Sunday, 19 September 2010

JAE 2010 Wicksteed Park - Pictures

I recently attended the Japanese Auto Extravaganza held at Wicksteed Park in Kettering. This was over the weekend of September 10th-12th 2010.

Although the weather forecast was poor for all 3 days we decided to still go but take a small caravan. However, as usual, the weather was brilliant. So I'll never be put off from attending again in the future.

We travelled down on the Friday, arriving late afternoon. We shared a pitch this year with who invited members of Prelude UK who for some reason did not have a pitch. In previous years the turn out had been excellent, so this was a little disappointing. However the guys and gals from Japcars-uk were very friendly and welcoming, so I had no issues there. It showered on the evening a little, but come Saturday morning beautiful blue skies, with the odd cloud here and there. Sunday was sunny all day.

The show itself was fantastic, with a good selection of cars both old, new, retro, modified, and even a few concourse examples. Good firework display on the Saturday evening too!

Trade stands were there, with some good stuff, but could be larger for the size of the show. May be some car boot sale for parts would be a good idea. Bring and sell or something.

Will definately be going next year, just hope the weather is as good.

Anyway, enough waffling, here are the pics

Monday, 3 May 2010

92-96 Prelude VTEC Restoration

This restoration project began by accident, well what I mean by that is, I intended to do some repairs to the body work of my Prelude VTEC, but there were a few surprises in store.
I have known for some time that this particular model of Prelude is affected badly by rust which starts in the trailing edges of the rear arches. There are not many 4th Gen Prelude's around now on the road, and when you do see one, it will have signs of rust on the wheel arches for sure. This would appear on the face of it to be minor rust which starts on the surface outside. However, I had heard on the internet forums that this rust comes from the inside out, and by the time you see the bubble of rust, it can be all too late. This is what has happened to me, and here is my story so far...

My Car:-

I had the signs of rust but waited too long to get around to fixing it properly. These problems are made worse by the fact that no one makes wheel arch repair panels for this car, (other than Honda @ £400 per side) so there is no easy cut and weld fix. Also, if you were to go down that route, to replace the entire rear quarter panel is very complicated and envolved job to do correctly, and then you would have to do both sides!! I pondered for a while on how to get around this problem, and my friend and body shop repair man suggested that I should look for a scrapped Prelude with good repair panels. I doubted that their would be any in scrapyards with good body work. Probably the reason they are there would be down to the rust taking over. However, I eventually stumbled on an internet web site when I was browsing the net which had been selling parts for the 92-96 Prelude. The parts were in good condition so I thought it was obvious they were breaking a car, so gave them a call. It turned out that I was right, and they had a car that was mostly still in tact bar a few items, but it looked promising. They had broken one other Prelude of this model very easily, and thought they would get another car if one came up. This was the car they had for me to look at, the parts they were selling online were the remaining items from the previous Prelude they broke up.
I was thinking of cutting out the panels needed to repair mine from this car. I was told the rear arches were perfect and there were no signs of rust at all!! This sounded too good to be true, so I arranged for a viewing and decided it was worth the trip.

Oh how it was! When I arrived the car had been dry stored inside a huge warehouse of other imported makes. The Prelude was on its own sat in a corner. When I got a close good inspection, I was excited to say the least to see mint wheel arches. Moving around the car, I noticed the very desirable dark housing headlights were still there and the amber indicator sets, oh and now I noticed the JDM fog lights! This was looking promising. It was only then I realised that the car actually was a fully loaded BB1 VTEC 2.2 Auto with LSD and 4WS. It even had the audio still in the car with 10 disc cd changer in the boot, and the toolkit was still there! Very quickly I decided that if I could find someone to store the car for me, I could possibly buy the whole car and break it for spares. I would get the repair panels I needed, and the car would pay for itself in bits. I made a few phone calls, one to my body shop, who said I could store the car there and so I bought the whole car and had it towed to the bodyshop. (I say bought the car, just like that - I did a bit of sweating and haggling to get something off, and bought it spending my last £ of savings)
A few weeks passed, and I started to get the parts off the car I wanted to keep or sell. I sold a few and I kept a few to one side for mine, then people at the body shop started to notice this nice car under the covers, and asked what was wrong with it. People could not believe we were actually going to chop it up!! This is important for later.

Anyhow, a while longer passed before I pressed the bodyshop guy into setting a date for work to begin on my car. Which we did. Eventually, he moved some things around in the shop until he had room to put both cars in side by side, so work could start. That week I got an unpleasant phone call from the bodyshop. Basically, when they started to look at the extent of the rust on mine, it was actually alot worse than just the wheel arches, alot worse.
The rust had gotten into the sills of the car down both sides. It is like a box section behind some plastic sill covers. This was rusted through about 1/3 to 1/2 the length of the car. It was beyond surface rust too. When jabbed a bit, the box section collapsed.

But, the donor car, which we had intended to cut up, was actually in perfect condition. The more they stripped this car down the better the car looked.
It was then they put this proposition to me, which set me into panic mode. They suggested that we strip the donor car down to the bare shell, repaint it, and then build it back up using every component from my original car!! I was thinking, what!! and how much is this going to cost me? Can you do that without it being classed as a re-shell? What about Q-plate cars? I was thinking all sorts. But after we discussed it some more, we realised that rather than re-shelling the car, we were actually restoring the donor car and writing off the original car. This now started to make sense. I made a few phone calls to VOSA and DVLA and told them what we thinking of doing, and it all got the green light!

My first step, was to remove the private registration number, and put on retention whilst my car had m.o.t. and road tax. This has now been completed. We have begun work in stripping down the donor car, in preparation for the re-spray. The cars glass has all been removed in readyness.
More to follow soon....

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Why use genuine Honda coolant?

Is genuine Honda Coolant/Anti-Freeze any different?

Recently, several people have questioned whether the coolant (anti-freeze) sold by Honda dealers is different from the popular mass-market brands.
Honda has sent the information attached below to its dealers. While you might not expect the source to be exactly unbiased, it does provide technical information and justification for differences in their formula.
Genuine Honda Coolant is the Only Way to Go...

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Honda Servicing just got cheaper in West Yorkshire

D.S.AutoServices has just opened up in West Yorkshire. Please visit for contact details and opening times. They are situated in Hazel Croft Ind. Est. just off Carr Lane in Shipley, West Yorkshire. Dennis has over 25+ years in the motor trade and is ATA Registered. He has Honda manufacturer training to diagnostic level.

You can now have your Honda (or any other make) serviced at vastly cheaper rates than the franchised dealer by someone who cares about the brand. All work is guaranteed.

That's all for now. launches new Blog

Today I have decided to launch a blog to work along side my very popular Honda Prelude VTEC web site. So here it is, my new blog. This will allow visitors who have found the content on my web site useful to leave posts in response to articles I post on here from time to time.

I have loads of ideas for articles to post on here, so watch this space.

Tim S.
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