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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I have a Prelude 4th gen (SI non-VTEC 5 speed) that ran well last time it was driven but it has been sitting for years now without being started. It has been in an outdoor but covered location.

This car has sentimental value so I don't want to damage it by just starting it up without doing some work first. Here is my plan to resurrect it... let me know what you think.

1) Drain gas tank from 18mm drain bolt (completed). Was able to reach this without jacking up the back. I blocked the rear wheels and jacked up the front and got a lot more gas out of there. Waited until it dripped very little so I'm pretty sure 99% of the old gas is out of there.

2) Replace fuel filter with new OEM parts while the gas is out of the car.

3) Fill car with 10 gal premium gas and add royal purple injector cleaner and valvoline water remover.

4) Pull spark plugs and add 5 drops or so of Mobil 1 synthetic 5W-30 into each cylinder to lube the rings.

5) While plugs are out replace with new NGK iridium plugs and NGK wires using a bit of anti-seize and dielectric grease.

6) Replace distributor cap and ignition rotor with new OEM parts.

7) Replace air filter.

8) Replace PCV valve with new OEM parts.

9) Replace car battery with new one.

10) Try to start the car.

11) If successful, change oil (mobil 1 5W-30) and filter (TOYO ROKI) and drain plug crush washer and drain, fill and bleed radiator with OEM coolant.

Let me know if I have missed anything. Thanks guys.
 

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Oil in the cylinders is probably OK but ATF really works great for getting rings to seal again if they are stuck in the grooves. I don't think that FRM liners rust either btw.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I just finished changing the plugs and putting oil in there before I saw your post, couldn't figure out how to drop it in neatly so I used a funnel and probably put too much oil down in there. :)

Bought the 700 CCA 24F battery from advanced auto and will be picking that up soon. Should be about $108 after coupon, which I thought was good.

Now if only majestic would ship my parts order.....
 

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I feel like you're making this a lot harder than you have to. Spending all that money on parts it may not need could be a waste.

The steps you should take to get it fired should be the least expensive route you can go, so you don't end up wasting money on a non-VTEC motor.

  1. Before doing ANYTHING, see if the motor will roll over at all. Put a breaker bar on the crank pulley and try to turn it. If that's too difficult, then just try rolling it over with the starter and a good battery. If it's not frozen up, then move on.
  2. If you're unsure of the condition of the timing belt, pop the valve cover off and make sure the timing belt isn't shredded or ready to fall off. Rolling over a motor with a broken belt might as well be a death sentence before you start. If not, move on.
  3. Drain the fuel, and replace with fresh fuel. Don't mess with fuel system cleaner- just add some drygas (red bottle of ISO-HEET brand water remover). Changing the fuel filter is a good idea.
  4. Drain the oil, add fresh oil. I wouldn't put any ridiculous expensive synthetic in it until you know it runs- parts-store grade 5W-30 and a filter should be fine. You should end up replacing this after running the car for a few miles anyway.
  5. Pull the plugs and inspect them, spray a little penetrating oil or pour a few drops of ATF in the cylinders to free up the rings if they're stuck. Then, check for spark by rolling the engine over. If they look okay, have decent spark, and aren't covered in soot, then they'll be fine to get the car running. No need to buy high-dollar stuff or new stuff unless these look like junk.
  6. Do the same for the cap and rotor- remove and inspect. If they look well-used, replace them. If they still have some life, leave them.
  7. Make sure you're using a fully charged battery (the newer, the better).

The motors in these cars aren't super-fragile, and it's not like they'll grenade if they're not filled with good, new parts.


Also, Mobil 1 5w-30 is overpriced water. Use Castrol synthetic.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I feel like you're making this a lot harder than you have to. Spending all that money on parts it may not need could be a waste.
Thanks so much for the tips.

I did pull the plugs and they didn't look very good to me, probably just old copper NGK's, very very dark tips. So some new iridium plugs for $25 were not too bad of an investment. It's quite likely the new blue NGK wires were unnecessary though so $40 wasted there but that's OK with me.
 

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Opinionated Bastard
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I mean, they're all wear items you should replace it you plan on driving it immediately after getting it running, but if you just wanted to get the motor to run first and foremost... yeah, the wires could have waited.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I started it up today and it caught for a sec but then started pretty strong, it was smoking a lot from the engine and the exhaust but idles smoothly and ran smoothly at high rpm too (all in neutral). Note that I let it alone just idling for 20 minutes before trying higher rpm's.

Surprisingly with the parking brake on all this time it was not frozen or rusted.

Drained and filled the coolant with Honda type 2 blue, mechanic friend said needed 'green' coolant for this older car, will have to check that out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Runs like a champ....

Put in new OEM cap and rotor today, had a heck of a time getting the phillips screw off of the old rotor. Tried about 6 different screwdrivers/ratchets/oils etc. Finally used a small vice grip, worked a treat. Autozone does not have a replacement screw, have to get those from Honda. Alas. The old screw still works fortunately, though not ideal!

Decided to keep the new 'blue' Honda type 2 coolant I filled the car with. Did not drain block so there is some mix with old dark green but not too much since I drained radiator completely from bottom (seemed to be quite a lot) and bled the system a fair amount as well. Reading online, sounds like this will be just fine.

Couple minor things only now, ABS light comes on after driving the car for a minute and stays lit. Maybe I can find the fix. Also the power door locks are funny, driver's side silver switch does not unlock doors.

Other than that the car's in great shape only 59K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh by the way in case anyone else runs into this problem, the car has an aftermarket alarm (installed by Honda dealership when car purchased in '95) and the car was going 'nuts' when the new battery was connected, all the lights inside and out and the chimes were all flashing non-stop. Figured it must be the alarm. Anyway, the fix was to insert key into ignition turned to accessory setting (one notch before engine start) and disconnect battery neg for a minute then re-connect.
 
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