1994 NSX Slow Build

By stevegolf
( 4 )

14 minute(s) of a 14 minute read


Here is the build thread for my NSX. Bought it with 160xxx miles, gave it some TLC to bring the shine back to it. 

Wanted a project car but didn't have an NSX in mind. Its one of those cars I always loved and respected but never thought owning one was possible.  Saw this one online and it was in my price range. Mileage was high, but it is a Honda and 160k miles is just breaking it in. 

I realized I need two running cars to live. My E39 wagon is a pretty fun daily and is very practical. It occasionally needs work as the case with most cars that have over 200k miles. Having to finish all repairs in one day so I could drive it to work; or riding my bike to the parts store to pick something up when it is out of commission gets old fast. 

The idea of a high mileage, early 90s sportscar as a reliable backup to my E39 is laughable, but my judgement was willingly swayed. 

Spotted this one for sale in Virginia and decided to go for it. 

The whole purchase process was surreal, mostly because I couldn't believe the papers I was signing was giving me ownership of the green beauty that sat outside. The butterflies in my stomach were countered by a sinking feeling that I may end up stranded on a remotely populated mountain road hundreds of miles from home. 

Thankfully the 800 mile drive back to Detroit from the dealership was through some amazing mountain roads.  The roads in southeast Michigan are totally straight, so the constant banked curves were a thrill. This is the first mid-engine car I'd driven and the handling was a revelation. The way the car rotates is totally different from a front engine car, the front tires turn in with no resistance from the weight of a heavy engine in between them. 

Grabbed a hamburger at a random town and wanted to press on. The car was showing no sign of its age or mileage. The hours of shooting from turn to turn was like a walk in the park for this car. 

 I had no real plan on where to stay since I didn't know how long the purchase process would take.  As I descended down the mountain it became pitch dark. With no streetlights you couldn't see where  the turns were leading you so I stopped at the first motel I could find. 

I've seen this hotel room in countless crime drama TV shows. I resigned myself to the thought that if I was ever going to be murdered, this was the perfect place. Thankfully the front desk was manned by the nicest old lady, so I didn't feel to scared. 

Woke up extra early in the morning because I had a lot of miles to cover. Since I was avoiding the freeways and sticking to twisty back roads the speed limit was 45 for most of my trip. The NSX was capable of going a lot faster but even at modest speeds it was a blast to drive. 

The sun burned the fog out of the valleys and I pressed on. The mountains eventually disappeared and it was time for the long freeway portion of the trip. As capable as it was going through the turns, it was also a comfortable grand tourer. The leather seats felt great, tall gears kept the RPMs low, and in traffic the NSX is like a mouse among elephants. Your eye level is below the door handles of most modern cars. The NSX is so light on its feet over vehicles might as well be standing still. 

It rained during the final blast up 75 into Michigan. Any doubts I had about the car were gone. It felt bulletproof, and exotic. Two words I didn't think would go together in a car. 


Took it to Waterford Hills where 3 Balls Racing were having an event. Knew I needed to take the car on the track at least once so I could experience it. 

A few months after buying I had the timing chain replaced as it was due. The dealer also replaced a few of the coils, a common problem on the back of the engine due to rain coming through the vent. I installed race pads before the event and that was all it needed. 

I was surprised at the diversity of the cars there. It was a lot of fun. 

You can see some track footage above. It was only my second time on a track. Unfortunately my skills weren't quite up to snuff and a tank-slapper took me off the track into the grass. Thankfully it only damaged my pride and the Acura's front lip.  The NSX was like a dream out there. The soundtrack was worth the cost of admission alone. 


I didn't drive the car a whole lot the months after the race because I felt bad for busting it's lip. I couldn't use the garage because it had too much crap in it so it was parked outside for the time being. An uneven driveway made it look like it had a flat. Overall a sad sight to behold. Someone on the local car group saw it and called me out. 

Unfortunately many others had been down my sidestreet and noticed the NSX in the driveway. I decided to shine it up and take it for a spin. 

Turns out I was spotted later that day with the car in a much better situation.  


Did some trim repair. The covering on the trim wrinkles and cracks as it gets old, especially around the edges as you can see in the photos below. 

I needed to remove the trim so I could strip it and repaint. Going for as close to stock as possible for color. The interior disassembly is easy and logical. 

My E30 temporary workbench.

The black plastic along the doorhandles were also pretty badly scraped so they had to be refinished. 

Used aircraft paint stripper. After not much time the colored covering started peeling off. 

Underneath was a silver foil that cracked off. 

Removed the hardware from the doorhandles and taped off the leather part of the handle.

The result came out quite good. It is slightly lighter than stock but it is only noticeable when the door is open under direct sunlight. Inside the car you'd be hard pressed to notice. Looks a lot better than wrinkled, flaking plastic. 


Moved to a new house. Had a garage built and we are getting it together so we can actually work in it. 

There were a lot of scratches and chips in the bumper from 160k miles on the road. The clearcoat was also peeling on the passenger fender pretty bad. The car needed a respray. Going to take it off and get prepped for paint. 

You can see the spindly aluminum suspension components. Lightweight and strong.

A few days later a rack full of tires fell off the wall next to the Acura. It could have been a lot worse, thankfully it was just a dent in the middle of the door and a couple scratches. Thankfully it didn't happen after getting painted!


Took the car to my friend Charbel's place to paint. He fixed the dents in the door and all the scratches.

It came out looking so much better than before. Nothing like new paint to bring back some luster to this old NSX.


Went to one of the first Cars and Coffee's of the season. Turned out to be too cold for everyone. Once we arrived it started snowing! No C&C for us. 


Picked up a used spoiler to replace the one that came off at waterford hills. Had some damage that needed repair. 

Fixed the cracks and filled it in. The bottom was especially scraped up. Lots of sanding and layers of paint later it looked great!

Unfortunately pulling out of the driveway for the first time to go to cars and coffee it scrapes really bad! That shiny new underside of the lip gone within the first 20 feet. 

Thankfully the part you mostly can see looked good. The lip made a huge improvement. 


After the paintjob and front lip I needed a new emblem to finish the job. 

Really looking good now.


Great car!

Posted by Diggymart on 10/4/21 @ 8:55:00 PM