Bought a 96 EJ coupe for $500. Where to start?

Blvckchrxs

New Member
Title is pretty self explanatory. I bought an 96 coupe for $500. Needed a car that ran and drove. No body rust or major dents and the engine is solid. But there are problems and I'm new to civics so any advice on my situation would help


I assume it's the DX or the most Base trim as it's SOHC and originally had manual windows and locks and the Original owner tried to start the conversion to electric locks and windows

The gent I bought it from was in the process of this and seems to be missing the outer panels and the wiring isn't connected. I live in AZ and the windows don't roll down so those are gonna need to be changed asap. Is it easier to just find some manual doors and swap em back on or is it worth trying to salvage my current door setup? Or is the conversion pretty easy?(lotta junked civics out here I could probably rip 2 doors from)

Secondly the car sounds horrible going over bumps(kinda rattles). Generally that tells me the suspension is shot. Most people have coilovers going for $125-$200 on offer up out here. But what else should I consider replacing or repairing while I'm in the process ?

And lastly I'm looking to do a budget swap in this during the winter and want to start pricing now. A few of the threads I found are out dated price wise.

What's the most budget swap I could do these days? I was looking at a b18c swap but I'm not looking to rebuild a type R or anything just a fun little sleeper /DD


Any advice would be appreciated as this is my first Civic and I'd like to finally see a project car all the way through.
 

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96-el-x

New Member
Title is pretty self explanatory. I bought an 96 coupe for $500. Needed a car that ran and drove. No body rust or major dents and the engine is solid. But there are problems and I'm new to civics so any advice on my situation would help


I assume it's the DX or the most Base trim as it's SOHC and originally had manual windows and locks and the Original owner tried to start the conversion to electric locks and windows

The gent I bought it from was in the process of this and seems to be missing the outer panels and the wiring isn't connected. I live in AZ and the windows don't roll down so those are gonna need to be changed asap. Is it easier to just find some manual doors and swap em back on or is it worth trying to salvage my current door setup? Or is the conversion pretty easy?(lotta junked civics out here I could probably rip 2 doors from)

Secondly the car sounds horrible going over bumps(kinda rattles). Generally that tells me the suspension is shot. Most people have coilovers going for $125-$200 on offer up out here. But what else should I consider replacing or repairing while I'm in the process ?

And lastly I'm looking to do a budget swap in this during the winter and want to start pricing now. A few of the threads I found are out dated price wise.

What's the most budget swap I could do these days? I was looking at a b18c swap but I'm not looking to rebuild a type R or anything just a fun little sleeper /DD


Any advice would be appreciated as this is my first Civic and I'd like to finally see a project car all the way through.



Congratulations on picking up a nice cheap ride. Rust free is very impressive. Civics rust away where I live. Your year would at least have rusted wheel wells if it was driven moderately at all during its lifetime.
I have rust all over and up front it's scary but won't lead to catastrophic failure on the freeway - as far as I've checked.

Did you buy the car from a mental patient? The reason I ask is who converts to power windows on an economy car? That's one more thing to wear out and spend money on - and they do sieze up all the time. Manual is the way to go.

Coilovers are generally a waste of money unless your suspension makes the car unsafe to drive. There I said it. You might replace OEM on older wrecks like we have because it's nearly trashed anyway.. Maybe if you're into bigger wheels and all that you'll need 'em. I wouldn't mind a nice set of ohlins myself or the stuff they adverstise here - but these cars handle very well stock. But you're already looking to swap. So this might not be applicable.

Noises could be a number of things - you didn't describe it. Look underneath for torn boots and stuff like that. Jack 'er up under the lower control arm see if a ball joint is shot. How's the steering? Go through flight checks: all the fluids, brakes, the whole nine.

Finally, and this is purely aesthetic, do a good polish and wax job.
 


Blvckchrxs

New Member
Thanks for the reply!

So manual it is! I don't really care one way or another but I just want the quickest way to get my windows back working!

As far as coilovers I only mentioned em.because pricing out struts and lowering springs ended up being close to the same price. Basically the noise it makes, it sounds like it's one of those mine carts whenever it goes over a speed bump. It brakes well and and handles well even though they cut the PS/AC (looking to re-enable those). Fluids checked out as well. The radiator needs a flush but I was gonna swap it with an eBay one my cousin has he never used (aluminum).

Definitely gonna clean and polish as soon as I get a moment haha.
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Sounds like a fun project!

Just go with whatever hardware is already in the door. If the electric elevator is there, get it wired. If the old gear rack is there, get a handle installed on it.

 


Drakon543

New Member
you mentioned its probably a dx
looking at the engine left side where it bolts to the trans look for a small flat spot on the block it will tell you which engine you have. the ex civics also came with a sohc better to check and double check exactly which one you have. also from poking around it was suggested to me to keep my d16y8 and work with that as its a solid engine.
 

Blvckchrxs

New Member
you mentioned its probably a dx
looking at the engine left side where it bolts to the trans look for a small flat spot on the block it will tell you which engine you have. the ex civics also came with a sohc better to check and double check exactly which one you have. also from poking around it was suggested to me to keep my d16y8 and work with that as its a solid engine.

I appreciate your advice and help Identifying the engine. I am considering keeping the engine but since it's a bit of a project and there are an abundance of wrecked civics with Vtecs within a 50 mile radius. I kinda want to get my first swap under my belt. I heard Honda swaps are really easy if you do the right ones.
 

Drakon543

New Member
some are easier than others from what ive read. an abundance of wrecked civics is why i didnt shy away from an auto civic myself. they seem kinda pricy in my area for running and driving civics in decent shape. 1300 bucks for 134k is cheap for a civic thats inspected and not rusted apart or well over 200k on the clock. but do plenty of research before you make a choice they are highly popular to mod and swap so there is plenty of google info. i actually found an extremely detailed write up for the auto to manual swap just doing google searches. if i still have some links saved for some research i found i can shoot it your way if you want.
 

Drakon543

New Member
It's not going to be an Ex model if it had manual crank windows.
nah but if he looks at the tag it will tell him what engine he has instead of digging or asking questions waiting for a response. there was a couple versions of the d16 in the us wasnt there? either way its nice info to have i think
 



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