Honda Prelude Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Last week I was taking the Prelude to my father in law's for storage, as winter has finally arrived in central Canada. I was doing about 110 km/h on the highway when the revs just spun up from about 3300 to 5500. I thought it had just popped out of gear - used to happen with my old 93 Civic Si sometimes - so I put the clutch in and shifted back to 5th, let the clutch out and same thing!
There were no noises at all from the trans and 1-4 and reverse work fine, just will not engage 5th. Had to drive the remaining 100 kms in 4th, which was fine, just loud.
My question is, has anyone had this type of failure before? It does not seem catastrophic, as the remaining gears work and there is no apparent noise. A friend has suggested it may just be a linkage or shift fork issue.
I will be waiting for spring before I actually deal with it as the car is now nicely stored and covered 2 hours from home but I would like to know what I am looking at next spring.
Any input/experience is appreciated.
Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,593 Posts
5th gear failure

Could be a can of worms, early gearboxes on the Base 1.8 model were prone to 5th gear syncro failing as they had poor oil criculation but this was solved on 2.0 and later 1.8 base model gearboxes from 85 onwards by having larger holes at the end of the gearbox casiing where 5th gear sits. Now what may have happened is your gear oil may have been low for a while and this has slowly eaten away the syncro on 5th but what worries me is that metal particles from this may have been churning away at the other syncro's as well.

Whats the mileage on this box and I presume it's never been changed or rebuilt?

Good news is that 5th gear is right on the end where the metal inspection cover sits, bad news is it's a right sod to get at and work on. Personally I'd still pull the gearbox off and that way save your blood pressure and also enable you to get a proper look inside for any further damage that may have happened.

From sounds of things though probably just need a new 5th gear syncro hopefully but while you have it off you may decide that you might want to put in new bearings and replace the other syncros as well if all the main gears look fine. But really does depend on mileage the state of the oil when you drain it (have you ever even changed the oil? best to do it at least every 50k miles at least) But you can get it stripped down and if the other syncros still look fine just replace 5th. But if you want a quick fix just leave the box in place and strip down 5th gear on the outside of the casing.

Now if it is looking a state you have a few options Civic LSD, Integra gears and syncro's but you could keep Accord 5th gear for taller gearing on motorway and better economy also Accord gearboxes have taller ratios as well for better cruising. But I think you'll probably just want it fixed so you can cruise around when the weather dries out.

I would factor in a days work if you have taken out gearbox before if you haven't then a weekend, but I'd also look at putting in a quality clutch while you are there and you might possibly need to get the flywheel resurfaced if it's badly marked. The racer in you might also want to put a lighter flywheel in which can be done buying a Prelude 1.8 base model flywheel and having that machined lighter down to 10lbs gives a nice boost in faster spinning engine but if you just a cruiser and you sit in lots of slow traffic this isn't a great option to do. Just some food for thought for others who might want to know more about these boxes.

Generally though these 2.0 boxes used in the Teg, Accord, CRX ZC and prelude are pretty tough I've had my Teggy box rebuilt with new syncro's and race bearings and it's had 40k race miles stuck through it and it's still holding fine!

One last thing never ever ever ever never ever use 10w/40 engine oil as recommended by the service manual it will make mince meat of the box Honda are stupid stupid stupid for even thinking that is clever! Or they want people to buy new trans! Only use Honda MTF fluid and if any ever says different walk away and just go to dealer and say you want Honda MTF fluid please and just pay them. I've used other trans oils and engine oil and gearbox lasted one day at the track and syncros were torn to pieces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Could be a can of worms, early gearboxes on the Base 1.8 model were prone to 5th gear syncro failing as they had poor oil criculation but this was solved on 2.0 and later 1.8 base model gearboxes from 85 onwards by having larger holes at the end of the gearbox casiing where 5th gear sits. Now what may have happened is your gear oil may have been low for a while and this has slowly eaten away the syncro on 5th but what worries me is that metal particles from this may have been churning away at the other syncro's as well.

Whats the mileage on this box and I presume it's never been changed or rebuilt?

Good news is that 5th gear is right on the end where the metal inspection cover sits, bad news is it's a right sod to get at and work on. Personally I'd still pull the gearbox off and that way save your blood pressure and also enable you to get a proper look inside for any further damage that may have happened.

From sounds of things though probably just need a new 5th gear syncro hopefully but while you have it off you may decide that you might want to put in new bearings and replace the other syncros as well if all the main gears look fine. But really does depend on mileage the state of the oil when you drain it (have you ever even changed the oil? best to do it at least every 50k miles at least) But you can get it stripped down and if the other syncros still look fine just replace 5th. But if you want a quick fix just leave the box in place and strip down 5th gear on the outside of the casing.

Now if it is looking a state you have a few options Civic LSD, Integra gears and syncro's but you could keep Accord 5th gear for taller gearing on motorway and better economy also Accord gearboxes have taller ratios as well for better cruising. But I think you'll probably just want it fixed so you can cruise around when the weather dries out.

I would factor in a days work if you have taken out gearbox before if you haven't then a weekend, but I'd also look at putting in a quality clutch while you are there and you might possibly need to get the flywheel resurfaced if it's badly marked. The racer in you might also want to put a lighter flywheel in which can be done buying a Prelude 1.8 base model flywheel and having that machined lighter down to 10lbs gives a nice boost in faster spinning engine but if you just a cruiser and you sit in lots of slow traffic this isn't a great option to do. Just some food for thought for others who might want to know more about these boxes.

Generally though these 2.0 boxes used in the Teg, Accord, CRX ZC and prelude are pretty tough I've had my Teggy box rebuilt with new syncro's and race bearings and it's had 40k race miles stuck through it and it's still holding fine!

One last thing never ever ever ever never ever use 10w/40 engine oil as recommended by the service manual it will make mince meat of the box Honda are stupid stupid stupid for even thinking that is clever! Or they want people to buy new trans! Only use Honda MTF fluid and if any ever says different walk away and just go to dealer and say you want Honda MTF fluid please and just pay them. I've used other trans oils and engine oil and gearbox lasted one day at the track and syncros were torn to pieces.
OK, I have only had the car 6 months.
It has 330000+ km on engine and gearbox, burns no oil.
Original owner was a Honda Master Mechanic in Ontario who had it for almost 25 years. Next owner still had all maintenance work done to spec by previous owner - he even continued doing the work on it after he retired.
I probably won't do the work by myself but there is a good trans shop near my house. I also have a friend who is a mechanic but he does not specialize in trans work, but he could help me to pull the inspection cover etc.
I guess I will update in the spring and hope for the best.
Thanks for all the information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
lost 5th gear - time to see what's wrong

Spring is now here, car has been brought out from storage and will go to the shop next week. Stay tuned to find out what broke.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top