1988 Honda Legend Coupe 2.7i from Australia and New Zealand


A well appointed, comfortable daily driver


Initial repairs on purchase:

Top end rebuilt, since the timing belt had slipped and valves were bent.

Replaced all engine hoses, filters, spark plugs and gaskets.

Replaced timing belt and all other belts except for the alternator belt, since I couldn't find a replacement for that one.

Replaced all brake pads, and skimmed disks as necessary.

Front tyres replaced and wheel alignment.

Front left disk undersized; replaced with a used unit from a wrecker.

Master cylinder swapped for a used unit purchased on eBay.

Electric radio antenna repaired using parts from a used unit purchased on eBay.

Cheap rear speakers bought new, since the previous owner had removed the ones previously in the car, and left gaping holes.

Two wheel caps missing, obtained at a wrecker.

Air conditioner regassed after head repairs.

General maintenance:

Replaced the alternator with a used unit from a wrecker at 285,000km.

Changed blown tail light globes at 290,000km (left) and 305,000km (right).

Replace a tiny water hose at 300,000km. Missed this one when rebuilding the engine and it was leaking.

Replaced all brake pads at 305,000km.

Changed air filter at 310,000km.

Overhauled original alternator at 310,000km by fitting new brushes and swapping out the replacement, which had failed. This unit has also been overhauled.

Top up oil and brake fluid as needed.

Maintenance needed now:

Front disks, wheel bearings, CV joints and possibly some ball joints all need replacing very soon.

Seat covers are barely covering the damaged leather seats, and probably need to be renewed. Leather is of poor quality, and was sun damaged and cracked long before I bought the car.

There is a rust hole near the rear window, which would require taking the window out to repair it properly.

Brake master cylinder needs to be replaced again; has been leaky for 5,000km, and just topped up regularly.

Carpets in front are coming away in clumps.

Fuel gauge stuck on "Full" until the tank is almost completely empty, then starts to work properly.

Sunroof leaks and dumps water on driver's seat.

Driver door speaker has been intermittent since I got the car, but I rarely use the radio anyhow.

Electric windows seem to raise and lower at different speeds, as if someone fitted a replacement that wasn't the exact original at some stage. They're also a bit sluggish, but do work.

Park pawl in the gearbox clatters when car is in neutral. Not worth fixing due to cost of overhauling an automatic, and not particularly annoying.

Edit 15 June: Forgot to mention this in the original report, but the external electric rear vision mirrors have mechanically failed internally and are held on with packing tape. Secondhand replacements are hard to find as this is a common fault.

General Comments:

Honda Legend was bought on eBay after a random idiot did a U-turn in front of my Triumph 2000, causing serious damage that wasn't worth repairing relative to its overall value.

The car was purchased with a supposed fuel pump fault, but instead had a damaged engine from the lack of a timing belt replacement, which is fairly typical of these cars as I was to discover. I paid too much for it, but carried on and repaired it anyhow.

After rebuilding the top end, the engine was found to be in surprisingly good condition, showing 170psi on all six cylinders. It was a little smoky under hard acceleration when cold due to worn oil rings, but that's to be expected in an engine with 275,000km on it.

Engine and gearbox have been very reliable, however now there are too many general maintenance items needed, and I'm considering changing vehicles again.

The car runs well and is quite comfortable. Power and acceleration, particularly off the lights, are better than the Porsche 924 Turbo I owned for eight years.

It occasionally fails to start when run for a short period then turned off, but waiting five minutes and trying again always works, so I guess it's just flooding from the automatic choke.

Otherwise this car never fails, and has been probably the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. I regard any maintenance issues needing attention now merely symptomatic of the age and distance traveled, rather than any engineering fault. After all, at 310,000km and 22 years of age, it's a very well-used car.

Total cost of ownership - ignoring fuel and annual registration - has been about $5000 for five years of driving. An absolute bargain!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th June, 2010

27th Jul 2017, 16:17


If you still have this car, the random non starting is the main relay under the driver's side panel.

It's a simple remove and replace, or re-solder the fuse inside.

1988 Honda Legend Exclusive 2.7 litre from Australia and New Zealand


Great in every aspect


As I have only recently acquired my Honda Legend (2 months ago), I have nothing but praise for this magnificent car.

General Comments:

This car drives like a dream!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th February, 2010