Timing belt cover 1991 Honda Prelude

My grand son purchased a used 1991 Honda Prelude, 2.1 liter engine, has got it running but the timing belt cover was damaged by a prior owner, it was broken and warped and cannot be used. Cannot find a used or replacement anywhere in the Kansas City MO metro area. He is leaving for the Air Force Dec. 29th and I so want him to be able to have it before he leaves. He has worked so hard to buy and repair this vehicle. It is our understanding that this engine was only made for 2 years and that there is no aftermarket replacements made. Please help with any info you can provide. Thans

If you’re talking about the upper cover, it’s OK to leave it off. A lot of Honda guys do with no damage because apparently showing off your cam gears is a thing. Actually it makes it a little nicer because you can easily visually check the belt to be sure it’s not about to prematurely break.

The lower one is a bit more necessary - this probably would never happen but it’s possible without the cover for road debris to get kicked up into the timing belt and damage it.

Your best bet for finding one, and it will be a bit of a long shot, would be to go junkyard diving. Trouble is, that’s an oddball motor on a car that’s gotten pretty rare, so you might not find one.

Another option would be to have a fabricator make you one out of sheet metal, but that would be expensive.

Best option might be to leave it off and hope for the best while putting money aside to replace the car (or just the engine) if something does hit the belt and break it.

Try www.car-part.com Feed in your make and model, and they will pop right up. There are none listed in KC, but there are others around the country. Most salvage yards will mail anything that light in weight. The trick will be to find one cheap salvage yard with both the upper and lower halves so you can save on postage.

Yeah, not a big problem to leave it off.

Look in the phone book for auto recyclers . Call the little places…not the national chains. They may be more willing to send a man out to remove one, or they may tell you to bring some tools and if you can find one, you can take it off yourself.
Sometimes the big places are more interested in selling the big dollar items only and are not interested in sending a worker out to remove a $20 item.

Another thing. If you have a trusted mechanic, he may know of a place to send you, and he may even call in the part for you. He would have a little more pull with the management.


It’s not that unusual of a vehicle is it? I had a friend who owned a Prelude back in the early 90’s. He was from Canada and kept the Canadian license plates on it, which I think is illegal here in Calif for any length of time, but the Canadian plates look so much like the California plates he got away with it for several years.

It’s a pretty nice looking car, so I can see why the owner would like to keep in on the road. It will probably be necessary to use the national network of recyclers rather than relying on the local ones is all, as mentioned above.

This car is too old for the typical auto recycler, even if they had a 1991 Accord engine they wouldn’t sell the timing belt covers off of a good engine. This is something you have to search for in a pick-a-part yard.

There are a few listings for timing belt covers on Ebay for this engine.

Agreed. If this were my car, I’d be heading to pick a part

And if that didn’t pan out, I’d look on ebay, as @Nevada_545 suggested

@GeorgeSanJose It wasn’t rare when it was new (although the 2.1 was not the most popular engine choice at the time), but Hondas of that era are fairly rare overall now. Body rot was a big problem back then - once rust started it spread like wildfire. Also, specifically the Prelude and the Civic are popular with the boy-racer crowd which means a lot of them have been lost to bad driving decisions.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a 3rd gen Prelude on the street. Heck, I almost never see a 4th gen anymore.