hi all. i've been watching this forum for awhile, but this is my first post. i've been looking for a VX in decent shape in the pacific northwest and finding the competition steep and the picking slim. i've recently come across an example that racer kids have had their way with. when it was sold to the current owner they pulled their high torque engine put the d15z1 back in. the brakes and wheels have been changed, along with the air intake, headers, and exhaust, presumably for sportier parts. it also has a new clutch and front axles. the body has over 200,000. the engine has "around 100,000" on it. my guess is that it has probably been driven pretty hard. the guy is asking $2000. i am fairly mechanically adept, but have never owned a vehicle which has been modified. my question is this: given that it seems to run pretty well now, would i be playing with fire to buy a car with such a history?
If you have to pass emissions like we do in CA, you can use the modications as a means to negotiate a lower price. Not sure of your laws, but all intakes/exhausts have to be stock or CARB certified. If you do get it, be prepared for some possible headaches, getting it to pass emissions and possibly to run correctly. You have to decide if you can get it cheap enugh to be worth the possible headaches.
Go over it with a fine tooth comb. Check everything. Use all your mechanical ability check things out, even take it to a mechanic for a check out to back up your findings and maybe find what you didn't. Look for structural damage or signs of stress in the suspension mount areas. If it was lowered and beat on, it may show and could be a pain to fix.
Tell the seller what you plan to do, if he gets nervous, ask him if there is something you should know about the car. If he points out the hidden problems and you feel it's not a problem, it might be a good deal.
lt's not worth your while to buy expensive problems. I look for vehicles with lots of little easy to fix problems and it's in basically good shape. These are usually the best deals.
thanks. that's sort of what i figured (re: headaches). it just seems like there's a huge community of Civic people who are into after-market performance parts. but i'd expect that once you start messing with parameters such as intakes and exhaust (to say nothing of two engine swaps), you're going to confuse some sensors and whatnot. i have no experience with this. i'm after a low maintenance FE highway driver.
Don't know about Oregon, but when I car car shopping here in So Cal, I couldn't find a relatively clean, stock VX for less then $3000. I ended up with a CRX HF for $2000. If it was me and I could talk him down to $1500 or less it might be worth my time to fix it up.
When buying a vehicle that had a hard past, be sure to be ready to fix it up at least a little to get it 100% reliable. From my experience with many different modified Hondas, most people who do modify them often overlook maintenance issues and instead focus on performance. There are the minority out there who focus on both aspects, but I find it to be rare.
Hondas are very very reliable cars, and the VX is one of the best of them, but don't expect it to be a turn-key reliable car if it had a hard past.
On the never-ending quest for better gas mileage...
I would just echo what other people have said. I think I would be more inclined to find something that is stock, will pass smog and was just utilized, rather than having, most likely, been treated harshly. I'd pay quite a bit more, before I would begin to put anything into something with the potential background this one seems to have had.