Honda Prelude Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
1998 Honda Prelude, Auto
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
*I am new to the car scene, I have no idea what im looking at or what to do. I do understand that I could just go to a mechanic (I already have a scheduled appointment with one), but I just dont want my car to come out the other side and have no idea what is happening. I am wiling to learn how to do more advanced maintenance work myself if the job doesn't require special tools that are out of my reach. Even if I dont have the tools to fix this, I want to learn and frankly I dont know where else to go for exact help with a 98 prelude.

I need help identifying where this leak is coming from and what I can do to fix this or at least get an idea of what im looking at. I have someone who is good with these types of problems, but neither of us has the correct tools and he is way too busy to have the time to look at the issue. Why am I asking for help knowing I wont be able to fix this issue on my own? I want to learn and coming into the car community knowing nothing, I want to maintain this car for a build so I can do replacements myself and hopefully do a manual swap.

 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,798 Posts
There are 5 oil seals on that side of the motor, not including the valve cover gasket.

Could be as simple as the valve cover gasket, or more involved and be one of the two cam seals.

If the valve cover gasket - it's easy to do on your own. If it's cam seals, balance shaft housing or something else that requires removing the timing belt - I don't recommend it on your first go without proper tools and confidence to tackle it.

The only real way to know is by removing the upper timing cover, which also means removing the valve cover and visually looking at the cam seals etc. If you're going that far, replace the valve cover gasket yourself. Just don't drop any of the metal/rubber grommets into the timing cover or engine - and replace them with new ones once done. Simple task, and the nuts only need to be lightly torqued, nothing crazy.
 

·
Registered
1990 Honda Prelude 2.0Si, 1989 Honda Prelude 2.0Si 4ws, 1990 Honda Prelude Si 4ws, etc.
Joined
·
795 Posts
It's probably the cam seals - lip seals like that have a more limited life span than gaskets that seal non-rotating parts. The valve cover is likely also seeping a bit, but you'll see that almost everywhere around where it contacts the head. Wing's right - replacing cam seals isn't a tough job in itself, but removing and installing a timing belt can be tricky and lead to spectacular failure if you don't do it right. Prolly best to have a mechanic tackle it if it's your first time. Valve cover gaskets and even oil pan gaskets are pretty easy to do on your own. Also, you should acquire yourself a shop manual so you can get actual torque specs and step by step instructions, etc. 3g owners like me have the shop manual in PDF form available right here at PP.com....not sure if the 5th gen manual has the same availability here, but there's no doubt you can find it in digital form somewhere for cheap, or perhaps a Haynes manual in print at maybe a parts store for probably around $25-ish. The Haynes manual isn't as detailed as the official Honda shop manual, but it'll still cover just about anything you might ever need to work on. You can never go wrong having the shop manual in your possession for any vehicle you own. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: priortox

·
Registered
1998 Honda Prelude, Auto
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
There are 5 oil seals on that side of the motor, not including the valve cover gasket.

Could be as simple as the valve cover gasket, or more involved and be one of the two cam seals.

If the valve cover gasket - it's easy to do on your own. If it's cam seals, balance shaft housing or something else that requires removing the timing belt - I don't recommend it on your first go without proper tools and confidence to tackle it.

The only real way to know is by removing the upper timing cover, which also means removing the valve cover and visually looking at the cam seals etc. If you're going that far, replace the valve cover gasket yourself. Just don't drop any of the metal/rubber grommets into the timing cover or engine - and replace them with new ones once done. Simple task, and the nuts only need to be lightly torqued, nothing crazy.
Thanks for the insight, I dont have the complete confidence to do the job on my own without supervision with someone with experience,but I do have confidence to change the valve cover gasket. I'll have a mechanic check it out. It was nice learning a little bit more about my car and how they work. I only have basic tools like wrenches a ratchet with 8mm-24mm sockets and a torque wrench with no extension sets.

Nothing in particular, but iIs there any other tool I can buy that would come to good use? I plan to have the prelude as a project car so I can fully build it, like getting new hoses and getting a new exhaust set and new suspension systems because the front suspensions squeek when going over speed bumps and idk if thats bad or somewhat acceptable.
 

·
Registered
1998 Honda Prelude, Auto
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It's probably the cam seals - lip seals like that have a more limited life span than gaskets that seal non-rotating parts. The valve cover is likely also seeping a bit, but you'll see that almost everywhere around where it contacts the head. Wing's right - replacing cam seals isn't a tough job in itself, but removing and installing a timing belt can be tricky and lead to spectacular failure if you don't do it right. Prolly best to have a mechanic tackle it if it's your first time. Valve cover gaskets and even oil pan gaskets are pretty easy to do on your own. Also, you should acquire yourself a shop manual so you can get actual torque specs and step by step instructions, etc. 3g owners like me have the shop manual in PDF form available right here at PP.com....not sure if the 5th gen manual has the same availability here, but there's no doubt you can find it in digital form somewhere for cheap, or perhaps a Haynes manual in print at maybe a parts store for probably around $25-ish. The Haynes manual isn't as detailed as the official Honda shop manual, but it'll still cover just about anything you might ever need to work on. You can never go wrong having the shop manual in your possession for any vehicle you own. :)
I was found the service manual her on PP and I took a peek at it. Thanks for the info, its nice knowing more about the car and how it works, I dont have the proper tools to fix the issue on my own, but now I have an idea of what's going on.
 

·
Registered
1990 Honda Prelude 2.0Si, 1989 Honda Prelude 2.0Si 4ws, 1990 Honda Prelude Si 4ws, etc.
Joined
·
795 Posts
For some indispensable tools, you can never go wrong with a cable-driven hose clamp tool. The business end is small enough to get it almost anywhere you need to, even in a 'lude, doesn't let go of the clamp easily, and it locks in the "clamp open" position, which you'll find especially important in tight spaces.




The first link is the tool I'm talking about, the second is a whole kit that happens to include it among others. I could name prolly a thousand tools that I've found particularly useful working on my 'lude, and I'll try to share some that come to mind as being particularly useful. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
For tools depending on your set up already box end wrenches, a good socket set, a good floor jack and jack stands, screw driver set. Metric sizes of course oh and a light for under the hood. There are more specialty tools and specific tools such as extensions, swivel joints, etc. That will make your life easier but with those above things you will be able to do almost anything on a prelude. A compression tester, leak down tester, and battery tender would be good adds as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
For some indispensable tools, you can never go wrong with a cable-driven hose clamp tool. The business end is small enough to get it almost anywhere you need to, even in a 'lude, doesn't let go of the clamp easily, and it locks in the "clamp open" position, which you'll find especially important in tight spaces.




The first link is the tool I'm talking about, the second is a whole kit that happens to include it among others. I could name prolly a thousand tools that I've found particularly useful working on my 'lude, and I'll try to share some that come to mind as being particularly useful. :)
Interesting concept. I’ve never seen/heard of this tool in the 2 decades I’ve been working on cars, but looks like it has its uses. Been using long and offset needle pliers lol.
 

·
Registered
1990 Honda Prelude 2.0Si, 1989 Honda Prelude 2.0Si 4ws, 1990 Honda Prelude Si 4ws, etc.
Joined
·
795 Posts
Interesting concept. I’ve never seen/heard of this tool in the 2 decades I’ve been working on cars, but looks like it has its uses. Been using long and offset needle pliers lol.
I know, right? I wish I'd have discovered this thing a long time ago! Some of those little coolant hoses around the intake manifold are a YUGE pain to get at with something like pliers. This makes things much easier!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I have oil leaking on that side and I just replaced my cam seals a weak ago. I'm hoping it's not leaking anymore and if it is I read somewhere that it could also be the water pump gasket?
 

·
Registered
1990 Honda Prelude 2.0Si, 1989 Honda Prelude 2.0Si 4ws, 1990 Honda Prelude Si 4ws, etc.
Joined
·
795 Posts
Yes - the water pump gasket will not leak oil, but coolant....however it's something that happens when the seals and gaskets get old. I had to use a powerwasher to clean the grime and gunk off the belt side of the engine when I replaced those seals the first time, because I couldn't really tell where it all was coming from. Turned out the cam seals, mostly, but other stuff was leaking too. In the end, since I had it out of the chassis anyway, I took it apart and replaced all of them, then put it back in the car.
@01grayprelude: So, you had the cams and timing belt and all that off to replace the cam seals a week ago, and didn't replace the water pump at the same time? What were you thinking? LOL There's enough work involved in dismantling the belt side of the engine to get at those things that it makes sense to do everything else you can get at with all that out of the way while you've got it apart, to include: Cam seals, timing kit (water pump, gasket and tensioner), any of the rest of the oil seals on that side that Wing8806 mentioned above that you can get to and both the PS and Alt belts. It's a lot to do at once....but it saves you from having to take it apart again later to replace something else. It's a noob mistake, and you learned from it for sure.....but I'd clean up what you can see and make sure you actually have a new leak and that it's not just leftover gunk from the previous bad seals before you go ripping everything apart again. When my cam seals were bad, they were literally POURING oil out that side of the engine. It was almost like they weren't there. Made a HELL of a mess down that side of the engine and on the inside of the timing cover. If yours was somewhat the same and wasn't cleaned up before reassembly, it's more than possible you're seeing leftovers from that mess.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 01grayprelude

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
The main reason I went in there was to replace front main seal that was my first guess but then I found out that there was some oil leaking from the cams so I replaced them. The water pump looked clean so I didn't touch it lol. I also found that the previous owner had done a harmonic balancer delete so there was one less belt Wich confused the hell out of me but at the end was well worth it . I did find some leaking that appeared to come from the plate delete covering the balancer hole so I might end up going back in there if the problem persist. It took me a while weak to get to that point because I wanted to do everything right but now can probably do it in a day since I know how everything works
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
the original leak looks like its the rear main seal.or auto trans fluid ?.the shot has a cv bootin it and autotrans shifter..there is ALOT of red RTV sealant on something ?
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top