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Old 05-31-2006, 10:34 AM   #1
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Smile Hello, from Gary

Hello, to everyone. My name is Gary Palmer. I have a number of things I could share with everyone, but I find myself a bit rushed, so I will just try to share thing's, as they come up, or I think about them.

Currentlty I am driving a 89 Civic "Wagovan", which I purchased in the fall of last year, because I couldn't handle driving my 91 Buick Regal, which get's fair mileage on the highway, but around town I think their is a hole in the gas tank. Additionally I think the hole must open up really wide whenever I park the car because it is always lower on gas than I think it ought to be.

I had to disassemble the engine, to get a broken spark plug removed, which is why the owner was selling the car. Since I already had it that far apart, I had the head rebuilt, with new valve guides and I put in new ring's, rod bearings, main bearings, water pump, oil pump and assorted gaskets and hoses.

Consequently I have an engine which has just turned 200,000 miles, but which uses essentially no oil, runs well and get's good gas mileage. My car has a 5 speed transmission and overall I am pretty pleased with it, thus far.

I also have a 87 Civic DX, which I purchased for my oldest daughter, about 6 year's ago. When I bought it, it had about 160,000 miles on it, but it did not use any oil. Unfortunataely, the second year she had it, she had gone to school in the fall, driven from Utah to California in the spring and then turned around and tried to drive it back to Utah in the fall, without having either checked or replaced her oil. Alas, the poor engine gave up just short of Mesquite, NV.

However, when I got their, I found out the primary damage was that the last bearing on the camshaft had run without oil, for so long, that it finally got the camshaft hot enough to be torqued off by the timing belt.

The 87 Civic has the 1.5 L, 12 valve engine, with a carburator, and 10,000 hoses, relays and do-dad's, whatever they are. However in driving it, it was the first car I have ever driven where I kept wondering if the fuel gauge was not working, or if it was, how the engine was generating fuel, or operating, because the gauge never seemed to move.

The 87 seemed to me like it go 40-45 around town and almost 50, on the highway. However, my memory and what I was able to get it back to, after I rebuilt it, aren't entirely in sync, although I can still get 40 out of it on the highway. I don't drive it much, because I have another daughter who is driving it daily between Ventura, Ca and UCSB, in Santa Barbara. I think it's mileage may have gone back up quite a bit because it was having some very frustrating issues with the electronic pickup in the ignition. However, since I fixed that issue, it has been running quite well.

On the 89 I am driving, I have been using the 1,2,5 shift pattern with a moderate, 20-25% pedal for acceleration, then running in 5th under a light to moderate load. Mileage I seem to be getting 33-35 mpg, or maybe a little more, in combined driving around town and on the highway.

I have a number of idea's about some things I want to try, as well as questions I would like to use the member's, here, to bounce some ideas off of.

Oh, on my 89, I also replaced the stock exhaust manifold with a header, which I was able to get for about $55, including shipping, on eBay. The existing exhaust manifold was pretty man-handled and since I had heard that it might help with my fuel economy, I thought I might as well put it on. My quess is that it helps it some, but since I don't have any concrete information, I don't know for sure.

However, I have another daughter whom I bought a 91 Civic DX hatchback, which had a similar engine to my 89, but had a 4 speed. However, her motor had been very abused and I was amazed it would even run, but it still got about 30mpg, on the highway, even though it used about a quart of oil, for every other tank of gas.

Anyway, beyond that I don't have any basis, except the epa estimates, to compare my mileage to, so I don't know if my mileage is better because of the header, or if it is just because the motor works like it was originally designed, or something else.

One note of thought. When I worked on the 87 Civic, I pulled the whole front drive train, support, engine, transmission out and worked on it that way. What I did was to use block the car body up, then disconnect all of the engine connections, lower the engine to the floor and then use a 4 by 4 beam and my floor jack, to raise the whole front of the car about 6 feet in the air. By doing that, I could slide the whole assembly out from under the car and then work on it in the open. This sounds like a lot of work, but I think it was actually a lot easier to work on and it wasn't really to bad to put back in. I think it was a whole lot easier than trying to use a hoist to pull the engine and tranny out through the engine compartment, anyway.

Anyway, for what it's worth.

Thanks, Gary Palmer

p.s. thanks to Matt for helping me to figure out "who I was".
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:05 AM   #2
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Welcome to the board, Gary. So many Honda drivers...maybe that proves that Honda is a little more FE conscious than other companies...or that there are just a million Civics out there...or Honda drivers are more FE conscious...
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 95metro
Welcome to the board, Gary. So many Honda drivers...maybe that proves that Honda is a little more FE conscious than other companies...or that there are just a million Civics out there...or Honda drivers are more FE conscious...
I think it's just that honda has been interested in fuel economy for a lot longer than other companies. THey have a reputation of fuel economy, even though their newer cars will convince you otherwise.

Gary, from the sound of it you might have a Civic STD. If it is a 91 hatchback and has a 4-speed manual transmission, it is a STD. The STD is a more fuel efficient version of the hatchback. It has a different camshaft and exhaust header than the other hatchback. Oh, it's probably lighter too.

I've heard of people dropping the engine out of the bottom of their cars before, but I've always been afraid to do it. Can anyone else verify the ease of doing this versus using a hoist?
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:22 PM   #4
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Hi Gary - glad Matt helped you figure out who you were! Maybe he can help me next.

Matt - we dropped the red Swift's engine/tranny out the bottom. It was surprisingly easy. We only had the car up about 2.5 feet - just enough to get enough clearance beneath the rad support to haul everything clear once it was dropped.
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MetroMPG
Matt - we dropped the red Swift's engine/tranny out the bottom. It was surprisingly easy. We only had the car up about 2.5 feet - just enough to get enough clearance beneath the rad support to haul everything clear once it was dropped.
What about putting the engine back in?
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:40 PM   #6
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Ah, well... putting the engine back in is not on the to-do list. 8)

But if it were, I think we'd still be fine. It would depend on whether you've got the unit well supported on a good jack(s). (We actually have a crank-operated type of mini-forklift - a "Genie Lift" @ 300 lbs limit - that the factory he works at was throwing out.)

We also used a number of straps to prevent things from tipping the wrong way.
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:37 PM   #7
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Matt:

On putting the engine assembly back in, it was also a lot easier, in my perspective, to put it back in from the bottom, instead of trying to thread it through from the top, with a hoist. I have a heavy duty floor jack that I got from Costco and what I did was build a wood platform about 1 ft square, to go in the hole the jack has for the lift piece. Then I just got the engine transmission balanced, slid it under, lifted it up and got one end to where I could get a bolt in. I actually did it by myself, but I think it would be a lot safer and wiser, not mention easier, if you had someone to help you. I also, if I recall, put a piece of 2 x 4 across the fender's and had a hoist chain that went over the 2 x 4, to act as a safety device, similar to the straps and so forth that MetroMPG suggested.

On the 1991, I don't have that car any longer. My daughter sold it for $600 to somebody her husband knew and then he took it out and tried to wind the engine way up and walla, it blew up. He knew it was in bunk condition before he bought it, but after it blew up, he didn't have enough to fix it, so it got disposed of, by him.

One thing I have noticed on my 89 wagon is that it has a lot more power than either the 87 or the 91. We have a hill near here called Conejo grade, which in the 87, if I go into 4th and floor it, I can top the hill at about 65-70. In the 89, if I go into 4th I can keep it at 70 and use about 1/3-1/2 throttle and it will maintain it's speed. I don't know if the power is a product of the engine, cam and DPFI or what, but it definitely has significantly more power, in those condititons.

Thanks, Gary
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:22 PM   #8
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Is the wagovan the realtime AWD model with the 6speed?

Anyway, DPFI isn't giving you any power, so I guess it's not the rtAWD model,

Dang, that coulda been a smoking race car with an h-d tranny adapator plate...

ANYWAY, welcome to the site, you must love the civics, that's good in my book. There was a more fuel efficient hatch than the STD, it was the CX, which had the same junk as the CRX HF, but I'll be damned if I've heard that hatch mentioned more than twice online.
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Old 06-01-2006, 07:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SVOboy
There was a more fuel efficient hatch than the STD, it was the CX, which had the same junk as the CRX HF, but I'll be damned if I've heard that hatch mentioned more than twice online.
SVOboy, do you have a link to an example of a 4th gen CX? I've never seen one, and I have looked around. As far as I can tell, the CX started it's existance in the 92 and up models.

Gary,

It does seem that Hondas are makeing their presence known on this board. I look forward to hearing about your modifications. Sounds like you have a nice smattering of the 4th gen cars. I really like those wagovans too - I keep my eyes open to any good ones for sale. I'd love to get one to haul the family around in.
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Old 06-01-2006, 09:34 AM   #10
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i was on h-t last night and saw the ef cx mentioned again, it exists, i swear.

i told someone they were a 92 thing and was made fun of cuz he owned one...
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