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The fifth-generation Honda Prelude was released in November 1996 for the 1997 model year.

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Why is 3rd piston not reaching top dead center

i have a 98 honda prelude 2.2l vtec base model w/ stock h22a4 motor i blew a head gasket and im in the middle of replacing the head gasket i just got the head back from the machine shop and im cleaning the deck on the block and taking a look at the pistons as i rotate the crank i notice that the 3rd piston wont come to top dead center is this an issue as meaning there is another problem i took compression test to determine head gasket blew and my readings where 50 psi at cylinder 3&4 and 1&2 were stable at 150 if this info helps

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Hi Ronnie,

I also own a Honda Prelude the exact same model as yours - love the car heaps. An absolute pleasure to own and drive!

Am also retired auto mechanic, seems like you may have a problem with that low piston, could be anything from a blown crank big end bearing to a broken piston pin. Without more info, not easy to diagnose.

A few questions needing answers -

Did the motor ever get overheated or run out of oil or stop quickly?

Did you hear any unusual knocks or rattles from the engine when it last ran?

Was the head gasket actually blown between 2 & 3?

If you send me your email address I can forward a copy of the workshop manual for your car!

Hope this helps...



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Hello Rob, may I also have a copy Sir,

I believe the blown head gasket was between the low compression cylinders, those being 3 & 4. I also believe that either coolant got into the #3 cylinder and bent the rod giving it a shorter stroke and no sound of a bad bearing OR the top of the cylinder wall simply appears cleaner or dirtier giving a different visual appearance. A bent rod would measure out as what Ronnie has stated with no further signs of stress. For future guys reading this post, also measure BDC and the piston should also be further down in the cylinder with a bent rod compared to the other pistons.


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Hello, I have a 98 prelude. Would you please send me a copy as well.

Thank you!

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Ronnie Shedd zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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