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1992 Honda Prelude - The Honda Paradigm

A Prelude build that helped to change the landscape of the Honda community

Joey Lee
Oct 8, 2012
Photographer: Rodrez
Htup 1209 01 o+1992 honda prelude+vision type MC carbon fiber side mirrors Photo 1/13   |   1992 Honda Prelude - The Honda Paradigm

The likelihood of you being familiar with this bright green ’92 Prelude is no doubt very high. Let us cast aside all clichés of anyone living under any sort of rock. If you are a Honda enthusiast who has Internet access, chances are you have seen or heard of the “Big Mike Prelude build.” If you happen to be living in an area where you are strictly relegated to getting your Honda news via snail mail, then you should still be somewhat familiar with this Prelude because it has graced the cover of Honda Tuning magazine once before (see July 2008 issue). Since that time it has seen quite the transformation; if you were to put this cover and the cover of the ’08 July issue side by side, the images would appear to be two completely different builds. Back then Big Mike’s Prelude was a nice, well-rounded project, spotlighting a chassis that wasn’t exactly the most popular of Hondas to build. Today, it represents one of the archetypes of how Hondas should be built and an inspiration to fellow enthusiasts worldwide. Yeah, to say that things have changed would be an understatement.

The two builds might as well have been two separate Preludes—many of his friends even thought that he should have started fresh with another BB4 chassis. Its first incarnation was subtle, clean, and made for a good cruiser. Things were different four years ago; the platform was new to Mike and it was an experimental time for the long-term enthusiast. The manifestation you see is far from experimental. Instead, it is a product of calculated, well-thought-out planning. Big Mike seized the opportunity to not only build one of the best Preludes, he wanted to take the unpopular chassis and transform it into one of the most recognized builds within the Honda community. The first step involved a change in color. The rich wine tone was laid down very nicely, but it just didn’t have that “wow” factor that captured the collective attention of others. Mike decided on a new paint choice by accident, as he explains: “I was driving one day when I spotted a truck that belonged to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the color really stuck with me. I went home and did some research and discovered that there wasn’t really any fancy name for it. It was literally known as ‘U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Green.’ The name itself was bland, but it really popped, and I knew I had to paint my Prelude that color.” Those who know Big Mike personally will tell you that he is very meticulous in nature and even more so when it comes to his projects. The body shop that applied the mint green tone not only had to paint every nook and crevice of his BB4, they had to do it three separate times due to Mike discovering minor imperfections in the paint. He also had a multitude of different parts he needed painted because he wanted to occasionally switch things up. Mike had utilized a rare AeroMagic front lip for much of the Prelude’s second stage before recently swapping to a molded Chargespeed lip with custom fabricated blinker delete plates.

Htup 1209 12 o+1992 honda prelude+maven countersunk weighted shift knob Photo 2/13   |   1992 Honda Prelude - The Honda Paradigm

His attention to detail translates to the interior of his Honda in a similar fashion, using a mix of OEM restoration and one-off custom creations. Every possible interior piece, minus the seats and door panels, have been replaced with OEM parts that Mike has collected. The space-aged OE dashboard display is further enhanced with AEM gauges providing information from the motor and Series 2 EMS unit. The dated factory seats have been removed, and holding Big Mike firmly in place are a pair of custom bucket seats rewrapped in authentic black bandana material with black suede. Rear seats are rewrapped to match the buckets while the headliner and door panel inserts have been refreshed with a layer of black suede. Mike even managed to source brand-new carpet straight from a Honda dealership.

No Honda build is truly complete without a well-executed engine bay, and Big Mike’s is the stuff that all Honda heads’ dreams are made of. He teamed up with Ryan “Rywire” Basseri, and with the help of some friends, was able to drop the F20B motor in right on his driveway. Rywire then spent many a late night at the Big Mike household hand-bending custom brake and fuel hard lines in an effort to make the engine compartment as naked as possible. A one-of-a-kind Rywire mil-spec engine harness is visible at a glance, but the average enthusiast will likely be thrown for a loop when they see four additional top-feed fuel injectors on Mike’s Bisimoto-spec Kinsler ITBs. All eight injectors work in unison to provide adequate fuel to the Bisimoto-tuned F20B motor. Exhaust gases are driven through a Bisimoto header and exit via a custom exhaust system featuring a stealthy Vibrant Performance StreetPower muffler. To aid in the overall nakedness of the bay, a custom radiator was constructed by Rywire and hidden from plain view. The only indications that this Prelude is properly cooled are the custom radiator lines connected at opposite ends by large –AN fittings from G&J Aircraft. If the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words” holds true, then you can probably stare at his engine bay for hours and allow it to tell you its own story. As a magazine, we find it mind-numbing to try to put every detail under the hood in layman’s terms. Had we the space to provide every intricacy, the story on his bay alone would span multiple pages.

Htup 1209 10 o+1992 honda prelude+JDM BB4 front fenders Photo 3/13   |   1992 Honda Prelude - The Honda Paradigm

In the three years since its second (and final) incarnation debuted, Big Mike has developed quite the track record for winning top honors at car shows and received notoriety that far exceeded his expectations. Before you assume that a car this clean must be trailered around, think again. Big Mike’s Prelude has racked up mileage throughout the streets of California, including multiple trips from SoCal to NorCal, and he’s recently put it on track for the annual FF Battle that put it through its paces in both drag and road race competition.

Htup 1209 11 o+1992 honda prelude+personal steering wheel Photo 4/13   |   1992 Honda Prelude - The Honda Paradigm

He adds, “I didn’t just build a show car. [Long Big Mike pause] I did however build a car that I would be proud to show—there’s a difference. Too many people spend too much time worrying about what other people do with their builds and characterizing them as one type of car. A build is a work of art, an expression of the designer’s tastes and ideas; a canvas, if you will. Don’t worry about what other people say; just build your car for you and the way you want. That’s what I did. I’m honored as well as amazed at how strongly the community and industry have embraced this build. It’s on a scale that I never would have imagined. That’s the beauty of it. It is in my eyes a well-rounded car; one that utilizes real, quality parts and one that will be appreciated regardless of whether or not it follows what is popular.”

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
F20B
Innovative engine mounts
Bisimoto Engineering cam sprockets
Golden Eagle camshaft seals
“Big Mike Edition” Bisimoto-spec Kinsler 57mm individual throttle bodies with top feed injectors
Bisimoto Engineering custom exhaust header
Custom welded-in O2 sensor bungs for AEM four-channel UEGO
Custom 3-inch exhaust piping made from all Vibrant Performance components
Vibrant Performance StreetPower muffler
Vibrant Performance 3x18-inch bottle resonators
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
Bisimoto Engineering 450cc fuel injectors (8)
Kinsler fuel rail
G&J fuel lines and fittings
Canton Racing fuel filter
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
AEM high-output IGBT inductive “smart” coils
“Big Mike Edition” custom Rywire mil-spec wiring harness
Rywire tucked radiator with custom overflow tank, filler neck, fan shroud, plumbing
G&J -16AN cooling hoses and fittings
Custom valve cover
M2A4 transmission
GearSpeed carbon synchros
Gear-X 4.64 final drive
Action 1MS clutch
Bisimoto Engineering 8.9 lb flywheel
Wavetrac limited-slip differential
Rywire custom clutch line
Chromed alternator relocation bracket
Custom JNF CNC’d AEM coil mount

Htup 1209 04 o+1992 honda prelude+F20B Photo 5/13   |   1992 Honda Prelude - The Honda Paradigm

Suspension
“Big Mike Edition” Function & Form Type 2.75R coilovers
Whiteline 22mm rear antiroll bar
Eibach anchor bolts
Eibach adjustable ball joints
OEM BB6 Prelude five-lug conversion
ARP extended wheel studs
Chromed subframe

Resistance
Fastbrakes 12.6-inch slotted front brake rotors
Hawk DTC-05 brake pads
Wilwood Superlite four-piston front brake calipers
Motul brake fluids
Fastbrakes stainless brake lines
Rywire custom master cylinder adapter
Rywire custom brake hard lines
OEM S2000 clutch master cylinder
DC2 Integra 40/40 brake proportioning valve

Wheels & Tires
Front: 17x9 +35 Desmond Regamaster EVO, 245/45-17 Falken Azenis RT615K
Rear: 17x8 +38 Desmond Regamaster EVO, 225/45-17 Falken Azenis RT615K

Htup 1209 13 o+1992 honda prelude+JDM BB4 rear bumper Photo 9/13   |   1992 Honda Prelude - The Honda Paradigm

Exterior
PPG U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Green paint
House of Kolor clear coat
Chargespeed front lip molded to OEM bumper
Custom front vents/nostrils
Vision Type MC carbon-fiber side mirrors
JDM BB4 front fenders with side markers
JDM BB4 rear bumper
JDM BB4 headlights with Bi-Xenon projector retrofit
OEM Lexus 4300K HID ballasts
Custom JNF aluminum cowl with ARP 12-pt mounting hardware
Custom JNF aluminum bumper light deletes
Chromed hood latch, hood hinges, door hinges

Interior
Autopower four-point roll bar with welded-in harness bar and crossbar
“Big Mike Edition” custom front bucket seats
Matching rear seats redone in real black bandanas and black suede
Front/rear door inserts rewrapped in black vinyl
Custom headliner and pillars
Brand-new OEM Honda carpet
Personal steering wheel
MOMO steering hub
Maven countersunk weighted shift knob
Pro-Car Innovations seat brackets and mounts

Electronics
AEM Series 2 EMS
AEM water temperature gauge
AEM oil temperature gauge
AEM oil pressure gauge
AEM fuel pressure gauge
AEM voltmeter
AEM EGT gauge
AEM Engine Position Module (EPM)
AEM 4-channel wideband UEGO controller
Sony XAV-63 multimedia control center
Sony XS-GT1627A two-way speakers
Sony XS-GS1720S 6¾-inch component speakers
Sony XS-GS120L subwoofers (2)
XM-GS400 4-channel amplifier
XM-GS100 Class D amplifier
Odyssey PC680 battery

PROPS
First and foremost, I would like to thank God for blessing me not only with my needs, but my wants as well. I would then like to thank all of my sponsors, friends, and supporters for believing in me and in this build and contributing to our development. Specifically, Ryan Basseri of Rywire, whose time, creativity, input, and labor have been of the utmost importance and this car would not be what it is if it weren’t for him. Bisi Ezerioha of Bisimoto Engineering, whose parts designs have helped make my build, and whose experience and skill as a tuner have proved invaluable in getting my vehicle to run and perform as it does. Donavan Griffith of Vibrant Performance, who has been one of my greatest supporters on a business and personal level since day one. Robert, Bakari, and Brad at Falken; James Oh at GearSpeed; Brian at Fastbrakes.com; Lawson Mollica and John Nguyen at AEM; Brian Slames at Pro-Car Innovations; Jeff “Kiwi” Owen at Special Projects Motorsports/Gear-X; Dana at Wavetrac; Zac and family at G&J Aircraft; Freddie Fernandez and the crew at AutofashionUSA; Jason Noren at Jason Noren Fabrications; Youseff Phillips at Advanced Marketing and Sony Electronics; Oscar Jackson Sr. and Jr. at Jackson Racing; Louie Contreras at L*CON Race Cars; Rob, Preston, and crew at Function/Form; Dave, Aaron, Tony, and Brandon at Skunk2; Kenneth Li at Weksos; Ryan Novak at Novak Mechanical; Luis Rodriguez at LR Autobody; and Ronald Warkentin of True Berserk Fabrication. Additionally, Jared Rosenthal, Frank Venezia, Chico Jackson, Tim Valbuena, Aaron Bonk, Ejay Adriano, Mike Hatten, Jimmy Doan, Linda Sy, Tracy Anderson, Andy Khwa of Honda of Pasadena, Chris Pinedo of Norm Reeves Honda Cerritos, and Joey Lee of The Chronicles. There are others who helped me make this car what it is. Without you guys I don’t know where my car would be today. There isn’t enough space to thank you all individually, but know that I am deeply grateful for the time and energy that you all put in to this build. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Owner Specs

Daily grind
Life

Htup 1209 09 o+1992 honda prelude+chargespeed front lip Photo 13/13   |   1992 Honda Prelude - The Honda Paradigm

Favorite sites
NWP4Life, The Chronicles, Speedhunters

Screen name
Big Mike

Building Hondas
12 years

Dream car
Too many to list

Inspiration for this build
Any and every well-built machine that I have ever laid eyes on. From drag and road course race cars to full-blown show cars to lowriders to sand rails

Future Builds
Too many to list

It Ain’t Over Yet

Big Mike’s Prelude has had a good run these last couple of years and has helped to make Mike a recognizable figure within the Honda community. He’s attended every show possible and won practically every Honda class award possible, but he isn’t done just yet. Instead of retiring the BB4 and starting on another build, he’s recently explored new ways to fully utilize his Prelude. He’s working closely with Bisi Ezerioha to fine-tune the specifics of individual cylinder tuning and has also picked up an audio sponsor in Sony. You wouldn’t imagine this Honda accomplishing much more than it has, but he’s also started taking it out to track events recently, where it fared pretty well against opposing Hondas. Mike’s ’Lude has a meaty set of Falkens on the front now, so you can expect to see it in action sooner than you think!

Sources

AEM
Hawthorne, CA 90250
800-992-3000
http://www.aempower.com
Falken Tire
Fontana, CA 92335
800-723-2553
http://www.falkentire.com
Vibrant Performance
905-564-2808
http://www.vibrantperformance.com
Bisimoto Engineering
Ontario, CA 91761
888-922-6686
http://www.bisimoto.com
Rywire
Garden Grove, CA 92843
240-479-9473
http://www.rywire.com
By Joey Lee
243 Articles

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