Hella Sweet Lemons Fail of the Week: Bad Company’s Acura RSX

The Acura RSX has started to show up in the 24 Hours Lemons and it’s easy to dismiss it as a “new” car. However, they are more than 15 years old at this point and can be found, a little bit at least, in junkyards. Lemons judges gave Bad Company Endurance Racing a bit of grief when they showed up with a rolled example. However, the “new” car (in Lemons terms) and some cheaty parts earned them the I Got Screwed trophy at the recent Cure for Gingervitis race at Gingerman Raceway.

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At this race, they did attempt to bribe Judge Eric with a 4.9-liter Cadillac engine for his station wagon, which maybe they should just put in the Acura if the success of the only other Lemons car with that engine is any indication. Eric politely declined a V8 wagon (for now) and Bad Company took it home.

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The Bad Company RSX made an auspicious start, leading the race’s first six laps. They got passed for the lead and then promptly slowed to a stop with a major mechanical failure.

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“No worries,” the team thought, “we brought a spare $400 junkyard engine and we’ll be back in no time.” They set to work pulling the engine and when the split it from the transmission, they realized things were a bit more complicated.

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It turns out the cheaty, lightweight aftermarket flywheel they’d put on with an aftermarket clutch didn’t enjoy being thrashed.

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The speed at which the bolt head(s) separated sent them through the case of the transmission, for which they didn’t have a spare. Seeing at it was a “new” six-speed transmission, they couldn’t find one in a junkyard nearby. The best they could do? A $1,200 rebuilt one, which they mated to the backup engine.

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Naturally, their aftermarket flywheel and clutch were hosed, so they again went to backups: A rusty, stock flywheel and a stock clutch. Guess what?

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It ran all of Sunday without issue. And the rebuilt transmission, well, that spit out third gear after a couple hours of abuse. For their substantially expensive weekend, Bad Company took home a never-desired I Got Screwed trophy. We’ll have more stories from the Cure for Gingervitis and the Great Lakes Mistake Lemons Rally soon.

Roadkill Fall 2016 Cover