Ditching Two Cylinders and Displacement for Speed and Serviceability

For years, the iconic Honda/Acura NSX remained out of reach for most. For those fortunate enough to gain access, modifications were usually kept to a minimum, because the car serves as a piece of Japanese automotive history for some owners, complete with its underdog backstory and undeniable driving experience. The result of that aura means many NSX examples sadly spend more time under a cover in attempted preservation, instead of hitting the open road—but not this one.

More Money, More Problems

For others, bolting on a supercharger and a few bolt-ons gave the NSX the kick it needed for its V6 to remain relevant as the chassis entered its later years, surrounding by potent factory performers that were only getting faster. These days it’s no easy task sourcing a used model for under the price of a condo in Miami, but it does happen from time to time. Many jump at the opportunity and are faced with some insanely high pricing for the car’s native replacement parts and long blocks that sometimes need refreshing or replacement.

Of course, there is a modern option available, though purists can’t stand the thought and will probably not like where this is going. Honda’s venerable K-series engine family is a viable option and one that has been plucked from a variety of donors including the Civic and Integra Type Rs from overseas, as well as domestic Honda models like the RSX, TSX, Element, Accord, and CR-V. Complete bolt-in solutions are out there and relatively inexpensive and as such, we’ve see quite a few K20 and 24 NSX builds being completed.

D.I.Y.

For Jarvik Mosley, the first obstacle he faced when purchasing this 1992 NSX was bringing it home. He adds, “I purchased it bone stock from Reno, Nevada, but the transport company kept changing the price on me the day of the transport.” The back and forth was as annoying as it was worrisome, given the precious cargo in question. Rather that continue the haggling, Jarvik decided to cut ties with the transport company and take matters into his own hands. “I said F-it, I’ll fly out there and drive it back to Atlanta.”

Along with the joy in piloting his brand new (to him) NSX across much of the country was the satisfaction he got from spending far less than expected. “I saved a lot of money because the gears are so long that it was good on gas,” Jarvik notes. “I would nap in the car and then just kept driving.” Eventually he made it home safely and probably had more hours behind the wheel than some of those NSX preservationists.

Comfortable with his purchase, Jarvik began ordering parts to modify the NSX the way that he’d imagined. A new front lip, sideskirts, and rear spats went on and the entire body was refreshed in its OEM color thanks to The Gohier Family.  18-in Work Meister L1 3-piece wheels were fitted up front, with 19-in. versions out back. Lowered using Tein Flex Z, the car’s outward appearance was right where he wanted it.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

For a time, the clean look was enough to keep him happy, but with the people around him speeding up and three decades under his NSX’s belt, it was time to make some changes. He adds, “I had it slow and sexy for awhile, but that didn’t last long. I started seeing people with K-swapped NSXs and I was up for the challenge.” No small feat, the idea of pulling a V6 in lieu of a 4-cylinder might not make sense to some, given that you’re removing 2 cylinders and dropping precious displacement. In exchange, however, you’re getting a stout power plant with incredible potential, far more tuning options, and ancillary parts that are available at your local auto parts chain store at a fraction of the cost of NSX parts. Best of all, using a mount kit like Innovative means that the entire process is reversible should the need to go back to stock ever arise.

Jarvik sourced a K24 and got right to work swapping out the oil pump for a Type S unit and adding a Quaife LSD-equipped RSX Type S transmission before bolting everything in place. The only other internal changes are the Supertech valvesprings and retainers, everything else is factory fresh. All the K-swapped NSXs we’ve encountered thus far have been armed with a turbo set up, but wanting to do something a little different, Jarvik opted for Merc Racing’s TVS MR1900 supercharger.

From a packaging standpoint, the Eaton-based blower is tough to beat with much of its structure filling the real estate once occupied by the factory intake manifold. While it won’t stretch to the sort of mind-boggling peak numbers that a turbo kit might, what it lacks in peak output, it more than makes up for with incredibly snappy performance anytime the pedal is mashed, regardless of RPM. Its sense of urgency does away with any sort of lag and there’s never a dull moment.

Backing up the introduction of boost is an off-the-shelf K-Tuned swap header that fits perfectly in this application without any need to modify. That leads to a custom exhaust that finishes with GReddy’s DD-R muffler which you’d normally see pointed out the rear of a 10th gen. Civic. Fueling is handled by a Walbro 450lph and 1,600cc FICs that flood a Skunk2 composite rail. With Hondata’s K-Pro on duty, the result is 450whp and over 340 lb.-ft. of torque along with and a whole new attitude for Honda’s original flagship.

Beauty Can Be A Beast

It’s not for everyone. There’s something to be said for maintaining Honda’s original formula for their cult classic that continues to carry a remarkable fan base and ever-increasing used market pricing. For those that like to walk on the wild side, like Jarvik Mosely and enthusiasts like him, the NSX’s lightweight, mid-engine layout and engine compartment that seems to welcome one of Honda’s modern motivators is the perfect recipe for finding the balance between relevant performance and a dead sexy appearance.

Engine K24A; Type-S oil pump; Innovative engine mounts; Supertech valvesprings, retainers; MercRacing TVS MR1900; K-Tuned header; GReddy DD-R muffler; custom intake; Walbro 450lph fuel pump; Science of Speed fuel pump install kit; Fuel Injector Clinic 1,650cc; Skunk2 composite fuel rail; L7 oil cap vent system; Hondata K Pro

Drivetrain RSX Type-S transmission; 4.7 final drive; Hybrid Racing adjustable shifter; Competition Clutch, lightweight flywheel; Quaife limited slip

Suspension Tein Flex Z coilovers

Wheels & Tires Work Meister L1 3P 18-in front, 19-in. rear; 225/35 Atilla front, Nitto rear

Exterior Downforce sideskirts; Wings West front lip, Science of Speed rear valence; APR carbon fiber wing

Interior Reupholstered seats; Hybrid Racing adjustable shifter

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