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Honda Prelude 1997-2002

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  • black, SE, stick, built Oct/01.

    So far it blows my Integra out of the water in just about every department. 2 complaints: stereo sucks and sunroof doesn't open wide enough. Otherwise, it's great.

    Funny, nccarguy, when I read your post about how you came to buy the Prelude, I must say that was exactly the thought process I went through. My original plan was to buy a 325.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,390
    SE w/ a stick...very nice! Our cars must have been shipped over on the same boat because the build date on my car is 10/01 as well.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • I've heard more opinions, both good and bad, about the stereo in the Prelude than just about any other feature. Personally, I like the Prelude's stereo, particularly the bass response. Especially when you consider that: a) it's a stock system, and b) there's no subwoofer.

    Also, it's true that it sounds better at higher volume.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    I first added a powered sub to the factory set-up, by was getting some wacky noise that couldn't be filtered. I then upgraded the head unit to a 50Wx4 piece which was too much for the stock speakers (the fronts are only rated for 15W max). So, I upgraded all the speakers (save for the door-mount tweeters), and subsequently had so much more bass and mid-range that I just yanked the sub out of the trunk.

    Believe it or not, I actually have better sound now with just the better speakers and the upgraded head unit than I did with the stock speakers, sub, and upgraded head unit.

    Unless you're looking for bass that'll make your neighbors want to key your car, or which makes you a candidate for a cochlear implant before 35, just upgrade the speakers and the head unit for less than $500. And you won't even need a heavy, space-eating sub box to be slamming around your trunk during cornering.

    Cowboy -- Welcome to an exclusive club! I'm glad to see that you "get" what the Prelude is all about.
  • Anyone look at leather interiors, i.e. egclassics.com and the like? They look pretty enough and would add so much to the interior; it's hedonism and a waste of money, to be sure, and the stock seats are fantastic, but a part of me still yearns for the leather interior. Thoughts or experiences?

    I'm enjoying the lude and thinking about winter tires. I picked up 3 Type SH rims from a friend whose Prelude was reconstructed after a flipping accident. Three rims got extremely light scratches but are otherwise perfect, and they were replaced with new ones under insurance. He didn't want the spares since he's doing the whole slammed aftermarket thing (ugh) so I got three free near-new Type SH rims. I figure that if I can score a fourth one on the cheap, and a good set of winter tires, I'll be in fine shape.

    I'm not up to speed on the latest and greatest in tires, but is there such a thing as release dates for hot, eagerly anticipated upcoming tires? Are there model years and yearly differences or "refreshes" of tires? Weather aside, how do you know when is the best time to buy the right set of winter tires? I just realized that I know zilch about the tire industry.

    I really, really want a CD changer in my Prelude. I gotta upgrade the sound. Ugh. I need more money.... :(
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    Leather? No thanks.


    Cool deal on the SH rims! They're nice-looking, but weigh about 0.5lbs more than the base rims.


    Winter tires? Looks like you're planning on going with an OE-size tire on the SH rims. Not to whiz on your parade, but that's kind of a bad idea for a few reasons:


    --road salt will eat the finish off aluminum rims, if that matters to you

    --a 50-series sidewall gives your wheels very little protection from nasty Winter potholes, placing your SH rims in further jeopardy

    --the narrower your tire's width, the better the traction you'll get (the narrower width gives you a smaller contact patch for the tire, which in turn causes the car's weight to produce more downward pressure on the contact patch, giving you greater traction)

    --winter tires sized 205/50-16 are pricey, and are generally H- or V- speed-rated, meaning they'll offer less grip in icy conditions

    --go to http://tirerack.com to run a search for winter tires in the size you need, and see what your options are


    The best time to buy winter tires is as soon as you have the money to do so. Dealers generally ratchet-up the prices $5-10 per tire by the end of October.


    I've had nothing but positive experiences with my 195/60-15 Michelin Artic-Alpins mounted on 15" steelies. Same goes for the Tire Rack -- I've been a customer of theirs for nearly 10 years, and continue to be very pleased with their service, selection and prices.

  • Thanks for the thoughts. I have a SH, so having an opportunity to pick up a few extra SH rims seemed perfect. They're free and I don't mind too much if they experience a little wintertime corrosion, as it's impossible to keep a nice car looking good during Detroit winter anyway. (I've tried.) But you're right, there is a dearth of 205/50/16 winter tires and I do struggle with the prices of some of these. Maybe I can sell 'em... hmm.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,390
    Sphinx99: I've seen leather in various other random Preludes. I think it is a nice touch, but there are better things to spend your money on (there always is). Maybe you can try to pick up some factory leather seats from a wrecked Canadian Prelude SE. Just a thought. Michigan is close enough to Canada isn't it? I think the stock seats in our cars are very comfortable and grip well, so I'm going to leave well enough alone:)

    Himiler: You've got a great idea about just replacing the head unit & stock speakers. Some people at Best Buy & Circut City (don't worry, I was just asking, I don't think I'd have work done there) and they told me pretty much the same thing. Leave it to you to know that the stock front speakers pump out a blazing 15Waats max.

    Winter Tires: I'm a big fan of them even here in southern NY where we barely get any snow anymore (thank-you global warming). I do think it is a good idea to put winter tires on a car with such low ground clearance (like our Preludes) to help out when it does (plus it gives me a chance to switch to Z rated summer tires when the stockies wear out:)

    Sphinx99 I originally had the same idea as you did until I was once again enlightened by you and Himiler. I think I'd be better off switching to a (minus 1?) wheel & tire combination. Michelin Arctic Alpins have gotten high praise from the BMW boards here on TH. I'd also advise on doing research on Brideston Blizzaks. I had these on my 1992 Beretta GT when I was in college in hilly, snowy, Ithaca, NY (winters very Michigan-esq and close to where himiler calls home) during my four years of college and was out on the roads with all the "townies" and their pick-ups and the "spoiled" Long Island kids and their SUVs. The Michelins may be better for regular everyday winter driving and the blizzaks may hold the advantage when trekking through snow and over ice.

    Other Hondas: I was tooling around through various car dealerships in near my parents' house. Since this is a Prelude topic, I'll stick with the Hondas I sat in. BTW, mileage is up over 700 now:)

    CRV- For around $20K (plus a little for the EX model) this little SUV seems to have lots of room on the inside. Best of all, it is available in a stick.

    Civic Si- Interior was comfortable. The rally style shifter is way cool. The gears are spaced so much closer then in the Prelude. Had lots of headroom. I'm not sure I can get past the looks of the headlights though. Something about them I don't like.

    S2000- I know know why Sphinx99 bought back his Prelude for utility purposes. Wow that car is small. It did fit my 5'11" 145lb frame very nicely though. It was Yellow/Black. I've got to drive one some day when I have more time:)

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • You answered one of the questions I'd been wondering, and that is whether 15 inch wheels would fit on a Prelude.

    My next question concerns the impact of changing from 16's to 15's for the winter. Do you have to get the speedometer recalibrated, or is it only off by a bit so that it's not a big deal?

    In the past few days I have been wondering what took me so long to buy a Prelude... best compliment so far came from a BMW 540 driver who told me what a "beautiful machine" I was driving. Gotta love it!
  • I've been using Arctic Alpins on the stock 16" rims on my 2001 Prelude, and I've had no problem in Boston winters -- moderate amounts of snow and occasional ice. If you have to do a lot of driving on ice, the Blizzaks are better, but they handle poorly on dry roads.
  • Just wanted to toss a note out to the group and let you know that I'm the proud owner of a '97 Prelude SH. I was looking for a sporty car, but didn't want to look like a "ricer" (I'm a bit old for that). I drove a bunch of other cars, mostly new "inexpensive" cars, but when I drove the Prelude I fell in love. For a lot less money than a Civic, Sentra SE-R, RSX, Elantra, Neon Rt, etc.

    What a great car! Quick, smooth and linear engine. Incredible suspension, and the ATTS is a blast.
    I got the car with only 41k miles on the clock, and it still looks new, inside and out. Aside from the two recalls that were done, the car has not failed once in its life. Kudos to Honda and their quality cars.
    I personally like the stereo in the car. It doesn't attain ear-spliting volumes but the bass is nice and tight and the highs sound clean.
    Anyway, I'll stop rambling. I just keep smiling every time I drive it.
  • I forgot on the last post, the car came with all new Michelin Pilot SX tires. They seem to grip the road well, but I haven't had the car out in a heavy rain yet (no snow here in FLA). They are fairly quiet too. I'm not looking forward to replacing them at $159 each. Ouch!
  • Congrats and welcome to the family!

    A few have had issues but by and large, I have yet to see any other car model generate the love-in-an-instant reaction that the Prelude seems to. The car seems as though it was designed for professional drivers.

    I spilled a little superglue on the passenger side seat and now it's formed a little white spot in one of the corners. Eek! It doesn't look like it's going to detach from the fabric and I'm not sure how to handle the situation.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    cowboy019 -- If you do a "minus 1" tire swap for winter tires, just make sure to find a tire in 195/60-15 size. The extra sidewall height compensates for the descrease in wheel diameter, resulting a minimal speedo difference (~2%) and no problem with the ABS system's operation.


    mikemo1964 -- When it comes time to replace those Pilot SX tires, look no further than the Bridgestone S-03 Pole Position. It's an amazing max-performance tire in both the wet and dry, and can be had for $127 each from http://tirerack.com in our OE size. I've been running a set since springtime, and they handle beyond belief and wear very well. They're also pretty quiet.


    sphinx -- try some acetone on your glue spill. Also, call the "comments/questions?" number on the back of the glue bottle, if there is one. The person who answers the phone might know the trick.

  • So, how many people have the "5th gear grind" problem. It is kind of freaking me out, but in a week of driving I haven't felt it on my '97 SH. Does anyone have a copy of the TSB?
    Thanks!!!
  • Although I haven't heard a grind (yet), I have noticed that getting the stick over to 5th or reverse requires a bit of force relative to the other gates. Is this a symptom of a future problem?

    I've heard of the "issues" surrounding the Prelude's shifter, but so far, other than the fact that 5th is a little stiff, it's "like buttah."
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    Many (but not all) of the folks who experience grinding/synchro failures tend to be fairly rough on the tranny, have done some significant power upgrades to their cars, or both.

    I've put 68,000 *ahem* spirited miles on my '01 since 10/15/01, and have no grinding troubles. On occaision, the shifter is reluctant to go into reverse (usually when cold), which is easily remedied by holding the clutch down, shifting into 4th, then up to 3rd, then back to reverse.

    When it was really cold last winter (below 20 degrees F), I would consistently get a bit of a "grabby" feeling on the 1-2 shift until the car warmed up, but never a grind.

    Never try to force the gearshift lever into a gear -- you'll bend your shift forks and cause yourself some major grief. If the shifts are sticky when the tranny's cold, just use a gentle touch and be patient until eveything's up to operating temp.

    Also, be sure to depress the clutch pedal all the way to the floorboard when shifting. (I know, I know, but you'd be amazed at how many people don't!)

    If actually moving the shift lever over to the 5th-reverse gear plane requires more effort than moving it back to the 1-2 plane, you might need to have the linkage return spring checked.

    But, if you're not hearing any grinding on a Prelude with more than 10,000 miles on it, you're not likely to ever hear it. Any synchro alignment/wear problems usually manifest themselves rather quickly, particularly after bolting on a forced-induction mod.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,390
    Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the board!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • Hi everyone, I just bought a 92 Prelude S. It has 130,000 miles and is in a good shape. AC is still cold. I want to know what do I need to notic? Except the timing belt, what else need to replace? I also want to get some data from you guys. What many sec from 0 to 60 and 60 to 0? Dose anyone install turbo on it?

    celica
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    There are lots of preventative-maintenance things you could do to the car, but they can add up to some decent $$ quickly.

    Auto or manual tranny? Either way, if you didn't get service records from the previous owner, assume the tranny needs a flush and fill. Same for the cooling system and and brakes. Change the water pump when you swap the timing belt, and the spark plugs, plug wires and distributor, too.

    Since it's the S model, it had 135hp when new in a fairly heavy car (~2700 lbs.). Allowing for compression losses over 10 years/130K miles, it will suffice to say that you should be more concerned about braking and handling than 0-60 times.

    Ahh, yes -- a turbo. I think you'd have better luck and better reliability (for less $$) if you could find a donor H22A from a wrecked VTEC Prelude to bolt in. I've never seen a turbo kit for the base engine, but I suppose one could be available. That said, even if you could find a kit, you'd have to put some big $$ into your engine just to keep the mechanicals from being destroyed by the additional stress from the turbo.

    The turbo idea sounds fun, but not very attainable. If you just want to go fast for a little while, get a bolt-in ZEX or NOS set-up, and plan on replacing the motor soon.
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