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Looking at a 91 Civic Si Hatch w/ ZC DOHC swap

Discussion in 'Civic and CRX - EF' started by Gardentool, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. Gardentool

    Gardentool New Member

    Likes Received:
    Oct 10, 2006
    I'm currently without a vehicle and low on cash. I sold my beater 4runner before I left for my inital-army training last year, because I was going to be gone for 9 months. I'm back, got my bonus and looking for a new set of wheels.

    I've been browsing and posting on a local car forum over the past month trying to find something relatively cheap. I've been looking in the sub $1000 range. I ran across a 91 Civic Si Hatch with a ZC DOHC swap on a local car forum, but it has a bad water pump.

    The seller states that it starts, runs and is drivable at the moment, but it overheats quickly. He also informed me that the radiator looks like it needs to be replaced soon. I have not been able to find too much online yet, but I have seen a couple articles talking about overheating issues in these cars even after the radiator and water pump were addressed. These were all with the stock motor however, and was suggested blown headgaskets. I don't want to waste the money fixing a water pump, radiator and a blown headgasket. He did say the engine was rebuilt about 25k miles away before it was swapped, so I hope that is correct and the headgasket isn't the real problem.

    He is asking $800, but he also offered to work out a deal with my laptop I had posted to sell or trade. It seems he hasn't had the car too long, but he did buy it from another memeber of the forum, I believe.

    I haven't had a chance to see it in person, but from the pictures, the body seems in pretty good shape. It looks like it has a black primer over the orginal red paint. The windshield is cracked, but I have a family friend that installs glass, so cost of glass, $60 or so and some beer. The interior has seen better days but that alright, because I can't expect a brand new car for $800. It does a nitrious system set up in the hatch and is including an incomplete turbo system, which I believe is only missing some of the piping. I'm figuring that the parts alone are worth more than $800, so even if it didn't last I could part it for more than it cost, definately more than I paid for my laptop.

    He said his mechanic gave him a $204.xx estimate for the water pump, which in a straight trade I would still be able to have this fixed right away with about $800 left to do the radiator and other minor things.

    Is this a deal I should try to jump on or avoid? I need something that could last at least until tax returns, if not for the next several years with little money being drained. I work within .5 miles of my house, drill is about 100 miles roundtrip two days a month, and my family all lives about 40 miles in the other direction. So I need something that is reliable enough to get out of town a couple times a month, without fear of breaking down.

    I have never owned a Honda before, and don't even know too much about them. Any information or links to further reading would be very helpful. I've rushed into buying a few vehicles in the past which were mistakes, but I had more money floating around than I do right now.
  2. Turbo&Auto

    Turbo&Auto Nick Go FAST!!

    Likes Received:
    Jan 9, 2006
    East Burg, PA!
    It you want something cheap and lasting, I would find a as close to stock car as possible. Something with a swap and headaches already sounds like a migraine in the near future ;)
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