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Update on Two Old Preludes Restoration - Mar. 24,2012

 
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:08 PM
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Update on Two Old Preludes Restoration - Mar. 24,2012

It's been about a year and a half since I first posted pics, of the two doomed Preludes I saved from a nearby scrapyard. Though both are still far from restored, what little work has been accomplished has been rewarding to see. I had intended to keep an online journal of these projects right from the start, but never got around to it. Both cars would have been finished long ago, but health problems have been a major hindrance and very little was done in 2011.

You can refer to my previous post "Two First-Gen Preludes" to see the pics of what the cars looked like when I acquired them. They weren't much to look at, but having never seen a first-gen Prelude before, I was thrilled to have found two of them. One was a brown 1980, the other a red '82, both
with beige interiors. The brown one looked to be in the roughest shape, with the rocker panels and most of the rear end rusted away (among many other things)....
Initially I didn't do much work on these cars, as I was busy on another project (an '87 Accord) which I also have not yet completed (and which still occupies my small garage). The brown car was actually still in running order, and I was able to drive it around the yard albeit with a stuck clutch and weak brakes.
The first order of business was to remove the interiors, to allow the fabric and the inside of the car itself to dry out. Little else got done over the winter of 2010-'11. Record-breaking snowfall kept these cars buried for most of the winter. Here's what they looked like on Dec. 24:



(That's my '80 Civic, a previous project, to the left)
And here's what they looked like by March 4th:



You might wonder why I didn't just shovel around them, well, there was so much snow there was literally no place to put it all. We actually had to have a bulldozer brought in to clear the snow from the driveway at one point, which piled some snowbanks to over ten feet tall. Oh, the fun I could have had if I were 10 years old again.....
By March the snow was finally beginning to recede, and I began digging out the brown Prelude (at least until my back gave out):



(Apr. 23) I finally began working on the body of the '80, after raising the left side of it. I started at the back of the front left wheel arch, which looked like this:



Note how someone else had attached a panel over the hole, using only a bunch of wood screws. Such a repair would not pass inspection here in New Brunswick (rivets aren't allowed either).



(Apr. 29) Repairs to this area began, using angle iron as a reference point. The angle iron is permanent, and much more rigid than the original 22 gauge sheet metal. I had a pair of aftermarket rocker panels, and installed one on the drivers side. They are not a perfect fit though, and a lot of improvising was needed.
The floor of this car had been previously repaired, using thick 20-gauge sheet metal and proper welds, so this is one of the few areas that will not require much work.



(June 21) After a long break due to health problems, work resumed on this and here it is with the new metal welded in place.



(June 23) The finished repair, after smoothing out the welding seam, reinforcing it further with fiberglass, then coating with paint and finally a rubber undercoat - my usual technique for such repairs. The brightly-colored paint helps me see any places I missed with the undercoat.



(July 7) The area where the rear trailing arm connects to the car body, after repairs had begun. God bless the man who invented angle iron....



(August 29) After another long hiatus, work begins on the rear left wheel arch. With no aftermarket panels available, everything had to be built from scratch the best I knew how.



(August 29) Some pink Echinacea plants help obscure this unsightly project from view.



(September 9) More progress on the same wheel arch.



Here on a late summer day, a fellow car enthusiast of the feline variety enjoys the warm sunroof of the '82 Prelude. Shadow is actually a tamed stray, who often keeps me company while I'm working.



(Sep. 20) The wheel arch continues to take shape. Note that the fuel filler hold area had to be removed, there was almost nothing left of it and I had to start from scratch.



(Sep. 24) Fuel filler area started. Part of it is original.





(Oct. 17) Some repairs made to the front left wheel arch, shown above and below. Extra care was taken to ensure a solid repair at this important area.
I realize some people might nitpick about the quality of these welds, but keep in mind that I'm using an old beat-up flux-core MIG and working under less than ideal conditions. And these welds, especially when reinforced with fiberglass, are still far superior to rivets or screws.


(Oct. 21) Repairs begun around the left side of the radius rod



(Oct. 28) Strut tower repairs completed



(Jan. 22) I didn't get much done over the winter of 2011-'12, despite very favorable weather throughout it. In January, I found another old Prelude as a parts source and against my better judgement I had it delivered. It was in rough shape to say the least - it made my project cars look like they were in showroom condition - but there were many parts that I knew would be useful. I was very pleased to see the windshield intact, but as luck would have it I ended up breaking it when some parts stacked on the hood fell over. Despite this loss, there were still enough good parts to justify the expense, and I was even able to sell some of the ones I didn't need to fellow Prelude enthusiasts. Some other good parts included the control arms, most of which still had the factory coatings. There was even a brand new front lower arm (with ball joint) buried amongst the trash in the trunk! I'm told the engine is good but has 2x oversized pistons installed, making the cylinder walls very thin. Incredibly, the rocker panels were original and completely intact, and will prove very useful for my project cars.



(Feb. 16) I finally began doing some work on the '82, starting with this area around the left taillight. I cut the edge from the parts car and welded it to this one... here it is just after the welding was complete.

------------

That's as much as I've documented so far. There may be a few errors or omissions, and I know there are a few purists out there who will find fault with some of the things I'm doing. In my defense, I'm still relatively new to this hobby and I'm having to make do with some severely limited resources. If you think you could do better, you're welcome to come and help me!
I will try and post updates more regularly, as long as at least some work gets done. Comments, suggestions, and (constructive) criticism is welcome.

Last edited by packrat79; 03-24-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:50 PM
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Re: Update on Two Old Preludes Restoration - Mar. 24,2012

better than I could do, that's for sure.

can't wait for the next round of progress pics
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:30 PM
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Re: Update on Two Old Preludes Restoration - Mar. 24,2012

Crazy work, keep it up
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:23 PM
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Re: Update on Two Old Preludes Restoration - Mar. 24,2012

And I thought I pulled my prelude from near-death, holy moly that's some dedication. Very cool!
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:42 PM
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Re: Update on Two Old Preludes Restoration - Mar. 24,2012

Nice work, bro. Keep up the good work and keep us updated.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:29 AM
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Re: Update on Two Old Preludes Restoration - Mar. 24,2012

Very nice. You, sir, are very skilled.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:01 AM
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Re: Update on Two Old Preludes Restoration - Mar. 24,2012

This is awesome. Absolutely AMAZING. keep us updated.
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