project honda s2000

Project S2000 Part 4- Taking it to the Track!

By Khiem Dinh

Khiem Dinh is an engineer for Honeywell Turbo Technologies at the time of this writing.  All statements and opinions expressed by Khiem Dinh are solely those of Khiem Dinh and not reflective of Honeywell Turbo Technologies.

The Honda S2000 is one of our all time favorite cars.  In stock trim, it is also pretty capable.  With its 50/50 weight distribution and low polar moment of inertia and sophisticated multilink suspension, the S2000 is pretty darned good out of the box.  So good that it's one of those cars that tuners often mess up and actually end up reducing the performance on.  Well hopefully that won't be us.

To see what else we did to project S2000 click here!

You didn’t think we put all these parts on the car to look pretty right? What better way to test things out than to hit the track?  Before going to the track, we needed to do some proper track preparation.  The weather forecast for Buttonwillow would be a mild 94F; still blazing hot, but not nearly as bad as it could be.  However, to be safe, we still needed to do some work before hand.

Motul Fluids
Motul Synthetics help keep our cars innards happy at high temperatures during hot track days.

In researching S2000s, they are known to run high oil temperatures even with the stock oil cooler.  High ambient air temps combined with a car that is known to run high oil temps is a bad mix.  So, preventative measure number one is to run Motul 15W-50 (standard fill is 10W-30).  Considering the heat, we changed the transmission fluid also.  We had recently changed the rear diff fluid, so no need to change it again. 

The coolant in the car was still the original stuff from five years and 50k miles ago, so we changed that out to a more track friendly 70:30 water to coolant mix.  To fully bleed the system, this car seems to need a drive around the block with some revs; even with coolant coming out of the two bleed locations (on the rear heater hose and bleeder next to the valve cover), there still seemed to be air in the system as no hot air was coming out of the vents with the heater on.  So we drove around to get the revs and water pump going, and topped off the system after everything had cooled back down.

project honda s2000
When we got to the track we went to work changing to our track pads and installing some brake ducts.

The next area to tackle was the brakes.  The StopTech guys said their Street Performance pads might not be up to the challenge of Buttonwillow with our estimated pace (~2:10) and high temps.  So, we ordered up a set Ferodo DS3000s.  We had used the DS2500s, a high-performance street/light track-duty pad, on an Evo at Buttonwillow in 85F-90F heat and ended up with pad material transfer onto the rotors.  Granted, the Evo weighs more, but the safe bet was to go with the track-only DS3000 pad.  The DS3000 is roughly equivalent to a Carbotech XP8.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 10:21 PM
Great progress.
Robert Walker (www.maxrev.net) has TONS of data regarding the S2000, tires and suspension setup. It might be worth it look onto his site.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Friday, August 13, 2010 2:30 AM
Holy cow, those are some high temperatures. The temp gauges I have in my vehicles don't even *go* that high.

Running 50-weight oil like you were doing helps keep the oil pressure nominal, but I really think you need to get those oil temps down. Maybe replace or augment the stock oil cooler?

For the water temperature, have you tried using Reline Water Wetter? You might also want to take a look around the radiator to make sure that no air can bypass it. If you need to seal the radiator better to improve airflow through it, you can either use sheet metal or some semi-rigid rubber sheets. If all else fails, you might have to upgrade to a bigger radiator.
Friday, August 13, 2010 3:46 AM
Hey Dusty! Already planned on replacing the stock oil cooler, but I wanted some baseline numbers. And as I knew they run hot from researching, I put in the higher weight oil just for the track. Now I personally know how hot they run.

For coolant, read the last paragraph :) I actually did a radiator swap at the track. There is a lot of room for improvement on the sealing of the radiator and it will be very easy to do; so look for that later.

Honestly, I planned out this build over a year ago and it's going almost exactly to plan. Only about halfway there! It does get quite a bit more complicated from here... more alternative options for each step to consider.
Friday, August 13, 2010 6:22 AM
@JDMized. I researched his site pretty throughly a year ago when i was planning this build. His site is how I came about my wheel and tire sizing.
Monday, August 16, 2010 7:30 AM
Yeah the Koyo + Water Wetter pretty much cured any hot issues with my SE-R. UR UD Pulley on my Water pump too. Since it's NA and relatively low-power, may or may not add an oil cooler - the temps I see on 90 deg F ambient just don't warrant it, but you never know...nice writeup!
Thursday, August 19, 2010 12:23 AM
Lap times?
Thursday, August 19, 2010 8:40 AM
In the 2:10-2:15 range which is right what I guessed i would run. I'm measuring lap times based on a GoPro Hero camera that was set in 'picture every 2 seconds' mode, which is actually more like every 2.5 seconds. So not super accurate. I borrowed it from a friend and didn't read the instructions first.... and the default mode was the picture mode. Opps.

That's about 5 seconds faster than I ran in my Evo with 100whp more, but that was my frist time on the track when I took the Evo out. I'd say there was another ~5 seconds in the S2k; there are a couple spots that I could've pushed harder and one spot where I need to figure out a better line. Saw peak speeds of about 102-103mph. I'm not sure how many clean laps I got, I spent a lot of time looking in the mirrors for ACR Vipers, Porsche GT3s, 911 turbos, and some other dedicated Porsche track cars. There was one other S2k in my group that was a couple seconds a lap faster; he was semi-gutted (soft top and mechanism removed from what I remember, maybe some other interior stuff) with a hard top and rear wing. He was on some type of street tire from what I recall.
Monday, October 18, 2010 6:44 AM
Where can I find 3mm spacers with built-in studs like the ones you guys are using? Thanks in advance!
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