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Buying A Fifth Gen.

 
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:45 AM
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Buying A Fifth Gen.

So you're in the process of purchasing a 5g Prelude but don't know exactly what to look for, and you've got a deal that is just too good to pass up. Or you've found a couple preludes that seem to fit your budget and look like great buys, but you don't know what else to look for outside the ad. What do you? Now you look no further than this thread. I'm(and hopefully others will too) going to describe exactly what you should be looking for, what questions you should be asking, how much you should pay for this prelude or for that prelude, whether to buy a car with mods already on it or wait for one without any, basic things to know about 5g Preludes(including some on AT vs. MT), all those kind of questions. All those will be answered here. I'm on my fourth car...so I have plenty of experience with the used car buying process(all of them being Hondas).
If you have anything else you know to look for, please reply with it and I'll add it
So, here we go.
1.What to look for: Price
-The fifth generation prelude was made from 1997-2001, and was the last generation of the prelude. So, if someone claims to have an 02 prelude(I've seen it numerous times), they're either 1, lying and don't know what they're talking about, or 2....nevermind..in that case they don't know what they're talking about.
- KBB Website. KBB lists the value of cars at dealers, private sellers, in good condition, in okay condition, etc...so if you're worried about a guy ripping you off, you can check there for a general guideline. Two things on that: Most people will sell these from the mid 4k's to around 7K. For the most part, this is reasonable. 8K is always a bit high, unless for some reason the car has below, say 70-80K miles. The lower the mileage, the higher price,and Vice versa. But if it has say 150K+ miles and the guy still wants 7 or 8...He's overpriced, and you should look elsewhere.
-You should look for body damage, interior damage, and THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT YOU GET A CARFAX(Vehicle History report). This will allow you to identify any wrecks or problems it had in the past. This brings me to my next point.
Indicators/Evidence of a Wreck:
-New Paint Job. Often times after a severe, or sometimes even just mild, wreck, people will get it painted so they can sell it. This isn't always the case, but it is a definite possibility. It takes away the ugly appearance of the wreck, and does add a little value to it, but not as much as they will often times make it.
-Body panels not fitting together quite right. Does this prelude have panels that don't really seem to fit together like others do? especially in the front and/or rear? This is often the case when there is more extensive damage to the frame, and all that is replaced is a new bumper(and usually new paint). Said bumper doesn't quite fit like the OE one...giving you the gaps.
Touch Up paint- For this, look closely for spots on the car that don't quite look the same shade as the rest of the car.
-And obviously look for unrepaired body damage.
-All of this are points that you can bring up to either issue an ultimatum of "fix it or I walk", or easily talk him into lowering the price because of it.
Oh, and I almost forgot. Lastly: If the deal looks too good to be true, IT PROBABLY IS . Usually, in that case...there's information being withheld...
OTHER THINGS:
-Condition of the tires.
-Oil status
-Modifications

2.What You Should Be Asking

-The first things you should find out is: Mileage, HISTORY, Condition, what kind of person had it before(impossible to tell if it's a dealer...but easy if it's a private seller). As I said above, you're going to want to find out if the person selling has kept extensive records(this is the best case), or if he's a little unsure if certain things have been done:
-If the car is at or near 85-100K, inquire as to if the timing belt and water pump have been done. This is critical, as if it hasn't, and it's over 100K, then I would check your other options. Much like running a car out of oil..this can kill an engine.
-How often does he change the oil, and with what kind of oil? It would be good if you even checked the oil in the car yourself...(just a thought)
-Before Obtaining a vehicle history report, ask the seller if the car had been in any previous wrecks or had any other problems to his or her knowledge.
-CAR HISTORY REPORT
-Why is he or she selling the car?(if it's a private seller)
-(ask yourself this one). what type of person is this? More specifically, what kind of driver is this guy probably?
-TEST DRIVE- This is another BIG thing. Its important that you get a feel for the car and see if it's making any funny noises, what the tire noise is like, and generally get a feel for that car.

Prelude with Mods
-The issue of Mods when buying a car is a bit of a touchy one. Some say that if you put all that blood sweat and tears into a car with serious mods, then you should get your money back when you sell it. However, the fact is that mods may only be valuable to the person who did them. For example, some may love a lip kit, and a certain exhaust, but for others the exhaust maybe too loud and the lip kit not what they want. The question of whether to buy one with mods comes to down to how modded it is. If there's a head unit, and maybe some speakers, its not something that should deter you from buying it. But if its, say, pep boys taillights, a big exhaust, intake, headers, etc etc...then there's a high probability that its been "rode hard and put away wet." Meaning that the car has probably been driven hard...a lot. This usually will give you a lot more problems than one who has been driven,say for example on the other end of the spectrum, like a granny.(clutches with MT, and the whole transmission if done in an AT,among many others).
-Ask about who did the mods(DIY or Shop). If he or she did it themselves, you might ask if they had any help, any previous experience, etc, to figure out if your dealing with a guy who just threw stuff on and hoped it worked, or a guy who really knew what he was doing.
-The higher the mileage, the less you're going to want for it to have mods. If it has, say, 150-170k, and is modded out, I would personally look elsewhere.
-Ask also if the guy or girl has the OEM parts(if you don't like the modifications) and if so ask him to again, either put them back on or lower the price.

Some Basic Things to Know.
-If you have a choice between AT and MT, go with MT. If you don't know how to drive a stick, then find someone to help you teach yourself. Honda's are one of the best to learn on(the clutch isn't as exacting as say, a VW.). However, if the AT seems to be the best choice, don't be deterred by the fact that many people don't like AT's around here. The reason for this being: 1. The 97-98's had some problems with automatic transmission failures. However, this was fixed in the 99-01 models, so for the most part 99-01's are clear of the problem. However, an AT that has been rode hard is in much worse condition than a MT that has been treated the same. You can replace a clutch or individual parts of a MT, whereas with an AT, you have to get a shop to rebuild the whole thing.
-If you do get an AT, you can use the manual shift mode, but don't race it. Meaning...don't wait till 5K every time to shift just so you can hear VTAK(VTEC...which stands for Variable valve Timing and lift Electronic Control). Its really bad for the transmission, and will reduce the life of it by more than about 3/4.(essentially it kills it).
-Our cars DO BURN OIL....so I check it every couple of days. I usually keep a quart of oil in my trunk in case I find myself low.
-5G Preludes require PREMIUM fuel(octane rating of 93 or higher..correct me if Im wrong on the Octane rating)..and it is bad for them to give them anything else. The answer, courtesy of N00BER, is its due to the compression that its needed . Lower octane will allow detonation. Thats when the piston creates to much pressure in the cylinder causing the fuel to ignite prematurely.
Base Model and Type-SH differences
-The first major difference is that the SH only came in a 5-spd manual.(another place where if the guy tries to tell you he's got an auto SH, steer clear).
-Wheels- Base models came with alloy 5-spoke 16" forward-looking wheels. The Type-SH came with a 5-spoke whiter-looking wheel(don't think it (also alloys)
-Both came with the same engine, the 2.2L Dual-Overhead Cam VTEC. Standard transmission for both was a 5-speed manual, but a 4-speed automatic gearbox with Sequential sport shift.
-On SH Models, a 5 in the 8th digit of the VIN means it's an SH(Thanks TRAVIS for that)
-Both came with 4 wheel anti-lock disc brakes
-The list of standard features on both models were ABS, Cruise Control, Sunroof, A/C, and power accessories.
-Top speed is an estimated 140 mph.
-Much like in previous generations, Honda used the prelude as a sort of "test mule" for the newest technologies(4-wheel steering comes to mind)...and this time it came in the form of something known as ATTS, or Active Torque Transfer System , which is "an electronic system that distributed torque to the outside drive wheel in cornering situations. Its purpose was to minimize understeer and thus mimic rear-wheel-drive cornering characteristics." (edmunds.com)
-Multiple reviewers said that the Type-SH was one of the best handling cars in its class. However, the price to pay for this is an added ~80lbs to an already slightly chunky car.
-Contrary to some, the rear spoiler was an option on all years and both models. I do believe it was standard on the SH tho. The lip kit was also an option
-For 5-Speed manuals, power was bumped up from 195 to 200. And remained at 195 for autos(Anyone know how they did this?)
-Stock 0-60 times were in the mid 7's.
-Fuel Mileage: EPA est 24/27...I've gotten anywhere from 20-27.something...it all depends on the type of driving you do and what type of driver you are.
-Curb weight is 2882 lbs.
-Stock Ground Clearance is 5.5"
-Engine Stats for Base and SH:
Base H22A4, 10.0:1, 200 hp BB6
Type SH H22A4, 10.0:1, 200 hp, BB6
So What Killed the Prelude??
-Several factors contributed to putting the Prelude on the Chopping block:
-First, it was competing with it's own brand...the Honda Accord Coupe. Since many people who wanted a Honda coupe wanted one with a sizable backseat and trunk space, the Prelude lost out there. The accord was a known name in family sedans, so that also could have been a deciding factor when choosing an accord coupe over the prelude.
-The Second generation was the best selling generation of the prelude. From there each generation gained less sales than the previous one(putting the 5th Gen on the bottom of that list)((Total Sales of the 5g were a mere 58,118
-It was a tad pricey, and apparently the "interior wasn't nice enough": It did not come with leather seats, had limited adjustability, and the rear "seats"(if you can call them that) have less-than-minimal legroom. Seriously, If you're looking to get a sporty car that you can show off to all your friends and give them all rides, either consider multiple rides or going with something else. 3 people in a prelude is pushing it. The back seat is fine for all you shorty's out there(5"2 and below, I'd say)...but for anyone taller...the best thing to do is put your legs across the seat. 4 people in the car is just not something you want to do. The back seats are really only accessible from the passenger side, and even then it's an acrobatic trick getting out of one(although different than the one done getting in and out of an S2000 ).
-It was also apparently lacking in "sports car looks and premium feel" so buyers who were looking for a little cheaper sports car looked elsewhere.


Lastly, PRO'S AND CON'S OF THE 5TH GENERATION PRELUDE
PRO'S
-HANDLING
-DRIVABLITY

-Competitive Power
-Sleek Looks

CON'S
-Not the most exciting interior
-A Tad expensive(When new, I believe they started around 25K or 26K)
-Requires Premium Fuel
-A little on the heavy side.
-US versions didn't get half of the features of the other markets….AND, Speaking of other markets…….


The Prelude In Other Markets
Options available outside of the US:
Power folding mirrors
heated mirrors
heated cloth seats
heated leather seats
Bumper/parking pole
4 wheel steering
additional spoiler choices
digital climate control
double DIN navigation unit/cd player
power adjustable/aim headlights (Lithuania)
(Thank you xxfallacyxx
JDM Models/engines
Xi- F22B , C/R 8.8:1, 135 hp Chassis Code; BB5
Si- F22B 9.2:1 160 hp,2WS, BB5 (4ws an option, CC BB6)
SiR- H22A 10.6:1, 200 hp,2WS CC:BB6(4ws-BB8)
SiR S-spec- H22A,11.0:1,220hp 2WS,BB6
Type S- H22A 11.0:1, 217 hp,2WS, BB6

Canadian Market:(in addition to Base and SH from US market)
SE- H22A4, 10.0:, 200hp,2WS, BB6

European Market(EDM)
[SE-H22A4, 10.0:1,200hp,2WS, BB6
2.0i F20A4, 9.5:1,133 hp,2WS, BB9
2.2 VTi-H22A5 (97-98):10.0:1, 185hp, 2WS, BB6
H22A8(99-01): 11:.0:1, 200hp, 4WS, BB8
2.2 VTi-S- H22A5 (97-98):10.0:1, 185, 2WS, BB6
H22A8 (99-01):11.0:1, 200, 2WS, BB6
AND From Dooown Undah: (just for you Brash)
Si- F22Z6, 10.0:1, 160hp,2WS, BB5
VTi-R H22A4 (97-98)
H22Z1 (99-01),10.0:1, 200hp,2WS,BB6
ATTS- H22A4 (97-98)
H22Z1 (99-01) 10.0:1, 200 PS, 2WS, BB6
Options Available Outside the USDM
-Power-folding mirrors.
-Heated Mirrors
-full foglights(not the little circle ones)
-heated seats.
-Mugen aftermarket goodies
-

PRELUDE TYPE-S
-H22A, 217 Horsepower,163 lbs-ft of Torque, Only available in Japan,.
-More efficient intake-Dynamic chambering
-C/R of 11.0:1
-87.0 mm (3.4 in) bore x 90.7 mm (3.6 in) stroke
-Gearing is the same as all but the SiR S-Spec and the 2.2 VTi VTEC models
-Throttle body bored to 62mm(as opposed to 60mm on all others)
-More cylindrical, rather than oval, pipe cross sections on the exhaust, as well as increasing size to 2 ¼ inches.
-Active Control ABS
-ATTS
-Same modified suspension set-up as USDM Type-SH
-Leather and alcantara seats with red stitching
-(option)PRELUDE seat lettering
-No Sunroof

PRELUDE MOTEGI
-The name Motegi was derived from the Twin-ring Motegi Racing Circuit(Haga District, Tochigi, Japan…built by Honda)
This special edition prelude included:
-OEM body kit
-17" Alloy wheels
-Lowered Sport Suspension
-Motegi Badging



If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask them or post a certain car in question. Also if you have things to add PLEASE reply and I'll get them in here. I will add more stuff tomorrow and as it comes to me. Hopefully, with a little help, this will become a resource for anyone looking to buy their first prelude and for those getting another prelude! Also, if you found this helpful, rep is always appreciated!
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Last edited by westernprelude; 07-24-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:48 AM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Very nice write up!

Rep +1

With a follow up question, where the heck do you get 93oct California seems to only have 91. Damn smog laws!
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:28 AM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr2day View Post
With a follow up question, where the heck do you get 93oct California seems to only have 91. Damn smog laws!
Quote:
United States: in the US octane rating is displayed in AKI. In the Rocky Mountain (high elevation) states, 85 AKI (90 RON) is the minimum octane, and 91 AKI (95 RON) is the maximum octane available in fuel[citation needed]. The reason for this is that in higher-elevation areas, a typical naturally-aspirated engine draws in less air mass per cycle because of the reduced density of the atmosphere. This directly translates to less fuel and reduced absolute compression in the cylinder, therefore deterring knock. It is safe to fill a carbureted car that normally takes 87 AKI fuel at sea level with 85 AKI fuel in the mountains, but at sea level the fuel may cause damage to the engine. A disadvantage to this strategy is that most turbocharged vehicles are unable to produce full power, even when using the "premium" 91 AKI fuel. In some east coast states, up to 94 AKI (98 RON) is available [4]. In Colorado as well as parts of the Midwest (primarily Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri) ethanol-based E-85 fuel with 105 AKI is available [5]. Often, filling stations near US racing tracks will offer higher octane levels such as 100 AKI[citation needed] . California fuel stations will offer 87, 89, and 91 AKI (91, 93 and 95 RON) octane fuels, and at some stations, 100 AKI or higher octane, sold as racing fuel.
Just looked it up on Wikipedia. I just figured that 93 was "premium" everywhere because that's what it is in MD.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:42 AM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Quote:
-5G Preludes require PREMIUM fuel(octane rating of 93 or higher..correct me if Im wrong on the Octane rating)..and it is bad for them to give them anything else. The short answer to why they need it is the simple fact that its a highly tuned little engine.
91 is considered premium at some stations. And its due to the compression that its needed not the fact the motor is tuned. Lower octane will allow detonation. Thats when the piston creates to much pressure in the cylinder causing the fuel to ignite prematurely.

But great right up. Really good stuff for potential buyers. +1 rep.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:01 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

would it be beneficial to discuss the differences between the 2 models offered for the 5th gen? If i did a bit more research before buying my bb6 i would have gone for the base model due to the easy of swapping a motor in without worrying about the transmission differences.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:35 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

N00ber, Thank you for the information...I can honestly say that I never knew that. Its been added! :bigsmile:

And gchamp, I knew there was going to be something I missed It will be added a little later on in the day. I'll include all options and standard stuff differences that I know and will find. Thanks for the reminder!
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:15 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Where I live, most if not 99% of gas stations have a maximum of 91. That's what I've been using since I got mine.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:11 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Westernprelude and Noob are actually both right. It is a combination of compression and tuning (timing in this case) that warrents the need for premium unleaded (owners manual recommends 91 octane or higher FYI).

However, even though most on this site with dissagree with me, running premium unleaded is not required. You can get away with running regular unleaded. The Prelude will detect the resulting detonation and back timing down. This will result in a slight decrease in power, but probably not enough to be detected by SOTP (seat of the pants). The power drop certainly won't be noticed if you are just driving the car normally and not trying to hot rod everywhere.

We run regular unleaded in the 98 Lude my wife just got not long ago. I also run regular unleaded in my 99 Ford SVT Contour that, like the Prelude, was ment to be run on premium fuel from the factory. I have been doing this for over a year now with no loss in fuel economy or ill effects to my car.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:27 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Well…You'd be right about the fact that most, if not 99%, of the active members on here would disagree. And I'm definitely one of them. Im going to guess that it's not so good for the longevity of the car. For purposes of this Buying guide…it's required. I would not recommend running anything less than Premium…especially not regular. Silver, if you get to a gas station that doesn't have premium…might do for a short stint…maybe…but I'd only do that in dire straits.

By the way, the option and convenience differences between the USDM Preludes and all other market Ludes will be added a little later tonight, as well as a bit on the Type-S, SiR S-Spec, and the special edition Prelude Motegi
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:06 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Westernprelude is right, if you run it on anything less than 91, which is directly stated in your owners manual, on your speedometer, and on the inside of your gas latch, you risk damage to your car. I've ran 89 at least on mine and I've done it once, to be honest, I could tell a difference. My prelude just didn't run the same.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:04 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Do not, I repeat DO NOT use less than 91 octane. If you want to rebuild your motor go ahead. Detonation is not related to timing. Its because fuel ignites under pressure. And since the lude is a high compression engine you risk the fuel combusting on the pistons up stroke. It would be like it hitting a wall and the rod, bearing or crank will be destroyed.

Octane lowers the fuels ability to ignite under pressure, thus allowing engines to run a higher compression and produce more power.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:37 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

very very nice writte up. i wish something like this was around before i had bought my 5th gen.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:32 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

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Do not, I repeat DO NOT use less than 91 octane. If you want to rebuild your motor go ahead. Detonation is not related to timing. Its because fuel ignites under pressure. And since the lude is a high compression engine you risk the fuel combusting on the pistons up stroke. It would be like it hitting a wall and the rod, bearing or crank will be destroyed.

Octane lowers the fuels ability to ignite under pressure, thus allowing engines to run a higher compression and produce more power.
Yet again, thank you N00ber. I love learning something new every day.

And yea that's why I made this. I've seen a lot of threads like "is this prelude a good deal?" or "new here and new to ludes what to look for!"…things like that…So I just decided to make it. And I'm about to expand it to include stuff on the SiR S-Spec, Type-S, Prelude Motegi, and other options that were not available for USDM Preludes.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:05 AM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

i really wouldnt mind tryin to import a Type S or a Prelude Motegi. Just to import them is to costly ya no...
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:00 AM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

yea I know what you mean man. I wish we could have gotten those two here in this market.

UPDATE: The Type-S, Prelude Motegi, and some other facts have been added!
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:23 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

exp the type s
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:40 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Yea dude that type-S is awesome. Bump for any more additions
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:56 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

so you running an SH or a base model?
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:17 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Base…check out my member's ride thread
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:23 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

I knew you'd come through with a good writeup man. thanks
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:00 AM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

I appreciate the kind words and rep Ogs! Is it resource-guide worthy?
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:48 AM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

it's definitely sticky worthy.

stuck!
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As it is, I wouldn't trust you washing my balls. And I typically let any trick hoe from OT do that.
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Reading this thread was like watching pulp fiction the first time...

Cool quote Utopia.

Last edited by ogsmakdade; 08-05-2011 at 07:51 AM. Reason: :)
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:04 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:20 PM
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1999 5th gen Prelude brochure

Shown below is the 1999 5th gen Prelude show room brochure:




[






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Old 08-07-2011, 03:49 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Thank you for the OG brochure, SH….It's much appreciated in this thread. It's interesting to see that Honda actually did promote their automatic w/sport shift…I wouldn't have thought that they would've. I thought you had another post, but maybe it got deleted. Personally, I think it would be interesting to see exactly how many 5g Preludes are left in the U.S.(and in other markets, too).
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:47 PM
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Icon1 Just some info for you to consider about the Prelude

1: 0-60 times
a:1999 C@D for the base lude : 6.8s
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/f...scan0001-3.jpg
b:1997 Motor Trend Magazine for the SH lude: 6.5s
‪MW 1997 Honda Prelude SH Road Test‬‏ - YouTube

2: 5th gen Prelude comparative weights
1997 Base Prelude..........................................2 955lbs
1997 SH Prelude:......................................... 3040 lbs
1997 BMW 328i............................................ 3120 lbs
1999 Mitsubishi Ellipse.....................................3152lb s
2012 BMW 328i ............................................ 3362 lbs
2012 Nissan Altama 2.5s................................. 3081lbs
2012 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec...3315lbs

3: SH vs Base engine differences:
a: SH engine uses a special high lift cam.
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/f...scan0001-8.jpg
b: SH engine uses a GR-60D throttle body with a 62mm opening(I measured it) and the base uses a GR-60E.
South Bay Honda - Honda Automotive Parts Store
South Bay Honda - Honda Automotive Parts Store
4: All USDM Preludes came with the more advanced header(just look under your car) like what was installed on the Type S (the bottom one) as shown in the link from Honda below.
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/f...1/untitled.jpg

Last edited by SHDRIVER; 08-08-2011 at 07:43 AM. Reason: add more data
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:17 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

I was going to say thanks, but you neg repped me? C'mon dude. If there is an inaccuracy in the post, take it up with me, and post the correction. I will gladly change any inaccuracies. The stuff that I didn't know, I researched. So if said research is wrong, I'm sorry, and I'll correct it. I wasn't the one that deleted your post. It would have been one thing if you tried to correct me, but all you did was neg rep me. I'm not the one that deleted your post, so I certainly hope it wasn't over that. If I remember correctly, You're original post said that you agreed with most of it…but there was some significant info you wanted to correct….and then you proceeded to write a novel. So, what's up with the neg rep?
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:13 AM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

Don't worry, I got neg rep for making this a stickied thread lol.


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Reading this thread was like watching pulp fiction the first time...

Cool quote Utopia.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:07 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

+Rep'd
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:44 PM
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Re: Buying A Fifth Gen.

I appreciate it. I think it would be a good idea if someone did one for the 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and a small one on 1st generation prelude.
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