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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody,

I realize that my current post on the member's rides forum under "the best prelude in the world" has some pretty detailed information that people have asked me about, but I figured I might as well go into some detail on my whole setup for those thinking about how certain parts react to the car. I don't want to create tons of posts on here, so I will stick with one thread, that way you can skim over everything instead of opening up multiple threads which can be long and time consuming...

My "testbed" has changed its looks a couple of times, but that just means I can reach back and provide a larger quantity of reviews. With that, here I go...:D


My first reviews will be of the ignition components that I have on the car. For starters, I'd like to say that the first modification I did on my Prelude was a set of Nology Hot Wires back in March of 2005. The same wires remain with me today and have performed very well. The silicone is very thick and has not developed any kind of cracking or cuts. The ground wires that are attached on each wire can be somewhat bothersome to find a grounding point to, but be creative and after changing your plugs a couple of times, you'll find out how to best place them so that you won't have to remove another wire's ground wire when trying to take out one of the plug wires. To clean them, use some cotton balls and rubbing alcohol and it removes all the dirt and grime and makes the color bright again.





The MSD Cap is the next product I used to modify the system. I've bought two of these and have had 50% luck with them. I liked the idea of a transparent cap because it is cool to see the individual sparks when you have a dark surrounding, especially cool is to see the spark length grow when your car switches timing when revved. It will impress your friends for all of 5 seconds which is pretty long by todays standards of "seen it before" boredom. The most recent cap I bought had a problem with melting on me. I have yet to see if MSD will refund it based on the fact I used it for under 100 miles. I reinstalled the old one which now has around 15,000 miles on it. It does not come with a rotor (I get like a Borg Warner or whichever one any parts store carries) and the cap also comes with a do-it-yourself line to hook it up to the cap and ignition coil. *Note* If you ever decide to go back to a non-MSD Cap, do not forget to keep your OEM cap-to-coil wire, because the MSD wire has a fitting that will only connect to the MSD tip on the actual MSD Cap.


MSD Cap gone bad



I cannot say enough about the Apex'i Ground Control Box. For $120 back in 2004, this box has been through two cars. When my Accord got wrecked, I gave it a new home in the Prelude. The box really hasn't done anything performance-wise I think, but it definitely gets the looks. The "A" stays lit 24/7 via a small LED inside the box. It has a wire for the positive and negative battery posts as well as 3 other grounding wires for the chasis, engine and transmission. When I bought a soldering gun, I ended up custom making the wires the exact length it took to bolt it on to the standard points of all 3 of those sites. The car literally sat for months when I was in Iraq and never drained the battery despite that LED always being on. Don't worry about it draining your battery. *Note* You wouldn't believe the amount of times I've heard neighbors tell me "I thought I saw a fire under your hood the other night when I saw a bright light coming through the crack between the hood and fender, what is that under there?" in which case you pop the hood and show them.



Here's another piece I've taken from my wrecked Accord, the Optima Battery. I originally bought it back in 2004 and it's been with me, dutifully turning over the engine reliably since then. I simply can't kill it off. It got kind of dirty being in the engine bay but now that it's in the trunk, I might spring for another one soon to give it a nice clean look. I can't recommend getting one of these enough. You never have to worry about corrosion on the battery terminal, filling up cells with battery acid or distilled water and the best part is, since it's gel cell, you'll never have to worry about temperature playing a large part in its life. It's been through 2 Ohio Winters and 2 El Paso Summers and has never missed a beat!

Battery



If there's one name that synanomous to performance plugs in our Import scene (other than NGK) it's Denso. I originally had a set of NGK Iridiums when the engine was first put together, but they fouled quickly due to such a new engine being tuned, I can't give them a review. But this is the only "performance" upgrade in my electrical components review that has I saw gain horsepower on a dyno. Okay, so it was only one horsepower (from 229 to 230), but for $45 for a set of 4, I'm considering them to be worth it. These are one range colder, so the stock number is IK22. If you want stock plugs for your stock engine, go with IK20

Plugs


Coming soon, I'll give reviews on NGK Copper Plugs and Taylor Battery Relocation Kit with pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Fuel System Components

The next system I'll cover is my fuel system. It is often overlooked or skimped over, yet I knew it would come in invaluable when I began to tune my supercharger. In the future, I will expect it to come through again for me when I add nitrous.


The fuel system is really a kind of misunderstood area of alot of tuners out there I think. I get alot of questions asking me how large my injectors are. The answer is 550cc in case you were wondering too (and make sure you get saturated, not peak and hold for the 97-01 Prelude). But I'm only running 9psi, and those seem too large for that amount of boost. I just want to caution everybody that you can always turn down an injector if you are unsure if you are getting too big of injectors, however, you can't always turn up a smaller injector. The price goes up for every cc (cubic centiliter) that you increase, so be wary. I went with RC stictly because I've never seen any bad threads about their quality or reliability and so far, mine have been installed for 10 months worry free. I opted to get the clips with them too. This is a rather lazy way out of it, but since Inlinefour.com sells them as an option, I figured rather than risk making your own harness and it not being tight enough or something, I'll take the small amount of comfort knowing I have a true plug and play harness. The harnesses will save you about 30 minutes of work if you don't know what you are doing and possibly more if you don't have tools to do it.

injectors and clips



I knew that more fuel would require a way of regulating it. The AEM fuel rail is a beautiful way to tie in everything. It has two ports you can use for items such as the Fuel Pressure Regulator, Nitrous Tap or a Fuel Pressure gauge. I opted for the former and latter. The billet look certainly looks bolder and I believe it's rated upwards of 500hp, but I'll never see that. For now it's just a shiny silver piece feeding my hungry injectors. The fuel pressure regulator is also a very nice piece by AEM. You can control the amount of fuel pressure your rail will see by taking an extremely small allen wrench and putting it in the top hole and rotating it clockwise or counterclockwise for more or less fuel pressure. Keep in mind lower fuel pressure will flow more, but won't always mean more power, you have to have a certain amount of pressure behind it to get a good clean atomization of the fuel. I have mine set at 40psi idle and it reaches 43 to 44 when in neutral and around 6,000rpm.

FPR and Fuel Rail



The fuel pressure gauge is kind of an afterthought in the engine, but it does serve the purpose of finding your fuel pressure effortlessly. I recommend having something to monitor it no matter what and the Autometer one has worked perfect so far. Easy to read and see even with a supercharger. Simply screws into your fuel rail port.

fuel pressure gauge


A Walbro Fuel Pump comes with all Jackson Racing Supercharger kits. I know that Walbro makes a 190lph pump and a 255lph pump for most import applications, but the prelude supercharger kit comes with the 255lph one. Installation is relatively straightforward, and if you're like me, you're going to have to remove the backseat to access the pump cover, so just be prepared to follow the proper instructions for installation. Most people complain that they can hear their fuel pump, but I think that's a good thing. I turn my car to the "on" position (one away from starting the car) in the morning just to hear that beautiful fuel pump pressurization. It's a whirring type noise that lets you know you're in business. When my starter went out a week ago and I turned the key in the morning without hearing the cranking noise, I could definitely hear the fuel pump churning as if it was going to feel some massive load of fuel to the engine. Pure bliss if you tell me (well, if it wasn't for the fact I was gonna have to shell out $170 for a new starter two days later!). Please correct me if I'm wrong but the fuel pump in the JRSC kit did not come with the installation kit. I was lucky because I bought the fuel pump as a kit separately because I did not know the JRSC kit came with one (goes for $99 on most internet sites). So the installation kit was put in at the same time, here's the difference.

Without kit



With kit
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Supercharger and Components

I decided to go with the Jackson Racing Supercharger for reasons I discussed on my other thread. I basically believed that for reliability and maintainability, nothing could beat it. I didn't realize some of the downfalls such as a lack of aftermarket support on it and upgrades. The supercharger crowd is probably the black sheep of the H22 community just because of those reasons. But I chose it anyway probably because I'm the kind of guy that's always rooting for the underdog, so I decided to see what I could do with it. First off, the kit really does come with everything you need. It comes with two belts, a fuel pump and all kinds of hardware to keep you from running out to the store late at night. The kit made for the type SH even comes with an oil filter relocator (not available with the Base kit).




There are some obvious deficiencies with the kit I noticed, and they can really be a pain. The first is once the kit is on, no more tinkering with the backside of your engine. Especially with the type SH. There's simply no way to do anything about leaks or wires back there, luckily there aren't many wires back there in the first place, but there is the fuel filter which you'll never be able to get to :mad: This might mean either taking the supercharger off or taking the head with the supercharger off (in one piece) or taking the ATTS off...

Their are also 4 or maybe more (I forget) nipples sticking up out of the base-plate where the supercharger assembly mounts to the bottom intake manifold piece you'll reuse. Once the kit is on, you really have no room to ever access these in case you need to replace a hose properly because first, it's damn near impossible to bend any tool that way and second, the nipples are sized just so that they don't really accept any kind of clamp. I've tried the Value-Pack spring load clamps that Auto parts stores sell and I've tried the adjustable clamps, but neither really does the trick. Some people might use zip ties but come on, you don't see zip ties coming factory on hoses now do you? I suggest you be creative and find your own approach to clamping those hoses down (especially if you've got a boost gauge) so they won't blow off later.


To the right of the supercharger rotor pulley, you'll see some of those nipples that have a rubber caps over them and they're zip-tied down. There are 3 in a row right there and access will be blocked by any means of a tool once its installed, meaning you can't use your needlenose plyers on this one!


The supercharger itself at regular boost makes 6psi. That's enough for owners of the kit to make intake temperatures of 150 degrees or more (farenheit). That's not a good temperature to be at and even my famous bag of ice trick works so well. I suggest that you run the best octane fuel you can get or find a methanol injection kit to make max. horsepower or you'll be not realizing the most horsepower you can get by richening up the mixture or pulling timing. I have personally seen intake temperature of 170 degrees farenheit on the supercharger.


There is a real easy way to get more boost for a cheap price. The Honda Accord (98-02) crank pulley is larger than the H22's crank pulley which means that at the same engine speed, the pulley will be turning the belt faster, this in turn gives the supercharger more boost. Do not get a previous Honda Accord's crank pulley belt, because #1) it will not fit (will rub) and #2) it take a 4 rib belt and your car takes a 5 rib belt. But beware that if you purchase this pulley that you will need to get a longer serpentine pulley than the JRSC kit came with!!!
I read numerous articles saying people were discouraged that the endyne pulley kit made the belt slip due to smaller pulleys and I got excited thinking that I didn't have those smaller pulleys yet was still making 9psi of boost without belt slippage. Well the belt will still slip I've come to find out. On my first and only dyno session, by the 7th pull, we were seeing boost come down to 4 or 5psi because the belt was slipping. Oh, and PS, it was a brand new belt as well. I'm going to try that belt dressing (STP or CCP makes a good one) to see if it'll alleviate some of the problem.

But here is a picture of the crank pulley, the best part is, you won't have to worry about messing up your crank if it's not balanced or blueprinted because it's still OEM and still designed to function just like the regular H22 one.



I suppose after some trial and error and seeing other peoples HP numbers, that I can conclude that putting lower compression pistons in with a supercharger is not necessarily the right recipe for more power, unlike its turbo brethern. But if you're rebuilding your motor, which you should if you're FI'ing an H22, then maybe go up in compression. Chances are you'll never get above 9 or 12psi and at which point if you live in the east where 93 and sometimes 94 is available at the pump, then you should be okay and make alot more power than I am. Remember high compression pistons + boost = only safer and more powerful if you have a very high octane fuel to ward off detonation. But we'll see if the addition of Nitrous to the mix improves my top hp at all. Keep posted on that later.

For an intake, this is the only aftermarket intake I've ever owned for the Prelude, I saw it in Modified Magazine Years ago and was hooked on it instantly. It's made by the company Top Fuel and the most notable part about it (obviously) was the carbon fiber chamber right before the throttle body. AEM would roll out with the V2 a few short months later I believe, and I noticed they used an air chamber concept as well, so I considered this the forerunner to it. The company advertises the chamber as useful in case you suddently stomped on the throttle and rather than having to wait for the short miliseconds before you felt the burst of speed, the extra air inside that chamber would be there right away to go into the throttle body for a decrease in that lag. I can't say that's necessarily true after putting it on, but it does have a deep, booming roar to it that you can tell air is being harmonized in there when you step on the throttle with the windows down. It's been well worth it to have something that sounds this good and also looks this bad-ass and I would highly recommend it. Just make sure to replace their poor filter element at the end with a K&N like I did.

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Engine Cooling

Cooling is an important aspect of keeping a tuned car running safely. I have seen my fair share of Honda's running around with a large turbo system boosting insane amounts while still retaining their stock radiator. In this day of relatively cheap aluminum aftermarket substitutes, I think this shouldn't ever be the case.

So when I knew I was going to be living in El Paso for a few years, my first impression was there would be alot of heat. Right up there on the list of things to do before I got there to the car was install a bigger radiator. Of course, installation of a bigger radiator sounded simple enough, i had swapped out my old Accord's radiator with a stock sized one, but I thought no big deal this time around.

I found out whenever you put in a larger core radiator, you're going to be pushing the fans back whatever length you added to it. And since I believe it is the job of Honda engineers to piece together parts so that there is no way to take out one without taking out 5, then I immediately had fan contact issues. The fan on the passengers side came in contact with the motor mount but the only way I found this out was by driving the car and hearing a noise that sounded like somebody put a playing card in the spokes of a bicycle. It turned out that the fan blades were nicking the motor mount as the car drove forward and air pushed the fans naturally. So I had to take a pair of snips and cut most of the plastic off the tips of the fan blades to clear it. But one day as I drove down the road, I hit a pothole which made the whole car shut off entirely. Here I found that the fan shroud on the drivers side (which is made out of metal) was pushed so close to the alternator wire that it cut through it and grounded itself out! So I decided to take the whole fan on the drivers side out entirely. Besides, I took the Air Conditioning out a little bit later which was the purpose of that little fan anyway I think...



Eventually I just took out all the fans anyway for a reason that I don't remember anymore.




Then one day, I was driving to a shop to look for some fans (the car never overheated!) and was told by an associate that he had friends in a business here in town that would install the fans if I bought them from him. So he hooked me up with 2 FAL fans (12") and a 4x4 truck oil cooler. Then we drove to his buddy's shop. Although the guys at the shop were kind of pushy by insisting that they needed to do the work, they really did some A+ fabrication on the fan mounts as well as a place to mount the new oil cooler (for the ATTS). The fans looked great, performed better than stock and also were extremely thin so as to not interfere with the alternator wire or engine mount ever again. Although they can be pricey, I would recommend these fans for anybody no matter what your build up is.


Very nice fit and finish. That's an Apex'i ground wire running above the fans just so you know


You're probably thinking what the heck is up with always having header wrap on your headers? Well it might look old fashioned and they say the science is there (keeping more heat trapped inside of the header will improve velocity) but really the first time I did it was for the reason the headers I got were used and didn't look the best. So I wrapped them up to hide it. Whether or not they improved exhaust velocity flow is debatable, but it certainly kept the engine bay MUCH cooler. You can tell it instantly by sticking your hand in there after it was running. The best part is if you have something go wrong with your engine and may need to inspect it immediately or if you're going to work on it so soon after the cars been warmed up, these will literally take away your chance of being burnt.

On a final note, DC Sports has a disclaimer that says not to use header wrap with any of their headers, especially their ceramic headers (ceramic functions roughly the same way the header wrap does, albeit less efficiently) but I had no problems with the 3+ years I kept header wrap on them. Eventually the flex pipe went bad and I got a whole new header all together.

For more of a bling effect than anything else, I decided to try out OBX's Silicone Hoses. And back in the day when I thought that having an engine bay that had every color in it made sense, I opted for their yellow silicone radiator hose kit. I figured why should I have to pay double the price for SAMCO hoses when these looked just the same? Well I was way wrong. The OBX hoses had small leaks around the radiator necks and engine coolant necks almost immediately. It seemed that no matter how many times you tightened the clamps or double clamped the hoses, they were not going to stop the tiny leak. Almost 6 months after I installed them, I had an ongoing problem where the bottom radiator hose would constantly pop off, and since that's the lowest point in your cooling system, it would completely drain the engine of coolant. It's lucky I didn't blow up my block! These hoses eventually got the ax due to never being able to stand up to any sort of pressure and never being able to have a truly solid seal on the radiator. I converted back to Rubber Hoses...



While I was in Iraq debating on what pieces I would need to make my new supercharged engine truly streetable, I became completely engrossed in my oil filter relocator/oil cooler setup. I got to the point where after doing my research, I drew up a diagram on PowerPoint for Honda Bob to start setting up before I got there, it looked something like this:









It might look extremely complicated but I believed this would be the last word in every single oil cooler and filter relocation set up known to man! Well it didn't quite work out that way because somewhere along the line a hose got mixed up and it negatively affected oil pressure to where it almost dropped to nothing at all. It's because it was feeding it backwards. But I promise to everything that is holy, that once I get this car straightened out, that the oil cooler setup will live again! I still have all of my custom pieces, it'll just take me a while to figure out how I'm going to do it. This last picture shows how it looks with the filter bolted in and if you look near the far side of the radiator support, the AN fittings that are jutting back inside the engine bay are connected to the new oil thermostat. That was an expensive piece to play with!




This picture shows the filter relocator attached to where the stock filter used to be and the lines I used.



For now I'm just sticking with the tried and true oil filter relocator that the Jackson Racing Supercharger came with. It's nothing special anymore, but it does add around .7 quarts of oil to the system which is nice for extra insurance. Oil Pressure drop is negligable in my opinion.


kinda dirty, but you see where this bolts on to where the old battery tray used to be.



One final picture I wanted to show you all was the ATTS Cooler I had installed. This is an off-the-shelf 4x4 oil cooler that was made to be really tough. The two port holes are both on the same side but it's a lightweight aluminum piece with aluminum fins sticking out. It's pretty ballsy and I might use it for my regular oil cooler a little later since the ATTS will be removed in the future... Simply unbolt the stock harmonic balancer bar and fabricate a couple of metal mounts and you can bolt it up.

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Suspension and Wheels

One of the most under-developed (but not for long) places on my car is the suspension. I know that the purpose the Honda Prelude in the hands of enthusiasts isn't to make a drag car out of it, it is to make a track car out of it. After all, we are known for our excellent handling and so on. The suspension modifications I did came from a need to want to make the car better in the twisties while also getting people off my back about how my car was never lowered before. Even with my old Accord, wheel gap was prominent, but I felt safer in that regard that I still had a cushy ride. So I did my research on coilover kits. After reading articles that described Koni/Ground Control Coilovers to be the best of the best out there, I still didn't want the hassle of assembling the two together and using whatever OEM top piece you have to to put the two together. I just wanted a full coilover that would be a bolt-in-place affair. Now let the attacking comments begin...:p

So after choosing between my top 3 choices were within the $1,000 price range (Tein, D2 and KSport) I chose the KSport simply because there was more literature done on them and all of their customers were documenting the install and everything. And I couldn't find anybody with D2s to ask them about. The KSport Koilovers are a monotube shock design with front spring rates of 9kg/mm and rear spring rates of 6kg/mm. They were 36 way adjustable, but i doubted I would ever fully use that adjustability.

My car suffered an upper ball joint blow out in early February 2008, so I took the three suspension pieces I had waiting for me and decided that was the time to put them on, along with my wilwood brake kit.

But I'll go one piece at a time...

The coilover kit went on in a snap. Overall driving impressions after that are a much stiffer ride that you can feel every bump. Body roll is really insignificant it feels and it's not hard to rotate the car being so stiff. Understeer is cut down alot I can tell. If you want a cushy ride, do not choose this kit, because its going to be very violent going over holes in the road or even speedbumps. The adjustability allows you to lower your car however much you want, but I chose to keep a bit of wheel gap in between a moderate amount due to the fact double wishbone suspension don't take kindly to cars that are lowered. I heard that a couple of customers have had a problem with their shocks inside the coilover leaking within a year, but I have had mine on here for 8 months with no problems.

Pretty good



When you lower a car, I believe that you better have the ability to adjust your camber. Case and point, my sisters car has some Koni shocks with Ground Control Coilovers and no adjustable ball joints, that's how she bought it. But one day when I was trying to raise her car up, I took off the wheel and noticed the insides worn down to the cords while the outsides were halfway worn. Even with those fancy tires out there that are made for lowered cars, i still wouldn't take the chance of not being able to adjust the camber.

So I popped in a set of Ingalls "camber kit" (but really they're ball joints you press in). Remember, Honda does not recommend you should ever press in a ball joint, adjustable or not, and some alignment shops will tell you that, so make sure to find a place that will do it first. Luckily I found one and they also spray painted the A Arm black again to give it a nice new effect. Just make sure if you do this, everytime you get your car aligned, tell them you have adjustable ball joints because they will simply tell you that your camber is "okay" and leave it at that. This way they will now correct it.

I also heard ball joints will wear out prematurely too if pressed in, but once again, I've had these for 8 months without any complaints.









The next suspension upgrade I got were the Megan Racing Rear Toe Arms. When I bought them I had absolutely no idea where they went or what they did. I did not yet understand what toe was. But when I got them in, the shop I took them to showed me where they went and I kind of wondered why I should've bought them in the first place. There were no differences between these arms and the stock arms except the pretty blue paint and $100 some dollars out of my pocket. I would not recommend these unless you are into undercarriage bling, because I dare to say that they have performed a little worse than the OEM ones did... For some reason my rear toe doesn't alway stay in place and I have to get an alignment every 3 to 4 months. I can't specifically blame it on these, but they could be a large part of the problem.



The C Pillar Bar by EM Racing is the last suspension upgrade I've done on my car. I read all there is to read about these and everyones opinion on if they work or not, but to be honest, I have felt no noticable difference. I will testify to its wonderful quality and fitment as well as very straightforward and easy installation. But they might not do anything for your handling. For $135 and shipping, this is a pretty big bling factor that weighs less than an tee-ball aluminum baseball bat. Together with the Sparco Harness Bar (which also might add a touch of rigidity) I've done all I can to tie both sides of the car together without going for a roll cage. The backseat is now no longer useable so you can cut the seatbelts out like I did haha!







If you're looking for the Wilwood Big Brake Kit for the Prelude like I have, you might have to search extra hard. I bought mine off of an Ebay company that will custom make the kits to put a caliper you want on a certain size rotor. If you look up a 13" rotor Wilwood big brake kit in their catalog, you won't find it, you'll find a 12.1" rotor kit. This could be the reason why I have such a large area that has surface rust on it, because the caliper wasn't designed to cover the width of a 13" rotor. A couple things I noticed about the Big Brake Kit. The first one is that you're going to lose AntiLock Brakes. Most people say that a track car doesn't need them, but after using the ABS a couple of times in the past, I think that it is very missed because I've alredy locked up the wheels two or three times and "squared" the tires without even trying. And you'll know when you do that because the smell of a drag racing track will come wafting in through your windows as soon as you do. The added weight of the rotor almost certainly affects your acceleration as well. I need to find a 2 piece rotor, one with an aluminum hat, to keep the weight down and to reduce that ugly rust area on the car.

The BBK kit also means you have to be picky about the wheels you get. Do not get this unless either you have enough money to buy a new set of wheels or if you have wheels with really thick spokes that go inward (like my enkei rsv's) I'll give you an example



Good wheel choice




Bad wheel choice



Double Stacked H&R Spacers



Don't pick a wheel with a thick fat spoke because you'll be buying spacers for sure, which will come with a hefty price tag and then a heftier one for buying longer length wheel studs and paying for their installation. And when you're all done with that, you might have to buy new wheel lug nuts. The total cost for just the front wheels and doing all that could run you over $600 no joke. But the Wilwoods do give you a large selection of brake pads to choose from for the kind of driving you do. This automatically makes them champs over similar Honda/Acura multi-piston calipers like the RL or TL (as I've seen a couple of conversions).



In June of 2006, I had enough money set aside to purchase some new brake rotors for my badly worn factory ones. I read online where drilled rotors had no real purpose because they only weakened the rotor, so I found a company called EBC (makers of the famous red and green pads) who also made a slotted and dimpled rotor. I liked the look of it, so I bought it. EBC did not make a rear rotor, so I turned to powerslot a couple weeks later for their slotted and dimpled version and paid extra to get it cryogenically dipped (adding strength and longevity to the rotor). The rears are still with me today but I found both front and rear rotors to be well worth the money.


EBC slotted and dimpled front rotors. Notice the slots having a non-straight line. I don't know if these helped any or not.


Powerslot slotted and dimpled rear rotors



In July of 2006, I bought a set of 4 Techna Fit Brake lines to go with my EBC front brakes and Powerslot rear brakes. They front's were replaced with Wilwoods braided stainless steel lines in February of 2008, leaving only the rear brakes with those lines, but the rear passenger hose got a hole in it in October 2008 and it was very upsetting that something I viewed as so tough would fail. I do not recommend these lines for the long haul and the problem seemed to have come out of nowhere. I believe stainless steel lines should hold up better than that...

Beware of these brake lines...




The H&R Spacers listed above come with not only the spacers, but wheel studs as well. After holding these up side by side with the ARP and stock wheel studs, they have a little more length than the stock wheel studs, but you're going to have to get the ARP ones (plus what name is more proven to work than ARP?)

You can tell the length difference



Also, here are the new lugnuts



My wheels were a choice I made back in June of 2007. At the time, i just knew I liked the style first, and color second. I think gold and bronze rims are absolutely the best choice to go with a white car with white rims being in second place. It's just like seeing a pretty girl wearing tasteful jewelry, so I asked my car to marry me and gave it some tasteful jewelry, haha.

But for real, the Enkei RSV's have treated me well. They've taken some big pothole hits, never got road rash (yet) and haven't bent. But they're a heavy wheel. Every bit as heavy as a stock 16" SH rim. There are better choices out there for wheels if you wanna race in them, but this wouldn't be it in my opinion. Mine are 17"x7" and I do not remember the offset. Before my big brake kit, they looked excellent as well. But the real meat of any wheel is the tire (get it?) and the meats I've had on mine for the past 15,000 miles have been the BFGoodrich TA/KDW GForce. They have been a remarkable tire so far simply because of their tread life versus stickiness. I believe the tire is very sticky with little wheel slip. The tires grip hard but have a rather flimsy sidewall in my opinion. This may be because I got the 215/40/r17 tires and maybe if I had bumped it up to a 215/45 I would have a stiffer sidewall. In rainy conditions they are still surprisingly excellent too. I am going to probably get another 5,000 miles out of them before I try some Falken R615's and then I'll do a review on those. But if you're looking for a tire that has a tread that'll get you noticed on and off the track, look no more than these.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just haven't had time to post up the rest of my parts yet, but the updates will be here by the end of the weekend at the latest. Keep tuned in!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Interior Modifications

As most of you have seen, my interior modifications center around half JDM OEM and half aftermarket support. I take pride in my interior and I wish more Preludes would too because it is the second area that somebody who is a car enthusiast will see (the first being your exterior, duh). When I started on my car, I did not go blindly into modding the interior, there are many posts on PO that show you how many different avenues to go.

My personal opinions about the interior revolve around two concepts, first, don't put anything inside your interior that does not have a purpose and the second is do not put anything inside your interior that takes away from the relative simplicity Honda put into it's once-upon-a-time flagship coupe.

Our interior's are bland, but there is no reason to go about painting the vinyl surface or sticking on disgusting "Ebay Trim Packages." Please at all cost, refrain from that.

Take a glance at my interior and try to imagine what things I was going for.



Well, based on the amount of comments and PM's I've received, everyone notices my center gauge pod right off the bat. They are all inquiring on how I did it and how it's done. The gauge pod is simply your stock center console piece with a WRX gauge pod molded into place. When I say molded, the guy I shipped both pieces to, took the center piece and, with a dremel, cut a hole into it roughly the size of the WRX piece that he slid into the hole. The WRX piece looks like this


the piece I bought was in regular black plastic, not carbon fiber since I knew the whole thing was going to get covered


The WRX piece is designed to sit flat on top of a WRX dash, but as you already know, our dash is sloped downhill. So the bottom part of that piece had to be trimmed off and that is where the molding part of it came in. My dash piece does not have a large flat piece jutting out, it just flows. If you are attempting to do this on your own, i recommend getting a second dash piece off Ebay.

The size of the gauges I have used are 60mm. Autometer gauges tend to run 52mm, which will fit (you have to trim out the inner part of the rings in the gauge pod to enlargen it to 60mm) but I believe Autometer gauges are too deep. The clearance I have behind this setup is very very limiting, which is why you also see many WRX and STi owners having these same gauges. If you are on a limited budget, your dreams are going to get shattered the moment you see the cost of these gauges, so this mod is not for the faint of heart. But if you want to spend $1000, this is your final product:

The entire setup does not sit entirely flush with the rest of the dash, but that is because it has a thick layer of carbon fiber and resin on top, but it is barely noticeable otherwise



Now let's look at the A-Pillar Gauges. This mod is relatively inexpensive and anybody can do it. It will involve the removal of the A/B Pillar trim to stuff the wires behind it, but what you get is a very clean look that seems to match the interior trim very nicely. This gauge pod is from Autometer and I'm not aware of any company that makes a triple gauge pod for the Prelude without alot of custom fitting. For the money, the Autometer dual gauge pod is an excellent value and I recommend it.



As for a review of the gauges, you see I've went with two different companies. The first company was Defi. I bought these because they most closely resembled the factory orange/red dash color. The key to having a clean interior is to not have alot of crazy colored lights, but instead, something that looks like it was meant to be there. With a black face and red lighting, they're perfect for the job at hand. Upon purchase of these gauges, you must also purchase the Defi Link Control box. This control box is the connector for all of your gauges' sensors and upon recieving the signals in to the box, it feeds a single wire up to the first gauge upon which you daisy-chain the other gauges off of it. It has a built in "warning" device which emits a really really annoying beeeeeeeeeeep noise when one of the gauges falls into a danger zone (like no oil pressure or one of the temperatures reaching over the intended mark). This can be especially annoying with the oil pressure because if you put the key in and turn the car to the "on" position (without actually starting it up), it will just beeeeeeeep the whole time until it actually begins to read the oil pressure. It has a way to set the parameters of when the warning beep comes on and is very easy to use though. It also has a playback function, but honestly, I have never used it.

The AEM gauges are also top of the line. At $250 a pop, they're not cheap but they are known for their extremely high quality and exact measurements. These gauges came with the option of a white or black dial face, and of course I picked black. They give you a digital number readout of the area they are measuring and they also have a small LED light arond the outside of the gauge that moves around in incriments to give you the analog reading to the digital reading you see before you. The Wideband has been a blessing in disguise. If you install it, install it where you're always going to watch it, like I did with putting it on the A Pillar. You're going to watch this gauge more than the speedometer or tachometer I swear to you. The boost gauge is also very nice because it's going to show you vacuum or boost. For any forced induction engine, this is extremely important. Both of these gauges even are set up so that they can be wired into your Hondata S300! This is perfect because you don't want the factory MAP sensor for that, you're going to need an aftermarket one no matter how much or how little boost you're running. For all my interior modifications, the AEM gauges have been worth 3 times their cost in the valuable information they supply.

Most of you have already done this, but Honda does have a factory Carbon Fiber trim available for the Prelude. This trim is not gaudy, so don't let anyone ever call it rice. It can't be rice if it's OEM, right?:bigthumb:








The 4 piece kit is a little time-consuming to install, with the biggest headache being the interior door handles. You have to remove the door panels to do it and then unscrew all the support screws on the stock black plastic one to do it right. Then you'll take out the factory switches and put them in the new pieces and screw everything back up. The part that makes it the headache is if you have aftermarket component speakers that are amped like mine. The kit fits like a glove and looks really clean. I recommend this as a standard for all of our cars, but the price might drive some people away ($130 roughly)

The Momo Steering wheel with HKB Hub is what sets my car off from others I've seen. If you own a Prelude, chances are you hate that stock steering wheel. With the whole car being so clean, the last thing you wanted to see is a school-bus sized steering wheel with 4 spokes. That just takes away the entire sporty nature of the car. But with all the aftermarket (and even OEM) steering wheels out there, you can be unique too, just keep it clean like I did. I wanted something that would match my general theme I had back in January, 2008. I wanted a black interior with red stitching. The choice of the Momo Millenium Steering wheel was the perfect fit to my guidelines. The steering wheel looks and feels great. With 3 spokes and red stitching where I want it, I couldn't ask for anything better. And since I went to NTPOG and saw their install on a steering wheel, I made my decision to buy an HKB Hub. No, this is not a tilt hub or even the kind where you can disconnect the steering wheel. It's just designed to be a Hub to mate it to the stock location.

I did have to buy a steering wheel removal tool so that it holds down the steering wheel while you disconnect it from the hub bolt. This will incure an extra $30 if you buy it or I guess you can rent one for free. The center "Momo" piece still has a horn button inside of it, although if you wanna hit the horn quick, sometimes you'll miss finding it in one or two tries, because the actual button is smaller on the inside of it.


here's the little button I'm talking about...



Here it is with the cover on it


The red stitched shift knob is an OEM product, but it is getting rarer and rarer to find today. In fact, it is so rare, that I replace mine with a normal black stitched one for the days I don't think I'll be showing the car off. The red one only gets brought out for special occasions to represent the bling factor for those Prelude enthusiasts "in the know." The top shift pattern simply wears off too fast, and is accelerated if your hands are dirty or wet. A person would make a fortune if they could somehow buy up a bunch of black shift knobs and remove the black stitching and replace it with red.



I'll do the pieces you've all been waiting for next... The SIR interior. As you know, the Prelude SIR was not available in the US. But it did have an option for the interior upon which the black trim was replaced with a tasteful red interior. Not entirely red, but the touches everywhere really turned me on to the idea that I wanted more than a black or tan interior. The biggest part of the interior you'll never get to fit is the dash. Unless of course you convert to right hand drive.



But the rest of the interior; the carpet, door panels, center console, headliner, sun shade and seats, will fit. I purchased all of these except for the seats which you will see why later on...

The first thing you must know about the carpet is the fact that it is not going to fit as well as the US. Keep in mind though, that manufacturers hate to retool a machine to make a new part just to make it fit in a car bound for export, and the carpet is not made of anything different or doesn't have anything wrong with it other than the way it was cut. It is all in how it is cut is what gets to be the problem. The USDM Prelude and the JDM Prelude are different in the main regard of how the carpet is cut for the trunk and gas flap release. There is a hole already pre cut into the floor on the (USDM) passenger side. The way around this is you have to cut that exact same hole on the (USDM) driver's side and move that patch of carpet over and behind the hole that already exists on the (USDM) passengers side.



The carpeting that goes underneath the (USDM) passengers side is also tremendously long, and it will look like a baggy t-shirt since it wasn't designed for the pieces on that side. You can either trim it up or leave it alone and cover it up with a floormat. I chose to do the latter.

Speaking of Floormats, you cannot use JDM Honda Access Floormats on the USDM Prelude with the exception of all pieces but the drivers side piece. It won't fit right or look right. So what I did was bought some USDM Tan Floormats (the kind that came in the EGP Prelude) and had them sent off to a place in New York called Manhattan Dyeing. They suck by the way. From the moment I bought the floormats off of Ebay on July 25th, I did not get everything done and returned to me until October 12. They simply continued to drag their feet because they were too lazy to just dye them and get it done with. They are a clothing dyer first, and just did my project for the hell of it second. I would not recommend them, but perhaps you know of a place that does dye colors. Clothing Dyers usually ask what kind of material it is that they will be dyeing because they know that Polyester (which some floormats are made out of) cannot be dyed. Honda did something right by making their floormats out of Nylon however, and ours can accept a dye. So I got my floormats back and they were waaaay too dark. Every weekend now, I give them a good soaking in the bathtub full of hot water to try and get it to bleed more and more. It has helped a little bit, but now I have a red ring around the tub, haha.


Honda Access Floormats have a metal tag in the center of them that says "Prelude" on them. Notice how the drivers one can never fit the US model





The center console is a very easy bolt in affair as well. There are a couple of extra goodies for you to know when ordering the JDM console, such as the fact it comes with the JDM cup holder design (which is cooler and more functional than the US one) and instead of a coin tray, it comes with a cigarrete ashtray where that was. Put some coins in it, however, and you'll be trying to dig for them for a loooong time.

The SIR headliner was a very hard piece to install, but the harder piece was the sunshade. You should take off all A, B and C Pillar trim pieces to begin taking out the old headliner. After that happens, take off the maplight and sun visors. Then take out the rearview mirror. Then rotate the button in the rear-center to unlatch it and it should all slowly come down. Reinstallation of the SIR one is just like that only in reverse. But the only way to remove the USDM OEM sunshade is by taking out the entire sunroof assembly. You WILL need two people to do this no matter what. The sunroof assembly weighs 55lbs and spans almost the entire length and width of the roof. It is very awkward on top of that and has ten 10mm bolts to remove as well as a clip for the motor of the sunroof. Removal is easy and then you're going to have to fuss around with unscrewing 6 screws and 2 10mm bolts with the assembly to slide out the existing sunshade and popping in the new SIR one.

When all is said and done, you're going to have a headliner that nobody will ever pay attention to :laugh: but you and every fellow preludian out there will know for sure!

I'm trying to show you the actual headliner


Make sure you get the red "gasket" piece too when purchasing the headliner and sunshade





The Recaro Seats are the biggest indication that money was spent and in large amounts on this car. I believe that seats are the true focal point to any interior and when people see stock seats, they usually associate it with a stock ride. But race seats tell volumes about what other things are to come. I believe no other name defines luxury, quality, fit and finish quite like Recaro. They are the OEM supplier for many car company's to include Honda, Acura, Porsche and so much more. I didn't go with Sparco's because of the boy-racer look and I didn't go with Bride because of the narrow dimensions I hear so much about. But Recaro's seem to be the ticket. These are Recaro Speed Seats. The fabric is a rougher-twill (no, not a knockoff) but it is pretty durable. It has red stitching and red lettering on it as well. The store I bought it from even included slideable frame rails to adjust the seat and all of this was had for roughly $1500 shipped. These seats hurt my as$ something fierce though if you stay in them too long. The side bolsters are simply too high and if you have a size 38 waist like me, you will be pinched. But the torso bolsters are beautiful. They really hug you and keep you snug. The lack of comfort is worth the exceptional quality and look of these seats. But if your trip is any more than 2 hours long, you might want to pop the factory seats back in. Just as a side note though, these seats are heavier than your factory seats! Although I have not weighed them, they easily seem like one seat equals two factory seats in weight. If it's weight you're trying to shed, you just reversed the process by installing these seats, but it's a small price to pay I suppose :)

One large problem about these seats is the fact your factory female seatbelt pieces will gouge into your center console, causing plastic to be worn away. This is not a pretty side effect but nobody is going to see where it scrapes it as long as the seats remain in the car, but if you swap out them for the factory ones, you can see where the rubbing has occured.




The rear seat is from the Prelude Type S. Yet another version that did not make it to our shores. These seats are a leatherette material (meaning vinyl really, but with the look and feel of leather and longevity that surpasses it) with suede inserts. I chose to buy this before the SIR interior was purchased or thought of, but I also chose to keep it in because I believe it actually ties in the interior of the car better than the rear SIR seats would. The leathette almost matches the black trim in terms of color and texture. You can be your own judge though...




The Sparco Harness Bar is by far, one of the trickiest pieces to put into the car. Originally, I believed that the Sparco Bar ($400) was superior to the NRG Bar ($200) but after I saw how it bolted in and the hardware that comes with it, I determined both of them are equal, they just wear a different name tag on them. You're going to have to fanagle with the seatbelts on the B Pillar for quite some time to get it fit right. You'll be mixing and matching washers, spacers and bolts for a while to get it right. Also, this is another mandatory two man job. This piece sucks to get straight enough for the bolt to start to thread into it. But once you get it, the sturdy-ness of it will definitely make you think it's tying up both ends of the car. And it looks super gangster too, but I'm going to need to get some harnesses to complete the look.




The two bars that extend off of the harness bar go down to the floor with a special prebent flange that is designed to bolt on to your rear outermost bolt of the seat. To do this, it replaces the 14mm bolt with a 17mm bolt and becomes a bigger pain the ass to put the bolts back in than ever before. Plus the fact you're going to need two different wrenches when taking the seats out. The rear seat is now pretty much unusable, unless you get a brave soul/contortionist who can squeeze back there.

There are a few add on pieces here and there, mainly by the company called RAZO. They are a pretty high quality company that I've been wanting to try out for a while now. So I scooped up a set of pedals, cigarette lighter and broadway mirror. The pedals are designed to have two metal bands wrap around the existing pedals and clamp together by bending one piece backwards after attachment. Then the pedal is put over top and allen-wrench bolts are fed through the holes in the pedals to tighten down on the clamps. I never saw anything like this and was skeptical about how tight it would be. It turned out to be okay with only one instance where i needed to retighten the clutch pedal due to it being loose and annoying. The others seem okay.




The cigarette lighter is a very nice quality piece to look at and that's about it. It will not heat up to light a cigarette if pushed in.





The broadway mirror (270mm) is a clamp on design that actually doesn't do much to help. It is roughly the same length as the stock mirror, so you can't see anything else differently. But it does tend to shake and vibrate more than the stock one, making seeing cars in the background to identify them very hard.

 

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Just some info on your plugs and wires, the Denso Iridiums have broken on a dozen or so people running them on boosted S2ks. Boosted cars like copper the best and they're the most economical.

S2000 Forums -> FYI - Denso spark plug failure in FI S2000

Second with the wires, the OEM wires are fine on the Prelude and its money being spent that probably not necessary. I've tested my wires and they were still in spec at over 100k. If you're due for a replacement the NGK, Magnacor, etc... are probably cost effective but you're not going to see anything out of them.

I'm curious as to what you added a review of the ground box when you're saying all you're getting for $120 is a glowing red letter A. :twitch:
 

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I would suspect NGK iridiums would be far safer due to the much thicker iridium tip. The Denso's have the thinnest one I have seen yet.
 

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where do u get a right hand conversion for 98 prelude ive lookede all over the internet and cant seem to find i t also any idea on how to remove iab platletes from intake manifold thanks by the way nice lude
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't know how to help you on your right hand drive quest, my car is not right hand drive. There is a guy on here that completed his own right hand drive conversion, look up prelude1897 and see how he did it. My best advice is to find the random RHD clips when they come up for sale on EBAY, I've seen them before.

Also, if you want to remove the butterfly valves (which won't really net you any horsepower, throttle response, etc) you have to remove the top part of the intake manifold and just remove them. Easier said than done of course since there's not a lot of room.
 

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Also, if you want to remove the butterfly valves (which won't really net you any horsepower, throttle response, etc) you have to remove the top part of the intake manifold and just remove them. Easier said than done of course since there's not a lot of room.

It's a little more complicated then that. If you want them out might as well go the route of getting a Blacktrax IM.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Parts Updates

I know there are alot of things I still need to write reviews about on the car, but that time will come a little later. The more important information is what I'll update with now, which is some longevity updates on these parts that I have had to replace.

The first up is my Optima Yellow Top Battery. The Battery that could never die, finally did, but has lasted me almost 5 years (from June 2004 to February 2009). After returning from a 35 day "vacation," I had no power in the car which was alleviated by my friend jumping it. The following day (the second time I tried to start it), it was dead again and a guy from a local shop who came out to help me with a battery charger/voltmeter found the battery was holding no charge. So RIP Yellow Top, your 5 years of service have served me well. I replaced it with the exact same model and a pricetag of over $40 what I paid for it that long ago (damn you inflation!).

The second update is my wheels. For the longest time, I was running two sets of 10mm H&R spacers on the front with my Enkei RSVs (42 offset). That was the only way to get them to fit with the Wilwood Big Brake Kit. The Spacers caused the car numerous problems including squealing brakes (probably due to the distance away from the wheel the rotor was), poor turning feel and a shakey wheel that was initially only during braking and later was felt at all speeds. I even theorize that this was the main cause of me having to get an alignment every 3 months at a minimum, because of the tremendous imbalance.

But after the switch to Falken Azenis 615 tires and 5Zigen FN-10R's (17x7" and 35 offset and all purchased from Discount Tire), the difference was night and day. The car's steering wheel no longer shakes. The ride is smooth and turns are easier now than they were before. And best of all, they clear the BBK without using a spacer.

I highly recommend using these wheels if you have a BBK. They come in a ridiculous amount of sizes and offsets and colors, so you won't be stuck looking for the right ones.

You can see the before pictures above, now here are the after pictures:







 

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Love the 5zigen's. I am a big fan of anything 5 spoke on a 5th gen. I'd love a set of those, or a set of SSR Integral A2's. Good luck with that tho...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No, a shop made them out of simple strips of aluminum or galvanized steel they had sitting around. If you have somebody with a welder, I'm sure they can fab some up very quickly with the radiator removed and the fans in hand, it's not hard for them to do. Also, they will have to have a drill bit that can punch through metal, so you can put the bolts through to bolt up to the stock locations on your radiator.
 

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No, a shop made them out of simple strips of aluminum or galvanized steel they had sitting around. If you have somebody with a welder, I'm sure they can fab some up very quickly with the radiator removed and the fans in hand, it's not hard for them to do. Also, they will have to have a drill bit that can punch through metal, so you can put the bolts through to bolt up to the stock locations on your radiator.
ah okay. Thats probably the better route for installing these fans.
 
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