OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/6/18 5:22 p.m.

Hopefully I will go see this car tonight or tomorrow. It's a one owner car. Going to ask about:

  • timing belt status
  • receipts for maintenance
  • accident history
  • title

What else should I ask about?

(In addition to looking and driving)

szeis4cookie
szeis4cookie Dork
4/6/18 6:07 p.m.

If the timing belt has been done, make sure the timing belt tensioner got replaced at the same time. If it hasn't, and the tensioner fails, you're pretty much doing the timing belt again.  Timing belt tensioner failure will be evident with a high-pitched squealing sound when you drive it. Mileage interval on that generation Prelude is something like 90k or 105k if I remember correctly so if it's only got 51k on it, it will likely be on the original timing belt.  You probably know this, but the H22 is an interference engine so plan accordingly.

5 straight spoke wheels indicate a Type SH model (base models have the sawblades). 

Otherwise, not particularly much to go wrong on those cars. I really enjoyed driving and autocrossing mine. 

Daeldalus
Daeldalus Reader
4/6/18 7:36 p.m.

I have always heard that the manual transmissions in these are their most common point of failure.

 

probably won't be an issue with such low miles but something to look out for.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
4/6/18 7:45 p.m.

Holy E36 M3, 2001 was 17 berkeleying years ago.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/6/18 9:47 p.m.
poopshovel again said:

Holy E36 M3, 2001 was 17 berkeleying years ago.

The increasing depth of my belly button validates this fact. 

fidelity101
fidelity101 UltraDork
4/6/18 10:12 p.m.

My dads was pretty flawless for 194k, (original timing belt too) he was pretty upset his 98 prelude si didnt make it to 200k

  • rear calipers were an odd/often issue for some reason.
  • rust on rear wheel wells like a mazda3/protege but with 51k cantbe bad
  • like mentioned above - timing belt. plan to do one
  • windshield seal had developed a wierd leak at the clutch pedal
  • 5th gear would grind sometimes
  • SH has LSD (helical style)

 

one thing not to look for is the interior - no matter how beat up these things can get they just always seem to have a really nice shape interior.

 

how much are they asking for btw?

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/7/18 9:20 a.m.

The ask is $4,400. It's an estate sale car from Chicago, but it spent the last 4 years in Atlanta. Seller has an offer from Carmax and will sell to them next weekend. With so few miles, it seems like one I could buy and drive for a few years and easily break even. The only downside (other than some rust likely) is that it's an auto. 

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/7/18 8:59 p.m.

The last Prelude nearly brought me to the dark side. (buying a foreign car and going into debt for a car) Still have a want for one... Definitely the best Honda ever.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
4/7/18 9:09 p.m.

We briefly owned a very nice 2001 Prelude with the 5-speed.  Other than basic maintenance, I don't recall ever doing anything to it (unlike the 1997 BMW E36 vert which I shed blood, sweat, and tears over).  The Prelude was a joy to drive.  It was an extra car for us, and we sold it in order to pay for a new heat pump.  There are days I wish we had it back.

79rex
79rex New Reader
4/8/18 8:20 a.m.
fidelity101 said:

My dads was pretty flawless for 194k, (original timing belt too) he was pretty upset his 98 prelude si didnt make it to 200k

  • rear calipers were an odd/often issue for some reason.
  • rust on rear wheel wells like a mazda3/protege but with 51k cantbe bad
  • like mentioned above - timing belt. plan to do one
  • windshield seal had developed a wierd leak at the clutch pedal
  • 5th gear would grind sometimes
  • SH has LSD (helical style)

 

one thing not to look for is the interior - no matter how beat up these things can get they just always seem to have a really nice shape interior.

 

how much are they asking for btw?

 

I dont believe the SH had a helical LSD.  I think it was some type of electronic biasing to act like an LSD.  

 

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke SuperDork
4/8/18 8:34 a.m.

Auto sucks a lot of the fun out FYI. 

GroupSects
GroupSects New Reader
4/8/18 9:12 a.m.

Auto is going to kind of suck and it's going to limit the market on resale. They're fun cars though and are pretty reliable. I was shopping for one when an unmolested not rusty gsr came my way. 

The gas mileage is pretty bad for a 4 cyl coupe burning premium. 

Erich
Erich UltraDork
4/8/18 11:35 a.m.

The market for a clean 5-speed Prelude of that generation is really heating up. I've seen clean low-miles examples going for more than $10k already. I was contemplating one for my current daily driver but the good ones are just too expensive. Too bad, I've always wanted one. 

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/9/18 8:53 p.m.

And I found out after work today that she sold it before I could see it. Time to put another work on the hook.

Rodulrich
Rodulrich New Reader
5/18/18 12:28 p.m.

Just to clear up a few misconceptions and add some info about the 5th gen Preludes (97-01):

1. The auto trans is the one with issues.  Expect it to grenade at some point in its life.  The manuals typically have none, although there were some issues with 5th gear grind (worn syncro?).  My 98 Type SH manual still shifts great at over 180k miles, although 2nd gear is a bit notchy but only when cold.

2. The Type SH does not have an LSD, it has an electro/hydraulic/mechanical torque transferring system (ATTS or Active Torque Transfer System) that sends more torque to the outside wheel when cornering.  There is no limited slip behavior that I'm aware of.

3. The auto timing belt tensioner is an issue.  I've battled that one a couple times but haven't been able to get a mechanic to do the manual tensioner swap from the previous gen so I live with it.  They have lasted me 50-60k miles, then the belt starts to whine.  I look at it as a warning light of sorts letting me know it's time to change the timing belt.  :)

4. Expect it to burn oil.  Alot of the FRM (Fiber Reinforced Metal) sleeved Honda engines will burn oil.  I went through maybe a quart every 3k miles, but less now that I run thicker oil.  Just gotta keep on top of it.

5. They are typically very reliable and fun cars to drive!

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