User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America

The Chronicles of a Sebring Silver AP2

#1

Jan 3rd, 2020, 4:32 am

Hi, everyone. My name is Kevin and I'm the happy owner of a MY04 Sebring Silver S2000. I purchased her on the 26th of December from my friend, Josh. An S2000 has been my dream car for, roughly, the last six years. I just completed my bachelor's degree about a month ago and decided it was time to finally pull the trigger. Sebring Silver is my favorite color aside from Imola Orange.

Now, on to more details about the car. The car itself has 147K miles and all ten VIN tags are present and matching. I performed a compression test with the help of another friend for some peace of mind before committing to the purchase; the compression numbers were within spec, so I went ahead and closed the deal. Given that she's a 2004, with a good amount of miles on her, I knew that bringing her maintenance up to date should be my first priority, so that's what I've been working on thus far. I don't know what my end goals are just yet, but I definitely want to get the car setup for reliable fun at the racetrack.

When I purchased her, she had a muffler-deleted OEM exhaust system which I abhorred. I quickly rectified that abomination with a completely stock exhaust system. She also came with an AEM cold air intake installed which I will be swapping out for a stock intake because I don't really care for it and driving in the rain makes me very uncomfortable. The roads in Southern California were not built with much rain in mind, so standing water can become an issue real fast. Overall, she's a little rough around the edges, but that just means I'll be able to enjoy the car with less worries about cosmetic flaws when I put her through her paces.

Image

Table of Contents
12/31/2019 - Exhaust hanger bushings, gasket, fuel filler cap, and clear side markers
1/1/2020 - Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance!
1/9/2020 - Fluids and tires
1/16/2020 - Front wheel bearings and wheel studs
1/23/2020 - Koyorad radiator
1/30/2020 - Overhauling the brakes
2/9/2020 - Modifry windscreen mount
4/7/2020 - Hasport engine and differential mounts
4/9/2020 - Keeping busy during COVID-19...
4/17/2020 - Begone, CEL!
5/8/2020 - Alpine UTE-73BT and shifter rebuild
5/14/2020 - Alternator woes?
Last edited by 1993 on May 18th, 2020, 10:51 pm, edited 18 times in total.
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#2

Jan 3rd, 2020, 4:44 am

12/31/2019

Unfortunately, when we installed the stock exhaust system, we discovered that three of the exhaust hanger bushings were completely missing. The first order of business was to fix that, so I went ahead and installed those bushings. No more lopsided exhaust system for the win. I also took the opportunity to replace the exhaust pipe gasket. Suggested by a friend, I decided to go with the clear side markers over the ambers. To wrap up 2019, I replaced the aftermarket fuel filler cap with an OEM unit. The original OEM fuel filler cap was worn and did not pass inspection during the vehicle's smog check, so Josh went with the quick solution of purchasing a generic cap from the smog check center.

Image
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#3

Jan 3rd, 2020, 5:09 am

1/1/2020

In an attempt to start off 2020 strong, I replaced a bunch of miscellaneous parts that needed replacing as well as making other adjustments to the car. The windshield washer fluid reservoir cap was replaced along with the cabin air filter, VTEC solenoid gaskets, shift lever flange nut, PCV tube, rear hood seal, serpentine belt, and battery (for an OEM unit). The cabin air filter was probably the worst example I've ever laid eyes upon; it was very satisfying to replace that piece. The serpentine belt had seen better days and was in dire need of replacing. The VTEC solenoid showed evidence of weeping oil, so we replaced the gaskets. I hope this was a sufficient fix because my second option is to replace the complete solenoid unit. Honda doesn't individually sell the upper gasket, so I'm taking a chance with the Ballade Sports gasket. So far, so good. The PCV tube was cracked, so replacing that was an easy fix. The rear hood seal was actually missing, along with numerous clips for the windshield cowl, so I went ahead and purchased the seal. The clips will be ordered and installed in the near future. The windshield cowl had also seen better days, so I took the time to clean it up and apply some dressing; looks heaps better!

Aside from replacing the aforementioned components, the clutch/throttle pedals were adjusted. The throttle cable is showing its age and was a bit loose, so that was rectified. The clutch pedal had quite a bit of slop which was adjusted; it feels much better now. I almost forgot to mention, when I purchased the car, she came with an AP1 flywheel and an aftermarket pressure plate. The clutch disc is OEM.

Image

Image
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#4

Jan 12th, 2020, 6:14 am

1/9/2020

I finally got around to changing the engine oil and manual transmission fluid today; it's just something I like to do with every new-to-me vehicle purchase. I opted for Amsoil's Signature Series 10W-30 and Amsoil's Manual Synchromesh Transmission Fluid. I'm holding off on changing the differential fluid because the seals have seen better days and are awaiting replacement.

I also went ahead and replaced the front tires with a pair of Federal 595RS-RRs to match the rear tires. I'm currently running 215/45R17 tires up front and 245/40R17 tires in the rear. This is, of course, the stock configuration for the AP2 and is something I wanted to familiarize myself with before eventually moving on to a square setup. Naturally, a four-wheel alignment was also completed. When I purchased the car, she was equipped with RS-R lowering springs and, unfortunately, due to the ride height, we were unable to dial back the rear camber.

Image
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#5

Jan 15th, 2020, 7:45 pm

Directly after my alignment, I met up with a friend, Ryan, aka @hyprpwr, for some photos near Los Angeles.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I can't thank him enough for these awesome photos.

Post-alignment, I've been driving the car, quite often, on windy roads to better understand the driving characteristics of the S2000 (within reason, of course). The Honda Fit I used to own and this S2000 are like night and day. The S2000 is so much more responsive to even the smallest of inputs. The Fit was a lot easier to drive, but the S2000 is more rewarding to drive; this is just my opinion, of course.

With the staggered tires, you can definitely feel the bias towards understeer. I set the car up this way, for the time being, so that I can really take my time to learn the car and develop my skills. I wanted to experience the S2000 as Honda intended before eventually moving on to a square setup. I've driven numerous FR platforms, but none are quite like the S2000; most of these cars were heavier and less "twitchy."
Last edited by 1993 on Jan 27th, 2020, 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#6

Jan 17th, 2020, 7:40 am

1/16/2020

Today's update includes replacing the front wheel studs and front wheel bearings. The reason for the replacement(s) is because one of the lug nuts on the passenger front wheel was cross threaded which resulted in the accompanying wheel stud shearing off upon removal. I took this opportunity to replace all of the wheel studs along with the wheel bearing since it would be a good time. I replaced both front wheel bearings along with the wheel studs on each side just to have both sides matching and fresh. Given my intended usage with this car, I figured it would be good preventative maintenance.

Image

Image

Right after we removed the hub assembly from the car...

Image

Getting ready to remove the wheel bearing from the hub...

Image

I also went ahead and swapped over to black lug nuts; I think they look better than the chrome lug nuts. What do you guys think?

Image

Passenger side all done and black lug nuts installed...

Image
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#7

Jan 24th, 2020, 4:55 pm

1/23/2020

The OEM radiator looked tired and had seen better days after ~16 years of service, so I went ahead and replaced it with a Koyorad unit. I also have new upper/lower radiator hoses, but I didn't realize the intake manifold needs to be removed in order to remove the existing radiator hoses. I'm going to save the upper/lower hoses for when I replace my intake manifold gasket. The coolant reservoir was starting to show its age as well, so I refreshed that part of the cooling system with a new reservoir, hoses, hose joint and reservoir cap. The look of new parts is so satisfying! 

Nice and shiny!

Image

Opted for the Koyorad radiator cap...

Image

Comparing the Koyorad to the OEM unit...

Image

Snapped this picture before we started pouring in coolant...

Image
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#8

Jan 31st, 2020, 8:09 pm

1/30/2020

Since the day I bought this car, the brake setup left a lot to be desired. I went ahead and replaced the brake pads, rotors, lines, and bled the brake fluid. For brake pads, I opted for Project Mu's Club Racer. I feel that these brake pads will serve nicely as a dual-duty brake pad; only time will tell. They have a good initial bite, even when cold, which is something I really appreciate having. For brake rotors, I chose Centric Premium discs. I've used them in the past with good results, so that was an easy choice for me. Techna-Fit is my go-to for brake/clutch lines. Their lifetime warranty gives you peace of mind and I love the quality of their lines. They're always fast when it comes to shipping and replying to e-mails. For brake fluid, I went with ATE TYP 200 because that's what we had lying around at my friend's house.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

We finished rather late with the install, so, please, excuse this last photo taken with my phone.

Image
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#9

Feb 9th, 2020, 9:16 pm

2/9/2020

Modifry windscreen mount installed! I've been wanting one of these so I can mount my GoPro and record future track days with ease. I also just purchased an AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens for my Nikon D800 and tried it out for the following photos.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Obligatory photo of my Baby Yoda sticker as well...

Image
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#10

Apr 8th, 2020, 1:57 am

4/7/2020

Unfortunately, no photos to accompany this update. I just picked up my car from Zero Auto Factory after having them install my Hasport engine and differential mounts. I opted for 70A durometer for both sets of mounts. I also had an issue with my trunk not opening via the key fob/button inside the center console which turned out to be a broken power and ground wire in the wiring harness for the trunk; the wiring for my third brake light was also repaired during this time. Lastly, I had Alan replace my spindle nuts and torque the newly-installed spindle nuts to the correct torque specification. 

I hope everyone is doing alright during these times!  
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#11

Apr 10th, 2020, 1:51 am

4/9/2020

Having some extra time on my hands, due to COVID-19, I went ahead and replaced the meter lens assembly and fan knob. Because of the wealth of information and photos available online, I didn't find this task too difficult. The original fan knob was pretty worn and it was an eyesore. The meter lens assembly was replaced because it had a bunch of swirl marks. I'm going to keep the original meter lens assembly and see if I can restore it and keep it as a spare. When I buttoned everything back up, I discovered that a few of my bulbs were dim/had burnt out, so I've gone ahead and ordered replacement bulbs for the meter assembly, heater control(s), and radio remote.

Image

Image

Instrument cluster bezel removed...

Image

Original fan knob; excuse my dirty hand...

Image

New fan knob installed!

Image

New meter lens assembly installed!

Image
Last edited by 1993 on Apr 27th, 2020, 7:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#12

Apr 18th, 2020, 6:44 pm

4/17/2020

I replaced my spark plugs yesterday. My CEL was on for P0302, P0304, and P1399 codes. 3 out of 4 spark plugs were loose with the spark plug for cylinder #2 being loose to the point where I could spin it without a ratchet attached. I installed new plugs (NGK PFR7G-11S) and torqued them to 24 lbf⋅ft. I then disconnected the battery to clear the trouble codes followed by completing the idle relearn process. I went for a drive and my CEL has remained off, but only time will tell.

Below are pictures of my spark plugs in order of 1-4. As you can see, the spark plug for cylinder #2 had it the worst.

Image

Image

Image

Image
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#13

May 10th, 2020, 12:24 am

5/8/2020

With the help of a friend, I installed my Alpine UTE-73BT with Modifry DCI. Sound quality, even through the factory speakers, has significantly improved compared to the factory head unit. My front bumper had been missing its grille ever since I purchased the car and I've had a new grille sitting in my room for a few months now, so we went ahead and installed the front bumper grille too. I recently picked up a header heat shield as that was also missing and we went ahead and installed that as well. The last thing on my agenda was to rebuild my shifter which we also knocked out; shifting feels improved and less notchy after the rebuild.

In the process of installing the front bumper grille...

Image

Front bumper grille installed!

Image

Prepping the head unit for installation...

Image

Alpine UTE-73BT digital media receiver installed!

Image

Shifter rebuilt with new change boot holder, change lever ball, lever push spring, and pivot cover...

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

My buddy was also kind enough to give me his factory shift knob out of his FK8...

Image

I also found a replacement right-rear windshield molding and replaced the original, worn molding. I have sourced a left-rear windshield molding from Japan and ordered that as well.

Image

Much better!

Image
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
Contact: Website
United States of America
#14

May 18th, 2020, 10:50 pm

5/14/2020

The left-rear windshield molding arrived in lightning time from Japan so I went ahead and replaced the original molding. Aside from that, my instrument cluster lights have been flickering and I believe the alternator is the culprit after doing some research. My battery is an OEM Honda unit and it is only 2 months old. My battery ground cable was looking janky so that was replaced but it didn't make any difference in regard to the flickering lights. In other news, I had my headlights restored and ceramic coated yesterday, May 16th, 2020, by Anthony Zichella. If you're in SoCal and in need of headlight restoration, give Anthony a holler and he'll take care of you.

https://www.instagram.com/anthonyofthenorth/

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
S + miles = Smiles

Return to “Projects”