Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reflections on the year.

The NSX was washed and tucked away last month (Nov 20th).  This year I managed to score a spot with a neighbour who lives directly across the street, so it will be neat to have such close access to the car over the winter. Come spring I'll be moving to a new home with a bigger garage so FINALLY, I'll be able to have all my vehicles under one roof.

Looking back at 2010's drving season I can recall some fun times at the track, some not so fun times (snapping the serp belt), and it appears the constant pattern of tweeks and mods is finally coming to an end. The project is pretty well where I'd like it to be and aside from a '02 conversion (something I am on the fence over and just can't seem to get myself to do), I don't think there's a thing I would change on this car.  I think that one of these days I might pick up a more hardcore, dedicated track weapon like a Lotus Exige and tone down the NSX for regular street cruising duty with the occasional track outing.  My logic for this is that it is a very expensive car to repair if I have an "off".  Also, my number one complaint with the car is that it's so over the top that I can't use it for anything but an occasional toy.  The NSX is a very livable and civil car.  It would be a shame to make leave it as a garage queen.  Last summer I put less than 5000 kms on her.  Sad.

If I were to tone it down, all I would do is swap back in a more sedate exhaust and rear valence and put back on the oem wing and hood.  All parts I have in stock.  We'll see.  FXMD out of Vegas is also working on a beautiful Ferrari F430 Scuderia inspired rear bumper that, if it gets produced, might be the push I need to remove the Taitec rear diffuser I currently have.  I love the Taitec but it is not very practical for everyday street use.

Of course I can go the opposite direction and strip out the interior, replace the Recaros with one piece CF buckets and make it an even more hardcore track car. It's past accident history makes it pretty well worthless in the resale dept. Who knows.

Merry Christmas everone.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My car captured in CG

There's a kid on the GTRCanada forums who's offering to do digital drawings of people's cars on order. He did one of my buddy Dan's R32 GTR which looked awesome, so I commissioned him to do my car. I pointed him to images on my blog and told him to go nuts.

Initial Sketch:

Colour blocked in:

First draft:

Close but little subtlties had to be ironed out.  I wanted the front plate tilted since thats the way I keep it, the custom led signal lights do not normally show the ambers on, and I wanted the CF to be more visible.  Looks awesome!  Now he's doing one of the rear of the car :)

Here's the final product:

Minor revisions with and without plates. See if you can spot the change ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


This is an amazing NSX tribute video featuring NSXPrime member Hong, and his uniquely modified NSX. The video first appeared on Prime last weekend and has taken on a life of its own, almost going viral on car forums worldwide. Its a little hokey, a little melodramatic, but if you suspend the cynicism and absorb the "feel" you may gain a newfound respect for Honda and what it had achieved in its past. I hope the company will find its roots and show the world once again what made it such an iconic car company.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

First time tracking in the wet (oh my!)

Yesterday evening I took part in a local club's tracking event at Calabogie Motorsports Park.  Midnightruns.com is a local Ottawa car forum for more mature and hardcore guys and I have been an active participant on their forums for over 2 years now.  One of their members, Pat Chang runs a shop "Speed Merchants" at the track (speedmerchants.ca) and with his connections to the owners of the facilities got us 2 hours of lapping for a very cheap price.  Only down side was the RAIN. Oh well, if Aryton Senna can shine in the wet, I might as well try ;)

First time out, first corner and I find myself skittish at the limit and not finding grip at all ANYWHERE! 

The new sways were making the car very oversteer-y and I was not having a good time. After a lap, I was back in the pits playing with tire pressures which helped but still came no where near what I was hoping.

Two hours later I was done and spend the last 20 mins shooting the shit with the guys at the pit exit wall. 

Had a great time but I definitely am starting to think it's time to swap back in the oem rear swaybar. Jim Hobbnot, owner of the shop and also owner of Kanata Ford was there with us at the end with his Porsche GT3 RS and gave me a lot of nice compliments about the NSX, which was very nice to hear.  He thinks he can help me dial things in next time I come out, so I will definitely take up his offer. 

Here's a vid:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ferrari Lapping Day...sort of... (June 18, 2010)

[This post comes about 3 weeks late].

Well, after the change of fluids and installation of the Dali Type Q 1" front and rear sway bars I was all set for a day at Calabogie.  I've been looking forward to this for a long time mainly because this time I was bringing my buddy Chris, who drove all the way across the country in his 1985 AE86 to partake in this event (as well as visit family :P).  The Thurs night before I helped Chris install his KTS 4 pt cam-lock harness, gave him my spare helmet and pair of Sparco driving shoes, and got my car packed and ready for the annual Ferrari lapping day.  This annual event is held by the FCA Ottawa chapter as part of the Italian Week festivities in Ottawa's Little Italy.  I always enjoy partaking in this event as it allows me to see some beautiful cars as well as open a can of whoopass on some of them (haha!).

Got there 8:30am, went to the drivers meeting, got assigned to "A" Group (experienced) and off I went.  Some of the highlights included a Maserati MC12, Saleen S7, various gorgeous Exiges and of course the F-cars.  Also meet another local NSX owner Robert, who aparently knows all about me and my car based on my posts on NSXPrime.

However, the day would prove to be one full of events.  In my second run of the day, at around 11am, I suddenly hear a "thud" followed by a shudder sensation felt through the throttle pedal.  I paused, gave her some gas and she acted normal so I continued.  3 corners later my instructor and I spotted the Saleen go off in front of us at Spoon, ending up in the armco.  What a sight! A million dollar car, and the driver (not the owner) did not look impressed.  Suddenly there was another shudder and then my battery light and check engine light comes on.  I see the red flag signalling us to go back to the pits due to the Saleen.

When I pull in I discovered that my serpentine belt has disintegrated.  My day was done.  The belt must have started with a small tear (which as it peeled away from the rest of the belt slashed at the throttle cable (which was cut up but not severed).  That explained what I felt through the pedal. 

Took all afternoon for the flatbed to show up (thank God Chris has CAA Gold, so free towing). The driver was nice but man he took forever to load the car. Initially I was optimistic that I would be able to get home early enough in time to return with my M3 but it was not meant to be. Oh well.

When Chris got to my house that evening for a BBQ he reported that a red Exige went into the armco as well, followed by one of the T-Rex's.  Crazy stuff.

Got the NSX to Derek at Autovation that afternoon and there she sat until the following Friday. The work only took a day to complete but the delay came in finding out what sized serpentine belt would work. Luckily Mark at Dali Racing in San Fran was awesome. I was able to email him from my iPhone while in the tow truck and had an answer right away. For the record, the part is a Dayco Belt, Serpentine, Outside Length 65.0 In, Industry Number 650K8. It arrived at Autovation by mid week and Mike was able to clean the engine bay up and install it in no time. Once again the NSX was happy.

Here's a shot of me by local radio personality Stuntman Stu as I pulled in to the pits. I'm trying to look cool but inside I was dying... :P

Here's another by Stu of me and my instructor trying to figure out WTH happened to the car...

So what have I been up to in the 3 weeks since this whole thing happened? I BOUGHT ANOTHER CAR!

Yup, meet the latest member of the stable...my 1982 Lotus 7 replica. I call her Tweety:

...more to come ;-)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The next time you think of selling your NSX, READ THIS!

"Everyone is different, but I can say that after owning an NSX, I 'get it'. I understand the exclusiveness when it comes to the rarity of the car, the aluminum body panels, the Senna influence. I truly feel that it is one of the last greatest sportscars to come out of Japan."

What a great quote, taken from a thread on NSX Prime called "The NSX is stupid!!!", a sarcastic admission by an ex-NSX owner crying over why he still misses his NSX after selling it a while ago. The writer in this case is a guy who sold his NSX, bought a Ferrari, realized he made a mistake and is about to sell the F-car for another NSX in the coming weeks. Hahaha!

Thread is here

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New fluids,better handling, less restrictions, MOAR NSX!

Took the NSX to Mike and Derek at Autovation last Friday for a 2 day jobber and car came home feeling noticeably better.

At NSXPO last year it was stressed upon us that the MTF needs frequent changing in these cars, which for some reason accumulates a lot of gunk in it in a short amount of time. We were also told that the best fluid is Honda white cap. So, stopped off at Honda, picked up a box of the stuff, a new filter, a few litres of Mobil One 10W30 and a crush washer. :)

I also ordered a set of Dali 1" front and rear swaybars (in fancy anodized red) and picked up a used set of Prospeed HiFlow Cats from Big_D on NSXPrime.

What a nice improvement. First thing I notice is the SOUND. A nice, deeper grumble in low rpms and a nice wail at high revs. Nice. Handling, the car is noticibly crisper. I had them set the rears at full soft and front at 50%, as recommended by a few people on Prime with the sways. I'll report back on them after the next track session in mid-June.

A bit of sage advice from "shrddr on Prime re: sways:
think about what a sway bar does... it connects the spring/shock from one side to the other. the logical question to ask would be "why would we want to do that in the first place?" well, the answer to that is that we would like to limit excessive body roll, but we want to do so without sacrificing ride quality. so instead of using crazy stiff springs to limit body roll, which would also make the ride really stiff and bouncy... car manufacturers can use more reasonable spring rates which keep the ride compliant, and use a sway bar to effectively get a higher spring rate when the car is cornering.

you with me?

so now... think about what happens because of a sway bar when the car corners. let's say you are taking a right turn... which means the car will lean/roll towards the left. so the left side springs will be forced to compress, and the right side springs will extend. BUT... since the 2 sides are connected by a sway bar... the forces oppose each other! the extension of the right side spring make it harder for the left side springs to compress... and similarly... the compression of the left side springs makes it harder for the right side springs to extend. the net result is that the since the springs extend/compress less... the car leans less i.e. less roll!

let's clear up one common point of confusion. body roll and weight transfer are NOT the same thing. you can eliminate body roll 100%, but guess what, weight transfer is still going to happen.

now that we have that cleared up... here's the critical thing to understand. a sway bar actually transfer even MORE weight from one side to the other. the way to imagine this is to think about it as if your car had no sway bar at all. when you take that right turn, the left side spring will compress, and the right will extend, and both tires will maintain a good connection with the ground. but with a sway bar in place... recall that the extension of the right side (inside wheel) is limited because of the sway bar which is connected on the other side to a spring that is compressing... and so the inside tire ends up with LESS weight on it. which means the outside tire has to support MORE of the car's weight. and hence... greater weight transfer.

more weight transfer means... LESS GRIP! the gain in traction that the left/outside gets from the additional weight on it is less than the loss in traction that the right/inside get from the weight taken off. you would think the gain/loss would be equal... but turns out that is not true due to the properties of rubber and how it adheres to the road.

so the net result is that a bigger sway bar causes more weight transfer... and thus REDUCES grip.

a bigger front bar will reduce front grip... and thus reduce oversteer or increase understeer.

a bigger rear bar will reduce rear grip... and thus reduce understeer or increase oversteer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

LED bumper lights installed!

John (mugenkid) is a guy on NSX Prime who came up with a very cool idea. Use the oem turn signal lights mounted on the bumper to house new leds. Intsantly it updates the front end of the nsx, giving it a very modern, Audi-esque appearance.

Install took just a few minutes and was an instant plug-n-play install. It looks phenomenal!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

New interior parts went in today/night

If there's one thing I have learned about this car is that nothing ever goes as planned.

Over the winter I decided to do something about a few things that nagged at me about my interior. First, although it has a fancy CF centre console with a double din cutout, I always thought the ashtray made it look too busy. As well, my door cards always looked terrible. They really showed their age with scratched up door handles, scuffed leather, and leather inserts that were cracked and poorly dyed by the previous owner (though I suspect he used a sharpie marker). The tweeter on the door looked bad as well and I never liked the sound from my oem Bose speakers in the doors and between the seats. So, I ordered a new centre console minus the ashtray for a cleaner look, and with it came a new pair of panels for the switchgear. I also bought a set of aftermarket speaker mounting panels from SOS. I also had a set of carbon panels made that replaced the dated looking folded leather triangles in the doors. The interesting thing is that sometime after these CF parts arrived from Europe I saw an ad posted on NSXPrime about a set of mint door handles. Seeing as I needed some new ones I bought them. What surprised me when they arrived was the amazing condition...they literally looked brand new. So much so, I PM'd the owner and asked if he wanted to sell me his door cards, which he did. Again, when they arrived they looked so good I decided to not install the CF triangle replacements (for now).

Everything was taken to Manny at Pearl Autocare in Stittsville and he went to work on it. Todd estimated everything looked oem so maybe 3-4 hrs tops. Guess again...the car was dropped off at 10am, and I got home with it at 10 PM!

There were delays all day because he was short of staff, but it was supposed to be ready by 6pm at the latest. When I got there at 6pm, he put everything together and waved goodbye, only to discover to both out shock that both door windows did not roll up!

After several hours of playing around with them it dawned on him that the CF switchgear panels were so poor fitting that hey did not allow the window switches to engage properly. More messing with it and 4 hrs after I had shown up to bring the car home, the problem was resolved and I was on my way home.

Pro: my car's interior is completely refreshed and the SOUND is now unbelievable. =) He installed a set of Alpine 6.5" component speakers (will find out later what model they are) as well as a mini amp in the glove box. Nothing too fancy...I'm not an audiophile, but I want better than oem sound. He delivered big time.

Con: I missed watching Ironman 2 with my neighbour, whom had pre-purchased tickets for the 9:30 show tonight. I'll have to see him tomorrow and pay him back for the tickets. Ugh.

Friday, April 30, 2010

First Lapping Day of 2010

What a perfect day today.

20 degrees, slightly overcast, not a drop of rain and no bugs. Woke up, wished my son Ben a happy 9th birthday (still cannot believe he's 9 now), went downstairs and watched him open his birthday presents (Star Wars space ship and SpyGear briefcase), munched a quick breakfast and then off to my favourite place in the universe, Calabogie Motorsports Park.

Spent a day lapping with the Motorsports Club of Ottawa (MCO). This is the first year joined, and I did it primarily for their lapping days at CMP. Very well run group, very strict on safety (good) but very popular (bad). I'd say about 30 cars showed up, and I was placed in Intermediate. Each group ran for 20 mins each, which sucked because after 5 laps or so it was time to come in. CMP is very technical and I hated the fact that as soon as I felt like I was "in the groove", I see the checkered flag and it was time to come in. *sigh*.

I had a fun time playing with my new GoPro Herocam and made a few vids today but was not impressed with Harry's Lap Timer app for the iPhone. I read all the instructions and fidgeted with it all day to no avail. I think the GPS signal might not be good out at CMP? Who knows.

The NSX got a lot of compliments which was nice. Good to hear my efforts are appreciated. There was one fanboy who, although he seems nice, just kept getting in my face all day asking for a ride. I am just not comfortable taking on passengers so far and had to break it to him. Sorry dude, but go away...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What a difference Photoshop makes

I posted my pics on NSXPrime and a few guys turn out to be masters in the art of photochopping!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quick 'n dirty photoshoot

I'm no expert when it comes to pics, but I was dying to get a few shots today while I had the time so off I went to the soccer pitch at Beckwith armed with my Nikon D40 in full AUTO setting :)

New parts added over the winter: Zoom mirror, Voltex 4 wing, Advan RS 17/18, new CF headlight covers which replaced old CF covers (currently for sale) to better match the big weave of my CF hood. Stuff you can't see: new OMP wheel, NRG quick release, CF door panels which replaced the wrinkled leather inserts, CF underbonnet rad shroud to help vent air out of the hood.

I know it's best to shoot at twilight but what can you do when just finding time to get out with the nsx is difficult. Sun was at high noon. Hopefully someone can photoshop some awesomeness into them.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In goes more parts

I've spent all winter doing what I normally do...browse the internet looking for new and cool parts for the NSX :) I had the car home for less than 24 hrs before I start tearing into her. In went the Dali Racing underbonnet vent which directs air through the Type R vented hood, the Dali Racing large weave CF headlight covers, OMP Superquadro d-shaped suede steering wheel (no more slipping on the greasy MOMO leather) and the bigass Voltex wing. I was not sure if I wanted to keep the tall stands John Keezer had included but now that it's installed I really like them. My buddy Peter has the same wing but with shorter stands and he's offered to trade if I want a lower profile wing but I think I will pass.

Amazingly, the one part that gave me the hardest time to install is the Zoom Engineering rearview mirror. The screw supplied with it is about 1mm too short! I'll be stopping by the local hardware store to look for a suitable replacement.

Friday, April 9, 2010

She's home!

Yesterday afternoon (April 8) I took the afternoon off, managed to get to the storage facility (home of local snowbird Bernie who rented his garage to me over the winter), dropped in a new battery and after 3 anxious cranks brought the old C30A to life.

It was perfct timing. In a day full of heavy rain and thunderstorms the skies and roads cleared up just long enough to drive her home unskathed. I missed the sound and feel of the car and the stares all the way home. :) The nice thing was that as soon as it was safely parked in the garage, I got out and all the silly thoughts of selling or parting her out vapourized like so much winter fluff.

On my to-do list in the next week: new wheels (Advan RS) and tires (Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec: 215 40R17 and 275 35R18), getting that monster wing on, install the front vent shroud, new CF headlight covers, interior mirror, and of course the new license plates registered. Then off to Autovation for oil change, tech inspection and wheels install (I would normally do it but the black track wheels are welded to my hubs by the paint!).

Friday, February 26, 2010

My YouTube Video

I was browsing YouTube 2 days ago looking for an on-track video of Calabogie Motorsports Park. Typed in "NSX" and "Calabogie" and was surprised to find someone had made a video of my car on last summer's Ferrari Day.

My old rims finds a great new home

One of my NSX buddies from NSX Prime bought my CE28Ns off me a month ago and since seeing them loaded on the truck I've been having second thoughts about letting them go. Seeing his pics posted on Prime makes me question my decision even more. *sigh*

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What I aspire to...

Black NSX -check
'02 conversion -check
CF aero mirrors -check
Advan RS wheels -check
on a track somewhere kicking butt -check!!

There's a great thread on NSXPrime right now on track photos and the following shows what I hope my car will look like in a few months. Fingers crossed.
Thread: http://www.nsxprime.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1278580#post1278580

More pictures. These are of Billy Johnson's Factor X Time Attack Monster. Its not cricket green and black but I prefer the old matte black livery (can't wait till spring!):