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This Is What Happened To A Honda Prelude Engine Flooded In Hurricane Harvey

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The acres of flooded cars for sale after a major hurricane can be temptingly cheap, but as the POS Racing team is finding out, there are extremely good reasons why. POS Racing bought a 1992 Honda Prelude that they’d like to race in the 24 Hours of Lemons, and it came with a whole lot of water for free!


On paper, the Prelude sounds like a good deal, and not just to “raw water” enthusiasts. Team member Luke on the 24 Hours of Lemons forums says that they bought the car for $375 to replace their old Mustang, which died at a previous Lemons race. The engine was previously swapped for one with VTEC, which the United States-spec Preludes didn’t get in 1992.

Because this was a Hurricane Harvey car, it came with one big extra you wouldn’t find in a regular VTEC-swapped ‘92 Prelude: water. Everywhere. Luke explained:

When I removed the oil drain plug about 2 gallons of water came out before getting to the oil! With the plugs out I could turn the engine by hand. Water did shoot out of the cylinders.

We did get it to crank and run but there is a lot of smoke. I think this Prelude may have had some issues before the flood.


Videos of them turning over this flooded engine result in a small geyser popping up out of the spark plug holes.

Surprisingly, Luke posted that things didn’t look so bad once he opened up the engine:

So far we are looking pretty good. After flushing out the water and running oil through it a few times the car seems to be running much better. I dropped the oil pan and everything looks pretty clean for a 93 engine. Compression numbers were pretty good: 210, 215, 215, 225. Next we are going to check bearings and valves.

I’m a bit curious if the electrics fared as well, though. You can follow along with their build on the team’s full dissection and rebuild of the flooded Prelude at their Facebook page here, where they’ve been posting short clips of the build.