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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

As I'm sure like most of you, I have a special place in my heart for Preludes, specifically 3rd gens.

Brief synopsis of the story: The first car I ever owned was an '87 Ford Tempo. Then, I found a white '89 Prelude Si 5-spd, and was able to make it my second-ever car, from late my senior year of High School (1998), through completing college (2002). I sold my prelude, for a 1997 Honda Civic 5-spd when I got a job out of college. I traded in the Civic, for an '03 VW GLI VR6 6-spd, then traded that in for an '08 GTI 2.0 Turbo 6-spd, and then traded that in for an '09 CC VR6 4Motion Luxury, which is what I still drive to this day.

For the past 5 or so years, I've been starting to envision reuniting with my former vehicles, and having the fleet of vehicles for driving, in which I could pick from, to venture on a summer drive from time to time. Each vehicle that I've owned has sentimental value, some more than others. Trips with friends, installing radios with friends, dates with my one girlfriend, who I married. Also, my cousin (who is more like a brother), also had a 3rd Gen, the same time I did, so we spent some time working on them together. Lots of wonderful memories.

So, my desire to reunite with vehicles is pretty strong, but I am only seeking to reunite with some, not all. The '87 Tempo, and '97 Civic don't make the list, even though they were appreciated, they just don't have the same level of attachment. So, in order of sentimental value, here is "The List":

1. 1989 Honda Prelude Si 5-speed (White/Black cloth interior)
2. 2003 VW Jetta GLI VR6 6-speed (Black/Black cloth interior)
3. 2008 VW GTI 2.0T 6-speed 4-dr (Black/Dark Grey Leather)

If I could only pick 2 out of 3, I'd leave the GTI behind. Because the GLI was the first German vehicle I ever drove, and the VR6 was simply magnificent. It was more breakthrough for me as an eye-opening experience.

Here is the Prelude that I used to own, back in college:

OK - that was NOT a brief synopsis, but here we are...

About 3-4 months ago, I decided that I was going to find a Prelude first, so I started focusing on the search. I started joining FB groups for 3rd Gen Preludes, and through the course of that, someone commented on one of my posts and tagged a guy named Isaac Z, and said: "Hey you should sell him yours!" A couple more posts were exchanged, and I was added to a local FB chapter for Prelude owners. A couple weeks later, I saw that Isaac Z was going to a 'Cars and Coffee' event on Sept 28th. I had never been to any car shows, but decided that I wanted to check it out, so I went. Isaac and I met up about half way through the show, and afterward, we took a look at his 3rd gen and just looking at it was so fun. After this, I knew I had to find one.

The search intesified. I live in Ohio, and all of the ones that I found around here, or relatively close by, all had rust, which is something that I really wanted to avoid. I didn't want to go with a 90 or 91 either. I really, really, wanted to stick with the same model I had back when I was in college. And it had to be white, because, well, mine was white. At least I know what I want, right?

I thought - yo, dummy - check YouTube for people that have restored a 3rd gen. Enter @OhYeahAboutThat - Mike Mulligan. I found his series : . I sent him a DM on Instagram after watching the first video, he almost immediately replied and we've been messaging / talking ever since. Mike has guided me away from several options that I was interested in, due to things he noticed quickly, that I would have overlooked, which was really wise, I owe him huge!

So, that brings us to 16 days ago, Oct 12th. I found an '89 White Si 4WS 5-speed for sale on Facebook Marketplace in South Carolina. :D

As luck would have it, the town the vehicle was listed in, was about 30 minutes from where one of my life-long best friends works. I reached out to my friend, Kevin, and asked if I could coordinate a meet-up, if he'd be willing to take a look at it, and take it for a spin. He was in!

I coordinated with the seller and Kevin, and then on Oct 15th, Kevin checked out the vehicle in-person, going through a laundry list of items to check, and took it for a brief spin around the parking lot. After talking with Kevin, and also getting Mike's opinion, I decided that I wanted to make an offer.

The next day, Oct 16th, the buyer and I agreed on a price. On Oct 18th, money exchanged hands, title was signed over, and then Kevin drove it to his work's parking lot.

Oct 23rd, the trucking company picked up the vehicle, and it began its trek to Ohio.

Oct 24th, Thursday, at 4:10 PM, the Prelude was delivered. I paid the man for the delivery (I used Montway, and had a fantastic experience), and drove the car into my driveway. Then took this photo:

This thread will be my attempt to document and describe the restore process, which I hope will be helpful / enjoyable to someone. I'll definitely enjoy it, because, as weird as it may sound, I remember the smell of the interior. When I first opened the door and sat in it - memories came flooding back.

My goal for this project, as it stands now - is to restore this vehicle to the exact setup I had, when I was in college. Which is stock, except for the head-unit and speakers. This car is 4WS, whereas mine was not, but that's just a bonus :D

15 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The Plan


The car is 30 years old, and it doesn't look like it's been washed / cleaned / vacuumed in quite a long time. Years?

I'm a spreadsheet guy as it helps me put order to the world, and while I work on building that spreadsheet out, I figure this is the rough order of things:

1. Cleaning - Wash, Vacuum, Clean Engine Bay
2. Air Filter Replacement (DONE)
3. Cat-back Exhaust Replacement - Holes in Flex-pipe, resonator, and muffler. (DONE)
4. Tires (Will be done this week)
5. Suspension (Bushings, Ball Joins & Coilovers)

1. 1/2 Done with the hood:

Fuel Door (my word...)

2. Air Filter Before:


3. Exhaust:

4. Tires that are going on: AZENIS RT615K+ - SIZE: 195/60R14

What's on there now... YIKES!

5. Bushings, Ball Joints, and Coilovers:

Here goes!

521 Posts
Looks like previous owner didn't care much about this vehicle. Hopefully it's going to see better days soon. Good luck with the build .
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