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Looking For Feedback On Possible First Time Prelude

 
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:50 PM
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Looking For Feedback On Possible First Time Prelude

Hi folks

I've always loved the prelude and I want to drive one before they go extinct! I've done some research but now I need some help.

Here's the car I'm considering, it's the best I could find in the area for now.
2000 Honda Prelude Type SH

So far I learned that the 5th gen preludes auto trans is no good and I should avoid them. I want to learn to drive stick anyways.

I know that the base model doesn't have the painted side skirts and is missing ATTS but is good for modding. I actually want to avoid doing upgrades so I'm looking for a solid reliable SH and prefer it be stock and untampered with. I would definitely find a stock airbox (easy for me to do) if I bought this and I don't know how costly it is to get a muffler or exhuast system installed to keep the noise down but definitely want to do that to. In it's present state it sounds like its obnoxiously loud and I want a muffler that's stock hardly louder.

What I don't know is on this car with the mods the guy mentions in the listing above don't seem extreme but should I be concerned?
- True or False: The mods done on the above mentioned car since it's an SH is problematic and bad for the engine/tranny/anything else? I read that it wasn't good to mod the SH but I don't know why it's a bad idea and if these mods mean subtle harm has been done.
- He says the muffler has a hole in it so the car throws CEL...
- Can I just replace the muffler with a quieter one or is it much more elaborate than that?
- I'm not familiar with the engine bay but from that image does everything look stock besides the intake?

Other Info
- He says he believes the header is new but doesn't know what brand it is.
- I asked about the exhuast system and he's not sure but thinks the whole exhaust system was replaced the muffler is at least a magnaflow. How will I be able to tell or does it not even matter? I have more experience/understanding in other areas but I don't know if this positively or negatively effects the relationship to reliability.
- The intake is an AEM V2
- He said the clutch was relatively new when he bought the car 15,000 miles ago, does early wear on the clutch signal possible early wear/damage to the transmission?


So how does this all sound / look? I will of course continue to inquire, take it to a shop and run a carfax but before I do that I wanted to get some outside opinions from prelude owners.


Thanks guys sorry this is so long but I really appreciate it. Even if this is not the one I plan on keeping my eyes open for something and your information will be a great help going forward.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:56 PM
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Possible First Time Prelude

Also all these engine options confuse me. I wouldn't want to buy the car if a major component like the engine was replaced/rebuilt. How do I know when looking at the car that it's original.

And is there a problem with the original engine and transmission or do people just swap them out for fun?
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:03 PM
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Possible First Time Prelude

Always check the CEL yourself. Be it the paperclip method or via code reader - either way bring a list of CEL numbers and the corresponding code with you.

The only reason you would have an exhaust related code is from a bad o2 sensor or catalytic converter issue. A hole in the exhaust would not cause a CEL.

The sidemarkers, tail lights, turn signals and foglights are all either tinted, or painted black. Most inspection stations etc will not pass with those items being covered as they are.

The shift knob is not stock - not a big issue, just annoying.

The headlights are not factory - again, not an issue - but some aftermarket "halo" headlights tend to have wiring issues internally. It's hard to tell from the photo if those headlights are of that type. Another cheap/easy fix if they end up failing at some point.


Engine bay; nothing that would effect the performance of the car in a bad manner

strut tower bar
AEM v2 intake
random aftermarket header with heatwrap on it
aftermarket sparkplug wires

There is an awful amount of either rust or missing paint within the engine bay. More than i've ever seen before, so that kinda tells me someone was either careless maintaining it while filling fluids, or the car wasn't maintained well at all.

It may be the photo but again, I cannot tell but, there does not appear to be a vin code sticker on either fender - which would lead to the assumption the fenders were painted at some point unless they were removed. (very time consuming to remove them, and not everybody can tell the difference between factory paint and a random shop)

It looks like the front bumper was previously painted. The grill in the center between the turnsignals and fog lights is typically black, not paint matched.


You can simply swap the muffler for a factory one if it's just an aftermarket muffler on stock pipe. But chances are it's either a custom cat-back or some other random system. So without seeing the full underside of the car with the exhaust - can't make a call on what would need to be done to go back to stock.



With the CEL being on and the guy thinking it's the exhaust.... and signs the front end has been painted, i'd say it's a no go and something is up.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:07 PM
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Possible First Time Prelude

Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaninja View Post
Also all these engine options confuse me. I wouldn't want to buy the car if a major component like the engine was replaced/rebuilt. How do I know when looking at the car that it's original.

And is there a problem with the original engine and transmission or do people just swap them out for fun?


The only true way of telling if an engine is original is by checking the vin number tag located on the back side of the engine block, normally to the left of the oil filter when looking from beneath the car.


Typically an engine is swapped out (or transmission) due to the previous one failing. Really no other reason unless the person has a ton of spare cash laying around and just want to rebuild the motor for ****s and giggles.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:43 PM
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Possible First Time Prelude

Thanks/repped that's great info and I really appreciate the feedback. I'd say I have a good level of confidence with cars but don't really know much about manual cars/how to drive one yet. I have read through the sticky on buying a prelude as well but welcome all the help I can get.

I have another prelude for consideration. Can't show pictures now (but will post later) because the listing expired but it looks like its in great condition. We've emailed only once back and forth so far and I have some details with more to come. Also have a car fax (see attachments) with only one thing I'm unsure of.


$5700 2001 Prelude SH Red
108,xxx miles / 5 Speed
3rd owner
Has service records for oil/filter, an o2 sensor, brakes, and skunk2 exhaust w/ silencer.


Everything looks stock outside of air intake and exhaust.
Has short ram air intake but kept stock as well (which is easy for me to put back)
Claims no mechanical issues /unusal noises/no knocking/clutch doesn't slip or bounce
Selling because it's a 2nd car and doesn't want to pay insurance.
Owned for 1 yr 6 mos as daily driver but stopped this past winter and has been using his SUV.

I ran carfax and autocheck (check attachments). Carfax says it was a fleet car, autocheck says it wasnt! Any way to know which and what it means if it was? Carfax says it was a fleet car for the first 16,000 miles it was driven / owned by a corporate fleet. I know that's not your rental car business but unsure of what the implications are of this on how it was treated.

The last mistake I want to make is to sell my (boring) toyota with low mileage in great condition and maintained almost entirely by myself so I know it will be reliable and last for at least another 150,000 miles - for a prelude (as much as I want one) that is going to become a vacuum of expensive repairs. So I want to do this right.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:37 PM
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Possible First Time Prelude

Preludes will always eventually lead to expensive repairs - unfortunately.


You'll have to look for rust in the quarters, and carefully check the car over to see if it was damaged and then repaired. Otherwise, as long as everything else checks out OK - it doesn't sound too bad.


A clutch is an easy fix if you can do it yourself. Check over the suspension though - look for ripped boots or cracked bushings etc to get your price down a little. Preludes and most hondas are known for rusting in the quarters just above the rear bumper - so stick your hand along the inside of the lip in the rear wheel wells and carefully feel around for bubbling or rust (be careful to not get cut, hope you recently had your shots! lol). If the rubber along the inside lip is still intact, peel it back a little and look for rust.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:43 AM
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Possible First Time Prelude

I guess the major expensive repairs I am thinking of are the transmission or engine. From all the reading I've done it seems like it could go either way, more so the transmission. Regular maintenance items are always a given. I'm thinking I could possibly drive this for another 100,000 miles, am I misguided in that?

The car for the first 16,000 miles being a fleet car is not something to be concerned about?

When I take it for an inspection should I tell them to examine anything specific or just simply state I want a thorough examination because I'm looking to buy it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:18 AM
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Possible First Time Prelude

Just a thorough inspection will suffice. compression test and the usual once over should be fine


being a fleet car wouldn't be anything that would deter me from looking into a vehicle
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:39 AM
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Re: Looking For Feedback On Possible First Time Prelude

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