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Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

 
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Old 05-22-2014, 03:04 PM
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Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Hi PZ members,

I am due for my driving license in a few months, and have decided to buy a vehicle. (Note that i will be getting a driving license for automatics, so don't go suggesting manuals, i'll get my manual license a few years, when i've built up experience.)

Since i was looking for something in the 1980-1995 model years i came across a very nice EUDM 1983 Honda Prelude 1.8 EX Automatic.

Description (translated from dutch):

This Honda Prelude Automatic is in excellent shape. An original imported car for the netherlands. MOT Lasts untill December 2015

Specs:
  • Type of car: Honda Prelude 1.8 EX Automatic
  • First Registered: 22-10-1983
  • Mileage: 121438 km (75458 Miles)
  • Color: Gray metallic
  • Power: 101 HP (Though i think some might have escape the stable )
Accessories:
  • Rear Window Defroster
  • Audio
  • Electric Sunroof
  • Alloy Rims
  • NAP (Dutch CARFAX) Available
  • Known Service History
  • Originally imported to the netherlands
  • Power Steering

They are currently asking 1,950.00 euros for it plus another 245.00 in extra costs (To make it roadworthy). It has had 2 Owners (I would be the 3rd one)
And it looks very clean from the pictures in the Advertisement (Completely OEM)

Here is a picture of the car, the rest of the exterior looks pretty in pretty much the same shape, no pictures of the interior though. I will be visiting the dealer tommorow to check it out.



So i end up with the price being 2,195.00 Euros (2,995.00 U.S. Dollars), is this a decent price?

Are there any known problems with this generation of preludes?

Also any general car buying tips?

Thanks in advance,

Bryan

Last edited by Quotex; 05-22-2014 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:15 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Pm Jamie if he doesn't chime in soon. He's familiar with the 2nd gen in ways most of us are not.
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Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
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I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

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Old 05-22-2014, 09:49 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Geez....

If it all looks as good as that picture, buy it. You want to prepare to do all the normal old-car maintenance (or be sure its been done recently) -- brakes, shocks, coolant hoses. You might need to replace a few suspension bushings at some point. Make sure the headlight motors work and the lights go up and down. More than anything else, though, find out when the timing belt was last replaced. It's supposed to be changed every 96,000 km (60,000 mi) -- if it's close or over to that, negotiate that into the deal. A broken timing belt will usually destroy the cylinder head or more, so that's the one maintenance item to keep up with religiously.

Now I need to go take a cold shower....
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:21 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Thanks for the replies and tips, and yes, it does all look that good on the outside, but like i said, the Dealer has no pictures of the inside. I'm going to give them a visit later today.

I hope the engine bay and interior look just as great as the exterior.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:31 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Where do you live that they have different licenses for auto and manual?

very nice looking second gen.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:55 AM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

That would be the Netherlands for ya. But yeah, in a few hours I'll be travelling 1 hour and 30 mins by Public transit to go and see the car. Luckily since i am a student i don't have to pay for it. Still it's 3 times as slow as driving to the place -.-
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:35 AM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

That is outta site man! Great first car. Here in the states that would be pretty expensive. But with that low of milage one would have to expect to pay premuim price. And the dealer has to make a profit.

Cold shower indeed.

A few horses escaped the stable...that's pretty funny.

Keep in mind that car is old and probably sat a lot. Car-part.com is a world wide junkyard store but shipping used parts can get expensive. Also check out 'thisoldhonda.com' for parts sources and lots of information.
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welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
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Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:40 AM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Clean-looking 2nd gen..
Can't comment on price without more pictures, and even so, don't know how much cars cost in The Netherlands..
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:29 AM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

I have returned from my 6-and-a-half hour trip.

A detailed review will come in a few hours (need to work, as well as sending some mail to the garage who serviced it for the first owner)

But i can easily tell you that i have taken a bite from the forbidden fruit, and now i want more of it.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:52 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Yesssssssss^^ however you say that in dutch
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Originally Posted by ogsmakdade View Post
welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:52 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Well here is the summary:
  • NAP (Carfax) was available Although my stepdad finds the given mileages questionable (The mileage intervals were to similar he says, so he's not too sure if it's legit.) There also was an administrative Typo which means the document is pretty much invalid (Someone recorded 121,437 km, and then 121,331 km after it the next day.)
  • The road-worthiness fee is included in the price, so he is asking 2,660 Dollars for it.
  • Little Service history was available, however the dealer said he knew the company that had this. I will be emailing them this weekend.
  • Service Manual was available.
  • Mileage was increased from 121,400 km to 121,700, since He has been using the car.
  • Aside from minor scuffs on the front bumpers no further exterior damage. Some panels need to be Re-attached (The fender mold and the rear bumper.)
  • Rear bumper has a different (lighter, more faded) color plastic then the other plastic parts on the car, so it might have been replaced at some time.(???)
  • Interior was excellent, aside from a broken quartz clock and the a cigarette burn.
  • NO DENTS!
  • NO PAINT SCRATCHES! There was some wrinkling and surface rust however. (Bottom left corner of the rear window, Behind the front right fenderflap/skirt thing, The sealed area inbetween the body and the sunroof.
  • Working Headlights Servos, Working lights in General, except for Right reverse indicator (Might be decorational?)
  • Engine sounds very smooth, no smoke on start up, a little crispy at the start, as it was a cold start. Crispiness dissapeared in a second.
  • Rims are dirty, and the Center caps have seen better days, could use some new paint on the logo background.
  • The car looks to have been shopped in the pictures on the add.
  • Working Antenna, as well as Audio System and sunroof.
  • Engine bay and trunk look clean, full-sized spare is still in good shape.
  • No info about the distribution belt, will mail about it to the garage who serviced the car.

Sorry for the long read.

With some good luck though, my Stepdad is going with me next week to negotiate about the cars price. He estimates that the car isn't very wanted, because it is the Automatic version.

Last edited by Quotex; 05-23-2014 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:43 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quotex View Post
[*]Service Manual was available.
Service manual (large book with detailed maintenance and repair procedures) or owners manual (fits in the glovebox, basic operating manual for the car)? Finding the service manual is a good deal.

Quote:
[*]Interior was excellent, aside from a broken quartz clock and the a cigarette burn.
The clock may be difficult to replace.

Quote:
[*]NO PAINT SCRATCHES! There was some wrinkling and surface rust however. (Bottom left corner of the rear window, Behind the front right fenderflap/skirt thing, The sealed area inbetween the body and the sunroof.
How bad is the rust in the sunroof area?

Quote:
[*]Working Headlights Servos, Working lights in General, except for Right reverse indicator (Might be decorational?)
Both reverse lights should work. If just one is out, it might just be a burnt-out bulb.

Quote:
[*]Engine bay and trunk look clean, full-sized spare is still in good shape.
Full-sized spare? Wow!

Quote:
[*]No info about the distribution belt, will mail about it to the garage who serviced the car.
Timing belt. This synchronizes the movement of the intake and exhaust valves with the movement of the pistons, and makes sure they don't try and occupy the same space at the same time.

Quote:
Sorry for the long read.
No sweat -- we work better with more information. Good luck.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:14 AM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Yes, I know what the Timing Belt does, but the dealer had no information about if it had been replaced or not. I have now mailed the apparent garage that had been servicing the car for it's previous owner. (It's pretty much a One owner car)
Also, it was the Owners Manual now that you say it, not the service manual. But i guess the Garage might have it. So i asked them for a detailed report about it in the E-mail.


Also, about the reverse light.

"Normally only one is supposed to work" Is what he told me

But i figured it was supposed to work.

As for the rust, it seemed to be only surface rust at the Sunroof, it didn't seem to be leaking. But it was looking pretty nasty. and could use some work. I heard they are notorious for having rust there? My stepdad had owned 4 preludes at the time and he said it was common to find this there.

Last edited by Quotex; 05-24-2014 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:55 AM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

It's the timing belt that's critical.

Both reverse lights should work. :)

The rust isn't uncommon, just a matter of how deep the rot goes.
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:17 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
The rust isn't uncommon, just a matter of how deep the rot goes.
cancer*

I hate how mine's creeping on the sunroof too, will have to get it fixed before I paint the whole car..

To OP, good luck and hope that if you do get it, that the prelude gods get you a good car and a good deal.
However, I would also be skeptical about the mileage if there are discrepancies on the "NAP"..
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:17 AM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

You can get the service manual from helms.com.
They offer the book or a cd version.
You can go to the diy section here and download a pdf from the all service manual thread.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/j6zk7id3ywlmzkr/rQ-kreiAzz
^^ this is the download link to an 83-87 manual I mentioned.

And if the dealer can't track down t belt info see if you can get them to change it out as part of the deal.

Permatex makes some good rust stopper. You scrape all the rust you can, as in the loose stuff and spray or brush on the stuff. Stops rust before it goes any deeper.
I've used it for few cars. A dime sized spot on my son's 93 is still dime sized two years later. We respray it a couple times a year.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogsmakdade View Post
welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead

Last edited by bykfixer; 05-25-2014 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:15 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

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Originally Posted by Szeth View Post
However, I would also be skeptical about the mileage if there are discrepancies on the "NAP"..
I had to ask the dealer for this report, who said i was quite persuasive and shown on the report was a small disrepancy.

Somewhere in march this year, the car had 121.437 km when the mileage was put in at the 20th and on the 21st someone reported it had 121.431 km.

And now it has 121.7xx km.

So it could be a typo, as the rest is consistent. So far i've received no email from the garage that serviced it. So I'm going to make a call to them tommorow.

If there's still no answer by then, i am probably going to negotiate that into the final price.
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Old 05-27-2014, 01:28 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Just wondering which side reverse light is out? It could be that if the passenger side isn't lit, then it could be an integrated rear fog light since this is a EUDM car?
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Old 05-27-2014, 01:30 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

You know what, I take it back. Rear fogs appear to be in the center/red section.



Good luck man.
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Old 05-27-2014, 02:20 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

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Old 05-27-2014, 09:01 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

The passenger side was out, it should've been working.

As for the image lazarky sent, thanks, now i have another idea for what i will NOT be doing to my Prelude.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:38 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
You can get the service manual from helms.com.
They offer the book or a cd version.
Helm publishes the manual for U.S./Canadian-market cars. There shouldn't be much difference between those and European-market cars, but especially that far back, I don't know whether some of the fuel system info is different. Source one locally if you can, or download one of the free ones (which will probably still be a U.S. book, but you didn't pay anything for it....).
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:47 AM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Well that was some suspense.

But in the end I decided to buy it, because I didn't want to wait for another possible oportunity to get a Prelude This Clean (There were others at the time, but priced at 7 grand)

I managed to get it down from 1950 Euros (2643 USD) , to 1700 euros (2304 USD)

This new price includes, repairs to the rear bumper and fender mold, as well as Transportation fees included (Which would've costed me another 100 Euro.) The dealer will also do a checkup and fillup on all fluids to make sure they are OK.

Went to the DMV yesterday to register the car under it's new owner (me), and it should be delivered to my place later today.

Let's hope this car doesn't have any hidden secrets in it's still mostly unknown service history.

Atleast the MOT still runs untill Dec Next year.

Last edited by Quotex; 06-18-2014 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:55 AM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

If you're still not sure about the timing belt, replace it -- it's cheap insurance. Replace the water pump at the same time, just because it's all down there. Everything else can be worked as you go. Have fun!
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:00 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

I won't be driving it for a while yet, so the timing belt can wait untill the week before i'll actually use it.

Things i do want to work on is the rust near the Sunroof (which is a bit more then i saw at first , but still not too bad, the roof doesn't leak.)

Pictures coming soon.

Picture of the grilled cheese/rust in question.


It's pretty much just under that cover. And this is probably the Worst-looking bit of the entire car.
How bad is it though, to me it doesn't look THAT bad. But i'm not an expert....yet anyways.

Last edited by Quotex; 06-18-2014 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:00 PM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

To be honest I can't tell much about what I'm looking at in the photo. But it looks like something that locktite stuff could stop.

Edit:
Glad you got the car. This old honda is a great source for info on the older honda cars.
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:52 AM
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Re: Buying a 2nd gen prelude, what to look for?

Wow, man. That's a crazy good find, especially for the coin. Not sure if you've gotten a chance to look into the rust or not, but would strongly recommend a couple of quick intermediary steps, to minimize any progression.

1.) ditch the sunroof visor on the roof. Anything that traps water anywhere near the bodies on these cars is a serious no-go. Plus, this should make it easier to get access to the rusty section.
2.) hand sand the affected area, + about 12mm past it in any direction. start with a 100grit (do they use the same grit system as in the US), finish with 600grit. Be sure to use a crisscross pattern, to avoid embedding rust further into the metal.
3.) Surface prep! use a lint free rag and some MEK / brake cleaner / similar volatile cleaner to get the rust dust off the surface.
4.) Find a "Rust reformer" to finish off your initial protective layer. My personal preference is a phosphoric acid based one. This is what a bunch of OEMs use to prep bare metal (and prime iron castings for painting). It's also a relatively innocuous chemical, as far as acids go.
5.) if you can, shoot your basecoat primer with something that has activated zinc. (These older Hondas can use the help in the rust prevention department)
6.) Let dry fully, and sand this base smooth-ish with 600-800grit. RECLEAN with paint safe solvent.
7.) shoot your color coat and clear as you normally would.

Hopefully this helps some. Let me know if any of the above doesn't make any sense or is confusing.
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