First Car Build: 93 Honda Civic DX

#1
Hello everyone, its Luke. Warning beforehand, I write a long long post, turn away now before I begin if you want to fall asleep :lol: I will direct to where the real stuff begins
I am on the edge of 18 now (turn 18 in October on Friday the 13th, ohh scary) I've been a lurker for a long time, just now really getting into cars. I did a post back in December about my brothers car, a 1998 Honda Civic LX that had been passed down in my family for a long time. My Aunt bought it in 2006 and was passed down through my three cousins. They gave it to my Grandpa gave it to us once my cousin got a new car. I was supposed to get from him. Well, that possiblity came to a rather "rear" end in February. He was getting off the highway and stopped at the light when Some stupid guy in a truck decided it would be fun to not stop and he "rammed" into him at a speed of 45 MPH.:roll::what::drool::smackself

Needless to say, the car was totalled. Frame was bent up and although he actually drove the car home, it was a safety hazard, and unfit to drive. He got a 2008 Nissan Altima about a month later on March 19th as a dying gift from my Grandpa, who died three weeks after on April 11th after a long battle with leukemia.

I had ambitions for a long time to get a car for myself, fix it up, and have pride in the work I did. Mainly because I have a lot of home situations and circumstances that are needless to say toxic and complicated enough that I need to be independent. My goal is to move out after I graduate. That is all I will say about that, not a time to discuss my personal life on public forum.

On of my best friends is a car guru, he rebuilt his '87 GMC from the ground up. He knows just about everything there is to know about cars. Also knows about my circumstances, which Is why he agreed when I told him I wanted to buy a car we can fix up together. I also needed a project to keep my mind busy, because I am still grieving over the loss of my Grandpa, and other personal circumstances.

In June, I started saving up for a car in secret. That is also when I started working a lot. I saved up about 500 dollars in two months, which took lots and lots of self control (considering my other hobby vinyl collecting is basically another money pit )

I looked on craigslist, got many many close but no cigar kind of deals. My best friend helped me a lot in making sure if a car was worth pursuing or not, leading to many hilarious arguments and eventual agreement on his viewpoint.

In late August, I was surfing and saw this 1993 Honda Civic for 500 bucks. 200k, stickshift, runs and drives the ad description said. The ad was posted about a month beforehand, so I was sure it had already been sold. To my luck, not only was it still avaliable, he dropped the price to 300 dollars (not everday you can say a car is under your budget)

I purchased the car on August 27th. It was in a trailer park, which is as redneck as you can get. We test drove it, my best friend basically did a close inspection, made sure everything was intact before purchasing with cash, title in hand.

The owner was blunt about the car. The main issue with the car is :
a. It burns oil
b. on Cylinder 4, it has a burnt exhaust valve that does not open and shut correctly. Because of said burnt exhaust valve, it causes the engine a loss of power, and misfires. On cylinder 4 there is about 30 HP of compression, the rest are 102. It sounds like a lawnmower. It fires right when at 3k RPMs.
c. The previous owner deleted the Ac, all the hookups are there, just not the compressor
d. Needs a new windshield
e. To sum it up, I want to keep it running, so it will be my first rebuild project.

Since I have steady income, I have been investing about half of my paycheck into the fund for parts.

We both assembled a group of mechanic friends to help out with it, and have been working on fixing it up ever since. Its been such an adventure, have been learning a lot, and its so fun.

Will post when I make more progress, we have been taking care of the little stuff until his schedule is freed up and we have a weekend or two to really make progress.

Here are some nice pictures:
 

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#2
Inside looks pretty clean! That is always the most painful process of restoration in my opinion! My steering wheel is flaking like yours, hopefully you found a replacement!

Have you made any progress? Would love an update!
 


#3
So far still doing little stuff. We shampooed and detailed the hell out of the interior. Needs new carpet eventually as some of the padding has worn off, and is misaligned. The carpet is a huge improvement, it was so dirty the foam turned orangish green. It looks 200 percent better than it did originally. The floor mats are original, and turned out great.

We are going to start doing the big stuff when our schedules can allow it. Been very busy.

Anyone have a idea of what model mine is? Like it has manual windows and manual mirrors but it has the clock, the tach, radio, and Air conditioning
 
#4
So far still doing little stuff. We shampooed and detailed the hell out of the interior. Needs new carpet eventually as some of the padding has worn off, and is misaligned. The carpet is a huge improvement, it was so dirty the foam turned orangish green. It looks 200 percent better than it did originally. The floor mats are original, and turned out great.

We are going to start doing the big stuff when our schedules can allow it. Been very busy.

Anyone have a idea of what model mine is? Like it has manual windows and manual mirrors but it has the clock, the tach, radio, and Air conditioning
I believe is is a DX sedan. The EX and LX of that age both had sunroofs.

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Mr.Baker

Mr. Search
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
#7
It doesn't look too bad for a $300 purchase.


I believe is is a DX sedan. The EX and LX of that age both had sunroofs.
Yes and no.
It is a Dx model, but the Ex was the only model sedan to have a factory power sunroof.
Ex and Lx both had power windows.


Anyone have a idea of what model mine is? Like it has manual windows and manual mirrors but it has the clock, the tach, radio, and Air conditioning
It having manual crank windows, it's a Dx sedan, the base model sedan.
Radio/cd player is aftermarket.
AC was an option available to all trim models.
Clock, and tachometer were standard features in the LX and Ex.
This car has a Lx cluster in it though, since it has a 6500 redline, where the Ex has a 7200 redline.
Lx and Dx share the same d15b7, non vtec motor.
 
#8
Thank you all for the input. I can confirm it is a DX Sedan.

Today me and my friend are picking it up from the shop. we got a lot of the issues except engine work fixed. i.e. Leaks, Brakes, Tires, Suspension Work, serpentine belt, that kind of thing. Costed a pretty penny but I've worked very hard the past three months and saved quite a bit of money. The mechanic said out of all the things wrong with the car, the frame is intact and not rusted at all (considering I live in Ohio and its been in Ohio all its life, that is very surprising) The Exhaust fell off a couple of weeks ago, mainly because the previous owner did not mount it (how it stayed on for so long without hanging is shocking)

I ordered a new exhaust that is stock and quiet. Just waiting to get it welded.

I am amazed of the damn reliability of the car. Not once has it broken down on me. Starts up everytime. Even with all the issues and everything.

We have nicknamed the car "the Turd". I suggested Rhonda or Madonna the Honda at first, but my best friend looks at me and says simply "Luke, its the turd, end of discussion"

I will be posting pictures and the such once I can get around to it. Engine Rebuild is gonna take place in the next couple weeks.
 
#9
Hey guys a update on the car.

So, I finally got some more sweet pics of the car, taken about a month ago. I will post them once I figure that whole picture thing out.

I got the winshield replaced. Which it needed it very badly. When we got it to valve line to get the replacement, he said the adhesive on the old windshield was the only thing keeping it together, and that the substance use was a glue banned back in 1967. He said it was very good that I replaced it, because if I ever did get into a accident with the old windshield on, I wouldv'e gone through the windshield. The new windshield was a instant improvement, and looks so nice.

I am so triggered by salvage yards right now. I have been looking for new interior door panels for my car. Mine is a bad case. I have a sedan, and it is manual windows. I went to all the ones all around my city, and they didn't have them. Oh of course they had the power ones, that were in bad shape, but not the ones I need mainly bc rewiring everything and converting it to power would be incredibly time consuming. This one I frequent, I get so excited when I get a notification that a 92-95 Honda Civic DX is coming in. I go down there, and it is a coupe or a hatchback. Never a Sedan. Ughhhhh....... We went there and then we decided to pull a head from the same model engine at the Junkyard and it was only 30 bucks. Not bad at all.

Big problem. The keys to the Turd refuse to lock or unlock the car. We put a lubricant into the keyholes, and it still refused to do so. Any solutions anyone can think of?

Another issue is the fact that the Speedometer refuses to work. The odometer works just fine, but the speedometer goes all around and stays at below zero. Any solutions at all?

We are in the process of painting the car. Its been quite a adventure doing so.
 
#10
Hello everyone.

We are still working on it. Its a project, but even with the issues it has had, it has never broken down or refused to start, it is a tank and amazes me with how reliable it is. It has certainly come a long way.

We need to rewire the stereo. We drove it for a test drive and when we turned it on well BOOM sounded like firecrackers. Saw the wire had been entirely fried. We know how to do it, just need to find the time to do so.

The clutch went out a little after New Years (had been expecting it for awhile), and we rebuilt the clutch and got work done on the parking brake, the brake calipers, rotors, and pads replaced. Its night and day of how much better it drives as a result. Until Another issue arised with the car. We were driving it, and noticed the parking brake light stayed on. We shook it off until when we braked and the brake pedal went all the way to the floor, and would not stop. Thankfully we were right by his house so on Monday we are getting it towed (thank you for triple a) and getting that issue taken care of.

We pulled a cylinder head from the exact same engine from the junkyard and we sanded it, resurfaced it, put all new valves and springs and so many stuff to it. Removed all the carbon buildup and it looks so good. IMG_4706.jpg IMG_4707.jpg IMG_4706.jpg IMG_4707.jpg IMG_4708.jpg IMG_4710.jpg IMG_4711.jpg

I finally figured out how to post pictures of the car, so here ya go. Its from a time frame of November-December.
 

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#11
Just got it towed to the shop today to get the brake lines done (since the shop has a 60 day warranty). Took a lovely picture of the engine today. What do you all think and any suggestions on improvements? Not a ricer or wanting more power in my engine, just it to be running and as stock as I can make it.



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ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
#12
Just got it towed to the shop today to get the brake lines done (since the shop has a 60 day warranty). Took a lovely picture of the engine today. What do you all think and any suggestions on improvements? Not a ricer or wanting more power in my engine, just it to be running and as stock as I can make it.
It's difficult to tell from your posts, but you have a new top end for the engine, is it installed? Fixing that oil leak and misfire should be pretty high priority for keeping the car running :lol:

Other things I can think of off the top of my head that I also didn't see in the thread so far:
  • Have you checked the coolant? Probably would have done more good to look at it before winter, but whatever..
  • Check the manual transmission fluid?
  • How are the CV axles holding up?
With your progress so far, you might be nearing the point of setting up a solid maintenance schedule (change the oil and inspect other components at the right time) and just driving the car!

I'm a big fan of your commitment to fixing this car up, you're doing great :thumbs up
 
#13
Hey, Thank You Very Much ctag. It has been quite a adventure for it, and I am very much committed to keep fixing up the car.
We finished rebuilding the clutch at the beginning of February, the clutch went out around New years and took awhile to do so. The manual transmission fluid is all good as a result
I will be checking the coolant levels when I get it back. Kind of funny that I didnt even think to do that.

We have the top end of the car all redone all resurfaced valve springs, stems, seals, removed carbon buildup (took about eight hours to do all that) , we just need to find the time to actually put it in the car.

It will happen very soon, until then We have done what we can with the original heads in it for now. It hasn't overheated at all since I've gotten it, or shown any signs its near to doing so. We also ordered a high quality head gasket kit when we change the heads, that way there is no issue with that.

We have kept the oil levels good, checking it everytime before we start it. Making sure it doesn't run too rough, Changed spark plugs back in November. We plan on rebuilding the entire engine very soon, actually that is going to be happening come March. I plan on starting to drive it very soon like in the next week and we are trying to pinpoint a weekend to get it all done and balance that out and get it done efficiently so I am not without a car for a long long time.

Suspension is sound as a rock. I got that redone back in October, saved up money to do it and costed a pretty penny. But it was very much worth it as it dramatically improved the cars driving completely night and day. Used quality parts as well. Also inspected the axles and they are fine.

Its come a very long way from what it was. Today was six months ago that I got the car. Its progressed so much from what it was when I bought it
 
#15
Sure am too. I just got it back from the shop a couple days ago, turns out it was a rear brake line. The brakes feel absolutely amazing. If you want to know how much oil it burns, there was a time when my friend had to drive it around for a bit because his car broke down and it burned about 3 quarts of oil in a week when he drove it so yea.


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