A HEART TRANSPLANT FOR CLARION BUILDS 1991 NSX

There is nothing more exciting than the visceral feel of an engine pushing its full potential on a set of tires just barely holding grip against the pavement as your car accelerates forward in a burst of speed. The sounds, smells, and force against your body elicit a rush that so little other activities can replicate. That is why Clarion Builds decided that the beating heart of their Acura NSX needed a replacement after more than 229,000 miles of adrenalin delivery.

To most Honda (and even non-Honda fans), nothing says Honda performance like a VTEC engine and the 1991 version of the NSX had a truly unique 3.0L Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) VTEC V6 C30A engine producing an impressive 270 HP. That engine was the first production Honda V6 to have VTEC and it showed what the technology was capable of delivering. But, even great things like this revolutionary engine, give things up over time and miles travelled, and with a quarter-million miles on the odometer, our NSX engine had given up more than anybody wanted. So, it meant either we had to rebuilt the engine completely or do an all out replacement. The latter option proved just too good to pass up.

Since we had to remove the engine for the elaborate paint and body work planned for the build, we had time to get the heart of our NSX perfect. And, the technicians at AutoWave that helped work on the mechanical bits of our NSX project were more than happy to source a 3.2L DOHC VTEC V6 (C32A) engine from the later model NSX. Starting with 290 HP from a larger bore and bigger intake valves, the C32B motor was also mated to a 6 speed transmission that helps improve acceleration by keeping the engine’s VTEC engaged through the gears. More power flowing through better gearing really meant that our NSX would be more alive when all was done and ready but, ever the horsepower addicts we are, we could not leave it at just that!

Enter CT Engineering and their Comptech supercharger kit for the 3.2L NSX. Delivering 60+ more horsepower without compromising power delivery or street legality, this supercharger kit was the performance hit we needed. This kit has the added benefit of being CARB legal so we don’t run afoul of emissions testing. Compressing air for more power means the need to deliver more air to the supercharger. So, we knew we needed a custom intake system and who better in providing that than our partners at AEM. Sucking in colder air at a higher volume helped bring our supercharged NSX alive and into a new level of performance – Dyno tests are pending to prove this so, stay tuned!

PS – All of this air has to exit the engine and sound awesome doing so. You guessed it. We need an impressive exhaust system and our plans for that are not yet complete. Check with us shortly to read about what we decided to do there!

Alyson Yarberry