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2002 Honda S2000 - A By-Product Of Necessity

Brian McGurk
Aug 13, 2013
Photographer: Matthew Jones

They say that the mother of invention is necessity, and in this case, it’s a father and son team from Springfield, Missouri. The duo of David and Adam Dorland are car fans who have owned and built a few cars between them, but both fell head over heels for the S2000. David recalls, “We wanted a nice day cruiser, something cool, but we never intended on a build.” It was all going according to plan until David got a call from his son. He adds, “I hadn’t even gotten the plates for the car. Adam called and said that he blew up the car.” Ouch.

Adam had done a number on the high-strung four-cylinder, putting their plans for a cruiser on hold. David states, “The engine was shot thanks to my son, so we had to do something.” The pair began scouring local salvage yards and engine companies to source a replacement F20 mill, but weren’t happy with what they found. “Engines were hard to find for a decent price, and the ones that we could afford weren’t in the best of shape.” To keep the S2K from turning into a bird feeder, Adam pitched the idea of a K swap, and his dad was sold.

To get their car together, the pair turned to accomplished tuner Tony Laughlin at 2nrs Of Springfield for the install itself. David states, “Tony had done several K swaps in FWD cars, and when we told him what we wanted, he jumped at the chance.” Tony and Dave agreed they wanted to use as many OEM parts as possible, so they started with a totaled TSX to the tune of $1,500. A custom set of engine mounts and a transmission adapter were built, along with an adapter plate to reuse the F-series intake manifold. Dave adds, “Reusing as much as we could cut down on the cost and helped keep reliability up.” The head from the K24 was swapped out for a K20 version to increase clearance on the firewall, and a Frankenstein RSX/S2000 wiring harness was infused so that K-Pro could be utilized. With the bugs worked out and the car running right, the guys turned their attention to making some real power. Skunk2 provided a full valvetrain along with a set of cams and a 74mm throttle body. With an aggressive tune, a respectable 248 whp screamed out of the swap. “The stock F20 was gutless below VTEC, but now with a 2.4L and VTEC coming on at 3,500 rpm, the car was much more pleasant to drive,” David relates.

  |   A stock exterior for the most part, only a keen eye would catch the MT drag radials perched out back.

Obviously, that’s the not the end of the story by a long shot. You may have been happy with that impressive power output, but the Dorlands weren’t. They were hungry for more. The heart of the turbo system is a Precision 6265 turbocharger straddling a custom-built manifold with a TiAL 44mm wastegate and BOV. A Full Blown fuel pump paired with Injector Dynamics ID2000 fuel injectors keep the K series well fueled under stress. A custom intercooler and matching piping were needed to complete the setup. Tony had previously used a similar setup on FWD cars, and they’d put down a little over 400 hp on pump gas. However, this particular setup, using E85, made a whopping 510 whp at just 13 pounds of boost! When asked about potential, Tony explains, “ We could have made more, but we could only rev it to 8,400 rpm because we are pushing past the limits of the stock oil pump. This is still a 100 percent stock block with stock rods, stock pistons, and rod bolts.” Power like that needs to be controlled, and the stock suspension had too much travel, so the OEM bits were replaced with a set of Skunk2 Pro C coilovers, and the standard all-season tires were ditched for a set of super-sticky 255 Mickey Thompson drag radials on powdercoated stock wheels. The stock look continues throughout the exterior to avoid unwanted attention and so the father and son team could surprise anyone thinking the “little Honda” didn’t have the power to back up their grins.

Feeling that they finally had the cruiser that they wanted, but with more than double the power, and any thoughts of being “gutless below VTEC” a thing of the past, David and Adam could actually daily the car if they wanted; it’s that reliable. As far as any future plans, the duo wants to just enjoy the ride as is—something we don’t hear much of when it comes to feature cars. Dave closes with, “We’re not doing a thing. It’s done.”


Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
K20A2 cylinder head
K24A2 engine block
2nrs Of Springfield transmission adapter
2nrs Of Springfield intake manifold adapter
2nrs Of Springfield intercooler
2nrs Of Springfield intercooler piping
2nrs Of Springfield turbo manifold
2nrs Of Springfield 3-inch downpipe
2nrs Of Springfield exhaust
2nrs Of Springfield Innovative engine mounts
Skunk2 74mm throttle body
Skunk2 Stage 2 cams
Skunk2 valves
Skunk2 valvesprings
Skunk2 retainers
Full Blown Motorsports FB340 fuel pump
Full Blown Motorsports radiator
TiAL 44mm wastegate
TiAL blow-off valve
Precision PTE 6265 turbocharger
Competition Clutch Stage 5

Suspension
Skunk2 Pro C coilovers

Resistance
Stock

Wheels & Tires
OEM AP1 S2000 wheels
Mickey Thompson 255/50-16 drag radials

Exterior
Stock

Interior
Stock

Electronics
Hondata K-Pro

Props
Wife and mother
2nrs Of Springfield
Skunk2
GenuineSaab
Full Blown
Innovative Mounts
Competition Clutch

  |   2002 Honda S2000 - A By-Product Of Necessity

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
David—biopharmaceutical rep; Adam—air force recruit

Favorite Site

Screen name
Don’t use forums

Building Hondas
First one!

Dream Car
Gemballa Mirage GT

Inspiration For This Build
Necessity

Future Builds
Not sure maybe a jeep, maybe a bike

One-Off

The Dorland boys might make a project like this look like a walk in the park, though in reality, it was anything but. A ton of Internet research and sourcing the donor car took weeks alone, not to mention the one-off parts. David adds, “We tried to use OEM parts, but when we couldn’t, we had to have custom pieces made.” Luckily, Missouri’s biggest tuning shops are in their area, and some had a previous history with the Dorlands, namely GenuineSaab. A Saab tuning group, they took the wheel for the CNC portion of the trans adapter and intake adapter with the guidance of the 2nrs Of Springfield. When it came to boosting the K24/K20, they were in uncharted territory, which meant plenty of trial-and-error engineering. In Dave’s own words, that engine compartment was “too tight.” If you’re looking to do a turbo K swap in your S2000, just be prepared!

Sources

Hondata
Torrance, CA 90503
310-782-8278
Full Blown Motorsports
Apple Valley, MN 55124
952-431-1399
2nrs Of Springfield
By Brian McGurk
47 Articles

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