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1988 Prelude Si
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, let me apologize for a weird first post. My son and I have been lurking for a few months because my Dad gave my son his ‘88 Prelude Si. The car was not well taken care of, but it was free, so my son and I were going to get it running and our first step was to join this forum.

Well, the car wound up having more problems than we anticipated—including a rusted out water pipe that seems to be made of unobtanium—and we’ve decided to cut and run before this gets too expensive.

I can get about $450 for the car from a salvage yard, and am ready to make the call, but I’m curious to know if there are any desirable parts that might make it worth parting the car out before I have the wrecker come get it. There doesn‘t seem to be a big aftermarket for these Gen3 Preludes and if there are any hard-to-find parts on our car that another Prelude owner might be interested in, I’d love to have the opinion of the group before I send this one to the crusher.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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1985 Prelude
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65 Posts
Where is it located? It wouldn't hurt to take a bunch of pictures and put an ad out on Craigslist, Facebook, and here.

You can make money from any of the parts that are in good condition, but you'd have to take them off, store them, put an ad out on ebay, and wait years before somebody who needs them buys them. You probably don't want to do that, but that's how you can maximize profit.
 

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1988 Prelude Si
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should have been more clear. I’m interested in knowing if there are any specific parts that Gen3 owners might find desirable that I ought to pull before scrapping the car. I don’t have the space to keep it for months while I part it out.

I’m in Raleigh, NC. The car is a 5 speed, sunroof car. Black on black. Flaking paint but no rust. Interior is cloth, threadbare due to sun exposure.

If there isn’t anything desirable to other enthusiasts, that’s ok, I just wanted to ask. I’d hate to scrap a car that had that one part that everyone was looking for still on it.
 

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1985 Prelude
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65 Posts
If you sell it to Pull-A-Part, then people will have the opportunity to get parts from it before it goes to the crusher. There's a Pull-A-Part in Winston-Salem, which is near where I live.
 

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16,892 Posts
Why not just swap motors and tranny to get it running and keep it on the road?
 

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1988 Prelude Si
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The interior and exterior look bad. The perceived benefit was Honda reliability in an ugly looking package. Now we are looking at an ugly looking package with a questionable engine. There is no potential upside here because the car isn't worth the effort (or cost) of an engine swap.
 

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To answer your original question, pretty much everything on the car is now considered a rare part. 3rd gen Preludes share almost nothing with other Honda models, and there wasn't ever much aftermarket support for them back in the day. I think it's great that you even asked if anyone would want any of the parts from your son's car. If you have a couple weeks I'd just list it on craigslist as a part-out and see if anyone local needs anything. Then after a couple weeks you can scrap what's left.
 

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1988 Prelude Si
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just a 2 wheel steering car. Doesn't even have alloys. Dad was always hesitant to check options boxes. It was a big splurge for him to buy a sporty car, but a 2.0Si was as much as his economical soul could handle. Everything on the car was pretty much stock. He did order silver BBS wheels when he bought it, but the dealer took so long to get them that he told them to forget it and stuck with the hubcaps.

I also remember back in '88 that he narrowed his search down to a Prelude or a Supra. I was disappointed that he bought the Honda. Looking at prices now, I am doubly disappointed.

He loved that car. Didn't take care of it at all, but that's his way. It was a Honda so it just ran and ran no matter how badly he neglected it. I don't remember it ever going to the dealer for anything. It's unfortunate how things have turned out. He developed a bad coolant leak under the intake and drove it for a long time by carrying water with him and topping it off when the temp gauge started to go up. He parked it when he couldn't get to the grocery store without having to fill the radiator. His method resulted in a cooling system full of rusty sludge and a rusted-out coolant pipe.
 

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It sounds like that car was special to your father. Too bad he didn't treat is well. Most of the components involved in the cooling system are either aluminum, plastic, or rubber. The only thing that can rust is the coolant pipe and possibly parts of the water pump. Too bad you're across the country from me. I'd be happy to take that car off your hands and get it running. Pretty sure I have a coolant pipe laying around LOL. Sounds like it would also need other work if it's been neglected as badly as you're saying. Timing belt, tune-up, hoses, fluid changes, brake service, suspension. Would be nice if someone could do something to keep it running.
 
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