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Vampyre 04-20-2010 02:00 PM

'97 'lude SH engine issue
It's been a long ass time since I've been here but, I knew this was the place to come to with the problem at hand.

My brother just picked up a '97 'lude SH (auto) and he seems to be experiencing some issues.

He seems to be having some problems with what I presume are his lifters being unpredictable. Apparently his lift/vtec doesn't always kick in and/or, kicks in later a bit above 6k. He also claims that it's more prone to kick in when the engine is still below the half way mark on his temp gauge and, it's one the engine is warm that it some times kicks in around 5k, sometimes around 6k and some times not at all (or it will only do it a few times unless he lets the car cool down a bit).

Bear with me, this is all stuff that he has told me and I'm really not familiar with ordinary vtec, if it was i-vtec I'd have a better idea. I know that with the VVTL-i that the lift will not engage until the car has warmed up, so the lift kicking in on a vtec engine before the engine is warmed up, is beyond me.

Some other notes. He usually drives with sportshift engaged and, he said that the engine light has come on a few times. I know at one point he thought that perhaps the tranny was losing liquid but, now he claims it's the power wheel steering that is losing liquid. All in all, I'm not sure what's wrong aside from what he's described about the vtec being fickle.

Any idea guys?

godwin 04-20-2010 02:06 PM

Why don't you get the car scanned with a Honda specific OBD scanner and read the fault codes? Or take it to a shop that is equipped with a data logger and drive with a tech to record the data when it happens.

Puck Luck 04-20-2010 05:25 PM

It's been a long time since theses cars came out, but i thought the SH models only came in 5 speed. None the less, SH and non-SH vtec works the same.
Engine does have to be warmed up before the vtec will work. Also need proper engine oil level to work too, these engines are notorious for burning oil. Might want to get that engine light checked, could be vtec related.
So it sounds like he has a trans leak and p/s leak?
Just for my own SH curiosity, could you tell me the 7th and 8th digit of the VIN number? They will be either a 1 or 2, and a 4 or 5.

Vampyre 04-20-2010 11:08 PM

Turns out he got a code for the issue, p1259. He's going to come over tomorrow and we're going to have a look at the solenoid, and reset the ECU. With any luck that'll fix it. I did happen to find a good guide for other lude owners:

Puck: I'll take a look at his VIN when he comes over man. I did try to search for info about the SH having an automatic with sportronic tranny and it seems hit and miss however, I have seen his engine which does read vtec but, my only surprise is that it wasn't red like the ITR I once had.

lexluthor09 04-21-2010 04:19 PM

The SH only came out in manual.
The RED valve cover was pretty much reserved for the Type S or the Type R versions of cars.

North American Versions would come with the black valve cover.

Other sure fire ways to tell if its an SH is the location of the oil filter (way up on the block) third light delete (so it doesn't have that light inside the rear window) CF trim around the center floor console as well as the rest of the dash. and the ATTS light on the dash when the car is in the On position.

As for the code of Vtec Malfuction. Reset the ECU first and see if it comes back during VTEC conditions.

After that test the plugs coming off the Vtec Solenoid (oil pressure and solenoid) for continuity to the ECU and oil pressure signal at certain rpm range and load, and a signal for the solenoid to engage. I forget the rest of the procedure but its something like that.

vanLUDERCity 04-21-2010 10:18 PM

damn, you sir do not have an SH, you got screwed. also if its an SH there will be a small black box in the left upper corner of your trunk, no box, no SH. Also your door should have lights on the side, no lights, no sh.

ALSO, should have done your research before you bought an auto lude, its a ticking time bomb, and wont be surprised if fails soon.
give this a read.

pretty much 5spd swap or sell. GL

how do i know all this?, i own an sh.

vanLUDERCity 04-21-2010 10:28 PM

my b, this is the better thread.

Tillerz 04-22-2010 05:48 PM

^^ i agree with the post above, i have owned a Automatic prelude and the transmission crapped out on me, the cost to repair the auto, or do a 5spd conversion is around the same price, but the auto will just fail again, so i would do a 5spd conversion, you can find parts for cheap. $2000 +clutch for everything is typically what you will come up to, although if you take your time and source parts, you can get them for $1500ish + clutch. Key note here though, DO NOT buy a used/junkers clutch and flywheel, get yourself a new set. you dont want to be doing a clutch job again quicker than you need to.

I also believe G5 still does 5speed conversions on preludes, i had my 97 auto, converted to 5spd by them, great guys!

oh btw, might as well jump in on the chance, i have lots of parts you need if you want to go the 5spd route, and can give them all to you =) pm me for list, but im sure i still have over 90% of the parts you will need for a auto to 5spd conversion.

good luck with all your troubles buddy. :thumbsup:

oh btw, dont judge on valve cover either, i had a red one on my base model at one point too, its most likely a 97 base. but look at all those things vanLUDERCity said about the door light, the 3rd brake light, the oil filter, and the small box in the trunk, those are correct, he knows his stuff =).

if you need help in anything dont be afraid to PM me, always glad to help a fellow luder

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