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1992 Honda Prelude Si - Rebirth

If You Were To Never See A Prelude Again, Big Mike's Just Might Provide The Perfect Lasting Image.

Joey Lee
Jul 1, 2008
Photographer: Rodrez
Htup_0807_04_z+1992_honda_prelude_si+front_three_quarters_view_action_shot Photo 1/20   |   "I looked at my car and decided that enough was enough, and the time had come to build it."

Take a trip down memory lane. Close your eyes and imagine a time when modified Honda Preludes roamed the earth. Conjure up an image of the last great Prelude build you saw. It's not easy is it? No, the Prelude's fate is similar to that of the Dodo bird-just this side of extinction. Sure, some are still out there, though by and large remain unmodified, floating along like ghosts. Ultimately, 2001 marked the death of the 'Lude due to lackluster sales and waning popularity.

The story of Big Mike's '92 Prelude Si begins with the ritualistic passing down of a long forgotten BB chassis. "I bought the car from my friend Richie, who after an unfortunate incident had to put the car to the side, figuratively as well as literally," Mike says. "It sat on the side of a house for almost a year. When circumstances in my life aligned themselves, I purchased the car."

Htup_0807_17_z+1992_honda_prelude_si+side_view+17_x_7_tanabe_precedeo_plus_51_offset_dunlop_sport_sp8000 Photo 2/20   |   1992 Honda Prelude Si - Rebirth

Mike had been looking for a new daily driver and his friend gave him an offer he just couldn't refuse. Like any great deal, there was a lot that needed to be done to make the Prelude decent. A blown block had forced the car to sit and over time the paint oxidized and faded. "After I got the car in running condition, I sourced some wheels and tires to roll on and I settled into the car and drove it for around a year and a half exactly the way it was with virtually no new modifications," Mike says.

Such are the beginnings of more than a few great builds. Stellar deals meant to serve as daily drivers often turn into full-blown masterpieces once the tender loving care is applied. The formula is all but proven, yet predictable. "I look back and see that I was basically just suppressing the need and urge to build the Prelude," Mike says. "I looked at my car and decided that enough was enough, and the time had come to build it."

Htup_0807_02_z+1992_honda_prelude_si+engine_view+f20b_twm_itbs_twn_fuel_rail_highend_injectors_rmf_header Photo 3/20   |   1992 Honda Prelude Si - Rebirth

The faded paint was the first to go. A dull, oxidized exterior won't catch the eye so the body became priority one in getting this project up and running. To give the Prelude's front end a more aggressive feel, Big Mike contacted My Damn Self Motoring and picked up an incredibly rare AeroMagic front lip and Hiro eyelids for his Audi-RS6-retrofitted headlights. What's My Damn Self Motoring? "My Damn Self Motoring is my main contact because I source my parts my own damn self," Mike explains. "I pride myself in sourcing all my parts on my own from Japan."

Htup_0807_08_z+1992_honda_prelude_si+front_view+aeromagic_front_lip_hiro_eyelids_vis_carbon_hood_jdm_bb4_fenders_audi_rs6_projector_headlights Photo 4/20   |   1992 Honda Prelude Si - Rebirth

Big Mike also looked to himself for JDM BB4 fenders, side markers, a rear bumper, and taillights. A carbon-fiber hood and trunk were also installed to contrast with the body. Once Mike collected the parts from, well, himself, he sent the body off to AnR Autobody in Riverside, Calif., for a custom blend of Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon paint with a DuPont Chromabase clearcoat. Each piece of glass and every body panel was removed and meticulously prepped and painted separately. All rubber, moldings, clips, screws, and brackets were purchased brand new from the dealer and also replaced during the exterior makeover. Mike tops off the exterior with a rare set of Vision Technica Type MC side mirrors. Inside the 'Lude's cabin resides a pair of Vision Shelta reclinable seats that rest on top of brand-new black, OEM carpet. The dashboard and digital instrument cluster see a complete electroluminescent conversion with matching Defi Blue Racer series gauges. A Works Bell hub mounts the Spoon Sports steering wheel within the restored black leather interior. Autopower's race rollbar was custom powdercoated by IM Finishing in Ontario, Calif., before it found its way into the cockpit.

Htup_0807_14_z+1992_honda_prelude_si+rear_three_quarters_view+vis_carbon_trunk_jdm_bb4_taillights_fenders_markers_and_bumper Photo 8/20   |   "I designed this car to be reliable, comfortable, quick around the corners, and with the holeshot, but still maintain the ability to turn heads at car shows."

Big Mike decided that the next step was to overhaul the entire suspension. There was no point in putting a fully built engine in if the suspension wasn't up to par. Stance and ride height were made adjustable via TEIN Flex coilovers, and each 16-year-old crusty bushing was upgraded with Energy Suspension HYPER-FLEX pieces. An Explicit Speed Performance traction bar system ensures that the BB maintains absolute grip up front while the rear sees added rigidity with a Neuspeed rear antiroll bar. The brakes see significant multi-platform upgrades starting with a complete JDM Prelude five-lug knuckle and hub conversion. The hubs house larger Acura Legend GS Brembo replacement front rotors and Prelude rears. NSX front and rear brake calipers provide stopping power at all four corners. As if the NSX calipers weren't baller enough, Big Mike had them triple dipped in chrome by IM Finishing and completely rebuilt using OEM hardware. The chrome calipers look like they're inching to burst out from behind the 17x7 Tanabe Precedeo wheels, which of course, were also sourced by Mike.

Htup_0807_18_z+1992_honda_prelude_si+engine_view+twm_52mm_itbs_hondata_manifold_gasket_carbon_fiber_air_horns Photo 9/20   |   1992 Honda Prelude Si - Rebirth

With the body and interior up to Big Mike's arguably impossibly high standards, he directed all of his attention toward the Prelude's heart and soul. He sent his ride down to Loi Song at Sportcar Motion to have the original engine swapped in favor of a DOHC F20B engine from a Japanese-spec Accord SiR-T. "I had read up on the F20B and I liked what I learned about it," Mike says. "They are inexpensive, higher-revving than the H22A, and the non-FRM sleeves attracted me."

Htup_0807_13_z+1992_honda_prelude_si+engine_view+rmf_header_koyo_radiator Photo 10/20   |   1992 Honda Prelude Si - Rebirth

"I knew that I was going to build the bottom end. I wanted to see what I could do with an engine that was hardly ever done up," Big Mike says. Before the engine made its way to Sportcar Motion, however, NastIE GaRaGe was called on to rebuild the F20B's bottom end with CP pistons and rings, Eagle connecting rods, and a micro-polished crank. Once the engine was reassembled, Mike sent it to Loi where he and his crew dropped it in place. Sportcar Motion then freed up the F20B by installing a set of TWM 52mm individual throttle bodies with carbon-fiber air horns. The ITBs allow this F-series to operate more efficiently, achieve optimal throttle response, and ultimately make more horsepower. A Walbro 255lph fuel pump provides proper fuel distribution to the 440cc saturated injectors and, if that wasn't enough, Mike also has a custom 75-shot nitrous oxide setup installed for additional kicks. RMF's beautifully crafted H22 header drives spent exhaust gases down to an incredibly rare JDM Sheep Dog exhaust system before it's pushed out into the atmosphere. ACT's heavy-duty, six-puck clutch kit provides proper power distribution from the engine to the M2A4 Quaife LSD-equipped transmission. After his car left Sportcar Motion it was really JDM Concepts, in Oceanside, Calif., that saved the day. An AEM EMS tuned by JDM Concepts ensures that the ITBs and high-revving F20B work in unison. Aries Dionisio and Gabe Galvan at JDM Concepts worked tirelessly night and day to figure out each electrical issue and are also responsible for ghosting the entire engine bay by removing the EGR, evaporative emissions system, charcoal canister, PCV, power steering, A/C, and cruise control. Even the alternator was relocated and hidden thanks to an Innovative Engine Mounts bracket. Wiring appears non-existent thanks to a custom harness created by Chase McMaster, aka Chasebays. A shaved and black powdercoated valve cover by Aries acts as the finishing touch on this crme de la crme Honda engine bay.

Htup_0807_05_z+1992_honda_prelude_si+engine_view+spoon_sports_master_cylinder_socks Photo 11/20   |   1992 Honda Prelude Si - Rebirth

"This Prelude was meant to be a daily driver, a track car, and a show car," Mike says. "I designed this car to be reliable, comfortable, quick around the corners, and with the holeshot, but still maintain the ability to turn heads at car shows." This Prelude is not so much the beginning, as the name implies, but a brilliantly executed conclusion-a dedication to five generations of Honda's past if you will. This 'Lude just might be the perfect tribute to one of Honda's original sports coupes that has since left us but should never be forgotten.

BOLTS & WASHERS

Propulsion:
F20B engine
Innovative engine mounts
CP pistons and rings
Eagle connecting rods
Micro-polished crankshaft
JDM Concepts H22 camshafts
Skunk2 cam gears
GReddy timing belt
Hondata intake manifold gasket
TWM 52mm individual throttle bodies
Carbon-fiber air horns
Golden Eagle vacuum box
TWM fuel rail
TWM fuel pressure regulator
HighEnd 440cc fuel injectors
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
75-shot nitrous oxide setup
RMF header
Black Mamba 2.5-inch test pipe
Sheep Dog cat-back exhaust
M2A4 transmission
Custom carbon synchros
Custom 4.64:1 final drive
Quaife LSD
ACT heavy-duty clutch
JUN flywheel
C's short-throw shifter
GReddy oil filter relocation kit
Koyo radiator
Samco Sport hoses
Earl's Pro-Lite lines and fittings
Innovative alternator relocation bracket
Blitz radiator cap
Top Fuel oil cap
Chasebays wiring harness
AEM EMS

Stance:
TEIN Flex coilovers
Neuspeed rear antiroll bar
Energy Suspension HYPER-FLEX bushings
Cusco rear shock tower bar
Tanabe Sustec rear underbrace
Explicit Speed Performance traction bars

Resistance:
JDM five-lug knuckle/hub conversion
Legend-spec Brembo rotors (front)
Brembo rotors (rear)
NSX calipers
Earl's steel braided lines
MOTUL RBF600 fluid

Rims & Rubber:17x7 Tanabe Precedeo (+51 offset)215/45-17 Dunlop Sport SP8000

Outside:
Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon paint
AeroMagic front lip
Hiro eyelids
Vision Technica Type MC carbon-fiber mirrors
VIS carbon-fiber hood
VIS carbon-fiber trunk
JDM BB4 fenders
JDM BB4 side markers
JDM BB4 rear bumper
JDM BB4 taillights
Honda Access window visors
Honda optional splashguards
Honda optional sunroof visor
JDM BB4 headlights with Audi RS6 projectors
Carbon-fiber headlight shrouds
Daytime running light conversion

Inside:
Vision Shelta reclining seats
Wedge Engineering seat brackets
Recaro seat sliders
Autopower Race rollbar
Spoon Sports steering wheel
Works Bell hub
Razo pedals
Top Fuel shift knob
Honda optional black leather seats
Defi Blue Racer gauges: fuel and oil pressure, water, and oil temperature
Electroluminescent dash conversion
JDM BB4 digital climate control

I.C.E.:
Pioneer touchscreen CD/DVD/MP3 player
PPI four-channel amplifier for components
Boston Acoustics 6.5-inch speakers
Memphis ST500D amplifier for subwoofer
12-inch Image Dynamics IDQ subwoofer

Props:
God
Mom
Ryu Ohtsuka
Geoffrey Pascual
Justin Espino
Justin Lingao
Deron Tippins
Jacob Leveton
Marc De Las Alas
Tony Delhoyo
Nicky Wong
EF Roy
Kuso1
HeyMikeyyyy
Sheepey
NastIE Nate
Mike Arpon
Aaron Bonk
Joey Lee
Everyone I may have forgotten
EVASIVE Motorsports
JDM Concepts
NastIE GaRaGe
HighEnd
Chasebays
digitalhorizon-online.com
Bisimoto
James at Special Projects MS
Laura at Industrial Metal Finish
My Damn Self Motoring
FreshDrive
Cali Love
Outuvit
Jeremy Gilman
Matt Rodriguez
Aries Dionisio
Gabe Galvan

OWNER SPECS

Hometown:
SoCal

Most Played in the iPod:
It's all hip-hop

Favorite kicks:
House shoes

Recent DVD:
I don't buy DVDs

Bogus traffic ticket:
Got caught in a raid...the citations added up

Mac or PC:
Whichever works

Favorite non-Honda:
Aston Martin DBS

Porn star pick:
None, I don't really care for porn

Hottest model:
Would need to converse with them before answering

Sources

Energy Suspension
San Clemente, 92673
888-913-6374
http://www.energysuspension.com
AEM
Hawthorne, CA 90250
800-992-3000
http://www.aempower.com
Advanced Clutch Technology
Lancaster, CA 93535
661-940-7555
http://www.advancedclutch.com
By Joey Lee
243 Articles

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