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93 LX 1.5 L manual to 94 EX 1.6 L automatic

Discussion in 'Civic and del Sol - EG and EK' started by Ed Fisher, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Ed Fisher

    Ed Fisher New Member

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    Okay gang, I'm starting to get a little confused here. That isn't all that surprising, believe me.

    I want to change out my engine, 5-speed transmission, ancillary items (alternator, starter, power steering pump, etc), steering rack, from the 1993 Civic LX 1.5L into a 1994 EX 1.6L automatic. This is because my 1993 LX had only 149,000 well maintained miles and awesome gas mileage but now has a munched body/frame. The 1994 has an awesome body, but larger engine and an automatic transmission., 270,000 miles, and not really what I want. This was the closest car that I could find to salvage parts from my 1993 which was totaled on New Years Eve.

    My original thought was to swap engine, transmission, PCM and wiring harnesses for the cleanest installation. Now, however, I believe that this approach may not be the best route as the 1994 has a passenger side airbag that the 1993 did not have, and I believe the 1994 has ABS, which the 1993 did not have. Just diving in might render the safety devices inoperable, or worse yet, cause a glaring warning light on the dash to be stuck on!

    I have seen the write up on Auto to Manual Conversion - HondaCivicForum.com
    which I think I understand, until I get to the portion of modifying the PCM. Do both the 1993 LX and the 1994 EX have OBD-1 PCM’s? Can anyone see anything flawed about leaving all harnesses in place, doing the mods outlined in the above write up, modifying the PCM as outlined as well? I want to also change out the gauge cluster as well, so I don’t have shift indicator lights, even if inoperable, on a 5-speed car.

    I guess my major question is: Given that I have two complete cars what is my smartest, cleanest, greatest chance for success and having EVERYTHING be operational approach?

    Thanks for any help, I appreciate the support.

    Ed Fisher
    Dallas, Tx
    P.S. also posted on Civic forum
     
  2. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Both have OBD1 ECUs. OBD1 for Honda was MY1992 to MY1995.

    There isn't anything wrong with leaving the stock harnesses in place. Since you're using the non-VTEC engine and ECU, the non-VTEC electronics shouldn't care about the extra wires.

    Honestly, what I would personally recommend would be to rebuild the D16Z6 engine and then convert the car to manual. You can convert an automatic OBD1 ECU to manual fairly easily.

    What's your budget like? What about time frame? What part of Dallas are you in?
     
  3. Ed Fisher

    Ed Fisher New Member

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    information appreciation

    Thanks for the reply. I am actually north of Dallas just east of Allen near McKinney. Here is some more information. While I know that the decision must be made completely by me, it helps to get other viewpoints and considerations. For instance, I had considered working on the 1.6 as well.

    The old 1.5 had only 149,000 miles- I had JUST replaced the head gasket, timing belt, cam/crank seals, water pump, tensioner, distributor (entire body), igniter, coil, cap, rotor, wires, every coolant hose under the hood (even hard to reach ones), drive belts, valve adjustment and miscellaneous other things that I can’t recall right now. The parts were all genuine OEM from Honda. The engine compartment was pristine, the car got 37-40 mpg and I was happy in the extreme. It was prepared to go to 300K no problem with only a timing belt in-between.

    The new 1.6 has 270,000 miles on it, seems to be reasonably cared for (especially oil changes), blows no oil (discernable), has good power, starts readily even in the recent cold of Texas, and seems to be genuinely a solid power plant. It leaks oil somewhere on the exhaust, rack boots are gone, it looks to be seeping a little water out of the headgasket, and the hoses/belts are due. Timing belt was last changed ~92K ago so it is due too.

    My quandary: While the 1.5 engine, with about one-half the miles on it is a trusted friend, never uses a drop of oil in-between changes, passes emissions readily, and serves efficiently without drama or complaint, I wonder if it is enough to haul around this EX with 14in tires and extra weight, as in, ABS pumps, extra airbag stuff and sunroof? (the wrecked LX had driver’s side airbag only, no sunroof, 13in tires/wheels).

    This is a commuter car, so gas mileage is of paramount importance; however I do not want to end up with a grossly underpowered dog. That said; I have no way of knowing what kind of mileage a 1.6 with a manual transmission would offer. The mileage website suggests that it would go from 26 to 29mpg.

    So, I can a) do an entire transplant, and take my chance on underpower but get a known engine installed b) transplant just the tranny and freshen up the 1.6 getting a relatively unknown engine with 270K on it, but that will power the heavier car just fine c) drive the darned thing as is and hope for the best (not really an option for me as I am rather fastidious in car care) d) ?? e) ?? I am open to suggestions, really.

    BTW, in regards to your question about budget: I will receive 2247.00 for my wrecked Civic and that allows me to retain the car for salvage. I have about 2K into the new EX with no work/swap done thus far. I will have some spare parts as a result though. For instance, I can salvage the brand new A/C compressor that I had put in last year, the new radiator, the starter, alternator, p/s pump, etc. etc. Even the doors, glass, etc. should be a plug-in fit.

    Well there it is. The good news is that no one was seriously hurt, save my jammed shoulder that I am rehabbing. As an aside, this happened New Years Eve when I was headed home with rented movies to be safe, warm, sober, and secure. A young driver on a cell phone changed all of that in the blink of an eye. Instead, I spent New Year’s eve in the ER, and since then I have been chasing ads looking at ragged out Civics, or Civics that were beyond my budget, going to doctors, eating ibuprofen and acetometaphine, going to rehab, etc. Be careful out there. Almost anyone can drive a car, it is just steering and pushing some pedals. However, to call oneself a “driver” there is art, finesse, attention, patience, and grace involved. There really are very few ‘drivers’ out there, but many who drive. I continually strive to be a better driver and have been doing it for 40 years.

    Thanks for listening; I appreciate any knowledge, wisdom, or salient advice.

    Ed Fisher
    Lucas, Tx
     
  4. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    The EX isn't all that much heavier than the LX. I had (have) a 95 DX that did really well packed to the brim running back and forth between home and college all the time, getting 40mpg with the automatic. That's with heavy cargo too- TV, computer, clothes, books etc. I mean literally packed- to the roof in the back and in the front passenger seat too. If you swap the whole LX drivetrain into the EX, I don't think the car will feel underpowered at all.

    If your LX engine is doing that well, then by all means swap the whole thing over. You won't be underpowered, and since you know the history of the engine, you'll be comfortable with it. The main issues will be changing the transmission mount over to a manual one and adding the clutch hardware.

    In your position, that's probably what I would do to get up and running as quickly and reliably as possible- swap the LX manual drivetrain over. Maybe you can keep the D16Z6 around for a rebuild if/when you want more power, then just drop it in when you're ready. Spare engines are never a bad thing. I have a garage full of them. ;) The D16Z6 can make a good bit of power without much cash if you take the time to build it right. I actually have basically all the parts you would need to take one up past 200whp.

    Totally agree with you on driver inattention. I'm waiting for the "distracted driver" laws to pass. Texas will probably be one of the last ones to get them though.

    We should get together- I have a ton of 5th gen Civic sedan parts, and I'd actually like to steal some of yours if you'll have any extras left over. I live in Bedford, so I'm not too far from you.
     
  5. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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  6. Ed Fisher

    Ed Fisher New Member

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    thanks

    Thanks Calesta, that is the way I was leaning and your post helped nudge me. Your story of the "loaded to the gills" Civic made me laugh out loud. We have all been there at one time or another.

    All the best,

    Ed
     
  7. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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