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Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Revamping the engine compartment of our Week to Wicked S2k with upgrades from Finish Line Factory, Downstar, Circuit Hero and others.

Rodrez
Mar 5, 2020

In part III of the Super Street 2001 Honda S2000 revamp, I removed the @greddyperformance turbo kit piping and sent it, along with a spare OEM intake manifold and vented valve cover, to powder coat to give the AP1 engine bay a slight makeover. With a number of off-the-shelf aftermarket goods packed into the bay, I felt like it needed a more cohesive look and feel, and the most cost-effective way to do that is with a touch of powder coat or paint.

The main goal was to remove or recondition the bright blue components in the engine bay that I don't think flow with the AP1 S2000's bright red paint. Rather than diving into a wire tuck or shaved bay, I wanted to make the process simple and fully reversible as this car will eventually be sold to make room for other projects for the Super Street network. The black wrinkle treatment is an ideal contrast to the car's native color and a huge improvement when compared to the previous look.

Project S2000 Revamp greddy turbo piping Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp turbo guard 01 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

GReddy - shopgreddy.com @greddyperformance

Rather than coating every single piece in black, which I believe could also work well, I instead chose a titanium color powder coat for the turbo kit's hot and cold side piping and reinstalled it all using GReddy's newly offered black silicone couplers - an option that wasn't available when the kit was originally installed during 2018's Week to Wicked video program. I also added a Turbo Guard mesh screen in place of the bright blue and chrome filter. Intended to attach to a turbo's inlet directly, I reused the intake piping and just bolted the screen on to the end.

Project S2000 Revamp downstar hardware Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Downstar - downstarinc.com @downstar

Much of the S2K's hardware was either corroded or painted over, more than once, leaving removal of some of the easily accessible bolts tough to fit into a 10mm socket. Fortunately, Downstar offers a full package of stainless-steel socket head bolts and billet aluminum beauty washers that make a huge visual impact. Last time around I used hardware from their F-series engine kit to replace the factory bolts on the intake manifold and various parts of the exterior of the block and head. This time around, I finished off the rest of the bay to match.

Project S2000 Revamp circuit hero coil cover 01 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp circuit hero coil cover 02 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Circuit Hero - circuithero.com @circuithero

Rather than using the OEM coil plug cover, I reached out to our friends at @circuithero for their dimple-die version. Established back in 2003, Circuit Hero's line of parts has steadily expanded over the years to include internal engine parts, dress up goods and suspension-related offerings. They were one of the very first to offer an aluminum cover not only for the S2000's F-series, but also for B-, K-, and H-series valve covers as well. Precision laser cut, the original finish is a brushed aluminum look, though I had the piece included with the box of parts that were coated in order to flow with the overall look. Spacers and premium quality stainless steel hardware are also included, making it a very simple plug-and-play swap.

What you missed from Project S2000 Revamp
How the AP1 revamp began
Project AP1's paint and body work

Project S2000 Revamp circuit hero strut tower bar 01 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp circuit hero strut bar gusset Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Also from Circuit Hero, their wildly popular two-point strut tower bar, which matches well with their coil-pack cover, was added. This design utilizes a pair of horizontal bars joined by a flat metal upper portion with precision dimple dies and is strengthened further with gusseting where the bars meet the shock tower anchors. No moving parts means it won't experience any play, even under the harshest cornering. Available in raw mild steel, painted steel or stainless steel, I had this version powder coated black to match the valvecover and intake manifold.

Project S2000 Revamp s2000 strut bolt removal Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp circuit hero strut bar installation Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Since this isn't a modular design, installation takes a little more effort, but isn't difficult at all. You'll need to remove the nuts that secure the shocks and jack the car up enough for the shock's studs to drop down a few inches, just even with the car's shock tower.

Project S2000 Revamp ast shock top hat Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp circuit hero strut tower bar 02 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

This allows you to lay the tower bar in place and slowly lower the car back down so that the studs pass through the openings on either end of the bar and you can cinch down the shock's hardware once again. The fit is spot on and didn't require any sort of massaging to fit properly - with the suspension dropped enough, it slid into place without issue.

Project S2000 Revamp circuit hero strut tower bar clearance Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp circuit hero manufacturer stamp Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Due to the S2000 suspension's slightly angled shock hardware, the process is necessary to fit the Circuit Hero bar and once you've threaded the nuts back on, it's incredibly rigid. The design is bold and looks perfect under the hood of this build, while still allowing more than enough space for the charge piping to clear.

Project S2000 Revamp schmuckbuilt catch can 01 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp schmuckbuilt catch can 02 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Schmuckbuilt - schmuckbuilt.com @schmuckbuiltllc_

In addition to the piping, I also had the titanium color applied to the @schmuckbuiltllc_ catch can and overflow tank. Test fitted in the last article, it's a direct replacement for the cruise control box and plastic OEM tank and there's no modification needed to seat the tank in place. It's built by hand in Schmuckbuilt's lab and the quality is undeniably good. Relying on a pair of -10 bungs, it also has a breather filter, sight level tube, and "dipstick."

Project S2000 Revamp finish line factory line fitting Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp finish line factory nylon braided lines Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Finish Line Factory finishlinefactory.com @finishlinefactory

Welded bungs on the valvecover and those provided by the Schmuckbuilt catch can mean a set of lines would be necessary to make it all work and that's when I turned to Finish Line Factory. As the name suggests, this group is all about various lines from high pressure fuel, to critical oil supply and everything in between. They offer a variety of lines in steel braided versions as well as rubber push-lock, PTFE and, in my case, nylon braided.

Project S2000 Revamp finish line factory breather lines Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp finish line factory nylon lines Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Finish Line Factory's nylon braided version use a stainless-steel double braid that protects the nylon-reinforced synthetic rubber line from any abrasion or corrosion. Truly capable of handling all fluids, it's E85 compatible and can handle temps as low as -40c and as high as 150c. The level of quality is apparent the moment you pick the lines up and especially if you bend and flex them as they're incredibly stout.

Project S2000 Revamp finish line factory an fittings 01 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp finish line factory bent fitting Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Of course, if you offer high-quality lines, you better also have fittings available to match and to that end, Finish Line Factory has you covered. With an array of AN fitting hose end sizes and bends to choose from, you can completely customize your fuel, oil or cooling needs with -4 up to -20AN options. Working on a custom brake or fuel set up and need AN fitting bulkheads? They've got it. AN adapters needed? They've got that too. Heat protection, AN-equipped fuel filters, clamps, brackets? Yes, all available from a single source at Finish Line Factory.

Project S2000 Revamp koyorad radiator 01 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp koyorad radiator 02 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Koyorad - koyoradracing.com @koyorad

The original radiator had seen better days and having most of the turbo kit and other pieces out of the bay made it an ideal time to swap it out for something better. Koyo is constantly making improvements to their products and reissued their replacement radiator for the S2000 with an updated versing using their 36mm Hyper core with an increased fin and tube count that makes for better air circulation and allows for a slightly thinner core.

Project S2000 Revamp koyo radiator cap Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp koyorad radiator npt bung Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Koyo's also added a 1/8 NPT port at the top in case you want to add an aftermarket temp sensor. Atop the billet aluminum filler neck sits a Koyo-supplied cap and there's no modification needed as the radiator is a direct replacement.

Project S2000 Revamp derale radiator shroud Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp derale fan koyo radiator Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Derale - derale.com @deraleperformance

Rather than bolting on the original fans, we reached out to Derale Performance, a group that's long been highly respected in the domestic aftermarket space. Offering a full line of electric and belt-driven fans, various fluid coolers, filtration units, fuel pumps and more, the group prides itself in a very high level of quality control, making it a point to utilize U.S.-bred raw material and components whenever possible. Wanting to make something specific for the import world, the S2000 was a perfect test subject. Derale took our new Koyo radiator, along with measurements of the available space in the S2000's front engine bay area and got to work creating a dual fan and shroud kit. The version on this vehicle is the first of its kind and considered a prototype, but with the information Derale gathering on this project they should have this ready to go in no time.

Project S2000 Revamp derale shroud mount Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp spal fan Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

Utilizing the OEM mounting points provided by the Koyo unit, the Derale shroud and fan kit will work with factory or aftermarket radiators and features a pair of high-power Spal fans.

Project S2000 Revamp downstar beauty washer Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

With the new shroud bolted to the Koyo, the whole unit was dropped in place, the factory hoses fitted, and the upper portion cinched down using @Downstar hardware on factory brackets that were also powder coated.

Project S2000 Revamp greddy heatshield Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
Project S2000 Revamp heatshield Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

I reused the heatshield provided in GReddy's turbo kit but handed it off to designcraft to add a few dimple die rows to flow with the Circuit Hero bar and coil pack cover. Also finished in black wrinkle powder coat, it evens out the overall look.

Project S2000 Revamp engine bay 02 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover

The engine bay is pretty much wrapped up at this point. I'm just waiting for a couple of block-off caps and line separators that I have on order, along with rerouting some factory hoses.

Project S2000 Revamp engine bay 03 Photo 53/53   |   Honda AP1 S2000 Engine Bay Makeover
By Rodrez
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