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Old 04-17-2012, 01:31 PM   #1
MitchN
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Prelude of the Month
1st Generation FAQ, Specs & More

For anyone new to the 1st Generation Prelude or wanting to learn about them, I've compiled this FAQ to help out. This guides purpose is to help anyone from the noob to an experienced lude owner. It's compiled by topics so scrolled down to read them.

BASIC FAQ
PERFORMANCE FAQ

ENGINE SPECS
TRANSMISSION SPECS


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BASIC FAQ

Q: What is the Chassis code?
- SN

Q: When was the Prelude released?

- November-24th, 1978

Q:
What were the model years for the 1st Generation?

- 1979-1982

Q: Why are there claimed 1983 1st Generations?

- Only known source says Honda sold their existing inventory in early '83 to make room for the 2nd Generation Preludes. Most of this seems to be in the UK or Europe in general.

Q: What were the Production Numbers?
- Only the USDM market numbers are known. A total of 171,829 were sold from '79-82.
  • 1979 = 39,831 Cars
  • 1980 = 50,676 Cars
  • 1981 = 43,450 Cars
  • 1982 = 37,872 Cars
Q: What engines were available?
- 2 engine types existed throughout the cars production. The US & Japan received the 1.8l EK1 CVCC engine. Europe and the rest of the world received the 1.6l EL Non-CVCC engine. The EK1 experienced 3 different variations through the 4 years while the EL stayed virtually the same. The EK1 was shared from the 1st gen accords.

Q: What transmissions were available?
- All 1st gens had 5-speed transmissions while the automatics were either a 2spd or 3spd Hondamatic, depending on what year and engine you had. The 5spds in the EK1 were the same as the transmissions used in the Accords accordingly to it's year.

Q: What is CVCC?
- Click Here

Q: Were they fuel injected?

- No, the 1st generations featured Keihn Carburetors (2 barrel or 3) with either manual or automatic chokes. Fuel Injection was not introduced to the Preludes until 1985 in the "Si" models.

Q: Did it have wishbone suspension?
- No, it featured MacPherson struts in the front, Chapman struts in the rear. Suspension was all independent. The front anti-roll bar was unique as it not only aided the car in keeping it's wheels planted to the ground but acted as a radius rod for the front.

Q: What is the differences between the JDM, EDM & USDM models?
- Lots!!! Between all three of them, the Japanese models had the most options and color choices out of any of the other markets. EDM models were the least in changes from '79-82 while the USDM received a facelift in 1981. The most major change came from the revision of the dashboard, gauge layout and taillights.

Q: What color options were available?

- For the US market:
1979
  • St. Moritz Silver Metallic (NH-62M)
  • Tudor Red Metallic (R-38M)
  • Inverness Blue Black Metallic (B-14M)
1980
  • St. Moritz Silver Metallic (NH-62M)
  • Tudor Red Metallic (R-38M)
  • Longleet Gold Metallic (YR-41M)
1981
  • St. Moritz Silver Metallic (NH-62M)
  • Tudor Red Metallic (R-38M)
  • Windsor Blue Metallic (B-23M)
1982
  • Arctic Silver Metallic (NH-79M)
  • Paisley Red Metallic (R-43M)
  • Windsor Blue Metallic (B-23M)
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PERFORMANCE FAQ

Q: Are there any engines that will swap right in?
- No, nothing exists that will swap right in using the preludes stock mounts. Rumors have been made about the ED & ER 1.6l engines swapping in, only needing the support beam underneath to be custom fabricated. Also a rumor stands about the A20 being swappable but no one has done this. User CraigB is the only known member to have swapped a DA integra B18A1 into the SN using custom made engine mounts and many other small components to make it work.

Q: Are there kits available for an engine swap?

- No, none on the market.

Q: Can I fuel inject my EK/EL?
- Rumors stand about the Honda City Turbo's manifold and head to fit on the EK/EL block but extensive modification is needed to add the ECU and sensors.

Q: What options do I have in Carburetors?
- Webers Carburetors have become the most popular choice in the last few decades due to their adapter kits that allow almost anyone to bolt them up to the existing manifold. Currently REDLINE in California offers the Weber carbs with adapter kits to bolt right on. The Weber 32/36 DGEV downdraft is the most popular for it's quick power and great fuel economy, while the Weber 40 DCOE sidedrafts are used for increased power and aesthetics. Click HERE for a tutorial on how to install a 32/36 DGEV on your SN.

Q: Transmission choices?
- Swapping final gears out of the A20 and A18's from 2G Ludes and 3G Accords are a popular fix for some increased acceleration while rumors stand that the A20 transmission will bolt up with only one bolt hole not lining up. Civic transmission will NOT swap over.

Q:
Suspension choices?

- Currently King Springs in Australia is the only known company who is still producing suspension upgrades for the SN. NOS Koni, Gabriel and ACDelco struts cartridges are floating around on ebay while KYB still sells strut cartridges at Advance Auto Parts or Autozone.

Q: How can I lower my SN?
- Either buy a set of King Springs lowering springs or cut the springs to the desired height. HERE is a tutorial on how to cut the springs picture by picture.

Q: What's a good sounding muffler for my SN?
- It all depends on what your preferences are and if you want to be loud, aggressive or quiet sounding. Many options are the market but none are made for the SN, so it would have to be custom fabricated.

Q: Brake Upgrades?
- Yes, you have a few options in upgrading yours brakes. Currently the '84 Accord front brake swap is popular due to it's larger caliper, rotor size and vented rotors (ours are solid). Click HERE for more information on the swap. EF Civic /DA integra front brakes have been rumored to fit our hubs but no one has recorded proof of this. DA integra rear discs will fit on our rear spindles with the need of a spindle adapter. Click HERE to read more about it. 2nd gen lude '84-87 rear discs will fit on our spindles. Larger holes will have to be drilled in the caliper adapter from the 2nd gens to accommodate for the 1st gens 10mm bolts.

Q: Why does my SN have lug bolts instead of lug nuts like traditional cars?
- Welcome to the quirky time of Honda's involvement in the European market. No one knows exactly why Honda chose to use this setup only for the 1st gen but fingers are pointed to the admiration Honda was giving Volkswagen in the late 70's to implement this design. Lug studs can be bought and threaded into place using locktite to solve this issue or studs from a late 80's Honda can be pressed in the hub.

Q: Are there any other good upgrades I can perform on my SN?
- Some parts from the Civic ED engines will swap over and could yield some power gains. Vintage adjustable cam gears from the 1st gen civics have been found to fit our heads while some aggressive cams meant for the 1st gen accords will fit. Ebay is your best friend for discovering items that may be still floating in the used car part market. The EL heads are an extremely popular option for increased horsepower when mated to the 1.8l EK block. They will bolt up (be sure to have the EL intake and exhaust manifold) and with no CVCC and 4 extra valves, the head flows smooth and has less mechanical parts to move.

Q: Did they make a turbo kit for our SN?

- Yes, but they weren't directly available for our cars. During the late 70's, Jackson Racing meddled into turboing the EK in the accord with great results but kept blowing the head gaskets. Kits were sold and some may still be out on the market today. Stories are told of Mr. Jackson himself making trips to Canada to pick up EL heads to be tested with the turbos.

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ENGINE SPECS

The EK1 was an SOHC 12-valve (CVCC) engine, displacing 1.8 L (1751 cc). Output varied (see below) as the engine went through a few different revisions, including cylinder head iterations and compression bumps during the Prelude production run. Most notably was the introduction of the CVCC-II in mid year of 1980. It was offered only in Japanese and US markets. All other markets received the 1.6l EL engine which had non CVCC but only 8-valves.

* 77 mm bore x 94 mm stroke
* Cast iron block & aluminum cylinder head
* Three barrel Keihin carburettor (all were automatic choke)
* Electronic ignition
* Oil cooler (or provision for this in the block)

1979-1980 EK1 CVCC-I


- Six port cylinder head (4 intake port / 2 exhaust ports)for 1979 (49 states & California) & early 1980 models (49 states only)
  • Displacement - 1751cc (107cu.in)
    77 mm bore x 94 mm stroke
    Compression - 8:0:1
    HP - 72 @ 4500 RPM (68 @ 4500 RPM w/ Hondamatic)
    Torque - 94 ft·lb @ 3000 rpm (94 @ 3500 RPM w/ Hondamatic '79 models/ 94 @ 2500 RPM w/ Hondamatic '80 models)
    Carburetion - 3-Barrel Downdraft Carburetor
    Cooling - Liquid Cooled - Thermostat Controlled Fan

- Eight Port cylinder head (4 intake port / 4 exhaust ports)for later 1980 models (1980 California models only). This is the same for all '81 EK1 CVCC's, see notes below.

1981 EK1 CVCC-IIa


- Eight Port cylinder head (4 intake port / 4 exhaust ports)valve order for (50 states & California)

  • Displacement - 1751cc (107cu.in)
    77 mm bore x 94 mm stroke
    Compression - 8:8:1
    HP - 75 @ 4500 RPM (68 @ 4500 RPM w/ Hondamatic)
    Torque - 96 ft·lb @ 3000 rpm
    Carburetion - 3-Barrel Downdraft Carburetor
    Cooling - Liquid Cooled - Thermostat Controlled Fan


1982 EK1 CVCC-IIb

- Eight Port cylinder head (4 intake port / 4 exhaust ports) with revised intake and exhaust layout from 1982 to end of CVCC production in 1985

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TRANSMISSION SPECS

All 1st Generation Preludes came equipped with a standard 5-speed or optional Automatic (aka Hondamatic). Manuals were labeled from factory as "GK", Automatics were labeled "AK". Gear ratios were similar to the 1st Generation Accord at the time as it probably was easier for the factory to use what was already there. Gear ratios or housing setups have not been confirmed to be Accord EK1 Transmissions. Each production year of the prelude seemed to offer something new in its gearing. 1979 was the only year a 2speed automatic was offered, later years offered a 3speed.

Gear Ratios for USDM transmissions, straight from the Honda shop manuals.

1979
  • Manual
    3.181 - 1st
    1.842 - 2nd
    1.200 - 3rd
    0.896 - 4th
    0.718 - 5th
    4.384 - Final
    3.000 - Reverse
    Automatic
    1.565 - 1st
    0.903 - 2nd
    2.054 - Reverse
1980
  • Manual
    3.181 - 1st
    1.842 - 2nd
    1.200 - 3rd
    0.896 - 4th
    0.718 - 5th
    4.384 - Final
    3.000 - Reverse
    Automatic
    2.380 - 1st
    1.560 - 2nd
    1.032 - 3rd
    3.588 - Final
    1.954 - Reverse
1981
  • Manual
    3.181 - 1st
    1.944 - 2nd
    1.291 - 3rd
    0.928 - 4th
    0.774 - 5th
    4.214 - Final
    3.000 - Reverse
    Automatic
    2.380 - 1st
    1.500 - 2nd
    0.969 - 3rd
    3.875 - Final
    1.954 - Reverse
1982
  • Manual
    3.181 - 1st
    1.944 - 2nd
    1.291 - 3rd
    0.896 - 4th
    0.718 - 5th
    4.071 - Final
    3.000 - Reverse
    Automatic
    2.380 - 1st
    1.560 - 2nd
    0.969 - 3rd
    3.588 - Final
    1.969 - Reverse
__________________
"I don't always lose, but when I do, it's to bitchin' first gens like this one! " - BA5

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1982 Nissan Blue B18 SN- DD
1982 Paisley Red Metallic SN - Parted Out
1981 St. Mortiz Silver SN - Sunday Driver
1981 Windsor Blue Metallic - Parted Out
1980 Tudor Red Metallic RHD SN - In Restoration
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