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Honda S2000



  • njexpressnjexpress Posts: 170
    Hi Folks,
    I don't have to sell my S anymore - I am out of the emotional tight corner I was in. The wifey comes home after work yesterday (she drives it, not me anymore, as I take the bus to work)and goes, "Do we really have to sell this?!?!".
    I go, Aside from the fact that the answer is no, May I ask what prompted the thought?" and she goes "Well, It just handles like nothing else I have ever driven!!" so, there I have it - I get to keep my baby - YEEAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! :D :D :D :LOL: :LOL:
  • Congrats, that is great news! I'm glad you get to keep her! (referring to the car) ;)

  • njexpressnjexpress Posts: 170
    Thanks, accelerator - I am glad I didn't have to choose one over another ;)
  • I'd rather take up a 3rd full time job than lose my S.
  • wecwec Posts: 6
    Does anyone have advice regarding aftermarket exhaust systems for the S2000? I am looking something with some more umph than the stock exhaust. I don't want to spend a fortune but want something that sounds classy. Thanks.
  • invidia (I think that is the right spelling - I hope I'm not getting that confused with the video card manufacturer) and HKS are some of the more common after market exhaust that people install on their S's. To be honest, you wont get much more umph since the engine is so highly tuned as it is, but you will get a different note. My recommendation would be to see if you can find another S in your area that has an after-market exhaust. They usually cost around $700 (installed) but can often find them used for half that cost. There is an international forum, with local chapters that might help you locate club members in your area. If you do join your local S2K club, go on a drive with the group sometime and you'll see the choices you have, first hand. :)
  • I posted a vid that lists a large number of S2K exhaust systems. I use Invidia, which is the cheapest ($475) and has an incredible sound. It's also an extremely lightweight application (titanium). I saw a 10hp increase, which is pretty decent. The Spoon exhaust I believe has the highest gain (~15hp). The stock exhaust is really good, so it's hard to get any significant gain.!id=.5bb1b5a0!id=.5bb1b393

    Good luck!
  • @estreka:

    Thanks for posting those videos!
  • wecwec Posts: 6
    Thank you very much for the information and thanks for posting the video, its a great information source. I drove an S2000 with the Invidia exhaust and loved the sound but I thought it was considerably more expensive than $475. Do you mind telling me where you got it for that price? Also, is it difficult to install? I don't weld so that might be a limitation. Thanks again!
  • wec,

    I went through the same process - I wanted a somewhat civilized sound and no drone (have you heard that some of the aftermarket exhausts produce an annoying resonance in the mid-range called drone?)

    At the end of the day i did a "resonator rectomy". There is a middle silencer that can be removed and replaced with a regular straight pipe at any muffler shop for $50. It gives ya a little sound for a little money. Better for me than a little sound for a thousand dollars and no power gain.

    Youtube that exhaust video mentioned and also the resonatorrectomy"

    my two cents
  • I posted the phone number, but apparently that isn't allowed. The website is
    Msg me for the direct service phone number.

    They import all sorts of crazy cheap stuff. They used to be a wholesaler (I think they still are, but they do sell direct now as well). I bought a stage III ACT clutch set for $600 3 years ago and I got the Invidia exhaust for under $500 a couple years ago. If you find a cheaper place, let me know.

    As far as the drone, most systems do that. For the Invidia setup, it's got a mean growl until about 3800 and drones until about 5400. From there it runs almost silent until 6500 (weird, huh?). After that, it screams (think Ferrari) to 9000.
  • jmerjmer Posts: 4
    Looking to buy my first car coming out of college and don't want to spend much over 20K if I can avoid it. I definitely want to get a manual that is at least somewhat fun to drive. Reliability and not too much in upkeep is also key. Will probably only put 6-10K miles on in a year.

    I would love an s2000 but if I get one if will need to be around 5 years used. Another option for the same price range is new/slightly used civic/si. Now I just need to determine the fun v. practical debate.

    Any comments on the decision or advice on shopping for a used s2k?
  • tbirdtbird Posts: 19
    Don't think you will have to look at a 5 year old S for 20 to 23K. My 05 was purchased for 22.5 with 16K miles on it just over a year ago. You just have to keep looking and now that Winter approaches you should be even more in the drivers seat. Good luck on your search there really is nothing like the S for the money and the reliability you get. As long as you don't have to carry too much stuff you will be OK. I wish I had this when I was single as it draws the right kind of attention.

    Happy Holidays :shades:
  • Do you have transportation right now? If so, I'd recommend waiting until you get the job first. The S can be an expensive car. Insurance is pretty high and I'm ticket-free, married, and in a house.

    Take this into consideration; if you buy an S that is 5 years old (although I doubt you'll have to get one that old but for the sake of this scenario, let's pretend you found one that is 5 years old selling for $20,000). If you finance a $20,000 for 5 years, you are looking at about a $500/month payment (not including auto insurance, maintainance, etc). Now, let's fast foward 3 years, you are still paying $500/month on a car that is now 8 years old and has 96000 miles (given the average person drive 12000 miles per year) and out of warranty. Fast forward a little more and you are still paying $500 on a car that is 10 years old and has in the neighborhood of 120000 miles. As much as I love this car, this scenario isn't the wisest thing in my opionion. Now, if wait until you get that better paying job now that you are out of college, you may be able to pay for a new one OR lease a new one for much less than $500/month payment. You can definitely get one for less than $30,000 new ($30,000 would be about $600/month on a purchase). Keepingin mind, many people get married within 3 years of getting out of school. So if you leased it, you'd be able to settle down into that next stage of life, turn in the S and get more practical car OR if you purchased it, hang on to it for the weekend car, OR buy it out at the end of the lease although buying out the leases is not typically the financially wisest choice but does work better for some people's budgets.

    All that said and like tbird said, I don't think you'll have to get one that old if $20 is your price range. I think 3 years should get you within that range. I paid $27.5k for mine, new. Also like Tbird said, I wish I would have had this car out of college, too. I get a lot of attention now but being married, all I can do is look. :P
  • I bought my S 5 months out of college. Best decision I ever made. I bought mine supercharged 3 years old for $24K. If you're looking for a 5 year old one, I'd imagine you can get it for sub $15K. I'd shoot for an '03, though. The AP1's are incredible. I'm not so enamoured with the AP2's.
  • @estreka
    Sounds like an awesome deal you got estreka!

    See, there are deals to be found, just do not take the first S that comes along unless it is what you want. I enjoy a spirited drive but the AP1 were too jarring for this body - the AP1 is a little softer than your average go-cart! :) I already creak and crack when I walk and don't need my daily driver making me worse. :D For me and my driving style, the AP2 was better match. I drove a 2003 with 4200 miles on it. It was fantastic car but the wife didn't like the ride quality; after getting her to ride in an AP2, it was easier for her to agreeing to the car. She veto'd the AP1. :))
  • jmerjmer Posts: 4

    I didn't need a car for most of college and was able to drive my dad's old car for this year. It will go to my younger brothers when I graduate so I don't need a car now but will definitely need to buy one by May.

    I already have a job lined up and while I would love to buy now to possibly get a better price during the winter and enjoy during the last few months of school, paying the extra insurance and monthly car payments doesn't make sense until I need it and am closer to getting regular paychecks.

    As of now, I plan on buying rather than leasing so when I do need a more practical car, I can then either choose to sell the s2k or keep it as a weekend car if it works out at the time. Buying new would be ideal but even if I could get a great price, the extra $8k + difference in insurance is more than I can spend. I'm going to try and get one with 20-30k miles to avoid the problem you mentioned.

    Thanks everyone for your advice-

    It seems like 2002 is as old as I would want to go so I could get the glass rear window. I will probably look mainly at the 02-05 models. There has been some talk on ap1 v ap2- does anyone have any further thoughts?
  • jmer: let me introduce you to It will open you to a whole world of S2000 enthusiast, meet-n-greets, weekend-drives, just a wealth of information. Also, you may be able to find an outstanding S2000 from someone who has a kid on the way, etc. Different parts of the country have a higher pariticpation but the Texas chapters are pretty active. Sounds like you are taking the right approach to getting the S2000. The Texas chapter perfomrs 'colors run' where they drive to areas in teh country were the leaves are chaing colors, and then the annual 'Wake the Dragon Run.' I haven't done that one yet but I'm hoping to make it next year (2008).
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    the AP1 is a little softer than your average go-cart! I already creak and crack when I walk and don't need my daily driver making me worse. For me and my driving style, the AP2 was better match.

    I assume AP1 designates the 2003 and earlier 2.0 liter / 9000 rpm model and AP2 the 2004 and later 2.2 liter 8,000 rpm model?

    I put nearly 20,000 miles on my 2002 S2000 before trading it in May, 2004. Personally, I thought the 2004+ model rode harsher, not softer with it's 17" wheels and lower profile tires than the 16" wheels on my 2002. My wife thought the same thing, that the 2004+ was harder over the bumps, although she appreciated the slightly quieter, lower revving engine.
  • @habitat1
    Your assumptions are correct about the AP1/AP2.

    You do bring up a good point with the larger wheels. The only AP1 I've driven was earlier this year was a 2001 with only 3,000 miles on it BUT I have no clue if the wheels were orginal. More than likely, the dealership replaced them simply for the age of the rubber and it would be probable that they put non-oem wheels on it which could affect the ride quality. When I have to replace the rubber, I'll probably go with a slighly softer sidewall and/or quieter tire. I primarily commute on the freeway, not a twisty back roads, unfortunately. ;)
  • Be careful with bigger sidewalls. Discount Tire gave me some higher-than-normal profile loaner tires while they reordered mine. Scared the hell out of me the first time I took a corner. I could feel the nominal chassis flex on the suspension, but then I felt an additional juke as the sidewalls flexed. They may have only moved an inch, but it felt like a mile.
  • I researched the TireRack and found some flattering reviews for some alternative tires (the name escapes me at the moment). Thanks for notice.
  • hey the motor's bogging at 7k because it either isn't warmed up or most likely in this case (since it tripped a CEL) you need oil very bad. my 01 did the same thing well after it was warmed up. the motor runs at such a high compression rate to achieve that whopping 9000 rpm redline and if there was even a remotely insufficient amount of oil at 9k, the motor would blow within seconds... if you have any other questions about s2000's, feel free to jump on over to we are s2000 enthusiasts and talk about s2k's, our ownership, our modifications, we go on group drives with other s2k owners, and a lot of the time, we just shoot the breeze with other owners/enthusiasts. so everyone should feel welcome to join. thanks, mason
  • I'm looking to buy a used 2004-2005 Honda S2000. What are the things to look for that might be a problem? A stock no winter lower miles silver not kiddie beaten is what I am basically looking for. I am in no hurry either, just looking for tips on any issues or hints of abuse.

    TIA, Reb
  • estrekaestreka Posts: 28
    The biggest things I've noticed with the S2K are the top, the rear differential, the clutch, and the paint.
    The top is subject to a great deal of abuse, so it's only logical for it to be the first part that breaks down. The mechanicals are fine, but the fabric (and particularly the foam liner) are prone to failure. The foam liner on the passenger side of my S needs replacement, but it's not necessary. I get some extra road noise and it will leak under a high power hose.
    The rear differential (known as the 'pumpkin') has been known to fail under hard acceleration. Replacement is relatively cheap ($1,100 for the part, about 2-3 hours, labor). Now, keep in mind, this isn't a part that has a high failure rate, but it does happen. To give you an example, my S is heavily modified yet I've never busted the pumpkin. I even snapped an axle in half (at a point where it's solid 1.25" metal!) yet the rear diff was unscathed.
    Next, the clutch. I have to replace mine every 25-30K miles, but I'm putting down a lot more power than stock. I'd expect replacement every 90-100K miles. The stock clutch runs around $200. Unfortunately, the task is rather labor intensive due to a requirement to shift the entire engine forward. Expect high labor costs.
    Finally, the paint. The S2000 has a rather thin clear coat. Pay special attention to how well kept the exterior looks. Also, ask.

    All in all, my 4 years of ownership have cost me $2,070 in mnx (excluding tires and oil). That's pretty darn cheap! Especially for a modified model.
  • I have a 2007 model with about 18,000 miles and I am just now looking at replacing the rear tires (front look new). estreka is right about the top. That seems the be the most common item I hear about too. What estreka is talking about is a part of the fabric rubs against the metal pivot points which wears a hole in the top. The wearing will be be towards the top rear of the top when you and is hard to find unless you are looking for it. You may want to try googling that for pictures of what to look for. My S is still too low of mileage to be of any real concern for me. I would also like to add that not only are the paint and thin coat are thin but so is the sheet metal. I swear it is about as thick as a coke can (not really but sure seems like it). The thin metal allows for lighter weight but is subject to door dings easily. Otherwise, the only advice I could give is to drive it. If it feels tight and little or no rattles and shakes, you are probably in good shape. Be sure to drive with the top up too (with radio off). The cabin doesn't have much insulation but it will help you listen for "stuff." The S's radios are weak, that is a given. No need to test that except to see if it turns on or not. :)
  • FOHIOFOHIO Posts: 4
    I understand that 2009 will be the last year for the S2000, any thought on the possible collectability and value of the the 1st production year or any year for that matter?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    You're joking, right?
  • FOHIOFOHIO Posts: 4
    Not really, I haven't personally heard of this being the last year but I heard it from a guy who is pretty reliable...must be BS based on your response
  • In the (north texas chapter), there is a guy who posted stating this was the last year and the color choices were very limited. I think only Black for base and white for C/R. I guess a quick check to teh honda web site could validate the color choices. Rumors as to the last year of production have been lingering since at least 2005. Due to the economy and the killing of the new NSX, perhaps Honda will keep the S2K around a little bit longer.
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