowboarding trip at Devil’s Head Ski Resort. I had just returned from my usual Christmas trip in Mexico with my sister, so I had no idea what the snow conditions were like. Apparently it hadn’t snowed much, if at all, the days prior to my arrival there, which meant the fresh snow would be mostly ice. There was man-made snow, but even that was essentially ice. I didn’t think anything of it then, so I set out to make one last run down a hill before I called it a night. As I made my way down the hill, I noticed I was picking up quite a bit of speed. I tried to slow down, but I lost control and was sent backward at full speed. I used my arms to brace the fall but my elbow hit the ice and my arm literally snapped in half upon impact. The rest was pretty hazy; I was in and out of consciousness and vaguely recall seeing my sister as she tried to keep me awake. The ambulance eventually came, and I realized I had broken my humerus clean in half.

“I was told there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to use my arm again,” Zach explains. “I had to have tendon-transfer surgery, and I had to learn how to reuse my hand all over again. Once I was able to finally utilize both hands, I got right back to work on my RSX. Working on my car really helped me deal with all the pain and suffering I was going through. It has been three years now, and I’m still having surgery to fix my arm, so having a car to build really helped me mentally escape from all that I had to deal with.”

Htup 1204 07+2005 acura rsx type s+full view Photo 7/7   |   2005 Acura RSX Type-S - The Miracle Build

Another hobby that Zach developed during his recovery was his fascination with photographing everything he did to his car. He claims it even helped in his recovery because he could see the steady improvements in his hand as well as his car over time. Zach eventually took all the photos he had compiled over time and separated them into specific ‘do-it-yourself’ articles for the web as a resource for other RSX owners. “People started seeing all the photos I was putting up and asked how they could do this or that, so I just started creating DIY articles, one after the other. It felt good knowing that I could help a fellow enthusiast, and it made my recovery that much more meaningful.”

If anyone is allowed to say they had a rough journey during their build, it would definitely be Zach Zweifel. He took an otherwise horrible situation and turned it into a meaningful experience. By staying positive, he not only motivated himself to turn his RSX into a very capable street/show car, he also developed a number of tech articles that helped other RSX owners and will continue to aid other enthusiasts in the future. Need motivation in the future? Look no further than the RSX DIY master!

If there is one thing we all learn as we get older, it’s the reassuring idea that things can always be better—and unfortunately, they can also be worse. It’s often a humbling experience that clarifies one from the other, but it’s good to remember.

We all grow from triumphs and setbacks; that is just how life works. When we’re young, all we ever do is complain when we don’t get our way. When we finally do get our way, we sort of just accept it as how life is supposed to work, and that’s definitely not the case. Setbacks are almost required as they help us to grow and appreciate the good that eventually comes. Obviously when things are going good, you don’t say things can always be better. When life is running smoothly, the glass is always half full. It is good, however, to remember that in your moments of adversity, things can always be worse. If anything, life is a series of setbacks. You live, you learn, and you grow. Life will never put anything in front of you that you can’t deal with. If at any time you’re feeling at your absolute lowest and can’t possibly imagine being in any worse of a situation, just remind yourself that things can always be worse and there is probably someone going through much more at any given time.

Spaz Attack
As stated in our story, Zach Zweifel is quite the DIY connoisseur. Some may think he’s a bit of a photo-whore, but he has developed some very useful tech pieces. In fact, he has over 50 do-it-yourself articles on various RSX-related forums that are very easy to access. They range from the simplest of modifications, like installing a rear wiper delete plug, to a step-by-step tutorial on how to complete in engine swap! The DIY posts consist of everything he’s done to his RSX, but there is more than enough information for you to adapt anything he does to your specific make and model. If you would like to check out his handiwork, simply go to your favorite search engine and type in “DIY Spaz ClubRSX” and a number of his DIY posts should pop-up immediately. You can also follow his Youtube channel at:

Bolts & Washers

2007 K24A2
Avid Racing engine mounts
Jackson Racing supercharger
Spaz air intake pipe
K&N air filter
K&N engine breather filter
HaSport intake manifold adapter
Hybrid Racing 70mm throttle body
P2R throttle body spacer
Noribilt aftercooler core
Bosch aftercooler pump heat exchanger
Pulleyboys 3.2-inch supercharger pulley
OEM 2009 Accord crank pulley
DC Sports exhaust manifold modified for K24
GReddy Evo II catback exhaust system
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
RC 750cc fuel injectors
Russell -6AN fuel feed and return hoses
Earl’s -6AN fuel fittings
Aeromotive fuel filter
AEM adjustable fuel pressure regulator
Marshall fuel pressure gauge
Hybrid Racing fuel rail
Hybrid Racing silicone radiator hoses
CXRacing oil cooler kit
Competition Clutch Stage 4 six-puck clutch
Competition Clutch ultra-lightweight flywheel
Quaife limited-slip differential
OEM Acura TSX sixth gear set
Cryo-treated gears
MTEC Industries shifter springs
P-SPEC adjustable short shifter
Hybrid Racing shifter cables
4.0 final drive
JDM Type R valve cover
JDM Type R spark plug cover
JDM Type R oil dipstick
OEM Honda Civic Si electronic power steering
Skunk2 Black Series oil cap
GReddy radiator cap
Relocated fuse box
Relocated battery
Buddy Club N+ coilovers
Progress rear sway bar
Energy Suspension full bushing kit
Skunk2 rear camber kit
Mugen-style front strut bar
Mugen-style rear strut bar
Beaks rear lower tie-bar
Skunk2 control arms
Inverted tie-rod ends
StopTech slotted front/rear brake rotors
StopTech ceramic front/rear brake pads
StopTech front big brake calipers
Spaz custom stainless-braided brake lines
Valvoline DOT 5.1 synthetic non-silicone brake fluid
ABS delete
Honda Civic non-ABS proportioning valve
Wheels and Tires
17x9 +25 Weds Sport TC105N
235/40-17 Falken Azenis RT-615
Buddy Club race lug nuts
A-Spec full lip kit
TopOne front splitter
TopOne winglets
Weathertech visors
JDM ITR Honda front/rear emblems
JDM ITR Integra badge
JDM ITR taillights
JDM ITR clear side markers
JDM ITR yellow foglights
JDM Type-S front/rear badges
JDM Honda wiper delete plug
JDM ITR MOMO steering wheel
JDM ITR Recaro seats
JDM ITR rear seats
JDM ITR pedal set
JDM ITR dead rest
JDM ITR center console
JDM ITR E-brake handle
JDM ITR shift boot
JDM ITR red door panels
JDM ITR red carpet
JDM ITR push-button start
JDM ITR road flare and bracket
JDM ITR coin pocket
JDM Type-S door sills
AUDM Type-S gauge cluster
Honda Fit turn signal/foglight switch
Mugen rearview mirror cover
Blox Neo shift knob
G-Force 5-pt safety harnesses
Hondata K-Pro
Auto Meter boost gauge
Pioneer AVIC-D3 head unit
Chase Bays wiring harness
My family for all their support
My other family, Team Urban Disturbance
Hybrid Racing
TopOne USA

Owner Specs

Daily grind
Impress supervisor at Office Max/Music teacher at local music store
Favorite site
Screen names
Spaz or Type-Spaz
Building Hondas
10 years
Dream car
Acura NSX
Inspiration for this build
My family
Future build
None at this time


Hybrid Racing
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Jackson Racing
Yorba Linda, CA 92887
Noribilt Performance and Custom Fabrication
San Antonio, TX 78238
By Joey Lee
243 Articles



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