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Old 06 Oct 2007, 08:45 am
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Default 'Do-it-yourself' engine mods?

What are some easy/cheap 'do-it-yourself' engine mods for a 93 honda prelude si nonvtec?
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Old 06 Oct 2007, 08:48 am
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depends on your knowledge. the most common things are:1) K&N air filter/FIPK (fuel injection performance kit)the filter is ~$50, the kit (which includes the filter) is ~$250.2) Headers. Those will run you about $250-$400 or more depending on the brand and type (ceramic coated ones are more expensive).3) Cat-Back-Exhaust. Runs about $200-$400 depending on brand and type (stainless steel, ect...)4) Computer Code tuning... ie "Superchips" and the like. Those run about $300-$500 or so.Those are probably the most basic things you can start with. They require no real engine mods (a new cam or heads or injectors) to give solid performance boosts. They are realitively cheap and are pretty basic to install. I would not mess with Nitrous (NO2). The kit offers the most power/cost, but filling the bottle is not cheap, and if you spring a leak, or don't have it tuned right... KABOOM!! Keep in mind, the more you do to go forward (fast) the more you will have to consider improving how your car stops and handles. So, new break rotors, springs, sway-bars, ect... might be in your future. I have a 1984 Pontiac Trans Am that i've been tinkering with for over 8 years, so i know from experience. hope this helps.
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Old 06 Oct 2007, 08:52 am
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Cranium is right. But if you don't have a cool thousand bucks just burning a hole in your pocket, it'll be tough to afford aftermarket parts for your Prelude. If you are really on a tight budget, as is often the case as we all try to modify our cars, then you'll be looking for the very most cost affective modifications possible. Adding onto Cranium's suggestion to get a K&N air filter, don't forget to shop smart and check out all your options before you buy. K&N makes great products, especially their air filters. Luckily for you, your Prelude's H23's intake is easily modified. All you need to buy is a standard sized K&N cone air filter (the exact same kind that come on the aftermarket intake kits, short ram, cold air, etc...). And a hose clamp big enough to fit around your car's factory intake hose. It is as simple as removing your factory airbox from the end of your factory intake tube. Then remove it from the car, it's very easy, just a few bolts. You'll need a few basic metric sockets and a decent ratchet handle, and a few good screwdrivers. After the airbox is out just slip the K&N onto the end of your factory intake hose and use the hose clamp to secure it. Viola, intake. It's essentially achieving the same affect as the aftermarket kit, except it looks more factory, sound a slight bit less aggressive. Then to save some money on your exhaust you could have a good reputable muffler shop in your area make you a custom exhaust. This will save a few bucks over an aftermarket system, plust it leaves some room for creativity with the exhaust's sound, location, and appearance. A good exhaust shop can give you options between different tubing diameters, and locate the exhaust's tip just about wherever, and at whatever angle you want. Plus there are tons of inexpensive performance mufflers available at sites like and Another good cheap thing you can do to change the look and brighten the performance of your H23 is to pick up a set of aftermarket plug wires and maybe a new distributor cap and rotor too. They are easy to remove and install and it would surprise you how much these few cheap parts can improve your car's smoothness and response. This goes outside your question a bit, not really being an engine modification, and more of a drivetrain one. But you should also keep in mind the possibility of adding a short throw shifter. They are a little tougher to install then the other parts I suggested, but it makes a car alot more fun to drive. Especially a good strong Honda motor like the H23. Hope this helps. Happy tuning!
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Old 06 Oct 2007, 08:54 am
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Typically, the easiest/cheapest mods are those that can be bolted on to the exterior of your engine. In order of economics/ease...- Cold air induction (aka CAI)- Catback or Axleback exhaust - the latter is simply swapping your stock muffler to a performance, high-flow model; Catback systems however replace the muffler, and the resonators from the header rearward.- HeadersYou can also see small performance gains by installing iridium spark plugs.Some performance ECM (engine control module) circuit add-ons, aka 'chip sets' can improve performance. Be careful here though...they're not all the same, some don't work, & the consumer can get ripped-off with products like the VENOM 400 module, and perhaps others.Also avoid 'under-drive' pulleys which change the gear ration of the engine's accessory pulley (e.g., air conditioner, alternator, etc.). The car's manufacturer would certainly optimize the RPMs that this pully needs to spin at, insuring propper operation of your car's accessories. Under-drive pulleys decrease the 'parasitic effect' upon the engine by reducing the load from your accessories. But there are accounts of how that has lead to premature failure of alternators. IMO, I'd avoid this mod.Some have installed 'grounding wire' sets. The theory here is that optimized engine performance requires excellent electrical grounding between the motor, it's accesories, and the car's chassis. There are kits that use robust, large gauge, low resistance cables. Not sure how well these work. Some swear by 'em, others don't.Throttlebody spacers also get mixed reviews. The application in concept is 'sound' though. By installing an aluminum spacer between your throttlebody and the intake maifold plenum, you increase the distance the air/fuel mixture must travel. This in turn promotes a more complete air/fuel mixture, leading in turn to enhanced engine performance. Note that V8 drag race engines all employ this concept with their 'high-rise' manifolds.
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Old 06 Oct 2007, 08:58 am
PW PW is offline
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I have the same exact car, same year and also an Si. I have a pacesetter monza cat back exhaust which ads a lil hp and has a great tone. On the front end I have performance sparkwires and an AEM, 5in from being a cold air intake, intake. Im looking into some headers but headers are really overated for how much HP they really give. I would love to boost it but the cost out weighs the 6psi that the engine could take. Theres only so much that can be done to it before you get into the major bucks. Its a fun and decently fast car and its sexier than any honda.
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