THABENJAMINS’ Supercharged Acura TSX Build Interview

THABENJAMINS’ Supercharged Acura TSX Build Interview

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Owner: Benjamin Tran | Photographer: Jeremy Brian

The first time I saw Benji’s TSX was at HIN Vancouver 2015. That day broke the record for the hottest ever recorded in Vancouver. The cars at the show were absolutely amazing. I had a chance to get close look at @doczilla12‘s prized Liberty Walk Nissan GTR and Ferrari 458. Also at the show were @moniquesong‘s bagged widebody BMW Z4, and @the.tsukinousagi‘s Varis Scion FRS. Along with this amazing line up of cars at HIN Vancouver, I saw Benji’s TSX parked next to his crews’ (Garage106) Honda S2000s . Sitting between the two Honda S2000s, the special GT3RS grey body color paired with the Tiffany & Co. blue engine bay, the yellow valve cover and the enormous intercooler hidden behind the Spoon bumper had my full attention. At first, I did not know exactly what car I was so attracted to, but as I approached the car I finally realized that it was an Acura TSX. Personally, I have a soft spot for TSXs’ because I previously had a TSX of my own. Once I reached Benji’s TSX, I was mesmerized by her beauty. Looking at her was like looking at the Mona Lisa.

thabenjamins-VEGASBenji is one of the most inspiring car guys I have had the chance to chat with. Like every car enthusiast, his TSX also came from humble beginnings… stock. He bought the 2004 Acura TSX in 2008 and drove the car while he was in college for 5 years. After he graduated in 2013, he took a year off of work and dove into building the most insane TSX. Being unemployed, Benji installed over 300 hid and led kits for local cars to help fund all the parts for his build. Benji’s taste does not come cheap and he he definitely wanted only the best when he picked out the parts for the car. From the exterior to the heart and soul of the TSX, Benji chose the highest quality parts on the market. With the custom body work and supercharger to even the Mugen fender bolts on this TSX is the reason why she is perfect. When you can appreciate even the smallest pieces on your build, you know that the rest of the car must be worth 100+ more looks.

Being an absolute gear head, Benji was very hands-on with his build. He installed everything himself including a complete strip down of the car, supercharger installation, air suspension and air suspension management, Project Mu brakes, and much more. Throughout the whole transformation, Benji encountered many obstacles like unexpected bodywork during teardown, ABS/traction control/stability assist delete, electric power steering conversion, supercharger fabrications, and the air suspension management. The build journey began when Benji decided to do a complete restoration of the cars’ paint. His vision for this color combination came from a Porsche GT3RS and a Honda Civic that had its frame painted with a similar Tiffany & Co. blue. This was also when Benji scooped up the very aggresive Spoon S-Tai front bumper, coilovers, wheels and more to complete the cars’ stage 1 tune. In the summer of 2014, he entered his car in multiple shows and to no surprise won many awards that year. The mod bug was still strong at the end of the summer 2014 and he decided to make 2015 an even bigger year by installing the supercharger, harnesses, gauges, spoiler, and air suspension. Benji won even more awards in 2015 including 1st place at Tuner Battleground and a trip to the SEMA Show 2015 sponsored by Niche Wheels! Benji’s experience at the SEMA Show was amazing as the show allowed him to get connected with Brian Gillespie from Vtec Academy, the president of Js Racing, Sung Kang and finally to be reunited with his good friend J.J. (@doczilla12).

thabenjamins-sung-kangOverall, we think that Benji’s build is an inspiration for a lot of car enthusiasts and his hard work shows that it definitely pays off. As he said,

“I personally felt accepted by the enthusiasts that I have always looked up to and people I can be humbled by their recognition.”

This is absolutely what MPPSociety is all about. To bring unity between people simply by connecting with one another and bringing positivity to the community we live in. With all the glamour and spotlight that Benji acquired, let us mention to you that there are many difficult times in the process. Throughout the whole transformation, Benji encountered many obstacles like unexpected bodywork during teardown, ABS/traction control/stability assist delete, electric power steering conversion, supercharger fabrications, and the air suspension management. When you focus on your goal, nothing is impossible and as Benji said,

“All of these were challenging along the way but that is what makes the love for this craft, strong.”

Aside from installing everything else himself, he had help with the paint job and audio system. Here’s a shoutout to his bodyshop guy and his audio guy @waynefabian.wpg.

We are excited to see Benji’s Acura TSX in its stage 3 form this year. He is planning to overhaul the with the Japanese Accord EuroR CL7 spec’d k20a. And as if his car isn’t already so clean. He will be cleaning up some wiring. For some reason, we think that he will have some other surprises for us. It’s just something we can see Benji doing 😛

Check out our brief interview with Benji below!

1. General Information
Benjamin Tran
Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
City of Winnipeg
Previous vehicle: Vortech supercharged B16a2 CTR inspired 1998 civic hb

2. When did you first get into the car scene?
I started getting my hands on cars at the age of 15 and I am 29 this coming May. I love to get my hands on everything so I do a lot of work myself, except for welding, paint and bodywork.

3. Why did you choose this particular year/model car? What inspired your build?
Benjamin Tran chose to build the 2004 Acura TSX because it’s built off the Honda Accord platform. Tran considers the TSX the last generation before Acura began to incorporate a lot more technology in the later generations. In 2004, most Honda’s had adapted to the new McPherson style suspension, whereas the TSX kept the double wishbone front and multi-link rear. Tran liked this quality. Aside from the suspension geometry, Tran wanted to build something with the K20/K24 engine platform and the simple streamline design of the TSX had him sold.

4. How many years have you been building the car?
I started the TSX build in winter of 2013 so this would be 2 years ago this winter (2015)

5. What was the most difficult obstacle you came across while building the car?
There were a lot of obstacles like unexpected bodywork during teardown, ABS/traction control/stability assist delete, electric power steering conversion, supercharger fabrications, and the air suspension management. All of these were challenging along the way but that is what makes the love for this craft, strong.

6. We see more and more automotive enthusiasts choose either air ride or static… what made you decide to stick with air/coilovers?
I chose air suspension because I wanted the best of both worlds; drive around worry free and also park the car on the ground when I arrive.

7. What are your future plans for this car? Or new car?
All I really need to do is replace the K24a2 engine I have because its the original engine with very high mileage. lets just say its on the 3rd timing chain lol.. I want to replace it with the traditional engine used in the Japanese Honda Accord EuroR, the CL7 spec’d K20a.
Once I come around to doing the transplant, I will definitely clean up a lot of the wiring that I have neglected.
There will always be something that does not satisfy me, but I think its the nature of every car enthusiast.

8. Awards/trophies?
2014 Winnipeg SpeedFest / Best of Show Interior
2014 Hot Import Nights Minneapolis / Hottest Acura 1st Place and Hottest Club Display – Garage106
2015 Driven Calgary / Best In Class Acura
2015 Driven Winnipeg / Best Overall in Show Performance
2015 Winnipeg SpeedFest / Best Overall in Show 3rd Place
2015 Hot Import Nights Vancouver / Hottest Acura 1st Place
2015 Hot Import Nights Vancouver / Hottest Club 2nd Place – Garage106
2015 Hot Import Nights Minneapolis / Valvoline Display Car Finalist and Best Overall in Show 5th Place
2015 Childhood Dreams Car show / Best of Show
Best Club – Garage106
PASMAG TunerBattleGrounds Champion 2015 / SEMA Show Las Vegas

Parts List

Engine/Performance
KraftWerks Civic Si Race Supercharger Kit
C30-94 trim Rotrex Supercharger
Kraftwerks Front Mount Intercooler
Kraftwerks Intake manifold, powder coated black
Grams Performance 1000cc Injectors
Toyota MR2 Electric PowerSteering Conversion
ChaseBays Power Steering Reservoir
ChaseBays Coolant Overflow
Project Mu Reservoir Cover
Custom Billet Aluminium Clutch Reservoir
Custom Front Reinforcement Bar
Custom Aluminium Charge Pipes
Acura ZDX 80mm Throttle Body
P2R throttle Body Adapter
Vibrant Racing Silicone Couplers
T-bolt Hose Clamps
Synapse Engineering SQ BOV
Machined 45* Variable Timing Cam Gear
Unorthodox Racing Alternator Pulley
Innovative Race 95A Engine Mounts
K-Tuned Fuel Rail
K-Tuned Fuel Pressure Gauge
K-Tuned Oil Dip Stick
Fragola Fuel Quick disconnect
Fragola AN Fittings
Spoon valve cover
Spoon Spark Plug Cover
Spoon Oil Cap
Spoon Radiator Stay
Skunk2 Flush Valve Cover Hardware
Titanium Banjo Fittings
PrestoLok Push-to-Connect Vacuum Fittings
Mugen fender bolts
2004 Honda Accord Aluminium Radiator
Samco Radiator Hose
Custom Blue Silicone Heater Hose
FAL Dual Slim Radiator Fans
Custom Dual Front Mount Oil Cooler
Earls Black Nylon/Stainless Braided Hose
Earls Stainless Steel Braided Hose
Vibrant Performance Washer Reservoir
Optima Yellow-top Battery
KnuKoncepts Battery Terminals
KnuKoncepts Custom Battery/Charging Harness
KnuKoncepts Custom Engine Ground Wires
Motul 5w40 Synthetic Engine Oil
PLM 4-2-1 exhaust header
T1R Sparrow titanium tip catback exhaust

Performance Electronics
Hondata K-pro ECU
Hondata TSX Dual ECU Harness
Defi Advanced Link
Defi BF E.G.T. White Face Gauge
Defi BF Boost White Face Gauge
Defi BF Oil Pressure White Face Gauge
Defi Multi Display Link
Defi Heads Up Display
ARC Magic Trunk Downforce Meter

Transmission
Exedy Stage 1 Clutch
Fidanzza 8lb. Aluminium Flywheel
Spoon Rigid Subframe Collars
Spoon Rigid Steering Rack Collars
Aluminium Rigid Shifter Bushings
J’s Racing Roll Centre Adjusters
Ingalls Rear Adjustable Multilinks
SPC Rear Camber Arms
Motul 10w40 Gear Oil
Motul DOT 5.1 Clutch Fluid

Exterior
Porsche GT3RS Grey Black
Spoon S-Tai Front Bumper
Voltex Type V Carbon Fiber GT Wing
Acura TSX A-Spec Side Skirts
Acura TSX A-Spec Rear Lip
JDM Honda Accord Euro-R R-Rear Foglight
EDM Honda Accord Euro-R L-Rear Foglight
JDM Honda Accord Euro-R Radiator VIN Plate
Honda Accord Euro-R Black Window Mouldings
JDM Honda Accord Euro-R Rear Emblem
JDM Honda Accord Euro-R Trunk Badge
JDM Honda Accord Euro-R Headlights
M
ugen Ventilated Visors
Zerg Engineering Rear Windshield Visor
Password JDM Hood Spacers
Show N’ Go Front License Plate Bracket

Interior
Custom Saturated Tiffany&Co Blue Paint
Recaro Sportster CS Heated Leather Seats
Bride Accord Euro-R Seat Rails
JDM Honda S2000 VGS Steering Wheel
Project Mu Shift Knob
Project Mu Pedal Set
Takata 4 Point Safety Harnesses
Takata Gel Harness Pads
Alpine CD w/Bluetooth/USB
Infinity Kappa 6.5″ Coaxial Speakers
JL Audio C2-690tx Coaxial Speakers
JL Audio 12″ W6v3 Subwoofer
JL Audio HD Series 750 Monoblock Amp
Stinger Electronics 4GA Wiring Kit
Custom Wayfab Creative Sealed Box

Wheels/brakes/suspension
Matte Black Advan RS-D – 18×9.0
Bronze Volk Racing CE28 – 18×9.5
High Luster Custom Grey/Teal Chrome Niche Chicane H81 – 18×10 / 18×10.5
Nitto Invo tires – 225/40-18
Project Mu Heptagon LugNuts
ARP Extended Wheel Studs
Rays Valve Stems
Airtekk air suspension
Dual Needle Pressure Gauge
Accuair E-Level Management
Accuair E-Level Controller
Accuair VU4 Manifold
Accuair eXo Mount Kit
Specialty Suspension 5gal Seamless Tank
Dual Viair 480c Chrome Compressors
Custom 3D Printed eXo Mounting Plate
25ft. 1/4″ Silicone Air Compressor Hose
Tire Chuck and Blowgun Attachments
Custom AntiLock Brake
Traction Control and Stability Assist Delete
Project Mu 4pot x 4pad Big Brake Kit
Project Mu HC800 Brake Pads
Russell SS Brake Lines
Honda Element FWD Brake Proportioning Valve
Earls Brake line Fittings
Custom NiCopp Brake Lines Custom LED 3rd Brake Light
Motul 5.1 Racing Brake Fluid


GALLERY

PLEASE VISIT PASMAG for Ben’s TSX photos

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