Prelude Modifications

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These are the modifications that I have made so far:

OEM Splash Guards 15-Jan-2000
La - dee - freakin' - da !!!

Llumar Platinum Plus Tint 25-Jan-2000
Jaime (I think that's right) at Altamere in Plano is the man to see. He took care of getting my car tinted on my lunch break one day, and I must say that it is flawless! I am very satisfied with the workmanship, and would highly recommend this guy to anyone with a Prelude. I believe he does the tint for all of Honda Cars of McKinney's Preludes.

AEM Cold Air Intake 30-Mar-2000
I've heard that this is the best "bang for the buck" modification for engine performance. I seriously hope that this isn't true. Check out the dyno comparison to see why. Note that the comparison isn't completely fair, but I still wasn't impressed with the performance effects of adding this intake. However, I am still satisfied with my purchase because it does help (ever-so-slightly) and it sounds really nice!

Jotech in Garland did the install, and I was very disappointed. They had to enlarge the hole in the fender for the pipe to pass through (standard for the AEM intake), and they did a very poor job of this. They used some sort of chisel or grinder, and chewed into some of the surrounding paint. Also, they didn't make the hole large enough for the pipe to have clearance, so when the engine would torque a little, the pipe would scrape and make a terrible noise. I took it back, and they fixed it by putting a rubber gasket around the hole in the fenderwell. You'd think that a company that could build a sub-10 second Civic would be able to install a simple intake. However, after my experience, I wouldn't recommend these guys for anything. Although, I have heard that the crew that does more complicated stuff (engine swaps, turbo/supercharger work) are a little better.

Neuspeed Rear Anti-Sway Bar 12-Aug-2000
If you are into handling at all, and are on a fairly limited budget, I would definitely recommend this upgrade. I personally feel that this is the way the Prelude should have come from the factory. With this bar and some careful modulation of tire pressures, you can get a very neutral handling car... and even induce a little lift-throttle oversteer. At constant speed, or under light accelleration this bar keeps the car very level. However, under braking, since most of the weight shifts to the front, you still have to deal with the typical Prelude body-roll (which still isn't too terrible).

Tein Type HA Suspension w/ Pillowball Mounts 10-Oct-2000
"When was the last time you said Wahoo?" This suspension made a vast improvement in handling. For everyday driving, I have the dampers set at 12, front and rear, (with 1 being the stiffest and 16 being the softest setting). This is relatively comfortable in most cases, but the springs with these guys are very stiff, so on rough roads, you will definitely lose a sizeable amount of comfort. At the autocross, I had the dampers set at 6, front and rear, and this car was a monster, even on stock tires. I had some pictures taken at the autocross, so hopefully when I post them you will be able to tell how flat the car stays through corners. Overall, I would say this is definitely a worthwhile investment (which is a bold statement considering the price of these guys).

Installation was fairly straightforward with the help of the NTPOG How-To page (even though the Tein instructions were completely in Japanese). I had considerable trouble with one of the ball-joints on the right rear, and ended up tearing the rubber boot on it. Other than that, I think even an amateur could install these guys... heck, I did it (with the help of my big brother!)

By the way, I only lowered the car about an inch (I didn't measure exactly). Now there is about a 2 finger gap all around. Personally, I think it looks very nice. The car doesn't look too much different from stock (which is a good thing in my opinion), but the wheels just seem to fit into the wheel well better. Unfortunately, the front splash guards still drag on most of the speed bumps in my apartment complex. Ahh, the sacrifices we make for performance.

Dunlop SP9000 Tires (225/45-ZR16)


Well... I put these guys on right before an autocross, and what do you know... there was about 1/2" of water standing in several places on the track. These guys definitely showed their strength in this situation. They have excellent wet traction, and helped me come in ahead of an S2000 at the track. Dry traction is probably average for a performance tire... but definitely better than the stock tires. The sidewalls are a little weak, but that might be less noticeable if I had slightly wider wheels (the stock wheels are only 6.5"). A better size for the stock wheels might be 215s, but I wanted more tread on the ground.

These are nice tires, but I've heard good things about the W-10s, also, and for about 1/2 the price, I think I might try them out next time. Besides, you can only get so much performance out of a street tire... and if you're like me, too much performance on the street may not necessarily be a good thing.

DC Sports Short Shift Adapter


This is mostly just a cheap, feel-good, modification. It decreases the shifter throw, making the car feel more sporty, and the shifts quicker. Another one of those things that should've come this way from the factory. (Kinda like the sway bar listed above). There is a bit of a fitment issue, as I can hear the adapter slap the plastic of the console when I shift hard into 5th, but it is not that bothersome, and it doesn't inhibit shifting ability at all. You do have to get reacquainted with the gear positions after installing this, but that shouldn't take more than a couple of days. By the way, I bought it from Manchester Honda and I highly recommend them. If they sell something that you want... buy it from them! They have great prices and excellent service. (That's also where I ordered my anti-sway bar. By the way, they sell the 25mm, even though it's listed as 28mm).

Kumho Victoracer V700s on Kosei K1


I am using 225/50ZR15s on 15"x7" wheels. This setup is for autocrossing purposes only. I was trying to gain a bit of a weight advantage with this combo. The K1s are about 13.5 lbs, which is about 6 lbs lighter than the stock wheels, but the V700s seem significantly heavier than normal street tires, so the overall combo may turn out to be about the same weight.

I don't have a point of reference to use for a performance comparison (unless you want me to compare them to the stock tires), but the grip on these guys was amazing. They seem to have very strong sidewalls, which means less rollover, which is good. They seemed to be at a good operating temperature after only one lap (of a 90 second course). One thing that I did notice is that I could definitely benefit from some more negative camber. After one autocross, the 6/32nds of tread depth is gone on the outer half of the tires, but there is probably still 2 or 3/32nds left on the inside half of the tires. This uneven wear implies that I am not getting maximum grip. I lowered my car an additional 1/4", but since that will only give me about .0002 degrees of additional camber, that probably won't help much. Overall, though, I'm very satisfied with this combo.

So what's next? Well, I purchased some used Porterfield front brake pads which I will be using for autocrossing. Other than that, my budget may be blown for the season, since I'm planning a 2 week trip to Hawaii at the end of April. These new tires increase the need for something to keep me planted in my seat, so I may soon be looking for a safety harness and possibly a harness bar. Also, I've added an LSD to my wish list, so if I can save up enough money, I'll do that at the same time as the clutch & flywheel. That way I can postpone the exhaust and maintain the semi-stock look for as long as possible... although I think the car sits low enough now that people will be able to easily tell that I have an aftermarket suspension. Oh, well.