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Tech Support - March 2007

Where We Cure All Your Tech Problems

Ricky Chu
Feb 28, 2007

As far as our calendar says, March is a pretty lame month. Other than the fact that we get to change our clocks again for Daylight Savings, there isn't much else going on. You should already know where this is heading. Yes. Get your lazy ass into the garage and work on your car while we enjoy one extra hour of scorching sunlight. When you're stuck on a rusted-on nut, come to us for help by writing to Super Street magazine c/o Technical Support, 6420 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048. Legibly and in English would be ideal. If you can take a break from reading spam e-mail, you can get us at tech@superstreetonline.com

As always, our Inquiry of the Month gets a prize, and this month it is a valve cover from T.A.S Auto Parts (800.819.3109, www.tasauto.com). (Um, Ricky, this is an Accord valve cover and the winner this month has a Prelude. - JN) (Yeah, I know. Goggles said it was OK since the only tech questions I get about Accords, lately, are from Cater. - RC)

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Question Of The Month
Q I am an embarrassed owner of a Honda Prelude, era '91 4WS with the tired but true B21A1 and 215,000 miles on its sorry little ass. It has always been one of the cars I have dreamed of owning since the '91 Si was born. My problem is there are no aftermarket parts to help the anemic 135 horses that it was conceived with. I've done some suspension mods that have turned it into quite the cornering beast, but I would sure love to be able to wipe the idiotic grins off of the Civic punks around here when I begrudgingly turn down a race. Help me please! Any insight would be great. Oh yeah, how come you guys there at Super Street never showcase a badass '91 4WS in any of the articles? It's OK to poke fun at me, but I really think these cars have a lot of potential. I just would love to be able to keep the 2.1 instead of swapping, although an H22A would be a good hitter. I love your mag, guys, keep on groovin'.

Bryan Utah

A Utah? Shouldn't you be riding a bike around instead of driving a Prelude? Just kidding. To start with the easier of the two questions, we don't do features on any badass '91 Preludes because we really haven't come across any. Not to say that there aren't any out there, but they're just hard to find, and we're pretty lazy if you haven't noticed. Regarding your tired motor, it took a lot of digging to find parts for something that old. We had an easier time sourcing out a replacement hip for Nads. We have some good news for you: There are still parts available for your B21A motor. You'll probably need to freshen up your bottom end first, though Hondas are known to last forever and a day. Race Engineering (561.533.5500, www.raceng.com) has aftermarket pistons (8.5:1 compression), rings and bearings to take care of that. You can throw in an aftermarket head gasket from Cometic (www.cometic.com) as well. As for the top end, Gude Performance (www.gude.com) offers ported and polished head packages with bigger cams and a tuned ECU to boot. We can't really estimate how much power you're looking to gain, but it'll certainly be sufficient.

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Q Hey, dudes at Super Street. Well, I finally saved enough money to buy a Mazdaspeed intake for my '04 Mazda3 hatch. But I am so confused as to the dangers of having a cold-air intake. I definitely need a little more power but I don't know if this is the safest way to go. Being that you guys know of and have driven a lot more cars with a CAI installed, how much of a chance do I have of completely water-logging and destroying the only new car I've ever owned? Your opinion is greatly appreciated.

Everett Newman
Maspeth, NY

A Over here in sunny Killa Kali, we very rarely run into problems with the cold-air intakes, though we have heard horror stories of water-logging elsewhere. Sucking that much water into your motor could leave you in a world of hurt so you have to take a couple things into consideration. First, how low is your car? If it's not slammed and if you can avoid puddles you should be OK. Second, does it rain that much in your area? If it does, then you might want to take your intake off and put your stock one on during the wet season. We know of one product that was designed specifically to combat the water and that's the Air Bypass Valve from AEM (310.484.2322, www.aempower.com). Though they are designed to work with CAI systems from AEM, you might be able to make it fit on your Mazdaspeed. But we'd hit them up first if we were you.

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Q I have two questions to ask. I drive a '96 Eclipse non-turbo, and my first question to you guys is that whenever I am driving close to 4,000 rpm, the car doesn't let me pass it. Is there something that is making it not rev up to more then 4,000 rpm? My second question is what should I do next to my car? Should I make more power or should I fix the suspension. I heard from a friend that the '95 and '96 models have pretty bad suspension. So far it's been true because it happened to me twice already. Anything would help. Thanks.

Wondering Guy
Via Internet

A If your car is not letting you rev past a certain RPM, that sounds like an air-flow meter problem. You might want to check the connections on the plug or even clean it out a bit. Worst case, you'll have to replace it with a new unit. Other problems could be vacuum or intake leaks. Search around your engine to see if you can find either of those. In the event that none of those are the source of your problem, you'll want to get deeper in and check your spark plugs for fouling and proper gap size. Then see if your injectors and fuel filter are dirty and clogged. And if you know how to check your timing and have access to a timing gun, do that too. One of these has to be the cause of your problem or else your SOL, dude. You weren't that detailed on what suspension problem happened to you twice, so it's pretty difficult for us to help you come up with how to fix it.

By Ricky Chu
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