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Upgraded from a 3G to 5G

 
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:02 PM
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Icon5 Upgraded from a 3G to 5G

Recently replaced my 3G and got into a 5G

It is a 97 base, black, A/T, 220k, clean interior and decent body. Only 1 previous owner & overall got a good deal for the price in my area.

Previous owner informed me that the car burned oil (which from previous research pointed to being a common issue with H series motors in general) and that the A/T was replaced with a brand new transmission about a year ago. I have ran it for over 5K miles now and A/T shifts fine with no issues. Yes I know they are crap, but I'll just keep it til it breaks down and I'll replace it with a M/T when the time comes. (Still new to driving stick and don't feel comfortable enough to swap just yet as well as my budget being real tight)

At first it would only burn about a quart every 1500 miles, but recently it started burning oil like crazy. About 1 quart every 500 miles and now the car smokes blueish/grayish (I'm red/green colorblind so bare with me on the exact color) out the tail pipe every time I step on the gas after coming to a stop such as at a red light. Its noticeable to the point where sometimes a car behind me will wait for the cloud of smoke to dissipate before proceeding to drive forward. I talked to my mechanic and have narrowed it down to being either valve seals or piston rings.

Dry compression test results where 170*, 170*, 150*, 170*

*rough numbers

Told me I have to get the engine rebuilt which would cost more or less the same as engine swap.

I've researched and looked in my area and found a shop with a few h23a vtec pde engines in stock with very low miles for a great price and I get to choose out of 3 which ain't a bad bet. It is almost a direct swap to the h22a4 with the exception of having to replace over the oil pump, dizzy, crank gear and sensors and manifold for emission purposes. Transmission and ECU should just work as well.

Now my question to you guys is should I get the h22a4 rebuilt or should i go the route of the h23a vtec swap? Anyone have any experience with that swap? As far as slowing the burning of oil down for the meantime anyone have any recommendations?

Money is tight and should be able to get this done in a months time and want to make the best decision for the Prelude's life. I'll consider any alternatives as well as long as it fits the budget.

On a side note, someone might be able to help me on a minor issue.
I just can't figure out where its coming from exactly, but there is a random beep while im driving. Car has stock Honda head unit if that has anything to do with it. I can hear it once in a while while I drive, a single beep. I will hear it every other minute or won't hear it at all. Its annoying as heck. Has anyone had this issue before or can anyone tell me where the beep is coming from?

Last edited by chillhax; 04-23-2014 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:16 PM
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Re: Upgraded from a 3G to 5G

Nice buy, though I think some my argue with you about the upgrade ;)

If those compression #'s are accurate at all, that 3rd cylinder may be your culprit. However, if you're on a budget, getting to the valve seals will be a lot easier than the piston rings and they only cost like $15 per exhaust and intake set. In the meantime, while I haven't had any oil burning issues that drastic, I've read lots of good things about Lucas Oil products. If there is in fact oil getting into the combustion chamber and out the exhaust manifold, before your next oil change you may want to look into running SeaFoam through the system to try cleaning out at much burned and deposited oil as possible, followed by using a quart of Lucas Oil Stabilizer to help condition the piston rings.


As for the motor itself, there are PLENTY of people who have performed that swap, most of them without the use of a shop so just take some time to search around, google, and you'll see what it takes. If you're not going to be doing the work yourself, it may be worth it to go for the H23V motor, but keep in mind you'll want to seriously consider 'rebuilding' that new motor as well, seals and gaskets especially. You don't know what that motor went through before you got it so if you can afford it, you don't wanna take that chance.
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Last edited by Lindso; 04-23-2014 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:41 PM
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Re: Upgraded from a 3G to 5G

I have read that auto trannys last longer if you don't do long highway trips. 30 minutes here, an hour there is fine it seems. But the hour + at 70mph + trips cause the stuff that breaks to break sooner through friction.

What Lindso said about upgrade is because many of us have our favorite style prelude in that many don't see the 5th as an upgrade from the 3rd. In some ways the 3rd had it right and the 5th did not. Auto tranny for example.
I've had both. I liked stuff about both, didn't like stuff about both and really don't care to say which I like better, because all preludes imo were fine automobiles in their own way. Right now I have a 5th, but miss my 3g cars sometimes. Finding parts? 5th all the way.

Unless you know for sure a shop knows how to properly rebuild your motor, avoid that like the plaque. Many shops botch the hone of the H22 cylinder walls, rebuild it and then tell you that you need oversize rings. They don't know how to do the job and assume you brought them the wrong parts.
A shop that does Porsche motors don't f@#k up the cylinder walls. Porsche blocks are too expensive to use as boat anchor. So shops that do Porsche frm walls will know how to properly hone the Honda block.
You pay them to hone it, then get your favorite builder to assemble it. If the hone guy aint too expensive, you get him to assemble it. They usually charge more than your average shop though.
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Last edited by bykfixer; 04-23-2014 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:29 PM
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Re: Upgraded from a 3G to 5G

Read in several forums about reducing oil burning. I put 15w40 Rotella and some Lucas oil stabilizer to the h22a4 to reduce oil burning.

Still smokes out the tail pipe, but a little less. Not really noticeable.

I'm leaning more towards buying a low mile H23 VTEC and getting it swapped in. Talked to my mechanic friend about the swap and gave me a good price to get the swap done. Recommended to get a new oil pump and water pump and belts as well for the H23 while the engine is out.

Whats a good reliable place to buy these parts? I looked on eBay but I'm a little iffy about ordering car parts from them. Would a eBay oil pump/water pump be just as good as an Autozone one?

Last edited by chillhax; 04-25-2014 at 04:22 PM.
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