"The Mothership" - 1998 Civic - Maintenance Log


fill it with wires!
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Hi there :D

After a year and a half of car ownership, I've finally decided to start an all-in-one thread for my 98 EX coupe!

This is going to be a slooooow thread, mostly because I don't see myself doing much work on my car except for the summer when I'll hopefully be off campus, and not taking any classes. So, slow thread for the next four years, then we'll see if a degree changes anything ;)

I bought "The Mothership" the last month of my junior year of high school, from the volunteer supervisor at a planetarium I worked at.

[There was a story here about how I bought this car by giving saxophone lessons for a year, but it was long and boring so I've truncated it.]

Along with falling in love with Hondas, I've fallen in love with this specific car. As I've watched my friends literally tear through cars, and found myself as the only person I know still driving his first car, I've realized that I really, really want to keep this car running. And so I'm on a little mission to learn as much maintenance as possible, with the help of anyone willing to chip in advice along the way.

I've attached a picture of The Mothership the day I brought it home.
I'm going to try to find some way of attaching images to the thread without having to go through Image Shack. Nothing ticks me off more than to find a good thread and a ton of little "image expired" warnings.

First day home:

Most recent picture:

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Good luck man! Sounds like you're ready to learn.


fill it with wires!
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5+ Year Member
Good luck man! Sounds like you're ready to learn.
Thanks Alaska. Frankly, a lot of car care stuff that I read about online scares me, just the notion of taking something off and not being able to get it back on x.x But Hopefully I'll get past that soon.

BTW, I really enjoyed reading through your build threads :thumbs up

I took a nice tip from this thread and got a binder and notebook for the car. Kinda like a New Years deal, bought on 1/1/2013.

Played with the printer some ^_^

I think my next big update will be an alarm, that makes sense seeing as it's parked on campus >_< But I still have a years worth of other stuff to post in the mean time :D
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New Member
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use imgur so you images wont expire

I dug the story man and this place as well as a few others are a great place to learn about these cars. Luckily they are pretty easy to work on which makes learning easier (obviously)

good luck with her man!


fill it with wires!
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Abailey21, Thanks, I'll check Imgur out. Haha, yeah, the first thing I did when I started saving up for the car was register on every Honda forum I could find :P

Hendo, Awesome :D Thanks

I'm not sure where to start. Should I post things that I did to the car last week and work my way back, or post things in semi-order of which changes I remember making first? x_x I think I'm going to go in order as I remember it.

So, the first thing I did when the car hit the driveway: cleaning. I spent the better part of a week tearing out the seats, carpet and trim, and cleaning everything down with shop towels. Unfortunately my local Walmart hadn't stocked Simple Green yet, and I didn't know what that was.

Like a dweeb, I cleaned the license light xP

Goodbye, carpet! (I didn't even know this was possible before that day)

I ended up dyeing just about everything, including the carpet :D

Before and after dye ^_^

The trunk carpet was probably the only thing that escaped dye

Eh, kinda dirty trunk.


Sorry for the overload of unnecessary pictures!
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fill it with wires!
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Okay, I've still got ~100 photos to get through before we're up to current day :P So here goes:

After cleaning the car I decided that the honda logo in the grille was a little loose, so I cut it out and replaced it with expanded metal for a cooking grill:

Later I went back and spray painted it black, which was a pretty awful idea, but it's held up fine for a year now ^_^

Next up were the windshield wipers, which had faded to grey and silver. I sanded them down, propped them up, primed, and spray painted each black with some flat black BBQ paint. When I'm done this car is going to cook ribs while I drive xP

Somewhere here I spent time scrubbing down the engine bay, nothing serious, just cleaned everything with a shop rag and got the dirt of of the engine head and exhaust shroud.

That exhaust shroud was pretty bad, and rusting away from the bolts x.x It got spray painted too :D Now I know better, but whatever, at least the BBQ paint is holding up to the heat.

Also, I had no idea if the exhaust whatever-pipes-these-are were supposed to look like this.

Next I took off the hubcaps, because I felt like it. But steelies (? new term to me) are nasty.

They got some BBQ paint too! Shinyyyyy :cool:

More updates on the way, gotta move back on campus tomorrow x.x
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fill it with wires!
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looking good so far..
Thanks :D

Okay, more car work blitz.

The trunk leaked. Drove me nuts. Finally found the seam that was leaking and used silicon caulk on all of the seams for good measure. Wouldn't do it again if I had the option, but it's held up well so far.

Next, diy headliner ^_^ Took out the cardboard ceiling and pulled the old headliner off, then put new black/dark blue fabric on.

And the finished result:

I must have a thing for BBQ paint, but it looks alright on the trim pieces.

While I had the headliner stuff and all of the trim pulled out of the car, I went ahead and played around with the sunroof unit.

:( I seem to be missing the rest of the pictures from that job, so here's something to make up for it:

Alright... Next was probably new speakers >.< The driver side door's speaker didn't work, and the stock ones looked like soggy cardboard left out to dry, so I pulled all four and bought new cheapo Walmart ones. Three of them went in without a problem, but it turned out that the driver door hinge had a handful of broken wires that kept the speaker from working... Ugh.

Wooo! I hated this part.

I ended up using a little pieces of copper wire to jam down into the plug and then soldered the speaker wire to that x.x So one of these days I need to find a replacement plug to wire in.

Wow, alrighty then. A few more posts and I'll retire the thread for this semester to be picked back up in the summer.
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fill it with wires!
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I'm in Huntsville :P

I think I'm subscribing to this thread

I like this kid!
Thanks Abailey21 ^_^

Okay, I've successfully moved back into my dorm, which is something of a feat considering the amount of crap I've decided to take to college with me x.x Ahhh, fast internet, how I've missed you x)

So, confession: I don't know the mileage on the Mothership, only that it's likely over 300k >.< When I got the car, the tachometer was broken at 280, and it'd been out for a few years... The car had been a highway junkie, while my boss and her husband did a lot of travelling before they both became bikers (also red bikes, and also Hondas) and apparently settled down.

Okay, lets burn through some more pictures :D

The old instrument cluster:

I bought a 'new' instrument cluster, it showed up in pretty bad condition and without any lightbulbs x( damn eBay:

It's in Km, but I've been dealing with the conversion alright ;)
Also, the new cluster didn't really fix the problem, it works, but the speedometer adds ~30km to my speed, so at idle it shows I'm going 30Km/h... Oh well

Lets see....
At some point I had a little money saved up, and instead of buying new headlights, I decided to play with my existing ones and keep the money as a backup in case I broke something.

Removing the headlights

Guess what type of spray paint that is? xD BBQ paint FTW

Had to drive to Walmart for some supplies x.x

All sanded down:



Woah, nice! x) (and cheap too!)

I really like those headlights now :cool:
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fill it with wires!
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5+ Year Member
Nice progress. Can't wait to see more.
:D Thanks

Uhngg >_< First day of classes.

I sanded down the hubcaps and tried painting them black w/ red H's... The idea was to paint the middle red, then let some school glue dry over the H and then paint the rest black, and peel the glue off of the red H... Didn't work out as planned though ;P

A friend of mine bought some VHT nightshades, and we (probably illegally) tinted the bottom half of the rear lights on my car. A project for my next summer break will be installing some LEDs in the housing to make the lights a bit brighter.


And in daylight:

^ The little sticker next to the license plate is for getting Eagle Scout, my aunt really wanted me to get a bumper sticker, but I really didn't want to put a bumper sticker on my car xP So she get me the smaller sticker instead.

Also, at some point the 'Civic' and 'EX' got removed, and the H was painted, no clue when that happened...

I installed a cheap air filter/intake because I was getting fidgety halfway through my senior year in high school x.x It's in one of the next pictures. I'm still working on welding together a brace for it that attaches where the old filter box went.

Doing some extra polishing:

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Boost Junkie
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Nice start! I've never been a fan of tinted tails at all, but it's your call. I'd just as soon get ahold of some '00 EM1 tail lights. They look good on red coupes. Will sub for more updates!

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