Project S2000 – Hondata KPro Gives More Power and Better Power

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.

Power delivery is an important characteristic in being able to go quickly; just ask any motorcycle racer where they only have one tire contact patch to put down the power.  The S2000's one fault is a poor power delivery curve due to the VTEC engagement.  I hate the VTEC engagement and the resulting torque spike which hurts drivability.  It is not fun being WOT coming out of a corner and having the torque spike hit.  Therefore, my goal was to reduce the spike by changing the VTEC engagement point to smooth out the torque curve and I needed a way to tune the car to meet my goal.  The Hondata KPro system met my requirements for the job. 

Here's everything that comes with the Hondata KPro for the S2000: ECU, mounting brackets, software, USB cable, wiring to go from the TDC sensor to the ECU (blue wires), and the multi-colored wiring harness that allows for the connection of external sensors to the ECU.

The Hondata KPro for the 2000-2005 model year S2000s uses a RSX ECU as its base.  Because the ECU is still a factory Honda item, the OBD-II port still functions.  OBD-II functionality is important to me for two reasons: the ability to have the smog check computer read it and also to maintain the operation of the ARK Design MFD-II which reads from the OBD-II port.  The KPro is fully programmable of course with all sorts of very cool features like fully mapped boost control, nitrous control, 2-step setting, and datalogging among the many features.   Basically, it can do anything I would ever need for future power modifications.  Of course, the A/C and all the gauges work as they normally would.

As the KPro is based on the RSX ECU, there are a number of items and sensors that require replacement:

Crank sensor 37500-PZX-003

Crank wheel 13622-PCX-013

TDC sensor 37510-PZX-003

TDC wheel 14112-PCX-003

Valve cover 12310-PCX-020

Drain plug washer (for PCV valve) 94109-14000

PCV valve 17130-PCX-003

IAT sensor 37880-P05-A00 

I have done all the work on the car myself up to this point, but the installation of the required parts was beyond my capability with the tools I had, jack stands, and lack of experience with the S2000 engine.  Plus, the KPro needed to be tuned immediately after the installation of all the parts to have the car running properly.  So my decision was easy, take it to Church Automotive in Wilmington, CA. Shawn Church and his team have worked extensively on Hondas, worked directly with Hondata themselves, and Church happens to own two forced induction S2000s himself.  

Before starting any modifications, we established a baseline by dynoing the car and with it came a lesson or two.  The first dyno pull read quite low.  What was the reason?  Cold fluids; the cold engine oil, transmission fluid, and rear differential fluid made for horsepower sapping high viscosity.  The power output started to become consistent around the fourth pull.  For a test, we tried pointing the blower directly into the scoop of the airbox and that picked up around 6hp.  It just goes to show, dyno results can easily be altered and consistency in testing methodology needs to be consistent (read this to learn the importance of minimizing variables in dyno testing).  

The tough parts of the install require changing out toothed wheels on the crank and exhaust cam. The removal of the exhaust cam for the toothed wheel install was fairly straight forward starting with the removal of the valve cover and then the cam.  Installation was the procedure in reverse of course.

A shot of the cams with the valve cover freshly removed.  The toothed wheel requiring replacement is at the end of the exhaust camshaft on the firewall side.



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Thursday, February 16, 2012 11:37 PM
Very informative article, looking forward to future installments. Eventually I'll have my own project S2K : )

Obviously I'm not as well versed in the S2000's F20C so pardon my ignorance but, why is the VTEC engagement point of the S2000 so high? The transition from low to high cam is also seems to be very abrupt.
Dan Barnes
Dan Barneslink
Friday, February 17, 2012 5:35 AM
The AP2's goofy stock power delivery can make the car less fun to drive in the canyons than a Miata with 100 hp less. This is a must-do mod, even if it's all you ever do to the engine.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Friday, February 17, 2012 6:50 AM
I dig the on board logging memory. Those Hondata guys are petty damn smart.
Friday, February 17, 2012 8:21 AM
I love stock ECU tuning. You get to keep the OEM function and ease of daily use, and get a lot of the benefits of stand alone engine management and tuning. I'm a big fan of DSMLink (ECMLink) and the functionality they made for the DSM ecu. Hondata seems to be a great company that has done a lot for Honduhs everywhere.
Friday, February 17, 2012 12:35 PM
@ econobox

I believe the high VTEC engagement point is, in part, due to fuel economy. The F20 for example redlines at 9K, engagement is around 6K. Most of the time during normal commuting you are within the 1-6K range and do not need the aggressive lobe.

The small dip before the VTEC engagement makes it feel even faster when the transition happens :) It probably somehow relates to emissions as well.
OMG Its Weasel
OMG Its Weasellink
Friday, February 17, 2012 6:12 PM
With such a wonky power curve from the factory, do S2000s have drivetrain issues? The abrupt power delivery doesn't seem very efficient, or reliable.
Friday, February 17, 2012 11:40 PM
@ Pairate
That is true, I was looking at it from a performance standpoint while overlooking the compromises.
That is good know, thanks : )

KPro is neat!
Friday, February 17, 2012 11:57 PM
Saturday, February 18, 2012 9:14 AM
Very nice upgrade. I been looking into doing this also for my MY00 AP1. Well, all the other wheel, suspension, and engine mods too that you have done so far :)
Saturday, February 18, 2012 10:12 PM
Seeing as no one has said it yet: Finally! More Power :)

I would think something like I/H/E and a KPro retune to complement these mods would provide a decent power bump without running into any of the durability concerns frequently tracked higher HP S2000s seem to encounter that you've mentioned in the forums.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Sunday, February 19, 2012 9:13 PM
Khiem - Totally thought you were going to add some thump with some new sticks!? You know, rhymes with lambs! Glad to see you're digging the new tune and crossover point and I'm looking forward to more work in the future!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:46 AM
Those of you who never drove a S2K VTEC just can't understand why Honda did it like they did. For the average Joe consumer sad to say they hardly engaged VTEC but when they did it was this awesome adrenalin rush. Yes a smoother less obtusive power/torque curve is better and anyone serious about motor sports would have it that way but any Joe Consumer loves the explosion of power and excitement that come from a 6000 RPM VTEC blast!!!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:02 AM
Reading the Kpro or the FlashPro info for the 2006 up I really did not catch that you had to tear down the motor to install either. Does anyone know for a fact that the installation of new sensors are required and you have to spend a thousand dollars to get installed is true for the FlashPro? I was under the impression the FlashPro did everything if not more than the Kpro but all you had do was plug it in, follow the procedure, datalog, tune and unplug. How wrong am I?
Sunday, April 08, 2012 7:01 PM
The following is from a post on s2ki which I think you would most likey disagree with.

As for your auto-X setup, it doesn’t work for a road course… Auto-x is about a bunch of super fast transitions at lower speed, and favors cars that push and massively understeer. They run big giant gendron front bar and no rear sway coupled with massive front springs rates somewhere along the lines of 700lbs. front and 350lbs. rear. Those setups are great for slaloms and quick transitions in auto-x but don’t work so well for on the track with bigger higher speed sweepers, yo need rotation, and not from throttle lift, either.

I have to say the that the big giant(as apposed to tiny small) Gendron bar is adjustable. So far my massive front springs feel pretty good. Any comment on this guy.
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