Honda Prelude Overview.

My car is a Ruby Red Pearl, 5th generation, 2000 Honda Prelude 2.2VTi. It was originally a V registration but has since had a personalised registration plate fitted. Chassis code is BB8 and engine code is H22A8 (this means a lot to fellow Honda Prelude drivers). Its specification includes 17" alloy wheels, 4 wheel steering (4WS), ABS with discs all round, air conditioning, cruise control, driver & passenger air bags, electrically adjustable heated mirrors, electric tilt & slide sunroof, electric windows, heated front seats, power steering, immobiliser and remote central locking. Although my car is not an official Motegi, it is of the Motegi specification apart from the Motegi boot lid badge. In 2000, the list price of a brand new Honda Prelude 2.2VTi ranged from between £22,700 - £26,220, depending on specification.

The car could be described as a Jekyll & Hyde character. It is extremely civilised, refined and relaxed when driven normally, but when you put your foot down, the character of the car transforms. The engine springs into life, acceleration becomes rapid and the engine takes on a completely different note as the pace increases. At the VTEC switchover, the acceleration and engine noise instantly become even more exhilarating. The car also has excellent handling due to 4WS and decent suspension - all round double wishbone suspension with front & rear anti roll bars. My car has also had the optional lowered sports suspension fitted and also the Japanese specification front suspension strut brace, which was not available to UK specification Honda Preludes.

The car's most well known attribute is its engine - 2.2 litre, 16 valve, DOHC, VTEC, rated at 197 BHP @ 7100 RPM with 156 lb-ft of torque. This results in acceleration of 0-62 MPH in 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 142 MPH. My car's particular engine code is H22A8. 2.2 litre Honda Prelude engines are very similar to the 2.2 litre 209 BHP H22A7 engine which is fitted in the Honda Accord Type R. VTEC is an acronym of Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control. For an explanation of VTEC, please click here. The official fuel consumption figures are - urban 20.8 mpg, extra urban 36.7 mpg and combined 28.5 mpg. During an eleven year period from 2006 to 2017 covering 112,393 miles, my car achieved 30.60 mpg, working out at 18.2 pence per mile on fuel. This equates to a theoretical range of 403.9 miles per full fuel tank. For a breakdown of each individual year, please click here.

I haven't done many major modifications to it, and don't really intend to do too much to it in the future. I am not interested in major modifications like turbo / supercharger kits, nitrous oxide, big flashy "in ya face" body kits, phat exhausts and blinging alloys. Modifications so far include:

Click on any of the above for detailed information relating to that item.

The only future modification I may consider are discreet reverse parking sensors.

The car has very good security. If a thief wanted to steal it, first of all he / she would need to enter the car without setting off the alarm. Then they will need to get past the after market steering lock, built-in factory steering lock, Clifford Concept 650 ignition immobiliser and then the factory fitted starter motor & fuel supply system immobiliser. The factory fitted immobiliser needs a key with an integrated coded chip.

Consumables used:

Engine oil Shell Helix Ultra 5W-40 engine oil. Honda oil filter and an APS magnetic oil sump plug.
Antifreeze / coolant Pro Honda All Season Anti-freeze Genuine Coolant Type 2.
Manual transmission fluid Honda MTF-3.
Brake & clutch fluid Castrol React Performance DOT 4 synthetic brake fluid.
Power steering fluid Honda power steering fluid.
Body shampoo Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner.
Polish Turtle Wax Colour Magic Plus (dark red).
Wax Collinite 476S Super Doublecoat Auto Wax.
Windscreen washer fluid Halfords Concentrated Screen Wash (Citrus Scented). .
Windscreen rain repellent Angelwax H2GO.
Fuel Shell V-Power Nitro+ super unleaded petrol.
Miscellaneous Bilt Hamber Auto-Clay bar (medium).
Wynn's Air Intake & Carburettor Cleaner sprayed into the intake manifold chamber via the throttle body and positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) inlet.
Halfords Silicone Lubricant spray on rubber parts including boots / gators & brake caliper seals.
Armor All gloss finish Dashboard Wipes used for interior cleaning, tyre side walls, external rubber trim & pipes in engine bay.
A microfiber wrapped sponge is used to wash the car and a Liquid Elements Silverback XL microfiber drying towel is used to dry the car after rinsing.

However, as with all cars, the Honda Prelude does have its bad points. If I was to highlight five of its good and bad points, they would be:

GOOD POINTS:BAD POINTS:
Performance
Very fast and exceptional handling ability.
Torque
Needs more low down torque to match its mid to high end performance.
Reliability
As with most Hondas, repairs are a rare occurrence.
Expensive parts
As with most Hondas, parts are not cheap.
Comfort
Ride quality is good and feels very civilised. It is relaxed and comfortable to drive.
Rear seating space
Cramped in the back when the front seats are occupied, but this is to be expected in a sports coupť.
Styling
Looks fantastic, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Road noise
The engine is quiet, but noise from the road could be quieter.
Rare
Very few on the road, so it's nice to be driving something different.
Fuel economy
Fuel consumption is not bad, but could be better.

As with my previous Honda Prelude, reliability has been exemplary. However, there still has been a few items which have needed attention since I took ownership in May 2005, please click here for details and please click here for details regarding bodywork repairs.

I am a member of four internet based Honda Prelude forums - Lude Generation, Prelude UK & Prelude Online. They are friendly places where members share lots of Honda Prelude related knowledge. I'm also a member of the Accord Type R European Owners Club, where technical information on the Honda Accord Type R's H22A7 engine also applies to that of the Honda Prelude's H22A8 engine. My user name is "CARRisma" on the first two forums and "Prelude UK" on the other two forums.

Accolades.

I'm proud that my car has been pictured in a few car magazines and has won an award:

Pictures.

Here are some photos taken during September 2012 in a field in Handcross, West Sussex. They were taken before the front brakes were upgraded using Honda Accord Type R brake calipers and before the European specification front lip / splitter was replaced with the non-European front lip / splitter. Click on any one of the pictures to enlarge.

Other 5th Generation (1996+) Honda Preludes.

All Honda Preludes were manufactured in Japan but have different specifications for different markets. Production of the 5th generation Honda Prelude started in 1996 and ceased in 2001, although in the UK, it seems sales ceased in 2000 as I have not yet seen or heard of a UK specification 2001 Honda Prelude.

European Honda Preludes:

In the UK and the rest of Europe, there are two engine sizes available, the standard 2.0 litre SOHC and the 2.2 litre DOHC VTEC. Both are available with a 5 speed manual transmission or the Sequential Sport Shift transmission. From 1996, the 2.2 VTEC engine was the H22A5 engine rated at 183 BHP @ 7000 RPM with 151 lb-ft of torque. From 1999 onwards, European Honda Preludes were fitted with a revised 2.2 VTEC engine named H22A8, which produced 197 BHP @ 7100 RPM with 156 lb-ft of torque. The 0-62 dash was decreased from 7.5 seconds to 6.9 seconds, but the top speed remained at 142 MPH. The H22A8 was only available with manual transmission.

There were a number of changes between pre and post 1999 revision cars. Manual transmission pre 1999 Honda Preludes had the M2V5 gear box whereas post 1999 revision models have the M2P4 gear box which has shorter gear ratios to aid performance. The M2P4 gear box shares identical gear ratios with the U2Q7 gear box fitted to the Honda Accord Type R, but unfortunately doesn't have its LSD. The 1999 revision gained heated seats (with different shape backrest recline lever) and heated mirrors as standard. The steering was slightly heavier with a different power steering pump and larger power steering fluid cooler. The manufacturer of the 17" wheels switched from Enkei to Speedline, but the design remained identical. The service interval was increased from every 6,000 miles to every 9,000 miles.

I don't think that the differences between the H22A5 & H22A8 engine have been fully documented for the public, but after research I have found the differences are with the:

The only difference externally between pre and post 1999 cars is that the post 1999 model has a larger diameter exhaust trim.

It is said that the H22A8 engine is mechanically the same as the H22A engine in the 217 BHP Japanese specification Honda Prelude Type-S. It is believed the main difference is with the ECU. The H22A8 uses an OBD2a P5M ECU which is speculated to be very restrictive, whereas the H22A in the Type-S uses an OBD2b P5P ECU.

There was also a special edition Honda Prelude released called Motegi. The differences included the OEM Honda Prelude body kit, 17" Honda alloy wheels and a Motegi badge on the boot lid. From 1999 onwards, the Motegi gained the lowered sports suspension. All of these items were optional on non-Motegi models, apart from the boot lid badge.

Japanese Honda Preludes:

In Japan, there were 5 specifications of the 5th generation Honda Prelude:

Honda Prelude Xi 2.2 SOHC 16 valve 133 BHP @ 5200 RPM 141 lb-ft of torque @ 4500 RPM
Honda Prelude Si 2.2 DOHC 16 valve 157 BHP @ 6000 RPM 148 lb-ft of torque @ 5200 RPM
Honda Prelude SiR 2.2 DOHC 16 valve VTEC 197 BHP @ 6800 RPM 161 lb-ft of torque @ 5500 RPM
Honda Prelude SiR S Spec 2.2 DOHC 16 valve VTEC 217 BHP @ 7200 RPM 163 lb-ft of torque @ 6500 RPM
Honda Prelude Type-S 2.2 DOHC 16 valve VTEC 217 BHP @ 7200 RPM 163 lb-ft of torque @ 6500 RPM

Japanese domestic market (JDM) Honda Preludes have a range of features which were not available in the UK, including DVD car navigation, digital climate control, front upper strut brace, rear window wiper, front & rear parking aids, a slightly different front lip / splitter, a grey honeycomb front grill with integrated Prelude badge, a number of different height rear spoilers, various interior trim options, different centre console cup holder and different front fog lights (with a different on/off switch which is the same design as the rear fog light on/off switch used in Europe). JDM front fog lights are sought after items in the UK & USA. Some models had no sunroof and they had a different internal ceiling light fitted which included two spot lights as well as the main light.

The Type-S features ATTS (Active Torque Transfer System) which is a device which aids the handling of the car. In a turn, it causes the outside front wheel to spin fatser than the inside wheel, which helps counteract the tendancy to understeer. In principle, I believe it has the similar effect of a conventional LSD which is used in the SiR S Spec. It also has an Active Control ABS system, which is different from other Honda Preludes which have standard ABS systems and is said to improve braking through turns.

US Honda Preludes:

Honda Preludes in America were fitted with the H22A4 engine which was rated at 195 BHP. From 2000 onwards, they were rated at 200 BHP, but this has been suspected to be false marketing hype from Honda. America just have the 2.2 DOHC VTEC, no 2.0 litre SOHC or 2.2 litre SOHC models. There are two models available - the base model and Honda Prelude Type-SH (both have the chassis code of BB6). The Honda Prelude Type-SH has ATTS. The OEM Honda body kit has a slightly different front lip than European specification models and there are also other minor differences. They get no 4 wheel steering (4WS), no motorised headlamp adjustment, no coin tray, no under bonnet insulation shield, no rubber moulding strip on the leading edge of the bonnet, different steering wheel, different backseat, door interior courtesy lights are clear instead of red, side repeaters are in the front bumper instead of the side wings, no rear fog light (legal mandatory requirement in the UK) and different 17" Honda alloy wheels. In 1999, the design of headlights reflective interior changed from silver / chrome to a slightly darker gunmetal colour. Obviously, American specification cars are left-hand drive whereas UK and Japanese specification cars are right-hand drive.

Australian & Canadian Honda Preludes:

In Australia, there were three different specifications available - Si, VTi-R and VTi-R ATTS. In essence the VTi-R was equivelent to the US base model and the VTi-R ATTS was equivelent to the Type-SH. In Canada, there were three different specifications available - base model, Type-SH and SE.


My Previous Honda Prelude.

My previous car was an Iceberg Silver Metallic, 1997 P registration, 5th generation, Honda Prelude 2.2VTi. I purchased the car from a Honda dealer in Winchester, Hampshire. I went to view the car at the dealership on 30th June 2001. When I first sat in the car, the first thing that grabbed me was how bland the interior was, especially when compared to the distinctive dashboard in the 4th generation Honda Prelude. But, you soon get used to it and build quality and materials are good as they should be in a car of that price. I then went out for a test drive. The salesman took it out along the road for a few minutes and gave me a demonstration of the performance of VTEC. I was blown away by the car's change of character. The acceleration and noise surprised me, it was not what I expected. My Dad, who was sitting in the back, tapped me on the shoulder and nodded in an approving fashion. From that point on, I knew that this was the car for me and I needn't look any further. The salesman pulled over to let me test drive the car. It felt much more relaxed and civilised than the CitroŽn ZX Volcane which I owned at the time. The steering felt better, the brakes were much more effective and the engine was much smoother than in the CitroŽn ZX Volcane. But I was also wary of the car being bigger than the hatchback which I owned. While back at the dealership admiring how quiet the engine was at idle, in the salesman's absence, my Dad & I discussed what should happen next. I felt comfortable with purchasing the car I was sat in, so struck a deal with the salesman and agreed on a figure of £9,995. I also haggled in a free Honda Sport polo neck T-shirt and an original Honda Prelude brochure with Derek Warwick's autograph on. From memory, the car had already been reduced from about £12,000. We agreed on a part exchange figure of £1,000 for my CitroŽn ZX Volcane, I paid a deposit of £500 and agreed to collect the car on the following Saturday. I subsequently said farewell to my dearly cherished CitroŽn ZX Volcane on 7th July 2001 before taking ownership of the Honda Prelude 2.2VTi.

As with my current Honda Prelude, it didn't have any major modifications. Apart from the Clifford Concept 300 alarm & immobiliser which was already fitted to the car before I purchased it, the modifications I did carry out were:

Click on any of the above for detailed information relating to that item.

Here are some photos of my previous Honda Prelude 2.2VTi taken during August 2004 in a field in Handcross, West Sussex. The pictures were taken before the rear skirt was fitted. Click on any one of the pictures to enlarge.

And here are some photos of my previous Honda Prelude 2.2VTi with my Dad's Volvo C70.

Sadly, it reached its tragic end on the afternoon of Saturday 22nd January 2005. May JHMBB81500C002065 Rest In Peace . After the crash, I removed many parts from the car to use on its replacement and some parts were sold on eBay. The additional rear fog light, rear skirt, radio / CD player and HT leads are currently in use on my current Honda Prelude. The brake pads, both rear tyres and headlight bulbs were fitted on to my new Prelude, but have since been replaced.


CitroŽn ZX Volcane 2.0.

My second car was a 1992, K reg, CitroŽn ZX Volcane 2.0, which I purchased on the 28th August 1999 (my 21st birthday). I loved it, but it was very unreliable which is why I decided to part with it. I reckon something needed fixing about every 2 months. From memory, it had lots of parts replaced, including a rear window winder mechanism, 2 or 3 power steering pumps, radiator, a coolant hose, front bushes, front brake sensor lines, ABS sensor, handbrake cables, valve seals, head gasket, oil pressure switch, battery, exhaust mid-section and rear brake caliper (damaged and subsequently replaced by the CitroŽn dealer). It also had problems with the ventilation blower and had to have the engine breathers cleaned out. On its final week, the horn was starting to fail. There were probably more problems, but this is what I can remember.

I purchased it on the 28th August 1999 and part exchanged it when I got my Honda Prelude on 7th July 2001. The car cost me about £2500 to buy.†It was a great car in the way that it was a high spec fast car for a cheap price.†The 2.0 litre 8 valve engine was rated at about 123 BHP and had a respectable 0-60 time of about 8.5 seconds.†Before I sold it, I timed its 0-60 and it achieved its quoted time.†I also reached its quoted top speed of 125 MPH.

Modifications included a set of 15" OZ Racing Vivace alloy wheels, Goodyear Eagle Ventura tyres, K&N panel air filter, SplitFire spark plugs, Clifford Arrow 3 alarm & immobiliser, leather gearknob, high level brake light and the rear spoiler was re-sprayed body colour (it was originally un-painted matt-black plastic).

The below pictures were taken on the 1st July 2001. Click on any one of the pictures to enlarge.

There are four different models of CitroŽn ZX Volcane available - 1.9 litre turbo diesel, 1.9 litre 8 valve, 2.0 litre 8 valve and a 2.0 litre 16 valve.†The 2.0 litre 16 valve model is quite rare and very fast.†I think they first had 155 BHP and were later increased to 167 BHP.


My First Car.

My first car was an 1984, A reg, 1.0 litre, Ford Fiesta Poplar, purchased in May 1999. I purchased it for £550 and was sold towards the end of the year for £400. With that money, I purchased a JVC KD-LX3R car stereo and fitted it in my then current car, the CitroŽn ZX Volcane 2.0. It was later fitted in my 1997 Honda Prelude and then my current 2000 Honda Prelude until being replaced over 15 years later at the beginning of 2015.

The pictures below were taken on the 28th September 1999. Click on any one of the pictures to enlarge.

There was nothing wrong with the car, its charm was that it was so basic & simple - nothing to go wrong and cost money to fix / replace. It was quite a jump moving from the Ford Fiesta to the CitroŽn ZX Volcane 2.0 because of the performance and specification difference.



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