Today was a bit of a milestone: my S2K at 12k!!
My 12-year-old, 2003 Honda S2000 turned 12,000 miles old today. Three years ago, I purchased the car from an estate sale with only 4,700 miles on the clock. The lawyers liquidating the estate had no clue what they and I scored one hell of nice deal.
Flip Key for a Honda S2000 fully assembled…
I did some research on what options exist for a flip key for a Honda S2000. As we all know AP1 S2000’s did not come with flip keys. Here is the story on fitting a flip key for my 2003 Honda S2000.
I did some searching on eBay (where else?) and found a suitable candidate. This one is available for about $25 bucks – a little steep – but I figured what the hell and gave it a try. What you get for your hard-earned cash is a blank plastic enclosure for the S2K’s remote PC board and a flip key blank. The key comes uncut so you have to take it to a local locksmith to have it match your key.
Flip Key fully disassembled
The only thing missing above is the flip key blank. At the very top is the upper half of the enclosure. The area with the blue ring is where the “chip” is inserted for cars equipped with it. I have no clue how that works – my 2003 AP1 does not have a chip.
The rest of the bits include a tab for fixing a ring for more keys, the three little screws used to hold the two halves together, the spring and the little plunger that releases the key.
Finally, the bottom half of the enclosure. The red circle shows a tab that requires a slightly modified to make room for a little metal tab on the remote’s PC board. You can see the metal tab in the picture below, right next to the “OMRON” text. I used a Dremel tool with an end-mill and carefully removed the excess material on the tab. Click on the pictures for more details.
PC board on the original remote
Tab that needs altering
The final result
Next came the buttons…
The buttons that came with the enclosure are rather chintzy and did not fit so well. So I just recycled the buttons from the original factory remote. They have the right color, texture and “feel”. Picture above shows the original remote on top and the new enclosure on the bottom with the buttons installed. They just drop in place. Above the big oval button at the top is a small recess where the clear plastic on the remote control PC board rests. This is also where the tiny red LED light shines through when pressing the buttons.
This is what the flip key for a Honda S2000 looks like fully assembled and in working order (click on the pictures for more details:
Flip key stowed
Flip key deployed
From the side
- The flip key enclosure is fairly nice. I have about $27.00 in it. $25.00 for the enclosure (free shipping) and another $2.00 to have the key blank cut.
- Prior to assembly I had to smooth the edges with a jeweler’s file to remove all the sharp edges. It is very obvious this is a mass-produced item with no time spent making it look OEM.
- It takes some patience to get the spring that drives the key aligned properly. There is a small tab on the bottom half were part of the spring is anchored. Then one has to pre-load the spring with the key while making sure all the other bits don’t fall out. The little “button” used to trigger the key must also be aligned properly. Not rocket science but it just takes patience.
- The outside of the bottom half is very poorly designed. There are three tiny screws holding the affair together. Two are easy to get to; while the single screw closer to the key resides in a recess where a foil with a tiny red “H” emblem is supposed go. This is asinine. If the little “H” foil is affixed then how do you get to the screw without ruining the foil when changing the battery? I tried to leave the one screw out, but that makes the enclosure wobbly and the last thing you want is give that precious spring any chance to make an unannounced departure.
- I’ll have to give the flip key a try. Yes it looks very sexy and has a bit of a “wow” factor but the thing is a bit heavy and bulky. On the other hand, the factory key and remote is so much lighter and thinner. I suppose here is yet another example of where the Honda engineers got the AP1 S2000 oh so very right the first time…
I found today’s picture while randomly surfing the web: an LSx in a Honda S2000. Holy crap on a Ritz cracker. Damn! This is what I am talking about.
Don’t take me wrong, Honda’s S2000 is a mighty special machine it its own right. I know; I own a pristine example. The F20C engine is – in my opinion – the only “true” engine on the S2K revving all the way to an astonishing 9000 RPM’s. As good at the F20C is however, torque is not exactly what I would call one of the S2K’s stellar features. Instead, one has to keep the engine high in the rev range to enjoy a spirited ride. And when I say “spirited” I mean this as a kick-in-the-ass kinda ride. It is awesome.
But… What would make this ride even better? Turbo? Supercharger? Meh. Boring…
If you are going to do it, do it right. Just like the photo above. Now we are talking! I have no idea if handling would go to hell with the extra weight of the LSx lump but note that even with an LSx the majority of the engine is still behind the front axle plane. The dude that owns this blue S2K certainly did a top-notch job. Note how incredibly clean that installation is. Very hard to do.
No. I am not proposing cutting up my very special S2K. She stays stock. But… Who knows. Finding a high mileage, decent body would be an excellent platform for something like this. Wow. Possibilities are endless!!
I found the following Honda S2000 sales video and thought it might be cool to post it today for those of you fellow S2000 enthusiasts.
Needless to say, Spring is making an honest effort to arrive. There have been a few really decent days to drive my S2K – top down – here in Upstate, South Carolina. The more I drive this thing, the more I like it. And the more I thank my lucky stars for being able to buy (read “steal”) a 10-year-old example with only 4700 miles on the odometer. OK – we now have a few more miles on the odometer but my S2K is as pristine as they come – oh lucky me…
Here is the video – give it a few seconds to load…
Yep. My Sebring Silver S2K is a keeper…
“Its like strapping on a race car, with license plates” – Parker Johnstone
I live in the city that Mr Bibendum decided to call “home” in North America. I also happen to know some good friends that work there. One of them is a tire designer and he recommended a new BF Goodrich for my S2K (thank you Kip!). Not only does he design tires, he tests them, is a huge Formula 1 fan and drives of all things… One of Arthur Colin Bruce Chapman’s own – a Lotus. Not only is Kip a great car guy, he really knows his stuff so I took his advice…
Kip suggested the latest BF Goodrich g-Force Sport Comp-2 and since the best price can be obtained on-line, that is where they came from. Fortunately the tires came from their Atlanta warehouse, so they were here pretty much overnight. Another one of my friends has his own car shop and also races his own car (thank you Maxie!). He is the only person that I have ever known that takes the time to mount and rotate the tires so the least amount of weights have to be added. This takes time, but he does an awesome job.
Since my S2K is as pristine as they come, I decided to keep all tire sizes as factory recommended: 205/55 16’s Front and 225/50 16’s Rear. Picture above shows what they look like. They are very affordable, they are directional and they are very soft. I have put about 100 miles on them so far and I am impressed. I realize they are not even “broken in” yet, but they are very quiet (compared to the original 10-year-old Bridgestone’s) and these things stick like all-get-out. As the tires scuff, I look forward to see what the S2K can do with good tires all around.
Needless to say, bowtie6 will be wearing a set of these very soon!