Honda S2000 Sports a Turbocharged L8T Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

Honda S2000 Sports a Turbocharged L8T Engine

Following a fire with his Honda S2000 in December 2023, RC Flint spent five weeks in a mad dash to get his turbocharged L8T engine and the car back together in time for Sick Week 2024. Even with the setback, the S2000 had lofty goals. Check it out!

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As has been mentioned in our travels for events such as Sick Week, there aren’t tons of import cars around compared to the Chevys and Fords of the world, so when we see one, we like to take a closer look. Upon seeing RC Flint’s Honda S2000 during Sick Week 2024, we were excited to learn what was under the hood. Expecting to see a Honda engine, instead, RC had swapped in a turbocharged L8T engine, and he was kind enough to fill us in on the details of the build.

Honda S2000 L8T engine

According to RC, he’s had this L8T combo for two years, but was originally into the four-cylinder stuff. The Honda S2000 had a 2.0L, four cylinder, but it became a chore and a large expense for RC to move onward and upward with the platform.

“Honda’s 2.0L, four-cylinder is really kind of a cool engine, but stupid expensive to find and I can’t leave stuff alone, so I was blowing them up left and right, so I had heard that LS engines can handle 1,000 horsepower and were a $400 junkyard engine, so we went that direction,” Flint told us. “Of course, before long, that wasn’t enough either, so I kept turning it up and turning it up and was blowing those up left and right. Then, we built this L8T combo.”

Honda S2000 L8T engine

According to RC, the L8T utilizes a Dart Pro block, a GM 6.6L L8T center counterweighted crankshaft, Molnar 6.200” connecting rods, off-the-shelf Wiseco pistons, a Brian Tooley Racing camshaft with .629 lift and a 114 lobe separation, and a set of CNC’d Brodix six-bolt cylinder heads.

“We’ve put that together and now we’re right back to the expensive engine again, but now it handles 1,800 horsepower to the tire and it doesn’t give us any trouble,” Flint says. “We go a full year – usually about 300-400 passes and about 20,000 miles a year – without refreshing it. We actually just refreshed it recently and everything looked fantastic. We turn this thing 8,500 rpms and it makes 1,800 horsepower, so it’s really has been an awesome engine.”

Honda S2000 L8T engine

For the L8T’s valvetrain, RC chose to go with Brian Tooley Racing Ultimate Platinum springs and Johnson short-travel lifters.

“We’ve shimmed up the springs a little bit to get some seat pressure,” he says. “It is still a hydraulic roller, so we’ve got the spring pressure bumped up to about 240 or so on the seat closed. We were having an issue where after 7,500 rpm, power would tank, it was floating the intake valves. It does have a 2.165” intake valve, which is a big, heavy valve because of the rpm in this thing. Because it doesn’t have a ton of spring pressure, we ended up putting a set of titanium valves in it and that made all the world of difference. The valvetrain is a lot happier now.”

Honda S2000 L8T engine

In addition, it’s hard to ignore the sizable turbo out in front of the L8T engine, which RC says is a 98/116 turbo from FIS.

“That’s what makes all the power,” he says. “This engine just has to be a brute horse and survive. We run about 40-lbs. of boost on the track.”

One of the main reasons RC and his team had to recently refresh the L8T engine was due to a car fire in the Honda S2000 just prior to Sick Week. RC had to hustle for five weeks to get things ready in time to be in Florida, and to their credit, they got the car looking like nothing ever happened.

Honda S2000 L8T engine

“We’ve been prepping for Sick Week for six months,” Flint says. “It’s been all about this event. We had come to test in Gainesville, Orlando, Bradenton, and South Georgia – we’d been everywhere. The last event we wanted to do was Cleetus’ Christmas Tree Race back in December. We had just got the car wrapped that same day. It was the debut of the car, and unfortunately, we had a fuel rail bolt that came loose, which was my fault.

“The number two injector popped out the bottom, sprayed fuel, ignited it, and it torched a good portion of the engine bay and even some of the interior. I certainly learned a lot about sealing things up better. That’s why you see the firewall and everything now. That was 38 days ago. It has been an absolute dash because it melted a lot of stuff and it melted stuff that was really old and the technology isn’t really there anymore.

Honda S2000 L8T engine

“We had a ton of people who came together to help us out, like Motion Raceworks was absolutely awesome because they supplied all the Rife sensors for us. I wired the car myself and it’s the first time I’ve ever wired a car, so those things made it possible because they make the wiring a quarter of what you normally have to do. Bradenton Performance Supply helped us out. He built all the lines for the car to help me. It took a small village, but we got the car finished up on Sunday before we had to get to Sick Week for tech.”

Even with all of that going on, RC still had lofty goals and expectations for the S2000 and its L8T engine.

“One of the big things I had to do was the cage, because our plan was to come here and go fast – like bottom 7s,” he says. “The cage was re-certified to 25.2 spec, so it’s certified to 6.0 at 3,200-lbs. However, I not able to get my license processed though, so I only have a 7.50 license and I’m limited to 7.50. We turned in a 7.52, so we’re pretty spot on the number after only a few passes on the car. We’re very happy.”

Honda S2000 L8T engine

RC and his team have participated in all three Sick Week events thus far, as well as past Drag Weeks, so they are well aware of what it takes to complete a drag-and-drive and be competitive. During the 2024 Sick Week, RC was in the Super Street class, and ran times of 7.60 at 177mph, 7.52 at 183mph, 8.18 at 172mph, 7.60 at 187mph, and 7.60 at 184mph for an average of 7.70 at 181mph, which was good enough for a Top-5 finish in the class.

“Next goals are to upgrade the turbo a little bit,” Flint says. “There’s a couple sizes bigger turbo that we can go with, so we’re going to do that. The ultimate goal for this car is to go 6s and keep the car independent rear suspension. That’s kind of the big thing about this car is it’s not a four link – it’s still got an IRS suspension – which is really kind of unusual. It’s currently the world’s fastest IRS S2000 and we want to be the first one into the 6s.”

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade1Elring – Das Original and NPW Companies. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected].

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