Racing Secrets Revealed

Building a Honda Prelude Race Car - Part 7 - Build Sheet

by Roger

Building a Honda Prelude Race Car - Part 7 - Build Sheet

Half the fun of having a track car is in building and developing it. Sure, it gives you all the chances in the world to screw up. You can spend a lot of money buying parts that don't work as well as you thought or you make a mistake and blow up something in a very expensive way. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've made my fair share of expensive mistakes in my pursuit for greater speed.

So when a fellow car enthusiast asked me what mods I had on my car, it made me wonder: If I was to build a competitive Prelude for SCCA Improved Touring racing, what would that build sheet look like? And what would it cost?

Parts List

Here's my answer, based on 8 years of blood, sweat, tears, and development work:

Car92-96 Honda Prelude Si (non-4WS) 5 speed manual in good condition$ 2,500.00
InductionAEM Cold Air Intake$ 300.00
ExhaustHytech H23 race header$ 1,300.00
ExhaustCustom mandrel bent 2.5" exhaust with expansion chamber$ 500.00
ExhaustBurns Stainless 17" muffler$ 325.00
OilingOil catch can + plumbing$ 60.00
PowertrainInnovative 95A polyurethane engine mounts$ 310.00
TransmissionWavetrac Limited Slip Differential$ 600.00
ElectronicsHondata S300$ 500.00
SuspensionTein Street Advance, revalved for 14k front, 18k rear springs and track-only damping$ 1,090.00
SuspensionSwift 70mm ID Metric coilover springs - 14k front, 18k rear$ 360.00
SuspensionTein 70mm ID helper springs for front and rear$ 120.00
SuspensionEnergy Suspension and Chassis Master Bushing Kit$ 200.00
SuspensionKingpin Machine Front Lower Control Arm Bearing Conversion$ 540.00
SuspensionKingpin Machine Solid Radius Rod Bearing$ 270.00
SuspensionMoog Camber adjustable control arm pivots - Front and Rear$ 232.00
SuspensionST Suspension 1" Rear antisway bar$ 170.00
BrakesRaybestos ST43 Racing Pads - Front$ 225.00
BrakesCheapest Full metallic heavy duty brake pads available - Rear$ 20.00
BrakesTechnafit Stainless Steel Brake lines$ 110.00
BrakesM10x1 Metric Brake Tees for ABS Delete (need 2 for front and rear)$ 30.00
BrakesWilwood brake proportioning valve with M10x1 inverted flare adapters for rear brakes$ 60.00
BrakesCentric blank rotors front and rear$ 100.00
BrakesSpeed bleeder brake bleeder screws$ 24.00
WheelsARP Extended Wheel studs$ 100.00
WheelsTeam Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 Wheels, 15x8", redrilled for 4x114.3$ 800.00
WheelsGorilla Auto 17mm open ended lug nuts$ 60.00
TyresHoosier R7 in 225/45R15$ 1,052.00
SafetySchroth Right side net$ 145.00
SafetyGforce Mesh Window net$ 50.00
SafetySCCA Legal 6 / 8 point Roll Cage$ 2,500.00
SafetyBride Zeta III FIA Racing Seat$ 900.00
SafetyG-Force 6-Point Latch & Link Harness with eyelets for mounting$ 100.00
SafetyBride Seat Brackets$ 125.00
SafetySeat Bracket adapter$ 50.00
SafetyBattery disconnect switch$ 40.00
SafetyAmerex 2.5 Pound AFFF fire extinguisher$ 60.00
InteriorSteel sunroof delete panel, riveted and sealed$ 40.00
InteriorItalvolanti Sport Steering Wheel$ 100.00
InteriorMomo steering wheel adapter$ 85.00
InteriorShort shifter adapter$ 20.00
InteriorAutometer mechanical oil pressure gauge + braided oil line$ 140.00
ChassisRear shock tower bar$ 20.00

Professional Help Required

Dyno tuning. One of the many things that you will need professional help for

In addition to installing the parts shown above, there are some labor-intensive items that are necessary to make the car competitive. You'll want to seek out an experienced race shop to help you with these items:

  • Fabrication and welding of the roll cage
  • Engine head inspection and cleaning
  • Installation of a Limited Slip Differential
  • ECU installation and dyno tune
  • Corner weighting
  • Race Alignment

Labor costs vary wildly depending on where you are. It would be a good idea to get on the good graces of someone who has the necessary time, skills, and equipment for some of these things. If you have skills that you can offer them (even if they aren't motorsport related), put them on the table too. It never hurts and you may just get that little extra something for your hard-earned money.

Lesson Learned

The biggest lesson to be learned from this is that building a race car is not a fiscally responsible thing to do. In addition to all of the dollar amounts you see above, I spent hundreds of thousands of hours went into researching, testing, and setting up the car as it was being built.

The upside is that by building a car yourself, you can choose when to spend your time and money. By building the StudioVRM Prelude over the course of 8 years, I was able to split up the cost and time in a way that I could easily afford it. Plus I often chose top shelf parts to eek out as much performance as possible. You could probably get 90% of the performance of this car for a lot less money if you bought used parts or took some slightly cheaper alternatives.

Not only did I end up with a competitive car, I gained the knowledge, experience, and skills from some of the best in the business. That's something that I can now carry forward to the small fleet of other racecars I work on to make them faster for less money. And more importantly, I now have a decade worth of fond memories and an address book full of close friends with whom I'll share a lifetime of good times.

Would I do it all again? Hell yes. You should too. It's worth every penny.

See you at the track.