UK Berlina Black MY2005 AP1½

The track car build process

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MikeRT4
Posts: 37
Joined: Dec 2016
Great Britain

UK Berlina Black MY2005 AP1½

#1

Dec 1st, 2016, 4:29 pm

I have hankered after an S2000 for quite some time and did months of research before settling on the 2005 facelifted UK model (F20C engine, with AP2 chassis, body and wheel upgrades). This is the cable throttle version of the F20C, before the DBW.

Being a serial modifier, I knew it wouldn't remain standard for too long and I have big (but subtle plans) of which will gradually get posted here.

These are the photos from the original advert. When I picked it up it had a smidge under 42k on the clock, so a nice low mileage for the age:
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Knowing it would be used on track required some immediate upgrades which consisted of brake fluid (Castrol SRF), stainless-steel braided brake hoses (Goodridge), new discs (Pagid blanks with a custom groove design copied from APs discs) and Pagid RS29 front pads:

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I had also read about the oil surge issues that these cars suffer with, so bought a sump off eBay and had it modified to prevent such a catastrophic event from occurring:

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At the same time all the oils were changed (engine, gearbox and diff), just for piece of mind (it looked like it had been well looked after though, and the full Honda history seamed to show).

By this time, I felt that the noise was a little lacking, but not wanting the drone reported with the majority of exhausts (plus having read that there seemed to be very little gains in this area), I opted for the "UK mod" with 25mm sections:

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Although not particularly high grade material, I was pleasantly surprised to note that the factory exhaust is actually stainless-steel.

Next up was to see what the base power figure was. I had heard from a tuner friend of mine that these cars are much like the E46 M3s and never quite make the claimed manufacturer's power, with as low as 210bhp @ the flywheel being seen. I hoped that with relatively low miles, mine would be a good one and was relieved that this was so. Absolutely bone stock engine:

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218.8 bhp @ the flywheel (182.8 bhp @ wheels)

In my internet research I read that the best "bang for buck" (sorry Andre(w) ;) ) was to fit a test pipe, which allegedly would also give a raise in decibels as well (again without the dreaded drone), something which the UK mod had failed to adequately do (coming from a CSL with a full Supersprint, which is a ridiculous 106dB static :o ). I sourced a cheap eBay item, fitted it and then went back to the dyno:

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224.9 bhp @ the flywheel (189.2 bhp @ wheels)

Not only was the increase in power a surprise, but the added noise was spot on. As quiet as standard off throttle, but with a lovely deep angry sound in VTEC. This is without any tune, as it is still on the standard ECU. I understand that with a full tune (sadly requiring a standalone ECU - much later), that I can expect a big increase in the mid-range from this set-up. Obviously at this stage, it is still 12bhp down on the claimed figure, so not sure where the missing ponies are, as it seems a very healthy example (as an idea, Matt's car (he of huge turbo and Quaife sequential gearbox fame) only made 225bhp on these exact same rollers after full exhaust, Password JDM intake and a full remap on an AEM ECU (admittedly with 30k more miles under the wheels)).

Next was to update sort the seats out, as although quite nice for an OEM set up, they're not grippy enough for track use. Luckily I had some nice Recaro Pole Positions that were removed from my last car before I sold it, so were effectively free (man maths ;) ) apart from the seat rails required:

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The driver's seat was easy, as it was the ABE version with the large seat belt hole, but the passenger one is proving a bitch - spot the difference:

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As I had originally ordered these seats a couple of years apart, and was using harnesses in the other car, I hadn't even noticed the difference (I never sat in the passenger seat LOL) until I tried to fit them in the S2000. So at the moment, it is just the driver's seat until I find a suitable solution to this problem:

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One of the previous owners had the car set up by Centre Gravity including a full check of the standard corner weights. It has then been set up for a mild "fast road" set up, which seems to be okay at the moment for the standard suspension:
Front:
Left: Toe: zero, Camber: -0°57', Caster: +6°20', Corner weight: 309kg
Right: Toe: zero, Camber: -0°57', Caster +6°19', Corner weight: 300kg

Rear:
Left: Toe +0°25', Camber: -1°31', Corner weight: 331kg
Right: Toe +0°25', Camber: -1°30', Corner weight: 311kg

Total weight (which includes 9kg of additional fuel ballast): 1251kg

With the de-cat pipe being considerably lighter, it will be interesting to see what it ends up at once the Ohlins have been fitted. Will also be interesting to see what a few years have done to the settings as well.

On track it is an absolute joy, completely balanced and throttle adjustable and despite the comedy body roll, it loves to rotate :) :

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At this track day, I did have an issue with the cheap eBay test pipe, but that was down to me fitting a heavy "CEL light defeat" spacer that was too much for the thin wall tin can metal of the decat:

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I have since modified it to try and ensure that it doesn't do it again:

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At the same time we had it on the ramp refitting this, I installed the Spoon Rigid Collars for the subframe and some rear diff collars as well. This transformed the handling without transmitting too much NVH. There is some extra buzzing through the transmission that wasn't there previously (especially at high rpm on the over-run), but this is a trade off worth accepting for the improvement in the handling. Gone has the propensity for the rear to lurch or feel luck the tyre is tucking in or folding on the rim.

I then bought the J's Racing strut brace, not because I felt that it needed any more rigidity, but because of the mounting for the ETD. The gear change is now much more precise and shift quality is much improved. I can't feel any difference regarding the chassis though:

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This brings us effectively up to date.

I have the following items on order:
Ohlins suspension (arriving mid Dec) with 10kg rears
Axialflo quick-shift (arriving imminently)

And have purchased a set of rear AP2V1 wheels to go on the front. These need to be machined to the 70.1 centre bore and then refurbed, where they will be fitted with 245/40 x 17 AD08s all round (I want it to look standard at a quick glance, hence why going to the trouble of doing it this way). I have a set of 15mm hub centric spacers to ensure the fronts will fit without catching on full lock and this is the winter upgrades complete ready for the trackdays to begin in February.

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Future plans are Spoon calipers and Urge vented rear discs (it gets through a set of rear pads EVERY track day :o ). I also have the Spoon steering rack bushes and they will be fitted at the same time as the suspension.

I'd like to go Haltech ECU and a Password JDM intake, but might just fit a scoop and gut the standard airbox which according to Gernby is supposed to yield very good results. If I could ever justify the costs, I'd like the Urge Unicorn header and Gernby mid-pipe mated to the standard back-boxes and then ultimate dreaming would be the BalladeSports F24C increased deck conversion. 300bhp NA - mmmmmmmmmmmm nice.
Last edited by MikeRT4 on Feb 26th, 2017, 12:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Mike R
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Nordschleife, there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right :lol: .

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JamesD89
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Joined: Nov 2016
Location: San Diego
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#2

Dec 1st, 2016, 7:25 pm

Fantastic looking car. Berlina is absolutely gorgeous when you can keep it spotless :lol:

I love my Gernzhuast, and it sounds fantastic hooked up to the OEM mufflers. Definitely worth it if you can get a hold of one :thumbsup:
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andrewhake
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#3

Dec 1st, 2016, 8:43 pm

Thanks for joining up! Glad to see you have been enjoying the car.
o_O S2000 | Mark I Stage II... | Touge Map | Parts | S2000 Lap Times Database

That’s thirty minutes away. I’ll be there in ten.


TsukubaCody
Posts: 45
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Zimbabwe
#4

Dec 2nd, 2016, 6:04 pm

I enjoyed this thread. Nice, well-thought out modifications.

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MikeRT4
Posts: 37
Joined: Dec 2016
Great Britain
#5

Dec 5th, 2016, 9:35 am

TsukubaCody wrote:I enjoyed this thread. Nice, well-thought out modifications.
That is as a result of months of research on the S2ki forum :writing: :light: .
Mike R
Sarcasm is just a free service I provide.

Nordschleife, there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right :lol: .

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MikeRT4
Posts: 37
Joined: Dec 2016
Great Britain
#6

Dec 13th, 2016, 8:03 pm

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Rear dampers built up to correct 10mm pre-load with Eibach 10kg rear springs.

Being lazy and not wanting to strip out the boot interior every time I needed to adjust the damping, I opted for the adjustment extenders.

Obviously the fronts look like everyone else's Ohlins, so no picture (read as "haven't built them up yet" ;) ).
Mike R
Sarcasm is just a free service I provide.

Nordschleife, there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right :lol: .

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MikeRT4
Posts: 37
Joined: Dec 2016
Great Britain
#7

Jan 5th, 2017, 12:41 pm

I recently fitted my Ohlins, where as you can see from the above pics, I opted for SBG's recommended 10k rear springs and 10mm preload. Due to time constraints and vacation over the Christmas period, I fitted the rears first. OH. MY. GOD, What a revelation, the ride quality AND comfort with the mixture of Ohlins rears and OEM front dampers was brilliant. No more hitting the bump stops, it was just joyful in the way it ironed out road imperfections and was everything I imagined and had read about (and was indeed MORE comfortable than standard). On this basis, I couldn't wait to fit the fronts and finally did so yesterday. Naturally I was expecting the same improvements and although the handling seems to have been firmed up even more, it has lost some of ride comfort quality it had with the OEM fronts.

It now "feels" aftermarket, where with just the rear Ohlins fitted it felt OEM+ (as in what I felt the S2 should have been from the factory). Unfortunately the roads here in the UK at the moment are cold, wet and greasy, so I have been unable to push the car and can only comment on the ride quality at the moment. With all four Ohlins dampers fitted it is now firmer than standard and with a reduction in ride comfort over the OEM springs and dampers and with the mixture of the two (although the rears don't hit the bump stops).

However, my reason for this post is that I "think" Ohlins have got the spring rates spot on, just the wrong way round ;). The 8s should be on the front and the 10s on the rear. Given my experience of running the mixture of the two set-ups, I believe that this "might" be the fix for the ideal ride handling / comfort compromise. At the moment, I am going to leave as is and see what it is like on dry roads, but I will probably do the swap when the weather improves.

I have since seen that the original Amuse car actually runs this kind of set up (harder rear springs than on the front, albeit stiffer F12k R14k).

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Mike R
Sarcasm is just a free service I provide.

Nordschleife, there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right :lol: .

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JamesD89
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Location: San Diego
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#8

Jan 5th, 2017, 6:59 pm

What changes were made to the rear Ohlins other than the 10k rear springs?
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MikeRT4
Posts: 37
Joined: Dec 2016
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#9

Jan 5th, 2017, 7:12 pm

Nothing other than the 10mm preload over the recommended 2mm (and the adjuster extenders you can see in the photo).

The dampers can take +/- 2kg without needing revalving.
Mike R
Sarcasm is just a free service I provide.

Nordschleife, there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right :lol: .

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andrewhake
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#10

Jan 7th, 2017, 12:08 pm

MikeRT4 wrote:However, my reason for this post is that I "think" Ohlins have got the spring rates spot on, just the wrong way round ;). The 8s should be on the front and the
Completely agree. Particularly if you are on a staggered tire setup. 8kg front 10kg rear should work very well. With 255 I think even rates front to rear works extremely well. The Amuse car ran quite a bit more rear camber than front camber if I remember correctly which probably helped balance everything out.

It really just comes down to the amount of rear travel available versus the front.
o_O S2000 | Mark I Stage II... | Touge Map | Parts | S2000 Lap Times Database

That’s thirty minutes away. I’ll be there in ten.

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andrewhake
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#11

Jan 7th, 2017, 12:10 pm

MikeRT4 wrote:Image

Rear dampers built up to correct 10mm pre-load with Eibach 10kg rear springs.

Being lazy and not wanting to strip out the boot interior every time I needed to adjust the damping, I opted for the adjustment extenders.

Obviously the fronts look like everyone else's Ohlins, so no picture (read as "haven't built them up yet" ;) ).
Extensions are nice! Do they work pretty well?
o_O S2000 | Mark I Stage II... | Touge Map | Parts | S2000 Lap Times Database

That’s thirty minutes away. I’ll be there in ten.

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MikeRT4
Posts: 37
Joined: Dec 2016
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#12

Jan 7th, 2017, 2:26 pm

Ideally the one on the filler cap side should be 25mm longer, as occasionally where the trunk arm goes through the carpet, it can catch this (as that is where the extender comes through), as it is not quite long enough to go anywhere else. The other side is spot on.

I'll take some pictures later so you can see what I mean :).
Mike R
Sarcasm is just a free service I provide.

Nordschleife, there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right :lol: .

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MikeRT4
Posts: 37
Joined: Dec 2016
Great Britain
#13

Jan 12th, 2017, 3:52 pm

Apologies for the poor quality iPhone pics - but shows you what I mean :).
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Mike R
Sarcasm is just a free service I provide.

Nordschleife, there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right :lol: .

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andrewhake
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#14

Jan 14th, 2017, 1:37 am

Nice. Did you get those from Ohlins?
o_O S2000 | Mark I Stage II... | Touge Map | Parts | S2000 Lap Times Database

That’s thirty minutes away. I’ll be there in ten.

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MikeRT4
Posts: 37
Joined: Dec 2016
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#15

Jan 14th, 2017, 9:10 am

Hi Andrew,
I did indeed, I found them listed with all the Ohlins part numbers on a thread on S2Ki when I was researching what suspension to get :) .

I have all the info still (but at work) if you want details, I can post up next week :thumbsup: ?

The extenders are available in longer lengths as well :tipwink: .
Mike R
Sarcasm is just a free service I provide.

Nordschleife, there's only two barriers to worry about - the ones on the left and the ones on the right :lol: .

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