King Motorsports Unlimited, Inc. - Mugen Performance Products for Honda and Acura

Fakespotting: Mugen "Formula" Shift Knob 54102-XG4-K0S0

The following post comes to us courtesy of Mugen aficionado Jerimiah Styles! Many thanks to him for another contribution of his time and insight!

In this post Jerimiah covers some of the differences he's observed with the Mugen "Formula" Shift Knob:

54102-XG4-K0S0-BU/BL/G/S/R

This is the way the shift knob is described in our King Motorsports / Mugen 1999 Mugen Pricelist for Integra:

"Formula Quality" is the essence of Mugen's approach to production, since we also manufacture components for formula engines. This machined shift knob exemplifies our high manufacturing precision. Each product is machined individually from aluminum, and then given an alumite hard-coat finish before the Mugen logo is imprinted by laser. This is a sports-type shift knob for the discerning eye. Available in five colors: blue, black, gold, silver, and red. Supplied with a shift pattern plate. For five-speed manual transmission only.

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The Mugen formula shift knob (discontinued) is a commonly replicated item that comes up often on Mugen part searches. While this knob was made in five colors by Mugen, I am going to stick to the black knob for this blog.



Comparing the window box package, they are basically identical from the front. One important thing to look for is the inclusion of the round shift guide badge. Fakes will not include this badge.

Mugen Formula Shift Knob Genuine vs Replica

 

The back of the packaging shows more tell tale signs. While the top left corners appear identical, the bottoms are different. The Mugen package has a sticker with printed description and the fake does not. The fake is also missing the Mugen part number.

 

Comparing the knobs themselves, the first thing to look for is the shape at the top. The Mugen is smooth and rounded. The fake is usually flat and often shows rings from poor machine work. The hard-anodizing of the genuine Mugen part is stunning and shows a depth that the painted surface on the fake can not compare to. A closer look at the Mugen logo/kanji shows that the fake uses a thinner font for the MUGEN logotype.  

Mugen Formula Shift Knob Genuine vs Replica

 

The genuine shift knob's logo/kanji come in both a raw-metal engraved version ("gen 1") and in white ("gen 2"). Below is an image of two genuine shift knobs. You can see the silver knob has a raw-metal logo/kanji.

 

Mugen Formula Shift Knobs

 

In the image below you can see how the genuine knob is domed/rounded on top, while the fake has a flat spot. Flat spot = fake.

 

One more thing to look for is the vertical placement of the Mugen logo/kanji. On the genuine knob, it sits higher than half way on that section of the knob. On the fake, the logo/kanji is vertically centered within that section.

Mugen Formula Shift Knob Genuine vs Replica

Here are instructions that are included with the genuine shift knob. Fakes do not include instructions:

Mugen Formula Shift Knob Instructions

Why does it matter?

Because of the slipshod manufacturing on the fakes, they are known to actually cut driver's fingers. Needless to say that's a nasty surprise. The authentic knob is far better quality that will pass the test of time and add a touch of class to any enthusiast's build. While the hard-anodized finish on the genuine knobs can unfortunately fade over time, it is another way to determine authenticity when buying a used part. The painted finish on the fake knob very easily scars, resulting in an unsightly eyesore in your interior.

Minor update: As you might expect, even fakes have their exceptions. Vivian R. shared this fake knob and package that even includes knock off shift badge and instructions!

Fake Mugen shift knob package

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Visit the King Motorsports store for genuine Mugen shift knobs!

http://www.kingmotorsports.com/advsearch.aspx?ctl00%24HeaderControl%24SearchBox%24searchterm=&IsSubmit=true&SearchTerm=mugen+shift+knob&SubmitSearch=Search

 

 

 

Fakespotting; Mugen Number Plate Bolts 75700-XG8-K0S0

Mugen License Plate Bolts 75700-XG8-K0S0

The following post comes to us courtesy of Mugen aficionado Jerimiah Styles! Many thanks to him for another contribution of his time and insight!

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A beautiful touch to any Mugen equipped vehicle, Mugen Number Plate Bolts (75700-XG8-K0S0) combine high-quality stainless steel construction with decorative Mugen Power engraved washers. The bolts are 3mm hex head, 20mm long, and are designed to be used as a garnish for the license plate frames of your car. However, clever tuners have discovered that they can be used for enigine bay aesthetics and also fit perfectly with the Mugen K-Series Carbon Fiber Ignition Cover (12500-XK2B-K0S0). Anywhere a 3mm bolt can fit, you can decorate it with a Mugen number plate bolt.

A look at the window boxes shows the extremes that these companies are going to replicate these items. The front of the boxes appear to be the same, but are they? The colored flag at the top of the box is mis-proportioned on the fake, with fatter color bands, and the Mugen logo at the bottom of the box is noticeably altered.

Mugen Number Plate Bolts Package Front

A look at the back of the boxes shows that the two products are labeled entirely different. Kanji appear at the top the genuine product and the bottom lists M-TEC contact information. The fake window box shows just a portion of the original, and the description is in Japanese (instead of English).

Mugen Number Plate Bolts Package Back

The Japanese printed instructions inside of the original Mugen number plate bolts is a gray print. The product illustrations are placed on the right of the page.

Genuine Instructions Sheet

The instructions inside of the fake box are a much darker, bolder, black print and the product illustrations are placed on the left side of the page. The printed area also takes up less of the page.

Fake Instructions Sheet

A close look at the washer shows the high quality stainless steel and engraved Mugen Power logo. The hex bolt has a slight bezel around it, allowing you to tighten them down without scarring or stripping the finely detailed surface. The bolt itself sits slightly elevated from the washer with clear cut jewelery-like edges.

The fake bolt is much less refined. The logo appears to be printed or painted (not etched) and the bolt sits flush with the washer, unlike the genuine part.



Photo courtesy of Paroykos


Why does it matter?

Replica Mugen parts built with subpar methods result in a far inferior product. In the case of the Mugen number plate bolts, an allen wrench does not fit properly into the bolt. The bolts become damaged and stripped over time, potentially seizing to wherever they have been placed.

Fakespotting; Mugen Oil Filler Cap (Gen 1) 15610-XG7-K0S0

The following post comes to us courtesy of Mugen aficionado Jerimiah Styles! Many thanks to him for another contribution of his time and insight!

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Back again for some more Fakespotting. This time we will discuss the first generation Mugen oil filler cap.

Mugen Formula engines, including those for Formula 1, naturally require components manufactured with high precision. Mugen meets such requirements by machining to exacting specifications at its factories. These oil filler caps are manufactured individually from aluminum at the same factories in the same way. "Formula Quality" is a result of the attention to detail that Mugen pays to its vehicles and products.

Upon first inspection of these caps they appear to be very similar, but a closer look tells a different story. The first thing you'll notice is the quality craftsmanship of the genuine piece. The replica is oddly shiny and lacks the brushed aluminum finish of the original.

1 Mugen Gen 1 Oil Filler Cap Genuine versus Fake

The center medallion of the genuine Mugen piece is etched aluminum. The medallion comes from Mugen Scotch-taped (not yet attached) to the oil cap. The medallion has an adhesive on the back and is to be applied by the user after the cap has been screwed into place so the Mugen logo appears straight in your engine bay.

2 Mugen Gen 1 Oil Filler Cap Genuine versus Fake

The "medallion" of the fake cap is more of a print, and comes pre-installed from the manufacturer. So fake caps may end with crooked Mugen logos once screwed into the head cover.

3 Mugen Gen 1 Oil Filler Cap Genuine versus Fake

The underside of the cap reveals some more secrets. The genuine cap again shows top notch machine work seen in genuine Mugen craftsmanship. The fake cap has noticeable ring marks where the inside of the cap appears to have been shaved away, far from the quality of the genuine Mugen part.

4 Mugen Gen 1 Oil Filler Cap Genuine versus Fake

The black sealing rings around the base of the two are also noticeably different. The grooved, flat seal of the genuine cap has more surface area, creating a better seal than just the o-ring of the fake part. Also the material and heat-resistant properties of the fake o-ring are unknown. Also notice the rough edges around the threading of the fake cap as opposed to the smooth precise edges of the Mugen oil filler cap.

5 Mugen Gen 1 Oil Filler Cap Genuine versus Fake

The side profiles of the two oil caps shows more of the differences in quality. The edges of the real Mugen are much more defined. The brushed look of the genuine cap is very evident in this photo as opposed to the cast look of the replica.

6 Mugen Gen 1 Oil Filler Cap Genuine versus Fake

Below is another version of a replica Mugen oil filler cap that I recently saw. This one has an obvious ring around the base, suggesting that it is more than one piece. This as well as the inferior finish should be obvious signs of a fake. The high quality of the Mugen cap will not oxidize over time -- it should retain its original luster if kept after properly.

7 Mugen Gen 1 Oil Filler Cap Fake

Why does it matter?

Fake parts are passed off as genuine every day, knowing how to identify real from fake could mean saving you potential headache down the road. In the case of an oil cap, an improper or inferior seal could cause oil to leak from the top of your head cover, potentially causing harm to your engine. Always buy genuine Mugen products from an authorized dealer such as King Motorsports Unlimited.

I would like to thank Roy Brantley for providing photos.

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Visit the King Motorsports store to get your genuine Mugen oil filler cap!

http://www.kingmotorsports.com/advsearch.aspx?ctl00%24HeaderControl%24SearchBox%24searchterm=&IsSubmit=true&SearchTerm=mugen+oil+filler+cap&SubmitSearch=Search


The S600: Honda's Ingenious Roadster

The following article comes to us via King customer Andy Thompson - thanks Andy for this deep dive into a Honda classic!

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Honda S600 Coupe

Honda has historically produced some of the most intriguing small sporty cars: the CR-X, Beat, and City Turbo to name a few. I’d like to take a step back and look at the car that started the trend, the Honda S600. I have grown a great appreciation for this car and will focus on some of the closer details that make this car so special.

Honda S600 Trifold Brochure

In a time where British and Italian companies such as MG, Triumph and Fiat were the primary producers of roadsters, Honda dared to enter the competition with almost no history in automotive design besides the Honda T360. Although the first actual car produced by Honda was the S360 -- unveiled on June 5th, 1962 -- it was never actually put into production due to lack of power. The S500 followed very shortly after in 1963 as a full production model. Although these preceded the S600, I will focus specifically on the S600 -- produced between 1964 and 1966 -- as it was the first majorly successful automobile by Honda.

Chassis

Honda S600 Chassis Cutaway

Roadsters of the 1960s were completely different vehicles than what we know of as a car today. The S600 consisted of a lightweight steel unibody with almost no safety features. Vehicles of this time hardly ever used plastic body panels. This roadster’s delicate chrome bumpers wrapped tightly around the chassis. The slightly arched rear quarter panels offered just enough contour, without disrupting a functional shape. This design style was found on other roadsters of the time and is quite pronounced in the popular Triumph Spitfire.

The S600 was not designed to be the fastest car of the time, but instead to offer the joy of driving in what has been called a motorcycle in car form. The convertible top offered the option to enjoy the world around the driver. The small body was similar to other roadsters of the time, such as the MG Midget. This popular style pushed the focus of automotive travel towards driving and experiencing the car, rather than just getting to a destination.

The S600 was offered as a traditional roadster as well as a “coupe” in standard and SM trim levels. Having various body styling and trim options is somewhat expected in today’s age -- but in the 60s, it was quite rare!

The concept of converting a performance-oriented roadster into a hard top fast back variant gave birth to a styling design that can today be referred to as a shooting brake. Shooting brakes are an uncommon but intriguing body style, as they add a sort of unbalanced complexity to the rear region of an otherwise streamline styled roadster. With this they bring a sort of exotic shape which offers better aerodynamics and generally allows the manufacture to extrude the quarter panels out far past the rear quarter windows.

Shooting brake cars never took the spotlight as only 1,800 S600 coupes were produced as compared to 11,284 convertibles. Similar sales trends can be seen between the Triumph Spitfire and its coupe counterpart the GT6. Honda didn’t pay any less attention to the coupe, as it offered the “SM” trim line to both body styles.

Honda S600 Coupe

Engine

Honda engines are known for their efficiency through such small displacement. The S600’s 606cc engine was no exception. The engine consisted of a DOHC, all aluminum, water-cooled, quad Keihin carb, inline four producing 57 hp. Almost 100 HP per liter! This sounds quite familiar to what Honda has become known to produce, and was quite an accomplishment for 1964 as other competing cars were using much larger displacement engines such as the 1.8 liter found in the MG B and the 2.1 liter engine found in the Triumph TR4.

It goes without saying that for Honda to produce enough horsepower out of an engine one-third the size of its competition, it had to rev. In this case, the magic number was 8500 rpm. Which continued to a redline of 9500 rpm.

In order to keep the hood low, the engine was designed to sit in the bay at an extreme slant. I have included a diagram of the similar S800 engine to show how pronounced this slant is. This slant is similar to that of a four cylinder motorcycle.

Honda S800 Engine Diagram

Drivetrain

The drivetrain may very well be my favorite part of this little car. Like other roadsters of the time, the S600 consisted of a front engine, rear wheel drive platform equipped with a four-speed transmission. In order to achieve power to the wheels out of such a small engine, they chose to use a 6.42:1 final drive -- extremely short gearing. Short enough to cause complaints of seeing 7000 rpm cruising at 70 mph on the freeway and causing quite a bit of noise. Keep in mind this car was originally designed for the tight city streets of Japan.

In the 60s, many automotive manufactures were tinkering with ways to offer independent rear suspension in their performance vehicles instead of a traditional solid rear axle. At the time, the constant velocity joints found in modern axles were very uncommon.

Honda had a solution. Instead of placing the rear transfer case in parallel with the rear wheels. They set it forward in line with the hinge point of the rear trailing arms. The driveshaft would turn into the transfer case and two straight shafts exited the case on either side. A chain drive system connected the exit shafts to the rear wheels. Thus allowing for a fully independent suspension with no constant velocity joints. This system is very similar to how a motorcycle transfers power to the rear wheel, but applied to a car. I have always thought this to be an amazing adaption of design and quite ingenious for the time. This mechanical genius makes the S chassis unique to the rest.

Honda S600 Drivetrain

Complimenting the fully independent suspension was a very modern spring-on-strut shock absorber system. The rear shock were mounted at a drastic angle, moving the suspension lower and yielding more trunk space.

Honda S600 Suspension

The S600 is a beautiful little machine that really shows that exotic ideas can be incorporated into an intriguing package. Although it is said that Honda never turned a profit off their early sports cars, they set a foundation of what is expected out of a small, sporty Japanese sports car: Light weight, proper handling, and a flexible high revving engine. The original S Chassis truly is a machine of another time.

Honda S600 S500 Ad

CR-Z Brake Upgrade with DC5/RSX Calipers

At King we love adding performance to the CR-Z. We even had the one-of-a-king Mugen CR-Z: RR Concept Vehicle shipped out from Tokyo for our 2012 Dyno Day.

In our shop recently: We made this CR-Z go fast with an HPD supercharger. Now it's time to make it stop fast as well! On go a pair of rebuilt RSX calipers, Powerslot rotors and Hawk HP+ pads. Rotor size goes from the stock 10.3" to 11.81" with the RSX rotors. Now it stops as well as it goes!!! This is a great upgrade for any CR-Z.





Fakespotting: Mugen Formula Head Cover 12310-XF0-K1S0

The following post comes to us courtesy of Mugen aficionado Jerimiah Styles!

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In this installment of Fakespotting I discuss the discontinued Mugen Formula Head Cover for B Series VTEC DOHC engines found in the Integra, Civic, CRX and others.

Mugen Formula Head Cover: 12310-XF0-K1S0

These aluminum engine head covers are manufactured individually using sand casts in the same way as covers for Mugen Formula engines. The genuine cover comes with a new gasket kit, shortened studs for the center four bolts of the cover, a fresh new tube of Hondabond, brand new washers, and printed Japanese instructions.



The Mugen letters are stretched across the length of the bottom two bolt holes (the 'N' begins at the hole) and the high quality of the aluminum is as gorgeous as a Rolex watch!

Next we have the fake head cover. The first obvious difference between the two is the Mugen lettering, it's not quite as stretched out (less "italic" or slanted) -- a different font if you will. The finish on the lettering is polished, as opposed to the brushed look of the authentic Mugen cover. Below is the fake:



The quickest way to spot a fake: Compare where the start of the letter N in MUGEN lines up to the bolt hole above it:



A closer look at the kanji is another sign; smooth, well-defined edges and the fine craftsmanship of genuine Mugen products is evident here. I count a total of eight bumps at the bottom of the genuine Mugen kanji.



The fake cover's kanji is far more angular and less defined. I counted seven bumps, not the eight of the genuine one. A closer look shows a polished finish which is more susceptible to oxidation and discoloration as opposed to the superior quality of the Mugen piece.



A look underneath the authentic cover looks like something you would expect to see on an F1 race car. The baffles are screwed in place and the product is clean enough to eat off of.



Underneath the replica it's an entirely different story. The baffle is riveted on, and the center piece is a different color, not the bronze color of the real one. Notice the included printed yellow WARNING insert? It instructs the unlucky owner to wash the inside of the cover before installing because METAL SHARDS MAY BE PRESENT-- potentially causing damage to your VTEC engine!



The packaging really needs no explanation. Here's the genuine box:



And the box for the fake:



On the side of the box, you'll see various color options. Replica valve covers were available in multiple colors, not something Mugen offered.



A very rare look at the installation instructions from the genuine packaging. (Front)



(back)



Why does it matter?

Replica parts made with inferior materials could potentially warp, resulting in an improper seal to the head and causing oil leakage. The possibility of metal shavings being inside of the fake cover is another very dangerous hazard to your engine-- one that could ultimately lead to some very expensive damage down the road.

Knowing what you're looking for when purchasing a Mugen Formula Head Cover is important. These are now discontinued and can no longer be purchased new from an authorized dealer such as King Motorsports. Finding them with the original packaging is becoming harder and harder. It's not uncommon for these head covers to fetch a premium, and there are sharks out there trying to sell fakes for those prices. Know what you're looking for and you can save yourself from a potential scam.