The Best Prelude in the World
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With all the parts ready for assembly, I now had to find a mechanic who was competent enough (Ohio's not that well known after all...) and if you'll remember, I was still in Iraq at this time. My dad found a guy on Craigslist who goes by the name "Honda Bob". Honda Bob operates out of an aircraft hangar at Elyria Airport and my dad made a trip up to check out if it was legit. I later made phone calls to him to also get a warm-fuzzy feeling that he was the right guy. After all, with close to $10,000 in parts at stake, we would all want our cars to be handled with kid gloves. The date was set for the end of November to be delivered, which would leave him with enough time to assemble everything. Honda Bob claimed he only needed a week to get it going, but I gave him 2.
Honda Bob in action
Well that week never came because my dad rear-ended my car 2 weeks before it was to be delivered to Honda Bob. it destroyed the bumper and trunk when he put the truck in drive not reverse and pulled into it. After apologies were made and accepted, it was quickly rushed to the body shop to get a new Rear Bumper and a new trunk. Now seemed like a good time to do an upgrade, so we searched around for a carbon fiber trunk. When we found one for a steal online ($200, but the top looked like 15 cats had a party with their claws on the top of it), we bought it. I told him my intentions were to paint most of it, in the theme of how Sport Compact Car painted the CF trunk of their Project SRT-4 (do a search on Yahoo to see it). It ended up turning out beautiful and I get alot of disbelief when I tell people it's a CF trunk. They thought I just painted a black strip between the tail lights. Look for yourself:
Now with the deadline past, the vehicle was quickly rushed to Honda Bob by December 8 (the next day I would leave Iraq).
Codename: White Diamond Disaster
Did you read the title of this post? Be sure you do, it's a clue about what lies ahead in these next posts.
So fast forward a couple of weeks... It is now December 19, 2007. I get off the plane in Ohio with the feeling you get of waking up on Christmas Morning. I desperately want to go see my car, because I've been hearing that although the engine is out and the new one is prepped to go in, it hasn't been done. Obviously I want to make a personal visit to Honda Bob to see if I can help. My deadline is set though, I tell him I'd like the car before Christmas so I can enjoy it as my "Christmas Present." I am on 30 days of leave and must report back to Fort Bliss in El Paso Texas on January 19 (keep in mind it's a 2 day drive minimum).
I arrive at the shop which has no heat and it is December, so that means that yes, there is snow and ice on the ground. This is what I find:
Engine Dangling, and that's my dad in the background
Here is the interior, at least the Hondata S300 is wired up
The next couple of days I pay 2 or 3 visits to Honda Bob, an hour trip each way is required to do this. But he seems to be moving slowly but on the 23rd, the engine is installed, the laptop is hooked up to the Hondata and the key is finally turned...
It turns over immediately. The gurgly rumble of the engine shows that it's not purring like a kitten yet, and the thick black exhaust make opening the door to the bay a necessity, even though I believe that the door always should've been open because the shop was colder than the air outside... But the cylinder head is making a clicking noise and the oil pressure is showing next to nothing. Not good.
We turn the car off. Oil is leaking where the AN fitting running from the oil filter relocation kit connects to the oil cooler
Just a sample picture of where I mounted it
Okay, no problem, we'll take care of one problem at a time. First the oil. We loosen and retighten the fitting and start it back up.
More oil comes out, oil pressure is still virtually nil.
We scratch our heads. The clicking valvetrain is also pretty annoying too.
It was late at night at this point, so after I realized we weren't going to get around to tuning, and with Christmas Eve and Day the following two days, the car was going to have to wait.
When I came back to the shop on the 27th, we decided to try to attack the clicking valve train. It kinda sounded like the noise a sewing machine makes when the needle hits the base and breaks, only over and over and over. Honda Bob hypothesized it was the lost motion assembly being out of spec, and went about placing washers that were .004 thick underneath all 8 lost motion assemblies. It shimmed them up and all rocker arms were level with each other and we bolted everything back up.
It didn't work, and the oil still was leaking, despite the desperate attempt by me to change out, and then JB weld the one oil leak that continually occured at the oil cooler.
Bob proceeded to pull the block again and when he unbolted the oil pan to inspect what was wrong with it, he noticed some metal shavings. It turned out to be from the balance shafts grinding due to lack of oil pressure.
The block now had to be cleaned and rebuilt as well as a brand new set of ACL rod and crankshaft bearings being ordered at my expense and overnighted. I was running out of time, but Bob promised a miracle that he could get it put back together in time. (oh yeah and I also had to get a diamond hone for the cylinder walls to increase that expense). I didn't have to reorder the one balance shaft that was destroyed though, because bob had an F23 he pulled out of a 98-02 Accord and used that (it works!)
To cut out much of the bullsh*t, I'll fast forward to roughly January 14. Out of time and stressed out, my dad and I had been doing an emergency overhaul on my sister's old 1989 Honda Accord DX (carbeurated, haha). It needed a new head gasket, alternator and 3 different ball joints. Ever seen the movie Apollo 13? This was our lifeboat Aquarius, because the Oddysey (my prelude) seemed dead in the water. (the space jab is appropriate because everytime we installed the engine into the engine bay we'd say "the eagle has landed" *golden eagle, get it?*)
Then a phone call came from Honda Bob... "So this is what torque feels like" I could hear a canister muffler drone in the background and I asked "What are you talking about?" Apparently, when Bob unplugged the fancy oil cooler system I had spent so much money and time on, and just put in the factory filter in the factory location (a non-permanent, but necessary attempt), the oil pressure showed normal. Sucess!
At this point, I was going to miss my return time to Fort Bliss, but with a forgiving Commander, I was granted an additional 3 days of leave to wrap it all up. We had our work cut out for us though... Take out the engine, install just the oil filter relocation kit, put it all back in, and tune it.
Date: January 20
First Formation at Fort Bliss: January 24 @0600 in the morning
Approximate Drive time to Fort Bliss with nothing going wrong: 22 hours straight.
I am sitting on pins and needles all day. Bob has yet to call to say the engine is fully installed. With each phone call I give, I know it's stalling him, but I need to know which car to saddle up, my pride and joy or the 89' Rustbucket. Bob finally says "I should have it ready to turn over in an hour. Boom, we're gone. We arrive to the garage just in time to help bob. It does take another hour to finish it up and reinstall the hood, put the ECU under the carpet and take it off the jacks, but we get it done. Bob then needs to start the car and get it to idle. This again, takes time. But when he finds the magic formula, we're off. Not literally, there's much sputtering, much finagleing and much cursing. The car will lurch around and die or it'll get a burst of almost uncontrolable speed. We're lucky because it's not icey on the roads, but the rain is coming in light. We begin doing laps around the countryside which is about a 5 mile square box back to the road his shop is on. We do this 3 times, each time doing 3rd gear pulls in pitch black visibility. The car seems to be getting stronger as we try for an ideal A/F ratio, but it seems pretty clear that the neighbors are calling the cops because by time we make lap 3, the muffler scream becomes a telltale sign. After being tailed twice by two cops, we decide to go on the highway. We again map out a nice course and because it's midnight, the highway is nice and deserted. We make pull after pull. The car is strong, the boost is strong (9psi instantly!) and I'm getting a grin on my face.
But then the rain really picks up. My dad calls and says "stop going so fast, I can hear you from the shop!" (almost a mile away actually). We get tailed once again by Highway Patrol and come back to the shop.
We still have to make one more trip though, we need a tune in the streets in stop and go traffic. There's no way I can drive this thing at full throttle all the time after all.
So we begin driving through the streets of Elyria, which are packed with more cops than civilians (not kidding). We are tailed numerous times, it's a miracle we didn't get pulled over, absolutely.
I also have to stop and get gas. I put half 89 octane in the tank and half 93 octane, I'm trying to prepare for the 91 octane max. in El Paso after all.
We finally stick a fork in it at 4am and call it done. The drive home is now dangerously icey and takes us a good hour and a half.
I park the rocketship in the driveway and get 4 hours of sleep before I have to start packing it to head back to El Paso
It is now January 21st, 4:00pm
The city of El Paso kind of conjurs up images of the Wild West in your mind doesn't it? Well that's kind of like the scenery that goes by as you travel to that lonesome spot in Texas... Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, you ain't got nothin' on this... when you travel in between those cities I listed above, at least you don't feel like a breakdown could be your last. El Paso is different.
For one, the real city you're in is Juarez, Mexico, at least across the Rio Grande (see: creek) and barbed wire.
This is El Paso at night... just kidding, 2/3 of this picture is actually showing the city of Juarez, which has over twice as many people as El Paso, but very pretty picture nonetheless
At 4pm give or take, the car is saddled up, ready to go. Not as much stuff is packed inside of it as the first move down there, but I'm definetly ready to get a move on. My route takes me through Columbus Ohio, through Dayton Ohio, through Indianopolis, through Tera Hotte (which I spend the night in, *spelling?*), through St Louis, through Branson (the senior citizens version of Las Vegas!) through two different Springfields I believe..., through Tulsa, through Oklahoma City, through Amarillo and if I chose to, through Albuquerque NM (although this second time I didn't) and finally to El Paso. It's roughly 2000 miles give or take according to my trust AAA trip-tick.
Before the journey started, I was reminded by Honda Bob that I needed to get an oil change due to the "refreshing" he gave to the entire motor after the bearings decided to give up. I'm running Castrol GTX, ugh, I hate conventional motor oil, but it's the only kind I can find consistently in the 20-50w weight. That's right, due to the oversized bearings (really it's how the motor was blueprinted), I need to run this oil to keep my oil pressure up. It's interesting because I gave Bob a whole case of Royal Purple 5-30w (my favorite!) to use in my car before the build, I ended up giving it to my sister and her Prelude to use instead.
I guess the town's name is Tera Hotte (pronounced Ter-ah Hoe-t I think) is where I pulled off for rest my first night. Although it's on the border of Indiana and that's not too far from my starting point, I get a good nights sleep, so far I kept it very conservative in my car, probably not hitting boost except a couple of times. By the way, my car is now getting 250 miles to the tank (roughly 13 gallons each fillup). Do the math, that's absolutely terrible for a Prelude. I get an oil change early next morning from a Goodyear shop before setting off. Did I mention that my car will not idle if it's not warmed up to at least 170 degrees water temperature? Oh yeah, this is a problem that still hasn't gone away, it simple stalls. At each stop, I have to use a mixture of put it in neutral, rev it up to 5000 or so RPM, hit the brake as it slowly winds down and repeat until I come to a full stop, that is, before it's at operating temperature.
And the mechanics have a fun time trying to get my car in and out of the shop during the oil change, they can't figure out why it keep stalling (I alread gave them a heads up).
But alas, I'm on my way. Day 2 shows me the car keeps going strong, I'm losing oil though at an alarming pace, like a half quart every 250 miles. I can look under the car and tell it's obviously coming from the engine because the wind underneath the car has blown the oil over the entire underside of the car all the way to the rear brakelines I see it has covered. Great.
But I can't stop to get it fixed, I have a couple quarts of the Castrol with me and if I run out, I'll get some more.
By the way, did I mention that there's a spot in Oklahoma where the entire stretch of highway has nothing but 90 octane at the highest? I read somewhere that places like podunk Utah and such have only 86 to choose from, but that's just riduculous. I thought my car was going to blow up, they didn't even have octane booster!
I drove my car like a miser until I found a place with octane booster and I didn't let up until my first fill up with 91 octane.
By time I got into New Mexico (and subsequently left New Mexico to re-enter Texas) I noticed my boost gauge wasn't going past 5psi when I pegged it to the floor. My A/F ratio was also all over the place. I couldn't hold my foot steady on the floor and expect the A/F ratio to remain the same, it just either leaned out (past 17:1!) or got so rich the engine choked! (more than 10:1) I literally drove my last 300 miles to El Paso flooring the car to 90mph then letting it coast to 60 before nailing it again. Talk about a nightmare.
By time I reached El Paso, the car wouldn't do more than 4psi of boost (maybe 3) and I was ready to drive it off a cliff. I parked it and unloaded at my apartment and examined it. The oil looked to be coming from behind the block, which would have been a mechanics nightmare with that supercharger over top of everything and ATTS blocking the view from the bottom.
So what could I do? Like any of the two Honda Dealerships in El Paso would've touched my car I thought, so I took it to the local speed shop called "Speed Factory" the very next day.
What happened next is something I still haven't fully comprehended to this day.
First thing you should know about El Paso... Tuner Scene? Yes! Reputable Tuner Shops? No!
You would think that being as close as we are to the Gold Coast, that El Paso would be a haven for shops that cater to the import enthusiasts... well yes and no. I've never been in an area with so many crappy shop in all my life. Is it just me or am I asking for too much when I want my local tuner shop to at least look like (in terms of cleanliness and servicability) a dealership? Seriously, we don't need mountains of cars stacked all around, blown engines and tools that populate the same floor that the dirt and oil does. But since that's how every shop operates in El Paso, I had to choose the one that least exemplified it all. I chose Speed Factory. At least when you walk in the door, it looks like a store with a garage in the back (not a plywood table with a B18B engine propping the door open) I was sold that the owner, Rich, told me that he could get my car running right. But then again, it doesn't take much to convince a starving man to eat right?
I left the car in his hands while he would go take a test drive. I decided there's no harm in getting something to eat because the car was in the hands of a professional. I didn't even have to wait until I came back to the shop to get a phone call from him telling me my supercharger belt had snapped. No... not snapped, blew up is more like it.
See that tiny belt above the PCV valve? yeah, that need to be replaced every 10,000 miles says Jackson Racing, because it's so small it doesn't have enough time to properly cool down and then it gets very weak. My first one lasted me 1500 miles...
Not the first or last time this will happen, but the belt just disintegrates...
Rich took the car and told me to come back the next day. I waited around for a while and tried to do some work myself because his mechanics were strapped with other things to do. I attempted to take off the side jackshaft plate of my supercharger with minimal tools and when it came time for closing, everyone left and I walked a full 8 (yes 8!) miles back home. It was a good time to soul search about what i was getting into. Rich had promised alot, but only time would tell. In the morning, I loaded up a backpack full of 20lbs of water and tools and walked back to the Speed Factory again. This time I was able to do more work and got a chance to replace the belt. The mechanics there helped put it back together quickly and we started up the car for a quick diagnostic.
Remember that clicking noise I said sounded like a sewing maching breaking a needle over and over? Yeah, they heard that. It only occured from 1500 to 2100 RPM and never while the car was under load, only idle. They shook their heads and began hypothesizing and overspeculating, but ultimately, 5 mechanics who knew their stuff had no idea what was going on. Removing the valve cover showed no signs of wear and tear either.
As Rich took the car out to give it a preliminary tune, an error occured at which the car lost all ability to go into boost at all without leaning out immediately. It became lethargic and even worse to drive than before. Although I was charged for labor that day, what I got back was the equivelant of a vegetable when i had initially given a patient with a broken arm.
$500 spent in labor at your shop only to end up with a worse product? Sign me up! Oh, and I'll take a free sticker too!
Rich continued to offer optimism for a price and never delivered. At one point, he had my car for a full week without touching it once. The small amount of tuning he did never amounted for much, and oh yeah, he also lost the base tune that Honda Bob had given it back in January.
My job requires me to be accessible and active 24/7, so there was no way I could let it set at that shop even longer. Upon giving the keys back to me Rich shrugged his shoulders and said "I dont' know man, there's something mechanical wrong with it, maybe you should get it fixed before you bring it back to us." Really Rich? Because I thought your shop employed mechanics.
First and Foremost, I am a dumbass.
I succumb to my inner need for showmanship and respect. I asked Speed Factory if I could be in their lineup of cars they were showcasing at the annual "EL PASO HONDA XTREME TUNER SHOW" in February of 2008. My car is the love of my life, so I sold my soul for a day to show off the hard work, money, sweat, tears and memories I had invested so much into my car. I rushed as fast as I could to get the suspension and brake kit I had hauled literally from Ohio to El Paso almost 3 months prior, installed on the car.
But as life does to you sometimes, it will kick you in the @$$ just to show you who's boss, and maybe for a little motivation. Well, here's my motivation to get started on the suspension.
Way to make a ball joint China
After a painful morning of how my car was initially positioned and trying to get it on a flatrack (which is precarious to say the least, with a wheel that's ready to fall off) I took it to a new shop for me in El Paso, "Honda & Acura Technicians" on Montana Ave. First and foremost, these guys are not a dealership. They are simply a group of guys that have been in the business for a very long time that are able to do quick, efficient, and best of all QUALITY work on your Honda or Acura. Hell, when I showed them the aftermarket stuff I needed to be put on in a hot minute, they said they'd do it! I handed them the keys to the car, 4 Ingalls adjustable upper ball joints, my full set of KSport Koilovers and the Megan Rear Toe Arms and said "please install." A hearty $700 or $800 later, viola, the car was tucked, balanced and beautiful. How about that?!
Hate all you want on Hong Kong knockoffs, but I chose KSport because I saw many pictures of my application on the internet with an actual picture of them installed on it. I've got one thing to say to the other companies out there that make a product for a car, why the hell won't you post a picture of the product on that car!? Don't give me a caption that says "picture may not be your application", give me a caption that says "this is what our kick@$$ product will look like on your car, pretty F*ing hot huh?!" That's what I'm talking about!
So I was so impressed with H&A Technicians work, I came back to them for a little Wilwood Big Brake Kit install. Once again, the quality of their work completely rocked, look, it speaks for itself.
Oh yeah, and if you're getting a BBK, watch out! There's so much more involved! I had to get ARP wheel lug extenders which cost alot to press into your current hub. You also lose your ABS. And to top it off, if you don't have the right wheel (and i'm not talking about just offset!) then you'll need spacers, like me!
Please ask questions if you're going to do this to your car, it'll save you alot of trouble to look as gangster as this!
Last edited by hotrod; 02-20-2009 at 11:37 AM. Reason: merging back to back posts.
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
Good build man keeper up. Thanks for serving our country.
Last edited by kizzzzle; 02-19-2009 at 10:54 PM. Reason: spoke to soon
Oh, I want to expand a little bit on the Coilovers and Brake Kit.
First off, agree or disagree with me, but I have read alot on the diferences between Coilover Kits. It seems that a monotube design is far more responsive, robust and durable than a twin-tube design. So for all you people out there rockin' Tein's, no offense, but Tein didn't make a monotube design for the Prelude when I was looking for one (at least, I didn't find any). So my choices (besides picking a spring and shock combo) were limited to D2 or KSport. Since KSport was a growing company with new and innovative products coming up (like Big Brake Kits and suspension components like Arms and such) I chose them. They offered a 1 year warranty and the build construction looked sound. Here I am, almost 8 months later without a complaint.
Secondly, if you're going to lower your car no matter what method you use, get a damn camber kit already. You're gonna break some rules by doing it, but you owe it to yourself. Case and point:
Honda manuals routinely say that if you are to change out your A Arm ball joint, to replace the entire A Arm assembly. Honda's do not take kindly to a pressed in/out ball joint.
My experience couldn't be farther from the truth. They are durable, they are reliable and they work. You are going to shred your inner tire if you don't. The Ingalls ball joints cost about $125 for a set of 2 (and their are two different part numbers, one for front and rear) and roughly $100 to hav them pressed into the arms. Just stop crying and do it already.
Okay, last point with the Big Brake Kit, look, it's not just a simple bolt on affair. If there's one thing (or phrase should I say) I hate, it's "just slap it on there." Yeah, I used to say it back in the day, but come on, is there any piece you've ever put on your car that can honestly say "yeah, i just slapped it on there."??? I mean, every piece initially involves some kind of trial and error if it's the first time you did it. Nothing is more true to that than the big brake kit. The Wilwood kit I have on this car was ordered from Ebay for (!) $780 (!) That's right, that cheap! But trust me, i paid for it in the end having to get the lug nut extensions, the 2 kits from H&R of their 10mm spacers and most recently, a set of Muteki open ended lug nuts. I'll explain in a minute.
Look at this dude that I took a picture of at the National Prelude Meet in 2007.
Damn! Them's some flashy wheels and brakes! He found a way to do it right. I don't think he had any spacers, but these wheels must be the ONLY kinds in existance to not need a spacer because look at the shape of the spokes. I'm telling you people, offset DOES NOT matter when getting a big brake kit and your wheel combo to agree. At least, it doesn't matter like 90% of the way. The fact is, offset measures the imaginal line that separates the width of your wheel perfectly versus how far out the hub of it goes or how far in. Unless you had a hub that was enormously deep (most are a standard depth from where the spokes attach to it) then it won't fit. You need to look at how the spokes are made. Look at my Enkei RSVs. The spokes are horrible! They're more deep and skinny than this guys Rotas (I think they're Rotas). He has a really fat face on his spokes with a relatively shallow depth and that is the key to how he fits his Rotora BBK behind them wheels. It still tucks under his wells too from the looks of it.
Not mine! The F*er's bulge out in the front and it looks pretty gey. I could explain it to others that a front wheel drive car needs a fatter wheel in the front but I can't lie because my wheels and tires are still the same size on all 4 corners...
See how ridiculous it looks? This is why I keep my car's suspension stiff, so the rebound won't bend the front fender!
Oh yeah, and I was there at NPM 07, but I parked in the back while you were all on the track. I scoped out the scene for a bit, but a picture of my car ended up on some website (possibly this one). I was a nobody back then and you were probably all laughing at my Rising Sun Valve Cover, jerks!
The XTreme Tuner Car Show sponsored by El Paso Honda
So the big day came of the car show. I forget what day it was exactly in February, maybe like the 21st or something. But my car was all ready for it. It was waxed, detailed and ready to go. I gotta admit, the selection and build quality of each car on Speed Factory's Row was tough to beat, but I later found out that this was a contest that probably used judges from circa 1999, because when f*ing Cavaliers take home the best in show for a *** yellow paint job and cotton balls around the wheel wells, you can basically understand why the shows attendee attendance has dropped over the years.
Here's a couple pictures of the car before the show, all ready to go...
Eyelids not yet installed, tell me what you think of them compared to the previous post where it showed them attached
For those of you that took Advanced Placement Tests in High School, you'll probably notice that I have a stock seat in the drivers seat and a Recaro Race Seat in the Passengers side. It's because I sure as hell didn't want to drive 2000 miles from Ohio to El Paso fitting my size 38 waste into a race seat! The other Recaro was installed the day before the show :-)
And here's some of the car actually in the competition...
(Due to the replacement of certain items, my hood prop could not properly fit under the hood, I carried it with me during the show when I wanted the hood down) :bigthumb:
Engine looks good, but could've been cleaner and more sorted, but that'll come in future posts...
These two interior pictures were taken before the show, not because I didn't get any of the interior at the show, but the lighting was so terrible, they didn't turn out nearly as well as these. This shows the full "control panel" all lit up and I must say, it looks very sexy in all black... but time will show how I've upgraded this already show car interior...(P.S. Group Buy Center Gauge Console ain't got nothin' on me :smoker:)
I actually learned alot from this show. It was more fun to participate in than peg your hopes on winning I found out. The knowledge you can share and receive is all very helpful and the ideas you walk away with and friends you meet last a lifetime.
I met some guys there who were forming their own club called "Deep Stage" and although they asked me to join, I've got a little bit bigger plans in store in the future. If you're reading this now, all the best in starting your new car club.
Overall I walked away with a nice Tshirt, Hat, and other trinkets which I consider score enough for the $50 entry fee. I enjoyed looking over at my car throughout the show seeing the large crowd gathered around it. I feel bad for the guy who stood next to his RX-8 (to my right) that had just an intake on it, wondering why people weren't asking him questions :laugh:
After the show, a new sense of optimism about the car was running through my veins. With all the compliments on how it looked and then all the questions on HP numbers and Quarter Mile times (and my subsequent shrug of the shoulders) I wanted to get back in the game of getting it tuned. Up next was a quick stop at El Paso Honda where I learned that the pesky oil leak I was telling you about during my trip down was none other than basically ever seal on the bottom end giving out. Turns out Honda Bob was not as meticulous as I thought when he was putting it all back together after the big tear down. I had a crankshaft seal, rear main seal, balance shaft seal and a tiny leak near the oil pump itself aaaalllll need to be replaced. Don't hate on this, but I spent $1400 to get these things replaced. Which now will probably get the hate mails going with the question "Don't you do any work on your car?!"
Look fellas (and hopefully some ladies ) I do do alot of work on my car. I have started small (intakes and exhausts) and worked my way up, sometimes with the guiding hands of my dad, but I've worked up to the level where I can diagnose a suspension problem, replace accessible gaskets, replace the supercharger belt (an hour and a half ordeal), and basically do anything non-computer related. The question comes down to time. Do I have the time to do it? With my position in the military, time is something I don't have alot of. And when my weekends consisted of a couple days, the last thing I want to do is tear apart my bottom end and get out the Prelude manual for every hour of those days. I have a life too you know.
So yes, I'll be the first to say that I don't do my own work, but I make darn sure that I pay attention enough that when it comes time to mimick the work I've seen to performa repair, I don't have to pay again.
I wish I had the time, I would make this car my full time job, but I'm sure 98% of you can relate with me that we sometimes take luxury that another person can do it if we're in a pinch. Although I'm a huge advocate of learning to do something on your own when you can, that's the only way we build our skills.
Okay! Enough of my rambling, back to the pictures because I'm sure that's what's keep 100% of you checking this post anyway! I'm having fun and although it's late, I don't want to stop, I have a long bus ride back to El Paso from here in Fort Irwin California tomorrow and I can sleep then while I don't have internet.
I was going to continue with the fact that after the cars oil leaking problem was fixed and I had the valves adjusted to within spec's (because the clicking noise was still stumping everyone), I had solved one out of the two problems. The clicking noise continued. When I took it back to speed factory for the final time, they again sat on it before I threatened to pick it up and not bring it back. I arrived there hours after making that statement to find Rich fumbling around with his tuning computer, telling me pessimistic things about the direction it was going, but I made him go with me on an hour long joy ride around el paso to get the damn thing tuned.
And what do you think the outcome was?
Not one thing changed. Speed Factory's name was now mud in my book and I succumbed to the 6th grader in me and aptly changed the sticker on my car :p:
So with the car running sh*t-ily (is that a word?), I'm now playing the "if I wait, something will fall into my lap" game. But what to do at this point? The more I read forums the more I see that although I'm on the right track, the more I want to continue and modify. So I begin with my old pal Ebay.
Ebay's a wonderful tool by the way. I've been a member since 2002 and I gotta admit, it's addicting. For all the non-believers out there that say it's full of scammers and such, I beg to differ. I've had probably 2 bad experiences out of literally 300 good. And those bad experience probably came as more communication errors than truly bad people trying to take my money. In either instance, I was able to recover thanks to PayPal (not as evil as previously believed, haha). As proof, I'd say about 85 to 90% of this car is Ebay. Even the CAR ITSELF is bought on Ebay! The wheels, the engine, the brake kit, almost all of the interior with the exception of the Recaro Speed Seats, the body kit, the hood (not the trunk) and soon to be, almost all the exhaust. Believe me, for something truly rare (I have a Prelude Hot Wheels from Japan, top that!) to the hookups for future items (stay tuned for the entire SIR interior that I sourced almost completely through Ebay), it's the real deal and I will vouch for it any day of the week.
Here's an ebay purchase I made around the April time-frame
That Type S leatherette and suede seat totally rocks. The immaculate condition it was in just blew me away, now I'm seeing so many of these up for sale especially on Ebay, I probably will be 1/15 less cool tomorrow because another one of you lucky dogs has got one. Bravo.
At the same time of the install, I had planned on a battery relocation to the trunk. This has pros and cons, so I suggest depending on your climate, you debate whether or not to do this before doing this (and also on the battery you use). Also, does my Optima Battery look familiar to you? Refer to the second picture of this thread and you'll notice it's been powering whatever car I have since July of 2004 :bigthumb:
This is actually a Taylor Battery Kit (the part number escapes me at the moment, but it came with welder cable, not speaker cable) and I used several techniques to attach it to the trunk floor. First, I bolted a bolt into the place where the spare battery threaded holder would go, that gave me leverage for the tray on the one end, but on the other end (where the trunk floor goes uphill towards the fuel pump) I tried a variety of substances from JB Weld (which does NOT stick on a painted surface) to silicone (never was strong enough to support the movement of a car and a 40lb battery) and finally I settled on a grouting concrete mix from a tube. I probably can never go to the track with this setup, but I'll be damned if it's not sealed in their tighter than the waistline on a fat mans sweatpants.
In the engine bay, it made a difference that simply brought a tear to my eye. Ever since I learned the Prelude's weight distribution was something like 63/37 or something like that, I wanted to get it closer to 50/50. I probably will never get it there, but this battery relocation kit on top of no air conditioning, no cruise control and a carbon fiber hood ought to be making a pretty good difference for sure. I also got rid of that pesky battery tray, in the future it'll get painted to look absolutely beautiful.
With the battery tray gone, I lost the ability to hold my stock coolant reservior, but no problem, the local Yearwood Performance Place yokel had to quit his scoffing at an import in his parking lot for a hot minute in order to ring me up this bad boy coolant overflow tank. Oooohh, pretty (note that you can see my oil filter relocation kit pretty well in this picture too)
This is going to be the thread's last post for today... I still have more in me to do more, but the simple matter is, I've ran out of pictures. Many of them are either not with me right now or my friends have them or I've yet to take the new-new ones! You'll want to see the new interior (hint SiR) for sure as well as the most recent and *hopefully* closing chapter to the tuning saga. I say this because as of 30 September, Honda Bob will be coming down to El Paso in an attempt to finally get this bish running again!
Stay tuned for these answers to the questions you've been waiting for!!!
What's the car look like now?
Will the motor survive?
How much HP will it make?
What kind of 1/4 mile time will it do? (at 4000 feet above sea level, give me some slack!)
All these questions will be answered and more in the upcoming week, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, I leave you with some tasty imagery, but be sure to check back on this post frequently, this is when things get really crazy, really powerful and really expensive!!!
Oh yeah, here's a preview of what's more to come...
Goodbye ratty headers and the header wrap that has plagued all previous photographs...
looks nice huh?
And remember that hood prop I had to carry around with me all the time? I don't need it anymore:smoker:
I found a guy selling his prelude on Ebay (out of new york) and other than a couple of modifications, I noticed it had this SMSP header already on it. So when I contacted him, I asked if he would sell me just the header and I would send him a Megan Racing Header as well as the payment. Sure enough, he agreed to the deal and now I'm in posession of an extremely rare and expensive set of headers that I had to go through basically no wait time for. Jealous much?
At this moment, it's Sept 30 and it's a little before 1am
I just got back to my apartment and stumbled upon literally 10 boxes in the inside doorway that are blocking my entrance. There are so many parts waiting for me, I just spent probably 30 minutes opening them and finding a place to put them in my apartment. The fun part is, I know there are even more waiting for me in the apartment complex office when they open tomorrow!
"Honda Bob" is about an hour and a half out from El Paso, coming via I-10, which is a switch up because almost exactly 24 hours ago he picked up some "payment up front" money from my mom in Ohio to make it down here. He couldn't get his Civic hatch to run, but his friend offered to drive the both of them down in his Del Sol. I spent virtually all day from 6am Pacific Time until 1130pm Mountain Time on a damn bus tracking two little blips on a big map of the US both converging onto one central location, El Paso.
It sure was fun to see some comments though when I just now plugged in the computer! Keep them coming and I will post more :D I will probably do up 2 or 3 stories of my SiR interior modifications, Sparco Harness Bar installation, Tein Hood Damper installation and Megan Racing Header Installation as soon as I get the pictures from my friend John! Tell your friends about this thread too, I love to see the "views" column pile up, I've already got a couple of messages in my inbox asking me about specs and stuff.
Tomorrow we start on the build, but for now, I need to catch a few Z's before the big event.
Peace out for now.
Here's the update on today (for those of you sitting on the edge of your seat).
Bob awoke at 3pm today and after some conversing about the route to go, we started to look at the wiring job that Speed Factory had done. Both the wideband wires and the boost wires (MAP sensor) were just cut and never spliced back together. Speed Factory had also tried to hook up the original Honda MAP sensor instead of using my AEM one. Once Bob had hooked them up correctly, he plugged my computer up to the data port on the Hondata S300 and finally got some good readings. After 20 minutes of tinkering, he got the idle (when cold) to be relatively normal. I say this because before Bob came down, the car would not idle when under 170 degrees (water temperatures). It was a pretty good start.
Bob's in town and in the driver's seat! Well... passenger actually, he has to work the computer you know...
[I]The two wires that made a difference between boost and 9 months of living hell[... solved in 20 minutes/I]
So then we put decided to hit the open road for some more tuning. Almost instantly, Bob found out how to give me back boost, and I slowly began tuning for more and more boost. I started at 4, went to 7 and then finally saw a number I never have seen before, 10psi!
But at this point, we developed an exhaust leak (d*mmit!) and the car began to sound like a harley davidson, I'm not even kidding. But for about 20 minutes, boost was back and although not perfected (we had got up to 10.5:1 and maybe 11:1 at one point A/F Ratio) and response was somewhat laggy, but it was there.
So all of the sudden we're now faced with a task I hadn't thought would happen until Bob left, and that is we're going to fit on all my new exhaust components and see how it goes.
Tomorrow, the goal is to get my exhaust welded up, which will be followed by lots of pictures for sure.
Sorry the pictures I have are camera phone pictures, I can't find my stupid regular camera!
I'll try to fix that though... keep checking for more updates!
(this is in response to another guy asking me about seeing a similar car in ohio)
You probably didn't see me driving around that area with the car as it is, however, my sister has a prelude, same year, same color and it's getting to have roughly the same outside look as mine and she is a professor at Kent State University and her other job is in Cleveland (downtown). She commutes frequently so that's probably who you're seeing.
This is the last picture of my car in Ohio in January, 2008. This is me backing up in the driveway ready to hit the road for El Paso. The picture is ironic because it was the first and last time time our Preludes were photographed together. Although I'm hopefully going to try to teach my sister the secrets of the Jedi and get her to JDM up the car a little bit!
Last edited by hotrod; 02-20-2009 at 11:41 AM. Reason: merging back to back posts.
Alright, the moment you've all been waiting for!
Where we last left off, Honda Bob has came into town, I got boost back but it was obvious the motor needed way more tuning. But tuning would get us nowhere with the huge amount of exhaust leaks (probably 4 in all reality) that I had.
I would venture to say that the Megan Racing Header held up okay on the 4 into 2 section but as for bolting up to the cat., that's where the first failure was. Then after the cat and then followed by the two 90 degree bends in the back which have been nothing more than a paper gasket put on over 3 years ago... When we took them out they were so brittle that they crumbled on touch.
So I called up my old friend, SGT Ewing and asked if he could help piece together and weld up my new system. For the record, after viewing the header I bought, I found out it's not a 4-2-1, it's actually a 4 into 1. This left me a little disappointed because I didn't ask the buyer for more pictures, but the construction seems solid and I'm sure top end gains will be nice.
SGT Ewing's friends helped me out and took the welding job two nights ago on Thursday, so we drove the motorcylce-sounding exhaust down to the shop where they welded it up. I don't know about the previous owner of this header, but we ended up having to cut a small bit out of the crossmember in order to make the pipe clear it. It doesn't seem like this will be too detrimental to handling after a quick drive.
The cut into the crossmember...
The exhaust (not the best picture)
The welding mated the header to a 2.5" into 3" "reducer" (I put it in quotes because how we did it, it's an "expander") and then it went into the new Random Technologies Cat. (3" into 3") and then since we didn't have another reducer, we ghetto-fabbed it into the flange of the Greddy Exhaust. This was only a quick fix of course, next month I'll invest in some mandrel bent pipe and straight pipe because it's pretty obvious that the Greddy Evo 2 pipe is not 2.5", it's more like 2.25" or 2 3/8" diameter. This was all going to have to make do for now. Then we called it a night.
The following day (yesterday, Friday) I had to spend a full day at work. Bob plugged away changing out my cylinder head for the newer one I had purchased. Immediately he noticed that the oil was extremely black which he theorized is a result of "blowby" in the combustion chamber. This doesn't mean my rings are bad, but because I was running so incredibly rich (seriously, 10:1 A/F was the norm driving down the street trying to maintain a steady speed). The oil had a large amount of unburnt gasoline in it, so it was pretty thick and disgusting.
Bob also had a problem getting one of my ARP Headstuds out and if you look closely in this picture below, you can see it's the one closest to the power steering pump, but all it required was lifting the block up to clear it and when he reinstalled it, he had to set it down over it (by the way, he had some help doing this, there's no way you could lift that head up with the supercharger bolted on by yourself).
My Prelude is getting ready for Halloween... I call it "the headless horseman"
That's much better...
The new cylinder head installation, although long, went very well and everything fit up very well. But there was one problem... Bob lost the top "fuel rail nut" that went on top of the fuel line banjo as you can see in this picture. But we took the bolt off of his 93' CRX and sure enough, it fit. Bob told me that most Honda's in the 90's had that nut interchangable.
look to the left of the blue Fuel Pressure Regulator... notice anything missing?
Anybody know what company makes these adjustable cam gears?
With the head all bolted up, we tackled the last two exhaust leaks in the system by using a Copper/Silicone gasket maker tube on the two flanges of the Greddy Exhaust.
In this picture you can see all the excess goop, but it's doing the trick
We let the gasket sealer set for about an hour and a half before we finally turned the crank....
Oops, had to take two false starts because the plug wires were in the wrong order. As much of a Honda Guru as Bob is, it's still possible to get the plug wires in the wrong order I suppose.
But then success! The engine turned over immediately and I noticed the strangest noise in the world coming from the cylinder head... absolutely no clicking at all! That's right, for the first time since the car was stock, the motor did not stall (water temp 75 degrees even!) and the motor just hummed along in a sound so sweet, I basically woke up the neighbors with my "woo hoos!" (imagine Homer Simpson saying it).
We did a little bit of fine tuning on the Hondata and since it was already 1:30 in the morning, we called it a night. Our Dyno Day was set for 11am the next day so we had our work cut out for us.
Bob looks sleepy at 1:30am
The next day, I got up to go fill up with fuel and get some other fuel, in the form of Carl's Jr. Big Breakfast Burger and Steak and Egg Burrito, delicious!
When I came back, we went about changing the oil with a new K&N Gold Filter, 5 Quarts of Royal Purple 20w-50 and added in some Lucas Oil Additive for the hell of it. After some checks... it was about 1045 and we were ready to get on the road. After going down the road, I asked bob if he remembered my power cable to charge the computer (we forsaw ourselves at the dyno all day) and he said no. Also, i was throwing the CPK sensor CEL code and we knew what we had to do (from our long experience with having that same code in January). It involves loosening ever so slightly the 3 bolts that hold the distributor to the head and carfully tapping it and front or back while resetting the CEL on the Hondata. Eventually, when it finds the perfect range, the CEL won't come back on and the problem is fixed.
So we saddled up again at 11:15am and set off down the road. While merging onto the onramp, I gave it some substantial throttle but heard a tiny pop. The AEM boost gauge showed I was just a "4" into vaccuum and it wasn't moving... Bob said "oh, that must be the vaccuum hose for the AEM gauge." So we pulled over in the gas station and I opened the hood knowing right where to look and so my eyes zoomed in on the hose that was, indeed, popped off but it wasn't until I reattached it that my eyes saw an even more disturbing problem... my supercharger belt was not even there... the whole thing had just blown up. Great.
So we went and bought a new belt (and bob got a new fuel banjo bolt for the CRX) and we drove back to the apartment. Now we're waiting and trying desperate attempts to cool the engine down enough to work on it before trying to replace the belt and get the car down to the dyno once more...
So close yet so far away!
Way too hot just now...
The tripod demonstrates yet ANOTHER wonderful use... best $20 ever spent!
Believe it or not, the frozen water bottles I keep in my freezer (not even intended for this purpose) are serving a purpose right now!
We drove all the way to Evolution Motorsports around 3:15 and got there around 3:40, but as we arrived and were waiting for the go ahead to pull the car in, we were told the owners were going to a birthday party and they would be locking the doors. So great, we drove all that way to be told "not today."
But we drove around the city and up on the mountain and bob slowly but surely kept plugging away at increasing power and driveability with the Hondata as he sat with the laptop next to me.
The car is now running very very well. The boost is maxing at 7psi which although is not 9psi, is very close and could be a simple belt tightening away or it could be as a result of more exhaust flow which increases horsepower and decreases PSI due to efficiency increasing. Torque in a Honda is always a good thing and our Preludes have it, but now it's really got it and it feels wonderful. I know you're all just as anxious as I am to see these Dyno numbers, so I'll keep you posted! We're shooting for 260 at the wheels. 270 would blow my mind and 250 I could be content with, but based on what I've done to the car, I don't think this is out of reach.
And if I don't make it there, I'll whine like a little b**ch and blame it on high altitude, low octane and a slipping belt like all tuners do, ha!
Alright Readers, the moment you've all been waiting for. By the end of this post at least one thing will be for sure... Phase 2 is complete on my project and Phase 3's parameters and goals become much more apparent.
The day started out at 9:00am when the apartment began stirring. Our goal was to start at 9:30, so we probably weren't going to make it on time, but we did after another tiny bout with the CPK sensor throwing another CEL. A quick reset actually cleared this problem for good but something tells me I know what caused this problem at the end of this post.
We arrived at 9:50 at Evolution Motorsports and we actually had to wait until 10:30 for the owner of the shop, Gabe, to show up. For the record I have never seen a DynoJet before, just a DynoPack at some Subaru Shop I bought my first exhaust from years before. But this was cool because you put the car on a lift and then it raised it to the level of the giant roller. Here's some pictures for those of you who are like me and are relatively new at this:
The lift including the Lamba Meter plugged into the exhaust.
Gabe in the drivers seat
How the Dyno finds your timing parameters, just like a timing gun
So we basically jumped right into it after strapping down the car. We took out the Hondata ECU from behind the carpet and ran a line to the Dyno Computer and my laptop. We also hooked up the Lamba Meter to the exhaust and also a sensor around the last spark plug wire for timing purposes and away we went.
The first dyno pull showed a disappointing baseline (to me at least) of 196 horsepower and 212 ft/lbs of torque. The torque seemed impressive, but the top end left more to be desired. It was our first pull and it sounded really wild because we were reving the engine to 8,000rpm (because of my dual valve springs, we figured it was fine).
Okay, so we had our baseline, Bob did his thing on the laptop to adjust fuel maps and away we went again, 208 horsepower this time. A gain of 12 horsepower.
I could go on with all of our adjustments and runs, but we did probably 20 separate pulls on the dyno over 3 hours. The hardest part was trying to find (and keep on) the VTEC point. Sometimes the VTEC would just stop. At one point when it had stopped, Bob turned it back on and it killed the power curve and torque curve until the last 500rpm and then spiked hugely (literally from 140hp to 208hp in an instant). Since VTEC hit so violently, we also witnessed a puff of smoke come from the engine which alarmed everybody until we looked in the engine bay and noticed the oil dipstick had shot out. Radical.
But after some resetting, it got back on track and we witnessed a jump to 225 horsepower. At this point we stopped to examine the plugs and I decided to give up the Denso Iridiums (IK22) that I was saving for a special day (which had no date in particular). With the same settings though, we ran it again and picked up one (1) horsepower. The next run we made 229 and the final run we made 230 horsepower and 201 ft/lb of torque. At this point, we were noticing our Intake Temperatures to be around 155 degrees, and although it would probably be an accurate representation of the streets, we went to the gas station next door and grabbed a bag of ice to see if we could lower it.
I had a hard time finally finding a set of sparkplugs that were one heat range colder that could fit the prelude. But for the record, here's the kind you should all be using, Denso part number IK22. (IK20 are the stock heat range)
The surprising thing is, that with the bag of ice on top of the supercharger and intake temperatures at 105 degrees now, we ran it again and the horsepower went down to 228 HP. This was puzzling until you look at the big picture that we only ran 5psi on that run. For some reason, even with the next run hitting 230HP again, we still only topped out at 6psi.
As I mentioned before, I've seen this thing hit 9psi, and i know it's not slouch. I don't know what the problem with the supercharger was, the belt seemed sufficiently tight and relatively cool to the touch. But this is when we called it a day. The gains we made were impressive and I'm guessing that even more horsepower will happen once the exhaust gets fixed and expanded. I might even try to add on a larger throttle body to the mix to increase some airflow.
But the car runs hard and hits with a powerband that most cars on the streets of el paso will be afraid of. It's no turbocharged monster, but the whine of the supercharger should be sufficient in making others think twice.
With some spray, this car could really come alive, and the engine block can handle it. Can the transmission though? I don't know... but all of this is for another day. For right now, I'm going to enjoy what I've got.
...Or will I? After paying $100 for my 3+ hours on a dyno (quite the deal!) Kevin opened the gate for us to go out and he wanted to see me let it out on the road as I drove off. Well I showed him but then Bob saw the dummy light for the brake came on. The pedal ran soft and sunk to the floor quickly and suddenly the realization that this car still retained the nickname "White Diamond Disaster" just didn't come with engine.
We pulled over into a Checkers Autoparts store and examined the brake fluid, which looked fine, and then the engine bay, which also looked fine. But when pressing on the brake pedal and checking all 4 corners, we found the culprit to be the brake hose on the passengers rear wheel. It sprayed a fine mist in our face to boot. Nice. So we had to take it easy going home, careful not to get ourselves into any situations where having no brakes could cost us the car. We did make it home but now it sits in the parking lot, waiting for the time when it can come out again to play. Tomorrow it will be dropped off at a shop before I leave town so it can get fixed while I'm away.
*Sigh* and this is the life of a car nut, a real enthusiast who pours life and money into the car he wants so badly to run right, and at the moment he finally gets his power back, it's taken away because he can't control that power.
But the Prelude shall live to rule the night, that much I'm sure. The interior now must be cleaned up, my new floormats, door panels and roof need to be put on as well as the Recaros back in their rightful spot. The engine will get sprayed down and rechecked. The exhaust will get that last 8 feet or so of stainless steel pipe and muffler in 2.5" and then, and only then, will Stage 3 begin...
To be continued...
Now hold on! I promised in the previous post that I would whine if i didn't hit at least 250, but I'm not down about it. First of all, I believe in order of accuracy, DynoJet will be the most accurate (see: lowest) and something like a dynopack will be the highest (see: least accurate). But to start out from a base of 196 horsepower and increase 34 horsepower is something to be proud of. Yeah, I lost some torque, but wait till you see this power curve!
And yes, this is with VTEC on, and it's so seamless, that I lose no power at all. It kicks on at 4000rpm by the way, which may seem early, but at any other part in the powerband it wouldn't make sense because the lower cam was dropping power dramatically after 4,000rpm.
I'm guessing that although heat soak made a significant problem with power production, finishing the exhaust, adding on that throttle body and perhaps getting an intake to match (could this be the end of the top Fuel intake?!) will be next on the list to getting the power back. And also finding out what happened to my other 4 or 5 psi will also make a difference too!
As Charles Bronson once said "Dis ain't ovah"
Hey, remember when I said that the engine was getting a CPK sensor? Here'sa theory... When the new head got put on the car, I used a brand new MSD Red Cap distributor cap. I liked the last one I got because at night you can see the individual sparks through the transparent cap and it's an interesting conversation starter.
But the new one I put on showed all the signs of a defect. First, notice how each terminal (post?) has warped and began to expand outward and away from the center, they're all not facing straight.
Second, this threw off the metal pieces in the inside of the cap.'
And third, there even began a "melt mark" on the side of the cap closest to the front of the car, although there was no significant heat source anywhere close to it!
see the posts? all over the place
There's no reason for this melt mark at all! Why did it happen MSD?
Perhaps you should all take warning... my MSD Cap was great the first time, but this batch maybe has some defects...
Last edited by hotrod; 02-20-2009 at 11:45 AM. Reason: merging back to back posts.
Finally an update! These will become a little more rare I have to say :( because money is drying up and so the little things will have to do for now, but I promise, I will continue to make a huge deal out of the little things:laugh:
So this weekends agenda was all about getting the SIR interior installed. I must tell you though, that I had everything planned so that the minimum of work would have to be done to complete everything, so since I wanted to install my new C-Pillar Bar, I was going to install the headliner at the same time and since the rest of the interior would be SIR then, I wanted to do my doors, but first, the headliner...
I looked up the thread on this site that talks about the headliner and its removal. The pictures are down and I've got to admit, since I was on a limited schedule today, I couldn't take as many pictures as I wanted, but basically, I took the C Pillar plastic pieces off which were very easy. In fact, I didn't even need any tools, I simply pushed the headliner up on the very farthest corner towards the front of the car and began to give a firm tug at each one and I listened as the clips that held it all in place popped out one by one. Nothing was broken or damaged when I was done with it.
Then, after the instructions said to remove the B and A Pillar trim, I decided to go the lazy route around it because I didn't want to have to hassle with the removal of the Sparco Harness Bar or messing up the wires on my A Pillar Gauge pod, so I simply tried to unsnap the piece at the top (they're joined together) I couldn't bend the headliner in the middle, so I slid it backwards until it almost all came out and then bent the rest anyway, nothing folded or left a mark and I was left with a perfect gray headliner (for sale now!)
Now the trouble began, I also had the sunroof sunshade to install and after yanking on it a couple times and moving it back and forth, I pretty much knew what had to be done... remove the entire sunroof assembly.
The black metal piece is all a single unit, and yes, the glass comes out with it too. A total of ten 10mm bolts supports it.
This was as big of a pain in the ass as it looks. After unbolting 9 out of the ten and supporting almost all the weight with one hand, I knew I was gonna need some help, so I picked up the phone to give good ol' John Dunlapp a call. John has helped me out on numerous projects to date and pretty much has no choice when I call but to help me, haha, just kidding.
I put 4 out of the 10 bolts in and drove over with a sunroof that looked like it was falling in and 3 wires hanging from the ceiling. I got some stares for sure while I was driving to his house, people probably thinking "well that nice car sure has a piece of crap interior going on." Its probably true that the car has spent more days looking torn apart and disgusting than all neat and tidy.
So anyway, me and John manage to unbolt the entire sunroof assembly and since its getting caught on the plastic trim that I was still stubbornly not gonna take off, I had to give in and unbolt one side of the harness bar as well as remove the "oh **** handle" (does that thing even have a proper name?) so that I could pull the B Pillar back much more than it was. We did the same trick as I did with the headliner, which was sliding the whole assembly back and then turning it so it came forward and we took it out the passenger side. All of this was accomplished with only the passenger seat removed from the car just so you know, I recommend at least that one taken out if not both.
So now we had the whole assembly out and laying on the garage floor in the "closed" position. We thought we would be able to take out the sun shade just like that, but nope, nothing on a Honda is ever that easy. To tell you the truth, we unbolted two bolts near the front and took out 6 screws from the sides as well as removing a small metal piece that goes under the sunroof on the rear of it before John's wife found a way to remove the old piece. With the new one slid in, it was almost maddening how much time we spent to remove a somewhat pointless piece. But as all enthusiasts know, cutting a corner now will only draw your eye to that one place in the future.
So now the fun part of bolting it back in happened and it too, was a pain in the ass. There are two tiny metal tabs that stick off the rear of the assembly near the sunroof motor that need to go inside of the actual roof of the car and act as a kind of "keep" to keep the assembly from moving around I suppose. We were almost done bolting it up when we realized we had to undo it all to put those two keeps in place. The total time this all took when we were done was a good hour and a half. But by that time, I had asked enough of John and went on home.
I put back on the headliner, the little red rubber sealing dealie and the sunvisors and maplight with a little better time than it took to remove them all. It's pretty straightforward.
This piece fit rally nice and gave it all a nice touch. I love how OEM fits...
Why yes, that is a RAZO broadway mirror, I should've gone with the 300mm, this is as big as the stock one really...
Now came time for the C Pillar Bar. I also referenced the thread on here on how to install it although I was quite mad that they didn't show the correct placement of the two pieces that bolt to the seatbelt assembly. For anyones reference, you will take the aluminum piece and position it at the 1:30 position (like on a clock) on the passengers side. I know, i wished I would've taken a picture, but you'll figure it out as quickly as I did. Of course, you have to cut your C pillar trim piece, but its really not that big of a deal. For me, I forsaw the fact that the trim piece was black and my cars metal was white so a quick spary of some black rustoleum took care of any "unclean-ness"
I used newspapers to prevent overspray
Now the bar installed fairly easy, but one last thing I want you all to know, I cut my seatbelts off in the rear. That's right, didn't even reinstall them. Wasted space and added clutter in my opinion. If anyone even dared to sit in my backseat now (which is more like a metal deathtrap) they wouldn't be able to fit their legs facing forward, much less wear a seatbelt, so with that in mind and remembering the nightmare the Sparco Harness Bar was to install with a seatbelt, I gave them the ol' heave ho.
With C Pillar Bar installed, I decided to get right on back to the SIR door panels. And yes, they were a son-of-a-yeah. I have aftermarket Infinity front speakers and had to recut the speaker basket as well as retape all my wires and unscrew the small corner piece on the inside where my crossover is. I'll include those pictures tomorrow. I only had patience enough and time enough for the one side tonight, but here's a little quirk about the SIR doors...
The SIR door handle assembly is SMALLER than the USDM door assembly! Who made this!?!? I literally had to take my dremel outside and continually cut into the door panel to lengthen it enough to get the door handle assembly to fit! It was something I never saw coming, but I'm gonna be prepared for it tomorrow when I do the drivers side.
these are side by side, the door handle assembly is NOT closer to the camera
I got it to fit though...
So that is where I've stopped for now... Tomorrow I am putting in the last SIR door panel, and both Recaro Seats as well as giving everything a head to toe cleaning on the inside and out. This will probably take most of my day, so I'm not looking forward to it, but for the sweetness my car has just gained, it's all been worth it.
One final look at the new C Pillar Bar, I'm kinda wishing it matched the Sparco Harness Bar since they're both so close to each other :unsure:
Ladies and Gentlemen, the SIR Interior is in the house!
Well, not literally, it was in the house, but now it's out in the car. Today wrapped up my entire weekend project of completing the SIR interior and I must say that it was quite the task!
I'm going to tell the full story of the interior from start to finish, because my project did not begin just today, it began a couple months ago when I discovered the SIR center console on EBAY from the seller jdm_pro_store. I decided to take the plunge on the last part of my car that I had desired since seeing another person with it at NPM 2007. So I bought it up for something like $300 shipped. It came from Japan pretty fast so I figured I may as well not stop there and I got the sunvisors and maplight too for another $150 shipped. I saw the seller was also selling the rear and front seats but I did not buy those because I am perfectly happy with my Recaros and the Type S rear seat. But when I noticed the rest of the interior was not posted for sale, I began to inquire to the seller when they would be put up for bid. I asked him if I could buy the headliner, carpet and door panels. He told me that apparently the car had been shipped off to a junkyard and he wouldn't be able to find it. He did, however, tell me that he would go to Honda of Japan and see if he could order any of the items I requested. It turns out that he could only order the interior carpet but I said i'd take it (at least it would be brand new!) the cost of that set me back quite a bit ($700 shipped). So when I got all three SIR items, I knew I could begin on assembling the interior.
Together with my friend John, we took on a weekend project back in the beginning of August to assemble the interior and it was very hectic. There are alot of little quirks about the JDM SIR interior that I will try to point out as I go along...
With the stock seats, front and back, removed as well as the center console, it was time to remove the carpet. This part is fairly easy because the only thing it takes is to continue to pull the carpet out from behind the pillars and trim. There is one spot on the center console where the carpet overlaps, or actually, goes under the two cable from the parking brake. We chose the easy way out both installing and de-installing (that's a military word actually) by just cutting the slim piece of carpet that goes under it. Nobody's gonna see it anyway. The new carpet fits up pretty well, but since the SIR is made for right had drive, there is actually more carpet on the USDM passengers side than the drivers. It just made it a pain to stuff it all up and fold it so it looked presentable. I've yet to find out how to truly get the carpet to lay to the contours of the floor, but if anyone has any ideas, let me know (steam cleaner? Hairdryer?). One last observation, the trunk release/gas release on the Prelude in Japan was on the passenger side in the US, so the carpet has a pre-cut hole on your passengers side, the drivers side does not have that, however. I chose to cut the same size hole to get it to fit on the drivers side and plan on stitching in that piece of carpet under the hole on the passengers side. It won't look the best, but it's what you've gotta do.
So with the carpet installed, it was time to install the center console, which couldn't have been easier. No fuss, no muss. Only thing I noticed about the center console (besides my sweet JDM rotating cup holder) was that the little "change box" has like a bottomless pit. So it's not going to hold anything unless you never want to get it again.
brand freakin' new
With the visors and map light, yes I did put them on with the grey headliner still there, sue me :laugh:
So that's how I roled around in town for a while. I sent emails to countless JDM specialty sites where I asked if they could find the door panels and headliner for the SIR interior. Most chose to blow me off, some said they'd try but came back with negative answers. Then I happened to ask around here on PO and sure enough, I found some guys with them! The condition they were in were fairly good, nothing used is ever perfect, but when I got them all fitted up in the interior, it is a beautiful thing. So this is where the story of this weekend takes place (well, after the last post is where it picks up).
Today I finished up my last door panel and I wanted to show you all some of the inticracies of the SIR door panel and my speaker setup. For those of you without aftermarket speakers that may want to install them yourself, this is the ins and outs of the Prelude door panel. I personally have all 4 speakers hooked up to an Alpine 4 channel amp in the rear and my fronts are component Infinities, so they need to have the crossover. That's not a problem because there is alot of working room inside the prelude door panel. See how I've mounted everything?
You'll need to cut this basket out if you want to fit in any kind of aftermarket speaker with a good magnet
I attached the speaker with 4 wood screws... meh, nobody will see em' anyway, oh and make sure to take the metal cutting piece of your dremel and cut down the long points that protrude through! It'll interfere with reinstalling your door!
where the crossover goes
It is possible to fit an aftermarket tweeter in the door, unlike the first time best buy told me they couldn't
And now here is the same stupid problem that haunted me yesterday, not getting the door handle piece to fit in the SIR doors, so I had to get out the trusty dremel once more...
stupid small opening!
Now don't it all look so nice? :D
Okay, so moving on. There are a couple of little "extras" I threw into the interior mostly because I'm trying to get my minimum of 15 pieces of flare. I went with the company RAZO because on the level of rice-ness, they're probably not that bad. I got the cigarette lighter, the broadway mirror and some pedals.
Pedals and oh yeah, a small little tidbit from the SIR dash that still fits on our prelude, that piece that goes under the steering column...
This mirror is more for just looks because as the car vibrates, so does the mirror since its heavy and simply clamps onto the stock one.
eh, you can't really make out the lighter, but I think it's one of my more favorite subtle touches...
Mini Dampi-chi is gonna hang out with me for a while. No, I don't have Tein Coilovers, I have those gnarly hood dampers, remember?
I'd love to say I just "tossed in" the Recaros, but since they've gotta be huge and nonflexible, it took me probably a little over an hour to get them both in. Part of this problem comes from the harness bar's lower floor mounts and getting them all to fit in the same hole. What a PITA.
red roof too,oooohh
But the result was well worth it! And then for the final touch, since JDM SIR floormats will not fit in the car (well, the drivers mat won't) then I tried to find my own personal way around it. I bought a pair of tan floormats on EBAY back in August and finally found a place in New York (yeah yeah, I'm in El Paso) that dyes clothes. I asked them if they'd be interested in dyeing my floormats to the color of the red piece of carpet that I had to trim out for the trunk/fuel hinge release and they said it all depended on what material the carpet was. Polyester no, Nylon yes. So I sent it in with my fingers crossed and sure enough, it turned out they were nylon and they could dye it. But through a long and stupid series of events, the products I received back (albeit 2.5 months after I initially hit the "buy it now" button for the mats on EBAY) were kinda not cool with me. The red is too dark, so I've been trying to put them in the tub at night with warm water and scrubbing them with a white towel. It's bled out some of the red, but I need it to bleed some more to get a good match. In the meantime, I'm going to be purchasing another set of mats and finding another place that'll do it.
Trust me, they're darker in person...
So with the car all bolted up, I took a quick spin over to John's house to get some pictures since John has an awesome camera and is becoming less of a Novice photographer and more of an Ameture. He does good work, now sit back and marvel at my beauty!
Who likes the look of this black roof?
Nevermind that little nick on the bottom of the front lip, it's what happens when your car is as extreme as mine, haha
New and improved engine shots coming soon!
I'd like to make a comment that based on the things I've done so far, and for the rest of my future plans for stage 3, that once I'm done I believe I will have what will amount to the best prelude in the world.
I don't base the title "best" to be based upon a horsepower number or a "better looking" number, but more of a sum of all the parts. I think this car has it. If there is one thing I notice when I go out for little import get togethers or even viewing others cars on here, it's the fact that most people only concentrate on one area of the car. And if they choose to do all areas of the car at once, usually their focus is very loose and their budget has to be stretched across alot of areas and the minimal parts they have show it.
I think that once a couple more engine mods get done (to include the ones in the trunk) and the car gets some side skirts, new headlights and a little touch up paint, it's going to be something to be feared on a track, dragstrip, carshow and best of all, as a daily driver.
Besides, if all else fails, at least I can claim the title of most entertaining and intriguiging story, save for that one Slovakian BB8 out there.
But I can't argue with you because I clearly said in my first post that praise or criticism was something I wanted to hear...
You know what the best part about my car is? That if anyone really wanted to steal it, they'd have a 50% chance of doing it because it only works 50% of the time! GRR!
So this morning I'm all set to jump in the car and take it to work to show it off and gather up some praise when lo and behold I turn the key and only hear the sound of the fuel pump churning. No starter turning the crank. After searching around for 20 minutes of wires or fuses that could be shorted out, my mom gives me the advice on the phone to tap the starter solenoid with a wrench, which I do and get the car to turn over for maybe 2 seconds then it dies again. After this, the car won't turn over anymore or at least crank like it wants to.
My dad later tells me to try jumping the positive and negative bolts on the starter but after seeing sparks fly and nothing happening, I know it's a lost cause.
So now I have to call the tow truck AGAIN, which is soon becoming a number I have to set on speed dial and now the car is in the shop again because I have too much work going on to swap out my starter.
What sucks the most about it is that the starter is under a year old. I don't know why these parts keep failing on me arrggh!
By the way, just a quick reminder that I've posted 3 new pictures at the bottom of page 1 that show what the Megan Racing Headers looked like installed. Always remember that periodically I go back and update old pictures so keep checking the entire post! A special thank you to John Dunlapp for the photography skills on them!
A familiar sight...
Last edited by hotrod; 02-20-2009 at 11:51 AM. Reason: merging back to back posts.
Just thought I'd throw a couple more up here to keep it fresh :D
I've got the folding mirror switch but no folding mirrors haha
I just took a couple of pictures today after finally getting around to seeing if I could take one of the two 10mm spacers out from my front wheels. As you'll recall, when I put on the big brake kit on the front wheels, there was not enough room for the stock wheel studs to accept any kind of lug nut because the big brake kit had pushed it back too much. So I had to stick 2 10mm spacers on each wheel and put an ARP wheel stud kit on the front hubs. The wheels stuck out disgustingly from the front for quite a while making me not as happy as I should've been with the appearance of the car, but I recently bought some Muteki Lug nuts (with the open ends). The plus side to all of this is I've just reduced my "unsprung mass" by maybe 3/4 of a pound, haha.
I just went out today to do this and I'll let the pictures do the rest of the story telling...
You can clearly see the spacers are double stacked, so I'm gonna try and pop one off and see if they'll fit...
Here is the best picture I could take showing the sizeable gap between the wheel spokes and the caliper
And from a straight angle, here is how much the tire jutted out from inside the fender well.
Now the new gap (you can barely squeeze a piece of paper in between the spokes, but it does not touch the raised "Wilwood" lettering)
And finally, a shot at the Muteki Lug Nuts doing their job
Since I had a request to see the new front grille, here it is. I also threw in a picture of the ATTS Cooler (which is now pretty much defunct) to show how I replaced the front harmonic balancer bar (or whatever it's called that weighs 15 pounds that was in its place before this). I'm doing a writeup on it in my section under product reviews soon, so keep posted.
ATTS Oil Cooler
I wanted to show you all a problem that's been plaguing me ever since I got the supercharger installed and it's only gotten worse. If you're like me and have this supercharger, you know what I'm talking about, and it's the leaky power steering pipe extender. Since it's a metal to metal contact, there is no surefire way to seal this, and they don't make a gasket for it. So you will have to make your own. The items I used here are all self explanatory except the material I used for the actual gasket...
I went to a Pep Boys today after being unable to find any rubber mat in Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart. But when I found a floormat that worked, the worker actually cut off a lengthy piece that was shown that you had to cut to trim anyway for free and I didn't even have to pay!
So now that I got all the items together, I'll do what I love to do and let the pictures do most of the talking...
The parts you'll need
Take the power steering return off from the extender, look at low the power steering fluid has got after not filling it for a while!
clean both surfaces from power steering fluid
cut the floormat to cover all the surface first
Now trim it down and mark with a black marker where you can feel the hole
now just bolt it up...
let's hope it holds now...
(in reference to somebody asking me why my dyno numbers were so low)
I'm glad somebody brought that up, I was just gonna play it off until they did. Here's my explanation:
The DynoJet I tested on had some issues with it in the fact that the computer seemed to be messed up a little bit. The first thing that was wrong with it was that it was registering everything as 500rpm lower than what the tachometer on the car was showing. We don't know why, but we decided to take the Tachometer's word that 8,000rpm was indeed, 8,000rpm and not 7,500.
The second thing is that the A/F ratio you see printed out on the bottom is from the Lamba Meter stuck in the tailpipe. Well if you remember back to the pictures of the night before, we had used RV Copper Silicone to make two temporary gaskets on the rear part of the exhaust. Almost instantly they didn't hold up. Chunks of that Sealant would fly off every now and then. So with an exhaust leak that far back, it wasn't getting a correct reading.
So we went off my AEM A/F Ratio Wideband Meter. This was much more accurate because of where it was positioned, namely on the collector of the header.
So in reality, we were just using the Dyno to tell us a horsepower number and torque number, everything else we were tuning off of the cars tach and the cars wideband and the cars computer to tell us timing and such.
In reality, I do run around a 12.5 A/F Ratio at wide open throttle. I absolutely demand this and not something richer. I'm going to be losing power if I run something as rich as 11.5:1 I know people on here do it, but I saw it with my own eyes as we made progressively more and more power from my baseline of 196hp (with 11.0:1 A/F Ratio). It was simply a matter of leaning it out and watching the power reel in.
For something that'll really get this forum fired up, you should see my A/F ratio at a constant highway speed with extremely low load on the engine, I'm running 15.5:1 to 16:1 without a problem... let the debate begin (can you say better MPG?) :bigthumb:
I happened to run across this gem on Ebay (yet another reason to shop there) and quickly snatched it up. It won't be on my car anytime soon, but for all of you that are "in the know" with Preludes, you realize just how rare this part is (or the sum of the parts that is).
What you are looking at is a JDM front bumper with JDM Fogs (aka driving lights) and the rarest of the rare, JDM corner foglights. The sweetest part about these is the fact that this option was made before Lexus ever debuted with their swiveling headlights. In the arena of safety that would allow you to see farther around a corner when you were turning to ward off any dangers you might come across a second or two sooner than if you just followed the beam of your stock headlights. With these "corner foglights" I think that as you turned the wheel, the side you were turning would activate that light and it would help light up the area just like a swiveling headlight.
I've tried to search for literature on how exactly they work, but so far I've found none explaining how they're wired up. I will continue to search for somebody with the technical know how, or enlist the help of a specialty fabricator in El Paso to see just how much I can do with them, but I'm very excited to have the opportunity to find this rare buy.
If anyone who reads this thread knows anything more about it, please let me know.
I just can't wait to throw my stock lip on it and repaint the whole thing for a truly one of a kind look!:D
I've got some very big things brewing in an effort to try and get the car ready for the car show that's coming up in February here in El Paso. I have a set of OEM side skirts coming and plan on having those, my WWRS rear lip, JDM front bumper, OEM Lip and the front fenders all repainted. To finish the look, I am also having some HID's retrofitted into some Depo-style headlights.
I'm sure most of you have seen the bumper I have purchased with the rare JDM cornering lights, but now I want to install some JDM side markers. The good part is that wiring should be easy to get them to blink properly because I will no longer have my USDM side turn signals, so the wiring used for that can be easily spliced up towards the JDM side marker.
My only question is, has anyone ever run across any pictorials on how to do this? I'm sure I can figure it out, but I'd kinda like to not have to remove the fender if I can, but if it's the only way to run wires, then this is what I'll have to do. Also, if the paint shop needs to remove the fenders, then so be it, but I doubt they will want to fit these side markers by cutting into the fender if they don't have to.
If nobody else knows where to find this information, I'll be posting up some pictures when I get around to doing this.
Last edited by hotrod; 02-20-2009 at 11:52 AM. Reason: merging back to back posts.
Chances are if you're reading this thread, you've also stumbled upon my other thread titled "Rare JDM Door Sills are mine!" This is the pictures from that thread where you can see how the interior is coming.
And in preparation for the car show at the end of February, the exterior is going to get slightly redone and made up. Fresh paint will go on the rear lip, front fenders (where JDM side markers will soon go) as well as to paint these three new additions to the body...
Then the exterior should pretty much be done. Brian is currently making me some TSX retrofits inside of Depo-style headlights (and yes, a different set of eyelids will go on them) and I'll have the JDM driving (fog) lights and the really hard to find cornering lights as well as the side markers to complete the front end's lighting arrangement. And yes, I'll be swapping the front lip from my current bumper, that needs a touch up with paint as well.
These pictures of the completed car won't be ready until right before the show because I am still currently trying to find a reputable paint shop to undertake this.
Stay tuned for the trunk project where my trunk gets a somewhat "track" setup with an ESP 4 point strut bar and gets repainted as well to make the battery relocation kit fit in visibly. This should should really be a nice addition to the whole "maybe someday I'll take this thing to an autocross" theme. ;)
Just a quick update... Today I am home for the day and tomorrow I leave for about 6 weeks so I figured I would put on the ExplicitSpeed 4 Point Bar today, thinking it would be a really quick install. I was wrong because I lifted the car up too high and when that happened, the coilovers dropped below the holes and then I had to take off the rear wheels and use two smaller jacks to put under the brake rotors to slowly raise them back up and hold them in place to put the nuts back on. I went ahead and got some OEM shock nuts for the front and rear (actually, they're two separate part numbers from Honda). I was surprised by the amount of corrosion in the trunk here and there, but I will try to take care of this when I spray my trunk myself two months from now.
A quick side note before my pictures come about, I have a Taylor Battery Relocation kit that I've struggled to get right but I noticed that this battery tray is already corroded! It is about 6 months old and was covered with a rubberized type paint straight from the box but I was blown away that I'm going to have to replace it, it kinda makes me pissed off to tell you the truth.
But now on to the pictures...
Took out all the trunk carpet and bolts in the specified places...
Jacked up the center of the rear of the car...
Some new Honda shock-nuts...
Sizing up the ESP bar
Not sure if this is how it goes... but this is the only way I can think of I have the bar only attached to one of the coilover's bolts. Anybody have any advice on it?
Now all I have left to do is put the damn amp up on the back of the rear seat and get a new battery tray and weld it down.
Here's a little head's up on a little project I have in store for when I come back from California, I can't wait!
I know about the eyelids joe, but there is a terrible gap between the carbon fiber hood and the headlights. I would rather have something to cover it up than to see that gap. When I install these, I'll post some pictures up of the headlights without eyelids and the eyelids I plan on putting on (different style) and let everyone voice their opinions about which looks best.
But for now...
I figured I would post up some more pictures while I'm away from the car, not doing the upgrades I wanna. This is an interesting picture location if you've never been... It's the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico (closest town is Alamogordo). This is the world's largest white sand formation with 250 square miles of the stuff. Unlike the sand you see at a beach (quartz?) this stuff is from gypsum. The whole area underneath it is solid gypsum so as the winds shift the sand around and expose the "pillars" of gypsum, the sand will wear it away and add more white sand to the ever expanding area.
The consistency is just like (if not a little softer on the feet) of quartz sand and is like being in a totally different world. The car photographed pretty well against it for being white as well.
The pictures were taken during really interesting weather, where a sandstorm blew through followed by a large thunderstorm that produced multiple rainbows in different locations all over the place. The first picture is my favorite, but I should note they were all taken by my sister, who is also pictured. You can see her actually sledding down one of the huge hills of white sand that reacts pretty much like snow. It's an action shot, so you can actually see some of the stuff flying up as she takes a spill. If anyone wants to know anymore about this place, just ask! Otherwise, enjoy the pics!
Favorite Picture of the car...
It even coats the tirs like snow would... but no mess to clean up!
Sister takes a spill!
These mountains in the background are visible from miles and miles outside of the town of Alamogordo.
Here is what you get when the sand gets wet, it forms somewhat solid on the top and is powder underneath.
Perfect backdrop to the photo shoot.
I also wanted to add as I was writing this, that although this place is in a really desolate location, that the backdrop is so perfect that I wonder who would be interested in having a Prelude Meet there sometime? The white background would look totally stunning in single pictures or group pictures. Could you imagine shooting a red or green or blue car against the white sand? I think it would look fantastic. Anybody be up for it in the forseeable future?
My dad and sister did some photoshop the other day of the white sands pictures, I thought it was pretty funny when they texted me the pictures to show me what they were working on!
I will be home in a week from this godforsaken land near Barstow, CA, I can't wait to see the paint that came for me in the mail!
Last edited by hotrod; 02-20-2009 at 11:58 AM. Reason: merging back to back posts.
Finally, after months of contemplating and alot of **** from everyone who has seen this thread, I have gotten new wheels. I was sick of the look of the front wheels jutting out and I was looking for the ideal wheel that would bolt on with no spacers and take a big brake kit. As luck would have it, I ended up finding that wheel in the form of 5Zigen FN-10R's that I just got yesterday. It was time for the Enkei RSV's to go, and their balding BFGoodrich TA KDW's. Towards the end, the wheels were either off balance or the spacers were finally just becoming too warped for proper torquing to alleviate, so I was happy to take them off.
I decided to switch to a different tire and try out the Falken Azenis 615's, because I've heard so much about them. At $108 per tire (215/40/R17) they were a pretty good deal and they look great as well (performance is yet to be determined). The 5Zigen wheels are 17x7 with a 35 offset. I was curious as if I'd get the right offset or not (they had 35, 42 and 48 to choose from), but they were absolutely perfect. They clear the Wilwood BBK by probably a millimeter or two (ha!) and they do not stick out from the flush line with the fender. I finally look like I have a real wheel setup! And now that I have my ARP wheel studs on all 4 corners with no spacers to cover them up, they look totally gangster (think of the roman chariots and their metal blades coming out to attack other chariot wheels) sticking out. The pictures speak for themselves, so without further ado...
I have yet to put the center caps in... I'm debating which way looks better, so I'll post up some pictures for you all to be the judge. The car is also way dirty and the tires have not been cleaned and had tire shine applied, so bare with this first batch until I clean them up.
Well, it's a shame to admit this, but I've been avoiding pictures of the rear of my car for quite some time now. Actually, it's been ever since that fateful night before the dyno session when Honda Bob was in town. To refresh your memory, the Megan Racing Header had failed bigtime and was leaking exhaust gases in probably no less than 2 places, probably 3. So $200 later, i got my RMF style header put onto the car and with my buddy's friend welding it, got a totally ****ty "saturday night special" of a weld job and the header got welded to a "reducer" which got welded to the new Random Technologies Cat. which got the 3" outlet welded straight onto the Greddy Evo2 Exhaust. The results weren't pretty and were probably the reason I got a lower-than-expected dyno result the next day.
But I'm going to let the pictures do the explaining, here are the parts I've been saving for almost 3 months now to get installed on the car by any exhaust shop I could. Then the next pictures show the terrible condition we found the exhaust in before and during its session at the exhaust shop.
Two 5' long T-304 SS Pipes (2.5" diameter), 2.5" into 3" "reducer", Magnaflow Polished 18" long muffler, Magnaflow "Tanabe Style" Muffler Tip, 2.5" flanges w/ gasket, 180 degree and 45 degree mandrel bent T-304 pipe
The two most embarassing of all the pictures. When the 3" end of the catalytic convertor was welded straight onto the Greddy Flange, the shop didn't even care that the bottom bolt hole was wide open, leaving a perfect hole in the exhaust right after the cat. Idiots!
The exhaust shop in El Paso that did this was Al's Performance Exhaust on Doniphan Dr. on the West Side. I've never heard of it, but the place was very well taken care of. It was spotless, had all the tools needed for the job, had a professional waiting room and the owner was a very easy and personable guy to relate to. He took my job without an appointment because his day's appointment was just cancelled as I was talking to him after I got there.
The part that also sucked about the previous shop was that the RMF header was having clearance issues on the crossmember, so they barely cut it to fit the downpipe part of the header and it was constantly making contact noises when I'd drive it or let 'er rip. Al fixed this with an incredibly nice looking weld where he enlarged the gap, and on top of that, boxed in the weld with a professional looking design that made the trip all worthwile in my opinion.
The welding was superb from the initial welds of the shop before Al. Case and point:
So with the bill all tallied up, the key was turned and the reward of an incredibly soft sounding rumble was listened to for the first time in a long time. There is no tin-ny high pitched whine or typical fart-can drone, I'm truly impressed with the low rumble that this exhaust system produces both inside and out of the car. The 40 minute highway drive back home was the most pleasant experience I've had in my car since I can't remember when. No exhaust leaks, a new alignment I got early in the morning and a soft ride on new tires made the car truly enjoyable once again.
A smaller tip compared to the Greddy, and nowhere near as boi-racer:
But with the car up on the lift, it was evident where my next focus needs to go, the condition of the lips around the car and the car needs a good washing as well. I believe tomorrow will be a wash and wax day as well as getting the bumper and side sills prepped for next weekend where I might be able to start painting!
I ordered some BLOX lugnuts for my last set of wheels, and they didn't fit because the holes were too small. But now with my new wheels, I decided to try them out and sure enough, success!
As usual, I'll let the pictures do the talking...
Last edited by hotrod; 02-20-2009 at 12:00 PM. Reason: merging back to back posts.
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
I'm finally getting around to doing alot of odds and ends that have been sorely neglected on the Prelude since I stopped doing them in the late fall. As I was installing the ESP 4 point brace in the back the day before I left for the National Training Center, I was dismayed to find that the Taylor Battery Relocation Kit battery tray was already corroding! Not only that, but my failsafe idea (i had thought) of using sidewalk filler to keep it held down on the other end was also not holding up and the whole tray was kept on by a single bolt through the spare wheel tie-down hole.
So while I was at the NTC, I ordered a stainless steel battery tray off of Ebay and had Al from the exhaust shop weld in tray in a location I previously hadn't given much thought to from an idea of another Prelude owner. The results speak for themselves as you see I've now switched to gold-plated side post terminals for an extra clean look and also got my amp up and off the floor of the trunk and screwed in to the back of the Type S rear seat. My future plans include scraping out the sound deadening around the spare tire area and laying down a fresh coat of white paint, but not necessarily the pearl kind, to finish off the trunk area.
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
I'm fukkin speechless!
-New York Prelude Owner's Club-
2006 Ducati Monster S2R
2003 Mitsubishi Galant - Daily Driver
2002 Lexus IS300 - Sold
1998 Type SH 5th Gen - Sold
2001 EBP 5th Gen - Wrecked
Click The Links Above For Pics
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
in a nut shell... USDM bumper lights suck, JDM front bumper side fogs are actually functional and cool as fuk!!
-New York Prelude Owner's Club-
2006 Ducati Monster S2R
2003 Mitsubishi Galant - Daily Driver
2002 Lexus IS300 - Sold
1998 Type SH 5th Gen - Sold
2001 EBP 5th Gen - Wrecked
Click The Links Above For Pics
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
I won't call you stupid man, since I'm new here, but...
Those are cornering lights you're looking at. They're not as long and they're wider than the USDM cornering lights. When you turn on the turn signal, it feeds off the signal and illuminates (not blinks) a big 23watt bulb that acts like a small headlight on the side of your car, enabling you to see around the corner easier. It was invented before the Lexus's rolled out with "adaptive headlights" that swiveled as you went around a curve.
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
ahh well never even knew they had such a thing on preludes haha pretty sweet man but like i said that is a fresh ass ride
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
holy shiit bro. that is the best looking lude ive ever seen. i was drooling looking at every pic. great job. just a guess how much do you think you spent on your lude, if you dont mind? its amazing great job.
1993 t-top firebird (sold)
2000 edie bower 4wd expidition (sold/blown)
1972 camaro ss/z28 (sold)
2002 mazda b series truck (crashed)
1992 honda prelude si (blown)
over 2 thousand pics of my cars and i and the familey myspace.com/firebird2008
^^sig by Oceanborn^^
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
Stellar Sea Cow Gray 98 Base Prelude... Sold :(
Apex Silver 06 Evo
Silver EK Coupe H22 Turbo ... in progess...
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
WOW.... thats an amazing lude. good job how long did it take you to do all this?
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
~drools~ Best story & sweetest ride. Props to you.
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
Woooowwwwwwwwww This car is ****innnn amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Plzplzplzpzlplzzz post more pics and never get that thing stolen or broken into!!
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
1995 Honda Prelude SE Turbo; 250whp, 275wtq @ 10psi Soldddd!!!
2000 Acura TL; DD
2005 Stage2.5+ Subaru WRB STi : RzKar!
Ivey Tuned - Advan - Cobb - Rallispec - CP - Perrin - ACT - KillerB - Carillo - TurboXS - Defi - Innovate - Walbro - DeatschWerks - Feal - H&R - Alpine - Infiniti - Curt
2001 Kawasaki STX1100 D.I. - Sold!
2007 Sea-Doo RXT 215; ET 127 +3 S/C impeller, DIY 3" intake, DIY resonator delete/free flow exhaust, DIY oil catch can, Rule 500gph bilge pump
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
Hey thanks for all the kind words you guys!
To answer your questions, I've had this car since March of 2005. It has been everywhere with me. The car originally had 186,000 miles and now it has 240,000 (on the body). The car's initial purchase price was $6300.
I calculate how much I've spent on the car based on aftermarket parts, OEM replacement parts that have needed to be replaced, and the cost of labor. All in all I will tell you the amount is around $33k over the past 4 years. I know it seems retarded to think back on it and the car I could've got for that much, but hey, it's been my baby ever since and it's personalized to fit what I like. The car has also gone in many different directions as you can tell. For right now, I'm enjoying the collection of JDM parts for it and am always on the lookout for new, different ones.
I titled this for two reasons, the first is to draw attention from anyone who is looking by. If you think you have the best car out there, you're going to stop by and look and double check yourself. If you're new into the scene, you're going to stop by to get ideas and if you've been in a moderate amount of time with a good amount of money invested, you'll stop by to see what else you could be doing.
This car is mainly supposed to be all about the ultimate well-rounded car. Leave no stone untouched in my opinion. Everything will be replaced on it in a couple years and then eventually, I'll have to find a new hobby. But for now, this car is a long way from being finished!
Tomorrow I will be posting pictures of how my DIY painted bumper and side skirts are coming, stay tuned!
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
i think u have lived out my dream
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
Wow.. i just read that whole thing and i usually get bored and stop after the first post.. but seriously i want more.
That is a very nice prelude.
And thank you for serving our country.
Start with a dream, end with reality..
E SHOULD BRING THE BOOBIES AVATAR BACK MEMBER #9
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
? i thought i read somewhere that, that particualr bumper wasnt really jdm, hm..but o well if everyone says it is i guess so! gotta take new pics when its painted on!
your car is sick.....seriously sick, ok guys who wants to donate me a jrsc?
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
Really nice car. Correct me if im wrong but shouldnt u be running an intercooler on that supercharger? That would eliminate all the heat wrap underneath ur hood no? And optimize power. Other then that its really nice. Wish i had money heehee
Best Buy Saleman FTW
96' Honda Prelude Si-R.I.P.
92' Honda Prelude S/JDM-R.I.P.
My Car --> Click
Before After Photoshoot --> Click
Bustr Motha F$%ckin Built!
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
IDK what to say
but thats a good thing
^^MY DREAM CAR Made by muha22752
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, with a beer in one hand, shouting "Whoo, what a ride!.
I'm no rocket surgeon ok It's not what i say but what i mean you got to read my mind to understand meŠ
GPC member #5
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
This is by far the most modified and sexiest prelude I've ever seen.
Ya tell one hell of a story too man. Keep up the good work! Much respect
Re: The Best Prelude in the World
First off, thanks for serving our country. I only did 6 years in the National Guard and never went into active duty. I admire people with the guts to serve our country overseas. Well done sir.
Why doesn't your ABS work? I read through it, but I must have missed it because I didn't see anything where you explained that part. I have a 6 piston Wilwood setup on my track car, and I haven't noticed any real problems with ABS, except that my rear pads seem to be too aggressive! I'm planning to upgrade to a larger rotor and larger caliper. My current setup uses an 11.75 x 0.81" two piece rotor. You can see it a bit in this picture:
The wheel is a 17x8.5 Enkei RPF1, +40mm offset. No spacer. TONS of clearance. You can see the spoke design has a lot to do with the amount of clearance:
This kit even fits with a 15x7, +40mm, Pro Race 1 wheel. I'll find some pictures tonight.
What might help is to use a caliper with a narrow body like mine:
Yours appear to be a bit wider, but I can't tell for sure.
If anyone is interested in this brake kit, let me know. I'm planning to sell it once I upgrade. :)
Turbo Roadrace Build thread: http://www.preludezone.com/members-r...p-98-base.html
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