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      06-29-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
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E30 3 Series vs. Honda Prelude (5th gen)

I am in search for a new DD toy, something reliable, fun and that I can tinker with while having as my daily. I have a set budget for the car it self at $6,000 and about $4,000 down the road for modifications. I have a few cars in mind but have narrowed it down to a couple special ones...

1997-2001 Honda Prelude (5th Generation)... I planned on doing bolt ons, some good rubber and nice wheels (ssr competition, kosei k1, volk le37t, advans, 5zigen fn10rc, Enkei RPF1s maybe... havent decided) and springs and koni yellow shocks or maybe a coilover set up)

Pros:

-H22 Motor is stout and the car can make good power with or without F/I. Bolt ons (Intake, header, exhaust and a tune) can get you 200-220whp.
-I think it looks fantastic
-Handles well despite being heavy for a Honda (2900lbs ish)
-Reliable

Cons:

-FWD
-FWD
-Honda scene (but who cares, I don't make ricey cars, idiots make ricey cars)
-It's front wheel drive

BUT look at this! I have always thought it was a great looking car.





Or

E30 BMW 325is or 318... Super slow but a very well balanced fun to drive car (so I hear, never driven one) but it too would receive bolt ons, nice wheels and tires and tasteful mods, no swaps or anything though so this thing would be super slow)

Pros:

-The look great
-They handle well
-Fun to drive and turn heads
-Easy to work on and not overly expensive to keep on the road
-RWD

Cons:

-They are 20+ years old and hard to find nice examples
-STUPID slow
-Tons of miles on them usually
-SLOW without significant modification (full engine swap for example = not cheap)

But look at this keep in mind though with my budget I will not be able to get one this super clean



What do you think?
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      06-29-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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FWD vs RWD, easy choice for me, even though I started out with a CRX Si.
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      06-29-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
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I owned a 1998 Prelude. 5 Speed Manual. All OEM from the outside.

Cammed
HonDATA
Headers, high flow cat, cat back exhaust
Intake
Injectors
SSK
Full Suspension mods (springs, shocks, sways, etc.)


Car was alot of fun and was relatively quick. I dont think even with all the mods I had done it compares to how solid a BMW feels, or how the driving dynamics are even in an E30. I think a well done E30 with swap and all decked out would be my choice even after owning a Prelude.

Just my two cents. Good luck.
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      06-30-2012, 01:20 AM   #4
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when an e30 is an option, there is no other option...e30 all the way
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      06-30-2012, 02:32 AM   #5
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E30 route will probably cost more to restore, unless you want to find one and drive it as-is. I've pieced out e30s with swap and labor, and I quickly change plans. Fabrication, parts, engine, labor etc, $..but if you have funds, e30s are awesome to play with.

My other plan was to go with a 318ti and get a motor swap from another e36.

Hondas are fun, and I'd probably get an s2k later down the road.
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      06-30-2012, 09:26 AM   #6
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There's a fundemental difference in the way the 2 cars will feel. For the same money you won't get the same acceleration out of the BMW, but it's better handling will be more rewarding and it can even be just as fast through twisties. The BMW will probably give you more time, interest and opportunity for improvements whereas a Prelude is a Prelude is a Prelude.
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      07-01-2012, 05:26 AM   #7
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I take the prelude mainly cause of how it handle even with stock suspension.
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      07-02-2012, 07:15 AM   #8
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Just go the honda Fwd isn't all that bad and it will feel very different to your real car
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      07-02-2012, 08:58 AM   #9
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That E30 looks amazing.
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      07-02-2012, 12:16 PM   #10
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Both terribly unsafe road cars by today's standards

Recommend at least an e46 323i 5spd or something comparable. if newer perhaps used 8th gen Civic (Si would be out of price range)
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      07-02-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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I bought my E30 325i for a grand with a great running motor and mint interior. It had fucked up body work and was automatic so the 5-speed swap cost about $400 and the body panels were pulled from the junkyard for $200. BC coilovers cost me another grand and my M50 swap plus all turbo components was around $3K because I did some other stuff at the same time like steering rack swap, 5-lug, wheels, etc and I just put that into my M50 budget. After I swap out the headgasket and use ARP studs I'll be at 22lbs and 400whp easily. Good luck finding a good looking car you can spin your rear tires through third with for less than that.

That Prelude has always been my favorite non-NSX Honda, though. Whenever I see one I look at it for a bit longer than other cars (despite it usually being riced out).
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      07-02-2012, 04:44 PM   #12
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that e30 pict u posted is very nice -
mtech II Kit
5 lug conversion -
emm- mmm.


i'd go rear wheel -
get an e30
with a 6 (m20 engine) 325i(s)
5 speed preferred with
LSD, year 89 with plastic bumper.
if not you'll be hunt'n for parts.

good luck.
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      07-02-2012, 04:49 PM   #13
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I had a JDM imported 5th Gen Prelude and loved it... Amazingly fun car and really rather cheap




Really do miss it
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      07-03-2012, 12:54 AM   #14
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LOL! what people don't realize is that to duplicate the E30 in the picture above will cost you more than a used stock e46 M3. A E30 at the same price point as a Prelude will not be even be close to half as nice mechanically or cosmetically.
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