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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, new prelude owner and site member here.
I bought a 97 a while ago as a little project car and the pandemic stopped me from working on it until now.
I know next to nothing about mechanics or how to diagnose issues but I want to learn. I have a friend helping me and he's a bit stumped on what went wrong.

It started regularly before jacking it up and replacing brakes, rotors, and tires.
We drop it and go for a start and it just refuses, here's what we know for sure:
-Distributor, plugs, wires good
-Fuel pump good
-starter/alternator good
-we have spark and gas
-fuses are good
This seems to be an electrical issue but we have no idea, any help or opinion would be greatly appreciated. Again I know nothing but I would love to learn as much as possible. Thanks guys.
 

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Registered
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Hey guys, new prelude owner and site member here.
I bought a 97 a while ago as a little project car and the pandemic stopped me from working on it until now.
I know next to nothing about mechanics or how to diagnose issues but I want to learn. I have a friend helping me and he's a bit stumped on what went wrong.

It started regularly before jacking it up and replacing brakes, rotors, and tires.
We drop it and go for a start and it just refuses, here's what we know for sure:
-Distributor, plugs, wires good
-Fuel pump good
-starter/alternator good
-we have spark and gas
-fuses are good
This seems to be an electrical issue but we have no idea, any help or opinion would be greatly appreciated. Again I know nothing but I would love to learn as much as possible. Thanks guys.
I'm new to this forum as well to investigate a similar problem with my 99. All of these points were checked and confirmed on my car, too. Just had a mechanic friend (worked at Honda for 8+ years) come over to do some diagnostics and he believes there is problems with the pistons/piston rings, possibly requiring honing.
This was his response to me (in case it may help you enlighten any insight on your own situation): "there could be a chance they once we got to the piston rings, that the cylinder walls could be messed up(piston and ring ride up/down in the cylinder wall) .. and then at the point it would need to go to a machine shop to fix.... it's a total Dice roll. But I wouldn't know until we got in there.
The pros and cons and what if's.... and i think the cons and what ifs have me not sure I would want to go with just replacing the piston rings. I am just afraid that once I get in there it's would be opening a can of worms. I think there is a good possibility that it would need to go to a machine shop to have things checked and measured. Which would be the correct way of doing the job. The possibility of installing just the rings and putting back together could end with something else going on and I am not sure risk reward is worth it... along with any other problems that come along with removing the pistons. The cost of repair would just keep rising:
Replacing the piston rings were looking like 15-20hrs labor at 75$ hr Not including the parts and then if the cylinder walls are damaged a Machine shop cost anywhere 500-1k"

He did recommend that I get new spark plugs just in case as 3 of the 4 didn't appear as used/burned although we did get spark for each. (I'm in MD, idk what mechanic rates are in comparison to anywhere else or where you are)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm new to this forum as well to investigate a similar problem with my 99. All of these points were checked and confirmed on my car, too. Just had a mechanic friend (worked at Honda for 8+ years) come over to do some diagnostics and he believes there is problems with the pistons/piston rings, possibly requiring honing.
This was his response to me (in case it may help you enlighten any insight on your own situation): "there could be a chance they once we got to the piston rings, that the cylinder walls could be messed up(piston and ring ride up/down in the cylinder wall) .. and then at the point it would need to go to a machine shop to fix.... it's a total Dice roll. But I wouldn't know until we got in there.
The pros and cons and what if's.... and i think the cons and what ifs have me not sure I would want to go with just replacing the piston rings. I am just afraid that once I get in there it's would be opening a can of worms. I think there is a good possibility that it would need to go to a machine shop to have things checked and measured. Which would be the correct way of doing the job. The possibility of installing just the rings and putting back together could end with something else going on and I am not sure risk reward is worth it... along with any other problems that come along with removing the pistons. The cost of repair would just keep rising:
Replacing the piston rings were looking like 15-20hrs labor at 75$ hr Not including the parts and then if the cylinder walls are damaged a Machine shop cost anywhere 500-1k"

He did recommend that I get new spark plugs just in case as 3 of the 4 didn't appear as used/burned although we did get spark for each. (I'm in MD, idk what mechanic rates are in comparison to anywhere else or where you are)
I'll show this to my friend and see what he thinks. The only positive I have here is that I'm free of labor costs with him, I only need to pay for parts

The bad news is, that we tried using starter fluid to eliminate another possible cause, and we heard knocking upon starting. So now it could potentially be a rod or the head.
 
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