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Run_Away HalfDork
5/30/18 10:51 p.m.

Feb 19th 2018 I went and saw the car. Brought my new wheels and tires to test fit.




The rust under the quarter window was repaired.


I was happy to see he practiced a little


But the backside didn't look too pretty. Around this time I had a bit of practice welding with my C10 project, the V6 Sentra rockers, and the '98 K1500 fix up.

I kinda wish I had tackled the rust repair and shaving the spoiler/antenna/badge holes myself for the money spent.


There was also rust found underneath the trunk lid seal. This was the only rust that wasn't caused by window replacement on the car.



I had noted a slight water leak on the passenger side base of the windshield after I had stripped the interior. The windshield was aftermarket and the top trim piece was a universal aftermarket part. In addition, I forgot to cover the glass when grinding some of my firewall shaving welds, so the decision was made to replace it. A bit of rust was found around here


And some cracked seam sealer was replaced at the base


I brought the lights and a collections of trim to sort. The original trim was quite hammered out. Luckily I hoard Prelude parts and had a couple sets squirreled away, including a pair of mint door sill that had been sitting in my shed for 10 years (very hard to find undamaged).


The front bumper was also sent away for plastic welding. The '88-'89 cars have a trim line running down the middle of all the mouldings, whereas the '90-'91 cars have smooth mouldings. This is just a nice touch to make them all match.


The wheels did not fit.


So they were rolled


Plenty of room now!


Really happy with the look, nice and meaty.

Run_Away HalfDork
5/31/18 10:18 p.m.

Fitment in the front was pretty similar, just minor rubbing - mostly on the fender liner tabs.


Fenders were removed and folded over with a hammer and dolly. Both front fenders and the hood are aftermarket pieces, but fitment is pretty good.


3g Preludes have huge wheel gap stock and rather limited travel. This picture is with the shock/spring completely removed and the suspension jacked up until the upper control arm is hard against the "strut tower". It barely tucks tire.


It won't rub though, even with the wheels turned.



Feb 22nd 2018 the car was painted.

Sealer first


Then colour


Here's a walk around immediately after


Colour is called Tanzenite Blue, it's a BMW colour available on F80 chassis M3s

Run_Away HalfDork
6/1/18 10:51 p.m.

I sanded the lights down, and dropped them off to be cleared.


March 1st 2018 I got to see it in person for the first time


Previously ugly section all pretty. Please excuse all the dust


The car was polished, all the trim painted, new windshield installed and the quarter glass put in, and the trim stuck back on.

March 14th 2018 the car was delivered to me at home.


Tucked in safe to wait until I could start working on it once it warmed up a bit.


The colour is pretty neat, it varies from dark and solid to bright and metallic in light.

84FSP SuperDork
6/3/18 9:22 a.m.

Looking really clean.  You are one of the few people to test fit and roll fenders the right way before paint!

Run_Away HalfDork
6/6/18 9:20 p.m.

In reply to 84FSP :

That's only because I've done it the wrong way several times and had to deal with cracked paint!

Run_Away HalfDork
6/6/18 9:29 p.m.

April 21 2019 - drove the parts car to work, swapped the fancy suspension for some crusty stock bits, performed a compression test, and gave it a wash. It's actually in pretty good shape!


April 24th pulled the engine


April 25th drove down to the states and picked up some goodies from the parcel service. 88/89 fog lights, a bunch of OEM Honda parts, a pair of JW Speaker DOT legal sealed beam replacements, ID1050x injectors, and a used BorgWarner EFR 6258


April 28th I tore the engine from the parts car down the a longblock and started cleaning

onemanarmy Reader
6/8/18 1:00 p.m.

strangely fascinated with this build.  I'm not into these types of cars at all, but I respect the time and effort to bring all these parts cars together.

barefootskater HalfDork
6/8/18 2:40 p.m.

This is awesome. Love me some late 80s- early 90s honda action. Party on.

Rufledt UberDork
6/9/18 1:36 a.m.

i've never been much of a honda guy, but this I like.  A lot.  Of course i've never been able to dislike a car with popup headlights.

Nitroracer UltraDork
6/9/18 8:50 p.m.

I'm enjoying the progress you have with this old Prelude.  My neighbor went through two or three of them growing up and I can't remember the last time I've seen a nice one.

Run_Away HalfDork
6/9/18 11:17 p.m.

Thanks for the kind words guys.



May 6th 2018 started sanding down the interior so finish the "red delete" mission.

This was also my first time really seeing the car out in the sun, since it was dropped off a night and went straight into the garage.


First coat on.

I ran out of paint so left the tar patches for last.

I'm actually still working on getting the second coat on 4 weeks later, just came in from spending another few hours sanding away. Partially because I've been slacking a bit, but it's a massive time suck getting into every nook and cranny of the interior sheetmetal.

This is the stuff I'm using, it got really good reviews from some road racer dudes that needed a durable interior paint after stripping and caging a car.


Started re-installing all the various plugs in the engine bay along with the brake and clutch lines.


Meanwhile at work whenever I had a couple minutes to spare I chipped away at the engine. Made some EGR block off plates out of a junk engine mount and the old EGR pipe.


Also brought a bunch of my little baggies of hardware and went through everything trying to remove all the red overspray from the last time the car was painted.

The coolant overflow was really nasty inside. I had partial success getting the stuff off the bottom, but the stuff at the top here is really stuck on there. I've tried solvent, boiling water, and boiling water with dishwasher soap. Any suggestions?

wheelsmithy SuperDork
6/10/18 8:46 a.m.



I love the car/this build. In an alternate universe, Preludes would have remained small, sporty, and cool, and these would have gotten the aftermarket support other Hondas did. I'm guessing the snail will make up for that. Any plans for a LSD? You seem to be going all out otherwise. 

Knurled. MegaDork
6/10/18 9:38 a.m.

In reply to Run_Away :

Minimally diluted degreaser with some agitation devices (ball or roller bearings, small nuts, whatever) and shake like a maraca.


We usually just get new at work, it is labor intensive to get all the crud out and new parts are usually cheaper than labor.  You managed to get new structural body panels, a coolant tank may still be available.  As a bonus, it won't be all yellowed like that one is, which will contrast poorly against all that beautiful paintwork.

coexist Reader
6/10/18 9:40 a.m.

Drywall screws as an agitator, as long as you're sure you can get them out.

malibuguy Reader
6/10/18 7:57 p.m.

ive always loved these Preludes.  I would almost murder for an all white 90-91 with the white wheels.

What about a custom aluminum overflow can?

Run_Away HalfDork
6/12/18 10:57 p.m.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll give some degreaser with a hand full of screws the first shot. The overflow is hidden behind the front bumper and accessed with a dipstick tube so I'm not too worried about how it looks once the red overspray is taken off.


In reply to wheelsmithy :

LSD is a fair way down the path, but eventually yes. Nothing is made that drops in directly, but 94-01 Integra Type R LSD's can be made to fit with some pretty simple machining.




Made some more blockoff plates to delete the fast idle valve and the boost valve.

I smoothed out the intake manifold a bit, and shaved the fuel rail. Boost valve blockoff in the front there.


Soaked everything in acid


Painted with duplicolour high temp in cast aluminium. Apparently I've hoarded this stuff and had several cans of it in my basement. I think they were over 6 years old.


Long block got the same treatment. The metal prep stuff etches nicely. Hope that helps the paint stay put for longer.


New front and rear main seals, water pump, timing belt, idler pulley, oil cooler o-ring, coolant hoses, and distributor/TDC sensor o-rings were stuck on.


I got some overspray on the cams, but I'm pretty sure it will rub away after a couple seconds of running and I'll just change the oil after a couple heat cycles. I've also been sanding off the paint at all the mating surfaces to make sure stuff doesn't loosen off as well as to keep everything grounded electrically.

Run_Away HalfDork
6/12/18 10:59 p.m.

Hacked off the bottom chunk of the A/C bracket. It also mounts the lower half of alternator, and weights what feels like 20lbs. One day when my fab skills are better I'd like to make something lighter and simpler.

Bits layed out for paint

The intake manifold has really poorly matching ports. The gasket is a pretty close fit to the manifold side, but on the head the gasket actually hangs down slightly into the opening.

Used a chunk of coolant hose from a new Nissan Qashqai (Rogue Sport in the US) that gets removed when the block heaters are installed to replace the 90 for the oil cooler. Lots of the moulded stuff is unavailable so gotta make stuff work. The coolant pipe is also from the parts car and pretty pitted, but cleaned up okay. Didn't want to disturb the one from California on the other engine.

Brackets all painted and installed, new seals on, clutch on, trans prepped. Clutch appears to have been recently replaced - still whizz wheel marks visible in lots of places on the flywheel. Not ideal but it'll hold at stock power fine.

Stripped the valve cover.

Painted with 3 heavy coats of VHT wrinkle black. This was friday June 8th 2018, so pretty much caught up.

simplecat Reader
6/13/18 1:20 a.m.

I love these cars, great work bringing this one back.

Run_Away HalfDork
6/14/18 9:21 p.m.

Sat June 9th 2018 walked into work to put some time into the engine.

Valve cover turned out great after unmasking and sanding down the lettering.


Painted up the last of the engine bits. The only thing I didn't paint was the alternator because it's pretty new and doesn't look too bad, plus I didn't feel like taking it all apart. Getting paint on the stator would make it looks like crap.




Also turned this


Into this



Monday/Tuesday I poked around a bit on it. Helicoil'd a stripped thread on the trans casing. Something was wrong with the M10x1.25 kit, either someone mixed up the inserts or damaged the installation tool somehow because I screwed up two, then asked a co-worker to give it a shot and same result. Ordered up a new kit and it spun in by hand as it should without issues. Odd. Just glad I didn't have to go oversize.


The header that was on the engine when I pulled it was bent as the downpipe was pushed flush against the bottom of the oil pan. I grabbed my other two to try and see where it's bent. From what I can figure, I've got two slightly bent ones and one good one.


Anyone have experience with VHT flameproof header paint? Trying to decide if I want to go that route or just use header wrap to pretty it up.



Removed the EGR and injector wires from the harness.


And started routing the harness. Also adjusted valve lash and put on the valve cover for good.


That's it, we're up to date. Hoping to get the rest of the interior sanded and maybe even the second coat of paint applied this weekend. The side engine mounts need cleaning and painting, the oil pan will come off and the -10 AN fitting it ordered will get welded on. I'll paint the oil pan as well.

I made the call to leave the fuse box in the factory location so I need to figure out if I want to just tidy up the harness a bit and keep it pretty much stock, or start cutting it up and really trying to hide it. The two main plugs that normally go on the passenger shock tower will be routed down and through the firewall. I need to decide if I want the power wires going to the underhood fuse box ran like stock up in front of the trans like the above picture, or run them around and down and hide them inside the fenders.

Also need to find a nice firewall wiring grommet, any suggestions? I'll probably go junkyard hunting as cheap + OEM = win.

malibuguy Reader
6/14/18 9:29 p.m.

I typically use BBQ paint with decent sucess.  The prep is important 

AngryCorvair MegaDork
6/14/18 9:33 p.m.

I've used VHT header paint with good results.  Follow the label *exactly* for  heat-cycling and it is surprisingly durable.

Knurled. MegaDork
6/15/18 6:00 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

You ain't kidding when you say follow the label exactly.  If you don't bake it, it never fully dries.

Run_Away HalfDork
6/15/18 10:54 p.m.

Welp, I picked up a can on my way home from work and I'm going to give it a shot.

Tried to follow the directions exactly. Wire wheel and hit the peeling coating with a roloc "surface conditioning disc", washed with dish soap, scuffed with red scotchbrite, washed with dish soap again, dried, light coating, wait 10 minutes, light coating, wait 10 minutes, and finally a medium coating. It's drying overnight in the basement. SWMBO is gone for the weekend so it's going to the oven tomorrow morning. Oven only goes up to 550 deg (can calls for 600) but that'll have to do.


Downpipe won't fit in the oven so maybe I'll try the "on vehicle" method with the rest of the can once it's running.

AngryCorvair MegaDork
6/16/18 6:58 a.m.

I think there's an "alternate" curing method where you start the engine and let it idle until you see the first wisp of smoke from the header paint, then shut it off and let it cool to ambient.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  That's how I did the V8 Corvair headers and they held up great.  So maybe following the label exactly isn't  what I did...

Run_Away HalfDork
6/16/18 1:37 p.m.


Baked in this morning, 30 mins at 250, 30 mins out, 30 mins at 400, 30 mins out, and 35 mins at 550.


Unfortunately after letting it cool I was able to scratch it off pretty easily with my fingernail.


Guess I'm ordering header wrap!


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