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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I recently acquired Duckeedoug's 1991 Prelude blue Si. He was extremely meticulous with the car's upkeep, and the overall body and interior looked fantastic for being almost 30 years old. Alas, he had two engine failures during his ownership, and decided to offload it.

I'm originally from Northern California (Oakland), and my family and I moved out here to the Boston Metro a little over two years ago. 3G preludes do not exist here as the New England winters and salty are just punishing. I still peruse California Craigslist, and that's how I came across Doug's car. My sister and I had a '85 Prelude back in high school, so picking this car up helps quell that nostalgic factor.

The current engine in the Prelude is a hybridize B20A3 with a PK3 head. The head gasket ultimately failed, and I was told it wasn't from overheating. If that's the case, I suspect the wrong head gasket was used (B20 instead of B21). I had originally wanted to just get a shop to replace the head gasket, but with FSMs and YouTube at hand, i think I should be able to replace the head gasket myself. OEM head gaskets are long gone, so I'll have to look around for a quality OEM-equivalent variant.

I have been combing and absorbing a lot of information in these forums, and hope to contribute once I get more familiar with my car. Thanks.
 

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I can sell you the Cometic B21a1 MLS headgasket if you want to get the best HG on the market now. I invested into the project in 2012 and got it done.

You should be able to search Cometic MLS headgasket for the B20a5 and B21a1's.
 

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New England does make it hard for upkeep as the salt they use on the roads are the kryptonite. I'm from Connecticut and keep an eye on Craigslist all over new England which is where I've practically gotten the 3 I've owned. (1. 1990 si 4ws 2.1l. Daily driver 2. 1991 2.0si sold to a friend. 3. 1990 2.1lsi 4ws parts car.) Keep an eye out...there are very few of them in this area but we do exist!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow, you dug deep to find those out here. Crazy that you are dailying that. Do you put the underbody corrosion coating on there?

One thing I noticed is that a number of the mechanics shops here won't touch older cars. Maybe it was the hybrid engine combo I told them, but as soon as I told them "1991" head gasket" they wouldn't even touch it with an ugly stick.

As for tires, I have only come across some Falken Azenis for the stock tire size. Were there any other sizes available that were performance-oriented?

Finally, I have read that the B20A3 crank bearings were smaller than those on the B20A5. From an engine longevity perspective, should I baby the engine?
 

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Would an MLS gasket be overkill for an otherwise OEM engine with stock horsepower?
Not if you are looking for the best headgasket on the market for the Bastard B motors. Other than that, you have to use the FelPro or Evergreen brands as those are the only brands left.
 

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Wow, you dug deep to find those out here. Crazy that you are dailying that. Do you put the underbody corrosion coating on there?

One thing I noticed is that a number of the mechanics shops here won't touch older cars. Maybe it was the hybrid engine combo I told them, but as soon as I told them "1991" head gasket" they wouldn't even touch it with an ugly stick.

As for tires, I have only come across some Falken Azenis for the stock tire size. Were there any other sizes available that were performance-oriented?

Finally, I have read that the B20A3 crank bearings were smaller than those on the B20A5. From an engine longevity perspective, should I baby the engine?
Yea I definitely have done some digging. By my daily driver I wasn't clear but I park it for the November to march months. I do plan on coating the under carriage. I've been slowly refurbishing the entire car but I like to pile up all the spare pieces I can. I haven't had much of an issue with mechanics in CT but I also bring my own parts and I do my own work except big projects. Couple Honda fests in new England also..keep an eye out people go crazy when they see 3rd gens pop up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Since you guys seem more knowledgeable on the 3rd Gens than me, do you recommend that I do a compression test prior to tearing down the engine? Since I am already replacing the head gasket, I wonder what benefits do I get out of this. I am planning on checking the head bolts torque as well as the head gasket itself to see what the root cause was.

I go to Cars and Coffee and Radwood, but didn't know there were Honda Fests out here.
 

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Since you guys seem more knowledgeable on the 3rd Gens than me, do you recommend that I do a compression test prior to tearing down the engine? Since I am already replacing the head gasket, I wonder what benefits do I get out of this. I am planning on checking the head bolts torque as well as the head gasket itself to see what the root cause was.

I go to Cars and Coffee and Radwood, but didn't know there were Honda Fests out here.
It's never a bad idea to get a hint at where issues may be or where they may have started. I'm still learning alot myself. It is best to torque everything to spec as everything seems to run smoothly that way.
They do have a Honda day...weekend thing...in Jersey or Maryland I believe? It changes you would have to look up for this year. They also do a Honda fest at Thompson speedway in CT around June sometime. Hoping to make it this year.
 
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