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Buying '97 Prelude with blown engine. Worth it?

 
View Poll Results: Is the car worth buying for $500 and putting a used engine in?
Yes. Buy the car and keep it as a winter beater or sell it for a profit. 25 92.59%
No. The car isn't worth the headache. Let her sell it to a junkyard. 2 7.41%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-02-2007, 11:18 PM
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Icon5 Buying '97 Prelude with blown engine. Worth it?

My aunt is the original owner of a '97 Prelude. It's an auto, leather, and NOT the SH. Has about 211k miles, almost all of them hiway b/c she's a sales rep. The body is imaculate other than paint chips on the front and it's never been in an accident.

Driving home from a meeting, her CEL came on and she did what I would do, she kept driving. After about 20 miles the engine started making "horrible noises" and started smoking/steaming from under the hood according to her. She took it to an independent shop who specializes in Hondas. (Same place her and her family have been taking their Hondas for 10yrs.) They told her it would need a new engine and quoted her $2k for a used engine installed.

I'm an ASE Master Tech, but do not work in a shop. I have all the tools I'd need to swap the engine though. If she's willing to sell me the car for $500 or whatevever a junkyard would give her for it, would it be worth it? About how much do used H22's go for? (Assuming the engine is totally fried and not worth rebuilding.)

According to KBB, trade-in value of the car is almost $5k.

What are your guys' opinions? If I buy the car off her, can I put a used motor in it and turn a profit? If I can't make at least $1k, it's not worth it to me.

More than likely though, I'd keep the car as a 2nd car for myself. Use it as a winter beater and build my Acura RSX into a track car like I've been wanting to.

Thanks!

Erik R.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:31 PM
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i wouldnt see it, id keep it and make it really nice,
hows the interior?
good, bad, flawless?
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas97 View Post
i wouldnt see it, id keep it and make it really nice,
hows the interior?
good, bad, flawless?
I wouldn't make it "really nice." It'd just be a beater. I have my "really nice" Acura RSX.

The interior is descent. Leather on the seats is warn from use but not torn or stained.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:58 PM
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If you buy it and resell it you'll make a nice profit...or if you keep it to use as a DD you'll love it. Either way, it's a win win!! Great deal, I'd buy it for that...if it's just the motor then you should be able to get a replacement for around $1k give or take. I'd pull the codes now if possible to see what was wrong to begin with.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:03 AM
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agreed
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridkyle View Post
If you buy it and resell it you'll make a nice profit...or if you keep it to use as a DD you'll love it. Either way, it's a win win!! Great deal, I'd buy it for that...if it's just the motor then you should be able to get a replacement for around $1k give or take. I'd pull the codes now if possible to see what was wrong to begin with.
Thanks. That's exactly the info I was looking for. I do have a scantool so I'll head over to her house and pull the codes tomorrow or one night this week.

Any good places to pick up used engines? Google has been worthless in my search and while I love eBay, used engines on there often make me nervous.

Also, I made a mistake. I said KBB trade-in was almost $5k. It was $3,200. Private seller was almost $5k.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:16 PM
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I'd buy it.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Si Speed View Post
I'd buy it.
X2 but instead of building the rsx I would build the prelude!! 5 speed to auto swap sleeved block nice sized turbo hondata S300 and run 11's if not 10's but thats just me
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:23 PM
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X2 but instead of building the rsx I would build the prelude!! 5 speed to auto swap sleeved block nice sized turbo hondata S300 and run 11's if not 10's but thats just me
11's and 10's mean nothing to me. I'd rather run low 1:20's! I'm a road course guy!

How hard is it to convert a 5th gen from auto to a 5spd??? I know some cars it's not even worth it in parts and frustration.

But either way, the car is mine. I talked to my aunt this week. I'm borrowing my friend's truck and race trailer next weekend to get the car. It's about 50 miles from my house.
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikras View Post
11's and 10's mean nothing to me. I'd rather run low 1:20's! I'm a road course guy!

How hard is it to convert a 5th gen from auto to a 5spd??? I know some cars it's not even worth it in parts and frustration.

But either way, the car is mine. I talked to my aunt this week. I'm borrowing my friend's truck and race trailer next weekend to get the car. It's about 50 miles from my house.
To each his own. I am a 1/4 mile guy myself do the faster the better and 1:20's means nothing to me .

As far as switch it over.. IMO would say hit the junkyard get the nessacary parts for the clutch assembly. I'd get a good know tranny and clutch elsewhere or if you do get a junkyard tranny have it torn down and inspected. For the physical part of doing it one person's view of hard could be easy to the next guy I guess that all depends on you. Gooduck with the car
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md23vtec View Post
To each his own. I am a 1/4 mile guy myself do the faster the better and 1:20's means nothing to me .

As far as switch it over.. IMO would say hit the junkyard get the nessacary parts for the clutch assembly. I'd get a good know tranny and clutch elsewhere or if you do get a junkyard tranny have it torn down and inspected. For the physical part of doing it one person's view of hard could be easy to the next guy I guess that all depends on you. Gooduck with the car
Just giving you a hard time. At my work I build both drag cars and roadcourse cars. (For those of you wondering, I'm a mech. engineer for Mallett Cars. The guys who build the V8 Solstice & Sky.)

I'll see about the 5spd swap at a later time. My main priority will be just to make the car driveable at first.

Thanks for all the input guys!
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
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Just giving you a hard time. At my work I build both drag cars and roadcourse cars. (For those of you wondering, I'm a mech. engineer for Mallett Cars. The guys who build the V8 Solstice & Sky.)

I'll see about the 5spd swap at a later time. My main priority will be just to make the car driveable at first.

Thanks for all the input guys!

I Know it's all in fun. Keep us posted on what you decide to do in the end.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:38 PM
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could always get a used h22 hone out and put over sized pistons in, and get bigger injectors, get some more power, might be cheaper, maybe not.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:12 PM
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I would definately get it and fix it up, DD the RSX. Road course the Lude IMO that way if anything happens to it it won't be that big of a loss...just my 2c's
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Old 09-04-2007, 02:20 PM
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If you decide not to buy it I will, I could always use a spare.
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:58 PM
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I found a used '99 Prelude engine locally out of a wrecked '99 Prelude (non-SH) with a 5spd. My car is a '97 automatic. Will it work?
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:54 PM
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Well I picked up the car and towed it home today. I didn't do much other than look it over real quick. I found a hole blown through the upper radiator hose. Probably the reason the engine over heated. Sad to see a $15 hose be the culprit of a blown H22.

I found a used engine locally. It's out of a '99 5spd, but as long as the "long block" is the same as my '97 auto it should be good. I got a killer deal. Best part is that the guy threw in the ECU, wiring harness and the 5spd transmission!

I'll post some photos when I get a chance.
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