Friday, June 19, 2009

Pics from the track today

What a fantastic day. I haven't been to the track in over a year, and certainly not since a lot of the mods (brakes, aero, wheels, body stiffeners) have been put on, so I was very curious to see how this baby will boogie. I was not disappointed at all. Its hard to believe this old girl is 17 years old. She handled like a champ, the Gruppe M SC fed me gobs of torque down low where this technical course needs it, the new 17/18 Tecnomagnesio wheels and Bridgestone SO-2's were well planted by the suspension(Tein EDFC set to full hard) and the big hero of the day were the BRAKES! The AP racing kit was stopping mightily and consistently all day long without fade. Holy crap did I ever have a good time. Every time I come home from the track I feel tired (it was hot today...26 degs and track temp was over 60) but alive and exhilarated. I honestly cannot believe why more people don't do this as a hobby over say... golf!. Even other NSX owners need to come out and try this. Yes your precious car will get a little dirty, but it will not break, an you will really get a new found appreciation for what was engineered into it. Sidenote: I'm happy to see that my headers and exhaust managed to just squeeze under the course's 104 dB limit at 101 dB! ;-)

On with the pics:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Calabogie Motorsports Park

5.05 km (3.05 miles)
Number of Turns:
West Track:
2.2km (1.38 miles)
East Track:
2.81km (1.74 miles)
Track Width:
40 feet
Elevation Change:
65 feet
Camber in turns:
0% to 6%
2000 ft.
Polymer Modified Asphalt (Koch Stylink PG 70-34)
Safety systems:
Extensive run-offs, and combination of tire barriers/walls, guardrail, and concrete
East Paddock (main):
3.75 acres
West Paddock:
1.2 acres
Total site acreage:
Track acreage:

From their website:

The typical track user is the driver of a road going sports car or sports bike driving amongst small groups of similar performance vehicles in low intensity competitive or non-competitive conditions. Such drivers are typically part of a club group, often coordinated under the auspices of such clubs as the Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette one make associations or as part of commercially operated “Track Day” groups or regional sports car clubs. Many users are also drawn to the facility as customers of high performance driving schools. The layout and design of the Calabogie course was, from the outset, designed with this customer in mind, to provide them with the high speed challenges that they would not be able to find on public roads or even other comparable closed courses, and to do so in the safest possible conditions to provide a level of enjoyment that would make them return to Calabogie over and over again. Calabogie provides the driver with an exhilarating challenge and is extremely difficult to master. Consequently drivers can expect to return over and over again if they want to truly master the course. At the same time the we have designed the track to incorporate all appropriate safety measures required by ASN Canada, the sanctioning body under which the track operates. Calabogie has been recognized as one of the most aesthetically pleasing driving facilities in North America thanks to the proximity of its woodlands, its adherence to the natural topography of the site and the sheer drama of its course design. It is North America's Premier Driving Experience. Above all, it is great fun to drive!


Well, the NSX will be heading back to Calabogie for the first time in 2 years tomorrow. Oil and filter was changed last fall prior to storage. I checked the oil and its fully topped up and super clean (Mobil 1) so I'm gonna chance it this time (also due to lack of time to pick up a new filter at Acura) and just leave the oil as is. The alignment's been screaming to be done as I know its got too much toe in on the rears (visibly apparent!) and the camber is to severe after the coil-overs were installed. At the last minute I took her to Derek at Autovation right in town and after 2 hours, it was completed. I have to say the car drives beautifully much so I cannot believe I held off on this often overlooked service for so long. The shudder at high speeds, twitchiness under braking is gone. Car tracks straight as an arrow. Turns out the left rear was at 3.5 degrees camber while the right was at 2 degrees. Fronts were both at 1 degrees which will kill front tires in track situations. After careful adjustments I am now at 2 degrees fronts, and 3 degrees rear, no more toe issues. Love it, and the best $150 spent so far! I actually took time off work in the middle of the day to do this...feels so good to play hookie :)

Bring on the Bogie!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My wheels evolution...

Having just installed my new track wheels, I thought this would be a good time to go through my car's wheel evolution, or should I say, the ode to my fetish for new shoes... ;P

EDIT: April 21, 2010...added the newest wheels, Advan RS in dark gunmetal 17/18

Getting ready for Calabogie

Finally had a chance today to throw on the new wheels. They are Tecnomagnesios, custom-spec'd for Comptech and sold only through them (17"x8" ET45 & 18"x10" ET47). I bought these used off Tunerworks in Calgary, who had these on their shop NSX and were refinished in gloss black. Tires: 215/40-17 & 285/30-18 Bridgestone Potenza S03. They are almost as light as my old bronze TE37's (wheels I love and still miss) but unlike the Volks, these are offset to fit well over my BBK. I added the red piping myself...just a cheap vinyl sticker I bought off Ebay. These decals are reversible and inexpensive, plus adds a bit of contrast to the setup. I know nowadays its trendy to go for the full evil black on black on black look but to me, up here in Canada it just remind me too much of my wife's stamped steelies and snow tires on her Odyssey!

I can' wait to take her out to the for he first time this season. On June 19th it'll be at Calabogie Motorsports Park for Ferrari Day. Should be a blast!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Glamour shots!

I got together with Ken Williams and his souped up Mugen/Spoon S2K and did some neat photos in and around the west end of town a couple of weeks ago.

Spring 2009 to present

OK, so in the last 2 days I've been recounting everything thats been done on my car since purchase in Jan 2006 to last fall. I am happy to say the project is nearing its end in that I cannot think of anything major left to do aside from little details.

In the spring I installed a nice set of Autovation aluminum pedals (nsx-specific), a pair of 6 pt Schroth harnesses I picked up from Coz on NSXPrime, which after installation I realized looked too hardcore and so I switched to Takata 4 pts.

A custom red anodized SoS harness bar was of course required for safety reasons and installed along with a pair of AEM Serial Gauges by Manny at Pearl Autocare in the a-pillar. I got the gauge pod from Coz of Prime. A funny aside here: I originally had a pod, but decided I wanted the gauges in the centre console so I sold it on Prime. I later changed my mind and re-bought the same damn thing. Ugh. Indecision sucks when you have to pay customs!

The biggest install this year, and will be the last thing to go on the car is this Shine Auto Project front lower valence. This is a copy of the Kei Office design that is no longer in production. Once I am out of town for my vacation in July it will go to Fiore for installation. I am hoping it will be compatible with all the underbody trays and panels. If not I expect to pay out the nose for him to make it all work!

I also caved in and finally sold my rare BYS CF tilting rear wing for the ubiquitous NSX-R CF wing. I have always liked the rarity and look of the BYS but it felt like an anchor back there, and I was tired of using my head to keep the trunk lid open when accessing the trunk! This one is made by a guy with a great name, Johnny Chu who owns a company in SoCal called JetZ Racing Products. Fitment and price was excellent. I'm really happy with this piece:

Aside from swapping out all my oem bulbs for LEDs in the dash, door, footwell and maplights, I'm pretty well done. I am still on the look for a set of used high flow cats, but there's no hurry. :)

I also picked up yet another set of wheels for the track. Gloss black Tecnomagnesios in 17/18 diameters. These are extremely rare wheels made by Tecno for Comptech Sport back in the day. Great deal from a fellow NSXer in Calgary who owns a shop called Tunerworks.

More go power, more stoppng power

OK, so now we're in the fall of 2008. I've actually barely put any mileage on the car due to several factors...1) it was in the paint shop a month, 2) it was at TintFX for 2 months (long story but I don't talk to Warren anymore), and 3) we had a little girl who was making life busier than usual for us. :P

I love the handling, the looks, and the sound, but something in me wanted to make sure I was extracting every little bit of performance I can from the setup. A GB came up on NSXPrime and suddenly I found myself with a set of Prospeed SS headers and a very rare Taitec centre-exit exhaust. This beautiful thing was hand built in very limited quantities and made expressly to go with the open rear diffuser I already have. It came up on Yahoo Japan and I instructed Daryl of to get it for me. In a month it arrived and back I went to Jason at Tapp for the install.

After a few sessions lapping at Mosport and Calabogie I've come to realize that the stock brakes were also feeling mushy after a few hours of late braking. I previously tried to remedy this by going with the conservative route of SS lines, new fluids, Hawk HPS pads and Powerslot slotted rotors on the front but even that was inadequate. One afternoon I stopped by and chatted with Terry Gosse of KVR Performance, a small local brake supply and tuning shop that is actually quite well known in the car community in North America because of their brake products.

Terry was the designer of the AP Racing setup for the NSX that was originally sold under the RM Racing brand, which later folded and the kit is now sold through Science of Speed. He explained that the NSX is unique in that the mid-engined layout actually does not require huge brakes in the front. In fact, most NSX BBKs out there have issues with front wheel lockup because the rear weight bias does not require throwing a huge set of front calipers (compared to say a front heavy Skyline or Supra). The KVR setup consists of 4 piston calipers on the front with 13" rotors, 13" rotors on the rear utilizing the oem two piston caliper. SS lines, AP fluid and Ferodo DS2500(front), Hawk Black (rear) pads complete the kit.

In case you haven't noticed, along with the BBK came a new set of wheels! Yes, Project Money Pit is now sporting a set of Volk Racing CE28Ns in gold. 18x8 +38 front and 19x9.5 +36 rears, all shod in Toyo T1R 225 35 and 275 30 front and rear respectively. After 2 years of ownership, the car is on its 5th set of wheels (DP Enduro > BBS Stern > Volk Racing TE37 > BBS LMs > Volk Racing CE28N. :P

After that I called it a season and put the oem wing back on and got the car ready for storage. This was taken at Burritts Rapids on a cold Sunday morning, a few days before she was put away for another winter's nap (but not before throwing on jdm tinted tail lights courtesy of John aka Scorp).


One thing that bothered me about the interior was that it was!
The gray carpet, black seats, dark titanium metal instrument cluster was very bland to these old eyes. I picked up an oem red interior carpet from Frank Spano in NYC, new oem CF shift boot and surround from RJP (who also supplied me with a set of titanium NSX car never came with them), a pair of red alcantara ITR Recaros off Neal of Team Toyo Street (they were in his Pink Skyline GTR show car), machined aluminum gauge rings from SOS, and CF door panel inserts and a double din CF dash from a hustler in Lithuania named Tamoske.

On an aside, Tamoske created quite the reputation for himself on NSX Prime. This is a very close knit community, and I'm proud to say a very trusting one too. Well Tamoske changed all that by offering CF bits for a very good price. What's wrong with that? Well, after pre-selling the parts, he basically complained that his "workers" ripped him off and ran off with all the money. It has been almost 2 years and Prime members are still waiting for their parts. This guy had spawned thread after thread on Prime and to this day any mention of Lithuania will be met with cocked heads and twitchy stares. Luckily I was never part of the GB and got my parts, but not before having to scam them off of him by promising parts he wanted in exchange. Yes, I had to lie to this bugger to get my paid for parts!! What a learning experience that was. In his defence though, the parts I received were very nice so all's well that ends well I suppose.

After I got the car back from Fiore it was dropped off at Warren's shop TINTFX in Gloucester where a new alarm was installed, the EDFC for the Tein suspension (this slick little unit controls the dampening via a dash mounted control), the gauge trim rings, CF parts, an Alpine HU with GPS, and a set of JDM LED DTRLs which were a gift from Adam of Feast AE/RS in Japan (good friend of mine).

Aero dressup ver 2.0 (spring 2008)

So, over the winter again I started having second thoughts about the sideskirts. The MH were getting mixed reviews from viewers. Not that I really care but they made one point clear...without the matching MH nose, the front end does not quite match up with the aggressiveness and depth of the sideskirts. The skirts visibly hung about 1/2" lower than the front lip. This fact also made them susceptible to speed bumps, freeway expansion joints and other road imperfections. In just one summer with them I had to repair the skirts 3x with black duct tape and touch up paint (the very first crack came within 24 hrs of getting the car out of the paint shop!) I realized they weren't going to last very long. Luckily Peter, a friend with another black NSX in Toronto was selling his Stacy Skirts (Stacy is the same dude who sold me his supercharger...see what a small world the nsx community is?). The Stacy Skirts were actually my first choice over the MH but I thought they were a bit too pricey. Now they were available for a good deal and my MH were getting mangled so I decided to head back to the body shop! So in April 2008 the car was once again dropped off at Fiore's for the new skirts, along with a vented Seibon Type R CF hood, the SOS NSX-R aluminum front under tray and matching FRP nose piece. I also had a set of 17/18 BBS LM Championship edition wheels refinished in copper my the boys at Alloy Wheel Repair in Stittsville. These wheels have always been one of my favourites and I bought it from Will in Calgary (he owns a red complete MH NSX imported from Japan) who replaced tehm with a set of TSW's purchased from another NSX (see how parts circulate amongst the community?). LOL.

Oh yes, in March 31, 2008 our little home was blessed with the arrival of Ella. Here she is testing the strength and comfort of my NSX-R hood ;)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Aero dressup ver 1.1 (summer 2007)

OK, so at this point I now have more power, a nicely lowered stance, nice wheels, and a mild aero kit. I should be done right?

One thing about me that all my friends know is that over the winter months I store this car. For 4 months every year I don't get to see or drive it. I get antsy, and I start shoppng for parts I *think* I need. I decided that the BYS skirts were too mild, and got my hands on a set of Marga Hills Skirts, a more aggressive GT-One N1 front lip to replace the now banged up and scarred Gruppe M lip, and a Taitec JGTC functional rear diffuser.

I also swapped out the stock seats for a set of black leather and cloth Recaro SR3's with custom NSX logo's bonded to them courtesy of a GTA-area NSXer who runs a side business doing this sort of work. The school bus sized stock steering wheel and airbag was replaced by a smaller diameter (320mm) Momo Race wheel with titanium finish. The shift knob was replaced by a weighted SS knob by "Burn Up!" (I don't make this shit up). All bodywork was done by Fiore of S&G Body in Ottawa, who are good frends of mine. At this time my car was officially accepted into Team Top End of Japan as their first non-Japanese market NSX and I was officially sanctioned to run Top End's North American wing.

The newly kitted NSX made its debut literally the day after it was released by Fiore and taken to the annual NSX Club of Canada's exotic car cruise in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Some pics from that great weekend with the boys...