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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    Well, I'll try to help you out as much as I can from my own experience. One of the great things about a Prelude is that it is a HONDA first and foremost. I own a 2001 Milano Red Honda Prelude Type SH that I purchased brand new in April of 2002. It currently has a touch over 76,000 miles on it and I drive it back and forth to work 6 days a week. It is fun to fling it around corners and exit ramps when I am by myself and comfortable enough to drive from NYC to South Carolina. During the winter months I run the car with 4 snow tires and have yet to have any problems getting anywhere.

    Besides the first year that I only put about 5,900 miles on it, I've racked up a little more than 20,000 miles per year since then. I change the oil every 4,000 miles with full synthetic. My car still has the original brakes on it at 76,000 miles.

    I've made a few upgrades to the car. A few cosmetic and a few performance oriented. I've added Honda Fog Lights and a Pioneer Head unit with Sirius Satellite Radio and iPod adapter.

    Performance wise, the best thing I've done to the car was get new tires when the stock bridgestone Potenza RE-92s wore out.

    I currently run 4 Yokohama AVS ES100 tires for 3 seasons. What a difference in wet and dry traction and handling they make.

    I've also added an Apexi World Sport Cat Back Exhaust system (Stainless Steel). The tip is a little big for my tastes, but it is quieter than stock at idle and around town, but sounds so sweet when you open the car up.

    I had to replace my clutch at 52,000 miles last year and upgraded top a Centerforce Clutch. Take up feels the same and hopefully ti will last longer than the stock clucth did (No, I don't EVER race).

    The motor should easily be capable of 250 - 300 horsepower. I know Jackson Racing makes a supercharger for the Prelude and there are people who will Turbo your H22A, but those are both very expensive (If you live in the NYC area I could recommend someone).

    The Prelude is a very capable car from the factory. If you want to upgrade the car for your driving pleasure and maybe to autocross it, start with suspension mods and then add engine power later on. First I would put a good set of Z rated tires on the car (My Yokos were about $80 a piece from tire rack). The I'd get a Quaife Limited Slip Differential. Then I'd get a Rear Sway bar, then a front sway bar. I'm actually getting a front and rear sway bars installed sometime this later this month.

    As far as Base vs. Type SH goes. Go with the base (this comes from a Type SH owner). Besides ATTS, our cars have slightly firmer suspension setups. A base model will definitely be less expensive for you to buy. Modifications are much easier to find and will be cheaper to install on a base model.

    eg 1: The guy I deal with for performance parts searched ALL over for sway bars for my Type SH Prelude. He found 2 manufacturers. Everybody else and their mother make Sway bars for the base Prelude.

    eg 2: I lived in Manhattan for a little over 2 yeasr with my Prelude. Sat in bumper to bumper traffic every night, then had to drive around and look for a parking spot, stopping at every red light because the lights running east/west aren't synchronized. At 52,000 miles I was advised by my dealer that I had to replace the clutch. To replace the clutch on my Type SH Prelude required an extra 5 hours of labor to take out and re-install the ATTS unit.

    I love the car and can't say enough good things about it! With 76,000 miles on it, my Prelude is still as tight as the day I bought it. As with any used car, make sure you have it checked out by a mechanic and by CARFAX. Try and find one that has not been modified or slightly modified by the previous owner. Good luck and keep us posted!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • Thnaks for the info! I'm still a couple of months away from having my current car paid off so I can start looking but I'll keep you posted
  • :sick: I notice a strange noise in the front of the my 97 Prelude (base) only when the temp dips below about 40 degrees. It sounds like a loud clunk/thud by the front wheels/suspension when I start off in first gear from a complete stop. If it's cold enough the clunk sounds like the entire axle will come apart, or something like that. Also, if it's cold enough the clunk will occur when shifting to second gear. If it's not cold out, the only noise I ever hear is just squeaking going over speed bumps (like an old rocking chair). I get this car maintained according to recommendations, and everytime I take it to a mechanic, it's just my luck that the weather is never quite cold enough (I live in eastern NC). Obviously, I am not a mechanic, and know little about cars, so if you could--keep that in mind with any suggestions or advise. Thanks!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    To me (and my Prelude). I had Front and Rear Suspension Techniques Sway bars installed in my car on Thursday. WOW! What a difference! I thought the car handled well before....It corners so much sharper now! Turn in is crisper, I'm definitely carrying more speed through corners, there is so much less body roll, and the handling is so much more neutral! If you do ONE modification to your car....Go for Sway Bars! I'm completely in love with my car again!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • I've noticed for awhile now this slop or slack in the drivetrain between shifts. I don't think it's my shifting, I shift slowly and precisely. Anyone else notice this or is it just my car? I'll take it to Honda and see what they say.
    I'll have to keep that mod in mind NYC, thanks for the tip.+
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    Let me know what Honda says. How many miles do you have now? Is it almost time for an oil change? I definitely can tell by driving that oil change time is coming up soon. I hope it isn't your clutch.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • Well I have 30K on it. I don't think it's clutch related. It's just that I feel more "play" than should be there. I'll keep you posted. I won't take it in until next spring.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    What are you crazy? I haven't eevn put my winter wheels/tires on yet the weather here has been so good.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • a little bad weather, but I would have to agree it's been incredibly nice so far.I just drive my integra gs-r in the winter.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    What year is your GSR? How many miles are on it? What color is it? You've got 2 great old-school Hondas with the Prelude & the GSR.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • I have a 92 teal green GS-R. It has 103k on it. I LOVE that car, it's clean inside and out. I had the clutch recently replaced in it, and the independent honda/acura shop were in awe of the great shape it's in. I know I'm living in the past with these Honda's, but sad to say they don't make em like they used to ;)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    That's the 1st GSR they ever made. Definitely hold on to that car. It isn't just you...I think the same thing.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    over 77,000 miles, I still love my Prelude. I plan to keep driving it until the wheels fall off. But as a car nut I'm always thinking; what's next? If something devistating were to happen to my Prelude sometime in the near future (somebody borrows it without asking or a tree falls on it while it is parked), my short list would include:

    2007 Honda Civic Si Sedan
    2007 MazdaSPEED 3
    2004-2005 CPO BMW E46 330i w/ Performance Package
    2006 CPO BMW E90 330i w/ Sports Package

    If I get a serious influx of disposable income within the next 5 years, I want a Porsche Cayman.

    Happy Holidays!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • Hey everyone,

    I've been looking for a Prelude for a while now (in NJ) and have found one I want to buy.

    Its a base Honda Prelude 2000 (not SH).
    5 spd (manual)
    Color: Black
    Mileage : 55,000
    Clean carfax
    Single owner.
    There was a slight dent in the hood that seems to have happened from the car having gone under something.

    The car arrived at a local dealer's lot on 21st Dec (Thur). I came to know of it through a friend who was looking for a car himself, and the dealer mentioned they'd just got this Prelude (they're a big dealership). I dropped by on Friday without telling them I knew they had this car. I asked if they had ludes and they showed me the car and it looked in good condition. I test drove it on Saturday and it was good.

    They say they will have the car spruced up, have that dent removed and have it ready to go this week.

    Their price : $12,500
    KBB : $13,625
    nadaguides : $12,750
    edmunds : $11,200 Certified Used : $12,200
    I don't have a trade-in.
    It will be dealer-certified. so thats a 1 month warranty.

    On Saturday, I tried to bargain and made him an offer of 11,500. My argument was that it was not in *perfect* condition because it has been in some kind of accident (though its not in the carfax), as is evident from the dent in the hood. He did the "I'll speak to my boss" routine and said they couldn't go any lower than 12,500. His claim was that since they were doing the body work and stuff, they couldn't let it go for any lower. I said "OK. I'll have to think about this" and got up to leave.

    Then this happened:

    mgr: Jimmy says you want to leave because you're not getting a good price. I'll tell you. This car has got so many people interested, it will be gone once we have it ready.
    me: what?? a stick shift car that is out of production is in demand ?! I'm not buying that story.
    (As great as Preludes are, I know they don't sell fast and are not in demand by the common carbuyer)
    mgr:(laughs) in this area? points to another salesman and asks him "how many called this morning expressing interest in this car"
    other salesman : oh. so many of them
    mgr: see ? you can think about it and come back next week. If the car is still there, we'll see. OK?
    me: OK. tomorrow is Sunday and Mon is Christmas. You're saying the car will be sold in the holidays. yeah. right.
    mgr: no I'm saying that once we have it ready and have the car listed on the web site on Tuesday, it will be gone in no time.
    me: ok. thank you. I'll think about my options. Bye.

    The salesman says he'll walk me to my car and repeats what the manager told me "if the car is still there... blah blah".
    I shook hands and left.

    Now, my confusion:
    The price they're quoting is reasonable. But the kbb, nada pricings are slightly over 12.5k and edmunds is below that.

    Which price do I go by?
    What are my bargaining chips?
    What kind of information can I take to him, to get a better price?
    I've told them I'll want it tested by my mechanic and they're ok with it. I should not skip this step right?
    Any other suggestions on how I handle this?

    Dilemma : I really need a car now. I was in CA before, and got by on my motorcycle. Can't do that anymore, since I'm in NJ now. I'm taking the bus to work now. Since its the end of month and the year I thought I'd be able to get a good deal. Will these guys budge because of the end of year pressure? The car just came to their lot, so I'm thinking they may not be desperate to sell it by EOY.
    Should I wait longer (into Jan 2007) to see if the price drops?
    Or should I make a deal for around 12.5 and buy the car before someone else grabs it? I fear the crazy spenders who might just buy this car at the asking price blindly, thinking they're getting an awesome deal.

    whew. long mail. Thanks for those who stuck around to the end of my post :)

    Happy holidays!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    Sounds like a shady place.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    This dealership is trying every shady line in the book on you. I don't care if the car just got on their lot. They can't make any money on it if they don't sell it. $1000 off the asking price of a used car is not that much! For them not to take that offer is just plain GREEDY! They got the car one of 2 ways:

    1. They took it in on a trade in which I'm sure they told the guy it isn't worth more than $9000 because it is a stick and a sports car and it is winter time.

    2. They bought the car at an auction and probably paid $8000 - $8500 for it.

    They need to sell cars by years' end. Sports Coupes don't sell that well in the winter time here in the Tri-State Area (NY/NJ/CT).

    The people who are "snapping the Preludes up" are looking for older ones ('97-'99) with lots of miles (over 100K) who are looking to pick up a fun, inexpensive car for $6500 or less.

    Check out or I'm su're you'll get a better idea of the asking prices.


    Good Luck!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • Thanks for your input nyccarguy. I'll keep that in mind.
    any thoughts from others?
  • Yeah, there are other nice preludes out there. Keep looking. You might have to search further out, but it would be worth it for a nice, clean one. Good luck
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    of a car with a few miles on it. My '01 Type SH has over 77,000 miles on it and is still as tight as it was the day I took delivery (4/27/2002). The H22A engine dates back to 1993.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • The dealer is playing games with you, but so were you.

    If it is the car you want, ask yourself how much time are you willing to spend to save how much money. We sold our base '98, auto with 82k miles last summer for $7600. It was worth more last month. I think they will hold their value (and maybe appreciate) till there is another $10,000 high school kid car.

    Also, Preludes have thin hoods; someone may have leaned or sat on the hood.

    One negotiating tactic may be to ask if the timing belt has been changed. It is a 90,000 mile or 7 year maintenance item and will run close to $800 if you change the water pump and coolant. Unless they have documentation, assume it has not been changed.

    If the car is still there tomorrow and you still want it, offer what you think is reasonable and walk away if they are still adamant. Good Luck.
  • My 2000 Prelude has 70,000 miles and a burnt #2 piston. What will that due to the value of the car? Having it rebuilt. :sick: Other than that, is in excellent shape.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    Happy New Year everyone! As I filled up (why is gas going back up, $2.79 for super?) I realized that my Prelude is going to be with us for a L O N G time. Since our son was born, we've been taking my wife's Protege everywhere (for obvious reasons) on the weekend.

    The only driving I do in the Prelude is back and forth to work 6 days a week. My mileage will be cut down from 20,000 per year to a little ove 12,000.

    So I'm thinking of a new car plan. Keep the Protege for another 2 years. Replace it with maybe an Accord EX-L 4cyl w/ NAV. Keep the Prelude unil something catastrophic happens or I have enough money for a car for myself and get a really nice used E46 M3 Coupe :D

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • timothyawtimothyaw Posts: 148
    That M3 coupe sounds good :)
  • stevehsteveh Posts: 7
    Hello bellizi97, I have been experiencing the same issue with my 2001 Prelude (Base 5-spd, Nighthawk Black Pearl) for the last few winters here in northern NJ. No one at the dealership was able to find anything wrong with the suspension, though (and I rarely hear it during the spring and summer). Otherwise, the car has been wonderful and now has more than 92,000 miles. Did you have any luck finding out the cause?

    I finally paid it off back in August but I think I'll be holding onto it for awhile. :)

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    92K miles....nice! Did you buy it new? My '01 Type SH (Purchased new in late April '02) has over 77K miles & is still chugging along.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • stevehsteveh Posts: 7
    I bought my Prelude new, back in mid-August 2001. For a few years I drove it and a 2000 Accord V6 coupe (which I bought in late 1999 and sold early last year). Aside from a clutch replacement at around 50,000 miles, the Lude has been a delight. :shades:

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    I replaced mine at 52,000 miles. That was actually one time I wished I hadn't opted for the Type SH (ATTS unit had to be removed & re-installed in order for the clutch to be worked on. I didn't want to have the clutch worked on in another 50K after that repair bill, so I went with a Centerforce Clutch.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • stevehsteveh Posts: 7
    I'm hoping my current clutch (#2) will survive at least until after the timing belt change. How much did the Centerforce clutch parts cost vs. the ones for the OEM clutch?

    I once had a red 1996 Prelude Si (bought it new and traded it in for the Accord coupe a little over three years and 81,000 miles later) and never had any clutch issues. Aside from the AC compressor sometimes not working on hot days, every once in awhile I miss that car. :)

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,575
    I'll have to dig through my receipts, But I want to say around $400 just for the clutch. The Honda dealer where I have my car serviced said they'd only put the aftermarket clutch in if the installed a Genuine Honda Flywheel & Throwout bearing. After parts and labor, it was a rather large expense.

    I had my timing belt, timing belt tensioner, H2O Pump, Valve Cover Gasket, Spark Plugs, and a few other things changed as preventitive maintenance at about 72,000 miles (77,7XX currently). I had it done by the Speed/Sound Shop who put my Apexi World Sport Exhaust on, installed my pioneer radio, Sirius Radio Receiver, i-Pod adapter, and of course my favorite Suspension Techniques Sway Bars.

    It is January 16, & I still have my Summer Yokohama AVS ES100s on. Maybe there is snow in the forecast next week. When they say snow, I'll switch to my winter wheels/tires.

    So you switched from a Prelude to an Accord Coupe? What happened there? :P

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • I don't know what is causing the noise because we never were able to isolate it. What I do know is that it is a popping noise from the front end when accelerating from a complete stop. The noise occurs when the engine torques back and forth. Sometimes it happens when accelerating around a corner in 2nd gear as well. Any time the engine torques. The hardest thing about tracking down this noise is the fact that once the outside temperature reaches around 40 degrees or higher, it goes away completely. Things we checked that had no problem visually included: motor mounts, ball joints, sway bar and all front end components. What a mechanic saw that he thought might fix it is on the passenger side near the ball joint. There is a place where the subframe meets the chassis. On the driver's side, there was a minor amount of clearance between these two pieces of metal, but on the passenger side they were touching. The guy is convinced the noise is in the body/chassis as opposed to the suspension, so he suggested creating the same amount of clearance on the passenger side as we saw on the driver's side. He did that, but it still made the noise when it was cold enough. So, we're back to the drawing board.
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