This is my 2nd TSX over the last 10 years. I originally had a silver '06 6 speed manual TSX that I kept stock and daily drove from 2007 to 2009. I traded it for a 1984 Porsche Carrera 911 factory wide body non-turbo "Turbo Look" car. I loved the Porsche, but eventually sold that as well. I've always missed my old TSX and have contemplated for years of getting another. Recently I finally decided to pull the trigger, as one of my friends was selling his '06 PWP in 6 speed with Ebony interior. I always loved this combo, and his car was exceptionally clean. I went and looked at it about a month ago, and knew I would be going home with it as soon as I saw how nice it was. It already had some minor mods to it, such as a JDM Accord grill, SPC rear camber arms, Tein Mono Sport coilovers, slotted/drilled rotors, and Volk RE30 18x9 +35 in Mag Blue. He had already rolled the fenders front and rear for his setup, so I was fine with that since I knew I would be doing that anyway. It had a few minor issues, such as scrapes on the front bumper and side skirt, and the rear bumper had a couple chips in the paint as well. Otherwise, the body was pretty much perfect, besides one minor door ding on the passenger side the size of a nickel.
He wanted to keep the wheels, which is fine by me, albeit nice, weren't in line with the vision I had for the car. We made a deal with the stock wheels, shook hands and I drove away with a big smile on my face.
He wasn't really prepared to sell the car that day, so he hadn't gotten it smogged yet. I took care of it and it passed with no issues. Wait a minute, he's got the dyno on the wrong wheels! I pointed this out to the guy, because hey, some of these smog guys have no clue sometimes. He was a little insulted, and said he knows. He then said they don't even bother dyno'ing cars after the year 2000 anymore, they only plug into the OBD2 port, haha. Oops, ok.
Once I got the registration and all that handled, I got it home and spent some time cleaning the car. The engine bay was a little dirty, so I put a little elbow grease into making it more presentable. Not new looking by any means, but much better than before. I also performed an oil change with some 5w-20 Castrol full synthetic and a Mobil 1 oil filter as it was due for an oil change.
I also spent some time cleaning up the interior and it made a huge difference. After 10 years of use, it was not surprised of how gross the steering wheel was, seats, center console and other things were. It looks near new inside now (didn't take a pic of the interior). Ok, now that I feel much better about myself of being able to drive a clean(er) car, it was time to do research and formulate a plan of the build I had in mind. This car is a daily driver, but I wanted to make some daily-friendly upgrades/mods that would make it faster, handle better, and look better too, with the occasional track day, without going overboard. I drive the Malibu canyons every day to go to work, so I wanted to focus on suspension, wheels and tires before anything else. Since it already has the Tein Mono Sport coilovers, I wanted to add a a little more to that equation. I knew I wanted to get adjustable front camber arms (it already has the SPC adjustable camber rods in back) so I picked up some Skunk2 upper camber arms. After doing research, I saw people complaining about the Allen head bolts that come with the kit as being sub-optimal, as the hex can strip out, and you can only tighten them to 12 ft lbs max, which causes issues of the camber shifting around. I decided to toss to Allen head bolts and go to my local hardware store and pick up some higher grade hex bolts, lock washers, washers, and nuts to go on the back side of the bolt. The clearance is quite tight to the bolt head to the arm if you want to tighten the bolts, but with a thin-walled socket, it's not really an issue. The install was fairly straight-forward and took about 45 mins to complete.
You can see the hex head bolts that I put in for added strength so that the camber angles won't move.
Some nuts on the opposite side to really lock things down. There are no clearance issues to the top of the shock towers btw, and there's been no issues/slipping of camber angles after 3 weeks of install with a lot canyon driving.
Once the arms were in, it was time to put on my newly acquired wheel/tire setup. I went back and forth of what I wanted to get for wheels, because I wanted something different that most TSX guys don't have like the Enkei NTO3+M or RPF-1. I really like those wheels, I just wanted something that would stand out. I definitely didn't want any stanced type set up, as these cars handle too well and have too much potential to really do that kind of thing, in my opinion. I finally settled on what size and wheel I wanted. I wanted it to look track-oriented, but still daily friendly and different looking. I ordered a set of Wedsport TC105n from Evasive in 17x9 +35 offset. The wheels are extremely light for 17x9 at around 15.5 lbs a piece. The tire size was the next thing that kept me awake at night. I didn't want the stretched look with 215 or 225 wide, and I also wanted to keep the overall diameter of the tire as big as possible to give the car more ground clearance, better ride quality, and accurate speedometer. I also wanted the maximum width to fit under the stock fenders without having to do crazy amounts of negative camber. I got a set of 255/40/17 Hankook RS-3 tires as they seemed to fit my needs. I have used RS-3s before in the past on other cars and loved them on the street as well as on the track, and they aren't going to kill your pocketbook. I complimented the wheels with some Wedsport STEEL lugnuts (had some bad experiences at the track with aluminum lugnuts).
Stock wheels/tires on the left, new shoes on the right. Just a tad wider
Ok, now to mount everything, set the camber and do alignment. I typically do my own alignments in my garage on all my street and track cars over the years. It's not as hard as people think, and doesn't take too long to do. Just like anything you do over and over, you get better as you get a feel for it. I set the toe to zero in front, -.010" per side rear, and -2.5 camber front and rear. The prior owner never did an alignment on the car after installing the Tein coilovers, and it was off by a lot! It was about .500" (1/2 inch) toe in EACH SIDE on the front wheels (1 inch toe in total!), +.08" left rear, and -.050" right rear. To say the least, the car now tracks straight and feels like a completely different car after the alignment and tire/wheel package. I'm very pleased with how the car is shaping up so far.
I have a list of future mods for the car, but this will do for now. The new wheel/tire package really shows how much I need a brake upgrade, especially since I will be tracking the car now and again. I am undecided on which front brakes to get, but it's either Spoon, Wilwood, or perhaps Stoptech BBK. I also want plan to get:
1.) Euro R CL9 front lip
2.) Euro R CL9 side skirts
3.) Euro R CL9 rear lip
4.) JDM headlights
5.) Euro R Recaro seats front and rear
6.) Short shifter
7.) Euro R transmission with TSX 6th gear
8.) 45 degree cam gear
9.) K&N CAI
10.) 3" exhaust system
11.) Flashpro +07-08 ECU and dynotune
12.) larger rear sway bar
13.) front roll center adjusters
And I'm sure there will be more, but that is the course I am currently aiming at. Once I get it how I want it, I'll be hitting up Willow Springs, Buttonwillow Raceway, Chuckwalla and hopefully Laguna Seca as well. I'm excited to finally build a TSX like I always wanted to for the past 10 years! Thanks for reading my long-ass post, haha.