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About to buy a new to me S2000

Old 10-30-2018, 08:30 AM
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Hi Everyone,
I've been following this site and reading for quite a while now and just wanted some opinions before I pull the trigger this week on an S2000. I grew up driving stick shifts (I'm in my mid 40's) and I don't like the direction cars are going now. I miss having a car that is fully under your control without all that technology...that is why I am drawn to the S2000.

This will strictly be a summer-time, weekend fun car! I live on the outskirts of Chicago so I will store it during the winter and drive farm type country roads in the summer for pleasure.

I have read all I can about the AP1 Vs AP2. I have even test drove good examples of each, both are 1-owner (mature owners who stored over winters on drove for pleasure in the summer), no accidents. AP1 is 2001 with 78K miles for $14,000. AP2 is 2004 with 77K miles for $19,000. Both are in awesome shape. Here is the dilemma...I have tested each for the usual issues such as rust (no rust) and the transmission shifting. Both seem to be the proper amount of notchy-shifting (shifts smooth and goes into gear very nicely) with zero grinding, whine or vibration. Both were matured owned. I'm fine and happy with either and frankly my budget was $15,000 so I want to go with the AP1 based on budget.

Here is my question: Should I worry about the synchros eventually going? Maybe I'm wrong and they are not in that good of shape (difficult to really know for sure since it shifts perfect). Is it better insurance to stretch my budget and go for the AP2 with less future worry of transmission troubles? Or, even future engine troubles because the AP2 has better valve retainers? I will not beat on this at all. I will occasionally drive it spirited down country roads on weekends during the summer. With that being said, would you thing the AP1 transmission would hold up for a lifetime? Or at least the next 100,000 miles? I want to keep this so long I can pass it down to my son who is only 9 years old now. Is the AP1 fine, or is it worth the money to spend more now for the AP2?

I'm looking for opinions on longevity and reliability vs having to replace a very expensive transmission or engine. Based on my usage which one would you go for???

Thanks!!!!
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:41 AM
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i would just do the AP1 if its a budget issue only, and your ok with the differences. At the end of the day its a honda and usually if well maintained can easily hit 200 k. The transmissions in both cars are good and for what your talking about doing as long as you keep fresh fluid in there and dont skip shift gears you will be just fine.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:07 AM
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Get the color you like best, if the same then the 01.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:00 PM
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AP1 vs. AP2... They're both great. It's really a win-win situation, but if you're truly "on the fence" as to which car to buy, here are two small things that you MIGHT consider: the AP2 has more low end torque, suspension/chassis changes and is a little easier to drive around town, and if I'm not mistaken, the AP1 that you're considering has a plastic rear window...not a selling point. I have an AP1 (with an aftermarket top) and am perfectly happy with it (although I DO like the AP2 headlights and tail lights better!)

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Old 10-30-2018, 12:31 PM
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I wouldn't worry about the synchros going. If the transmission feels good now, you continuing to take care of it and not slam shift it will keep it working properly and smoothly. If you do get an AP1 with a plastic rear window, think about getting that changed to glass sooner than later, especially in a cold climate. AP1 tends to be a little more raw of a drive, AP2 more refined. I love my AP1 for how it is though, so it looks like you're down to pure preference.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffreygebhart View Post
AP1 vs. AP2... They're both great. It's really a win-win situation, but if you're truly "on the fence" as to which car to buy, here are two small things that you MIGHT consider: the AP2 has more low end torque, suspension/chassis changes and is a little easier to drive around town, and if I'm not mistaken, the AP1 that you're considering has a plastic rear window...not a selling point. I have an AP1 (with an aftermarket top) and am perfectly happy with it (although I DO like the AP2 headlights and tail lights better!)
Recently just got an AP1 too and I absolutely love it! I was set on getting an AP2 with a preferred color choices of yellow/red/blue. But when the most mechanically excellent S2000 floated my way well below my projected budget for the car, I jumped on it.

The more I look and drive my AP1, the more I appreciate the subtle elegance of the AP1 body style. So my advice is, you've got a budget, stick to it, and buy the most mechanically sound example of S2000 you can find for the time.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:44 PM
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Thanks to all for the responses so far!
I have driven both and appreciate the differences in both the AP1 vs AP2. Both cars I'm looking at are in the Silverstone color so that is equal. It literally comes down to one is in my budget and the other is not. I think I've read too much about the transmission issues with the synchros and the valve retainers with the AP1 and it scared me into thinking I have to avoid Pre 2004 models. Honestly, the AP1 is in mint condition. You know how it is when you spend 2 hours checking over a car then take it for a test drive and it just "feels" good...like its perfect and been pampered it's whole life? The AP1 is the better condition of the 2 cars...
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by JRG2000 View Post
Thanks to all for the responses so far!
I have driven both and appreciate the differences in both the AP1 vs AP2. Both cars I'm looking at are in the Silverstone color so that is equal. It literally comes down to one is in my budget and the other is not. I think I've read too much about the transmission issues with the synchros and the valve retainers with the AP1 and it scared me into thinking I have to avoid Pre 2004 models. Honestly, the AP1 is in mint condition. You know how it is when you spend 2 hours checking over a car then take it for a test drive and it just "feels" good...like its perfect and been pampered it's whole life? The AP1 is the better condition of the 2 cars...
AP1 then. Mine is clocking in at 130,000miles when I picked it up, and definitely fits the pampered category. In my first weekend with it, the only time I had ANY issues with transmission is all because of driver's error.

Mine is also a Silverstone
1) It's a great color
2) It's named after a track, +50hp, and +60 imaginary torques to the wheels.
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JRG2000 View Post
Thanks to all for the responses so far!
I have driven both and appreciate the differences in both the AP1 vs AP2. Both cars I'm looking at are in the Silverstone color so that is equal. It literally comes down to one is in my budget and the other is not. I think I've read too much about the transmission issues with the synchros and the valve retainers with the AP1 and it scared me into thinking I have to avoid Pre 2004 models. Honestly, the AP1 is in mint condition. You know how it is when you spend 2 hours checking over a car then take it for a test drive and it just "feels" good...like its perfect and been pampered it's whole life? The AP1 is the better condition of the 2 cars...
Here's some more "food for thought"...I purchased an AP1, but then went with some of the advice put out on the "things to do after you buy an S2000" thread (that's not the name of the thread, I'm paraphrasing...it's located somewhere around here but I'm not sure exactly where...sorry!). But after buying the car I had a small laundry list of things that I wanted to do (new timing chain tensioner, swapping out for what I believe are AP2 valve retainers and...I think..AP2 banjo bolts) were just a few things. As I said, look for the thread. The point is, that unless you're bound and determined to keep the car original, you can make some minor "modifications" that by any measure genuinely improve the car. And it doesn't need to be done immediately, so it won't break your budget. Just my two cents worth.

Another thing...and this DOES cost some money ...if these cars are in a good enough condition to warrant the expense, you might consider putting a clear bra on the car. I bought my NSX first, and upon driving it immediately noticed that I was getting A LOT of rock chips in the paint. I finally had a clear bra installed...XPEL Ultimate...and it has absolutely been the best money that I've spent on the car. My only regret is that I didn't have it done sooner. I DID have one installed on my S2000 right after I brought it home.

Finally, if the AP1 falls within your budget and the AP2 does not, it seems like a cut-and-dried decision! You may encounter some expenses after the purchase that you weren't expecting, and if you're over-extended on the car to begin with... You don't want the car to become a financial burden.

Last edited by jeffreygebhart; 10-30-2018 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:56 PM
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As an owner of a 2006, I will say buy that AP1. Since its for back road fun, I don't think the torquue difference matters. A friend of mine has an Ap1 and I really like the higher redline and more rawness of the car.
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