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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked this up last week and am in the beginning of the restoration. I am still in the preliminary phases of the tune up and assessing what I have.

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Overall the body is in bad condition. I have a lot of work to do there. I think I will keep it the factory red, but possibly add some pearl flake. TBD.

The engine bay had some mouse activity. I found their nest, and a bunch of tree debris in the engine bay and got that out of there. They had chewed part of the harness, but didn’t do too much damage there. They did get through the ground wire a bit, but I will eventually be upgrading the grounds to a thicker guage.

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Here is an image of all the pine cones and other debris I removed from the engine bay.

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The power steering pump didn’t have a belt on it — and I found the original in the trunk with two rebuild kits. So it seemed like there had been some trouble. I took the pulley off the pump, and it looks like the kid I bought it from had installed a carbone replacement pump, and tried to JB Weld the oil seal lmao.

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Who else is surprised that didn’t work.

I have a new oil seal on the way, the honda one. Because the rebuild kit ones are not nearly as robust as the honda one I inspected from the original pump. I pulled the newer pump apart and the seals are all good. Hope the new seal will take care of that. Other than that I started cleaning up all the power steering fluid that is literally all over the place.

I changed the oil today and the oil smelled of gas. Not so great. So I started down that list. Guessing the oil hasn’t been changed in the two years the kid I bought it for owned it given the color. I haven’t pulled the injectors yet, but I pulled the spark plugs and they were crunchy.

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The distributes wires were also pretty toasted so I replaced that setup with some NGK wires and plugs. While they were out I also did a compression test. Unfortunately I forgot to open the throttle when I tested, but the numbers were much better than I expected. According to the manual 179 at wide open throttle is still within serviceable limits. Not sure how much the open throttle would increase it, maybe a few percent, but I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll post the images in a second post as I’ve reached max image uploads!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Here are the compression numbers. Even across the board more or less, so good news there.

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The second to last photo shows some of the cleanup progress in the engine bay as well!

I need to get the car inspected in the next 8 days (NYC) so I am trying to get dealt with. It needs a new CV axel as it is very crunchy (took it for its first test drive yesterday). I have the axel and will get that in this weekend.

Still need to change the coolant, break fluid and transmission fluid. New break pads and a new O2 sensor and I should pass inspection.

Not sure why the abs light is on, but I’ll figure that out soon enough.

Big future plans include :
Full Body Restoration
Full Interior Restoration
4WS Conversion - Got the parts from a great guy in NC. On the way!
Ksport Coilovers - Just arrived from 1funryd
Basic fun stuff like Blue Tooth Touch Screen Head Unit, Upgraded Audio, New Wheels
Engine Swap : On the fence between a B series swap (most likely a B20vtec, but the b18 type r engines are also interesting although they have less torque) or an H22 swap. Either way I’ll upgrade to an LSD transmission. Plan on keeping the engine NA. Will eventually build the head, and do some basic bolt ons and a tune to get the most out of a reliable setup.

Lots to do. A thorough cleaning this weekend and finishing up the tune up. Probably missing a lot but will update the thread as I chip away.
 

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1991 Honda Prelude Si ALB
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Awesome! I will be following this! How many miles are on the car? Also are you going to keep the alb? I have a 91 si alb Too but it is an auto trans. The 4ws swap will be pretty cool to see!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! It has 252k currently.

I am planning on keeping the ALB as long as I can figure out what is causing the light! Assuming it is something simple, but I haven’t read up on it yet so tbc.

Prelude3g.com has a great writeup on the 4ws conversion, so that with the 91 service manual I picked up on eBay will be my guide.
 

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1991 Honda Prelude Si ALB
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Thanks! It has 252k currently.

I am planning on keeping the ALB as long as I can figure out what is causing the light! Assuming it is something simple, but I haven’t read up on it yet so tbc.

Prelude3g.com has a great writeup on the 4ws conversion, so that with the 91 service manual I picked up on eBay will be my guide.
My 91 si has 182,000 on it. The abs light comes on when we drive half a mile and then stays on. I read on here that it has to do something with the motor for the alb

Here is a good thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Amazing! Thank you for the info. I’ll give that a read and see what I find with my setup. I admittedly know nothing about the system, so hopefully any possibility of it malfunctioning is fixable.

I’m jealous of your stock blades. I’m keeping my eyes out for a set but it is a hard find to say the least.
 

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1991 Honda Prelude Si ALB
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Amazing! Thank you for the info. I’ll give that a read and see what I find with my setup. I admittedly know nothing about the system, so hopefully any possibility of it malfunctioning is fixable.

I’m jealous of your stock blades. I’m keeping my eyes out for a set but it is a hard find to say the least.
They are pretty nice wheels. I would look on facebook marketplace.
 

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The original, gen 1 NSX has the exact same ALB system and the best way to fix it is to change it with the 2002 and newer NSX ALB system.
The pumps go bad and the parts are virtually impossible to get or have rebuilt.
I changed the ALB system on my NSX and that was expensive but the only way to do it reliably.
The brakes will still work ok on the Prelude with the light on, just no ALB.
If you can just do away with it that's the best way to go.

Cheers
nigel
 

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1991 Honda Prelude Si ALB
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The original, gen 1 NSX has the exact same ALB system and the best way to fix it is to change it with the 2002 and newer NSX ALB system.
The pumps go bad and the parts are virtually impossible to get or have rebuilt.
I changed the ALB system on my NSX and that was expensive but the only way to do it reliably.
The brakes will still work ok on the Prelude with the light on, just no ALB.
If you can just do away with it that's the best way to go.

Cheers
nigel
On my prelude I don’t think I have power brakes. When I put my foot on the brake and turn the car on nothing happens to the pedal. The brakes aren’t touchy at all. Could that just be the booster or something else?
 

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Sounds like the master cylinder or the brake booster has a problem. With the ALB system there’s more variables to consider. The pump not pressurizing the system, the pressure dome no inflating the bladder inside or holding pressure, the valves in the manifold sticking or stuck, Try the flush for that, etc, etc, which is why the NSX fix is change the system to the 2002 and newer version. Don’t think that’s an option with the Prelude.
I just live with the ALB light on and my brakes work as normal brakes.
All the 90 / 91s have some kind of power assisted brakes. I’m sure the ALB does.
The pedal should move as/after the engine starts.

Cheers
nigel
 

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1991 Honda Prelude Si ALB
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Sounds like the master cylinder or the brake booster has a problem. With the ALB system there’s more variables to consider. The pump not pressurizing the system, the pressure dome no inflating the bladder inside or holding pressure, the valves in the manifold sticking or stuck, Try the flush for that, etc, etc, which is why the NSX fix is change the system to the 2002 and newer version. Don’t think that’s an option with the Prelude.
I just live with the ALB light on and my brakes work as normal brakes.
All the 90 / 91s have some kind of power assisted brakes. I’m sure the ALB does.
The pedal should move as/after the engine starts.

Cheers
nigel
The pedal doesn’t move when I turn the car on. Do you think I should just spend the $70 And buy a brake booster?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alright. Today was more of the tuneup. I got the throttle body more or less cleaned up (didn’t go too crazy).

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I replaced the air filter and found more mouse activity. How they even got into the air filter box is more or less impressive. While the intake tubing was out I gave it and the surrounding area a bit of a clean. Engine bay is looking a bit cleaner at this point but a lot more to do.

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The driver side door is the other nightmare the previous owner tried to “fix” I got the door panel off to assess the situation. They didn’t get the regulator in correctly, and so they decided to drill out the holes to make them larger… I was able to take the motor apart and clean up the contacts and the brushes. I tested the motor and it is healthy. I siliconed the rails and got them moving smoothly. The interior door panel is pretty bent from them trying to force the window up and down so I tried to force that back a bit. I didn’t get to mounting the thing because I need to do some more reading on how it all should be assembled. One of the clips for the window was installed backwards — so it wasn’t one of those put it back how you took it apart kind of things.

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I also got the new o2 sensor today so I got that in. Super fun one as always. I couldn’t get it to budge from underneath, so I got the wires and took a deep socket with a universal and three extensions and was able to snake it from the top. I had to use the five foot bar from my jack to get enough leverage but I got it done.

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I don’t have an oil filter wrench, and I realized that I had a slow leak from the filter I installed yesterday, so i tried to tighten that up a bit as well.

I also tightened the wax ring on the FIV and that fixed my idle issue. So now no check engine light, and the engine is running really well. Doing this all during my lunch and after work so little bits at a time but any progress is a positive thing.

That’s it for now.
 

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Alright. Today was more of the tuneup. I got the throttle body more or less cleaned up (didn’t go too crazy).

View attachment 31802

I replaced the air filter and found more mouse activity. How they even got into the air filter box is more or less impressive. While the intake tubing was out I gave it and the surrounding area a bit of a clean. Engine bay is looking a bit cleaner at this point but a lot more to do.

View attachment 31803
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View attachment 31806

The driver side door is the other nightmare the previous owner tried to “fix” I got the door panel off to assess the situation. They didn’t get the regulator in correctly, and so they decided to drill out the holes to make them larger… I was able to take the motor apart and clean up the contacts and the brushes. I tested the motor and it is healthy. I siliconed the rails and got them moving smoothly. The interior door panel is pretty bent from them trying to force the window up and down so I tried to force that back a bit. I didn’t get to mounting the thing because I need to do some more reading on how it all should be assembled. One of the clips for the window was installed backwards — so it wasn’t one of those put it back how you took it apart kind of things.

View attachment 31805

I also got the new o2 sensor today so I got that in. Super fun one as always. I couldn’t get it to budge from underneath, so I got the wires and took a deep socket with a universal and three extensions and was able to snake it from the top. I had to use the five foot bar from my jack to get enough leverage but I got it done.

View attachment 31807

I don’t have an oil filter wrench, and I realized that I had a slow leak from the filter I installed yesterday, so i tried to tighten that up a bit as well.

I also tightened the wax ring on the FIV and that fixed my idle issue. So now no check engine light, and the engine is running really well. Doing this all during my lunch and after work so little bits at a time but any progress is a positive thing.

That’s it for now.
Man your engine bay looks way better than mine. What did you use to clean it? Just degreaser?
 

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I did the ALB brake fight for the longest time and that’s why I finally just settled on the ALB light being on and no ALB.
Before buying parts or trying to find them, look at the flushing and bleeding procedure in the Frequently Asked Questions section. There’s a good write up on how to do it and maybe that’ll free up any stuck solenoids if that’s the problem. You should be able to hear the pump run if it still works.

Cjeers
nigel
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Nigel,

I haven’t gotten around to the ABS but the light is intermittent, so I think it is probably a solenoid. There is also no fluid in the reservoir, so I think a flush and refresh might fix that issue.

Yeah Sam. Degreaser and elbow grease. A few days ago this was one of the dirtiest bays I’ve come across. A few hours of cleaning goes a long way.
 

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Thanks Nigel,

I haven’t gotten around to the ABS but the light is intermittent, so I think it is probably a solenoid. There is also no fluid in the reservoir, so I think a flush and refresh might fix that issue.

Yeah Sam. Degreaser and elbow grease. A few days ago this was one of the dirtiest bays I’ve come across. A few hours of cleaning goes a long way.
Nice. My engine bay is a mess because I guess a valve cover gasket let go a few years ago and there is oil that looks like peanut butter everywhere. The head shield for the exhaust is the worst. It is going to be a pain but it will look good and be worth it.

How are you going to flush the abs system? Are you going to buy the bleeder t tool for it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Me too R-DOG. I do have faith though, as the guy I got them from has been around preludes for 20 years or so and knows what he is doing. The parts came in on Friday but I haven’t been able to go through them yet.

I also got my shipment of a new hood and sunroof assembly from @3rdmemberofOUTKAST. Thank you for getting those too me so quickly!


Today was focused on fixing the sunroof. Given the damage on the hood and the sunroof, it seems like a tree must have fallen on this car. I think after that, the original owner sold it to the owner I purchased it from, who tried to do some fixes and gave up on it after having it for two years.

The sunroof had some glass tape on it to keep it from giving way, and it wouldn’t open or close. I found that the clip on the drivers side guide rail had broken, causing it to not open or close.

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The assembly i got from 3rdmemeber was in a bit rougher shape then mine, so I took the glass and the driver side guide rail and used them in my setup. I was able to remove the interior weather guard from the broken sunroof and swapped that with the new one as it was in better shape.

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I unfortunately broke two of the plastic clips when I removed the interior trim to get the headliner out, but I was able to fix them with some CA glue.

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Getting it adjusted was a lot more finicky then I assumed it would be/ Still not perfect - it is a bit cocked, even thought the adjusters are maxed out to try and fix it. Not sure what to do about that but got it in and it works well.


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Tons of parts have come in. I think I got all the bushings, tie rods, ball joints for my 4ws swap and suspension overhaul. Got the 1funryd seatbelt kit today. New headlights, a less broken rear tail ight assembly, and a bunch of other little stuff.

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The glove box was broken so I got that open. Inside was a mouse nest, two plastic straws and a belly button ring. I got a used glove box, swapped out the lock so it will work with my key and got that installed. Forgot to take a photo of it after I installed it.

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I started on the headlights and assessing why my front driver's side fog light was leaking. I got that taken apart and cleaned up. Unfortunately it has a freeze thaw crack so I'll replace that at some point.

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I started the headlight assembly restoration. The headlights.were.missing the weather cap so the connectors where in rough shape. Used some contact cleaner, picks and files and got them cleaned up. Also took the interior housings off the car and got one of them prepped for paint. Found putting a brass brush on my drill press made it easier on the hands. I'm going to.use a sealing primer and Rust-Oleum for these as they aren't visible and just want to get them rust free. I'll see how that holds up in a couple years.

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Planning to try and get a number of things done tomorrow. A lot to do before it goes for paint next month.
 

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