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Hey all

Heres my project, I've had it for a little over a year now. Not road legal, registration is on hold. After a 9 hr bus ride I got there before dusk and got it sight unseen. Relied upon seller's info he gave me, agreed if it was grossly misrepresented I can leave with my money. I was pretty thorough with checking brakes/tyres/lights/wheels/steering etc, all the safe stuff considering I was doing a naughty naughty driving it home even though it hadn't a wof (warrant of fitness, a six monthly or 12 monthly roadworthiness check) since 2012, and had roadside assistance should I need a tow home.





Ideally I started out with the vision for this car as something low and slow, but I do like the look of 80s, low, jdm period correct, stretched tyres and negative camber. Of course nothing too extreme, no devil camber and I will be staying within the 100mm rule of how low it can be. I will be attempting to fiberglass lips, skirts, a duck tail spoiler, and maybe a roof spoiler.

I'll try and keep everything well thought out and legal within cert and Wof regulations, some though I may find difficulty with such as the track width not being widened by more than 25mm or 215/50r15 being too narrow for 15x8 rims. Hubcentric spacers can be 20mm max, but I do notice that the rear wheels do sit further in than the front. Plus I will check before cutting anything for intercooler piping.





More on that - I initially thought of keeping the stock b20a5 which supposedly makes 145hp and just manual swapping. And then I looked into turbocharging as it has been done.... But the b20a is a bit of an oddball engine, only used for like 5-8 years in Prelude and Accords. And thus it has little aftermarket support. I therefore would like to have a turbocharged h22a with manual trans, as it has much more aftermarket support. Plus I know of a dereg Ba5 prelude with a good trans and bad engine, could possibly give it my old one and save two ba5s with one stone

And its gotta be done in millennium jade, an R34 GTR colour that I saw on this beautiful RX7.



 

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In my time of owning it prior to the lockdown I haven't really done much, but since:
  • new battery
  • new boto genysys tyres from hyperdrive, real cheap but beats the cracked deflating ones it came with.
  • oil change, had to drill filter and yank it off with a long screwdriver it was that bad lol
  • Stripped the wiper cowl and omfg the rust, I'll have to see if I got pics from an old phone but damn there was at least quarter a black rubbish bag of rust and leaves etc that came out
  • wash, cut and polish
  • bled brakes, Stripped front calipers and solved one that was moderately seized, also replaced front discs with new trw, pads with ferodo. Was going to do rear pads and discs too but last minute budget constraints lol. FYI ferodo pads at repco are old stock and can be had for around 8-14 dollars a set. They'll most likely just have to be ordered in.
  • sorted the worst issue:
The past owner had a fuel pump replaced and it didn't solve the no fuel no start problem. The legends he had fix it found it wasn't getting power. So they ran a wire straight from battery. Meaning the battery would have to be disconnected/reconnected every time. (I later found a very well hidden switch under the dash, but after I had fixed it).

Fortunately I bought a car that was quite popular in the USDM so had English owners manuals readily available. The one I got from eBay in pdf is super helpful and thorough. I'd be lost without it.

I tested the pgm-fi main relay and found it was bad. I tried to fix it by resoldering, but to no avail. And what made things worse is that the car specific relay I needed was discontinued. However I managed to find that certain Hondas main relays would be a direct fit. I ordered one from (I think, an EF Civic) and fortunately it worked!
 

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I just want to comment on the build quality of my 1987 prelude compared to my MY94 impreza. It may be interesting as others who have owned 80s and 90s cars may have similar experiences.

My preludes interior is nicer and the plastics are better built, but that's probably it. Spot welded panels rarely have any seam sealer and majority. Of those that do have it applied really unprofessionally. Maybe it's not oem..

As a result there's a lot more rust in my Honda than the Subaru. I'd say its partly because of the harder neglected under tree life my Honda has had, plus it has a sunroof that was kinda new in the 80s, especially for a Japanese manufacturer.

It may be because it has 7-8 more years on my Subaru. My Subaru had developed small spots, but that's only in typical rust prone areas around windows or when window seals go bad. I doubt if it was the same age, it would have the same amount of rust.

That's because they went and seam sealed the majority of joins, folds, spot welds etc. I'm not sure if it was commonplace practice in the 80s,but in my opinion seam sealer is legit and I'll be using it alot. I have also a 91 Toyota mr2 hard top and it also has very little rust despite the age. It does not live with me, but I'm sure it has plenty seam sealer and sealed welds..
 

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Forgot to mention some info, I got it with like 197000km, it had a transmission failure in like 2009 which was replaced with another auto box when cambelt was done, in 2012 I believe the fuel pump/wiring work had been done, and around this time it lived in Christchurch but with the quakes at the time the owner had soon moved to the north island. It had the same owner since 1997 and with talking to him it was pretty clear it was a car he did really like.

Some other problems I forgot to mention -
Alternator died, because the high pressure power steering line failed and leaked all over it. I am looking into AN fitted custom hose, a brand new oem one will be difficult/expensive to source, same for a gates one. Might get a price from hydraulink or a mobile hose business. So currently I will need an alternator and ps line.

My tail lights never worked but I finally fixed this during lockdown. The brake light switch had been fettled with so it stayed on - meaning no true brake lights, constant tails, I remedied this by taping in a small old coin where the brake switch turns on.

Also, the fuel sending unit is not working properly. I've troubleshooted it and concluded somethings up with it. As it is accessed from a different panel than the Fuel pump that requires a fuel sender tool lol I'll have to buy a generic one and hopefully it works rather than the Honda specific tool which iirc isnt listed online. It may just be that some contacts are corroded perhaps, or the float has seized? The gauge functions fine. I think the previous owner advised me to watch for the warning light.
 

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Started the strip with the interior.

Seats, belts, interior panels first




Then the centre console

Carpet, headliner






As I went I tested every circuit (except a proper test of the a/c but it works) and after a bit of work I got my sunroof going. Cut out the nasty silicon rtv and with some rtv and got the motor going with some crc, cleaned out tracks etc.



Can confirm the sunroof does "function". Unfortunately the motor stopped going, maybe I worked it too hard and it was already near death?

Unfortunately my headliner backing was super brittle and split, it was otherwise good except for the ugly cuts in it and rust had set in badly around the visors/rear view mirror meaning I had to be a little rough with it. Will replace with something nice.



have to look into getting it rebuilt if the rest can be saved I know I'll be able to weld up the rusty bits though. If it's a no go I will buy a complete assembly as a second hand minter is approx 400. For everything new glass and assembly its about 1700. but iirc Amayama had the motor at about 450. I'm gonna spend here, but do it on a budget as I can't justify spending so much on a relatively unimportant part of the build. I'll have to replace the sunroof glass at least because the rubbers are in bad nick. Also discovered a guy discarded sunroof relays as pictured here



Door cards got Stripped too, just to have a look at what was going on behind there. My drivers used to be a maroon red, which is evidence of it being replaced for whatever reason. And at one point someone installed 6x9s and door speakers which is funny as the car has a tape deck.

I took the opportunity to test my lighting switch here for the tails. Also noticed one headlight motor was slower than the other. Everything okay here...



Not a complete pull of the dash as I just wanted to have a perve on what was going on behind there. It'll get properly removed when I carry out repairs. Probably the easiest dash I've done too. Remove vents, console, clock and about six bolts. The only dash I've done too, unless you count me "helping" out on a mk3 Cortina dash. That was a b***h so I didn't really help haha.



Rusted right through, true to form. Unfortunately I went and pushed it all out on the other side so will have to try and make a panel without the help of the old one as a template.



Safe to say all the glass will be removed so I can properly repair all the rust around it. There's a few little spots around the back and one or two round the quarters. The front is definitely the worst.

Also will be removing the sound deadening to check what the panels are like beneath it, and also as a safety precaution for welding. I read an An article on the motorhood about sound deadening removal using dry ice. I also saw on YouTube using freezing spray. Tried using an equivalent crc product but it didn't really work.



will be removing the seat mount brackets because they're pretty bad. Drivers Rh seat rail is rusty too, where steel has actually flaked off so will seek advice from experienced panelbeater colleague. Should be a simple weld in new steel job but because its a safety component I want to do it right. It'll be daunting removing the lines, wiring, handbrake - no going back from there..

My floor isnt too bad to be honest, both front and passengers, but the roof/pillars/wiper area, any area that water has contacted Is no good.
 
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