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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • 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 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?
  • 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: 11,317
    Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the board!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • 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?

  • 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.
  • It is manual. I think you are right. It is better to spend money on braking and handling. I hope the car will not bring me any major problem.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317

    Cut and paste (since I don't know how to create a link) the above url. One of the 2 cars pulled over for questioning in a plot to somehow bomb somewhere in South Florida is definitely a 5th generation Prelude.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    Good thing the trunk's so small -- not much room for explosives!
  • Have anyone installed the AEM pulley and cam gear? Is it worth to get one of those? I found it from JC Whitnet for $98.00 each.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    You can't get a good pulley set or cam gears from JC Whitney. Try the following dealers:

    I've had dealings with all three, and they're straight shooters.

    Cam gears aren't much good unless you buy custom-ground cams too. Cam gears are fairly inexpensive, but new, high-lift cams are not (~$700, and don't forget the stronger valve springs you'll need).

    Pulleys are a cheap way to get power, but you may experience your lights dimming when idling. Avoid getting a main crank pulley -- they tend to wreck crankshaft bearings.

  • I accidentally put in these H1 headlights that had some grease on them, anyway, when I turned on the headlights, they smoked and slightly stained both units. What I was wondering is can I take apart the units and clean them or do I have to get new ones. No one would notice except for me but I'm anal and just wanted to know. In case I do have to get new headlight units, how much do they run?
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    Bummer. I'm fairly sure that they are sealed units (to keep moisture from entering), and cannot be pulled apart.

    Here are the part #s and list prices for new ones:
    Left -- 33151-s30-a02 $282.63
    Right -- 33101-s30-a01 $282.63

    You might be able to get the parts for less online, if you shop around with the part #s.

    Good luck
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    bummer man. definitely shop around online.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • Yeah, total bummer. I keep looking at the headlights to see if they're bad (which they're not) but since it's my car and I'm anal, it's hard for me to deal with them. Anyway, thanks for the info guys... And btw, I priced a keyless entry system, no alarm, for 99 bucks installed. I'm not sure why the previous owner replaced the OEM system with an aftermarket one, but when I got the car, it wasn't working, so I had it removed. Do you guys think that's a good price?
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    If you want keyless entry, that sounds like a good price.

    Before I bought my Prelude, I would've said "No way! Put the money towards mods!" But, now I use the KE all the time, and would pay $100 to have it replaced.
  • I just replaced my stock RE92s with SO-3 Pole Positions, and I have to say that these are amazing tires. The cornering limits are so much higher than before, it's like owning a new car. I took my Prelude through some tight corners, at speeds where it always starts to slide on the RE92s, and the car handled like it was on rails. I haven't even come close to finding the limits of these tires.

    Acceleration from a standing start is equally impressive. With the RE92s, dropping the clutch at 4000 RPM always resulted in chirping and wheel hop. With the SO-3s, the result is strong, smooth acceleration.

    I had very high expectations for the SO-3s, and these tires have exceeded those expectations in every way...
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    Two thumbsup on the S-03's! They really let the Prelude do what it was designed for -- corner like a roller coaster. I still can't get over the quiet, comfortable ride they provide on the highway.

    I've got almost 30K on mine, and they're wearing like iron. Just be sure to rotate 'em with every oil change, and you'll have no trouble getting your money's worth.
  • You guys are making me jealous. I wish I knew what to do with these stock tires. I don't want to junk them when they're still relatively new; on the other hand, I have a feeling that it'll be a solid two years before they're in need of replacement. Hmmm....
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    Do what I did: practice your FWD drifting and throttle-steering techniques. ;)
  • I only put about 7000 miles on the RE92s, but I asked myself this: Would I rather waste the remaining tread on the RE92s, or the next two years of my life driving my Prelude at only half of its potential?

    It was an easy decision...
  • The RE92s will get me through this winter (yes, it's a horrifying thought, but it can be done) at which point (unfortunately) I think I'll get better tires. Eek!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    That's 2 positive reviews on the S-03s. I think I know what I will replace the RE92s with (If that time ever comes:). I've only got 2 months left on the lease of my Saab and there's a possible career change that would involve me driving (my Prelude) to work every day instead of taking the subway!

    Sphinx: Don't feel bad, I'm going to go through the winter with the stockies also. I'm sure it will take me at least 2 years to replace them. Having a Summer/Winter setup again will be cool. From the way my Murphy's law of a life usually goes: I've got a performance oriented vehicle (one not known for winter driving anyway as opposed to my current Saab and the 1998 Ford Explorer Sport it replaced), I may take a job that requires me to drive to work everyday (instead of the subway for the last 4+ years), and I don't plan on getting winter tires (15" Michelin Arctic Alpins right Himiler) for at least another year, we're due for one nasty winter here in NYC:)

    Blacktalon: You make an excellent point, I just don't have the funds right now for new tires. Thanks for the great review on the S-03s.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • Exactly for me as well. It's a matter of funds, and opportunity cost. I'd love the traction, but $500 would go a long way towards improved sound too. And, I also want to take a vacation to New Zealand next summer and beach-with-girlfriend is currently ahead of traction-on-curves in the Summer Money Sweepstakes.
  • I can certainly understand that. This is my major car-related purchase for the year. I'm not planning to buy a new car for a few years, so the SO-3s should keep me satisfied until then...
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