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

Fakespotting: Mugen Sports Pedal Kit 46545-XG5-K2S0

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

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The Mugen sport pedal kit is one of the more commonly replicated parts found on the market today. Let's go over some tell tale signs to identify real from fake. In this post we'll look at a specific pedal kit that is available for the CRX, Del Sol, '90-'05 Civic, Integra, RSX, TSX and a few more. Suffice it to say this is a very common pedal kit:

Mugen Sports Pedal Kit (MT): 46545-XG5-K2S0

We'll start with the authentic Mugen kit. Notice the orange tape on the clutch and brake pedals and white tape on the gas pedal. The high quality of the aluminum is also a sign that you have a genuine Mugen product. Notice the Mugen logo on the brake/cluth is a single line with kanji and MUGEN.



Now, let us compare the replica version. Red tape has replaced the orange, and we have a finish on these that is noticeably different than the genuine Mugen set. You will also notice that the logo is different on the brake/clutch -- kanji is stacked above MUGEN -- however this does not determine authenticity. The older sets of genuine Mugen sport pedals did indeed have this insignia on them. They are referred to by some as first generation sport pedal kits, highly sought after by Mugen collectors.



A look at the authentic Mugen accelerator pedal shows the high quality of the aluminum.



A look at the back of the replica accelerator pedal shows the difference in quality and tell tale red tape of the replicas (versus white tape on the genuine). The overall shape of the fake pedal is more jagged and slightly larger. The fake pedal does not install the same as the Mugen -- which is riveted or screwed on. Keep in mind the fake is a brand new, out of the box set -- far from the craftsmanship of its authentic counterpart.



Next let's look at the Mugen brake and clutch pedal (these two Mugen pedals appear to be identical). Again the orange tape and the part number is on the bottom of the real ones.

Now the replica. There's that red tape again, and notice the lack of part number and "Made in Japan" stamp.



This particular kit was available in the two types of packaging you see below (which are both genuine). The clear window box is the most commonly seen replica package. Some replica packages even include a photocopy of the genuine installation instructions, making them even harder to spot. Since the replica packages so closely resemble the genuine ones, the best way to tell fake from real will be to inspect the pedals themselves.

The cardboard box version was available via Honda dealers and has a different part number (but is the same kit).



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Why does it matter?


Replica pedals are known to come apart due to inferior manufacturing and materials. This is extremely dangerous and can cause slippage on the pedal -- or worse -- interfere with pedal operation. Imagine not being able to press the brake pedal because the accelerator cover is lodged behind it!

 

Want to make sure you get genuine pedals that won't fall apart on you? Buy from an authorized Mugen dealer like King Motorsports.

http://www.kingmotorsports.com/p-225-mugen-sports-pedal-kit-mt.aspx


Thanks again to Jerimiah for his insight and we look forward to more posts from him!


** UPDATE **

Since we published this post, we've had some questions about the variations within the genuine Mugen pedals. Over time, Mugen improved and modified their manufacturing process and the design of the pedals. Enthusiasts have identified three distinct "generations" of pedals: Gen 1, Gen 1.5, and Gen 2. Below is a comparison chart that helps identify the various generations of genuine Mugen pedals.



Genuine Mugen Sport Pedal Generation Comparison

Mugen Official Company Profile Sheet Circa Early 1980s

Right-click to see this sheet at full size!

 

The text:

MUGEN POWER
HONDA POWER SPECIALIST

President:
Hirotoshi Honda
Son of Dr. Soichiro Honda well known. Industrial designer and racing car builder.

Chief design & mechanic:
Masao Kimura
Formerly with Honda racing service center Co., Ltd. Builder of over 15 different racing cars & racing motorcycles. Winner of a total of over 50 races.

Capital stock ¥ 80,000,000
Established March 1973
Land area 6,600m²
Plant space 2,700m²
No. employee 80

We specialize primarily in the design, manufacture, testing and sales of motor sports parts and special racing machine (motorcycle and automobile, both 2cycle and 4cycle) for the Honda manufactured products, and participation in the various races with our products.


Mugen products manufactured by highly skilled personnel with the most up-to-date equipment and developed from extensive research, long experience and rigid testing under many years of gruelling races are used widely by both professionals and general enthusiasts throughout the world.


Fakespotting: Mugen Riveted Metal Badge



The riveted metal Mugen badges are commonly found on front lips and aero pieces. These badges were included on many previous-generation, discontinued Mugen body pieces that circulate the secondary market. Given enough time, miles and repaints, the badges have become one of the only remaining indicators to tell a genuine apart from a replica body part. There are few ways to spot a replica/fake metal rivet badge:

1. Packaging. If the emblem does not include the proper package (or no package), it may be a replica. Note that Mugen have not sold the badge in the colored red-gold-black diplay bag, only the more generic bag.

2. Painted versus embossed. The genuine badge is embossed on sturdy metal. If you run your finger over it, you should be able to feel the logo.

3. Logo spacing. The replica badge has extra spacing around the kanji and MUGEN logo. The genuine has an overall tighter design with less space around the kanji and MUGEN logo.


Here is a comparison photo of the packaging.



Photos of genuine badge courtesy of Wilhelm C.


You can find genuine Mugen emblems and decals on the King Motorsports online store:

http://www.kingmotorsports.com/c-147-decals-stickers-emblems.aspx

Fakespotting: Mugen Metal Badge Emblems



The metal Mugen emblems are a fantastic finishing touch to Mugen aero parts. The current generation of metal emblems appear on Mugen's grilles, wings and other parts. There are few ways to spot a replica/fake metal emblem.

1. Packaging. If the emblem does not include a package, it may be a replica.

2. Thickness of the emblem. The genuine emblem is about 2mm thick (for both the 11cm and 15cm emblems). Replicas are typically 1mm thick.

3. Beveled edges. The genuine emblems have a distinct, beveled edge.

4. Cut, not stamped. The genuine emblems have their Mugen logo precisely cut into the metal, not stamped into the metal.

5. Colors. Genuine emblems are currently only available in brushed metal (no color) with black logos; they do not come in red, blue, yellow or other colors. The genuine emblem is also available in a special Titanium ("neochrome") finish.


Here are a few comparison pictures -- plus photos of the genuine packaging.











You can find genuine Mugen emblems and decals on the King Motorsports online store:
http://www.kingmotorsports.com/c-147-decals-stickers-emblems.aspx

1989 Civic Si USDM Restoration: Travis Weaver's EF Time Machine



We always enjoy sharing the passion that goes into our customer builds. A typical product of that passion? Countless hours of wrenching. But the lesser-celebrated outpouring of skill, perserverance and resourcefulness? That comes in the form of the hunt for parts. In the case of Travis Weaver of the Pacific Northwest, a hunt for 20-year-old OEM and Mugen parts took him around the USA, then internationally. He became so good at it, he even made a living at it for a time.

Travis recently shared a pic of his Mugen EF exhaust - which he said took him nine years to find. Nine years! That got our attention, and we contacted him for his story.


***

My older brother first got me into Honda's back in the late 1990's when he purchased a teal colored 1992 Civic VX. He ended up swapping in a JDM B16A engine with a GSR tranny back around late ‘98. We had a lot of fun at the local street races in our early teenage years. I eventually bought my first Civic as well in 1999. It was a 1990 Civic STD 4 speed. Back in the earlier days they were largely frowned upon due to their square, boxy look.

I eventually sold my first car and purchased a 1990 Civic Si in 2002. I fell in love with that car. From when I first purchased the car, I wanted to do a complete JDM EF9 conversion on it after seeing pictures of one in California. In the earlier days if you wanted to find parts you were limited to your local importer (which typically only sold engines), eBay, or do what I did and contact a wrecker overseas and import parts yourself. I found a company in Malaysia back in 2003 with a complete EF9 front clip. With a very risky bet, I sealed the deal and five long months later had my first JDM clip complete with B16A and EF9 conversion. I ended up painting the entire car Milano Red and was the first local person to do a JDM EF back in 2003.

I eventually landed a job working for the largest indoor Honda/Acura Auto wrecker/JDM engine importer in 2005. Soon after I became their Inventory Manager and JDM parts specialist -- which was a great experience but after a few years I got tired of killing Hondas and became more focused on preserving and restoring them.

A few years later -- feeling the pressure of the economy and the unsure feeling of my own personal future -- I decided to sell my 1990 Si. It ended up going to a good home to a guy in East Coast Canada. I must say it was the biggest mistake that I made. I ended up driving a Mitsubishi 3000GT for a few months to focus on school but I got the itch again. I had so many regrets and so many things that I dreamed about doing to my old Si that I decided to start from scratch and do a full 1989 Civic Si USDM restoration. That way I can do things right the first time and go in a slightly different direction so it would not be like history repeating itself. Now I specifically chose the 1989 Civic Si because in the USA it was a one-year-only car, much like the 1997 Integra Type-R. I began to put out ads looking specifically for an ‘89 only.

Eventually I found a good clean shell with perfect seats, straight body and in overall great shape. The only problem is the engine was bad. I rented a trailer and made the three hour drive in the snow to buy the car. Upon arriving the owner informed me it still ran but made a horrible noise from the timing belt area. I towed it back and had my mechanic Thomas Strom diagnose the problem. Turned out to be a bad water pump. With a new factory pump and timing belt, mixed with a valve adjustment, I gave this 1989 Civic Si a new chance at life with 187k miles on her. I sold my 3000GT and with further inspiration from Thomas I decided to make a goal, take my time and stick to it.

My goal was to do a complete factory restoration on the car. We began tracking down rare USA accessories along with new old stock (NOS) parts from Honda. Almost all of the parts were either discontinued or no longer available. I then started contacting specific dealers to see if they had old inventory that was never reentered into the system when Honda changed its part numbers from HondaCode to what we have today. After I exhausted all of my resources here in the States, I then turned to Google Translators. I began contacting dealers all over the world. I managed to source new rare parts from Malaysia, Germany, UK, New Zealand, Spain, Japan, and even Canada – despite the challenge of different part numbers and inventory systems with many of them.

I used to have a Mugen addiction with my original 1990 Civic Si but finding parts for an EF were very hard and very expensive. I was able to source a real EF9 Mugen header along with some Mugen RNR's and a set of MR5 Final Versions. The one item I could not find was a Mugen EF exhaust. I managed to find two different ones that popped up for sale between 2006-2008 but was outbid both times on Yahoo Auctions. With my current restoration I told myself that I have to be true to both the year and the USDM theme that I am going for. It becomes a slippery slope once you diverge from your intended goal. All was fine until my good friend Moe from EFparts presented me with a USDM brochure from 1988 which showed the Mugen CF-48's as a factory option for the fourth gen. I knew that the pre 87's were offered with some Mugen goodies but this little piece of Honda literature gave me a valid excuse to go MUGEN WHORE again while still maintaining the factory look.

I managed to secure a set of crusty 14" CF-48's with aero discs and preceded to restore them. I have been keeping in touch with a few owners of the Mugen EF exhausts over the years in the event that they may want to part ways with it. Eventually I got a taker and finally brought home my current exhaust. Soon after I decided to give Scott Zellner a call at King Motorsports to discuss the Mugen spring rates offered with the sports suspension. After chatting with him for almost an hour he informed me he had two new sets of the old Mugen suspension still in stock. I could not believe that after all these years they were still around. I quickly purchased both new sets.

I could not be happier with how everything turned out for this build. I now have a true time machine that to me represents what Honda of North America was all about.

You can also follow the car's progress on Facebook. I created a page specifically for it here:
https://www.facebook.com/civic.si.944?tsid=0.7764118500053883&source=typeahead



***

Here are pictures Travis shared with us from his build! Thanks Travis, we can't wait to see what you do with it next!




































Fakespotting: Mugen Oil Caps







Why does it matter?

There are many different styles, designs and colors of Mugen oil caps that are currently available for sale. Genuine Mugen oil caps are made with the best materials available and finished in color coatings that will not fade as quickly as fakes. Genuine Mugen oil caps also use a specifically-engineered, flat, grooved rubber seal for proper fit and oil containment designed for the heat generated by your motor.

How do I spot fakes?

1. Genuine Mugen oil caps will have a flat, ridged rubber seal around the threads. Fakes have a rounded seal that resemble a common o-ring. The picture below shows a genuine oil cap with the flat, grooved rubber seal.

How to spot fake Mugen oil cap

2. New, genuine Mugen oil caps ship with the self-adhesive center Mugen badge held in place with a small piece of clear tape. Mugen ships this way so owners can control the rotation of the circular badge upon installation. Oil caps with the Mugen badge pre-installed will not have a properly rotated Mugen logo upon installation.

3. Price seems too low to be true, or ships from a locale or seller that is not known to carry genuine items.

4. Mugen part number is missing from the package. Fakes can include elaborately copied packages that include the clear folded box, printed cardboard and black display foam.

5. Seller has many oil caps for sale, but this is one of the only Mugen products they sell. Beware of sellers that only sell some combination of reservoir covers, pedals, oil caps, shift knobs and radiator caps -- the most commonly produced fakes.

How do I buy genuine?

Obviously we recommend that you to buy from King Motorsports, where you can rest assured that your Mugen products are genuine and made with the correct materials and quality control that Mugen intended. If you are buying an item second hard, follow the same caution you would with any other purchase. Ask to see photos of packaging, if they have it. Ask if they have an original invoice -- many private sellers of second-hand items within the USA often have boxes (applies to larger parts boxed up in cardboard with original Mugen stickers) and invoices that are printed with KING MOTORSPORTS on them.

http://www.kingmotorsports.com/advsearch.aspx?SearchTerm=mugen+oil+cap

Fakespotting: Mugen Reservoir Covers



Why does it matter?

Genuine Mugen covers are flame retardant (aka "fire proof"). This is a safety feature that the fakes do not have.

How do I spot fakes?

1. Photo shows no packaging, but seller says they are new. And seller also offers unpackaged, brand new reservoir covers from other manufacturers.

2. Picture shows packaging, but item is being sold by a store that is not known to sell other genuine Mugen items. Fakes can have basic packaging, but can be missing the rubber retaining ring or the printed instructions on the back of the card.

3. Price seems too low to be true.

4. Mugen part number is missing from the package.

5. Seller has many reservoir covers for sale, but this is one of the only Mugen products they sell. Beware of sellers that only sell some combination of reservoir covers, pedals, oil caps, shift knobs and radiator caps -- the most commonly produced fakes.

How do I buy genuine?

Obviously we recommend that you to buy from King Motorsports, where you can rest assured that your Mugen products are genuine and made with the correct materials and quality control that Mugen intended. If you are buying an item second hard, follow the same caution you would with any other purchase. Ask to see photos of packaging, if they have it. Ask if they have an original invoice -- many private sellers of second-hand items within the USA often have
boxes (applies to larger parts boxed up in cardboard with original Mugen stickers) and invoices that are printed with KING MOTORSPORTS on them.

Pics of genuine Mugen reservoir covers courtesy of H-T member EFcivicJDM:



Mugen Sports Collection: Apparel

Here are Mugen catalog pages for the MUGEN SPORTS COLLECTION apparel circa-- well, do we really need to tell you? Shiny fabrics, disco-inspired logo variations...it's the 80's! These classic Mugen wares hit the streets in 1986-87.

Right-click a catalog page to see a larger version.













+10 STYLE POINTS if you show up to our next Dyno Day wearing this sleeveless tee!



http://www.kingmotorsports.com/c-150-jackets-sweatshirts-outerwear.aspx

http://www.kingmotorsports.com/c-149-hats.aspx

Mugen Variable & Showa Winning Suspension

If you've ever popped your hood, climbed into your trunk, or crawled under your car to adjust your dampener settings (was that 4 clicks or 5?), you'll appreciate these electronically-controlled variable suspension kits. Mugen released these quality suspension kits circa 1987 and they allow for convenient SOFT, MEDIUM, and HARD adjustment within the cockpit courtesy of OEM fit-and-finish, dash-mounted switches.

Right-click a catalog page to see a larger version.









Thanks to Ronald W. for sharing this pic of his set in the original Mugen boxes:



1984 Mugen Winning Sus Kit advertisement. Check out the application and specs- some cool info there!