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HTSpec TSX Redeux: Part 1

  • Posted: 02-10-2014 11:34 PM
  • HTSpec TSX

We've heard the comment a few times over the years. "If Heeltoe is such a specialist in TSXs, why is your own car so under-built and under-promoted?"

To be perfectly honest, it is because Heeltoe Automotive is a company that does all it can to be a really great parts supplier. Against popular opinion, this does not mean we need to be show-offs and brag about all the nutty parts we buy and sell. As a matter of fact, we've never seen much evidence that people really care that much about expensive parts. Most folks are buying much more affordable yet highly effective and quality items, and we appeal to that crowd.

But now is an interesting time. The Acura TSX is becoming more popular with tuners who are increasingly interested in exclusive parts. Meanwhile we are deep in development of a new website which we are looking to promote. Lastly we are just flat tired of having a workhorse around when we would really rather have a project car we can be proud of.

So, car build it is.

Kicking things off: Why an Acura TSX as a performance machine? We already covered that in a past blog on our old Pitboard here: Heeltoe’s TSX Project Introduction. Why the Acura TSX? What is so special about this car? There are more posts on the Pitboard there which you can browse, but this story is about what we are doing now.

That is the car as I got it which was around the end of 2009. It took me quite a while to even start modding it. But here is the car as it stands now:

These images perfectly show what we do with the car. Basically, we use and abuse it every chance we get. Every time we start feeling a little "over it," we get right back into it again. The car has been from Coronado Island to Vancouver, BC, and driven every mile in between. It's only seen 3 tracks but has crossed from the I-5 to Highway at least 4 times on different routes each time. It has been in off-road conditions that it should not have been. That snowy pic above? That was part of an 800 mile round trip, 1/3 of it in the snow, and those are summer tires. It doubles as a mountain-biking locker-room. Of course it has been through a series of incidents, and thus has some wear and tear. And since moving to Oregon it spends more time dirty than clean, which is disappointing.

Much, but not all, of this is going to change with this re-build.

The current list of stuff on the car is actually pretty extensive as we have been building up the car a little over time:

* 949Racing 6ULR 17x9 +48 (been black, diarrhea gold, and now are a metallic/matte grey)
* Hankook Ventus V12 evo, 255/40-17 (on my 3rd set!)
* Tein Street Flex Coilovers
* Skunk2 Front Camber Arms
* Fastline Performance Compliance Bearings

* HTSpec Stage 5 Brake Package
* Alutec Front Tower Brace
* Ultra Racing Lower Side Braces

* Hondata Reflash
* CT Engineering Carbon Icebox
* Unorthodox Racing Pulley Set
* Fujitsubo Legalis R Exhaust
* Innovative Engine Mounts

* Honda Genuine EuroR Lip Kit
* Honda Genuine JDM EuroR Headlamps & Inner Taillamps
* Custom Painted/Black Chrome Grille & Black Chrome Emblems
* Fastline Performance Decklid Spoiler, in Carbon
* 06-08 Wiper Arm Update

* CT Engineering Short Shifter
* Hybrid Racing Shifter Cable Bushings

* Two-tone (we tossed a black dash and door panels in the tan interior to make a unique look).
* Maven Shift Knob

There are probably other things, but it isn't super important. Ultimately, this is a pretty conservative setup focused on being a street brawler, but lithe instead of brute in strength.

The plan is we want to really step up the car's overall performance and visual impact. We want to change it from a rough and tumble street machine into a classic GT which, according to Wikipedia, "is a performance or luxury automobile capable of high speed or spirited long-distance driving." Only wrinkle is our car is a sedan while a GT is commonly a 2-door car.

We are supercharging with a CT Engineering blower kit. Tuning will be via Hondata Flashpro. Plans are for the highest-boost level pulley available from CT, along with upgraded injectors and in a later stage an aftercooler kit. We'll of course need a header as well. Also planned is a much-needed Hytech-pinned VTC and intake cam from a later model TSX to help the breathing. Power goal is to break 300 hp to the wheels. We feel this goal is a bit conservative. Topping it off is a full titanium J's Racing 60mm FX-Pro.

We are going full Mugen with the Aero, but having a preference for the 06-08 Mugen Front bumper we will be bringing it up to that spec. Also being added are a J's vented hood and a diffuser. We are going to repaint the car as well, which regrettably might limit the amount of adventuring we do with it. But we have an OEM Honda color in mind that we thing will be original these days. We've not seen it done, and feel it will compliment the car be announced later.

We really like these Street Flexes. The provide a great comfort level for the daily grind, have plenty of travel and compliance for the mild off-roading, but are tunable to handle really well for those spirited drives. We'll compliment this set with an EDFC Advance with GPS, add a rear camber adjustment option, and probably upgrade the sway bar in the rear.

We need something for more of a GT setup, and what better than a GT-spec Volk? We've located some GT7 wheels in a nice size that we think compliment the TSX quite well.

More bracing! We have an old Carbing trunk brace and middle brace that will go in to enhance our already stiff chassis. We'll add more bracing as it presents itself because a stiff chassis is ultimately the best thing you can do to enhance the road-worthiness of your car. Plus the front brakes are going to be changed out for something with a bit more flair. We're thinking, Endless 6-pots.

We have an 09 TSX steering wheel here we'd like to see installed on this car. It is so fat and grippy, but has the luxury and radio/cruise buttons you just can't get with a racing wheel. Really there isn't much else to do, as we're trying to keep the luxury feel of the car.

So there you have it. We have some definite plans for this HTSpec TSX Redeux, and our goal is to get the car out and seen at some prominent events this year. Of course, we want to do this without compromising our current customers' satisfaction. We'll do the best we can.

Sit tight! We'll be doing updates as regularly as possible!


02-21-2014 04:43 PM at 4:43 PM
The original 06-08 steering wheel is much more sportier than the newer ones. I hope the feel will be as tight, maybe tighter!

Love to see what you're doing!
Erik @ Project 130R
02-19-2014 10:07 AM at 10:07 AM
Sounds perfect! Endless 6-pots, my word those aren't cheap. Can't wait to see the finished product sir!
02-18-2014 05:41 PM at 5:41 PM

02-18-2014 03:51 PM at 3:51 PM
midori green? :D
Bill E
02-17-2014 06:38 PM at 6:38 PM
I'm considering the same engine mods you have posted above; what were your power gains?
MrHeeltoe: We did a dyno test after the reflash. Here is what the car made for power:
Angel Pena
02-17-2014 01:37 AM at 1:37 AM
Love tha car!! Are you going to sell the wheels ?
MrHeeltoe: Hehe, not any time soon!

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