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Old 02-09-2007, 03:03 PM   #1
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Who's the Better Engine Rebuilder?

I've recently found a 92 Honda Civic VX engine on Ebay for $250.00. Just to be clear I have not bought it, but still, it's the ever famous 1.5 liter economy engine know for its great gas mileage.

Being that it is used with roughly 60,000 miles, it would perhaps be in my best interest to have it remanufactured (i.e. given if I were to buy it.) As a side note, it's one of those "Japan Direct" engines, that get's bought & sold to the U.S. after exceeding Japan's mileage quota for all automobiles in that country.

Generally speaking, where would one go to get the best mechanical service for remanufacturing this type of engine? Would it be the Honda dealership, or your typical engine remanufacturing garage? I'm also wondering if a VX engine would work in a CRX SI.

Thank You.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:05 PM   #2
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there is no mileage quota in japan.

if the engine really has only 60,000 miles why would it need to be rebuilt?
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:09 PM   #3
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60k on an engine is nothing unless the oil was never changed. Throw it in and drive it. If you really want to check it's condition and make sure it's in absolutely tip-top shape, you could pull the head and mic the cylinders. If you go to the trouble to do that you might as well disassemble the head and do some porting on it, then maybe a valve lap or grind. Alternatively, you could install it and then do a compression test or perhaps do a compression test before installing it, though I don't know if that is practical on this particular engine.

An independent engine builder is probably the best.
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:37 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=white90crxhf;40272]there is no mileage quota in japan.

if the engine really has only 60,000 miles why would it need to be rebuilt?[/QUOTE

To be honest, I've often wondered if it were true regarding the alledged "Mileage Quota in Japan". In fact, this is not the first time that I've encoutnered one of these engines. About 5 years ago, when my Geo Metro finally died, the engine mechanic over at the local shop, recommended what he referred to as a "Japan Direct Engine". That's when I heard about the mileage quota. In short, the idea seemed liked a gimmick to me.

At any rate, with regards to rebuilding the engine, I was more or less referring in the event that I had to. Even though it's advertised has having 60,000 miles, I would not be 100% certain that a used in engine would not be without its surprises. I just wanted to determine if it were better to have the dealership look at it, or to have an independant shop look it over.
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Old 02-09-2007, 07:44 PM   #5
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Davo53209 -

[QUOTE=Davo53209;40282]
Quote:
Originally Posted by white90crxhf View Post
there is no mileage quota in japan.

if the engine really has only 60,000 miles why would it need to be rebuilt?[/QUOTE

To be honest, I've often wondered if it were true regarding the alledged "Mileage Qutoa in Japan". In fact, this is not the first time that I've encoutnered one of these engines. About 5 years ago, when my Geo Metro finally died, the engine mechanic over at the local shop, recommended what he referred to as a "Japan Direct Engine". That's when I heard about the mileage quota. In short, the idea seemed liked a gimmick to me.

At any rate, with regards to rebuilding the engine, I was more or less referring in the event that I had to. Even though it's advertised has having 60,000 miles, I would not be 100% certain that a used in engine would not be without its surprises. I just wanted to determine if it were better to have the dealership look at it, or to have an independant shop look it over.
What I have been told is that cars in Japan are inspected every X years and must be in tip-top shape and in stock condition in order to pass. The standards are designed to be so high that it is easier to get a new car than keep the old one (planned obsolesence in the extreme), which helps the Japanese car industry.

What this implies to me is that every X-years, the drifters must have to tear down their cars and restore them to stock in order to pass. Otherwise, they will lose their precious 86 Truenos .

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Old 02-09-2007, 08:40 PM   #6
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I wonder what the inspectors would think of hot air intakes, grille blocks, and pcv filter canisters?.....Glad the U.S. doesn't do that.
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:27 AM   #7
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If you hop on the Honda, Nissan, and Toyota boards they will tell you to only buy from a well know engine importer. It is best to stay away from the engines importers on e-bay. You might me one of the luck ones that get a good engine, but more then likely you are going to end up with a head ache and an engine that needs rebuilt. You might want to search on Honda-tech.com for more info on engine importers.
Davo53209 where are you located? If you are in the South East, there are some good Honda engine rebuilders in Tampa.
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:51 AM   #8
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It's called Shakken and the first inspection is four years after purchase, then every two years after. It's at least a grand, and usually more because they are stringent wrt repairs they feel need to be made. Some will go past the first inspection, but they usually won't bother with one every couple years. They'll then sell the 4-6 year old car, and it'll either be shipped whole, or parted, depending on demand.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lincoln View Post
If you hop on the Honda, Nissan, and Toyota boards they will tell you to only buy from a well know engine importer. It is best to stay away from the engines importers on e-bay. You might me one of the luck ones that get a good engine, but more then likely you are going to end up with a head ache and an engine that needs rebuilt. You might want to search on Honda-tech.com for more info on engine importers.
Davo53209 where are you located? If you are in the South East, there are some good Honda engine rebuilders in Tampa.
I'm located in SE Wisconsin; but I'm open minded when it comes to taking other people's advise. At this point in time, I'm just "fact finding" before I commit to putting forth any money. In fact, the expertise that everyone seems to have is what gravitates me to this site.

You are right about Ebay, the gentlemen in question who's selling this engine, has seven angry buyers, who've seem to have had bad experiences. My question was merely hypothetical, yet I'm glad to see the direction to where everyone's answers are heading.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by omgwtfbyobbq View Post
It's called Shakken and the first inspection is four years after purchase, then every two years after. It's at least a grand, and usually more because they are stringent wrt repairs they feel need to be made. Some will go past the first inspection, but they usually won't bother with one every couple years. They'll then sell the 4-6 year old car, and it'll either be shipped whole, or parted, depending on demand.
Here's a thought. I currently own a 98 Honda CX which was virtually given to me for next to nothing. The car is solid without having any mechanical problems and currently get's about 30mpg. Not bad for an automatic transmission. Recently, I've been comparing the stats of the Civic VX to the Civic Cx, when it occurred to me, that I might be able to do a transplant. How much of headache & cost would it be to transplant a complete Honda Civic VX drivetrain into my current CX? What other components would that require?
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