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Old 01-18-2008, 11:54 PM   #1
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Six speed 1988-1991 Civic?

As I understand, the 1988-1991 Civic 4WD wagon came with a six speed transmission. Basically, it was a five speed transmission with a granny gear. But this really had me thinking. Might it be possible to remove the extra stuff associated with 4WD and change the gearing and/or final drive to build a transmission that has freeway gearing like the HF, but without the gearing penalty around town? If this could be made to work, it would certainly make for a more economical car, as well as one that is just more enjoyable to drive around.
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:18 AM   #2
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it could work if you have the $ and time, but that $ and time spent might not be worth it in the end, such as you blowing 600 on it and it takes you 10 years to make up that 600 in gas savings, etc.

it'll be cool tho
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:18 AM   #3
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Blowing $600 on it? Actually, these cars are quite common at the Pick-And-Pulls around here. And that means paying a maximum of $80 for the transmission. This certainly makes it something affordable to experiement with. And although it may not save more gas on the freewayvs an HF transmission, it may be beneficial in town. But it would certainly make the car MUCH more enjoyable to drive. Gears 1-3 on an HF transmission just plain old suck. It would be SO much better if there was an extra gear there.
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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do you know what a granny gear is? not something you use around town. it's like 1st on a I6 jeep, for rock crawling and pulling things.

as far as 4wd-2wd conversion, you could probably pull the rear driveshaft and cap it off with....something....freeze plug the right size maybe? good luck finding something.

don't forget to include things like new seals, fluids, maybe a new clutch for the new trans if they arent interchangeable, 5-speed swap on my car costs $200....till you start looking at seals, hose, cylinder rebuild kits, driveshaft, then it's more like $500
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:26 PM   #5
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Actually, I know what granny gear is. Rather, what I was actually wondering is if a taller final drive might change the granny gear into a more typical first gear. And, of course, make fifth gear ALOT taller. In other words, I am wondering if a final drive from, say, an HF (along with fifth gear from an HF) might turn this transmission into a usable six speed with good gearing around town AND a tall fifth for the freeway. Basically, what I am REALLY trying to get away from here is that HORRIBLE 1-2 shift on the HF transmission. Between first and second gears, the ratio drops from 3.25 to 1.65, which just KILLS acceleration and lugs the motor HORRIBLY unless you rev REALLY high in first.

As for the cost, this is not a big deal. When you can pick these up for a pittance, that leaves ALOT of cash left over for other stuff. As for the clutch, ALL Civics used the same input shaft spline from 1989 onward. Seals are cheap. Bearings are relatively cheap. There is no slave cylinder, and no hoses. And I don't see why the drive shafts have to be changed. But even if they do, we're talking about paying a pittance for them at the local Pick-And-Pull. Trust me, I have done PLENTY of stuff with these cars. And I know that if you play your cards right, it doesn't have to cost a fortune.

Of course, another option would be to use the HF final drive and fifth gear in a DX/SI transmission. First gear would still be on the tall side. BUT the HUGE gap between first and second would be eliminated. Of course, this would create a bigger gap between fourth and fifth gear. But since you would only make this shift on the freeway when you are already moving, it would be MUCH easier to live with than having that horrendous gap between first and second. But a six speed would still be SO much better.
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Old 01-19-2008, 07:41 PM   #6
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storminmatt,

i said 600 not because of a 80 dollar tranny that you can find at a junkyard. theres other crap that you need to replace on the way just like what kamesama 980 said. its better off to over budget than underbudget, since projects always take more time and money than originally planned, and you'll find out that other stuff need to be replaced while your doing the project

you dont want to be eating ramen noodles and taking the bus for a month because you went bankrupt on a tranny swap
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
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storminmatt,

i said 600 not because of a 80 dollar tranny that you can find at a junkyard. theres other crap that you need to replace on the way just like what kamesama 980 said. its better off to over budget than underbudget, since projects always take more time and money than originally planned, and you'll find out that other stuff need to be replaced while your doing the project

you dont want to be eating ramen noodles and taking the bus for a month because you went bankrupt on a tranny swap
Let's just say that I have NEVER done an engine swap or anything like that which ended up costing me THAT much more than the engine and transmission on a percentage basis. Say what you want. But I don't just go in there and replace every little thing with a new part. For instance, when swapping motors, I don't re-ring them, change bottom end bearings, or replace a clutch that as PLENTY of meat on it. I just do the basics like the timing belt, water pump, and rear main seal. And you know what? I have NEVER had a problem. Yes, clutches do wear out. But it has NEVER happened after, say, less than a couple of years - despite not using a new on right away.

Consider, for instance, the HF transmission swap I did on the 1989 Civic last November. We are talking $40 at a half-price sale, $5 for oil, $10 to replace a rear main seal that has been leaking the last couple of years, and $15 for axle seals. That's it! And the car runs just fine. I had no qualms about driving it up to Portland a few weeks ago.

In THIS case (ie the six speed), it ESPECIALLY doesn't make sense to replace everything when I can either get an exhange on the transmission, or buy another one in better shape for ALOT less than fixing the one I have. As for getting any gears to change ratios? You guessed it! Back to Pick-And-Pull.

As for taking the bus, I probably would not be so liberally taking on projects like this if I only had one car.
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:37 AM   #8
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I know that the honda service manual like the dealer has, has tranny specs in it, I don't have one that covers the wagovan ('84-91 station honda station wagon), nor a fast enough internet connection to poke around online pdf file shop manuals, but they are out their, and they do give the gear ratios, and the final drive ratio, now I suspect that the wagovan has what is very simaler to an SI gear tranny (wagovans basicly used the SI engine, as they were a larger vehicle), with an extra low granny gear added on, toyota did a simaler thing with their 4wd station wagon, this granny gear was not seen as being 1st gear, but like others have said, was used more for cralling out of the mud.
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:02 AM   #9
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civic wagon ratios

5-speed 4wd
Super Low n/a 4.512
1st 3.250 3.384
2nd 1.894 1.950
3rd 1.259 1.275
4th 0.937 0.941
5th 0.771 0.783
Reverse 3.153 3.000
Final Reduction 4.058 4.428

88-91 CRX HF

1st 3.250
2nd 1.650
3rd 1.033
4th 0.823
5th 0.694
Final Drive 2.950 Fed 3.250 CA

Probably be great with the 4th and 5th out of the HF with the Fed final reduction. Make me one too.
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Old 01-20-2008, 03:41 PM   #10
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Now THAT would be a GREAT transmission - peppy, yet with the possibility of increased economy around town. I also like the thought of a first gear that doesn't feel like it is going to burn out the clutch, and a second gear shift that doesn't bog the engine. But tall gearing for the freeway. You just have to wonder why Honda didn't do it in the first place for the HF.
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