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Turbo K24 Swapped Honda S2000

It’s not easy building one of the Midwest’s sweetest roadsters

Yuta Akaishi
Apr 28, 2015
Photographer: Ginash George

When Duc Trinh - owner of this cherry turbo K24-swapped S2000 - was 15 years old, he started saving his lunch money. He discovered something that he could sacrifice in the pursuit of a greater goal—purchasing his first car. The sacrifice—square cuts of pizza and chocolate milk. Nearly starving himself in school, it eventually paid off as Duc took the cash he had painstakingly saved and gave it to his friend in exchange for an '89 Civic hatchback. Without a license, Duc could not legally register the car, but aside from one minor detail, he was the proud owner of his very own automobile. This was huge for him, and as a new enthusiast, the absence of his name on the title did little to dampen the joy of possessing every ounce of metal, plastic, glass, and cloth that this functioning machine consisted of. Perhaps this is when a boy truly becomes a man; however, from a practical standpoint, the idea of owning a car that could not be driven wasn't understood by the likes of people like his parents. They instructed Duc to return the Civic, and out of respect, Duc did so. All was not lost, as this just goes to show how hard-core of a car guy Duc was, even before he could legally sit behind the steering wheel.

2004 honda s2000 ill garage spec k24 swap Photo 2/10   |   After blowing the stock motor, Duc teamed up with iLL Garage to fit this turbocharged K-Series in his AP2.

While his plans were postponed, Duc remained patient and celebrated when he finally acquired his license. He jumped in headfirst into the world of automotive obsession, and his first few cars were front-wheel-drive Hondas. A couple years into his journey, he became interested in the idea of owning a car more tail-happy and powerful—a true sports roadster. A strong sense of brand loyalty to Honda remained, so the choice was clear. Luckily for Duc, his criteria placed him in one of the most capable cars of all time, the AP1 S2K.

2004 honda s2000 personal trophy steering wheel Photo 3/10   |   Interior kept clean and classy with a Personal steering wheel, AEM gauges, and Pioneer head unit.

Again, Duc saved his pennies and browsed used car listings on a daily basis until he found his new mode of transportation into the world of rear-wheel drive. Despite its fantastic characteristics in stock form, Duc was never one to leave good enough as is. Work S1 Meisters were fitted, and ASM aero and a fresh coat of Berlina Black followed soon after. Unfortunately, the high-strung powerplant blew quickly into ownership—a minor setback for the determined young owner. The engine was quickly replaced, and the car went back to being enjoyed. The final blow for this car came in the form of pure cowardice; the S2000 was stolen out of Duc's parents' garage. By the time the car was recovered, it was completely stripped and the chassis was cut into pieces. As you can imagine, this was devastating. Duc's pride and joy was destroyed at the hands of another person for no reason than simple selfishness. Following the untimely demise of his S2000, Duc refused to let his enthusiasm be extinguished and he focused on the future. He pondered the possibility of another platform, considering an NSX as his next masterpiece. He went as far as to locate a clean example for sale, but there was something holding him back... As he usually did during times of conflict, he turned to his friends and girlfriend for guidance and they all agreed that he had unfinished business with the AP chassis. So he used the experience he had amassed with his previous car to build yet another S2000, better than the previous one in every way. As he searched for the appropriate canvas, he stocked up on materials, ordering parts for the build before even seeing his future car. A clean, white AP2 was located in Indiana, and he was back in the game.

2004 honda s2000 work meister s1 wheel Photo 4/10   |   Wider carbon-fiber Seibon fenders allow for wider 19x9.5" Work Meister S1s up front.

New wheels, this time the three-piece variant of the Work S1 Meister in massive 19x9.5" and 19x10.5" were fitted to the car thanks to the help of additional wheel clearance made by Seibon front and custom Auto Plus rear fenders. A Voltex Street front bumper, Auto Plus side skirts, +iNGS rear bumper, and a fresh coat of paint rounded out the exterior. The suspension was bolstered with Megan coilovers, Cusco braces, and SPC camber adjustment ball joints.

As the saying goes, unfortunate events come in threes. Not long after purchasing his new car, the engine gave out. Somehow turning this into an opportunity for growth, Duc contacted iLL Garage about transplanting an LS1 into the car. During their correspondence, iLL Garage informed Duc about a new swap they were perfecting for the S2000 using the K-series. This engine, combined with positive intake pressures by way of a turbocharger, would produce a more favorable result when compared to the LS1, plus it doesn't hurt to keep things in the Honda family. So Duc dropped off his AP2 at iLL Garage and they performed the engine build and installation.

2004 honda s2000 precision 6266 turbo Photo 5/10   |   At 17 psi on pump gas, the motor makes 501 whp. Gah damn!

Using a K24 bottom end along with a K20 head, virtually every component of the engine was replaced with a stronger or lighter component, the few pieces left stock were polished, and lastly the entire assembly was blueprinted and balanced. Boost came way of a Precision turbo, and when everything was said and done, this formula was good for a little more than 500 wheel horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque on pump gas.

Despite being faced with his share of speed bumps on the road leading to his dream car—some seemingly impossible to overcome, Duc persevered. He is reminded every time he drives his S2000 that patience and resilience pay off, as the car has accumulated more than 20 awards at various car shows and is appreciated by countless people. But the greatest award of all is the car itself. Having saved all his lunch money in school, experienced two blown motors, and getting his previous car stolen, now owning this insanely fast and reliable machine tuned to perfection is the greatest accomplishment of all.

2004 honda s2000 voltex street front bumper Photo 6/10   |   Turbo K24 Swapped Honda S2000
2004 honda s2000 ings rear bumper Photo 10/10   |   Turbo K24 Swapped Honda S2000
By Yuta Akaishi
42 Articles
Turbo K24 Swapped Honda S2000
Tuning Menu
Owner: Duc Trinh
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Occupation: Northstar Aerospace
Power: 501 whp, 400 lb-ft of torque
Engine: iLL Garage Spec K24 Stage 3 bottom end using CR-V K24 block, Stage 2 custom K24/20 turbo kit with forward-facing tubular manifold, air-to-air intercooler, stainless V-band downpipe with flex section, V-band stainless dump tube, oil feed and return line kit, catch can breather, aluminum coolant overflow tank; Acura RSX Type S K20A2 cylinder head; ERL 88mm sleeves; ARP main studs, head studs; Arias 88mm 9.5:1 compression pistons; Manley K24 Turbo Tuff rods with 625 bolts; ACL race bearing set; crankshaft micro-polished and balanced; S2000 water pump, oil pump; K20Z3 camshafts; K-tuned AC/PS pulley delete kit, thermostat housing, upper coolant neck housing; Supertech valvesprings, retainers, valveguides, intake valves, exhaust valves; Melvin Ports Torres street port/polish; three-angle valve job; Cometic 88 head gasket; Vibrant intercooler piping, couplers, T-bolt clamps; Precision 44mm wastegate, 6266 T3 .82AR journal bearing turbo; TiAL 50mm blow-off valve; 2NRS K-to-F intake manifold adapter plate; Lo-Ko Supercote ceramic coated turbo housing, downpipe, exhaust housing, intake manifold, Galaxy Blue powdercoated valve cover; Golden Eagle oil filter sandwich adapter; Injector Dynamics ID1000cc injectors; NGK BKR8EIX Iridium spark plugs; AEM fuel rail; Aeromotive 340lph in-tank fuel pump; Koyorad radiator; Spal 12" fans; Samco radiator hoses
Drivetrain: Clutchmasters custom K20-F22 transmission flywheel; Competition Clutch stage 4 clutch kit; Ballade transmission adapter plate; K20 swap mount kit
Engine Management: Rywire chassis adapter harness; Hondata K Pro V2; AEM MAC boost control valve
Footwork & Chassis: Cusco Type II front lower arm bar, upper front strut bar; Megan Racing Track coilovers; SPC ball joint camber kit
Brakes: Spoon Sports four-pot monoblock calipers; drilled/slotted zinc coated rotors
Wheels & Tires: 19x9.5" +43 front, 19x10.5" +23 rear Work Meister S1 wheels; 225/35R19 front, 245/35R19 rear Federal Super Steel 595 tires; Password:JDM lug nuts
Exterior: Voltex Street front bumper; VIS carbon-fiber A-Spec hood; Seibon carbon-fiber front fenders; JDP carbon-fiber wing; Auto Plus custom side skirts and rear metal fenders; +iNGS rear bumper; Spoon Sports convex/blue tint side mirror; antenna and badge removed
Interior: Personal Trophy 350mm steering wheel; NRG short hub, Gen 2.5 quick release; center console stitched black and red; BLOX Racing weighted shift knob; JDM navigation bezel; Pioneer navigation head unit; custom rear speaker box and cruise control button; MB Quart 6'' two-way speakers; iLL Spec gauge bezel with AEM boost, water temp, and UEGO gauges
Thanks You: My girlfriend for her 110% support; my family and friends for always being there; Team Intense Creation; Pan and Sean from Auto Plus; Armando and Brando from iLL Garage; Dan from Competition Clutch; Elmer from Arias Pistons; Sean and Seth from ERL Performance
WWW: www.illgarage.com; www.competitionclutch.com; www.ariaspistons.com; www.erlperformance.com

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