Category Archives: 3. 2003 Honda S2000

My Honda S2000, Six Years Later…

I’ve owned my 2003 Honda S2000 for six years now.  Hard to believe it actually.  I remember six years ago in April of 2012 when I drove to Russellville, Kentucky to make the purchase from the estate of its former owner.  You can click HERE to see the post I made, with details from when I made the trip to pick the car up.

One of the blogs I read regularly and highly recommend belongs to a fellow car enthusiast like me.  His name is Tyson and he has a thing for Acuras.  His blog is named drivetofive – as in drive to 500,000 miles!  I thought about him when I started putting this post together because Tyson documents how many miles he logs on his fleet of breathtaking Acuras.  And yes, he is lucky enough to own the Holy Grail:  an Acura NSX.  So Tyson if you are reading, take a look at this:

Yes, that is a picture of the dash of my 2003 Honda S2000 taken this past Friday, April 6, 2018.  The S2K had a milestone:  the sweet sixteen!  Doing the math, I’ve owned this car for six years, and have put just a tad over 11,000 miles on it.

Even though this car is 15 years old, I get looks and comments as if she had rolled out the dealership recently.  I have gone out of my way to keep this thing as clean as possible.  Matter of fact, I can’t say I’ve ever driven this car in the rain during the past six years.

The first major purchase for the S2000 was a new set of BF Goodrich summer-only tires.  Well, I need to get a new set of rears because 11,000 miles later, they are down to the wear markers.  I’m not surprised.  From my research the S2000 is similar to Tyson’s NSX in that the rear tires wear prematurely in exchange for optimal handling.

And so, there you have it.  My 2003 S2000 has been an amazing car.  It has its shortcomings in the torque department but what a joy it is to drive with the top down, revving up to the 9000 rpm redline.  This thing has F1 DNA.

Expenses have been negligible.  Other than the previously mentioned BFG’s, all I have done is replace fluids and filters. And, oh yes, I did buy a titanium factory shift knob and the factory front air dam and rear spoiler.  Honda (ahem, Acura) dependability I suppose!  😉

 

New Honda Battery

“Genuine Performance”…

My 2003 S2000 got treated to a brand new Honda battery today.  A couple of days ago when I tried to start-up the S2000, the old battery seemed a bit weak.  And it makes sense because the prior owner had replaced it before I took ownership and that was 5 years ago!

So today, I made a few phone calls.  My heart was on a new Optima dry cell battery (like the one in bowtie6) but damn!  These batteries have become very, very expensive these days.  Just for shits-and-giggles, I called the local Honda dealer and was very surprised with their answer:  they had a genuine new Honda battery for less than what I would have to spend at a generic auto parts store.  And, it comes with a generous 100 month replacement guarantee.  Hmmm…  Can’t go wrong with that.

Note leakage on the top seam… Not good!

The dead battery was an aftermarket generic replacement from the home-town of the original owner.  Fair enough…  Upon closer inspection the battery was certainly past its expiration date because the battery had leaked some of that oh-so-wonderful-acid that wreaks havoc on battery trays…

Plastic battery tray saved the day!

Fortunately the good folks from Suzuka designed a plastic tray fitted over the battery box holding the battery.  Funny because this is one of the most common “issues” on Triumph TR6’s – the battery leaks right on the battery box and 9 of 10 TR6’s show acid damage in this area.

Old battery gone. Here is the battery box saved by the plastic tray…

New Honda battery installed and ready to go…

Not wanting to leave well enough alone…  You know me!  The battery is held in place by two metal rods that hook to the bottom of the battery box.  The rods are not originally painted and this looks unfinished.  So, I cleaned each rod with a little Scotch-brite and sprayed them with low-gloss rattle can paint.  I think they turned out right nice…

Rods painted in low-gloss black…

And finally, today’s mileage…

Not bad for a 2003 model S2000!

 

S2000 Rear Spoiler

OEM Honda S2000 rear spoiler

I’ve always liked the look of the OEM Honda S2000 rear spoiler.  For me, the rear of the car just doesn’t look “finished” unless there is a spoiler there.  And as a bonus you get some extra aero grip to boot.  Can’t go wrong with that…  Yeah right!  😉

Just like the front air dam lip that I installed previously on my S2000 (Click here), the rear spoiler is a legit Honda accessory.  These accessories are rather pricey but they fit perfectly and come painted to match the body color.  The front lip is no longer available but the rear spoiler is – so I finally broke down and ordered one.  The rear spoiler mounts with 4 fasteners requiring 4 holes drilled on the trunk lid. 😯

This part takes patience.  The outside holes get drilled from the inside of the trunk lid.  There are two small alignment marks that get center-punched and drilled.  This allows trial fitting the spoiler and marking the center holes with furnished adhesive discs.  This second set took some extra careful attention!

This is what the wing looks like out of the box…

And this is the mounting kit…

So after drilling the holes and some careful dressing with a fine file, I applied some touch-up paint to the edges of each hole.  For that I used this…

After applying the paint, I let it dry and followed up by adding over each hole a special rubber spacer included in the installation kit.  Ended up looking like this…

And then, the moment of truth.  Mounting the spoiler and tightening the 4 fasteners.  And this is what the wing looks like after I cinched up all four fasteners…

Looks pretty nifty, huh?

Oh and one last note…

The wing kit comes with two replacement torsion bars (the springs) and an optional wrench to install them with.  The kit states the new torsion bars account for the extra weight added to the outside edge of the trunk.  I found this is not really a big deal.  So, I passed on the new torsion bar springs and will just hang on to them until needed.  This is what the springs and the tool look like..

And one more picture…

Current mileage after a fuelup, as of last week on my 2003 AP1 S2000…  She’s a keeper!

Honda S2000 Soft Top

Honda S2000 soft top latch, fully locked…

The Honda S2000 soft top locks in place with two latches on either side of the inner windshield frame.  Unfortunately, bumpy roads can cause the latches to rattle from time to time.  My S2000 is no exception and the rattling is driving me nuts!  Today I did some research and found a Honda S2000 Soft Top TSB (in PDF format).  This TSB addresses various ways of solving squeaks and rattles on the Honda S2000 soft top.

As it turns out, the inside half of the latch has a plastic trim piece.  Under certain conditions this plastic trim will rattle.  The following picture shows the soft top partially retracted…

And a couple of more pictures showing what the latch looks like…

So the way the hinge works is by pressing the side button and letting the hinge open towards the front of the vehicle.  This releases the claw from the windshield frame.  In the middle photo above, you can see the inside half of the hinge surrounded by a plastic trim.  This is the source of the rattles.

A roll of Honda EPT Sealer

The Honda TSB talks about using Honda EPT sealer and wadding it up into a small piece.  Then wedging the wadded EPT Sealer between the latch and the plastic trim.   This fills the void and prevents the plastic from rattling.  fair enough…

But, I have no idea what “EPT Sealer” looks like, so I Googled it and found the picture on the left.  As it turns out EPT Sealer is sold in rolls.  I don’t need a whole roll.  Instead (according to the TSB) all I need is small strips about 10mm x 5mm.

What can I use instead of EPT Sealer?  💡

I noticed the EPT Sealer is roughly the same thickness as Craftsman toolbox drawer liner material.  I found an extra liner and cut a section as shown in the picture to the right.  This piece is about 1×4 inches in size.  More than enough to do the job!

I carefully cut small strips of this material.  The material took a little coercing to fit in between the latch and the plastic trim but the result is perfect!  If you look closely in the following picture you can actually see the little strip of material between the latch and the plastic trim (in the yellow circle):

Small strip of drawer liner shown in the yellow circle…

The solution described in the TSB works!  I drove my S2000 down a bumpy road not far from my home and no rattles.  Oh and I still have plenty of this material available, so if you want some shoot me an email (info at bowtie6 dot com).  I’ll be happy to send you a piece!

S2000 Update

My Honda S2000 has been a real joy to own.  Hard to believe it has been 4.5 years since I bought it from an estate sale and brought it home.  During this time expenses have been for fuel, oil, filters and a set of tires.  I also had the A/C system checked because it was a few ounces off.

Hard to believe the S2K had only 4,726 miles when I bought – ahem– stole it!

On purchase day…

Today, I took a picture of this same dash and it shows slightly more miles on it.  And this is interesting…  There is a thread on one of the forums where folks talk about how many miles they have on their S2K’s.  I’ve seen several photos of cars with 250,000 and more miles on the clock.  Hmmm…  I have a lot of driving to do!

Today…

Funny!  Today’s photo has a nicely centered and focused dash…  Thanks to my friend Tyson who has taught me how to correctly show mileage in a photo!

And finally…  Two complete opposites!  RedRock in the background and the S2K in the foreground.  The Camaro with tons of torque; the S2K just wishing…  The S2K with the agility of a gazelle, the Camaro just wishing…

I suppose I am a just a lucky sumbitch!!!  :mrgreen:

Opposites attract…

Honda S2000 Organizer

img_4100Every time I drive my 2003 Honda S2000 it puts a huge smile on my face.  This car is just awesome.  If I have a bad day, all it takes is to drive a few miles and just marvel at the F20C engine as it revs its way up.  Once 6,000 RPM’s hit, its VTEC time, yo!  And the F20C still has 3,000 RPM’s left to go.

Impressive!  After all, this is F1 DNA shit; this technology hails from the glory days of McLaren/Honda and Ayrton Senna.  It took none other than the boys from Maranello to build an engine that would produce more horsepower per liter than the F20C.

But I digress “big league” as a certain trained monkey would say (and for the record, the other trained monkey isn’t worth a crap either).  What I really wanted to share today is a nifty trick I found.  The one thing I don’t like to do in my S2000 is drive with the top down and have my wallet and iPhone in plain view on the passenger seat.  What to do?

One answer is use the storage compartment between the seats.  Fair enough, the lid has a lock and key but it is awkward to use.  I want something more convenient.  After some research on eBay, my gamble paid off:  as shown in today’s featured image I bought a center console storage tray for a 2010-2014 Mazda 3 or 6.

mazdaconsolepartnumber

Part number for a Mazda 3 or Mazda 6 center console storage tray

Soon after I acquired my S2000, I bought a pair of extended length floor mats.  These mats are longer and cover the reinforcement beam in the floor of the S2000 protecting the factory carpet.  One drawback is the colour is a little off, but who cares?  I rather protect the carpet from wear and tear.

img_4097

Extended length S2000 carpet mat

As you can see, the little tray fits perfectly…

img_4098

Reinforcement beam and the Mazda tray

As you can see in this picture, the tray fits just perfectly between the reinforcement beam and the seat frame pad.  This little tray will now prevent my wallet and iPhone from sliding under the seat.  Added benefit is this all fits under the carpet mat and is within easy reach.

img_4096I need to get some stick-on Velcro on the back of the tray and that will lock it down for good to the factory carpet.  But overall I think it is going to work just fine.  Oh and the part was about $14 on eBay.  I think this is a keeper!