Just bought a 95 Civic VX.. now what? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 04-25-2012, 09:47 PM   #1
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Just bought a 95 Civic VX.. now what?

Picked up a 95' Civic VX today for $3,400. Body has some mileage on it but the engine was a swap from a 93' and it only has 77k miles on it. Brand new tires and O2 sensor.. pretty clean all around (no AC tho =I .. thankfully moving from Arizona back to California in a month), bone stock and thankfully not lowered. My question is what should I do to get it high MPG worthy?

I figure Ill do a basic tuneup. Oil/filter Change. Fuel filter. Spark Plugs. Check tire pressure (whats the best number to run it at?). Air filter. Going to run some seafoam through it and some lucas in the gas tank to hopefully clean up anything possibly building up inside. Also going to change the timing belt as idk how old the current one is. Anything other suggestions?

Appreciate the help! Looking to save some money at the fuel pump..
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:36 PM   #2
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Re: Just bought a 95 Civic VX.. now what?

Do not use Sea Foam in this engine. Use a foam, top-end cleaner but with only 77,000 miles on this engine I doubt you need to resort to those measures and may risk fouling the EXPENSIVE new 02 sensor(talking $200+ here minimum).

For your gas tank, don't bother with Lucas. Before replacing the fuel filter, run 1 tank full to empty with a PEA containing Fuel System Cleaner like Techron or Red Line's SI-1. You can buy either on Amazon, AutoZone has buy one/get 1 free on 12 gal treatment bottles of Techron this month($7.99 for 2 bottles or 24 gallons). Use NON-made in china replacement fuel filter.

Use ONLY the NGK 4043 plugs (ZFR4F-11) and don't replace the stock plug wires unless they need replacement and only buy NGK replacement(HE76, 8034) if you can't get the Sumitomo replacements(ideal).

Keep tires at least 35 front/32 rear as per manual, what is the max sidewall pressure rating?
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:23 PM   #3
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Re: Just bought a 95 Civic VX.. now what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by add|ct View Post
Do not use Sea Foam in this engine. Use a foam, top-end cleaner but with only 77,000 miles on this engine I doubt you need to resort to those measures and may risk fouling the EXPENSIVE new 02 sensor(talking $200+ here minimum).

For your gas tank, don't bother with Lucas. Before replacing the fuel filter, run 1 tank full to empty with a PEA containing Fuel System Cleaner like Techron or Red Line's SI-1. You can buy either on Amazon, AutoZone has buy one/get 1 free on 12 gal treatment bottles of Techron this month($7.99 for 2 bottles or 24 gallons). Use NON-made in china replacement fuel filter.

Use ONLY the NGK 4043 plugs (ZFR4F-11) and don't replace the stock plug wires unless they need replacement and only buy NGK replacement(HE76, 8034) if you can't get the Sumitomo replacements(ideal).

Keep tires at least 35 front/32 rear as per manual, what is the max sidewall pressure rating?
Thank you for the advice! I won't be using the seafoam as you suggested. Before I go to California this week I will be doing the Fuel System Cleaner. Not sure off hand of the max sidewall pressure rating.. but from what I have read, I fill them to their max rating, correct?

Any good cleaner I can put in the oil? I plan on changing the oil when I get back from California so I figure if there is any buildup of gunk I can take a stab at it before I do the change.

How bad is seafoam for an 02 sensor? My friend has a 92 VX and his MPG has been shot to hell lately. His engine has well over 200k miles on it.. would it be worth a try? I just dont want to suggest something to him that will cost him a $200+ repair.

Thanks! I appreciate the help!
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:55 PM   #4
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Re: Just bought a 95 Civic VX.. now what?

^It's not so much the chemical as the risk of shock loading these expensive sensors with carbon expelling.

Use only PEA fuel system cleaners in the gas tank, the ideal time is before an oil change there BUT also on a full tank that will stay in the vehicle for a longer amount of time if possible(your normal driving habits/routine instead of a trip where all of the gas is gone more quickly, for example), unlike a solvent-based cleanser it works best as a soak in the tank/at the fuel injector tips as it leaks down once shut off.

I wouldn't add anything to the oil for a few changes, you can try an idle flush after a few oil changes just before changing the oil. I like Amsoil's engine flush, lubegard's engine flush, since they do not contain solvents.

It'd help to start with a few shorter intervals.

The tires on my VX I run in the low 40s, max sidewall is 44. Just comfort b/c of worn components, otherwise I'd keep them at 44. Questions surrounding the ball joints, etc...I just keep them a hair above stock. I wouldn't say my mileage is shot, but it's not as good as true eco drivers. A lot of due to my area, amongst other things, and I just had the clutch replaced(fingers crossed).

Swapping out the HG Type-II MTF for some Amsoil MTF next week. Either are good options for these Honda M/T. Please do not settle on motor oil only in your transmission.

As far as cleansing, you could try adding MMO to your oil for the last 1,000 miles prior to an oil change or even use a HDEO for a change or two, relatively shorter intervals. Something like Rotella T5 10w-30 is a syn-blend and it's differing additive package compared to passenger car motor oils may help shock clean the engine.

But really, at 77k, how much cleaning really needs to be done? Perhaps try a piston soak. If this engine hasn't been ran for years, good idea to soak the pistons with the plugs out and crank it by hand the next day to expel the remaining fluid so you don't risk hydrolock(the problem with using Sea Foam).

I have used foam top-end cleaner for this purpose, Combustion Chamber Cleaner, but that was with a confirmed dead 02 sensor. I figured best time to clean it! lol

Should be fine to use any conventional name brand oil, use 5w-30. Just change the oil after using such products(goal of near the end of an OCI)

I suppose, define you friend's 'bad' MPG?

A good long trip with fresh oil will do some cleansing. It's a good idea to check your PCV valve and the breather chamber that sits off the back of the Intake Manifold(tucked under the runners of the IM to each cylinder, near the oil filter location)...verify if you have a valve at the 'elbow' location seen at the IM from above the engine or if the valve is down at the breather chamber. It's easiest to pull THAT one with the oil filter removed.

Video from another poster from this site:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V-BBmsVmY4

That is important moving forward. Red Line's SI-1 FSC claims it will clean the PCV valve which I found hard to believe, lol.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:50 AM   #5
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Re: Just bought a 95 Civic VX.. now what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by add|ct View Post
^It's not so much the chemical as the risk of shock loading these expensive sensors with carbon expelling.

Use only PEA fuel system cleaners in the gas tank, the ideal time is before an oil change there BUT also on a full tank that will stay in the vehicle for a longer amount of time if possible(your normal driving habits/routine instead of a trip where all of the gas is gone more quickly, for example), unlike a solvent-based cleanser it works best as a soak in the tank/at the fuel injector tips as it leaks down once shut off.

I wouldn't add anything to the oil for a few changes, you can try an idle flush after a few oil changes just before changing the oil. I like Amsoil's engine flush, lubegard's engine flush, since they do not contain solvents.

It'd help to start with a few shorter intervals.

The tires on my VX I run in the low 40s, max sidewall is 44. Just comfort b/c of worn components, otherwise I'd keep them at 44. Questions surrounding the ball joints, etc...I just keep them a hair above stock. I wouldn't say my mileage is shot, but it's not as good as true eco drivers. A lot of due to my area, amongst other things, and I just had the clutch replaced(fingers crossed).

Swapping out the HG Type-II MTF for some Amsoil MTF next week. Either are good options for these Honda M/T. Please do not settle on motor oil only in your transmission.

As far as cleansing, you could try adding MMO to your oil for the last 1,000 miles prior to an oil change or even use a HDEO for a change or two, relatively shorter intervals. Something like Rotella T5 10w-30 is a syn-blend and it's differing additive package compared to passenger car motor oils may help shock clean the engine.

But really, at 77k, how much cleaning really needs to be done? Perhaps try a piston soak. If this engine hasn't been ran for years, good idea to soak the pistons with the plugs out and crank it by hand the next day to expel the remaining fluid so you don't risk hydrolock(the problem with using Sea Foam).

I have used foam top-end cleaner for this purpose, Combustion Chamber Cleaner, but that was with a confirmed dead 02 sensor. I figured best time to clean it! lol

Should be fine to use any conventional name brand oil, use 5w-30. Just change the oil after using such products(goal of near the end of an OCI)

I suppose, define you friend's 'bad' MPG?

A good long trip with fresh oil will do some cleansing. It's a good idea to check your PCV valve and the breather chamber that sits off the back of the Intake Manifold(tucked under the runners of the IM to each cylinder, near the oil filter location)...verify if you have a valve at the 'elbow' location seen at the IM from above the engine or if the valve is down at the breather chamber. It's easiest to pull THAT one with the oil filter removed.

Video from another poster from this site:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V-BBmsVmY4

That is important moving forward. Red Line's SI-1 FSC claims it will clean the PCV valve which I found hard to believe, lol.
Thank you for all of the useful information! I can't wait to tear into this car and take it on its first long trip to start assessing MPG!

My friend said hes getting in the low 30's.. and from what I read that is considerably low for a VX. I'm pretty sure the engine is the original and it has almost if not over 250k on it.. haha
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
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Re: Just bought a 95 Civic VX.. now what?

^I'm about there regarding mileage. My consumption rate is about 1 quart every 3,000-4,000 miles; which vary based on driving style and ambient temps, etc.

I'm also making just under 40 mpg with my 'mostly' shorter trips(under 5 miles usually) and only have a few 10 mile travels from time to time.

I do have some other issues, including hesitation problems at times, and wouldn't be surprised if I've got a wheel bearing starting to drop in spinning performance(ball joints seem shot, as well as a few of the engine mounts).

Probably need to drop in another $1,000 to be g2g on this car, aside from body work/repainting it will eventually need. Long-term project here...
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:37 AM   #7
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Re: Just bought a 95 Civic VX.. now what?

Lucky for my friend he just cam up on a fat chucnk of money and he's going to totally gut and redo his car including engine.. lucky SOB haha.

Well I bought the Techron and added. Got some MMO that I threw in. Bought a US made oil filter and fuel filter that I will throw in when the oil change and oter work comes up. And I got the NGK sparkplugs and threw them in.

Now on to a popular and annoying question haha. What oil do you suggest? I run amsoil in my motorcycle but use to run mobile 1 in it. Been thinking about one of the two for my car. Does it really make a difference?

Thanks!
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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Re: Just bought a 95 Civic VX.. now what?

^If the engine is/isnt clean, depends. You could try a few 'shorter' intervals to 'clean things' before settling in on synthetic.

I run 7,500 mile OCIs in the VX using synthetic, but I'm also into Used Oil Analysis. Here's an idea, perform a couple short intervals(3,000 miles) on conventional and get an analysis at the end of the 2nd oil change(its only about $25 depending). Will give an idea of health of the engine if anything abnormal appears like high silicon(dirt) entry, anti-freeze/coolant, fuel dilution, or bearing wear, etc.

I'm running Ultra currently, have used Amsoil AZO 0w-30 before, M1 0w-30, etc etc. run a name brand, in proper grade and you are g2g.

Get the correct MTF in there, though, if you only have motor oil or don't know what's in the transmission currently. I DO recommend Amsoil's MTF > Honda Genuine Type-II for this app. Either is better than motor oil though. Got some Amsoil coming to install later this week before a road trip(first one with the VX, scary! lol)
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