Well the legacy is over, my 98 civic has met its fate on the back end
of a 93 ranger. I was the only one in the car, and walked away with
10500 in damage, it is beyond repair.
So I need a car, don't want to spend the whole insurance settlement on
Yesterday I picked up an 89 civic 4 door automatic for $375. Body is
a little rough, but runs like a charm! 276k kms, 171k miles.
Taking it for a safety tomorrow, hoping to get about 6 months to a
year out of er.
Any pointers from anyone on this vintage of civic?
Keep the coolant reservoir up to the =MAX= mark, change the oil and
drain-n-fill the tranny at least once with Honda Z1 ATF. Who knows
what's actually in there / how old it is?
Glad you're OK.
Original owner, 91 Civic, 203k miles here. I get parts from
89 Civics at the junkyard all the time for my 91.
Why's the price so low? Just the rough body?
One thing I am on the lookout for with low priced Civics of
this era are failed head gaskets.
Check for oil in the spark plug tubes. For a car this old
with this many miles, it's likely the camshaft holder-cyl
head O-rings are leaking. OTOH, if you only want it to last
six months, maybe you can forego this job.
When was the timing belt replaced?
Suspension could probably stand rebuilding, butagain, for
only six months, I think the above is all I'd be really
Body is really rough. Good old winnipeg road salt can be blamed for
that. There is a small hole in one of the rocker panels, we are
repairing it. Rust at the bottom of the doors.
I probably won't spend alot of money on it. I should clarify, I would
be happy if it lasted 6 months, though I am sure it will go for much
Not sure on the t-belt, will inspect to see if it looks fresh or not.
May just swap it out anyways, can't be much different than doing it on
Antifreeze was clean, after sitting 2 yrs, I don't think this one has
a head gasket issue.
Literally put a different battery in and the thing started like it had
been used every day, but in reality had been sitting for over 2 years.
if the body's that bad, i'd just make sure the ignition system was good,
the brakes good, and leave it at that.
there's lots more you can do if you want, main relay, valve lash,
t-belt, rear trailing arm bushings, but they're not worth it for a
6-month gig. unless you want to have a bit of fun. if i were going to
thrash it, i'd inspect the t-belt and bushings as a priority.
Body is not great. Wife hates the car. She says I didn't 'talk to
her enough about it'. oh well... lol
Will be replacing brake rotors, they are warped. If the bleeder bolts
on the calipers aren't too corroded, will do a brake fluid flush as
well. Brakes are mushy, hope its not the master cylinder. if I can't
get the bleeders off, will use the turkey baster method.
Will also do the standard fluid changes, oil and tranny specifically.
Coolant is new, PS fluid looks good. Picked up 4L of Honda Z1
today.... $40!!! geez....
A good sign on this car is the OEM oil filter I found underneath.
Also found an OEM timing belt brand new in the box in the trunk. I
will take this as a hint that the timing belt needs to be done soon.
Hopefully once I replace the fluids, and drive it for a week or 2,
some of the other tune up items will make themselves more apparent. I
am thinking plugs, plug wires and dist cap and rotor.
So far so good, and drives like a champ. Just got the old manitoba
safety inspection done today, it needed some bulbs and a hole in the
muffler welded over. $80 later I have a 'road worthy' vehicle...
before you replace, do this:
scrape off the hub face, and the inside of the wheel so they're both
free of rust. smear a little antiseize on both surfaces, then re-torque
the lug nuts in a 2 or more stage process, in the correct sequence,
every single time i've ever had a honda go in the shop where they fasten
wheels with air tools, the disks "warp". every time i do the above, the
"warp" magically disappears. no disk replacements for me.
sounds like you need to do the bleeding all the way through. need to
open up those bleed nipples even if you drill and replace.
sometimes you can try bleeding at the banjo bolt, but it's not
recommended because it's easy to make things worse, not better.
As for the brakes, I am thinking rotor replacement with some
'cheapies'.... my father in law decided to do me a favour while we
were resurrecting this car, he thought the car may not pass safety
inspection with visible rust on the disks... (actually that is pretty
likely, most shops will try to use any leverage they can to get extra $
$ for parts outta you) so on the way from his place to the shop (about
20km highway drive) he spent the whole time speeding up and braking
hard. He said he did this to the point where the brake fluid was so
hot, the brakes wouldn't work anymore... Wish he woulda just left it
alone, I would have rather argued with the shop than have to replace
the rotors.... :(
Finally did the oil change and transmission fluid rotation yesterday.
The 2 year old oil in this car looked great still, I'm glad I ran the
car for a couple weeks before changing it... gave it a chance to clean
the engine out some.
As for the trannie fluid, dropped 2.5 liters out of the trannie, it
looked pretty good, a little particulate in it to make it less than
crystal clear. Also, it looked like regular dexron, especially when I
compared it to the Honda Z1 I added, the colour is very different...
red (dex) vs flourescent pink (z1).
Shifts are much softer now... don't let anyone tell you Honda Z1 is a
waste of money.
I will let the trannie run for a couple weeks now and do another fluid
'rotation'... good ole drain and fill....
Also, this being my first time underneath this car for any extended
period... I was very impressed to see that there is NO corrosion
anywhere on the underside of this vehicle. The outside is rough and
rusty, underneath it might as well be a brand new car... exhaust
system included! Very odd to find a car in this condition at this age
in the Manitoba Rust Belt....
that's less likely to be brake fluid, and much more likely to be cheapo
after-market pads. for about five extra bucks, you get honda pads,
shims and anti-squeal grease. oh, and very good fade resistance.
my experience with aftermarket rotors is ok, so consider those if you're
saving bucks on a car like this. don't go for the cheapest chinese
disks though - i've seen casting errors and cracking. stock replacement
brembos from somewhere like summit are just dandy.
indeed. basically, the only people that tell you otherwise are those
with no experience of this!
one more thing - if you have the original '89 brake calipers, you need
to make sure the disks are the right ones. most aftermarket, and indeed
honda disks, assume you've changed to a later style caliper that takes a
slightly thicker disk. that thicker disk will just fit inside the older
caliper, but it will rub when you go around corners. shops will just
skim the disks so they fit, which i don't like since so many shops don't
cut disks exactly square.
bottom line, check into this and make sure you either have the right
disks or the right calipers. i shopped around and found the right
disks, but the honda dealer didn't have them. if the car were a keeper,
i'd suggest going for the new calipers too, but hey, maybe you can just
get new pads and use silicon carbide paper to get the rust off the disk
faces if your originals are not too badly grooved or worn.
Have not pulled off the calipers, but it would surprise me if they
were not OEM... Everything on this car I have inspected thus far is a
factory or OEM replacement part. Oil Filter, even the replacement
timing belt I found in the trunk.
You've never met my father-in-law... trust me he cooked em.... :)
well, my 90 crx had one "wide" and one "narrow" caliper on it [it should
have had two "wide"], and that was "all stock", so don't make any
that brake fade is still almost certainly pads, not fluid. i've
"tested" with fully loaded cars on the hills of san francisco. trust
me, some after-market pads will have you pushing the pedal like you're
trying to break the seat off its rails once things get warm. honda
pads, the fade is barely noticeable.
Replaced the sparkplug o-rings today.... they were leaking like
sieves..... Couldn't figure out why the car smelt like it had an oil
leak, but wasn't losing any oil... I guess as the spark plug tubes
filled up, they got to the point when they were in contact with the
plug boots, and made a burnt oil smell.
Also, rummaging around in the trunk of my newly acquired car, I found
a box... had a brand new OEM timing belt in it. SWEET... that belt is
worth like $60 up here! This leads me to beleive the former owner was
thinking about doing the t-belt sometime soon... Can I use a new belt
that has been sitting in the box in the trunk for 2 years?
I personally would not expect a boxed timing belt to degrade
after two years. Coincidentally I had a bagged one in the
closet for about two years. I installed it last summer. No
problems as yet. :-)
Replaced the sparkplug o-rings today.... they were leaking
sieves..... Couldn't figure out why the car smelt like it
had an oil
leak, but wasn't losing any oil... I guess as the spark
filled up, they got to the point when they were in contact
plug boots, and made a burnt oil smell.
Also, rummaging around in the trunk of my newly acquired
car, I found
a box... had a brand new OEM timing belt in it. SWEET...
that belt is
worth like $60 up here! This leads me to beleive the former
thinking about doing the t-belt sometime soon... Can I use
a new belt
that has been sitting in the box in the trunk for 2 years?
i would do the same, you don't own anything as long as you have to
a complete tune-up: NGK V-power plugs one heat range colder (to deal
with E10 gasohol) , NGK magnetic core plug wires (the best), OEM or
Standard brand distributor cap & rotor (with brass terminals)
modifications: high voltage ignition coil (must have the same primary
resistance as stock), short ram intake (or simply run the stock setup
without the intake resonator), gutted catalytic converter (Hondas
don't need this Detroit's piece of sh*t)
fluids: Castrol Syntec 0W-30 or 5W-20 motor oil, PEAK 50/50 lifetime
antifreeze , Dexron II ATF with Lubegard ATF Protectant
filters: WIX oil filter and fuel filter
Note: DO NOT use Honda Z1 in your 89 civic's transmission. As a matter
of fact, all pre-1994 Hondas left the factories with Dexron II in the
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