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Discussion Starter #1
Well as some of you may have seen from my GM Syncromesh fluid thread, my tranny is pretty much taking a crap on me and wont last but a few more months. It's a 93 Prelude with an H23 motor/tranny (JDM). Ever since I've bought this car it had a 2nd gear grind and a 4th to 5th grind and now it's hard to get into reverse and every gear grinds no matter how easy I try to let it fall into gear. I have always babied it so I can make the tranny last as long as possible since I never have the funds to do major work on this car as my daily driver. Now it's to the point that I cant stand driving the car because it's a job trying to drive it, especially in stop and go traffic. Not only that but the clutch is going and the flywheel is warped from the previous owner. I see that most people buy used junkyard motor/tranny combos but I wanted to know if it's possible to get a tranny in the $800-$1200 range that is either new or rebuilt? I'd like to get a new tranny and add my own heavy duty clutch and flywheel. I do not know much about imports and if it's ever cheaper to rebuild the motors and trannies or buy new ones. Someone told me that it's my syncros that are going bad and that to rebuild these trannies costs a few thousand because the syncros are costly and it's just not worth it...
What's your guys' take on this? I'd like to run my H23 motor down to the ground and put a fresh/new tranny in it while I build a nice motor on a stand for now but need to figure out what to do here first. Sorry for such a long post and thanks in advance for any help!
 

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If the clutch is on its way out, that may be the cause of your problems...

A broken clutch spring retainer will give you problems like you describe. Have you pulled the tranny off to check on the clutch / flywheel? How do you know the flywheel is warped?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm well I didn't think about that. All I know is that when taking off the thing chatters badly. I have to slip the hell out of the clutch, especially on hills. Then as far as the grinding through gears goes, that is just getting worse and worse as time goes by. I've had a few people drive it and first thing they say is "your flywheel is warped" so after this happened I figured it wasn't just me and stuck with that.
I have NOT pulled the tranny apart though, I just dont have the time to do it since right now this is my daily driver and none of my hot rods are running right now since I pulled them apart. Once I get one of my old cars put back together I will pull it and see what to do. I figured with over 170,000 miles and it probably never having a fluid change in the tranny, that it's time for a new one. Seems that Honda transmissions are just junk. I guess I'm used to old cars and beefy transmissions.
Is there anywhere I can buy a NEW or REBUILT tranny instead of a junkyard one? I've noticed that this is a lacking point in building a Honda or needed parts for one, you have to get a junkyard one even with low miles and rebuild it yourself if you want new. I thought maybe there is crate motors and transmissions that are rebuilt???
Thanks for all the help and info!
 

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Lurkist
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Sounds like the clutch to me, as well.

Mine was the same. Slight grinding in 3rd gear for a while, then it progressed to the other gears. Eventually, it got so bad that the car wouldn't go into gear at all. The clutch was removed in three pieces (90,000 miles :p).

The 5sp tranny in the Prelude is pretty stout. I doubt it's more than the clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well sounds good then guys, I appreciate the help and you probably saved me some money. What I will do is buy an Exedy stage 1 clutch with an exedy OEM flywheel and call it done. I still want to buy a motor/tranny combo that is rebuilt (crate) or rebuild it myself and have some head work done to it, etc and put it in next summer. 170,000 miles isn't bad and I'm sure it will run another 100,000 miles but would still like to build a motor on a stand and take my time with it and do it right so by the time I am done with it and have the money I'm sure it will be time to put it in and the old motor will be done with.
Are there any special tools or anything that I will need to do a clutch swap on these cars? Of course I dont have access to a lift anymore so it will all be done on the ground which sucks and adds on a lot of labor time but oh well, I have to deal with what I got.
Thanks again, you guys have been very helpful!
 

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Assuming you have the standard tools (sockets, jack stands, extensions, air tools, etc), about the only thing you may need is the clutch alignment tool, which should come with the clutch. Oh, if you don't have one, get a Helms.

Be warned: When I changed the clutch on my H22, the tool that came with the Exedy was too small and I had to improvise with a big socket and carefully tightening everything down so as not to mess up the alignment. Luckily the engine was out of the car
 

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My H23 transmission has 215,000 miles on it. I bought the car almost 9 years ago with ~90,000 miles on it and haven't ever changed the clutch and flywheel. They have never given me any problems and I don't know if they had been changed before I owned the car. Never any problems with grinding. Every time the fluid has been changed it is nice and clear. To me, that's a pretty reliable transmission.

I'm swapping motors at the present and having the clutch replaced with an OEM replacement. Also having the stock flywheel resurfaced. I'll see if I can get pics of the old clutch disc. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sounds good then guys thanks! I am starting a new job on Monday that pays fairly well (it should, its a bank) so I plan to save my money and buy a new clutch and flywheel along with wheels and tires.
 
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