Hi, I recently purchased 94 Honda Civic Vx that I'm now trying to get running right.
The car has about 250K. The engine has a problem with idle bouncing between 800 and 1400 RPM when the car warms-up. Also cruising at 70Mph it suddenly looses power - have to push hard on the throttle to get it going, and then it does it again after a few minutes. I cleaned idle air valve, throttle body, and replaced spark plugs - that did not help.
Would it make sense to buy Japanese engine from importer to help with troubleshooting? I saw low millage (e.g. 40-60K) engines on ebay going for $300+ $200 shipping. Do Japanese imports use the same Oxygen sensor (i.e. L1H1), MAP, IACV, distributors, injectors, coils, etc? Are they really low millage? How high is the risk that the sensors get damaged in shipping? (they only warranty the engine)
it sounds like you have the two commen problems that happen after 15 years in a vx, and that is a bad o2 sensor, and a vaccum leak, most likely in your PCV hose set up and a miss adjusted idle speed.
I wouldn't buy an engine without at least seeing photos of it, seeing the real engine would be even better of course, if the photos of it look the same, and the numbers match, then it should work, I know a number of people on here have ordered engines like you are asking about.
Often you'll see information on Japanese engines (I have seen a lot of this on Honda and Nissan engines) being really low mileage because Japan has penalties for high-mileage vehicles. However, you often don't know what you're ACTUALLY getting. Sometimes they are just rebuilt engines from here in the US - sometimes they are just plain pot luck. Reputable dealers likely will charge more.
There should be a couple of threads on here about that, google for a few more.
Looking to trade for an early 1988 Honda CRX HF (Pillar mounted seat belts)
> bad o2 sensor, and a vaccum leak
That's very likely. Unfortunately I don't know history of the car, O2 sensor could be new, and it's a couple hundred to get it replaced. So I'm considering either to spend $200 on an oxygen sensor and chasing vacuum leak, and after that possibly hundreds more, if it's something else (coils, distributor, wires, MAP, TPS, IACV, EGR, Crank sensor, etc).
If low-millage engines could be had for under $500 shipped, it sounds like a sensible alternative (could swap sensors back and forth, and if my original engine goes, I'd have a replacement that's already been paid for). I don't have a lot of experience with Japanese cars, so looking for validation of this logic. Buying used engine is a gamble, so is there a consensus on whether it's worth it or not?
I have a fair experience with American cars, and it did not make economic sense to buy used engines for parts because replacement parts were very cheap. With Honda parts seem expensive while complete engines are dirt cheap.
I've read a few threads about engine swaps, but have not found anything about buying imported engines for parts. That's why I wanted to start a new thread.