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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well back in 2015 I had a black 1988 4ws. It was damn near perfect and I was building it just right, getting everything done the right way and BAM! Me and my beautiful got pregnant with twins so I unfortunately had to sell it. Now a few years later and I’ve finally got another prelude and I’m starting anew. It isn’t 4ws but it’s still a prelude. 😎 with all the bad stuff I’ve heard about rebuilding a B21A1 I’d sure love any input or advice you guys have. Thanks and let the restoring begin!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry for the delay everyone. With everything going on it’s been really slow going. This is the only thing I’ve been doing since my last post and even then it’s little by little lol. Aside from this I’ve inspected the trunk space and interior for rust and anything else that might need to be fixed/patched. Glad to report that I’ve found no rust. The interior has been cleaned and prepped for when I finally drive it 😎 I was also able to acquire some door speaker covers to replace the ones missing. I’ll try and get in it more now that things are calming down. Any suggestions on valve cover color?
 

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Sorry for the delay everyone. With everything going on it’s been really slow going. This is the only thing I’ve been doing since my last post and even then it’s little by little lol. Aside from this I’ve inspected the trunk space and interior for rust and anything else that might need to be fixed/patched. Glad to report that I’ve found no rust. The interior has been cleaned and prepped for when I finally drive it 😎 I was also able to acquire some door speaker covers to replace the ones missing. I’ll try and get in it more now that things are calming down. Any suggestions on valve cover color?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I went to go pull out the cv’s to pull the engine and tranny and realized the boots were ripped and also how bad my ball joints were. So parts are ordered and suspension is being prepped for cleaning, paint and new parts. Gonna clean up the wheel well too while I’m at it.
 

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!990 Honda Prelude 2.0Si, 1989 Honda Prelude 2.0Si 4ws, 1990 Honda Prelude Si 4ws, etc.
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Bump. How's it coming along, man? I am starting a similar project - have 2 ludes to fix up. Have a '90 with a B21A1, manual, has a hole in the block from the previous owner, and an '89 auto with a snapped timing belt. Both are 4ws and in need of similar TLC. My current driver is a '90 2.0Si manual...but it's becoming unsafe to drive due to some particularly cancerous rust on the driver's side front strut tower - it's BAD. So bad that I'm not going to attempt to fix it, even though the car runs well. The plan is to take the running engine and transmission out of my current driver, transfer it to the '89 and make it the runner. As for the '90 with the hole in the block, I currently have a B21A1 block on a stand in my garage from the last such project (the head had a burnt valve, compression was awful, most of the seals were shot, burned or leaked a ton of oil, etc. The block, however, is perfectly fine, so it occurs to me that I could rebuild that one, use the head off the one with the hole in it, and make another complete running car for myself, then the '89 will go to my kid, who wants it really badly. XD
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bump. How's it coming along, man? I am starting a similar project - have 2 ludes to fix up. Have a '90 with a B21A1, manual, has a hole in the block from the previous owner, and an '89 auto with a snapped timing belt. Both are 4ws and in need of similar TLC. My current driver is a '90 2.0Si manual...but it's becoming unsafe to drive due to some particularly cancerous rust on the driver's side front strut tower - it's BAD. So bad that I'm not going to attempt to fix it, even though the car runs well. The plan is to take the running engine and transmission out of my current driver, transfer it to the '89 and make it the runner. As for the '90 with the hole in the block, I currently have a B21A1 block on a stand in my garage from the last such project (the head had a burnt valve, compression was awful, most of the seals were shot, burned or leaked a ton of oil, etc. The block, however, is perfectly fine, so it occurs to me that I could rebuild that one, use the head off the one with the hole in it, and make another complete running car for myself, then the '89 will go to my kid, who wants it really badly. XD
That’s crazy bro you have a lot of work ahead of you but as always with these cars it’s worth it just to be able to drive them. So I’ve been working on restoring the suspension. It’s slow going just because of the cold and parts not getting here as fast. I’m done with the driver side and now I’m on the passenger side and I’m running into a lot of worn parts. That and getting some rust off and repainting to protect everything is taking longer for dry times. All n all it’s a longer process than I expected. I’ll be starting on the block here soon too just gotta find a engine hoist. If you run into any trouble let me know I’ll try and help. I’m no expert but I’m pretty mechanically inclined. lol
 

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Yeah, this ain't my first rodeo - The running lude with the bad strut tower is my second. I had a white '91 first, which is what the B21A1 came out of that's on the stand. Scored a B20A5 long block with around 60k on it for 100 bux from a dude I knew who had planned on putting it in a teggy or something.....then he discovered that our lude B-series engines are the bastard children of the B-series and won't really work in any other cars without a TON of frankenstein work....so he sold it to me cheap. Took about 3 months of me working on it off and on to complete the swap, and when it was done, it was perfect.....that lasted about 72 hours. Wife took the car to work for the first time with the new engine in it, and bounced the car off a concrete truck.

In her defense, it was like 6am and she was driving into the sun, and the concrete mixer truck was sitting in a driveway with its ass-end hanging WAYYY out into the eastbound lane of the street. No cones around it or anything. The guys responsible for it were standing up near the house smoking cigarettes. Also, she wasn't the only person that hit it in the space of 5 minutes. As she was pulling over to assess the damage, ANOTHER car came along and hit it, like a little Ford Festiva or something, and those poor folks hit it square. Wife told me the ass end of their car came up in the air with the impact and everything. There was oil and coolant all over the place. Their car was totaled. Meanwhile, she crushed my front passenger fender and stripped the mirror off that side of the car, but remarkably didn't break any glass or otherwise damage the door. I drove that car for easily another 2 years or so after replacing the mirror and the fender...and then I hit a raccoon on the way home from work one evening....and somehow, bits of that raccoon got up into the engine bay and caught in the belts, which then tangled and snapped, taking the timing belt with them (foolish me had left the upper cover off when I had last adjusted the tensioner). It's been about a decade or so since this, and I've had this red one since shortly after that. Treated me pretty well until recently with the rust problem.....I've never seen rust like this on a lude. You can see through the holes in the strut tower in a couple places....prolly could get a couple fingers through into the wheel well in a couple places. So...I'm excited to make another one run that doesn't have this problem, as I'm sure you are to get yours fixed up!
 

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Holy hell dude I’ll pour some for the lost prelude lol That’s crazy! At least your wife was ok. This is my 4th prelude restoration. My first 2 my younger brother decided to sneak out of the house and joy ride and wrecked them both. Mind you he did so while I was deployed in Iraq back in 2008. Then my 3rd one was a black 4WS And I had to sell that because of our twins lol. This one I was surprised because my wife found it and was adamant on me fixing it and having a prelude again. She loves these cars as much as we do I swear lol. Currently I’m working on this and my sons Subaru Outback so I’m two cars deep all while restoring some houses for work so I’m a bit backed up 😅 I’ll be posting pictures probably this weekend. Have you started a thread for your build????
 

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Holy hell dude I’ll pour some for the lost prelude lol That’s crazy! At least your wife was ok. This is my 4th prelude restoration. My first 2 my younger brother decided to sneak out of the house and joy ride and wrecked them both. Mind you he did so while I was deployed in Iraq back in 2008. Then my 3rd one was a black 4WS And I had to sell that because of our twins lol. This one I was surprised because my wife found it and was adamant on me fixing it and having a prelude again. She loves these cars as much as we do I swear lol. Currently I’m working on this and my sons Subaru Outback so I’m two cars deep all while restoring some houses for work so I’m a bit backed up 😅 I’ll be posting pictures probably this weekend. Have you started a thread for your build????
I haven't yet started a thread, but I shall as soon as work starts on them in earnest - I've been a member of PP since....I guess my profile says 07, so that's probably right. LOL When I was working on the white one, I was here all the time, getting the information I needed, and it was really useful! Swapping the B21A1 in that car for the B20A5 was a great move, and I'm sad that it didn't last as long as it should have....but without this forum, I would never have known that I needed to keep the flywheel from the B21 to mate with the transmission that was staying with the car. I would never have known about the cylinder sleeves issue that everyone talks about (I've got my own opinions on that, which I'll get into in a moment). I wouldn't have known the O2 sensor trick to make the check engine light go away and make the car run the way it was supposed to, etc. These guys are freekin' brilliant. I'm delighted to see that there are some of the guys from back when I was first regularly here still around. 1funryd is a great dude, Danny D19 (the current admin - he wasn't back in the day, but he is now), also a great guy. MustardCat....He's awesome, and is *still coming up with good ideas, custom parts and group buys for members of this forum. Get to know those guys! You won't regret it.

My girls (I also have twins) are 17 now....and have shown little to no interest in cars. My wife also loves these cars, and my youngest son, who is 15. He's learned to drive a manual in mine, and is super disappointed that mine is not particularly safe to drive on the highway anymore because of the strut tower. But's he's incredibly excited to start working on the rolling chassis that we bought to fix up. Neither the white one I used to have or the red one I currently have had 4ws, but I was toying with the idea of adding it and bought a complete 4ws setup from someone on this forum (don't remember whom). It never got installed, because the shipping company somehow lost the shaft that connects the two racks, and it never arrived (seriously, how do you lose an 8ft long shaft?)....so all the rest of that stuff is in a box in the loft of my garage right now. If nothing else, I've got spare parts for the two rolling chassis, which are both 4ws. This is going to be an extensive build, and a thread will be necessary to keep my own records in order if nothing else. My current car will become a parts car once the powertrain is out of it. The 89 will receive it following a refresh rebuild (bearings and seals but probably not pistons and rings, depending on what we see when we take the head off), and be converted to manual (since I have a ready made manual parts car, why not, right?). Both of these rolling chassis need some bodywork - the area around the fuel door on both cars, like most others, needs attention, as well as the rockers and rear wheel arches. Most of that isn't too big a deal. If we're doing it, we'll do it right. The running engine has more miles on it than the one currently in the 89, but that one has a broken timing belt, and I have yet to take the head off and examine it for bent valves - the hood release is broken, and my friend and I are having a really hard time getting it at it so that we can open it up.

The b21 that came out of the white one back in the day had a lot of miles on it - like 262k or something like that. People talk trash about the B21s, but they're actually really good engines and durable, as long as you don't treat them like you can rev them to unlimited rpms, like the previous owner of the '90 rolling chassis apparently did, since there's a hole in the block 🙄. People complain that they burn lots of oil, that they shred pistons rings, etc. The oil burning problem was true with mine, but I don't think it had anything to do with the piston rings, to be honest....when I got the head off, I discovered 2 burnt valves with holes in them roughly the size of child's fingernail, which clearly would have caused an oil consumption issue and lack of compression in the associated cylinders. It seems to me this was more of a valve lash issue than it was anything going on in the cylinders. The cam seals and front main were also SHOT. It's a wonder any oil was staying in the engine at all - it was probably leaking most of it rather than burning it - you should have seen the timing belt side of the engine after I got the cover off - what a caked-on-baked-on mess! Also, looking down into the cylinders, I can't see that there is any cross-hatching left in there....if there was ever any to begin with (I'm unsure what these FRM cylinder sleeves were supposed to look like from the factory). It's definitely a non-ferrous alloy, and has the light grey appearance of a surface that has been lapped. Piston rings appear to still be seated and tight - there doesn't seem to be any wobble going up and down. I have not noticed evidence of chewed up piston rings, or shrapnel of any kind, though there is a tiny ridge at the top. I have yet to mic the sleeves for roundness and measurement specs, and the block certainly needs to be tank dipped and cleaned really badly, but it still turns over by hand easy as pie. I never took it all the way apart, thinking it was probably a lost cause, but now I think it could be made whole again with some time and money put into it. We'll have to get it apart and check out the crank and journals and see what happens there. If nothing else, I'm sure I can salvage the block from the 89 and rebuild it instead. There was a dude on here back in the day that did a complete rebuild on a B21A1, documented and everything in its own thread that I'd like to follow along with, but I'm having trouble finding it - probably because I can't remember the guy's name, LOL. The cold up here in Iowa is also hampering our efforts a little, as is the fact that one stall of my garage is full of motorcycles (also all Hondas LOL) and the other stall is currently taken up with a GIANT cherry picker hoist that I bought on craigslist sight unseen a few years ago (like an idiot) and now I can't get rid of it. It's a nice piece of equipment, but it's way too large for my application - it's made to pull engines from big trucks, not little cars like ours.

I also am ex-army. You were deployed to Iraq in 08? I was as well! (Still had the white one then) That's awesome! Where were you at?
 
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