Our project car has come a long way in just a few months. When I purchased the car, it was bone stock in every way. The first phase of upgrades included coilovers, new wheels and tires, and a proper alignment and camber adjustment. Next, in an attempt to improve cooling and aero efficiency, a new radiator and vented hood were accompanied by an aftermarket front bumper, hardtop, and rear diffuser. Finally, a few bolt-ons were added, and the fun factor was increased even further-I couldn't be happier. However, one of the things I dislike most about the S2000 are the stock seats. Though they offer an excellent balance of comfort and support, it's the leather that rubs me the wrong way. I've never been a fan of the stuff in a project car, and unless I'm driving a TSX or something similar, it's one of the first things I get rid of. And as long as I'm swapping out the cow hide, I figured I might as well change out the steering wheel and shifter as well.
Buddy Club USA - Buddyclub.us
When it comes to Honda performance, Buddy Club has been there, and done that. Their race heritage stretches back many years, and they've developed a reputation for offering quality products for almost every Honda chassis. They sell a full line of coilovers, exhaust systems, wheels, electronics, race buckets, and everything in between. I picked up a set of their regular sized Race Spec bucket seats and rails. A non-reclinable hard shell bucket isn't for everyone, especially if your car is a daily driver. It takes a little more effort to get in and out of the cabin, and if you have passengers often, you might hear some moans and groans. I don't drive this car to work every day and I've always loved fixed bucket seats. The additional shoulder and thigh support, along with a deeper seated position do an incredible job of increasing overall driver confidence. I had no problem installing both seats with basic hand tools, and didn't need an extra set of hands, though I may have let a few curse words fly working in the small confines of the AP1 cabin. Once installed, I jumped in for a quick sprint around the block. Getting in was a little more difficult than expected, due to the steering wheel being right in the way (more on this as you read on), but once in, I felt secure and tightly locked into place. If you're a little on the heavy side and afraid you might need the jaws of life to remove you, don't worry, Buddy Club also offers a wide (American friendly) version of their Race Spec bucket seats. Keep in mind that the wider version might be tough to fit in the cramped S2000 interior, and you might be denied access to the center-mounted glovebox.
Wek'sos - weksauce.org
With the new seats installed, getting in and out of the car was going to be a little too tough with the steering wheel in the way. Looking for an easy fix, I contacted Wek'sos Industries. Based in San Jose, CA, Wek'sos has quietly worked their way to the top of the internet sales food chain. With a website full of high quality, hard-to-find products, those in the know don't hesitate to log on when their paycheck gives them the opportunity. Not only do they stock the goods, they also play an active role in the import community with events and sponsorship programs that keep them well connected with what's happening at all times. Oh, and they throw a little event called Wek'Fest that just so happens to be one of the most heavily anticipated shows of the year.
Kenneth Li of Wek'sos had heard my AP1 space constraint problem plenty of times before, and he suggested that I try one of their steering wheel packages. The combo includes an aftermarket steering wheel and an NRG hub and quick release adapter. The removal of the steering wheel would give me ample leg room to get in and out of the cockpit without bruising my knees. I chose a 350mm Personal suede Neo Grinta wheel with yellow stitching. The wheel offers an excellent grip size and using suede gloves on track day will give you a monster non-slip grip.
Just about every Honda owner in the U.S. is using NRG's QR system, and for good reason. It's a quality piece that adds a little security to your car, and installation is a breeze. Simply disconnect and remove the factory airbag and steering wheel, and bolt on the NRG unit.
Password:JDM - Passwordjdm.com
The shift knob is one of the easiest and most inexpensive changes you can make to any Honda interior. Like steering wheels, everyone has a different opinion on what feels best. Some like super lightweight knobs, while others prefer the solid feeling of a weighted version. Having converted from lightweight to heavyweight shift knobs, I was set on using a ball-type unit in the AP1. That is, until Leo at Password suggested I give their newest creation a try. The Password:JDM shift knob is a sculpted piece of anodized billet that weighs in at a perfect 6.1-ounces. The shift feel is solid as a rock, without going overboard. The top of the knob also features an interchangeable colored washer in case you get bored.
GT Motoring - GTmotoring.com
Aftermarket single-exit exhaust systems seem to perform best when bolted onto the S2000. In a previous installment of Project: AP1, we worked with HKS on prototyping their new 75mm cat-back system. Though the exhaust is awesome, the unused exhaust opening on the drivers' side had been bugging me. After searching for some type of quick fix, I came across a GT Motoring ad on S2ki.com. Their solution is simple: a form-fitted carbon fiber cover that runs around the single-exhaust opening on the passenger side, and completely eliminates the unnecessary opening on the drivers' side. The 1x1 weave used adds a nice touch to the rear end, and in my case, compliments the APR carbon fiber diffuser as well. Installation was as simple as thoroughly cleaning the lower portion of the bumper, then using the supplied double sided tape to secure the featherweight GT Motoring piece. The fit was factory fresh, and unless you're an S2000 fan or have an eye for carbon fiber accents, you probably wouldn't even know that anything had been covered up. If you're reading this and wondering why the dual exhaust crowd got left out of the party, keep your head up, GT Motoring also offers a dual exhaust cap that doesn't interrupt either exhaust opening, but adds a little carbon flair to the rear end. GT Motoring also offers a number of other S2000 goodies on their website, from bumpers and fenders to roll bars and coilovers.