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What to Look For in a 5th Gen

 
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:42 PM
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What to Look For in a 5th Gen

Hey everyone! I am new here but I figured this is the better place to post this rather than in the new forums. I am in the market for a 5th gen Prelude and in my research I have gotten very mixed reviews. The only constant I have read is how much fun they are, and I had a friend who had a 98 ... so I know that! I have searched the threads for a good 20 mins and haven't found these questions, so if I missed something please link me to the threads and close this one. Here is what I am wondering about when purchasing a Prelude (5 speed of course):

What areas commonly fail on these Preludes? I read alot about the auto-trans problems and gear lockouts when its cold but is there a lot more?

When looking at a car what should I look for (aside from black dust on the bumper) for signs of use and abuse?

Would you guys buy a car that has 110,000+ miles in good shape but everything is original and nothing has been fixed or replaced?

Are these the MAIN problem areas for high mileage: timing belt, water pump, and head. If all of these were replaced would you guys feel confident buying a high mileage car? What if the motor was rebuilt?

At what mileage, assuming moderate abuse, does a transmission typically start having problems?

That is really all I am wondering about. I have never purchased a very high mileage vehicle before and I am wondering about what kind of costs I may be looking at. I have also been considering a 99-00 Civic SI but those cars are just so dull when compared to the Prelude IMO. I am really wanting to get one of these, and already have the mods planned out :) but I just need to make sure I know exactly what I am getting into before I purchase a car with fairly high miles. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:04 AM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

I didn't notice it had bumper sags until a week after i got my lude >_> front & back

my driver door side handle was also "winged"
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:22 AM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

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Originally Posted by Pulp_Fiction View Post
Hey everyone! I am new here but I figured this is the better place to post this rather than in the new forums. I am in the market for a 5th gen Prelude and in my research I have gotten very mixed reviews. The only constant I have read is how much fun they are, and I had a friend who had a 98 ... so I know that! I have searched the threads for a good 20 mins and haven't found these questions, so if I missed something please link me to the threads and close this one. Here is what I am wondering about when purchasing a Prelude (5 speed of course):

What areas commonly fail on these Preludes? I read alot about the auto-trans problems and gear lockouts when its cold but is there a lot more?

When looking at a car what should I look for (aside from black dust on the bumper) for signs of use and abuse?

Check the dipstick, if its stained it mean they don't change the oil regularly...other than that, you can tell alot about a car by how it was maintained. if its clean cool, if not then no bueno. like the engine bay and things of that nature. in general though its hard to tell. ( I would recommend on a test drive asking them to drive it somewheres first to see how they treat it you know...) And of course see if they have receipts for work done...

Would you guys buy a car that has 110,000+ miles in good shape but everything is original and nothing has been fixed or replaced?

If the car had 110xx and the timing belt/water pump hasn't been done tell them to either have it done or drop the price and have it done IMMEDIATELY. Those are supposed to be done at or before 90k.

Are these the MAIN problem areas for high mileage: timing belt, water pump, and head. If all of these were replaced would you guys feel confident buying a high mileage car? What if the motor was rebuilt?

In general yes, if the T-belt and such was done that would be a major plus( possibly clutch too but again, I'm at 112xxx on on my original clutch( as far as I know its the original clutch, although my pressure plate is beginning to fail...But if the motor was re-built near 100k I'd stay away. Our motors have been seen to last well into the 200k range, no reason whatsoever for a rebuild be needed before 150k. ( unless fried piston rings...that happens..)

At what mileage, assuming moderate abuse, does a transmission typically start having problems?

I honestly don't know but I'm at 112xxx and I'm just now starting to see a new clutch and such within the next 20k miles. And I think( think) its the original clutch and stuff...

That is really all I am wondering about. I have never purchased a very high mileage vehicle before and I am wondering about what kind of costs I may be looking at. I have also been considering a 99-00 Civic SI but those cars are just so dull when compared to the Prelude IMO. I am really wanting to get one of these, and already have the mods planned out :) but I just need to make sure I know exactly what I am getting into before I purchase a car with fairly high miles. Thanks in advance!

In general, if it is modded run, not walk, run away from it. I don't care how much he says he baby's it, if it has a CAI and some sik rims y0! hes beat the hell outta it, almost guaranteed( or at least is a good assumption to make...)

These cars are pretty strong. Hondas in general...but I don't consider 100k on an h22 high mileage. not low but not necessarily high either...
These are awesome cars. I love mine every time I drive it. Just use some common sense and try to find a good stock grocery getter and you'll be set!
Hope I could be of some help, And welcome to PZ. Post up an intro, whether you have a lude yet or not, we are always glad to welcome someone new to the prelude scene! Take it easy.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:22 AM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

Timing belt should have been done at 90K, so make sure you check for that. They like to burn oil a bit at high mileage. Not a huge deal, but make sure you keep an eye on it. That's the only things coming to mind right now, but I'm drunk so I'll put more thought into it tomorrow morning, lol.
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:25 AM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

Very cool, thanks for the quick replies! I was very nervous about buying a modded car and was planning on staying away simply because I remember how my buddy used to drive his! I found a really nice one on craigslist with an H22-A J-Spec Motor in it and for some reason it had a new tranny in it as well, this also scared me since there really isn't a reason to put a faster motor in your car unless you plan on beating the hell out of it or you blew the old one and replaced it.

I also planned on staying away from ones that didn't have decent service records.

@NiteKID: What causes bumper sag? Do you just get up and under the front and back ends and look for small lines to see thats what is going on?
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:57 AM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

im not sure what causes the bumper sag

found a fix it
http://preludepower.com/forums/showt...ght=bumper+sag
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:35 AM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

If it's any comfort for you, I bought mine at 168,000 miles last year, and although it WAS slightly modded, the person did have all the receipts for maintenance and he was from the marines, so there was no reason for him to be a jerk. In general, i also would not recommend buying anything that was modded anymore than just slightly. In my personal opinion, you should also do your due diligence on the seller's background and personality as it may play a big part in how the seller has treated the car a.k.a. if he was a total sh*tbag, then you can expect the car to be manhandled; on the contrary, if the seller looks like he truly cared for the car, even if the car was modded, it could mean he cared enough not to beat on it too much because it had sentimental value.

Now i'm at 188,000 miles and still going strong, driving it to and from work almost 50 miles a day. Believe it or not, except for shifting to 5th (because of the common issue with the shift forks into 5th gear with the 1997s) it drives super smoothly---i even amaze myself when i periodically have to remind myself that it is an old car with very high mileage because it drives so well!
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:30 PM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

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Originally Posted by PreludeBoy_M View Post
If it's any comfort for you, I bought mine at 168,000 miles last year, and although it WAS slightly modded, the person did have all the receipts for maintenance and he was from the marines, so there was no reason for him to be a jerk.
Hahaha, I know lots of Marines who are jerks. I can be one myself.


Personally, I wouldn't buy a modded car but just use common sense. If the paint has **** all in it and they didn't both to clean the car to sell it, then they probably don't give a **** if they sell you a piece of **** or not. If the t-belt and that **** hasn't been changed, you have a lot of leverage top bring the price down at least a grand. If not, then there are still plenty of nice Preludes out there who need good homes. Good luck brother!
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:28 PM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

Also if you have to get the timing belt done, I'd recommend getting the Manual Tensioner swap. The automatic tensioner that comes on H22s is known for failing which leads to some bad stuff!
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:15 PM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

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Originally Posted by Si Speed View Post
Hahaha, I know lots of Marines who are jerks. I can be one myself.


Personally, I wouldn't buy a modded car but just use common sense. If the paint has **** all in it and they didn't both to clean the car to sell it, then they probably don't give a **** if they sell you a piece of **** or not. If the t-belt and that **** hasn't been changed, you have a lot of leverage top bring the price down at least a grand. If not, then there are still plenty of nice Preludes out there who need good homes. Good luck brother!
LoL i guess i just lucked out on my car.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:57 AM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

Thanks for the good advice! I am going to really step my search up within the next week or two and now I know a lot more about what to look for in one of these cars.

Just 1 more question if you guys don't mind. Is there any way, without the service records, to know if the 90k service was done just by looking around the engine bay or would I have to get it inspected to find out? Reason I ask is I found a really nice 01 with 88k on it and the guy said he didn't have service records so I am assuming no. And as far as that service goes ... it does give me a good bargain chip but in terms of actually having that service done am I looking at about 500-1200$ or so?
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:04 AM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

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Originally Posted by Pulp_Fiction View Post
Thanks for the good advice! I am going to really step my search up within the next week or two and now I know a lot more about what to look for in one of these cars.

Just 1 more question if you guys don't mind. Is there any way, without the service records, to know if the 90k service was done just by looking around the engine bay or would I have to get it inspected to find out? Reason I ask is I found a really nice 01 with 88k on it and the guy said he didn't have service records so I am assuming no. And as far as that service goes ... it does give me a good bargain chip but in terms of actually having that service done am I looking at about 500-1200$ or so?
hmm its kind of hard to tell. You could ask him if it has the auto or manual tensioner on it. If he doesn't know what you're talking about I can almost promise it hasn't been done. ( Btw the auto tensioner is usually changed to the manual when the timing belt is done, the auto have a habit of failing...)

And yes, if it hasn't been done tell him to either get it done, or drop the price at LEAST 1k. because it will cost you between 500-1000+ to have it done, depending on how much you have down while they are in there changing the belt.

Tip, Ask if he minds if you take it to a mechanic you trust. Take it to that person and see if they can tell, there are certain seals honda puts on our cars that have to be broken or replaced when repairs of this nature are done. A good honda tech can look at a car and practically tell you its history just from the seals.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:19 AM
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Re: What to Look For in a 5th Gen

this guy is crazy trying to sell me a 97 SH prelude for 4000 dollars and he dosent even know if the t belt has been changed im about to drop that price at least by 1500
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