"The Mothership" - 1998 Civic - Maintenance Log

ctag

fill it with wires!
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5+ Year Member
A couple updates from the past few weeks:

Last week of January:
  • Found that the coolant was rusty :(
    • Flushed the radiator with water and ran the car (~3 times). The last flush was mostly clean water.
    • Found that the radiator cap was broken with the relief valve missing.
    • Replaced the radiator cap and filled the radiator with concentrated coolant to make a proper mix.
  • For a nice gentle test drive I drove to Atlanta for a wedding the next day. No issues.
Two days ago (Wednesday) I left my keys locked in my car at work... and the car running. It probably sat idling for about 6 hours total before my parents came to the rescue with a spare key.

The brakes still pulse, so yesterday my roommate helped me pull the front brake rotors and turn them on a brake lathe. No more pulsing while braking! At least for now...

And this weekend I'm planning on changing the oil simply due to the whole "left running all day" thing.
 


ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Changed the oil Saturday at odometer 355,000.
3.5 Qt high-mileage Valvoline synthetic mix and new Bosch Premium 3312 filter.

Sunday I noticed coolant leaking out of the upper radiator hose, so that got replaced.

The car's been doing great lately. I actually suspect heat soaking with with the idiotic 5-hour idle session may have freed up some rings? Cleaned out some carbon? Polished some bearings? Warped the freaking longblock? The engine just feels a little more responsive :what:
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Monday I noticed that my tripmeter wasn't ... metering. I bumped the reset button a few times and then it resumed faithfully ticking away the mileage.

At the fill-up today I wrote down the trip meter and compared it to the odometer:
Trip meter402
Odometer355526
Previous odometer355115
Difference in odometer355526 - 355115 = 411

They don't match. 8km sounds about right for the driving I did before noticing that the meter was still at 0. So my odometer is likely still working even though the trip meter is bugging out.

I also want to see if leaving the engine idling had an obvious affect on MPG, since I do have that data and don't really have compression test data to compare. Below are a couple of samples of KMPG before, and the first datapoint afterwards.
Before: 53.3, 49.9, 52.9, 58.4
Tank where car was left idling for ~5 hours: 45.5
After: 57.2

Looks like there wasn't any immediately obvious damage, at least from this metric.
 


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ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
For a couple years now my car's had a belt squeal. It only happens in winter; when the engine is cold it sometimes squeals for about 20 seconds and then the noise goes away.

Yesterday I finally went out and measured the belts. The AC and alternator were loose below spec, so I tightened them to ~100lbs.

Then I unplugged the power steering reservoir and flushed the system with three bottles of Honda PS fluid. It was time.

Hopefully the next few days will confirm that the belt squeal is gone. As an added bonus, I think there was a little squealing during moderate engine load that's also gone now.
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Today was gorgeous outside, so I went out and washed the Civic. As I stepped back to let it dry, the thought occurred to me that soon there won't be enough clearcoat left to even pretend to wax it, so I dug out some old carnuaba wax and went to town scrubbing it into the chipped paint.



Then I looked up the AC test section of the service manual and decided to give it a try. Before I could begin though, I wanted to investigate why the vent selector no longer worked. It's been broken for years and I just left it because the thought of pulling the dash was overwhelming. Turns out all this time the broken part was just next to my foot, and I quickly found the servo and pulled it out of the car.



I tore it down to find that the DC motor inside had a dead spot, but everything else was fine. I tested the motor a few times, cleaned the gears, added new silicone grease, and put it back together.



For a few beautiful seconds I played with the dash buttons and the servo dutifully switched vents... Until it hit the motor's dead spot again and ceased responding. Oh well, re-winding a motor coil is where I draw the line, so I manually turned the dash vents to the setting for the AC test and proceeded.

... But I didn't have a thermometer... And the local grocery store didn't either! Frustrated with the lost time, I pulled out my trusty AMT1001 and made my own thermometer/hygrometer rig.



I jerry rigged up some old gauges to the AC refrigerant lines and then carried out the 10 minute test. At the conclusion I wrote down the results, and then blindly tried filling out the AC chart to the best of my ability.

High side pressure195 - 220 psi
Low side pressure13 - 39 psi
Ambient Temperature20 C
Vent Temperature8 C
Ambient Humidity20 %
Vent Humidity49 %

I'm not sure how to interpret the results, but was surprised to see the temperature actually drop and stay there. I've suspected something is wrong with the AC for a long time now, because usually it will blow cold for a few minutes and then give up.
 

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ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Bought new windshield wiper arms and motor, and a new vent selector servo. Cost a pretty penny :???:

The windshield wiper parts are waiting for the existing stuff to break further before I install them. I went out when the servo arrived and installed it. Now I have vent selection! Right in time for me to not need defrosting anymore... The servo still struggles, so I'm trying to limit usage until I can tear the whole selector box out of the dash and do an overhaul on it.
 

Johnp410

New Member
Looking good bud. Your thorough, that's for sure lol I've done my clutch, axles, and the associated cylinders, since we last spoke. I did my valve cover gasket, plugs and wires last Sunday, and painted the valve cover. Oh and lower ball joints. I've got a pacesetter header I need to paint, then I can finish my exhaust, but I'm scared it's going to sound like , i got a cheap muffler (dc sports). I also need to replace my front driverside wheel bearing and hub, just ordered a trunk latch (that crapped out on me last week). I'm probably putting my truck on the road after all that, parking the Civic and looking into rebuilding the engine and/or doing a swap. But my truck needs attention, I just hope it doesn't take forever for the DMV to reopen.

How you making out in this covid weather?
Hope all is well.
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Looking good bud. Your thorough, that's for sure lol I've done my clutch, axles, and the associated cylinders, since we last spoke. I did my valve cover gasket, plugs and wires last Sunday, and painted the valve cover. Oh and lower ball joints. I've got a pacesetter header I need to paint, then I can finish my exhaust, but I'm scared it's going to sound like , i got a cheap muffler (dc sports). I also need to replace my front driverside wheel bearing and hub, just ordered a trunk latch (that crapped out on me last week). I'm probably putting my truck on the road after all that, parking the Civic and looking into rebuilding the engine and/or doing a swap. But my truck needs attention, I just hope it doesn't take forever for the DMV to reopen.

How you making out in this covid weather?
Hope all is well.
Nice work! You gotta post that stuff in your build thread!

Don't stress about the exhaust, if it doesn't work for you sell it and try something else :rocker:

Working from home has actually been pretty busy, but I totally love saving 2 hours a day not commuting. COVID-19 is causing one of my roommates to move back home for the summer since all the internships dried up, so I'm losing money. Other than that things are OK, and I feel fortunate things are the way they are here.

With summer looming on the horizon, I decided to buy myself something:
30747

With any luck it'll help keep my back from getting as sweaty in hot weather. Time will tell :roll:
 

Johnp410

New Member
Nice work! You gotta post that stuff in your build thread!

Don't stress about the exhaust, if it doesn't work for you sell it and try something else :rocker:

Working from home has actually been pretty busy, but I totally love saving 2 hours a day not commuting. COVID-19 is causing one of my roommates to move back home for the summer since all the internships dried up, so I'm losing money. Other than that things are OK, and I feel fortunate things are the way they are here.

With summer looming on the horizon, I decided to buy myself something:
View attachment 30747

With any luck it'll help keep my back from getting as sweaty in hot weather. Time will tell :roll:
Fortunate to be able to work still. In the same boat, but it looks more and more like we might close for 2 weeks. Strange times were living in.
Where'd you score the seat cover? Is it meant to massage your back? I mean to post on my thread, but get side tracked lol for instance the day I done the clutch kit and axles, I started by taking a picture of all the parts on my hood, after getting her on the lift, I was ashamed to show any pictures of under her skirt. The oil leakage, shift linkages rusty, which I'm trying to find replacements for those if you know of any, I'd greatly appreciate it.
I do have a couple pics of the valve cover though. Im proud of that, could have been better had I not done it outside, I tried to keep it covered after each coat, but didn't a 100% of the time, it looks good though. As far as the muffler I have, I'm thinking about returning it, and putting that $60 towards a $300 catback I seen by yonaka. Right now I just have a universal fart can (DC sports), I still need the midpipe, the yonaka would be $100 more than what I planned on spending, but a better investment I think.
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Fortunate to be able to work still. In the same boat, but it looks more and more like we might close for 2 weeks. Strange times were living in.
Where'd you score the seat cover? Is it meant to massage your back? I mean to post on my thread, but get side tracked lol for instance the day I done the clutch kit and axles, I started by taking a picture of all the parts on my hood, after getting her on the lift, I was ashamed to show any pictures of under her skirt. The oil leakage, shift linkages rusty, which I'm trying to find replacements for those if you know of any, I'd greatly appreciate it.
I do have a couple pics of the valve cover though. Im proud of that, could have been better had I not done it outside, I tried to keep it covered after each coat, but didn't a 100% of the time, it looks good though. As far as the muffler I have, I'm thinking about returning it, and putting that $60 towards a $300 catback I seen by yonaka. Right now I just have a universal fart can (DC sports), I still need the midpipe, the yonaka would be $100 more than what I planned on spending, but a better investment I think.
Glad to hear you're doing OK. I hope that 2-week shutdown doesn't mess things up too much for you :(
I know what you mean about pictures once you get started haha. I don't know the best place to find a replacement shift linkage :???: Do you have a pick-a-part junkyard near you? That'd be a good place to check first. I wish I had some better advice on the exhaust, but I don't have any experience with the brands yet.

Those seat covers are sold as "massage" cushions, but I'm hoping it'll provide a bit of air between me and the back of the seat.
 

Johnp410

New Member
Glad to hear you're doing OK. I hope that 2-week shutdown doesn't mess things up too much for you :(
I know what you mean about pictures once you get started haha. I don't know the best place to find a replacement shift linkage :???: Do you have a pick-a-part junkyard near you? That'd be a good place to check first. I wish I had some better advice on the exhaust, but I don't have any experience with the brands yet.

Those seat covers are sold as "massage" cushions, but I'm hoping it'll provide a bit of air between me and the back of the seat.
Well if we do shut down, we supposedly have the payroll bailout money, so we'd get paid. I really just wish this mess would go away wishful thinking.
I got a pace setter header (exhaust manifold) looking at the yonaka catback, it's $289 but doesn't sound bad, some folks on here frown on yonaka, but I was thinking about painting everything. Working on the header now.
30839
That's just primer. Took awhile to get the protective paint off, but I got it. Acetone works pretty well, then just take a red scuff pad (360) to it, to scratch it up a bit so the primer adheres better. Using a ceramic paint after that. I'm seriously thinking about, doing my wheels, brake upgrade, then parking her for awhile. I want to rebuild the motor for turbo. While getting my Chevy on the road, I can make the Civic my project car.
 

Johnp410

New Member
Nice work :thumbs up

Hmmm, civic project car :mrgreen:
Thanks, since that pic I've put several coats of ceramic paint (black) on. And I might have found a different exhaust. It's a Megan Racing Cat Back. Granted I'm not racing. The car is slow lol
 


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