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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm kinda new to the ways of Preludes, and although I've been reading as much as I can on these boards the past few days, I figured I'd start posting to get some more specific info and advice.
I just purchased a slightly worn (former Mini-Stock Dirt track) 86 Prelude SI that's been sitting a couple of years.
I've entered the 24 Hours of LeMons race at the end of February in Houston.
I know I need to replace the transaxle and would like to replace the engine as well.
I'm currently looking for a cheap donor car which I believe needs to be an 83-87 model to make my life a little easier when swapping the eng/trans.
The plan is to swap whatever I need from the donor car and leave it stock for reliability at least for the first race.
Other than the obvious lack of time and absurdity of this project, is there anything specific to the Prelude that I should be aware of concerning weak points/reliability?
Does anyone have any knowledge of cheap donor cars that might be available in the N. Texas area and/or spare parts for the cause?

Thanks...

Stew
 

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well stew, having raced 83-87 prelude on a dirt oval back in the day im sure i can answer a few questions. the weakest point in the car is the area where the floor meets the rear seat section. if you get in a good hit from front or rear it will buckle right there every time. tire size is important. too big and you lose torque, but it keeps your rpm down. two small and youll be overrevving and lose your top speed. other than that the preludes are perfect for the track. will you be running on dirt or ashphalt? road course or oval?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Tim.
We'll be driving on asphalt road courses for the most part.
The 24 Hours of LeMons is a unique race for cars worth less than $500.00 - more info at www.24hoursoflemons.com

Stew
 

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its no problem. if your running ashphalt youll want to keep the stock tire size as close as possible. if you have a good running car you should be pretty happy with your lude. they were the car of choice for years on the small tracks around where i lived. beeing a lude guy it kinda hurt somtimes to see the emaculate cars these guys where stripping and destroying but what can you do lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again for the info.

Such is the nature of racing - strip every thing of no use whether it's new or not...
 

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Reliability

The main thing is to get an engine with good bearings or at least drop the bearings from your old one and change new ones into it, then maybe look at a quick hone and new rings. Then i would spend some money on a new radiator and don't bother running the thermostat this will keep the engine cool as possible and also run a bit quicker as the pump will not have to work as hard sucking the air through the tiny hole in the thermostat. Make sure your alternator has new brushes inside not an expensive cost if you know a place that can change them. Also i'd consider a Togo high pressure oil pump and using a slightly thicker oil. Consider replacing all the gaskets on the engine to minimize oil leakage, and then thats about it engine wise, worth getting some non resistor plugs for better bhp and economy as your not running a radio the interference won't matter!! Then you need to worry about the gearbox, if your running this long it's worth thinking about tapping a drain hole in the box run a pipe to a oil pump and oil cooler then tap a hole in the top to return the cooled oil. The heat buildup on 24 hour race will kill the oil and gearbox so this is definately worth looking into, make sure you use Honda gearbox oil though it's the best for reliability, the sycros on the box are reasonable price depends how many gears you might have to use all the time. Lighter flywheel have the old one machined, then a nice sturdy clutch if it's oval won't need anything too beefy but if it's a technical track might have to go aftermarket from clutchnet so that it's reliable. Make sure you got good bearings all round, maybe beef up the front suspension with some poly tie rod bushes only cheap. And then just spend the money on some quality tyres stick with 14" or 15" size. Apart from that just make sure you got good leads, cap rotor make sure you use a Honda rotor though the OEM patent ones are rubbish wobble around too much the honda one is held on very securely, possibly change the fuel pump for a new one running for 24 hours might upset it!! And thats about it really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice, rj - reliability is what we're looking for at this race. It's not 24 hours of constant driving, more like 7 hours on Saturday, and 7 or 8 on Sunday, but reliability is still the key so we don't have to work all of Saturday night on the car.

Stew
 

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reliability

well i would still conside4r the gearbox oil cooler, if you buy an auto rad you can use the oil cooler no that to do the oil like on the auto trans, i've found that with constant use for more than a few hours at race speed is enough to destroy the oil and then eventually the syncros etc. But as you will have a lot less power it may last longer but if you want to avoid trannt rebuilds each race get it plumbed in unless you only plan on running once a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That makes sense and probably what I'll do. Gotta keep everything cool..

Still having problems finding a donor car or engine/trans for that matter - any idea if I can take the entire front end - sub-frame and all out of a later model car and make it work on the 86 model without too much drama?
 

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That makes sense and probably what I'll do. Gotta keep everything cool..

Still having problems finding a donor car or engine/trans for that matter - any idea if I can take the entire front end - sub-frame and all out of a later model car and make it work on the 86 model without too much drama?
you can swap out the front sub frame including struts from any carbed model into any carbed model, it will bolt up and run. same goes for the FI models. best to keep your original wire harness tho, in my experience with these cars(canadian models) this is the case. im not sure about US models as they have some funky emissions setups.
 

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spares

3rd gen Accord use the same engine and trans as well as mounts etc. The carbed engine and everything in the engine bay forwards of the firewall is different to the SI, including the subframes, suspension, and engine mounts, the engines and trans are the same but mounted slightly differently. So if yours is a carbed engine stay clear of SI and vice versa as it won't fit!!
 

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3rd gen Accord use the same engine and trans as well as mounts etc. The carbed engine and everything in the engine bay forwards of the firewall is different to the SI, including the subframes, suspension, and engine mounts, the engines and trans are the same but mounted slightly differently. So if yours is a carbed engine stay clear of SI and vice versa as it won't fit!!
sorry i should have specified a little better in my post. that carb will go with carb, and FI with FI but you cant straight swap them. as rjudgey said if youve got a carb unit stay away from FI
 
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