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1993
Posts: 17
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Location: 34.32983°N 118.00195°W
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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, to me, that I'll be able to enjoy the car with less worries about aesthetic defects when I put her through her paces.

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Table of Contents
12/31/19 - 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
Last edited by 1993 on Jan 24th, 2020, 4:56 pm, edited 7 times in total.
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 17
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.

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S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 17
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.

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S + miles = Smiles

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Topic author

1993
Posts: 17
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.

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S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 17
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.







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."
S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 17
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.

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

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

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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?

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

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S + miles = Smiles

User avatar
Topic author

1993
Posts: 17
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!

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Opted for the Koyorad radiator cap...

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Comparing the Koyorad to the OEM unit...

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

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S + miles = Smiles

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