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Rebuilding a Supercharged, K24-swapped 2005 Acura RSX Type S

8 years after appearing in print, this DC5 has aged gracefully

Joey Lee
Mar 17, 2020
: Ginash George

Updated by Rodrez 3/16/20: This 2005 Acura RSX Type-S was featured in Honda Tuning Magazine back in 2012 and over the years, through countless website issues and transitions, the images and a large chunk of the story ended up disappearing. Fortunately, my trusty back-up drive that's louder than a Buddy Club Spec II still had both the write-up and the original images stored safely. Being that this supercharged, K24-powered DC5 is one of our all-time favorites, we brought the story back to life for those that might have never had the chance to get the full rundown. Here's the original story:

If there's one thing that 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 that's either experienced it already, or has seen much worse.

Take Zach Zweifel for example. An enthusiast not unlike yourself, he's seen his fair share of setbacks. The Janesville, WI 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, lets get to know a little about the history of his immaculate RSX.

2005 Acura RSX Type S JDM ITR Tallights Photo 13/13   |   Rebuilding a Supercharged, K24-swapped 2005 Acura RSX Type S

"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 that I wouldn't touch it. I was na ve 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 it 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 fog lights, 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.

More boosted, DC5 Type S features:
Turbo RSX Type S
2.2L, Turbo RSX

"I call it the 'money shift'." Zach says laughingly. "I was making a hard pull on the car and shifted from 3rd gear to 2nd 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 that it was the worst engine that they had ever seen. It was clear that 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!"

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 that I was picking up quite a bit of speed. I tried to slow down but I lost control and was sent backwards 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 that I had broken my Humerus clean in half."

2005 Acura RSX Type S JDM Interior Photo 13/13   |   Rebuilding a Supercharged, K24-swapped 2005 Acura RSX Type S

"I was told that there was a chance that 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 re-use 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's 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."

Another hobby that Zach developed during his recovery was his fascination with photographing everything he did to his car. He claims that 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 that 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 that we all learn as we get older with age, 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 are 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 that 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 are 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 that there is probably someone going through much more at any given time.

2005 Acura RSX Type S Weds TC105N Wheels 01 Photo 13/13   |   Rebuilding a Supercharged, K24-swapped 2005 Acura RSX Type S

SPAZ Attack

As stated in our story, Zach Zweifel is quite the DIY-connoisseur. Some may think that 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 that 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 vehicle. If you would like to check out his handy work, 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.

Name Zack Zweifel
Car 2005 Acura RSX Type S
IG @spazdc5

Engine:
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
Frozenboost.com heat exchanger
Pulleyboys 3.2-in supercharge 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
Earls -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 6th 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

Suspension:
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

Braking:
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 & Tires:
17x9 +25 Wedsport TC105N
235/40-17 Falken Azenis RT-615
Buddy Club race lug nuts

Exterior:
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 sidemarkers
JDM ITR yellow fog lights
JDM Type-S front/rear badges
JDM Honda wiper delete plug

Interior:
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 rear view mirror cover
Blox Neo shift knob
G-Force 5-point safety harnesses

Electronics:
Hondata K-Pro
Autometer boost gauge
Pioneer AVIC-D3 head unit
ChaseBays wiring harness

Props:
My family for all their support
My other family Team Urban Disturbance
Hybrid Racing
TopOne USA

Sources

Hybrid Racing
Baton Rouge, LA
225-932-9588
http://www.hybridracing.com
Jackson Racing
Yorba Linda, CA
714-921-4500
http://www.jacksonracing.com
Noribilt Performance and Custom Fabrication
San Antonio, TX
210-520-0084
http://www.noribilt.com
By Joey Lee
243 Articles

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