“I bought my S2000 10 months ago. It was my dream car, my goal, my baby. I washed it every weekend, drove it hard, and showed it off at every opportunity. It was the fastest thing I’d ever owned, and driven. Through an fateful encounter, I managed to pay the car off in this short period of time, so my mind began to drift towards modifications; but where to start? The S2000 is a theft-magnet to begin with, so the fewer obvious visual modifications I added, the better in my book. I thought about exhaust, intakes, headers, suspension, the whole nine yards. I wanted more power, as the car handled quite well enough for me, but getting smoked by big block V8s without even a chance of competition weighed heavily on me.
After much deliberation, I came to the conclusion I wanted to enchance my baby with Forced Induction, as this would be the most complete solution for my power goals. I wouldn’t need to piece a lot of parts together, and do it in stages, I could get it all in one fell swoop. Easy on the mind, easy on the wallet (relatively.) As I’m sure we all know, the words “turbo” and “cheap” do not go together. I hunted over the internet endlessly. Mulling over many turbo kits, some established, some simple, some questionably cheap, some outrageously powerful. Since I’d settled on the concept of what I wanted, I just had to make the decision:
Piece it together, do it myself or take it to a tuning shop and trust in their skill and hope that it all turns out well.
To be honest, I didn’t know of any reputable shops, and was hesitant to trust them with my most precious possession. I also didn’t trust my untested hands in the realm of extensive and complicated car modification. Tuning and dynoing aside, there were many hurdles to the DIY approach that I wasn’t ready to face just yet. Perhaps if I’d stuck to headers/exhaust/intake, I could’ve started doing DIY stuff that way, but not with a project this big as the first one. So, tuning shop it was; great, where and what is a good one?
I hunted again on the Internet, but unfortunately, no reliable results turned up. On an offhand comment, a friend of mine suggested Central Florida Turbo; he said he and friends of his had had quality experiences there in the past, and that they could serve as at least a baseline for other shops. Sounded reasonable, and so, to Google I went. No results for CFT were returned, but there were some for a place called Kings Performance, at the same address. Curious. My friend called the shop, discussed the particulars of the kit I was looking for and hashed out a very competitive price for an all-in-one package. Things sounded good, and we could start on the work in a week. Blessed providence, let it not be fickle.
The day came to have our consultation, and I spoke to Fernando, who himself has a modded 800whp AP1 S2k and so was the perfect guy to talk to. We further clarified what the package included (the Stage I Kit, to be specific), possible hurdles, time frame for getting the job done, and future steps once the job was complete. I left feeling secure and informed about what was to take place in the coming days. A few days later, it was time to drop the car off.
Like watching your child get on the bus to school for the first time, I felt a mixture of fear, uncertainty and remorse. Had I done the right thing? What if it blew up? I’ve only met these guys once, do they know what they’re doing? These are all things, if you’re a first timer like me, you will be faced with. Take it from me, your CAR is fine. YOU will be fine. You have placed your trust, your money, and most importantly, your car in the hands of a team of skilled, and professional car nuts. These are the type of people you want working on your car. They live, breath, and sleep gasoline, noise, and horsepower. Anything they put in your car, they’ve put and used in their own. They won’t sell it to you, if it hasn’t been proven in the fires of the track, competition, or the street.
It took about two and a half weeks to get the job done completely, with unexpected road blocks addressed. This time frame, I’m told, is lightning quick for fabrication, installation, tuning and dyno of a complete kit. Additional hurdles I encountered was needing to relocate the battery to the trunk, installation of hood spacers to reduce hood rattle, relocation of a bung on the exhaust remove vibration in the cabin, installation of an oil reducer to the turbo to remove the excessive amount of white smoke coming from the tail pipes (which is a hit or miss thing on S2ks,) and a needed installation of a Stage IV clutch. A thing I found out through experience, and hopefully you will by reading this, is that nothing ever really goes according to plan with modifications like this.
In some ways, cars are similiar to people when it comes to their insides. Sure, we can all buy the “same” S2k in the show room, but when it comes down to it, they will each have unique differences and quirks that you don’t know about, till you’re waist deep in the engine bay. I was consantly worrying about what was going on because work kept going over the projected deadlines. Frustration set in, and that’s never a good thing. I held my tongue, and remembered that Fernando and his team have been doing this for a long time, and wouldn’t lead me astray. Trust and have patience.
These endevaours were rewarded when I finally picked up my Silverstone Metallic S2k cleaned and fresh with twice the horsepower she had when she went in. Fernando showed me all the work they had done, and anything I’d need to keep an eye on in the future. He produced dyno sheets, the original injectors, catalytic converter and EMS for me to take home. For the first tune, I was at 335HP to the wheels, due to the stock clutch slipping at anything more than that, and practically evaporating already. The new clutch installation took two days, and was very smooth. After another tune, I was at 398HP and 280lb/ft of torque to the wheels.
How can I describe this? Relief, adrenaline, excitement, greatness, surprise, noise.
Even weeks later, I still get a rush of adrenaline smashing on the throttle, hearing that turbo spool up, and leaving all the econoboxes and SUVs full of office workers, soccer moms, old people and those annoying sheep who’ve never considered the possibility of a world beyond the speed limit, far far behind. They should consider themselves grateful to be bathed in the torrent of noise and power I unleash upon them. I like to think it wakes them up. It certainly scared one poor woman who wasn’t expecting a spit of flame and her doors to rattle as I came flying by.
So, the experience at Kings Performance? Excellent, cost-effective, informative, mostly painless and ideal in every way. There’s no run around, no hidden fees, everyone knows what they’re doing and they do it right. If you’re a car nut like I am, you’ll fit right into a family of people dedicated to making good cars better and more importantly, faster. If you need any serious modifications done to your car, trust in these guys, you won’t be disappointed.”
Mr. Brian Barnett
Honda S2000 400whp