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Possible SH purchase, is this one worth it?

 
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:28 PM
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Possible SH purchase, is this one worth it?

I'll skip the formal introduction, as I don't have a prelude yet. There is an 06 accord parked up front, but it's the family car- so I'm not completely unfamiliar with Hondas. Moving on-

I just got back from a test drive, and it's a 98 Honda Prelude type SH. 130K miles, lowered, wheels, air intake, apexi exhaust. It's not clean by any means. It's got cracks in both bumpers, some dents, a patch of rust around the rear wheelwell, a faded spoiler, an okay interior. It had its head rebuilt 20k miles ago, and at the moment, the CEL and ATTS lights are on in the dash. Also, the right axle is most definitely bent, as the car violently shakes under acceleration. It's also missing the right rear window.

It's also rather low, to the point where a coke can got stuck underneath while driving it. My assumption is that the shocks and springs would have to be replaced too. The clutch doesn't seem the best either, as it grabs awfully high. Tires are close to bald too. The handbrake sorta holds, but everything else is in working condition. AC, lights, etc, no loose wiring in the engine bay. And did I mention it is red? It does drive fine, it doesnt smoke, it idles steady, and the engine is not overheating.

Furthermore, I'm stuck with my piece of **** Camry and this would be a temprorary solution for me out of it. It definitely needs work, but here's the biggest draw for me- Even with repairs of the afforementioned details, the car would cost less than the lowest priced 5th gen (97-01) Prelude on Autotrader within 500 miles. THey're freaking expensive cars.

This guy wants $2500 (negotiable too) for his. That's $3000 less than what KBB has it under 'fair condition', and approximately 4k less than the average priced car on Autotrader or Craigslist. I'm really attracted to this buy, it's just the initial purchase price is so much more appealing than even pondering the notion of getting one for about 6 grand. A 98 Prelude SH- for $2000 or so... even as a project car... a good buy? I do have the VIN, so should I pull a carfax? The owner has had it since 55k miles (but owners do lie, of course).

I don't mean to make it a show car, or anything awesome by any means. But even if I were to throw say- 2k into it, I think it could make a very respectable daily driver? Let me know what you guys think. THanks.


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Old 07-12-2008, 06:04 PM
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I think it has potential. I payed $3500 for my 4g with 130k. If your willing to put some work into it, it could be a very nice car. You should definately pull a carfax. I found out a car I bought had its OD rolled back. It would also be helpful to find out why the head was rebuilt.
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:02 PM
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THe carfax completely checks out, and the car passed emissions this year. The head was rebuilt after the valves were clicking (so the owner says).
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Old 07-13-2008, 02:01 AM
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looks like a bit of a risk, but maybe a worthwhile one?

I bought my 4th gen with 198K for 1100... spent 7000 more 3 years later when I decided to replace the engine, tranny, and just about everything else... yes, it was worth it.
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Old 07-13-2008, 02:12 AM
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If all you want is a good DD look for a base less weight and stuff to go wrong and look around more to see what else is out thear. Ask the owner if you can tack it to autozone to have the CEL pulled and that will give ya good info on the car. I would walk away spend a lil more on a better one then have to fix this that and spend more then if you just bought a better one.
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:48 AM
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I'd say if you have the money get it I'd offer $1,900 and see if they bite. Sounds the car was owned by a poor owner and didn't take care of it. Sounds like they drove it until it broke down If it had head work done 20K ago I'd say they threw a timing belt and bent the valves. Also the overall description of the appearance sounds like the guy/ gal didn't take pride in their Lude like most of us on here. They are very great cars to own and drive. I noticed you said yours doesn't smoke? Were you able to hit v tech when you drove it? Nature of the beast is to smoke a bit while in v tech so not that big of a deal there. I would also say there would be alot of fuel issues i.e. filter, injector, other related issues as it sounds the owner did not go out on a limb to upkeep the car so I am almost certain of the cheapest fuel only being used. Just go thru that thing with a fine tooth comb so to speak. Do all neccessary tune up maintenance, filter changes, run some good injector cleaner for a while, replace clean the EGR valve, etc, etc. Even though that car has been thru some ruff driving without proper care I know it can bounch back. As for the ATTS (SH) I don't own one so one of the other guys/ gals here on the forums will have to help you on that one, but it could be as simple as making sure it has enough oil, or changing it out with fresh. The cancer you talked about is that in the rear quarter wheel wells where that piece of rubber starts to line the inside portion of the wheel well? My 3rg Gen rusted alot there. Again that is just poor maintenance and not keeping it cleaned properly.

Speaking of bringing the Lude back, I bought my 3rd Gen with the #2 piston rod sticking out of the front of the motor. I found another engine and changed out all the usual stuff, clutch kit, flywheel resurfaced, seals, timing belt, water pump and threw it on that car drove for two years before I sold it with no issues plus the guy I sold it to has been driving that thing everyday and he has called me and said that thing is running like a top and that he never had a used car run so well. That cancer (rust) was so bad that I had bought a good quarter panel from a junkyard but never had the time or money to get it fixed, so I passed that quarterpanel on to him as his brother is a auto body guy, he since had that thing painted and looking really nice I almost want to buy it back from him.
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Old 07-13-2008, 03:55 PM
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yea id pay 2000 max for it. it seems like it was beat, you dont know what else could be wrong on it
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Old 07-13-2008, 04:51 PM
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honestly bro i'm on my 2nd 5th gen. i agree with YOGI and i'd walk away. if that ATTS light is on and defective it could be very costly to fix and if you just leave it as you have about 100lbs. of dead weight in the front end. i would take what money you have to buy it and either wait or borrow some more loot and find a better buy. you can find a reasonable one for 5-6k with minimal repairs. good luck in your search. **also keep in mind that not everything shows on a carfax***
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Old 07-13-2008, 11:34 PM
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better yet, get a 4th gen and fix it up!
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