As of last month, the #SSap1 revamp saw some serious progress that included paint work, new fenders, a square wheel and tire setup, and some heavy exterior detailing that had the roadster looking the best it ever has in this life or its previous. Since then, the car hasn't moved, but that's not because it wasn't being worked on.
With the S2000 back in the MotorTrend Tech Center after finishing up at Meguiar's, I lifted the car off the ground with the handy @quickjackusa system, removed the bumper and drained the factory radiator so that I could ship it and its fans off to our friends at @deraleperformance who will be designing a complete fan shroud kit for the S2000. That kit will actually hit the market once its complete and will bolt right to the @koyorad aluminum radiator we'll be receiving.
While the car was destined to sit still without a cooling system, I figured it would be a great time to make some aesthetic changes to the engine bay. A little color and texture, both on the darker end of the spectrum, would contrast with the red paint and add a little more flash so that it didn't look so "off-the-shelf," and I wanted to eliminate as much of the blue as possible. Keep in mind it's a simple street car, so any ideas of tucking, shaving and deleting everything weren't on the table - I'm just looking to spruce things up on a tiny budget.
I dug up an old AP1 valve cover and intake manifold from my garage and cleaned them up before dropping them off at a local powder coating shop right after having @sportcarmotion weld a set of -10AN bungs to vent the cover.
I also had a spare throttle body and air valve assembly at home, so I added them to a box of parts for another build that I was shipping to @chapman_concepts for a flat black cerakote treatment.
Whenever I send parts out for coating, I use random bolts to block off essential threaded holes in order to avoid having them accidentally coated and the dreaded "thread chase" procedure that comes as a result. Easily removed, it's insurance to make sure the proper threaded holes come back in their original condition. All of the OEM hoses and attachments were transferred to the new manifold and it was ready to swap out.
Not surprisingly, removing the factory intake manifold isn't a good time at all. Some of the nuts and bolts sit behind and beneath the runners, space under the manifold is scarce, and various extensions and wobble sockets are certainly a good idea here. After putting up a reasonable fight, the manifold eventually gave up and I was able to pull it free. The wrinkle finish version was then installed much faster, thanks to a little help from Downstar...
Downstar - @downstar
You've seen Downstar hardware on a ton of cars featured in the pages of Honda Tuning back in the day, as well as Super Street currently. The hardware specialist offers bolts, nuts, and beauty washers ala carte, in compete engine package and engine bay kits, as well as various suspension hardware, precision billet firewall block-off plates, and more - much of which is available in slick colors and varying styles. The kits are very well thought out and with all of the most common Honda bolt sizes used across multiple chassis, Downstar has your build covered top to bottom.
For the AP1, Downstar provided their F-series Engine Hardware Kit and enough additional hardware to replace the fender bolts and other miscellaneous "10mm" fittings around the bay. Each piece features a stainless-steel socket head bolt and a billet aluminum washer that's available in a number of anodized colors, though I chose black in order to match the theme of this revamp. One of the advantages to using Downstar's hardware on the intake manifold is that it was much easier to get an allen head socket in between and under the manifold runners in order to cinch everything up.
Though I ran out of time on this day, I had a chance to pull some of the other stock nuts and bolts and replace them with some of the Downstar hardware. Keep in mind when using new hardware to apply a bit of anti-seize compound.
GReddy - @greddyperformanceproducts
The original turbo kit couplers that GReddy provided with their kit are bright blue which, at the time, was the only option from the industry icon. After having removed the piping and sent it off to powder coating, I got word that they had silicone couplers in black headed for their Irvine, Calif. office - perfect. The new couplers feature the GPP, or GReddy Performance Products, logo on each piece and they're a direct replacement for the bright blue version in this instance.
Also included with the GReddy turbo kit that was already in place from last year is this diversion panel that separates the hot air from the radiator and the engine itself, and offers a barrier for the intake, as well. I planned to use it again but wanted to break up the plain panel so I brought it to Gary at @designcraft to add a little dimple die magic on the portions that weren't tasked with blocking hot air. Like the valve cover and intake manifold, it too was coated in a black wrinkle finish.
Schmuck Built - @schmuckbuiltllc_
In 2016, an OCD-level of cleanliness in the form of a twin-turbo, V6-swapped S2000 graced the cover of Super Street. Owner and builder Jason Schmuck is a seasoned fabricator that not only reworked every painstaking detail of his AP2 for one of the baddest engine bays anyone's ever seen, but he also offers a line of custom parts to the public, including this perfectly sized overflow tank/catch can combo.
Designed to replace the factory plastic tank and removal or relocation of the cruise control box, it bolts right into place and features a pair of -10AN bungs, a breather port and filter, Vibrant Performance neck and cap, clear-plastic level indicator on the overflow tank, "dip stick" on the catch can tank and a user-friendly drain point at the bottom of the can.
After deleting the cruise control entirely (a process that just takes a few minutes), I set the tank in place to check fitment and it was precise, lining up perfectly with a factory hole left by the cruise control box removal and snugged up tight between the upper rad support and shock tower. Though it looks great in raw aluminum, it's also getting a new finish which we'll look at in the next part of the revamp.
Stay tuned as more parts are on the way and there's more work to do on the #SSap1 refresh!