The idea of starting over, reversing time and being handed a blank canvas to sully up once again, makes the lives of forward-thinking tuners much easier. It allows for a retooling of what didn't work and a total redemption for what was altogether wrong. Remember the ubiquitous Altezza lights that were installed on seemingly every other car but the IS300? How about the large exhaust tips that whistled, making Bubb Rubb and Kid Sister instant Internet sensations? (See: YouTube) Perhaps the windshield wiper nozzles with the not-so-handy and utterly useless LED lights are more memorable? If any of those products touched your car, the idea of starting over was probably never so prevalent. Getting the chance to press the "reset" button in the first place, though, is the hard part. If money and time aren't the main issues, then it's most likely choosing the next car to fill your garage or picking the perfect body kit to enhance your car's look that plagues the brain.
For people like Joshua Roman, however, starting over transcended the automotive lifestyle that he's been ingrained into since he was a little kid. Starting over meant moving his entire family to a different city and buying a new car, this '04 Acura RSX Type-S DC5, before changing his entire approach on how to properly modify. This gave him the ability to redeem himself in front of his peers, and show up the entire country from the little city he moved into: Lincoln, Nebraska. Let's just say that Lincoln now has more to offer than just Cornhusker football.
Heading to the plains of Nebraska by way of Orlando, Florida, Joshua regretted his first foray into automotive tuning. A victim of the mainstream force feeding machine, Joshua once installed the Altezza lights, LED windshield wiper nozzles, and hasn't fully admitted to running the whistling exhaust tips. He did admit to being a bit foolish with his first car. "I did attempt to modify the '93 Honda Accord but I wasn't knowledgeable about quality parts or how to build a car," he explains, "I looked at the DC5 as my chance at a blank canvas-to do things right this time around." Harkening the gods of JDM, the powerful resource that is this magazine, and making sure not one specialty exhaust tip went near the car, Joshua went from "not" to "hot" in five years.
He began with a simple set-up the minute he purchased the RSX off the lot in 2003. The stock suspension was the first to hit the floor of his garage. Getting the right stance provides a good foundation for a well balanced project, so Josh opted for the HKS Hipermax coilovers; the ones that make the chassis stiff and help the wheels spin happily. They're also the suspension setup that anyone with a JDM sense of mind can fully appreciate. He coupled the Hipermax coilovers with a J's Racing rear strut bar and lower tie bar, and a Beatrush front strut bar and C-pillar bar. This, of course, is all for the sake of making tight turns, and rubbing fender to wall at time attack events and Super Lap Battles around the Midwest. He would've already made moves at these events earlier in the year except new additions to the family, two boys named Christian and Bastian, hampered his racing schedule, making this feature a sort of debut party.
The next step was picking the right wheel and tire to accompany the stout suspension, which wasn't so hard of a decision seeing that the primo wheels come from Rays and the sticky rubbers come from BFGoodrich. Joshua went with a set of 17x8.5 Rays Gram Lights with 245/40-17 BFGoodrich G-Force sport tires, a combination that's almost a standard at any track across the country. He followed up with some additions to the body, starting with the GReddy front lip and authentic DC5R HID headlights. Though the GReddy front lip did its job and was nothing to scoff at, Joshua took it a notch up and replaced it later in the process with an entire J's Racing CFRP Type-S aero kit, highlighted by a J's Racing 3D GT-wing, carbon fiber diffusers, and +20mm front wide fenders, making his RSX Peter North thick. Besides, the GReddy front lips and Nebraska streets don't get along too well. "I went through three Greddy front lips in less than a year; the roads in Nebraska suck!" Joshua says.
After the aesthetics were done, he tackled the most vital section, where a wrong choice of part can make or break the car, literally and figuratively-under the hood. Joshua went with a GReddy turbo kit and IPS KT1 forced induction cams to help the engine run strong and smooth on the track. He followed it up with a GReddy Evo TT catback exhaust and Hondata K-Pro programmable ECU, keeping the K20A2 motor in check. The GReddy Profec Spec II boost controller and turbo timer help the turbocharger stay in line with rest of the engine, while the FastTurbo.com upgraded oil lines control the speed and efficiency of oil needed to keep it durable.
The last steps in Joshua's building process were among the interior, which also reflects his JDM aesthetic. From the DC5R red Recaro front seats to the DC5R shift knob and shift boot, the inside of Joshua's RSX is comprised of the perfect blend of gauging and lever controls, complementing the exterior to the tee. The 350mm MOMO Monte Carlo steering wheel with Splash hub adaptor provides a hint of class and elegance; reasons why his whip has placed in many car shows in and around the Midwest, a testament to Joshua's new approach at car building.
Naturally, he's not done with this project just yet. It's an evolving piece of work that Joshua refuses to simply lay down and move on. "The car is far from done. I still plan to add a lot of things to this car and possibly move from a boosted K20A2 to an all-motor 300whp K24," he explains, "I also think I'll be painting the car a completely different color, so be on the look out!" So it goes to show that a tuner doesn't have to be from a big city to compete, that the possibilities are endless even if you are from Lincoln, Nebraska, and pressing that "reset" button to start over is definitely within the bounds of reality. All it takes is hard work and patience.
Behind The Build
Head to the message boards at www.importtuner.com to chat about this feature vehicle.
Church, Family & Driving
"God Blesses Those Who Bless Others"
'04 Acura RSX
333 whp, 280 lb-ft of torque
K20A2, Greddy turbo kit and intercooler, Evo TT catback exhaust, Profec B Spec II boost controller, turbo timer; Fast-Turbo.com upgraded oil lines, IPS KT1 forced induction camshafts; ES polyurethane motor mount inserts; Hondata K-Pro ECU
Exedy Hyper single clutch
HKS Hipermax coilovers; Beatrush front strut bar, C-pillar bar; J's Racing rear strut bar, lower tie bar, inner fender braces; Tracy Sports quick steering support
17x8.5 Rays Gram Lights 57Optimise; 245/40-17 BFGoodrich G-Force Sport tires; Kics Project 15mm spacers (front); Blue Rays Duralluminum lug nuts
Hawk HP brake pads
Full J's Racing CFRP Type-S aero kit, 3D GT-Wing, +20mm front wide fenders; 2005+ DC5R HID headlights and taillights; MRacing carbon mirrors with custom GT Motoring base plates.
DC5R Recaro front seats, DC5R shift knob , shift boot; Auto Meter boost and EGT gauge; MOMO Monte Carlo 350mm steering wheel with Splash hub adaptor.