Archive for March, 2020

Legend Coupe 17-Year Anniversary Video & Justin’s High Mileage Accord

Posted in Accord, Legend, Maintenance, Milestones, Spy Shots on March 27, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (1992 Integra GS-R):  251,430

I’m making the most of my time in isolation!  This is just a quick “Happy Friday,” to you all.

A friend rode his bike past the window in my bedroom that looks out to the street out front.  I call it my drive-thru window.  I moved my desk so that I could look out of it while working from home during quarantine.

My work team held a ‘virtual’ happy hour by way of a smartphone app called House Party.  Connectivity was glitchy at best with 8 people trying to stream video and chime in at the same time, but it was fun to see everyone.

Introducing, Banner Health Regulatory Team!  Bunch of all-stars right here.

I snuck out of the house yesterday in the SLX for a trip to the drive-thru because I was craving Taco Bell.  The safari sunroof let in a lot of fresh air which was good for my mental well-being!

Yesterday, March 26, also marked 17 years since the day I flew to San Jose and picked up my Legend coupe, and it’s hard to believe that much time has already passed.  I fulfilled the wishes of one blog reader in particular (ahem – Tim!) who’d requested a current walkaround of the car in modern day.  I also took the opportunity to assemble a collection of other memories from over the years including a couple clips from the Alaska trip in 2006, a few segments from National Acura Legend Meets, and an alphabetical sequence of my state line photographs.

Here’s the video link.

Along with that, Tim sent me some follow-up questions that I’ll answer here.

1. I can’t tell that it has mismatched paint – I’m color-blind, so maybe that’s why (although gold/silver usually isn’t a problem for me). It looks really good through video.
In some lighting it’s less noticeable than in others, but you can really see the blends from the front fenders into the doors sometimes.  The roof, trunk top, and rear bumper have also been resprayed at some point (clear coat failure got the best of them).
2. What are the two levers on the passenger side seat? One is to make the seat flip forward (as a long-time owner of several coupes, I’m very familiar with that feature!), but what is the upper one?
That top one is a pretty innovative seat-access solution.  It’s a switch that activates a motorized forward & back seat adjustment so you can get out from the back seat without having to put forth a ton of effort or reach for the lower one.
3. When you tally your maintenance, do you include bodywork? For my own maintenance spreadsheet, when I tally cost per mile, I’m uncertain whether to include or exclude the new wheel I had to purchase after a pothole, the rust repairs on the rear quarter panel, etc. I’ve kept those in so far, but I’m not sure if that should be in a  different spreadsheet.
No, the maintenance is strictly ongoing items like mechanical service and repairs.  It has some tires, but not all (since I had so many sets of aftermarket wheels & tires that I was swapping out all the time).  It also does not include the cost of registration, insurance, or fuel.
4. I love that there is no evidence of oil, coolant, or soot coming out of the tailpipe when it drives by. 572,000 miles, and the exhaust still looks clean.
It actually does burn some oil so I’ve started keeping an eye on that.  Higher-mile Legends develop issues with the valve stem seals so that’s something on the checklist long-term.  If I sit at a stop light or let the car idle quite a while, then take off, I’ll see some blue smoke.
5. Do you do the hydraulic tensioner with every timing belt and water pump, or do you just do that “as needed”?
Yes, as far as I know the tensioner has been changed each time I’ve had a timing belt / water pump service.
6. I know a lot of 2nd gen Legends have had head gasket issues – any tricks for avoiding that problem, or is it just “luck of the draw”?
Good question – that’s where the EGR maintenance comes into play.  It’s a widely accepted notion that the carbon buildup in the EGR system is what causes the timing in the C32A to be off, contributing to a lack of cooling on one of the rear cylinders where the head gasket is prone to failure.  It’s a tell-tale story that we’ve heard many times on the Legend forums and Facebook groups.  Of course, it goes without saying that the rest of the cooling system also has to be kept in very proper working order – radiator, hoses, fans, and relays.
7. Any drawbacks to putting the original stereo head back into the car? Personally, if I didn’t have iPhone/iPod connectivity and Sirius XM with all the driving I do, I’d go bananas on long drives.
I agree – the only reason I haven’t swapped the Bose back in is because I need the iPod connectivity for now.  If and when the car is retired to a ‘show’ piece only, the Bose will need to go back in for originality’s sake.
8. The Katzkin kit is holding up really well. If I keep my Accord long enough to need to replace the leather, I’d definitely give that company a look.
I neglected to zoom in on the driver side outboard seat bolster, which is actually showing a fair amount of wear.  The Katzkin kit (at least the one I used) uses vinyl on the non-seating surfaces, and it’s pretty cracked.  If I were to do it all over again, I’d get a “full leather” kit.
And speaking of Accords, I want to take this moment to introduce a fellow high-miler who reached out via email this week.  This is Justin’s 2003 Accord coupe from Texas, with 627,551 miles on the odometer.

Justin says he drives currently upwards of 100k miles per year.

Here’s the latest “spy shot” video I put together, in case you hadn’t seen it on my YouTube.  Keep the submissions coming.

Have a great (and safe) weekend, all.

Weekend Update: Jason & Jandi’s Visits, Working from Home, Automotive Stuff

Posted in Arizona, Brochures, Integra, Legend, Model Cars, RL, SLX on March 21, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (RL):  211,776

How is everyone doing?  I saw a meme the other day:  “What a year this week has been.”  Yeah, sounds about right.  I’m going to spare you from having one more place to read about the current state of the world around us, because I know your TV and your social media feeds are absolutely saturated with it.  Over here in Arizona, my travels have dialed back to just the occasional trip to the grocery store or drive-thru – in fact, those are the only 2 trips I took all week.  And as much as I love being on the go, I have actually kind of enjoyed being homebound.  Shocker.

For one thing, I spent about 2 hours in the yard this morning with a complete cosmetic revamp.  Mow, trim, weed killer, and sweep.  It was satisfying and refreshing, especially in this gorgeous spring weather.  I have projects underway with the house, with the cars, and with work, not to mention writing / YouTubing / organizing / planning / journaling.  I spent an hour this afternoon on the phone with grandparents catching up.

Sometimes having a chance to slow the pace of life down a little isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  And even though my travel calendar has been wiped clean for at least the next couple of months, I’m confident I’ll stay busy and productive.

I had a couple of visitors in town earlier this month including my friend Jason and my cousin Jandi.  Jason drove in from Las Cruces in his Contour so we could go meet with Kevin Marti of Marti Auto Works, who has a specialty Ford facility on the western outskirts of Phoenix.

Kevin is a licensee to Ford’s complete production database – in other words, he can authenticate and give detailed background on just about any FoMoCo vehicle.  His “Marti Reports” are the renowned source of truth when it comes to production numbers rarity.  I last visited his place in 2014.

My cousin from Idaho also visited and we had a nice time enjoying the weather and company.  I’ll let the photos and video below tell the rest of the story because it’s a wide variety of automotive updates I can share with you all.

I was originally scheduled to volunteer as a driver during the Mecum collector car auction a week ago.  I had my credential and everything.  But then I pulled out given current state of the public situation.  But I’m on the list for next year and I will get to drive some cool stuff like this (while I awkwardly sit in the driver’s seat and let people bid on “me.”).   Coverage from my visit to Mecum last year is here.

My home office is set up and I moved my desk in my bedroom so that it looks out the front window.  Now, I just need a better monitor setup.  Stat!

I juiced a couple dozen oranges that I got from a friend’s tree. Citrus trees are in season right now here!

I had the Legend coupe out last week to visit friends in Gilbert with a huge new home.  The ceilings inside it are 16 feet tall.

My neighbor Chuck got a couple cool cars from a relative in Texas.  One of them is this 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner.

The other is this 1930 Model A.  Both were temporarily stored in my backyard for a time.

The Legend sedan saw some daylight last week.

And the RL.

And the NSX was my ride of choice for a last minute grocery store run.  For Diet Coke – only the essentials.

I received a recall in the mail today for the 2000 RL’s airbag.  I was sort of surprised Acura is having to recall 20-year-old cars.  But the letter basically stated that parts for the repair aren’t even yet available.

One of my YouTube subscribers asked me to give an update on the rooftop model cars, so I did that in the video too.

An ‘Instagram friend’ sent me some stickers – check out this one in the shape of a G2 Integra.

I took the opportunity last weekend to check in with some good friends who have helped me a lot over the years with automotive projects and other things.  Hy and Linda, thank you!

After that, I met up briefly with my friend Ken who has a 2006 ‘Suzuka Blue’ Honda S2000.

One of the projects I’m keeping myself busy with now is a categorization of about 50 pieces of literature related to the Acura Legend.  Over the last 20 years I’ve collected (what I believe to be) every piece of print media that had the Legend in it.  I’m in the process now of sorting them all out so I can copy & PDF to share with others.

This dealership even offered a “beeper service” to page you when your car was ready.  Whoa.

Here’s a glimpse of what we’re talking about.

The last bit of news is about the SLX, which hasn’t moved for about 10 days and is leaking a puddle of various fluids on my nice garage floor right now, haha.

A friend (again from Instagram) connected me with a resource that was able to decode the VIN plate in the engine bay.  I now know exactly what each of those ‘options’ listed at the bottom are.  The summary is below in Excel.

My former SLX, the one that Acura rebuilt as a “resto-mod” with RDX drivetrain, is sitting on display right now at the Honda headquarters in Torrance, California.  Acura Public Relations representative Andrew sent me this picture.

I also found a couple article on the SLX, which I’m adding to my archive.

That’s it for now!  Everyone stay safe out there, and I’ll talk to you soon.

NALM AZ 2020 Registration is Live, Integra & SLX Updates, Visitors in Town

Posted in Detailing, Integra, Legend, Maintenance, NALM, NSX, SLX on March 6, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (SLX):  141,046

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Arizona, I’ll give you a reason.  This year’s 16th annual National Acura Legend Meet is now open for registration as of this past Sunday.  In the first 5 days, 13 vehicles have already signed up.  We could be on track to witness the largest meet of its kind since 2014 in Los Angeles which saw about 30.  Come be a part of history.

Link to Registration Instructions

In other news, my blogging time has been limited lately because I’ve put a little more effort into my YouTube channel which is nearing 6,000 subscribers.  I invite you to join me there for a few updates on automotive projects and other activities.  I usually post a new episode (or more) each Sunday.  I’ll post 5 of them here to catch you up.  Some are still ‘unlisted’ so I can stagger them out over the next few weeks.  Get your popcorn ready.

Integra Part 4

Integra Part 5

Integra Part 6

SLX Video 10 – The Project that Never Ends!

Do you want to test-drive 10 cool cars in 5 minutes?  Then I have just the video for you.  Last Saturday, I had a really unique experience of helping my friend Greg (the same guy who I wrote about with all the Japanese RHD cars) document the driving experience for a collection of cars that he’ll be auctioning off on Bring a Trailer website later this month.  Among them was this exceptionally rare 1989 Pontiac ASC-McLaren Turbo Grand Prix with only 5,500 miles on it.

Check out that tech!

Here was the list of cars, in order of appearance in the below video:

  1. 1989 Pontiac Turbo Grand Prix
  2. 2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG
  3. 1989 Dodge Lancer Shelby 5MT
  4. 2000 BMW M5 6MT
  5. 1989 Honda Prelude Si 4WS 5MT
  6. 2000 Honda S2000 6MT
  7. 1992 Toyota Aristo (RHD)
  8. 1992 Jeep Wrangler Renegade 5MT
  9. 1990 Nissan 300ZX TT 5MT
  10. 1992 Autozam AZ-1 (RHD) 5MT

Which was my favorite?  Honestly, and this might get me in trouble with my Honda friends, I fell in love with the BMW M5.  The sturdy shift feel, the power, the growl, and the utility of a ‘sportscar’ 4-door sedan with a manual really made that one check all the boxes for me.

And speaking of Bring a Trailer auctions, you might have missed this so I’ll share it here.  A record-setting sale took place this week when a 1994 Legend LS coupe 6-speed sold for over $25,000.  Here’s the link.  

Maybe my own collection will be worth a dollar or two someday as well?  I guess time will tell.

As Spring Training baseball games get underway here in Arizona, we are soaking up our last few weeks of very enjoyable weather and I’ve been spending quite a bit of time working on the never-ending list of “to-do” items.  The latest 1999 Integra, which started out with a laundry list of 50 “needs” that I listed in an Excel document, has already been through half.  So in two months’ time, it’s come a really long way.

One of the major milestones for that car was a comprehensive ‘professional’ detail, for which I engaged the help and services of a friend named Travis who helped not only with the interior & paint, but with removal of the hodge-podge of aftermarket stereo & alarm spaghetti wiring that was strung throughout the car.  It was strangled.

The results speak for themselves.  This paint was rough, and it came out brilliantly.

The NSX doesn’t get a video this time around, but I took it to the experts at Science of Speed for a regular checkup and it’s doing great at 116,000 miles.

I had a few special guests in February including folks from Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Detroit, and Seattle.  The guest book is nearing page 50 and I’ve already purchased a second volume because pages are running out.

Here’s Tim:

Jaysen and his sister Tavali

Brad and Richard

Dave

Finally, I had to share some new wallhangings in the garage.  I loved this anniversary 1986-1996 photo enough to frame and hang it up.

And the one in the middle here – I have to show you that a little more closely.

It contains the 6 Acura models from 1997.

The paragraph suggests that you pick whichever one fits “your definition of luxury.”

Except, the punchline suggests you should just buy a big garage and own all 6 (highlighted above).

Does that remind me of anyone else you know?  This is the ad that goes along with it.

Have a great weekend!