"The Mothership" - 1998 Civic - Maintenance Log

ctag

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It's been a rainy, warm Christmas down here. Turns out the "wax on windshield" procedure worked wonders. I don't know what the downside may be, or how long it will last, but for the past few days of almost constant rain the windshield wipers have worked incredibly well!

The little work I did on the clear coat was unhelpful. The web cracks are all noticeable again. From here on out I'm just going to do the best I can at maintaining the finish at it's current level, as I think scrubbing on it probably did more harm than good.

I'm pretty excited to share some news with you guys. I've been talking with a coworker over the winter break from college, and he's agreed to sell me (really, he's giving it away) his Del Sol. It's a cute little car, blue matte finish, working targa top, and some aftermarket engine work (I think, need to take another look under the hood sometime). Anyhow, looking forward to it!
 
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nd4sped

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This is a very time consuming process. To get rid of the small scratches in your clear coat you are going to have to use a cleaner wax or cut wax and firm foam pad on your waxing machine. This will cut through a few microns of your clear coat to even out the areas where the cracks are. Once that is done you wash the car off again and wax the car with whatever wax you normally use. You will most likely have to make two-three passes to polish any swirls from the cutting process.

Once its all said and done you will be very pleased with the outcome. Its the only way to get rid of scratches, swirls, faded clearcoat, etc. Another reason high end wax jobs are so expensive.
 


mymmeryloss

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It's been a rainy, warm Christmas down here. Turns out the "wax on windshield" procedure worked wonders. I don't know what the downside may be, or how long it will last, but for the past few days of almost constant rain the windshield wipers have worked incredibly well!

The little work I did on the clear coat was unhelpful. The web cracks are all noticeable again. From here on out I'm just going to do the best I can at maintaining the finish at it's current level, as I think scrubbing on it probably did more harm than good.

I'm pretty excited to share some news with you guys. I've been talking with a coworker over the winter break from college, and he's agreed to sell me (really, he's giving it away) his Del Sol. It's a cute little car, blue matte finish, working targa top, and some aftermarket engine work (I think, need to take another look under the hood sometime). Anyhow, looking forward to it!
Cute? Cmon now...
 

ctag

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Sometime recently (I want to say after getting gasoline) the engine's developed a sputtering/haltering hesitation while accelerating under load. If I'm coming out of a stop and am accelerating through the 1.5K-3K RPM range, the engine sometimes will falter, and the whole car rocks a little.

I don't think it's a vacuum problem, since the car idles fine. I tried removing the brake booster and holding over the port with my thumb just to be sure. I'll revisit this later.

I tried replacing the fuel filter and putting some HEET formula for waterlogged gasoline in the tank. Neither of those helped.
 

ctag

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Earlier this week I posted a thread about the engine issues, and eventually found that one of the spark plug wires was loose. Thinking that it was the seals in the valve cover causing trouble, I geared up to pull the VC and take a look.

Parts from Rock Auto wouldn't arrive in time, so I thought maybe the Z16Z6 gasket I have lying around would fit. It looked like it would, so I went ahead and decided to use the Z16 gasket along with Kurisutin's old spark plug wires to replace the current ones (#1 was damaged).

I got the car on stands and started replacing the oil and oil filter while I was at it. I pretty quickly noticed that the valve cover seals were leaking a little oil out onto the spark plug wires, but the reason for the disconnect was exhaust leaking past the spark plug. Turns out I only hand-tightened them back in high school when these spark plugs were installed :shock: and I drive like a wuss, so it just wasn't a problem for years and years.

** I also replaced the spark plug wires, dizzy, and rotor with new parts today (26-3-16) I like the Bosch dizzy, but one of the bolt mounts cracked almost immediately.

** I also put white lithium grease on the clutch slave, at the little joint between the piston and the fork. Annoying squeaking noise is all gone for now!



Valve cover was still squeaky clean :suprise:




Cleaning junk out of the spark plug tube


The spark plugs cleaned up pretty well, and seemed to be in good shape, so they went back in. With a torque wrench this time.


The old tube seals with a new flimsy one. This was a DNJ VC296G valve cover gasket kit from rockauto, and it was pretty shoddy. Will not buy again.


They look like they're designed to let as much oil past as possible :what:


Aaaaand, the Z16Z6 gasket doesn't fit. Luckily the old gasket was in really great condition for being a few years old, so I put new RTV on it and it went back in :(


All done. I'm pretty unhappy with the result, but it's just a matter of coming back with the proper supplies this summer.
 
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ctag

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This summer has been one frantic project to another so far, with none of them being my cars yet.

Today I was driving to a friend's wedding, looked down to read the printed directions, and hit another car. It was about the lightest collision that could happen on a road -- some paint swapped bumpers -- but I'm still shaken up by it. The guy didn't want to get insurance involved, and asked for $20 to forget about it. I emptied my wallet -- all $21 worth -- and we carried on.

I wish very much that I had been carrying more cash on me, $21 is not enough to forgive myself to another person on the road for being distracted while driving.

Live and learn I suppose.
 

ctag

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Got a CEL 45 today, fuel system too lean or rich. Investigating later.
 

ctag

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The CEL hasn't come back so far.

I was planning on changing the oil over the weekend, and decided to put some seafoam in the crankcase. It's advice I got from a friend way back, and follow about once every other year. Anyway, I accidentally grabbed a bottle of fuel system cleaner, which has the same unique can shape, and added that instead. It immediately thinned the oil and flooded the engine, keeping it from starting.

So I went ahead and changed the oil and filter with generic 5W-30 stuff, and am going to do it again next weekend just to be sure all of the silly fuel system cleaner is washed out.

I also replaced the MTF with Valvoline GM Synchromesh.
 

dillon2swift

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I really liked what I read, you have done a really fantastic job. Sometimes you need to take your car to a shop and have it looked over for preventative maintenance, doing all the work yourself is awesome. But let someone else take a look too. Sometimes you can over look something or have no idea or experience on something. Keep up the good work, crazy how you kept this thread going for almost 3 years. Good Luck!

Sent from my SM-N930V using Tapatalk
 

ctag

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I really liked what I read, you have done a really fantastic job. Sometimes you need to take your car to a shop and have it looked over for preventative maintenance, doing all the work yourself is awesome. But let someone else take a look too. Sometimes you can over look something or have no idea or experience on something. Keep up the good work, crazy how you kept this thread going for almost 3 years. Good Luck!
Thanks man :mrgreen:

You know, that's some really solid advice, and I've actually been orbiting around similar trains of thought for the past few months. I like the idea of doing my own maintenance, but the truth is I'm just playing around really, and I like the car too much to be OK risking it because I make a mistake. The real reason I haven't been going to a shop has mostly been financial, but with any luck I'll graduate from college in December of this year, and then I can start setting aside money that will go to professional automotive work :thumbs up
 

ctag

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It's been a rainy, warm Christmas down here. Turns out the "wax on windshield" procedure worked wonders. I don't know what the downside may be, or how long it will last, but for the past few days of almost constant rain the windshield wipers have worked incredibly well!
*clears throat* And one year later... It's rainy and cold again :mrgreen:

This time I decided to drop the cash for new windshield wipers and some Rain-X spray-on solution. Working great so far :thumbs up

My friend pointed out recently that I have some latent issue with how I put life on hold during college. I was whining that my car slid into an intersection during rain recently and said: "I don't get it, those tires are brand new.. They're only.... wow, five years old? Damn." And the wipers were close to the same age as the now-balding tires :| Where the hell did the last few years go? I feel way too young to be saying something like that.

Looks like once I have my degree (last final exam is later today :headbang:) I'll be able to work full time at my research gig; so sometime next year I should be able to start saving up for car stuff. I want to put the Mothership here up on stands, pull the engine and transmission, and either rebuild them myself or have a shop do it. I want to get a few more reliable miles out of that engine and this car if I can by any means.
 

ctag

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Rebuilding parts like the engine and transmission is pretty scary without prior experience. I'm trying to mentally prepare by building a new "nest"

Shelter, equipment, parts; all good things to be ready for car work. Right?

So yesterday the new carport arrived and we got it set up.


I'm going to hang some fluorescent lights up along the apex and run power out to it. My friend's goldwing and truck are ahead of the civic in line. We need to do some carb work on the bike to get it running, and the truck needs an engine and carb overhaul.
 
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ctag

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Cool
but I canr see the pic of the mancave
waht are you Researchering bro
Thanks MACE, the picture should be fixed now.

I'm mostly just reading through threads of engine rebuilds and transmission tear aparts, trying to get an idea of the steps involved. One option I've been thinking about is to go to a junk yard and get another D series engine and transmission, swap them into the civic, and then take all the time I need to rebuild my own. Hard to tell if it's worth all of that money though.
 

ctag

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Shadowed my buddy testing some powder coat on old pliers today, pretty interested in using this setup on car parts :suprise:

The powder


The pliers






Finished :thumbs up





 

ctag

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The nest building continues. Strung up some LED lighting yesterday, it's intensely bright now :shock:

Shoddy not-real wiring across the carport ceiling.


Had to remove the busted ballast and rewire the fixture for the LED tubes.




We also wired up one of the spare tubes as a handheld light that we can hang on car hoods and whatnot.




Going to go start a new build thread for that Goldwing in a few minutes here, looking forward to getting it back together!
 

ctag

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Tried running a compression test on the engine today. Ended up burning out the ignition coil... So now my motorcycle and car are out for the count while I shop around for a new distributor.
 


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