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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My name is David, but I go by Milo. I'm 18, a professional welder and mechanic-in-training. I've had my Prelude for about a year and a half now. It's a 1990 Si 2.1

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B7oZGjaPFb9xY2kzazBiM0p5U3M&usp=sharing

These are all the pictures I took of it before it died.

I bought the car with 144k miles on it. It's condition was mint! Super clean interior; no cracks, tears, missing carpet or anything wrong with it. There was some minor body damage from shopping carts and the Si 2.1L badge was gone. Car ran amazingly. No cruise... My first vehicle.

Bought it for 2500$. First thing I did was replace the entire stereo system. Plugged in an aftermarket single DIN radio and put in excellent speakers. Then installed two aftermarket radiator fans.

Moved away and then went to welding school. One day, I came outside to get an item and saw the damage to the front left fender. Someone hit me and ran. Got money from insurance and used it to repair things on the car. New alternator, air filter, cam seals, timing belt, water pump, LED lights, valve cover gasket, and steering wheel. (yes I bought an eBay steering wheel, don't judge-will replace)

Started installing all the new stuff! Got the alternator in, some LED lights, valve cover gasket, air filter. Then my throttle position sensor quit. Took forever to get my replacement, then installed it. That same day, I went back towards my hometown. Car was running great! In the middle of NOWHERE-engine stalls. I'm freaking out. Realize my oil temp was straight up for no reason. Going 75 and my engine overheated? Pulling over...open the hood. Coolant overflow is all the way up on the dipstick. Vaporized coolant everywhere. I'm so confused. I had a dummy moment and opened the radiator cap thinking it'll help. :wzbigcry: Don't need to go into detail...

I'm thinking, okay everything is okay. Waited for the engine to cool. Crank her up and oh my god...the terrible sounds...I had to put on a little gas to keep her running at all. Knocking sounds as if the lifters were hitting the cover or the rods were messed up. I still don't know. Let it die. Took forever as the car tried to stay on. The RPM's going up and down. Got my dad to come pick me up with a hopper.

He told me to crank it up and it does the same noises. He is standing there speechless like me. Then I see it. That last time I cranked it, a rod must've punched through the oil pan. Car was dead. Oil everywhere.

Note, I have not opened the valve cover or removed the oil pan to look at the state of the motor. I had to be back at my house for school. Bought a 2015 Ford Fusion SE dirt cheap with my perfect credit. Now I need your help. What should I do first, and what do you think?
 

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What should you do first? Engine is toast if you punched a hole in the block, so you need to decide if you want to stick with a b21a1, go with a b20a(5), or swap to an H or F series engine (or any other non stock 3rd gen engine).

Did you add an oil temp gauge? The stock temp gauge is for coolant temp, not oil temp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What should you do first? Engine is toast if you punched a hole in the block, so you need to decide if you want to stick with a b21a1, go with a b20a(5), or swap to an H or F series engine (or any other non stock 3rd gen engine).

Did you add an oil temp gauge? The stock temp gauge is for coolant temp, not oil temp.
Typo, sorry. It's coolant. I've been installing new gauges in a Nova all day.

So engine is toast...I just need to pull out this one and drop in a new B21A1, correct? Would I be able to drop in a B20A just fine? I'm asking, cause I've been scouring these forums forever, and don't quite remember a write up on a downgrade.

Would it be worth it to upgrade to an F series? Talking like $3500 right?
 

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Typo, sorry. It's coolant. I've been installing new gauges in a Nova all day.

So engine is toast...I just need to pull out this one and drop in a new B21A1, correct? Would I be able to drop in a B20A just fine? I'm asking, cause I've been scouring these forums forever, and don't quite remember a write up on a downgrade.

Would it be worth it to upgrade to an F series? Talking like $3500 right?
Hi, I have a b21a engine transmission swap I'm selling out of my 90 lude. I'm dropping in a k20z3 and do not need any of it. I bought a full gasket and seal kit and new water pump and timing for it too. then realized it had bad motor mounts. looking to get back the 400 I invested for the new parts, email me if your interested. [email protected] can ship the swap to you as well. with the dollar low it would be a lot cheaper.
 

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If Mr. Euphoric didn't accidentally drop the 1, that's the engine out of the rare "Si States" JDM trim level. I don't know what the difference actually is though.
 

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If Mr. Euphoric didn't accidentally drop the 1, that's the engine out of the rare "Si States" JDM trim level. I don't know what the difference actually is though.
Difference is 5hp as far as i can tell
While there was a difference between the b20a5 and b20a, from what I've found there is virtually no difference between the b21a1 and b21a other than being extremely rare in the US.

To answer your earlier question, it's simple to swap in a b20a(5) in place of your b21a1. You would just keep and use your stock intake and exhaust manifolds. That way you can keep your PK3 ecu. I recently did this swap on my 91 Si ALB.
 

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Until he posts what engine he indeed has. It is quite common for several of us onhere to drop the last letter on the engine. IE b20a or b21a. If you read onhere or look at Wikipedia there was like 9 variations of the b20a across the globe. Most not being much different other then maybe compression ratio and the lack of catalytic converter. I am only guessing at this point but he did state it came out of a usdm 90-91 si so he probably just dropped the "1". Some of those b20a's like the usdm b20a3 are carbed and single overhead cam and the carbed version in jdm and edm. From my brochures of jdm I think a lot of the jdm actually had the carbed version. If you start flying overseas or get an engine imported stick with the fuel injected versions and you will be fine. Like Mike said people onhere have been putting the jdm b20a or usdm b20a5 in place of the the b21a1 by simply reusing the intake manifold and exhaust manifold from the b21a1 for going on 14 years now since preludepower.com was started. I would imagine pre 2002 there were members of hondaprelude.com or whatever it was that did the same.
 

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Your only affordable choice is the B20a, A5, or another B21a1 or 21A motors.

And when getting a replacement motor you will need to be ready to probably rebuild it, because not matter how well intentioned some 3rd genners are, they dont really know if their motors are in good condition, they are just guessing because it ran when they pulled it.

The better option is to get a JDM B20a and replace it, but remember you still need to keep everything off your original motor. I am assuming you understand what I mean.
There are very few if any at all JDM dealers that carry the B20a anymore, you usually have to wait months for them to get one or search for a dealer who has one in stock.
These motors are pretty much dried up in supply.

Or if you are looking to put more effort into upgrading the power plant then I always recommend going - H22/23 or F22/23/20b swap. Or even my new swap kit - B16/18/20b swap.

So those are your options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My options are plentiful due to you guys. It's amazing how friendly and helpful you guys are, and I thank you. I've got a better understanding of my options now. I recently found a junkyard Prelude 5 miles from me and I'm going to check it out. Guy says the engine hasn't been gutted yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Car has been wrecked in the front end. Engine has 308,000 miles on it. Not even going to trust it. There are several parts on the car that may be of use to any of you 3rd genners. I took the center tail personally
 

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Until he posts what engine he indeed has. It is quite common for several of us onhere to drop the last letter on the engine. IE b20a or b21a. If you read onhere or look at Wikipedia there was like 9 variations of the b20a across the globe. Most not being much different other then maybe compression ratio and the lack of catalytic converter. I am only guessing at this point but he did state it came out of a usdm 90-91 si so he probably just dropped the "1". Some of those b20a's like the usdm b20a3 are carbed and single overhead cam and the carbed version in jdm and edm. From my brochures of jdm I think a lot of the jdm actually had the carbed version. If you start flying overseas or get an engine imported stick with the fuel injected versions and you will be fine. Like Mike said people onhere have been putting the jdm b20a or usdm b20a5 in place of the the b21a1 by simply reusing the intake manifold and exhaust manifold from the b21a1 for going on 14 years now since preludepower.com was started. I would imagine pre 2002 there were members of hondaprelude.com or whatever it was that did the same.

hey, sorry to drop the ball on my terrible typing skills, I have confirmed over email what is included in my engine swap and its a lude from japan and it is a b21a1, with a full seal and gasket and water pump and timing kit for a rebuild. will pay more attention to typing my numbers next time. cheers
 

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Guys, I hate to be the one to break it to you but ALL PRELUDE ARE MADE IN JAPAN

it doesn't matter what country you bought it in, they are all MADE IN JAPAN.

Each country area, got a prelude tailored to their demographic; ie Canadian ones are slightly different than American one, australian ones are different, the euro preludes have different features. But one thing remains is they are all made in japan.

In any case, OP that is awesome that you are a professional welder, at your age, that's a helluva achievement!! How does that work stateside? Up here one becomes a Journeyman Welder and can receive what is known as a "Red Seal", if they score high enough.
 

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Guys, I hate to be the one to break it to you but ALL PRELUDE ARE MADE IN JAPAN

it doesn't matter what country you bought it in, they are all MADE IN JAPAN.

Each country area, got a prelude tailored to their demographic; ie Canadian ones are slightly different than American one, australian ones are different, the euro preludes have different features. But one thing remains is they are all made in japan.

In any case, OP that is awesome that you are a professional welder, at your age, that's a helluva achievement!! How does that work stateside? Up here one becomes a Journeyman Welder and can receive what is known as a "Red Seal", if they score high enough.

Well I knew that.....:lol:
 

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Did anyone say anything in this thread implying they didn't know that? *scratches head*
 

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Did anyone say anything in this thread implying they didn't know that? *scratches head*
Talking how people say "get the jdm engine", all the engines are made in japan.
 

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DM stands for Domestic Market, not Manufacture. It's where the engine or car, or car part was originally sold.

Relatively few people outside of Japan have a JDM Prelude, even though they were all built there. Some new Hondas are built in USA, but if sold in Japan, those ones sold in Japan are JDM cars.
 

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