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LT 2003 CL-S total restoral and improvement pictures

 
Old 10-24-2015, 02:44 AM
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LT 2003 CL-S total restoral and improvement pictures

Good Day fellow CL owners.

I figured I would post some pictures of a total CL-S overhaul (so far, about 60k at dealer, 13k at stereo and 10k at acuraautomotiveparts.org). We've pretty much replaced every piece on the car, most looked new when we took it off but I wanted to replace it anyway. I've learned some lessons along the way with the help of the Acura dealer here in Clearwater, FL.

2003 CL-S stock lessons.
1. If you have the spoiler, then your 3rd brake light inside the car does not light and is missing a wire for ground. My technician ran wires and put a bulb in so that both light up during braking.

2. Foglights, didn't exist. If you order a fog light switch from a 2003 TL, it fits perfectly in the vacant slot, use the TL wiring harness clip and then you can wire it to your existing harness for a pure stock look. Do not attempt to use the 7th gen Accord headlights or large aftermarket lights, they do not fit well in the slots for our cars, they will appear aftermarket and not attractive. I went with some other recommendations in this forum for the "4X JDM Black Hyper White 8 Leds Daytime Drl Bumper Lights". I put only one in on each side. To get the most conformed and stock look, mount them a good 1/2 inch deeper, this can be achieved by cutting a square hole on the inside portion (middle to the car) to fit the back part of the LED. The LED lights will still be exposed. The technician and I spent 16 hours of labor redoing this and wasted 4 inserts before I was happy with a pure stock look. Save yourself time and cut on the side opposite from the screw/outer side enough that the light is recessed about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. When you put in the black inserts in the bumper, it ironically still sticks out too much if it looks flush with the black piece. My technician brought the wiring into the harness below the battery tray and into the car harness for the 03 TL fog light switch.

3. Trunk lid keeps coming down? Check the metal piece that connects to the bottom of the trunk lid in between the speakers. The two spot welds from factory do not hold very well and come loose. We actually drilled through and bolted it on. This is a more permanent solution

4. Ash Tray light. 2003 CL-S didn't come with the ground wire to complete the circuit, yet has the socket. Have your technician make a ground wire and wire it into the socket harness.

5. Inside lighting for your car, the T3 bulbs. Buy at least 60 of them, because there's a TON. I suggest buying equal amounts of white/blue (they're cheap) so that you can choose immediately when you have the console/dash/middle/instrument panel out. LED bulbs only go in one way, they now have resistors so they don't short out if you put them in wrong, but they won't light. If your LED bulb
doesn't illuminate, turn it around it's a polarity thing.

6. Transmission. Probably has been talked about for extensive threads. If you don't do any other mods to extend the life and reliability of your car, do a transmission cooler. They're not terribly expensive, but our cars are fatally flawed in that area and are the most expensive to replace. If you do replace the transmission, do not let the shop put an Odyssey transmission in your car. Yes, it fits perfectly and you will get better gas mileage, but the car will never be as smooth as the OE Acura CL-S one. This change over cost me an additional $7,000 because the reputable transmission shop with great referrals didn't tell me about the Honda transmission until I kept bringing it back there every week complaining about the loss of power, the jerky shifting compared to Acura. While some of it might be related to workmanship, the OE Acura transmission does not jerk and is much quicker in shifting.

7. Road noise. While our cars are great vehicles, the road noise even with Michelin or Bridgestone Potenza tires are too much, add in the wind noise and vibration of a thin skin car and it can be a bit much. Adding in a layer of dynamat (stinger is more cost effective) to the outside skin and adding another layer to the inside skin of the vehicle will vastly improve the noise. It's now as quite as my Bentley and quieter than both my E350 coupes. The doors will be heavier but will "thud" closed and give a nice quiet cabin. Approximate cost would be 1k for trunk 1k for doors, 1k for floor and 500 for roof. Add 50% if you were to double it as I did.

8. Speakers. Our Bose system is wonderful, especially for a 32k car back in 2003. Leave it alone or replace with similar speakers. To venture down the road to achieve a better sound will cost you significantly. I kept the stock radio to keep the OE look of the car, but ended up spending significant money redoing the stereo 4 times until I was sure it was better than OE. I ended up putting a JL 10' sub stealth mounted to get the better sound, giving up 5 inches of my trunk after the panel to hide it.

9. Engine. To adequately improve the engine, if you are not a competent car mechanic will cost you 10k minimum to do a quality boring of small measure, I stress quality boring because from the factory the car is already bored significantly better than if you skimped on the machining process. the engine will actually be worse off. The OE engine internals are of good quality, to improve upon those would cost about 50% more and while they will improve the reliability of a higher output engine, you get back to the failure of the transmission and front drive components.

10. Suspension. There is a PERFECT write up for using Moog/Ingall parts with Eibach pro suspension. Keep in mind that you will definitely notice that your car has been lowered, in my opinion too low (I might rip out and go back to new OE). The guy for Ingall in Denver is very helpful and if you get confused on ordering, he will help you out. This comes at a premium though, as almost all the parts are on Amazon for 1/2 the price. I ordered through Ingall and Moog as I was more interested in customer service at the time, but for the normal consumer, save your money and order from the Eibach write up. The technician did have to shave off a few of the extra rubber that came on the top part of the bushings, as it squeaked when first installed. Make SURE if you lower the car to get the right camber adjustment, if you follow the instructions and the thread, you'll be fine.

11. Tint. Check out Solarguard tint, that stuff's amazing. I've ripped off all my stock tint and put this stuff on. There's an "Ultra 70" which appears to be clear, but blocks heat and UV rays. Great for front windshields, on the way from the stereo shop back to the dealer I actually turned down the A/C to nearly off in the middle of a sunny Florida day.

12. Seats. Unless you're willing to drop $5,500 for the drivers seat and $6,500 for the passengers seat, just redo the leather only at a local shop. The OE leather is discontinued and buying the foam/leather pieces from the dealer will cost you $15,000 installed if you replace every part including seat belts, sensors, heater pads, etc, etc, etc.

13. Lights - I've purchased about 10 different bulbs for the front, trying to find that are congruent with my LED fog lights and the low beams and the high beams. Typically the low beams are a bit yellow in nature. To get a nice bright white high beam, check out Amazon for a JDM 7th generation 9005 bulb for around 90 dollars. As I've learned for bulbs, JDM is a great company for our cars, good quality products.

14. Back up camera and Bluetooth. Rydeen makes a phenomenal backup camera that can be paired with a rearview mirror that has a built in 3 inch screen. The unit has ambient temp, Bluetooth phone, GPS and as soon as you put it into reverse, turns the back up camera on. Good stuff, just BE AWARE that the Rydeen rear view mirror does not come with the right window attachment for our cars, my installer shop had the right one but if you DIY, you'll need to order the one made for the Rydeen model as it doesn't come with one and you can't reuse the stock one. Which leads me to stock radio inputs. There is now a Bluetooth and all bells/whistle direct plug in attachment to our non navigational head units. It's made by GTA and the Bluetooth works very well, decent price for $140 and $100 in labor from dealer.

15. Dash lights. Almost every dash light can be changed to any LED color except the ones in the radio, unless you're willing to take it apart and spent 4 hours of labor, save yourself the heartache. While I went with mostly blue, I did notice when you change them all to LED, the dimmer does not get very dim on the lights. I'm not sure if this is related to the LED replacement or the color I chose. But it's noticeably brighter and I think can be annoying at night driving.

16. Brakes. After spending way too much on brakes, you'll find the OE brakes with the cheap metal pads are more than adequate for our cars. While there is shuddering and brake fade, it is not worth spending $4,000 to replace all the parts. If you put in Brembo, they will actually feel spongy because they have more give than the metal OE. I called Brembo and complained about this, and they said to give the car about 1000 miles or so then bleed the system again and there should be marked improvement. Honestly, if I were to do it again, I would have gone straight OE or left what was on there.

Cooling. If you're going to want to "pimp" out your cooling system with a nice Koyo radiator, check the dimensions prior. I purchased the nicest radiator I could find without custom and it was too wide to fit the attached fans. While there are better electric fans, the sizes are so different and not uniform that you'll spend more time trying to get them on than the potential benefit. The fan sizes even though they say are the exact same dimensions at stock, they do not fit on the same way, which means you're either fabricating a way to get them on or your calling the manufacturer as they try to best guess a way to get it on over the phone. Neither made me feel comfortable so I scrapped the whole thing and went with a nicer than OE radiator that fit exactly the same and did OE fans/shroud/etc. Everything hooked right up and took less time than we were on hold in the first place.

Hope this helps others. Lots of expensive lessons and time wasted but still more fun than other things.
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:08 AM
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after brakes, dash, steering, floor, transmission, before stereo shop, before suspension overhaul





hidden JL sub




double dynamat




Rydeen vs stock mirror, same size just less space for mirror since 3 inch screen on right




wiring for foglights, great place to hide and feed into console




fog light placement sort of final




stock fog lights in blue




after eibach pro kit and ingall/moog suspension




after eibach pro kit and ingall/moog suspension in the back




blue light now in ashtray - will require additional wiring but worth it for the finished look




temporary blue dash, very bright in the middle of the day
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:29 AM
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LED accessory light with Rydeen rear view mirror





K40 radar detector w/diffuser flashes blue on drivers side when from front, flashes blue on passenger side when from back, dual LED lights




trunk space dilemma, 5 inch JL 10 with 400W amp built in helps in decision making
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:41 AM
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This thread has potential to be epic. I don't want to comment on anything so much as I just want you to know you have an audience waiting on a picture dump. Come on, you have more!
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Lance10 View Post
I figured I would post some pictures of a total CL-S overhaul (so far, about 60k at dealer, 13k at stereo and 10k at acuraautomotiveparts.org).
(snip)
What is 60k, 13k, 10k? Dollars?!
And what is "LT"?
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Old 10-24-2015, 02:48 PM
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I love this thread.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 01CLinprocess View Post
I love this thread.
I'm wowed too but probably for different reasons. I'm impressed by the attention this car was given but I find the fact that someone may have spent close to $100,000 on an obscure thirteen year old car amazing... I'm not criticizing... just
I appreciate it though... it's already helped me with two decisions I've been thinking about.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:51 PM
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I've been looking at the App-Tronics SmartVision rear view mirror. Was there a reason you chose the one you did over the others available on the market?
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:40 AM
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Even considering how much money I have in my cl, this sounds crazy. Think what else you could have with that money.
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:16 PM
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Question

Originally Posted by brian6speed View Post
Even considering how much money I have in my cl, this sounds crazy. Think what else you could have with that money.
Good point. It's about perspective I guess. When you've spent 300k for a car, 1200 a month to insure it, 6000 a year for a clutch, 4300 a year for warranty, 3000 for "tuning", 1300 for oil change, and terms of thousands on incidentals, this is a "bargain". I know that's a loose description, but it's just a different frame of mind. I've also owned 8 MB E, CL, and SL class cars in the past 13 years, and have never felt they were worth the 33k I paid for the Acura. If acura made an door car today, I woupdated get rid of all my other cars.
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:21 PM
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Taking car home for the week to test all the systems we replaced. Still need hood, seats, doors, exhaust, and miscellaneous things. The background are my daily drivers, two E350 coupes.
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Old 10-25-2015, 03:17 PM
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Does anyone have a safe, reliable and quiet sounding exhaust option? My first option is all OEM since comp tech is no longer an option. I've reached out to their sales dept to see if they're willing to do a one off (bribe if need be)
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Old 10-25-2015, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Lance10 View Post

16. Brakes. After spending way too much on brakes, you'll find the OE brakes with the cheap metal pads are more than adequate for our cars. While there is shuddering and brake fade, it is not worth spending $4,000 to replace all the parts. If you put in Brembo, they will actually feel spongy because they have more give than the metal OE. I called Brembo and complained about this, and they said to give the car about 1000 miles or so then bleed the system again and there should be marked improvement. Honestly, if I were to do it again, I would have gone straight OE or left what was on there.
At this point, I realize that it may be 'water under the bridge'; however, should you get a 'hair' and decide to return to stock because of the spongy Brembo's, there is an alternative OEM replacement option for the original front single piston calipers that came with the car.

The 1995 Legend had two piston calipers that can be used to replace the, now gone, single piston ones. I went with this option mainly to eliminate the 'warped rotor' syndrome I experienced about every 10k miles, and it worked. Although, this may be a 'down grade' from the upgraded Brembo setup and rotors, you seem like 'a man who knows what he wants/likes' and this would give you the stock firm pedal feel. Just thought I would bring it up, although you may have already known.(?)

https://www.rockauto.com/catalog/mor...nid=395&jpid=9

https://www.rockauto.com/catalog/mor...id=395&jpid=10

Also, for a little bling, the NSX dual piston calipers should fit as well; however, you may have to research the year for proper fitment. The pistons are a little smaller then the Legends.

Originally Posted by Lance10 View Post
Hope this helps others. Lots of expensive lessons and time wasted but still more fun than other things.
Nice job on the CL and thanks for sharing.

Last edited by zeta; 10-25-2015 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 10-25-2015, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by zeta View Post
The 1995 Legend had two piston calipers that can be used to replace the, now gone, single piston ones. I went with this option mainly to eliminate the 'warped rotor' syndrome I experienced about every 10k miles, and it worked. Although, this may be a 'down grade' from the upgraded Brembo setup and rotors, you seem like 'a man who knows what he wants/likes' and this would give you the stock firm pedal feel. Just thought I would bring it up, although you may have already known.(?)
Definitely a worthwhile upgrade that just so happens to be relatively inexpensive. I recently picked up a CL-S 6MT so that I can give my auto some TLC in the coming months, and while proper engine braking is going a long way towards using the brakes less, I do miss the firmer, more progressive feel of the brakes of my auto, which has Legend twin-piston calipers, braided brake lines, and DOT4 fluid. There's also the matter of more exotic rotors, but I don't think I'll be going that route again. No complaints about the cost or performance so much as I think they're overkill in light of me beginning to drive more like an adult. . .
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Old 10-25-2015, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ASpirational View Post
'...which has Legend twin-piston calipers, braided brake lines, and DOT4 fluid.
LOL, thanks for responding. I knew I forgot something and that was the addition of 'braided brake lines', they contribute significantly.
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Old 10-25-2015, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tosh View Post
What is 60k, 13k, 10k? Dollars?!
And what is "LT"?
Yes, dollars. Parts at the dealer and labor for custom work adds up quickly but the customer service and resources for Acura parts and technicians are what I was interested in. To be fair, there were several aftermarket upgrades that were unnecessary to the rebuild. (Alpine Type R speakers and amp, double dynamat, redoing all the wiring and harnesses in the car, K40 radar with diffusers and GPS, backup camera)
The suspension labor was pricey because we tried a couple configurations which ended up in some double labor hours. We spent about 30 hours just in the fog lights and placement of them.
LT is my initials, what my colleagues call me.
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Old 10-25-2015, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by JarrettLauderdale View Post
I've been looking at the App-Tronics SmartVision rear view mirror. Was there a reason you chose the one you did over the others available on the market?
The irony is that I first looked into the Apptronics, but no touch screen and a bad glare was a bit too much for me. Also, I liked the GPS being up all the time, nice and bright. It's just a preference, I thought both were good, I sent mine back after looking at it in accessory mode and thought that the button pushing and options were not something I wanted/needed. It did some pretty neat recording, better than Rydeen but I 'll never use it nor have I put an SD card in the one I have now.
I do think that for an overall mirror look, the Apptronics one I got was attractive.
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Old 10-25-2015, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by zeta View Post
At this point, I realize that it may be 'water under the bridge'; however, should you get a 'hair' and decide to return to stock because of the spongy Brembo's, there is an alternative OEM replacement option for the original front single piston calipers that came with the car.

The 1995 Legend had two piston calipers that can be used to replace the, now gone, single piston ones. I went with this option mainly to eliminate the 'warped rotor' syndrome I experienced about every 10k miles, and it worked. Although, this may be a 'down grade' from the upgraded Brembo setup and rotors, you seem like 'a man who knows what he wants/likes' and this would give you the stock firm pedal feel. Just thought I would bring it up, although you may have already known.(?)

Also, for a little bling, the NSX dual piston calipers should fit as well; however, you may have to research the year for proper fitment. The pistons are a little smaller then the Legends.

Nice job on the CL and thanks for sharing.
Great advice, I was aware but wasn't sure that the calipers would be better than new technology. I believe now that you're right, the dual piston calipers might be a much better option. Lesson learned. I probably will replace them in a couple years if they don't improve. I can say after driving the car last night and today (very hard braking) that there is no shudder or brake fade and have stiffened up quite a bit. I'm not sure why, but the Brembo rep was right.

Thanks kindly for the kudos.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:06 PM
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me cruising at 100 in my LP-560


Originally Posted by brian6speed View Post
Even considering how much money I have in my cl, this sounds crazy. Think what else you could have with that money.
Brian, I looked at your upgrades (nice job) and was curious your thoughts on engine "sprucing up" that could add light HP to the car.

What else could I do with the money? Drive one of these
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:20 PM
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Radio off color from blue and from the temporary white gauges above it





current color of the dash lights is white instead of blue for now


I could use advice from those about stock radio and exhaust for our CL's. I enjoy the stock look and sound but would like to see what's available. Open to any/all options, nothing is off limits. One shop actually said they could take the front look of the Acura and make it into a façade, but then we run into how practical that would be when I'm driving.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:38 PM
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I'm impressed! Wow! You must really love this car. I still can't grasp how you spent that much. This is Dubai level...
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:56 PM
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hehe. Ironically I was in Dubai for my B-Day a couple years ago, a nice meal can be 100 grand. That place is definitely for people who could wipe their fanny with hundred dollar bills instead of T-paper. I felt very poor there when I tried to get an upgraded room and it was $15,000 a night. We stayed one night and I went back to my cheap $3,000 a night room.
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lance10 View Post
hehe. Ironically I was in Dubai for my B-Day a couple years ago, a nice meal can be 100 grand. That place is definitely for people who could wipe their fanny with hundred dollar bills instead of T-paper. I felt very poor there when I tried to get an upgraded room and it was $15,000 a night. We stayed one night and I went back to my cheap $3,000 a night room.
Know what you mean. My family spend the mid-90s in the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia. The wealth wasn't as profound as in Dubai, still, we discovered a completely different level of 'well-off' while there. My father bought a second-hand pearlescent W126 S-class midway through our stay there from a Mercedes specialist shop to scratch his itch for owning a Benz, and while it was a peach of a car, it was pretty tame compared to some of the other specimens that passed through. . .especially considering that a 1000SEL badge was often a prelude to some posh coach-builds. It was nothing for some of the shop's wealthier clients to drop five or six digits for modifications or a refurb/restoration and be without the car for up to half a year. To put that into perspective, this was during a period in a W126's lifespan in which the market-at-large considered it (or any flagship model from that era) little more than old, depreciated, and expensive-to-run news. One would've done just as well to wipe with the money spent on maintaining or modifying one because they weren't ever going to see it again. . .

Truth be told, if I had your means, I don't see myself doing much differently. In fact, the preliminary plan is to maintain/slowly refurbish my CLs, as I've not come across many late-model cars since I bought my auto eight years ago that I've wanted to swing. I've fancied 3G TL Type-S manuals, but good examples still cost more than I want to spend, and I enjoy the relative rarity of our cars compared to the 3G TL body style, which is still fairly commonplace.

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Old 10-25-2015, 09:35 PM
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Thanks. I can't really find a good 2 door coupe that I would spend money on. Tried the S550 coupe, looks pretty much like the cars I already have except I'd be paying 160k for a nice car and after driving it, it didn't move me. It's a refined drive, but quite boring. The Bentley I had was a great car, but lumbered around corners like an 18 wheeler. When I was moving 170MPH on the highway, I would have to look a mile ahead because the cars so darn heavy it would take that long to slow down, also all the radio functions sucked and I had to keep reaching over to change channels/surf. The exotics I had were fun, but unless I carried less than a small bag, they're useless for daily driving. The i8 I ordered had a boring interior, looked much worse than the MB and the blue was cheap plastic, for 153k with no air conditioned seats, let alone massage, skipped that. The Acura dealer (Ferman) actually sent me my NSX deposit back to me with a note after 4 years, and the price went up to 170k with options. I even looked at the Cadillac ELR and odd cars I normally wouldn't think of (Infinity S50, Chevy Corvette, Nissan GTR, Genesis, Accord, Jag, Masarati, Lexus RC, even Tesla). There's nothing worth the money that I enjoyed driving. I doubt I'll spend 160k for an NSX, at least not for a few years until they work out their obvious kinks in engine design. Reminds me of the 2012 MP4-12C I wasted money on, my favorite was when the windshield wipers didn't work until I upgraded the firmware, but at least the car didn't burn to the ground.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Lance10 View Post
in the past 13 years, and have never felt they were worth the 33k I paid for the Acura. If acura made an door car today, I woupdated get rid of all my other cars.
What do you mean by this quote....are you saying acura's are better in some ways or form
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:47 PM
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We really needed this in the Second Gen CL forum. Thanks Lance10!
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:28 AM
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what did you bore on the engine? can you elaborate?

I get that you have money to burn but this was an insane amount of cash thrown at an automatic CL?! You could have at least done this to a CL6. After spending that amount you could have a custom turbo, body work, paint etc. It's just not money well spent if you ask me.
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Old 10-26-2015, 09:22 AM
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Part of me wonders if this thread is a joke?

I love the CL as much as anyone, but not sure how you could pick a fwd honda with faulty auto transmission over cars like Mclaren, GTR, etc.

3rd Gen TL is basically same car with 2 extra doors to get at rear seats easier. TSX is lighter and comes with better aluminum suspension components compared to the crappy steel and iron parts on our cl.

Are you only wanting a 2 door coupe with 4 seats? I like coupes, but it makes rear seats rather impractical.

If I was to restore a Honda/Acura it would be original Legend, original Integra Type R, original NSX, S2k, or CRX.. All those cars are still desired after. Even saw a Integra Type R with 5k original miles listed for over 40 grand. A mint CL will never bring over 10 grand ever.

Personally want to sell my Focus ST and get new Civic Type R. Would take either of those cars over stock CL.

For exhaust, only off the shelf option is Tanabe. Sounds like anything besides OEM might be too loud for you. The best route is custom if you know a good fab shop. My exhaust is custom from King Motorsports. You can free up a lot of power with a proper exhaust.

For engine upgrades you can do intake, bore TB or use a B series aftermarket TB, port intake and add plenums or plenum spacers or 09 TL magnesium IM, ported runners, Lightweight pulley, headers, and exhaust.

Those upgrades gave me gains of roughly 50 HP and over 40 TQ. That is with stock ecu and tune. Further gains can be achieved with stand alone ecu, especially under the curve.

Not really into car audio anymore so can't help much there.

I installed Stoptech BBK and my pedal is not spongy. Everything about the brakes is an improvement over stock and legend calipers. Stoptech BBK is easily one of my favorite upgrades.

Seems like you are more of a keep the cars stock type of person. Some people are like Jeremy Clarkson and think that any type of modification ruins a car. How could you improve something designed by engineers, etc.

My approach is rather the opposite. I like taking cheap cars that people think are bad(which is anything fwd really) and making them faster then more expensive sports cars. It is a very rewarding feeling, especially when they all come up to ask what is done to your car with looks of shock on their faces.

Wish everyone could drive my car just to see difference from stock.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me.
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Old 10-26-2015, 09:37 AM
  #29  
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Great thread Lance. I can't help but ask, but.. if your line of work has any openings for a young aspiring entrepreneur as myself, please let me know!

It's nice to see another OCD Anthracite Metallic CL owner who appreciates and has a soft spot for the timeless, yet dying, CL platform.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:05 AM
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Very cool thread that supports my infatuation with the 2003 Acura CLS !
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Old 10-26-2015, 05:17 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by brian6speed View Post
A mint CL will bring over 15 grand cash.
Fixed.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Accord316 View Post
What do you mean by this quote....are you saying acura's are better in some ways or form
I've been blessed to own quite a few vehicles in the past twenty years in various price ranges. For $33k when I bought this new in Nov 2002, it has been the best money for the car that I have purchased in my lifetime.

The past two years I've been looking for cars that give me a joy from driving it, this is a purely subjective feeling. I've owned exotics that were fun and obviously better cars.When you spend over $400,000 for a car including maintenance for 5 years and up selling that $300,000 car for $125,000, you realize the enjoyment was not $275,000 worth, or even close.

Add the hassle of everyone fingerprinting your windows, the constant worry of some person keying your car simply because of jealousy, add in the headaches of dealing with the random things that break (repaint on a car is a MINIMUM $10,000 assuming only a few panels). I had a Ferrari 360 that I bought new in 1999 (model year for that car), after owning it two months it wouldn't start after driving it aggressive the night before. Ironically this was the last car I ever financed because I couldn't at the time afford it.

When you own a car for that much money and have to have another car in your stable to make it to meetings/work or anything time sensitive, you start to gain a different perspective about what's important.

I'm also lucky enough that I have colleagues who own a lot of cars I am interested in and allow me to test them for a weekend. Most of the cars, I get no feeling from driving them. It's a fun factor that I can't describe. The Palm Harbor Ferrari gave me a 430 and a 458 to test, the 430 was a MUCH more fun car because of the shifting is felt and was exciting/raw. The 458 as with most cars, is well refined but extremely boring, even when you race it.

Once you've gone way too fast for a long time, that doesn't give you excitement, it's the way the car has a certain edge or rawness. None of the 9 Mercedes I've owned give me that, the only reason I buy them is reliability.

To say that the new E350 coupe is worth 95k out the door versus a 33k Acura, then yes the Acura is a better car with the price in mind. I don't finance cars anymore, which also changes perspective when you're paying a small fraction a month so it appears more tolerable for buying a 50k versus a 33k car. For me, I wrote a check for a CL600 for $140,000 and had buyers remorse as I'm driving off the lot, yet writing a check for $100,000 less and still loving the car 13 years later should say a lot about the quality of the car if well maintained.

I assumed this forum was for other Acura CL lovers who had passion for their cars and understood how desirable our cars are.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gnuts View Post
what did you bore on the engine? can you elaborate?

I get that you have money to burn but this was an insane amount of cash thrown at an automatic CL?! You could have at least done this to a CL6. After spending that amount you could have a custom turbo, body work, paint etc. It's just not money well spent if you ask me.
The car gets repainted every couple of years (Superior Auto in Pinellas Park does great work if you need a shop in FL). I like the stock look/paint. Since I sit in the car, the interior and all the parts under the hood have been replaced or upgraded sans engine, mainly because I love that it can sit in the garage and I know it will start every time I want to drive it.

I would love to do this, but the biggest love of my car has been it's reliability. If I could find a quality high end company that would tackle this project in the quality it deserves, I would love to do that.

This was the response from CompTech, really the only company from reading this forums that I should trust for a reliable quality supercharger.
"
I’m very sorry. We discontinued oursupercharger kit for that model many years ago.

We no longer have the componentsnecessary to assemble a kit for your vehicle.

Your best option would be topurchase a kit second-hand and restore it. We can supply some of thereplacement parts still. The inlet manifolds and blower shaft mounts are whatyou really need."
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthraciteTypeS View Post
Great thread Lance. I can't help but ask, but.. if your line of work has any openings for a young aspiring entrepreneur as myself, please let me know!

It's nice to see another OCD Anthracite Metallic CL owner who appreciates and has a soft spot for the timeless, yet dying, CL platform.
We always have openings, we hire based upon personality first, experience second. One of my businesses is computer related, the other is rental property related. PM me for my COO's email, she handles these things, I'm too busy focused on the CL
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Lance10 View Post
I assumed this forum was for other Acura CL lovers who had passion for their cars and understood how desirable our cars are.
And it certainly is, to a point. But most people here relate differently because of their level of resources. Many people here are the second or third owners of these cars. I, myself, am the second owner of my CL-S6. If the general population here was all given $500,000 to go car shopping, this forum would be dead because people would go buy other cars and not look back. Many claim they would still have interest, and a few really would. But many own these cars because of a different angle to the value argument. You can get a "quick enough" V6 with a 6-speed, that has decent looks, decent suspension and was made at a time right before additional features became unreliable or quickly dated.

Personally, I think your dedication to this chassis speaks volumes about you as a person. You don't place much importance on what your image is and you truly seek what gives you your own enjoyment. We're all different and something different gives you more enjoyment. I'm glad it does, too, because I get to look at nice pictures of your CL as a result.

Keep doing you, and thank you for your contributions.
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Lance10 View Post
(snip) None of the 9 Mercedes I've owned give me that, the only reason I buy them is reliability.
Wha....?
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by brian6speed View Post
Part of me wonders if this thread is a joke?

I love the CL as much as anyone, but not sure how you could pick a fwd honda with faulty auto transmission over cars like Mclaren, GTR, etc.

If I was to restore a Honda/Acura it would be original Legend, original Integra Type R, original NSX, S2k, or CRX.. All those cars are still desired after. Even saw a Integra Type R with 5k original miles listed for over 40 grand. A mint CL will never bring over 10 grand ever.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me.

Thanks much for the exhaust and options details for upgrades. I will check into those.

Definitely not a joke Brian. I'm not planning on selling it so the potential resale value it irrelevant. At some point I would give the car away to someone who will maintain it with the love and care I have put into it. I'll have moved on from my E350 coupes when both warranties expire and get other vehicles.
Both of my MB coupes are RWD, faster and more refined cars. The white one of them is custom pearl paint, custom rims with my name in them and JL 12W7 in the trunk, and I'll have no problem trading it for a maximum $24,000 (if I'm lucky) after spending 40,000 in paint jobs, $5,500 per rim times nine rims (not including the obscure size tires that I have to replace every 10,000 miles since they're softness is ridiculous), $5,000 at two different stereo shops at various times on top of the $90,000 price tag. EDIT: Forgot about the THOUSANDS of dollars at Mercedes Benz of Tampa dealer that I'll never get back.

We both have love for our cars. I think my experience is just different than yours; your opinion is more practical and maybe a bit more "normal". My love for cars over the years has become more about reliability and less attention. I can drive this car to any of my offices or customer sites and no one thinks "gosh this guy makes too much money, we should redo our contract".

My question would be, if you think beyond funds or trying to compare it to cars for resale value, what would you do with your CL?
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Tosh View Post
Wha....?
heh yes. Mercedes Benz of Tampa has made new car sales and labor that would blow most people's minds. Ironically, I will not buy another car there now, I addressed the service issues with the new GM (Tom) who used to be the finance guy went on deaf ears.
I actually told him I know 5 other CEO's that are not buying MB anymore because of quality/service and he wasn't even interested in getting their names and phone numbers when I wrote them down. If one of my customers said they knew 5 of my customers that weren't happy with service, I would PERSONALLY fly or drive there and handle it myself to make it right and win back loyal clients, especially those who spend six figures annually.
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Lance10 View Post
I've been blessed to own quite a few vehicles in the past twenty years in various price ranges. For $33k when I bought this new in Nov 2002, it has been the best money for the car that I have purchased in my lifetime.

The past two years I've been looking for cars that give me a joy from driving it, this is a purely subjective feeling. I've owned exotics that were fun and obviously better cars.When you spend over $400,000 for a car including maintenance for 5 years and up selling that $300,000 car for $125,000, you realize the enjoyment was not $275,000 worth, or even close.

Add the hassle of everyone fingerprinting your windows, the constant worry of some person keying your car simply because of jealousy, add in the headaches of dealing with the random things that break (repaint on a car is a MINIMUM $10,000 assuming only a few panels). I had a Ferrari 360 that I bought new in 1999 (model year for that car), after owning it two months it wouldn't start after driving it aggressive the night before. Ironically this was the last car I ever financed because I couldn't at the time afford it.

When you own a car for that much money and have to have another car in your stable to make it to meetings/work or anything time sensitive, you start to gain a different perspective about what's important.

I'm also lucky enough that I have colleagues who own a lot of cars I am interested in and allow me to test them for a weekend. Most of the cars, I get no feeling from driving them. It's a fun factor that I can't describe. The Palm Harbor Ferrari gave me a 430 and a 458 to test, the 430 was a MUCH more fun car because of the shifting is felt and was exciting/raw. The 458 as with most cars, is well refined but extremely boring, even when you race it.

Once you've gone way too fast for a long time, that doesn't give you excitement, it's the way the car has a certain edge or rawness. None of the 9 Mercedes I've owned give me that, the only reason I buy them is reliability.

To say that the new E350 coupe is worth 95k out the door versus a 33k Acura, then yes the Acura is a better car with the price in mind. I don't finance cars anymore, which also changes perspective when you're paying a small fraction a month so it appears more tolerable for buying a 50k versus a 33k car. For me, I wrote a check for a CL600 for $140,000 and had buyers remorse as I'm driving off the lot, yet writing a check for $100,000 less and still loving the car 13 years later should say a lot about the quality of the car if well maintained.

I assumed this forum was for other Acura CL lovers who had passion for their cars and understood how desirable our cars are.
Hell Yes! Awesome Post!
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JarrettLauderdale View Post
And it certainly is, to a point. But most people here relate differently because of their level of resources. Many people here are the second or third owners of these cars. I, myself, am the second owner of my CL-S6. If the general population here was all given $500,000 to go car shopping, this forum would be dead because people would go buy other cars and not look back. Many claim they would still have interest, and a few really would. But many own these cars because of a different angle to the value argument. You can get a "quick enough" V6 with a 6-speed, that has decent looks, decent suspension and was made at a time right before additional features became unreliable or quickly dated.

Personally, I think your dedication to this chassis speaks volumes about you as a person. You don't place much importance on what your image is and you truly seek what gives you your own enjoyment. We're all different and something different gives you more enjoyment. I'm glad it does, too, because I get to look at nice pictures of your CL as a result.

Keep doing you, and thank you for your contributions.
Thanks much. Lessons learned after getting the car back.

Lights - will be swapping the harnesses, it appears that the lights do not turn on consistently after replacing with JDM bulbs. I have 5 pairs of bulbs, all do the same thing. After replacing the harness if the problem exists we will have to try replacing or upgrading them.

Suspension - All new suspension makes the ride much stiffer than I like. It gives it a "sporty" feeling, but the car doesn't have the refinement of newer cars that stiffen based upon active intelligence (IE: MB, Bentley). The car turns corners a bit better but slips a bit on a nice banked 45mph curve at ~100mph, compared to a heavier MB coupe that can take it easily at 130mph. The front still squeaks a bit after hard driving, not sure if it's the larger links/bushings or the Eibach spring fitment. I am thinking I will rip Eibach out and put stock back in, I also liked the higher/softer ride.

Radio - Does anything have opinions about the Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX or other good quality double DIN radios?
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