Debating, what's better older Civic or Newer?

I have a 1993 Honda Civic, and I love it. It's a great car, pretty fast for a small car, and it gets wonderful gas mileage. I am just debating on whether or not I just sell it and get something newer.
I think the 1997/1999 civics are the best years, well, from what I heard. The 2000+ have to much road noise, and my 1993 has way to much noise. When I drive on the expressway you can hear everything outside, but I guess thats normal with the older civics. They don't have much insulation.
My 1993 civic has 186K miles, and I wonder if I would be better off just selling it, and buying a newer model, or just keep it and swap out the engine, and if I do. Is it possible to swap it with a V-TEC (as mine is a 1.5 SOHC), but not change the trans? or would they both need to be swamped?
Thanks for the advice people. :P
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mopa wrote:

I was in the same predicament a few months ago. I had a 93 CX hatch with 156 K that needed a lot of work. I ended up with a 2001 EX in mint condition with 4 K on the odometer. I prefer everything in the 93 to the 01 except the engine. If I didn't have to change cars for work purposes (its a long story...), then I would have kept on with the 93 to the bitter end, which may have been a year or two away given the condition of the car. If you don't have to get another car, then don't. You won't get too much for your car either.
I looked into getting a motor swap thing and realized that the whole process is way over my head at this time. The question you asked about the swap indicates that you are a long way from knowing enough to get the job done right at the right price. Keep researching on that one.
B
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mopa wrote:

have you ever lost the key or had it towed? the folk that break into your car for either of the above reasons generally pry open the top of the door frame. sometimes they leave a slight bend. that can be *carefully* bent back so the rubbers snug properly. the cars are /much/ quieter after that. my 2000 civic, new off the dealer lot, had that problem. seems someone had had to "enter" the vehicle, slightly bent the door frame and the wind noise was terrible. cured by winding the window all the way down, [important!] and pounding on the top of the frame with the heel of a clenched fist. carefully. about 3 blows had it back to oem, as could be seen from how it sat in the frame compared to the [undamaged] passenger door, and she's been fine since then. check for the condition of the door rubbers also.

personally, i'd keep running what you have. you'll be disappointed by the handling of the current generation. if you fix the noise problem, and take care of maintenance, there's no reason the 93 can't last another 100k or even 200k. those engines are fine & the transmissions last forever.
engine swaps are fun if you need the performance, but honestly, if you look after your old engine, run good oil, take care of the ignition components, pcv valves, etc, your car will run great and give good gas mileage.
the last generation of civics to have the wishbone suspension was the 96-2000. 2001 onwards is macpherson.
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wow thanks for all the advice. I guess it's best to just keep it. I paid $1,900 and so far only had to have the gaskets replaced, timing belt changed, and install a stereo system, because it didn't come with one. A few months ago I replaced the cheap ass aluminum radiator that honda put in their older cars. I am not sure if they still do. I replaced it with a copper one, and that baby always stays cool. The older years I heard always over heat, and the copper works so perfectly.
I always use Castrol synthetic oil for my baby, and change the oil every 2k miles, even though its not necessary I hear, but I just like the oil to be nice and clean. When I see a broken down civic I just think to my self "WHAT THE HELL DID THE PERSON DO?" normally civics always work great, unless you fail to change the oil.
jim beam, would you know where one could buy new rubber insulation for a civic? I assume since my car is 12 years old, the insulation is no longer good as it once was. I believe its also the windows that is the main cause for all the noise.
As of now all I need is a new AC compressor, and an alignment. The old compressor was shot when I bought it. I guess I got a pretty good deal 1900 for a 93 LX Civic that had 156k miles. I see some pretty crappy looking 91/95 civics for as much as $4000 and they have almost 200k miles, and look like crap.
cheers
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mopa wrote:

if they overheat, it's a symptom of a problem, not that the radiator is intrinsically incorrect. copper's fine, but aluminum, when used with the proper coolant as should be the case with an aluminum block, will be fine. lighter too. while you're thinking cooling, i suggest a thermostat replacement as a good investment - they tend to lose calibration after a time. make sure it's oem, not aftermarket. you'll need the rubber gasket as well - they tend to corrode.

if you just got the car and the grunge of previous neglect is still working its way out of the system, sure, change at low mileage a few times. i did that on my 89 when i first got it, and a lot of the dark stuff inside the rocker cover has now gone. after that however, particularly for the "synthetic" oils, you're wasting your money big time.

can get the seals from hondaautomotiveparts.com, but it's probably not necessary unless they're worn or torn. sometimes they drop a bit from the frame, but that's easily cured by removing, squeezing the strip back into "grip mode", then refitting.

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What year civic are you driving now? the 89?
Using synthetic is the best right? but what? just don't change it every 2k miles. How often should it be changed? I live in Atlanta and in the State of Georgia you drive a lot. It's not like it was when I lived up north (driving 10 miles a day or less) here you drive at least about 100 miles a day. I drive around 600/700 miles a week, so I put on a lot of miles on my civic, so I figured it would be best to change the oil often. It keeps the car running longer right?
Well my car would over heat, and its normally every day 90 degrees plus here, and last year I had to drive in 90 degree weather with the damn HEAT on because the car would over heat. I changed the aluminum radiator three months ago, and ever since then the copper one has been keeping my civic perfectly cool. It now stays at the 1/3 mark, it used to be at the 2/3 mark. I just figured aluminum radiators suck, because after all toss an aluminum can in a fire and it will burn and melt. Copper needs a very high temp to melt, so it absorbs heat better I would assume.
I checked out the website, and it seems very cool. Thanks man!
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mopa wrote:

one of my civics is the 89, yes. my favorite.

depends. if you're right on the edge of the performance envelope, sure, [true] synthetics are best, but for your car [you don't say which trim level] a decent oil with a decent additive package is more than adequate. using oil with a poor additive package in my 89 caused the oil seals to leak like crazy. using castrol gtx, it hardly leaks at all.

follow the recommendations in the owners manual. personally, i spend a fair amount of time in stop-go city traffic, so i change every 5000 miles, a little below the 7500 mile factory spec, but where you're doing mainly freeway miles, you should be able to safely extend that, especially if you're using "synthetic". [google for castrol synthetic - it's actually, not. it's still a great oil, but technically, it's not a full synthetic.]

sure, regular scheduled oil changes are essential for long life, but premature oil changes are wasting money and achieve nothing for the car. a good oil can carry a fair load of combustion product and is fairly stable against breakdown, retains its lube characteristics, etc. as long as it's within spec, it's doing its job, so premature change is merely adding load to the environment and subtracting financial load from your wallet.

sure, but a radiator can be blocked with corrosion inside, be blocked with debris, insects outside, have inadequate coolant mix, etc. with correct design, there's no reason an aluminum radiator is any less capable than the aluminum one.

aluminum does not ordinarily burn. if it does, it's pretty dramatic & you don't want to be in the vicinity. melt, yes, burn no.

no correlation. silver's a much better conductor than copper, but has a much lower melting temp. tungsten has a much much higher melting temp than copper but less than half the thermal conductivity.

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