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 |   |  2004 Acura RSX Type-S - Control, Alt, Delete
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2004 Acura RSX Type-S - Control, Alt, Delete

How to reboot an RSX.

Colin Ryan
Nov 24, 2010
Photographer: Henry Z. De Kuyper

Radios are for wimps. Kyle Dick hasn't exactly said that, but looking at his 2004 Acura RSX Type-S, all stripped out and ready for the track, it might be what he's thinking. Or perhaps it's because he couldn't hear it anyway, once every piece of the sound deadening material had been jettisoned.

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In any case, this contrarian attitude of taking a street car and ripping out all the creature comforts is something to be encouraged. "It was a no-brainer to start modifying it," says Kyle. "I've always liked modding cars. But I wanted to do something different, something that no other RSX owner had done."

So why buy this car when an Integra Type R would have meant less stuff to throw away? "I was looking at a DC2, but ended up going with the RSX because it was newer. And safer, theft-wise," says Kyle, who makes a habit of going against the grain. "My friends were into Hondas, but I was a Mitsubishi guy." He has owned a '99 Eclipse GTS and a '91 3000GT with the VR4 engine, perhaps not the best cars to stop him from defecting to the big H.

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Kyle started the build while he was still a student, short on cash and stuck for time, so phase one was done piece by piece. The first thing to break the OEM spell was an Injen cold air intake, followed by an RBC intake manifold (a Civic model). Then a DC Sports race header was connected up to a custom "LCA dump" exhaust (so-called because it dumps just before the lower control arm).

Once he got into his stride, though (and got a job as a sales associate), the engine bay took on a whole new aspect. Although he kept away from the internals of this venerable K20A2 2.0-liter four, Kyle decided that laughing gas would be just the kind of fun he was looking for: nitrous oxide, supplied by an NOS 75-shot direct-port system. To keep up with demand, in went an Aeromotive fuel regulator and a BDL fuel rail, all modulated by a Hondata K-Pro management system.

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However, there was a whole lot of tidying up and decorating to do. Both the battery and fuse box were relocated (the former to somewhere near the passenger-side inner front bumper, the latter to the glovebox). The brake lines were re-routed, and stainless lines with AN fittings were used in place of rubber hose. Then it was off to the chrome plating shop to prettify the T-bracket, valve cover, intake manifold and various sundry items. And then the bay was painted in custom copper as a finishing touch.

Kyle definitely came to the conclusion that air conditioning (despite living in California) and power steering were for wimps. He even ditched the ABS, which might just be a delete too far, but we'll have to trust that this 22-year-old knows what he's doing. Well, him and his much-appreciated partner in wrenching, Mando Molina, who has been involved in virtually every aspect of this build. "Without his help, the car wouldn't be the way it is," says Kyle.

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The only problems so far have been in relation to the wiring. To fix them, "I just traced the wires," Kyle says. "Patience can go a long way. Just take your time with everything, and make sure you have it right."

That approach must also have paid dividends when installing the suspension, fitted by "mostly me, with the help of a few friends here and there," says Kyle. Koni yellow shocks team up with Ground Control coilovers, accompanied by a Mugen front strut brace and rear mid bar, a J's Racing rear strut brace, Cusco B-pillar side bars, and an Autopower four-point roll cage. Kyle also went with a Carbing rear upper tie bar, a Comptech rear lower tie bar and Function7 lower control arms. Apart from now being extremely rigid, the car sits about 3.5 inches closer to the ground than stock, "as low as the chassis will allow," he says.

Those 17-inch Volk Racing GT-U rims (discontinued, sadly) take us back in time to the first part of the build. Kyle has them nine inches wide at the front and eight inches wide at the back. They've been running 35mm offsets and Falken Azenis RT615 tires, sized 225/45. No need to change them.

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Unlike Acura's drafting compass emblems on the bodywork. It must have appealed to Kyle's sense of humor to swap them for JDM Honda badges. The bumpers, side skirts and rear wing are also Honda Type R, along with a custom-made front splitter, all resplendent in Milano Red. Illumination comes in the form of an 8,000K Xenon Depot high-intensity discharge (HID) headlight conversion kit.

To describe the interior, perhaps it might be easier to leave a paragraph-sized blank, since there's a similar lack of features where the RSX's cabin used to be. Rear seats? Gone. Carpets? Gone, the bare metal floor now painted the same copper hue as the engine bay. At least there's a suede headliner. All else that remains are a couple of Status front seats, an OMP steering wheel, harnesses, and pedals, a Skunk2 shifter, a Mugen steering wheel hub, a Type R instrument cluster, JDM Honda door panels (in red) and a custom-made switch panel.

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The end result is the product of a singular vision. "Many times I would find myself trying to go a different route with some aspect," says Kyle. "Because it would be faster. But I would stop myself and ask if that was what I really wanted to do. And I would always end up waiting that little bit longer to do exactly what I wanted."

Most guys tend to give a shout out to their posse when it's time say thanks. Refreshingly, Kyle wants to extend his gratitude to his parents and grandparents. Not that this is really the end, even after paying $17,000 for the car and sinking another $12,000 into the build. "The car is nowhere near complete. I'll enjoy it for now and start modding again when I get bored." Once it gets on the track, boredom should still be a long way off.

Behind The Build

Kyle Dick

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Escalon, CA

Sales associate

Build Time.
One year

via carrier pigeon

snowboarding, playing music, drawing, bowling

"working on it with my bud, mando, from morning 'til night. Definitely good times."

'04 Acura RSX Type-S

Output: 285whp estimated

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Engine Injen cold air intake; custom "LCA dump" exhaust; RBC intake manifold; DC Sports race header; Aeromotive fuel regulator; BDL fuel rail; Hondata K-Pro ECU; Mishimoto all-aluminum radiator; Samco Sport hoses; NOS 75-shot direct-port system

Suspension Koni Yellow shock absorbers; Ground Control springs; Mugen front strut brace, rear mid bar; J's Racing rear strut brace; Function7 lower control arms; Comptech rear lower tie bar, Carbing rear upper tie bar; Cusco B-pillar side bars; Autopower four-point roll cage

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Wheels/Tires Volk Racing GT-U wheels, 17x9 +35mm offset (front), 17x8 +35mm offset (rear); Falken Azenis RT615 tires, 225/45 (front & rear) Exterior JDM Honda Type R front and rear bumpers, side skirts, rear wing, badges; custom front splitter; Xenondepot HID 8,000K headlight conversion kit; Milano Red paint

Interior Status front seats; JDM red door panels; Skunk2 shift knob; OMP steering wheel, pedals, harnesses; Mugen steering wheel hub; Honda Type R instrument cluster; custom switch panel


JDM SpeedWorx
Salida, CA
By Colin Ryan
180 Articles



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