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New here, looking to buy a Prelude.

 
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:58 AM
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New here, looking to buy a Prelude.

Hello there everyone, I've been looking at this site for the past day or 2 doing some research on these cars, and have a few final questions.

This is going to be a daily driver, and hopefully a fuel saving car, so I'm going to be getting an automatic. I just came from a 330whp Trans Am, and have had my fun with a fast car, so I have no desire to stick a turbo on this one and race it out. Basically where I am getting to is are the automatics in these cars as reliable as the motors when it comes to putting miles on them? Assuming all maintenance is done regularly of course.

And the next question is kind of just an opinionated thing, but I'm looking at 2 cars, one is a 98 with 101k miles on it for 6grand. Everything seems to be in order and good condition. The other is an 01 with 80k miles on it for 9 grand. Now assuming I can straight up buy the 98, and would have to finance 3 grand for the 01. Would it be worth it to have a newer car with 20k miles less assuming they are in equally good condition?

Thanks for your help,
Paul
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:26 AM
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Welcome mate.

The autos as fitted to the fifth gen Preludes (and similar era Accords, Acuras, etc) have a well documented failure rate. This was due to a manufacturing fault that was pretty much rectified in the 99-01 series. There are cars that have gone through numerous auto gearboxes. So the reccommendation is to get a later model car if possible. I understand that finances get in the way sometimes, so you'll have to make the call there.

I'm not sure why you want an auto if you're concerned with fuel economy; it's also well documented that the manuals have better milage. This is due to two things primarily: the auto ratios are so tall (I can do 70+MPH in second gear! seriously, professional basketball players are shorter than first gear) and also due to the direct drive nature of a clutch shifted manual.

Essentially the automatic sends power through the torque converter, which has to pump fluid into it before it locks up and sends power to the wheels, whereas a clutch as soon as it's disengaged sends full power.

It's always better to spend a little more and get a newer car in my opinion. But as with any used car, check service records, etc. Good luck, keep us posted.
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:57 AM
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Unfortunately, the automatic transmissions are not as bulletproof as the honda motors... =(. Even with regular mainenance, they still have a pretty high failure rate. Also, as Brash said, the manuals get much better fuel savings, and are more fun to drive =).

But, to be honest with you (*FLAME SUIT ON!*), if you aren't looking to drive something sporty, just something as a gas saving daily driver, there are more economical decisions than a 'Lude =/...

They get decent gas mileage (in good condition, some people get the manual transmissioned H22s close to 30mpg highway, but that's like BEST case scenario... top 99th percentile), but remember that you have to fill them with premium, and they have a pretty surprisingly big gas tank... It cost me 40 dollars on Tuesday to fill my tank... and I already had a quarter tank in it.. AND the gas station had 6 cents off of 91 octane every Tuesday... AND I live in New Jersey! (Cheapest gas in the country [most expensive everything else!] )

It doesn't bother me because I'm young and I like driving a nice car that turns heads =P, but if you are looking SOLELY for a gas saver, and you really don't want to budge on the automatic transmission, you may want to look elsewhere...

As far as the 2 cars you spoke of, if they are both equally well maintained (and they can prove it), i would buy the cheaper one... If you maintain these engines well, they can and will last well over the 200k mark. Then again... if they are both automatic, it might be beneficial to buy the newer one with the redesigned transmission... With that said, you are gonna wanna ask if the timing belt/water pump/tensioner has been changed on either one of those cars (I believe 80k is the recommended mileage for a change). The H22 is an interference motor, and you DON'T wanna break your timing belt.

Good luck with your purchase, and I hope you do indeed choose the lude! Wonderful cars...

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Old 05-01-2008, 01:36 PM
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Cool thanks guys. Yeah, I'm aware of the manuals getting better mileage, and being more reliable. Thing is I also can't find any manuals for sale :-( I found an 01 with 52k on the clock at a dealer for 12 grand, and might go see if I can talk them down to 10. I think that would be really worth it.

As far as a gas saver goes, anything at this point is better than that Trans Am. As long as it would average like 25-26 I'd be 100% happy. I drove a few Civics already, and just can't live with driving something with that little power every day. And if I'm going to drive an import as far as that goes, I think the 5th gen Preludes are only behind the FD RX-7 in terms of sexyness. So I definitely would want a Lude.

It's been a few years since I've even gotten in a car with a manual, how easy are they do drive with the Ludes? I'll admit I've never owned a stick, just driven friends and my dads a few times here and there, and never gotten fully used to driving one. Also I've only ever driven stick on a rwd drive car, is front wheel much different?
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:44 PM
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missin' the lude.

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u spelled "buy" wrong. just thought i'd let u know that.

*GRAMMAR POLICE!!*
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:51 PM
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:53 PM
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25-26 is about average for our cars.
even when i was turbo'd i never got less than 23
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But you need that scoop on the hood. Is it true that they're big enough to fit your lunch box and all your camera gear in it?
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Prelude View Post
u spelled "buy" wrong. just thought i'd let u know that.

*GRAMMAR POLICE!!*
So I did. Touche.
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:10 PM
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thats such a good word, touche.
i wanna say it every chance i get...
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But you need that scoop on the hood. Is it true that they're big enough to fit your lunch box and all your camera gear in it?
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:19 PM
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What year trans am did you have?
Fixed the title for you. by is now buy.
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotaepic View Post
It's been a few years since I've even gotten in a car with a manual, how easy are they do drive with the Ludes? I'll admit I've never owned a stick, just driven friends and my dads a few times here and there, and never gotten fully used to driving one. Also I've only ever driven stick on a rwd drive car, is front wheel much different?
First off, no a front wheel drive car is no different than a rear wheel drive car when it comes to driving stick. The only difference is is that the transmission is in a different place obviously. As far as Manual Ludes in general, they are nice to drive. They are obviously a sport coupe car so the gearboxes are built with a shorter shift length and shorter gear ratios. Ive driven a couple trucks and luxury cars that were sticks and the lude is the easiest by far to drive.

Anyways, good luck on whatever which way you decide to go and welcome to our community
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Also, as a side note, after reading a bit up on vtec, h22, and h23, (and also taking the car out for a bit of a *AHEM* sporty drive) I humbly request admittance to the bandwagon.
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"WtF, wHeRe'S mY JdM VeeEEE-TaKKKKK????"
and the ecu will be like.... "NOPE!! no veetak for jew!! jew can't handle da more agressive cam lobes!!! omgzorz"
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:46 PM
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missin' the lude.

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LOL he changed it from "by" to "buy"!! ur awesome man
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:54 PM
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Welcome dude. Hope you enjoy all this forum has to offer.
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Old 05-02-2008, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Si Speed View Post
What year trans am did you have?
Fixed the title for you. by is now buy.
Thanks, now I don't look like as much of a moron

It was a 99 with Hooker long tubes, a lid, Borla catback, off road y and a Pro Street tranny with 2000 stall.

Making a left hand turn at night I swerved to avoid hitting some jay walking asshole and lost control and hit a light pole... and a tree. I'll admit I was taking the turn faster than I should have been, but it'd have been fine if someone else decided not to break the law. Should have just hit the mother... AZ has very pedestrian unfriendly laws, I'd have been in the right. Just probably not my conscience.



Anyhow, thanks for the info on how the stick drives. If I can find one with a manual maybe I'll snatch it up.
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Old 05-02-2008, 03:35 AM
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Speak of the Devil, just found one. 83k miles. 99 SH.

Is that the factory manifold, post does not list a header of any kind?





Headlights need cleaning like a bitch but I've done that before. Rest looks hella clean though.
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:15 AM
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Header is stock, aftermarket intake. It's the only one worth spending money on too. Looks pretty clean to me, and headlight polishing is an easy task, many writeups on here covering it.

TransAm looked nice too.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brash22 View Post
Header is stock, aftermarket intake. It's the only one worth spending money on too. Looks pretty clean to me, and headlight polishing is an easy task, many writeups on here covering it.

TransAm looked nice too.

That's debatable depending on who you ask... If you go with a short ram, then yeah that is the way to go. But according to 98vtec's dyno plots, the best overall solution is stock intake with drop-in k&n filter.

BUT, with that said... they are one of the most expensive air-intakes you can buy for these cars, and the fact that that one comes with one already installed is definitely a plus =).
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:13 AM
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I see you've read that thread too :)

What I was getting at is that it's the only aftermarket one that seems to make a difference. Albeit a small one, but a difference all the same.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:40 PM
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Update

Little update. I finally got ahold of the guy, and talked to him about the car. It had the timing belt replaced about 10 months ago, and he put in a new clutch about 5 months ago. Also he said last week he had a full tune up done to it... whatever that means, but he said he also had new o2 sensors put into it.

I go tomorrow to test drive... or rather test ride it since my dad is going to test drive it for me, then fully teach me the ins and outs of driving stick. I'm really excited, I hope it works out. The guy seems to really have taken pretty good care of it, and he said the owner before him was a mechanic who did all the maintenance on it himself.

I think I've already picked out the wheels I'm going to spend my stimulus check on , I just need to decide the color.

Konig Feathers. They'll be 17x7 so i shouldn't have any issues with rubbing for when I lower it. So what do you think, Gold or Black?


Last edited by dakotaepic; 05-05-2008 at 06:43 PM.
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