Greeting from a 92VX owner - Fuelly Forums

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Old 03-25-2011, 08:54 PM   #1
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Smile Greeting from a 92VX owner

We bought the car new and it now has 390,000 miles and has needed no "major" maintenance. It has the original clutch, head has never been off and gets 40mpg. At about 350,000 I was getting 35mpg. For the first time I put in a new O2 sensor, one from NTK, I also did a tune up using NGK plugs and wires, and for the first time had the injectors rebuilt for $110 at NAPA. That brought it back to 40mpg, but not the 50 I used to get.

It has been incredibly reliable, in 18 years I have put on 3 timing belts, 2 coils, 1 new set of shocks and struts, one cat, couple sets of break pads, one set of calipers, an alternator, a radiator and only changed the belts once.

It's now using about a qt of oil every two tanks of gas, so I am planning on getting a new motor this summer. I was thinking of getting a crate motor from Nippon motors for $550 http://www.nippon-motors.com/honda.htm, but am thinking more about just rebuilding it myself.

Any suggestions on where to get a rebuild kit? I'm weary of the one on eBay.

Thank you to all the members that have given me so much good advice on my car and others I work on, and sorry I never took the time to join and let you know how much your time is appreciated.

John
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:17 AM   #2
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Re: Greeting from a 92VX owner

Hi John,
Welcome to GasSavers. So glad you emerged from the shadows and joined the club. I'm certain your experiences over almost 400,000 miles will prove invaluable to many others. I'm afraid I do not have any advice for you but it's very likely you'll be getting many recommendations soon. Perhaps more than you'd like.
You say you purchased your VX new, in what state was it purchased? As I imagine you're aware, the biggest difference between any two VXs is whether the car was intended for sale in California or the other 49 states.
How long have you tracked your mileage? Is 40mpg the highest average you've seen? You're "using about a qt of oil every two tanks", do you know if it's being burned or leaking?

Best wishes,
Fuel Miser
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:19 AM   #3
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Re: Greeting from a 92VX owner

Welcome John,

The bottom end of Honda motors are expensive to rebuild right, because of the precise tolerances of the bearings. I rebuilt a D series engine a few years ago and while I was able to use the aftermarket rod bearings and get the right clearances, a few of the aftermarket main bearings were too loose and I had to go to the dealership to get the ones with the right fit (they are color coded), and they were $12 per bearing half!

The good news is that the bearings don't wear out very often (in hindsight my bearings looked OK so I should have just reused them but I didn't keep track of their positions when I pulled them out) and you likely just need a valve job, a full gasket set, new piston rings and some honing.

Also be careful about aftermarket piston rings, the ones I got (Hastings brand) didn't have the correct overlap design of the compression ring that the factory ones did. This was especially important because my engine only has 1 compression ring per piston. I'm not sure if the VX is the same way or not.

If you like working on stuff- go ahead and pull the engine out and take the head off. If the cylinder walls are all scratched up and you have a big ring ridge, get the crate motor. If you can still see the factory hone marks, then you may want to just rebuild it. I would guess that it will still cost at least $250 to rebuild if all of the bearings are all OK.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:30 AM   #4
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Re: Greeting from a 92VX owner

i'll be the "cheap" voice of reason here, while compiling info from the previous posts and regurgitating the action i would take...

yes, burning or leaking? replace the main seal and/or perform a valve job. after all, 1qt of oil lost every 2 tanks is VERY tolerable, especially if your alternatives are expensive...as in overhaul or engine replacement.

but, if you've got money and time to spend...welcome btw.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:05 PM   #5
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Re: Greeting from a 92VX owner

Thanks, and I bought the car in Oregon so its not a California car. I am going to take the advice and look before I jump. I will pull the head before I make any decisions. It smokes when I start it up, and not too much other wise, and no smoke out of the oil cap, so I am thinking its the head. It's just interesting to me that with so many miles, the clutch, bearings and rings are still doing their job.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:41 AM   #6
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Re: Greeting from a 92VX owner

Yes, pulling the head first is a smart idea. If it is just a problem with the head, that's cheaper than replacing the whole engine.

As for the clutch and other parts still working fine after that many miles, that's not unheard of. It all depends on your driving. For instance, I wear on a clutch more than many, but also my driving style is a little more aggressive and I drive in the city more than the highway. Overall, wear depends on the driver more than anything.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:41 AM   #7
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Re: Greeting from a 92VX owner

I actually was just in this same situation and I even have a extra vx engine in my garage but I still just decided to rebuild the top end. I took off the head and brought it in and the machinist was trying to talk me into doing a complete rebuild. the head cost 300 after parts and labor and the whole engine was going to be 1k. I figured I would make a decision when I I got the head off and had a look at the piston walls. To me they look great so I figured there was really no point. On the head all the seals were pretty bad and the exhaust valve guides were shot. I also took the time to change all the coolant and vacuum hoses. Also i got a honda head gasket and new honda head bolts. For me this was really the way to go and Im glad I took this path.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:59 PM   #8
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Re: Greeting from a 92VX owner

I would rebuild the original vx motor my self too. Personally i have tried to order a motor from nippon motors and there customer service was down right ridiculous. You would think they would like to keep a professional connection with their customers but from my experience i would never buy a thing from them. I would rebuild because you can also raise the compression on the motor by getting different pistons or shaving the head or block. Besides the motor that they sell is similar but not exactly like the original motor you have in the vx.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:37 AM   #9
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Re: Greeting from a 92VX owner

No matter what route you take, the extra expense of buying OEM Honda motor parts is well worth it.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:51 PM   #10
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Re: Greeting from a 92VX owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by SalorJOhn View Post
We bought the car new and it now has 390,000 miles and has needed no "major" maintenance. It has the original clutch, head has never been off and gets 40mpg. At about 350,000 I was getting 35mpg. For the first time I put in a new O2 sensor, one from NTK, I also did a tune up using NGK plugs and wires, and for the first time had the injectors rebuilt for $110 at NAPA. That brought it back to 40mpg, but not the 50 I used to get.

It has been incredibly reliable, in 18 years I have put on 3 timing belts, 2 coils, 1 new set of shocks and struts, one cat, couple sets of break pads, one set of calipers, an alternator, a radiator and only changed the belts once.

It's now using about a qt of oil every two tanks of gas, so I am planning on getting a new motor this summer. I was thinking of getting a crate motor from Nippon motors for $550 http://www.nippon-motors.com/honda.htm, but am thinking more about just rebuilding it myself.

Any suggestions on where to get a rebuild kit? I'm weary of the one on eBay.

Thank you to all the members that have given me so much good advice on my car and others I work on, and sorry I never took the time to join and let you know how much your time is appreciated.

John
Welcome to gassavers.org John! First thing I can suggest for a quick but effective fuel economy boost is to replace your PCV valve. The valve should be a straight piece and when you're down there replacing it, be sure to replace the PCV grommet and any vacuum hoses that look deteriorated or about to crumble. Replacing the PCV valve regularly should help prevent "burning of oil" but if you haven't replaced it, replacing the PCV valve should cut down on oil consumption and will give you a performance boost.
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