2008 Acura TSX: Finding That Perfect Balance

It’s secure to say that Angel Pena, proprietor of this supercharged 2008 Acura TSX, has a “sort.” Having been enamored with Acura’s entry-level sedan ever because it was first launched, he knew instantly he’d get his arms on one, and finally, he did simply that. As we speak, a decade later, he’s moved on to his second TSX chassis and managed to discover a picture-perfect mixture of what so many others usually attempt for: an nearly fully street-legal construct that’s tame sufficient for the road but can maintain its personal on the observe.  

Proper Automobile, Flawed Coloration


That preliminary buy, a 2005 Carbon Gray model of the TSX a few decade in the past, proved to be all the pieces he imagined, although it was merely the flawed shade. Angel provides, “My dream was all the time to personal a white TSX. This yr I discovered the proper shell: 2008 mannequin in white with a black inside.” The chase for that tough-to-locate shade combo and, extra importantly, one which met his excessive ranges of expectation led to Tennessee. Angel and the proprietor got here to an settlement and the shell was then shipped cross-country, arriving safely at its new Southern California house.

Having already pieced collectively fairly the construct previous to buying the brand new chassis, Angel didn’t should hit the online to begin sourcing elements, as he had the perfect donor automotive in his gray ’05, which was filled with suspension and efficiency items that he merely needed to take away and set up on the brand new buy. The imaginative and prescient for this construct was precisely the identical as earlier than, “My Objective was to have an excellent, dependable every day/observe automotive that may be California authorized. My TSX enterprise has gone by means of many adjustments, however inside time, I’ve discovered my steadiness.”

The OEM+ Method


From the skin, the OEM+ appear and feel are obvious, with the just about required grill, entrance lip and back-dated headlight swap to Euro R spec for a extra seamless look – minor adjustments that make a serious distinction in modernizing an in any other case getting older USDM entrance fascia. On the “Plus” a part of the equation, to even out the efforts of the entrance splitter, of which its origin Angel notes is totally unknown, there’s a carbon fiber J’s Racing wing. The rear addition may take away from the glossy, OEM look, however the trade-off of a controllable rear finish at velocity on observe days is definitely price it for Angel. The decrease portion of the rear is capped with a Euro R lip that partially covers a pair of titanium exhaust finishers, courtesy of Mugen.

Wheels Make the Automobile

When Angel arrived on the studio, the very first thing that stood out to me was the wheel and tire setup. Traditional bronze CE28s on a white Honda not often, if ever, fail to ship. It’s an iconic look and one which’s been used loads of instances earlier than and refuses to age. In Angel’s occasion, the sizing of the wheels and tires up entrance had me doing a double take.

There’s no excessive camber or Braille-script fender markings, and from a distance you may suppose it’s a reasonably normal setup. Get nearer and also you’ll discover there’s fairly a little bit of tire beneath these manufacturing unit arches, as Bridgestone RE71Rs measuring 275/35 are wrapped across the 18×9.5 Volks up entrance, with 245/40s mounted to a 1-in. narrower rear wheel for a correct FWD stagger.

The Bait & Swap

A part of the transition from the gray TSX to this white model concerned plenty of suspension elements, and quite than doing it in piecemeal trend, Angel dropped the complete subframe on each vehicles and pulled the ol’ switcheroo, saving fairly a little bit of time. The bevy of upgrades included Feal coilovers loaded with Swift springs, ASR 32mm rear and OEM TL-S entrance sway bar combo, numerous arms and ball joints, all in wonderful situation, which now do their work beneath the newer chassis. A giant brake rear conversion and Spoon Sports activities entrance calipers are joined by StopTech rotors and Carbotech XP12 pads that make brake fade a factor of the previous.

Stickin’ It to The Man

Constructing a automotive in California that’s 100-percent road authorized is a tall, if not not possible, order. The powers that be have been adamant about attacking even the slightest change to a car, even when it doesn’t affect emissions. Angel’s TSX toes the road with its modified exhaust that, by the way, may be very quiet, and whenever you elevate the hood, you’re eye-to-eye with bolt-on pressured induction – often a no-no in these elements. His Comptech supercharger, nonetheless, carries a C.A.R.B. E.O. designation, as does the model’s header, making them authorized on Cali streets, although there are further items beneath the hood that may be trigger for alarm if he’s fortunate sufficient to be chosen by the proper officer. Regardless, Angel has fastidiously chosen energy upgrades which can be efficient whereas making an trustworthy try to remain inside quite ridiculous state tips, which is not any simple process.

Twin Persona

The manufacturing unit Ok24 longblock stays nearly fully inventory internally, apart from the extra security measure Angel took in including a 4Piston Racing ported oil pump. The facility figures, afforded by the tuning keyboard strokes of KV Tuned, measure 353 hub horsepower, with 250 lb-ft of torque. Greater than only a grunt engine in a unadorned bay, nearly all the manufacturing unit appointed items and equipment are nonetheless intact in order that this TSX stays totally road pleasant.


That doesn’t imply Angel skipped out on the extras, having integrated titanium items from Chasing J’s and Speedfactory Racing together with a slick, low-profile Hybrid Racing dip stick on a muted, matte black powder coated valvecover. It’s the type of setup that’s user-friendly and makes greater than enough energy whereas remaining fully reversible.

Basically the alternative of the outside, the sedan’s cabin places extra emphasis on track-minded items as in comparison with OEM, with the rear seats lengthy gone and, of their place, an Autopower 4-pt. roll bar, which incorporates an built-in harness bar to anchor twin Schroth harnesses. The cumbersome manufacturing unit seats may as effectively be luggage of cement, and of their place now are lighter, way more athletic Bride Zeta III Japan buckets.


You’ll discover just a few extra titanium touches inside with contemporary {hardware} and a Chasing J’s horn button utilized to the Momo steering wheel and a Hybrid Racing titanium extension that bridges the hole between Hybrid’s newest TSX adjustable quick shifter and their 130R Delrin shift knob.

Discovering That Steadiness

We don’t get ahold of a lot of TSX builds, and Angel Pena’s 2008 mannequin undoubtedly stands out. Reasonably than an on/off change of modifications that may by no means be undone and a loud, obnoxious bark, or the acquainted “wheels and a drop situation,” this TSX steps issues up significantly with each essential space of the automotive upgraded accordingly whereas by no means straying too removed from the sporty, OEM sedan really feel that originally drew Angel in.

2008 Acura TSX Specs and Particulars

Instagram @angel_penaiii

Engine Hasport mounts; Comptech supercharger constructed by JonBond Efficiency, header; Merc Racing J37 throttle physique; Z-industries customized blower pulley; 4Piston Racing oil pump; customized pie-cut consumption; Snake Chunk Acura MDX crank pulley; throttle physique adapter; IMT after cooler; Mugen titanium exhaust; Koyo Rad aluminum radiator; Samco hoses; AEM gasoline pump; ID1000 injectors; Hondata FlashPro tuned by KV Tuned; Checkerd Sports activities battery tray; Interstate mini battery; Radium catch can; Chasing J’s titanium coil pack cowl, oil cap; Hybrid Racing locking dipstick; GReddy rad cap; Rywire floor package; Downstar {hardware}; Speedfactory Racing titanium manifold and valve cowl {hardware}
Drivetrain Exedy HyperSingle clutch, flywheel; OS Giken differential
Suspension Feal 442 2-way coilovers; Swift springs; ASR 32mm hole rear sway bar; Acura TL-S entrance sway bar; PCI entrance management arm bearings; TrueHart higher controls arms; GodSpeed rear camber package; Ingalls rear arms; J’s Racing fender bracing, decrease ball joints; Spoon Sports activities inflexible collars entrance/rear; Comptech titanium entrance tower bar
Braking Spoon Sports activities entrance calipers; rear massive brake conversion package; StopTech entrance/rear slotted rotors; Carbotech XP12 entrance/rear pads; stainless traces
Wheels & Tires Volk CE28 18×9.5 +34 entrance, 18×8.5 +30 rear; Bridgestone RE71R 275/35 entrance, 245/40 rear
Exterior Euro R entrance and rear lips, entrance grill, grill badge, 2003-05 headlights; J’s Racing rear wing; Unknown entrance splitter
Inside Bride Zeta III Sort L Japan seats; PCI seat rails; Schroth Racing 6-pt. harness; Momo Monte Carlo leather-based steering wheel; WorksBell hub, GTC tilt; Euro R pedals; Hybrid Racing shifter, shift knob, titanium extender; Zoom Engineering Monaco 240mm mirror
Thank You HeelToe AutoMotive ( Marcus And his Household ) for all of the help since day one; RivalMachine (Gabe and Dan); Hybrid Racing (David); ASR Components (Charleston and his Spouse , OH! and their Canine; GhostWorks (James); Artwork of Assault; Corner3Garage; Tony Jackson; Cesar Pina; Gino Rodriguez; Homies at Jst4ffn; and I can’t neglect my beautiful spouse, Eleanor…or she might be mad!


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