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Old 07-27-2013, 07:23 PM   #1
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UNpimping 94 civic vx

Hey guys, about a year i bought a 94 civic vx for my daily commute (130 miles) Im a car guy but have never really been big into "tuner" cars. I found a the vx on craigslist with 85,000 miles and made a deal.

Unfortunately it is far from unmolested. I could tell it had had some body work done but after i got it i found the whole front end had been disassembled at some point, bolts were missing and the fender skirts are gone. Its been lowered (k sport kit, looks like ok stuff), has 14in rims, high performance tires, header, the *** can muffler, k&n intake, MT from a civic ex, and an acura steering wheel. Check engine light comes on but resets if you shut the car off and doesnt leave a hard code.

First thing i did was a complete tune up, synthetic oil, Bosch iridium +4 plugs. Next checked the timing, had a hell of a timing getting it right, always seemed a half a tooth off and i figured out why but more on that later, at 16 degrees timing it pinged like crazy! i backed it off to 12 to get it manageable but it still pinged. Drove it for awhile getting 40 to 45 mpg ( half my commute the speed limit is 75 the other half is 65) not bad but i felt it should be better.

Phase 2 tranny, tires, exhaust and general maintenance.

Found a tranny on craigslist. I decided to stay with the 14in tires. I chose Micheiln Defender tire cause its low rolling resistance and has a 90,000 mile warranty 285/65/14's are a little over an inch taller than stock but i figured with 95% of my driving being it would be ok, plus with the car being lowered I clear speed bumps a little easier.

The alignment was a nightmare, car was completely out of whack. It had obviously been in some sort of accident and i found 2 bent rims. The lowering kit actually helped cause it had a few adjustments that a stock setup doesnt. after some heating, bending, a little grinding and a couple welds the car tracks true. The rims turned out to be BMW "bottle cap" wheels painted black. Trip to the junkyard, little grind, little paint, 4 matching true rims.

*** can muffler, Gone! replaced it with a Dynomax. Much better.

Fixed a few leaks, replaced all the wheel bearings. Now to tackle the check engine light. I was a "low vtec switch oil pressure" code. Checked the solenoid, it was good. Replaced the oil screens cause i read they get clogged. Alldata suggested i check the wiring harness for shorts, it was all good. That only left the ECU but everything else seemed ok. This is where things got weird.

I checked the # on the ECU, its correct for a fed emissions vx (i have no idea if its "chipped" though) then i checked the # on the block. D15b2, not the right number. The head appears to be correct so my only conclusion is that someone did a "mini-me" swap but why? Would there be any advantage to this? It does seem to have a little more power than i would expect a mileage miser to have but it struggles after 4000 rpms and some hills but its not consistent. This may be the vtec solenoid. I was under the impression a mini-me was done for more power on non vtec motors. This was also why I had a hard time timing it and why it was pinging so bad, the compression ratio would be around 12 to 1 unless they used a thicker head gasket. The vtec code could be set off if they didnt take out the oil jet.

Sooo Honda gurus what do you all think i should do? The car is running pretty good but im concidering installing a button to activate the vtec silonoide. Ive been reading Suspendedhatch's write up on here about "Realizing the full potential of the Vx" and love the idea.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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Car started running very rich, put it on the scanner and found the air intake temperature sensor was reading 34 and it was 98 outside. Replaced, running much better now. I'll post mileage after I get a couple tanks.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:12 PM   #3
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Well, you saw what your hands took. Shouldn't have even looked at it. This car will cost you grossly in repairs. Just kill her. Hope you did not pay more than a thousand for it.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:19 PM   #4
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I expected repairs on a 20 year old car, and yes I saw it before I bought it. Over all I'm not in happy with the little car and I'm well under what a new hybrid would have cost me in license, taxes, fees, car payments and insurance in repairs. I'm just curious what the motivation to swap the block was.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:11 AM   #5
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So did I, when I bought a 91 Civic from an associate. But I bought her for $300 or some like that.
It's too late now, as you already have that car but for the future, do not even look at any Hondas, or any other vehicle, that has signs of any modifications. As you are pretty much guaranteed to step into a money pit like this.
Why they swapped engine block? Because it's a Honda. Kid who had her spent some time online, reading thousands of posts about swapping this and that. Those are street tuners cars, swaps are bread and butter. So he swapped something. Or, he had block busted somehow. Hit the car and block cracked.
Why worry? You have to deal with what you have to deal with. You either bite the bullet and restore her to normal condition, or rid of her, or drive as is into death.
There is no new hybrids worth what your 20 yo one is. Not sure why you came up with that idea. I own Camry Hybrid, I sort of know the market. Unless you believe that your Civic is worth around $15K, and that is not the case.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:32 AM   #6
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Lol I think your missing the point of all this. I am "dealing" with this. Thats kinda the point of posting, to see what others think or have dealt with. Your suggestion of taking the little car out into the pasture and shooting her are duly noted.
Im going through the car a little at a time and fixing things as I find them. The car is mechanically sound, im just trying to make it as efficient as possible now. As for the value of the car I didnt buy it to sell or trade in so blue book is irrelevant. Im referring to cost of ownership. My initial investment was less than the sales tax on some new cars and im getting as good or better milage. Parts are cheap and I can do most of the work myself.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:59 AM   #7
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No, my suggest was to DRIVE her into death. They are very stubborn, you know. Mine got me through everywhere for a year, still doing 38mpg, then i donated her to my patient, and 4 years down the road, he's still driving her.
Those are so called beaters. You buy them cheap at public auction or craigslist, drive to death, toss and buy another one.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donovanmh View Post
Lol I think your missing the point of all this. I am "dealing" with this. Thats kinda the point of posting, to see what others think or have dealt with. Your suggestion of taking the little car out into the pasture and shooting her are duly noted.
Im going through the car a little at a time and fixing things as I find them. The car is mechanically sound, im just trying to make it as efficient as possible now. As for the value of the car I didnt buy it to sell or trade in so blue book is irrelevant. Im referring to cost of ownership. My initial investment was less than the sales tax on some new cars and im getting as good or better milage. Parts are cheap and I can do most of the work myself.
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