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Honda S2000



  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Hi everyone. I'm buying a car within a month, and a used S2000 is among my candidates. It would be a daily driver; I live in the SF Bay Area so it would see rain but no freezing temperatures.

    I've only really driven beaters up through now, so I'm not worried about the S2000 being too uncomfortable for me, and I do have access to a larger vehicle when necessary.

    What I'm worried about is just not being able to handle it. I've read about the S2000 losing control without warning and without allowing recovery. I can be discipined while driving, but I'm certainly not experienced and I'm not 100% smooth and perfect with my inputs either.

    So is it possible to learn on the S2000 without killing one's self? Anyone put a lot of rain miles on theirs?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I've read about the S2000 losing control without warning and without allowing recovery.

    I never experienced a sudden loss of control in 2.5 years and 19,000 miles. On the other hand, the S2000 is a lighweight roadster and the OEM high perfomance summer tires are not great in heavy rain (and horrible in snow). I drove my S2000 when it was relatively new on a 250 mile highway drive in steady rain without problem. But I wouldn't want to make a habit of it and definitely not on tires that were near the end of their treadlife. Also, on the highway, the low sitting S2000 puts you in the tire spray from SUV's and big trucks, making it necessary to pay attention and have good wiper blades.

    On dry pavement, the S2000 is an exceptional handling vehicle. If you are going to push it to the limit, I would advise taking a performance driving course. The older models do not have stability control.

    Lastly, if you can find a 2002 or 2003 instead of a 2001, I'd strongly recommend it. In 2002, Honda went to a glass rear window, a stronger transmission and added a couple of other features.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    I have put my S2000 through its paces on the tight, twisty back roads here in NE and I can say with confidence that the S2000 has limits far beyond anything I will ever push.

    If you are interested in seeing what an S is capable of, check this out:

    Now this is a prototype in the video, but it is a pretty clear indication of what the car can do outside of the Nurburgring. :D
  • dbustodbusto Posts: 2
    i just bought one today in yhe detroit area and will driving it year-round---any other words of advice? thanks.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Some of the forums have tire discussions; the stock tires don't seem to be the best way to go during the rainy season (I hope it's not going to be a snow driver too).
  • 1slopo1slopo Posts: 1
    never mind the end. has any one heard if they might put a v6 or and 8 in this thing?
  • njexpressnjexpress Posts: 170
    It's been a month since the fluid swap and Here's the dealeo: GMSM-FM did not improve anything significantly. It feels good in a way the shifter feels good after a fresh fluid change. Am I disappointed? Yes - Just a bit. Am I upset - Absolutely not! - I still love the S2K for what it is!!!!!
    My Verdict: Unless you feel compelled to do something and are in the mood to try this out - I do not recommend it based on my personal experience.

    Zaino has been another story, altogether. I did a 100% detailing once last month: Dawn Detergent Wash,Clay Bar, Dawn Again, Z5/z6, Z5/Z6, Z2/Z6, Z2/Z6 AND Z2/Z6 and a final Z6 one last time. Came out really great except: I skimped on the fresh cotton towel part so, I thought I saw more spiderwebs between the z5/z6 and the last and final Z6.
    I drove it once in the rain and Zaino produced the most beautiful beads I have ever seen.
    I did another 99.9% detailing last week: Z7, Z5/Z6, a partial Z5/Z6, Z2/Z6, Z2/Z6, Z2/Z6 and a final Z6. I haven't been driving it much but it does look priceless and it is well worth the pain on the Formula red S2K. I definitely feel the finish improves with multiple detailings. One more detailing and I am really going to be asking for trouble, seriously. I don't need sunglasses yet, like it says in the Zaino ads and it is by no means spider web free. But, it DOES GLEAM as much as if not more than a car inside a showroom. I am positive it will get even better after I invest 10 more hours. I will post my feedback on whether it really looks show car like at that point.
    On the flip side, it didn't do a decent job on my Alabaster white ML. The SUV is also driven about 25K miles a yearon an average and exposed far more to the elements AND it is white. SO, I will let Zaino slide on that one. I also never bothered to do a second detailing since I wasn't so sure of what that couldv'e done.
    I wouldn't expect a full finish on lighter colors but it is well worth it if you are investing all the time and money on darker colors.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Zaino has been another story, altogether. I did a 100% detailing once last month: Dawn Detergent Wash,Clay Bar, Dawn Again, Z5/z6, Z5/Z6, Z2/Z6, Z2/Z6 AND Z2/Z6 and a final Z6 one last time.

    Good heavens, how long did that take? What does the clay bar do?

    I have been using Maguires Professional #26 wax on all of my cars for 12+/- years. Takes 45 minutes, start to finish on my 911 Cabriolet. But if you think I'll really notice a difference with Zaino (Seal Grey color), I'll give it a whirl (or swirl), as long as it doesn't consume the entire weekend.
  • ramses1ramses1 Posts: 1
    I own a 2005 S2000 Black on Black. I've owned at least 10 cars so far but I've NEVER had so much fun as I've had with the S2000. Once you learn to become one with it, you end up playing it like a musical instrument. Shifting/down shifting accelerating to passing speed and then just glide into position. Accelarating just before small hills just to feel a little weightless for a moment...

    I've had bouts of depressions most of my life. As soon as I get behind the wheel I start smiling and I leave my bad mood in the dust. When I was little my parents bought me an electric kiddy car when I was 7. If my s2000 were automatic, I would swear I was 7 again.

    If you're someone who likes the drive more than arriving at the destination, this car is it.
    One word of advice, pick carefully your passenger and that he/she trusts you. Otherwilse, you'll feel like you'll need to drive it like a cadillac. Remember the car is more important than any queasy passenger! Friends come and go but you can always buy another S2000.

    Now two suggestions for improvements. First a coin change compartment on the left hand side under the remote radio controls. and Second, install turn signal controls somewhere on the center console or stick shift. When you're busy watching the road and making split-second maneuvers, usually your left hand is on the steering wheel and right on the stick. It's distracting to take you hand off the wheel to use the existing indicater actuator. I think more of use would use turn signals too!
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Oh well, it was worth a try with the GMS... Sorry your results were not as positive. :(
  • njexpressnjexpress Posts: 170
    Hi ABGM, Thanks for all the valuable input you provided - It is genuinely appreciated - I guess I have a finicky baby who is otherwise the best after all ;-)
    Hi Habitat,
    A full end to end Zaino job takes 8 man hours on an average. I typically start around 5 PM (and wrap up around 2 AM) when it is light out yet not so hot, so I can do the Dawn Detergent Wash and the Clay Bar rub when it is bright.
    Clay Bar = Detailing Clay. It remoes any surface contaminants or impurites, including metal dust, minute rusts where paint is chipped, brake dust etc... It is a good time to do any paint touch ups ater Dawn/ClayBar/Dawn. That's the reason I recomend starting at 5PM. There should be daylight left for the touch ups.
    By no means will it be a whirl as you said ;-) It does tak a lot of painstaking work. It hurts the most from wrist down after you are done ;-)
    For the swirl removals, I highly recommend doing it at night inside the garage as you can see the swirls better that way, under yellow light.
    If your 911 is light colored, I'd say don't bother yourself.
    But it is well worth it if the car is dark colored ( I am not sure if it is an ocean seal or a harbor seal you got there ;-) ). One word of caution though: It gets addictive looking at the finish for the first time and then you really wanna shoot for the best possible effect from that point on ;-)
    Feel free to post any questions. You can find plenty of info on their website Zainostore - one word.
    It could be confusing initially trying to understand the steps - There are just too many steps you go thru'. But the distributor was very helpful and extremely knowledgeble. I have heard nothing but good words about the customer support - teh gentleman who invented it markets it directly.
    Good Luck and Cheers!!
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    I find the product is great on my red, dark blue and even light blue vehicles for shine. However, what really has me using the Zaino is the longevity of the protection. The winters here in NY really punish a finish and I find that if I do a good Zaino in the last of the 40 degree weather I am usually good til spring.

    The great finish is almost a side benefit to me.

  • njexpressnjexpress Posts: 170
    Anyone have custom seat covers for your S? I looked up WetOkoleHawaii.Com and I am also trying to do aditional research to see if there is anything else. More so since, the covers they offer do not expose the "Helmet Hole" headrest. I have some decent looking seat covers on my S from the original Owner - They are Type-S brand, Nylon, black with Red ribbed inner panelling - It only looks half way decent as the original seat and it is such an injustice to not expose the contours of teh original buckets!! I am curious to see if anyone has anything better, while preserving the original look of the seat (Not the sparco jet fighter kind..)
  • justin12justin12 Posts: 23
    Anyone have experience with the S2000 in snow? What's it like?
  • njexpressnjexpress Posts: 170
    As much as I love my S2K, I would rather not be driving it in the snow! My first ever long (as in 90 miles round trip) test drive from the dealer was something I will remember to my last day - It had snowed 10 inches the previous night and as much as the main roads were clear, I was cursing every single moment I was driving the back roads. At one point, I fishtailed and got the wheels buried in, driving into a gas station and it took 20 minutes of shovelling by myself and the dealership's rep (riding with me to my mechanic and then to my bank to get the check), followed by moving the vehicle out in 3rd gear (eventually..) to avoid excessive revs. Bottom line from my personal experience: Snow is a no-no for the S!!
    Good Luck and Cheers!!
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    It looks like from some of your other posts you are also considering a BMw 325ix and A4 Quatro.

    I'd agree with njexpress, the S2000 and snow don't mix. Not to mention heavy rain in cold weather. You can mitigate that somewhat by getting winter wheels and tires, but it's still going to fall far short of an AWD sedan.

    If you can swing two cars, an S2000 and something like my old 1995 FWD Nissan Maxima SE would make a great combination. The S2000 drives and feels like no other car under $50k+ on dry pavement with the top down. But if you are limited to one car and anticipate seeing a fair amount of snow, I think the BMW or Audi is a better choice. They won't be as much fun to drive as the S2000, but they won't leave you stranded in 3" of snow.
  • jatdeejatdee Posts: 19
    I know the S2k has a limited slip differential, but, given that, I completely don't understand what is going on with my 2004. I have to enter my driveway at an angle because it is a little steep and the street dips down for drainage purposes. A couple of times there seemed to be some wheel spin as I went up the driveway (pretty slowly). I then went very slowly to try to see what was happening and at a certain point the car would not move forward! The engine was revving and I wasn't moving. My first thought was that I was high-centered on something and was burning up the clutch. When I got out and checked I had plenty of clearance. I then noticed that the right rear wheel was slightly off the ground - maybe half or three quarters of an inch between the tire and the pavement. I then got someone to watch - when I engaged the clutch the tire off the pavement would spin with the other tire apparently getting no power. I thought that was impossible with a limited slip diff. The tire with the most traction is supposed to get the power. Can anybody explain to me what is happening?
  • jatdeejatdee Posts: 19
    Apparently it is normal when one rear wheel has zero traction then the other gets no power. Per S2K site the diff is a torsen diff that multiplies the torque going to the wheel with the most traction: if one wheel has 50% traction the other gets twice the torque, up to a total of three times more torque. But if the other wheel has zero traction, then three times zero is zero, so the diff does not transfer any torque, or something like that. Learn something new all the time.
  • jatdeejatdee Posts: 19
    Ramses1, You're right - a brisk drive in the S2000 does lift the spirits (2004 black/black). Its not a cure, of course, but getting involved in the driving and the car - and one can get really involved in driving this car - does take you away from everything else and give a boost that can carry over for a while, or get you to a point where you can keep from falling back, maybe for the rest of the day. I think it is working for me today.
  • rockyprockyp Posts: 6
    I just "inherited" a 2000 S2000. Can anyone give me any advice on what to look out for or what kind of maintenance I need to perform on it before I drive it?

    Also, where can I get a new soft top? And can I get one with the glass rear window for a 2000?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'm no expert, but that explanation as to why a non-spinning wheel gets no power transfer sounds a bit like vodoo engineering or an ubran legend. Perhaps left over from the "Year 2000" crisis.

    In all RWD or AWD traction control systems I am aware of, the torque is transferred from the spinning wheel with no traction to the other(s) that have traction. In a RWD, if one wheel is getting no traction, the wheel that has traction gets 100% (vs. 50%) of the power. It is "additive". There is no "multiplication" algorithm that blows up if the spinning wheel has 0 traction. Where the heck do you think all that power is going if neither rear wheel is getting it? To the stereo? Also, think for a moment of how blatently stupid a design for traction control would be if it makes things WORSE when you don't have traction in one wheel? Duh.

    On the issue of what was happening in the previous poster's problem of going up a steep driveway, I suspect he induced some clutch slippage. It would happen to me occasionally in my 2002 under hard accleration, exspecially letting the clutch out going uphill. The S2000 has a gearbox that I would rate a 9+ out of 10. But a clutch that I would only rate a 3 or 4 out of 10 for strength.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    The 2000/2001 S2000's were known to have gear grinding, especially in 1-2, 2-3 shifts. Eventually, the transmission would need to be replaced. In 2002, they upgraded and strengthened the transmission. There probably isn't much you can do about this in your inherited car, since it's now nearly 7 years old. The dealer I bought my 2002 from had gotten authorization from Honda to replace 2000/2001 transmissions with the new model if the customers complained and it was still under warranty.

    My S2000 got the regular 7,500 mile services and oil changes at 3750 miles while I owned it (2.5 years, 20k miles). I would not take the S2000 to an independent mechanic. Honda service is relatively cheap compared to other brands and the S2000 is a limited production, serious sports car. My Honda dealer had only one service team (out of 4) that exclusively worked on the S2000's, because of the additional training required.

    I'm not sure about retrofitting a new 2002+ top to a model year 2000. If you really need a new top for other reasons, start by calling a Honda dealer. But, if you don't need one, I wouldn't do it just to get the glass window. I expect it's a $1,000 to $1,500+ job. I have seen 2000/2001 S2000's advertised in the Washington Post for as much as $18,000+. They have great resale value. Drive your 2000 and if you really like it, you might want to consider selling it and putting the money towards a new or low mileage recent model. I know of someone who got a 2006 new for $29,500 a few months ago. Given the cost of tires, brakes, clutch, timing belt, possible new transmission and other things that you may need to put into a 2000, it might not cost you much more over the next 2-3 years to get a new one. You might want to do the math both ways before replacing your top (if it is optional).

    How many miles does it have on it and what is the condition?
  • jatdeejatdee Posts: 19
    My thoughts were exactly the same as yours, until I got updated info from a forum on S2ks have a Torsen (torque-sensi) limited slip diff. "Unlike most common clutch-type limited slips, it runs off of worm gears capable of transferring power evenly to the rear wheels when necessary, cornering or accelerating in a straight line. It acts lie an open differential while cornering (unless you accerelerate), and sends power to both wheels at any speed or slip condition. Torsen . . . is basically aospen diff until about 2/3s the way through the corner, then is locks the outside wheel to about 40'45%. The torsen action helps prevent a push in super tight corners. The one downside of the Torsen is that if one wheel is conmpletely off the ground (zero traction) then characteristics of the Torsen will make it basically an open diff, both wheels have to have at least some traction for the unit to function properly." There's more, but this should be enough. Seems the purpose of the limited slip in the S2000 is not to make it go through snow, but to improve acceleration and handling. Anyway, I have first hand and observed experience that if one rear wheal is off the ground it will spin and the car won't go.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    For the soft top, try At the moment he has soft tops on sale for 759 bucks. I believe labor is between 1500 and 2000 bucks. And I also believe switching to an 02' with the glass window is OK for your 2000. For reference, you may want to check with the guys from a chapter of You'll probably get some recommendations for shops and service on your car.

    If you want the piece of mind, your 2000 model may be due for a valve adjustment and fluid change (gearbox, rear diff) as well as checking the Belt tensioner pulley...

    BTW, that is one heck of an inheritence! :shades:
  • There is blog on S2K about a guy in Houston who took his S2000 car to a dealer for service August 2006 and they wrecked his car and will not own up to their responsibility.

    I will never take my S2000 to that dealer for service.

  • kwinterkwinter Posts: 5
    :) Hi,
    I got a lot of good information from this forum when I was looking to buy a S2000 so thank you!!!! ....

    At the same time, though, it almost scared me off of the 2000. I am so glad I bought one. Just wanted to give another opinion from an xTR3 Sports Car fan looking for a sports car again.

    Noise....what noise!!! I almost didn't buy one thinking it was way too loud. You can run this car and the noise isn't a problem with top up or down. Radio is great. It is roomy in the trunk. We travel to the shore every weekend and have plenty of room for 2 small bags, laptops, and a few other items. If you are someone who has been trying to figure out which sports car you should buy....this is the one. It drives like a dream, you get good gas mileage, the inside of this car is comfortable....5'7". Great Seats....
    There are a lot of couples out there who always wanted a sports car or had one in their younger days....I loved my TR3. I drove the Nizzan, Miata, and others and I am so glad I decided on the S2000. For anyone who is looking for a great car...this is it! Buy it, you'll love it. We bought a silverstone with black interior. We will most likely store it from November to Spring but we are going to enjoy this car and use it to go to the shore on weekends and not be concerned with saving it. Life is too short, we plan on enjoying it! This is a 50+ driver with no complaints!!!! Thanks Honda for a Great Gift! That's the way we feel!
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Here's a question for you Honda S2000 enthusiasts.

    Would you pay $47,000 +/- for a Honda S3000? Specs would be:

    - 3.0 liter lightweight V6 with 350 hp / 240 ft lbs of torque; 8,500 rpm redline
    - Upgraded suspension, wheels/tires, brakes to go along with engine.
    -Upgraded clutch. NO friggin SMG/DSG. The current gearbox/shifter is perfect.
    - Slightly more amenities inside (power seats, upgraded stereo, optional nav, but still sticking with the no-nonsense S2000 approach to performance first, do-dads second.
    - Hideaway top with a mechanical boot similar to Boxster / 911. Plus a few tweaks to move the exterior away from Miata and towards Ferrari.

    Target performance would be:

    0-60 in 4.5 seconds (compare to 5.5+ now, Boxster S at 5.0)
    1/4 mile in under 13.0 (compare to 14.2+ now, Boxster S at 13.5, 911S at 12.5)
    Skidpad @ 1.0+ g
    Retain go-cart like handling, with curb weight of no more than 2,950 lbs.

    Although the subject of such a car came up over pizza and beer, it isn't a completely rhetorical question. It was with a business school classmate of mine who sold his company a few years ago and pocketed about $500 million. We speculated that with a couple thousand pre-orders in hand, we could underwrite a deal with Honda to get them to custom produce such a vehicle, in a limited production run of, say 4-5,000 units. It could be the swan song of the S2000.

    Any takers? And no, there won't be any rebates, invoice pricing or anything like that. I realize that the high $40's price is a hefty premium over the current S2000, but the car would handily exceed the former NSX in perfomance and be a big notch up from a $60,000 Boxster S. The BMW M Roadster might as well stop production.
  • jkgreer2jkgreer2 Posts: 42
    One taker if skidpad performance is attained, car has useable low end torque + 8k RPM, has hideaway hard-top (requires lengthening rear 1/3 of car), and generally hand-made at Japan factory (for their relentless efforts toward defect-free assembly). Would be a great convertible and positioned between BMW Z4, Boxster, Vette, and new NSX (if ever released). Does Honda listen to current and prior owners of S2000s? Good luck and best regards. JKG
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Yes, to everything except the HT. And I appreciate the "no frills" approach with the current car so I'd even go so far as to leave the NAVI out of the options list. Retain the tossability and nimble attitude of the current car (50/50) and it'll be a winner.

    I think I'd opt for the turbo-4 from the RDX rather than the say, a J30 but that's just because I like to work for the power, a V6 may be "too easy" to drive... :P

    But sign me up if it ever came to fruition. :)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I'd absolutely require it be made at the current plant in Japan - the fit and finish on my 2002 model was exceptional.

    On the hdeaway top / mechanical boot, that's not a big deal, but was one of my personal aesthetic issues with the S2000. It looked nice with the top down and the (hand installed) boot on, but I didn't go through that pain in the rear installation process more than 3-4 times in my 2.5 years. I actually forgot to put the boot in the trunk when I traded in the car and nobody noticed.

    I think the high revving V-6 would be the best of both worlds - enough low end torque to be easy to drive around town, but a free-revving 8,500+ rpm redline to reward those who like to "work" for power and performance. I'm not throwing out the things that endeared me to my old S2000, just pumping them up a bit.

    O.K., only 3,996 sales to go....
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