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2000 Honda S2000 - The Reawakening

S2000 nirvana by way of Southern California's Rywire

Aaron Bonk
Mar 26, 2018
Photographer: Viet Nguyen

Northern California's Angel Ramos knows his way around an S2000. The Internet is already friends with it. The magazines know it intimately. So when it came time to reinvent a car that by most accounts was already perfect, he did the only thing he could do: ship it off to renowned wiring specialist Rywire for a head-to-toe reawakening.

  |   2000 Honda S2000 Custom Mugen Rear Wing
  |   2000 Honda S2000 Volk Racing ZE40 Wheels

Flawless Honda builds and paying attention to every little detail are synonymous with the folks at Rywire. They have to be if you plan on turning an already capable and show-worthy AP1 into something you are going to debut at SEMA, the most scrutinizing of all stages. "I think I slept [one or two] hours a night that whole week leading up to SEMA," Rywire's founder, Ryan Basseri, says about the project's final days. "It really was a blur looking back at it."

The blur started with an S2000 you'd be perfectly happy with being torn down and overhauled by Ryan and company. The most notable of modifications are its electronically driven Kinsler throttle bodies featuring staged fuel injection—more than one injector per cylinder—by way of Injector Dynamics and AEM's Infinity 8h ECU. It's all a part of Ryan's prescription for extracting everything possible from the Bisimoto-built F-series. About that Bisimoto-built F-series... Away went the 2.0L engine's rotating assembly and in went the Ontario, California-based engine builder's smorgasbord of forged pistons, shorter connecting rods, and a reworked stroker crankshaft to accommodate them, resulting in 2.5L of displacement. A Portflow-modified cylinder head and Bisimoto's own camshafts make sure all of those extra cubic inches' worth of displacement weren't done in vain.

  |   Hate how widebody kits look with the indented gas door? Rywire fixed this by shaving and filling the driver-side rear fender and relocating the gas door inside the trunk.
  |   While it's easy to think this S2000 just has a clean and custom Mugen exterior, it goes well beyond that. The AP1 was taken down to a completely bare shell where every single component was either replaced or refurbished with powdercoating, billet, or titanium.

Ramos' AP1 goes beyond the masterfully built F-series underneath its hood. Like anything SEMA-bound, it has to. So instead of just fitting it with things like a pair of regular rare Mugen bumpers, Casale Design in Pasadena, California, was appointed to widen and reshape them to still look like how Mugen intended them but also make way for an impending set of 18x10" front, 18x12" rear Volk ZE40s. The automotive design firm went on to customize things like the S2000's side skirts and quarter-panels, and in a subtle sort of way, not to mention shaving the fuel door so the rear fenders look seamless on both sides.

"The main hurdle was the decision to debut the car at the 2017 SEMA show in the Toyo Tires booth," Ryan says about the project's utmost challenge. "This put extreme pressure on the paint and body guys." Pressure that led to a series of events that ultimately left Ryan and his team with just six days to finish the car before its Las Vegas delivery.

  |   2000 Honda S2000 Ballade Sports Cooling Plate
  |   2000 Honda S2000 Volk ZE40

"This is the final stage of the car," Ryan says about this S2000's years-long buildup, and as far as cutting corners goes, there are none to speak of. "We built a jig for the chassis and stripped it down to a bare shell," he says about the sort of extreme measures Ramos had Rywire take. "Every bolt and grommet was replaced and upgraded. Not a single aspect of this car was left alone. We did a full buildup on this thing and gave this low-mileage car a total rebirth."

But that reincarnation took far longer than the six days leading up to SEMA. The whole thing was a culmination of events that started seven years ago, after the car got some magazine time, starting with a rollcage and, according to Ryan, "snowballing" into what you see now, and all for good reason. "Angel wanted to be able to take the car to occasional track days and have an overall better experience, adding safety and power," he says about the impetus for the overhaul, which goes beyond the car just showing face for a week at trade show.

  |   The custom rollcage is impressive no doubt, but what you might not catch is the section behind the seats where the soft top usually sits. Here, Rywire gutted it clean and added sheetmetal panels with dimple dies that continue into the trunk. And speaking of dimple dies, all of them on the 'cage are uniform. Even the dimple die on the hood cowl line up with the main seat hoops, and match up with the gusseted rear. Just some examples that nothing on this build was a half-ass job.
  |   The interior is super mint, and while it may appear to be a race car with things like an AiM dash and extravagant jungle Jim, it features some creature comforts for easy driveability. We dig the Recaro RS-Gs and Mugen wheel.

With track days in sight, Ramos went on to pair the sort of parts to this AP1 that won't, well, crack, strip, or break once subjected to things like racing. For that, he looked to capable suspension bits like KW's V3 coilovers and oversized brakes all around by way of StopTech. There's also a custom radiator setup, the highest grade motorsport plumbing Rywire offers, and CSF oil cooler up front to ensure the J-Series can hold up to a proper beating. "We'll hand the car over to Angel soon," Ryan says, who points out that, aside from testing, the car's finished, "and let him enjoy [it and] take it to weekend Buttonwillow track days as he sees fit." "I believe the car is done," Ryan sums up. "Driving her into the [SEMA] show for Sunday staging, I knew we had a piece of rolling art on our hands."

Staged Fuel Injection

  |   2000 Honda S2000 Kinsler Individual Throttle Bodies

Talk about introducing more than one fuel injector into an engine's cylinders and you're talking about staged fuel injection. Here, two injectors are typically matched to each cylinder—a primary injector that allows for the sort of fuel atomization you need for good driveability and acceptable fuel economy, and a secondary injector that meets the demands for the sort of power you want.

  |   2000 Honda S2000 Rywire Ryti Coil Cover

Although typically most common within motorsports circles, OEMs like Mazda have successfully implemented staged injection with select 13B engines. In the case of engines with individual throttle bodies, mounting the second set of injectors above the throttle bodies helps with fuel vaporization.

  |   2000 Honda S2000 Bisimoto Built F Series

With conventional fuel injection systems that rely on a single injector per cylinder, oftentimes the larger-sized injectors required for peak horsepower production aren't able to properly spray the sort of smaller quantities required for things like idling or low-speed operation. A successful staged injection system starts with the right ECU. Here, it's the computer's job to figure out how much fuel both sets of injectors ought to spray and is usually represented as a percentage; as such, each set of injectors is matched with its own fuel table within the ECU's software.

  |   2000 Honda S2000 Custom Mugen Front Bumper
  |   The backstory behind Angel's choice to do white paint, ITBs, and a -wire setup dates back to October '13 when Ryan of Rywire completed his E-AT Civic, which graced the cover of Honda Tuning. It was this car that Angel fell in love with and ultimately used as inspiration for his S2000.
By Aaron Bonk
411 Articles
2000 Honda S2000 - The Reawakening
Tuning Menu
Owner: Angel Ramos
Hometown: Northern California
Engine: Bisimoto 2.5L, 14.5:1 stroker engine; Kinsler individual throttle bodies and Rywire drive-by-wire conversion; Portflow cylinder head; Bisimoto camshafts, rods, pistons, crankshaft; Golden Eagle ductile-iron sleeves; Injector Dynamics 1,000cc injectors (x8); Nuke Performance fuel regulator and filters; Ballade Sports exhaust manifold, cooling plate, timing chain tensioner, catch cans; Wisecraft custom exhaust system; Ticon Industries mufflers; Hasport engine and rear differential mounts; CSF radiator and oil cooler; BallaMugen oil filter and oil cap; Rywire RyTi coil cover, XRP HS-79 motorsport plumbing, ABS relocation and clutch line
Engine Management: AEM Infinity 8h ECU; Rywire Motorsport wiring harness
Footwork & Chassis: KW Suspensions V3 coilovers; Karcepts top hats; Ballade Sports spherical bushing kit
Brakes: StopTech Trophy Sport big-brake kit
Wheels & Tires: 18x10" +20 front, 18x12" +20 rear Volk Racing ZE40 wheels; 265/35R18 front, 315/30R18 rear Toyo R888 tires; Rywire RyTi lug nuts
Exterior: custom Casale Design widened Mugen front and rear bumpers, wing, hood; custom side skirts and quarter panels; GT Motoring carbon-fiber top; JDM headlights
Interior: Recaro RS-G seats; Crow harnesses; Mugen steering wheel; Rywire RyTi steering wheel bolts; ASM steering wheel hub; AiM MXS display; custom rollcage, sheet metal cowl, rear panels, trunk panels

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