Question about 1987 Honda Prelude

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Honda Prelude Si Alternator AWOL

My 1987 Prelude Si has had trouble charging lately, but now I'm pretty sure it's running on the battery only; the battery needs charging often and I can restart it after it rests (or charges.)  The alternator seems really far down there; at least the belt looks taut enough!  Where can I get in and check for proper operation and (fix) continuity?  I think I had an open failure near the engine-compartment fusebox before.

  Oh yeah, and the horn doesn't work since I had a collision up front, and there are serious problems of people braking while turning (and not in drift) around me.  Can I do better than fixing the horn?  Plus to repack the CV joints, where can I get grease at less than 10L at a time?

Posted by Steve Nordquist on

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  • Steve Nordquist
    Steve Nordquist Jul 27, 2008

    The alternator -is- really far down there.  I needed to take out the air filter assembly to get at it...mostly doable by hand and a few metric wrenches.  Then I had to use an angle grinder on the stuck bolts and a pry bar for several tries to get the alternator out.  Now I can find out whether the brushes in it can be replaced!
       People braking while turning is even worse on a bike, but I haven't had to put a foot in anyone's faring yet.

    Grease is at Advance Auto Parts in the back aisle facing back, with the grease guns or in pint cans...but it's mostly unrated, so not the best high-poly grease.

      This leaves tracing the open or short in the horn circuit; should be easy with the battery disconnected as it is...just need a nail brush put to work on all this so I don't clog connectors with dirt in testing.

  • Steve Nordquist
    Steve Nordquist Aug 25, 2008

    Having the pulley off the alternator (thanks, local mechanic's impact wrench!) helped crack the old one open; the bearing was pretty stiff to move; odd that it didn't make noise one way or another, or just break the belt.

    A replacement alternator was installed, but the bolts on the 1988 are a little different from the 1897 Prelude alternator after all; to get the mount 2mm below I had to make a follower out of washers and 3 holes worth of this metal bar they had (and cut for me) at True Value Nuts 'n Bolts.  Of course it still squeals a bit from being somewhat off!  Tighten or loosen?  (Or order the bearing for the old alternator?)

    It also seems there are still bad wires to find.

  • Steve Nordquist
    Steve Nordquist Apr 04, 2009

    Meh, they just weren't matched parts. Should've traded for the right parts and tested at the garage. The garage did that, it's just that $500 was dropped doing it.

  • Steve Nordquist
    Steve Nordquist Jul 31, 2011

    No Future! Wiring bus neatening up would have handled it, but it was donated to ostensibly funding cancer research. Hopefully by you know, reviewed researchers in cell-signalling.



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John M. Douglass

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  • 39 Answers

It sounds like you want a "power probe" . It's the best way to test continuity. A little pricey, though.

Posted on May 02, 2017


4 Related Answers


SOURCE: 1988 Honda si Alternator Problem

how do I remove a alternator from a 19988 honda accord?

Posted on Aug 20, 2008



  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: thumping noise when apply brakes 1990 Accord

yes my cv axles had to be replace cause of the same thing but when you replace one side you need to do the other side at the same time cause when 1 goes bad the other is not that far behind . i know from experience

Posted on Nov 21, 2008


  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: charging problem

Possible solution. It could be the belt tensioner. It might not hold the belt tight enough to have a consistent charge to the battery through the alternator. I had to replace the one on my 91 accord and that solved my problem.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009


  • 1489 Answers

SOURCE: Charging problem.. Wont charge battery

The instructions for installing a new alternator usually read to fully charge the battery (12.3 - 12.8 volt range). Otherwise, the alternator will be damaged when it initializes. I have seen some extreme damage result from installing a new alternator with a low-charge battery. The torque required to turn an alternator when damaged in this scenario is unbelieveable!

Posted on May 02, 2009

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