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Where would you start?

Discussion in 'Civic and CRX - EF' started by Slammed4x4, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Slammed4x4

    Slammed4x4 New Member

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    Hi, this my first post. I recently bought a 1990 Honda Civic DX sedan. I want to do a complete rebuild, all disc brakes, suspension, interior, engine swap, etc.. This is my first car I'm actually doing this much work too and I want to get your opinion on where to get started. I was thinking tackling the project in the following way. 1: Gutting the car. 2: Body, frame work and paint. 3: suspension and brakes. 4: interior 5: engine and transmission.

    I would really appreciate your feed back. I like to do my homework and research before I start my projects. I believe in measuring twice and cutting once. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. DESPAIN

    DESPAIN yep....mmhhm.......yep...

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    i would start with a diff. car? but if you want to use that one h22 or a gsr?
     
  3. kelsodeez

    kelsodeez New Member

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    i would switch the last two. nothing like getting your car running is nice and some interior parts are hard to come by. you will go crazy trying to find every little part. the way ive been doing my build is i am going from the front to the back. started off by stripping and re painting the engine bay, doing the front brakes, started doing the interior paint and other interior stuff, got the engine in while i am doing body work, and once the body work is done and the interior is painted, then i will paint the outside and put the rear suspension in. but in reality, just go through the car first, make a list of what you need then you can gauge what points of the car need more care than the others.

    and pics help with the visual stimulation.
     
  4. DESPAIN

    DESPAIN yep....mmhhm.......yep...

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    i started with my suspension and wheels first. then i went to the engine after i got my engine the way i want it......or mostly the way i want it. i have moved on the the body interior and next i am doing the paint. imo. its allways best to get the car runniong the way you want it too. then worry about looks.
     
  5. Bobby17772

    Bobby17772 New Member

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    personally I say to go the cheapest ones first then save up for bigger things. I say do wheels and suspention, then motor and tranny swap...you can normally find LS full swaps for $500 all day long, body work unless you can do it on your own can get pretty pricey then from there do what you want
     
  6. caboose

    caboose USDM to the bone

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    I would save body for last. It will cost a fair amount to have it done and takes a lot of time do do it yourself. It doesn't really add anything as far as performance. Plus, in my experience, most project cars get abandoned during body work
     
  7. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    I like the sedan. It's a perfect platform for a super sleeper. Hell, I still have my 88 LX sitting in the driveway. Gotta sell it.

    Definitely save the body work for last. That way you can do all the performance mods without anyone really taking notice of your car- and that's a good thing. Thieves like targeting clean Hondas because they think they can get some high dollar parts out of them.
     
  8. Sofast

    Sofast Member

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    I started with the Engine, Drivetrain, Suspension, Braking. I want to make sure the mechanical features are solid before working on apearance. That and I have to wait till it stops snowing before i can make everything shine
     
  9. 90civicstdgold

    90civicstdgold New Member

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    First I would start with the suspension. The car is twenty years old now, and those bushings are pretty worn. Having a built engine in your car will not get you the full potential you expect without upgradig your suspension. Second I would do the exterior. Last I would do the interior. Everybody is after the jdm stuff and its becoming harder and harder to find. Good luck with your project.
     
  10. 90civicstdgold

    90civicstdgold New Member

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    It will bolt right up... You will need Ebrake cables from a 90-93 Integra though.
    Another thing $450???? Seriously I know it refurbished and all, and it looks brand new. Its up to you though. I can find them around my area for 200 all day long..
    Just sayin there is alot of "painted" parts on that setup..lol
     
  11. kelsodeez

    kelsodeez New Member

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    yea, go for the junkyard special and refurbish it yourself. its more rewarding, cheaper and you will do a better job on it than this guy did because its yours and not something you are going to sell.
     
  12. Slammed4x4

    Slammed4x4 New Member

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    Thanks fellas.. Like I said, I'm a straight newby as far as imports go. It's nice to get your input on things. So pretty much any trailing arm from a civic si will bolt right up? Any suggestions on upgrading the front disc brakes or leave them alone? I'm looking at getting the 17" Velox PG-Rev10 wheels. I'm also thinking of getting some coilovers with a camber kit.
     
  13. BrutalB83

    BrutalB83 Brutal Moderator Moderator VIP

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    Maybe I missed it, but what are your plans for the engine?
     
  14. Slammed4x4

    Slammed4x4 New Member

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    Well like I said in the beginning. I'm totally new to imports, and I have a certain picture of how I want this project to turn out. I've seen a lot of post where people get ripped apart for asking a question in search of an answer they can't find by people telling them to search through the forum and do the footwork before they ask anything. Having said that, I'll brake it down to you.

    I want the car to for my DD. I want to be able to brake it loose every once in a while and just know if I need to get on the gas I can and be happy with the outcome (go fast). I am doing my research and homework as I go along, trying to learn as much as I can from you guys that have more experience and knowledge on these cars then I do. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. That's why I started with the simple question of where would you start your project.

    Over all I want the car to be a sleeper. Clean body (possibly a body kit), simple paint job, and an engine that I can push once in a while. When it comes time to look for an engine I want one that will have enough power output that I don't have to add a turbo to it in order to have fun, but I also want to be able to a turbo if I change my mind later on. Engine wise I would like to stay around 2 g's if that possible. So to answer your question right now I have no idea what engine I want to use. If you have any idea feel free to give me a suggestion.
     
  15. kelsodeez

    kelsodeez New Member

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    B16A with a small turbo on low boost. its a relatively cheap setup that will make enough power to keep you happy and still be somewhat reliable.

    also, you are going to do what you want, but i vote against putting a body kit on the car. worthless waste of money imo.
     
  16. Slammed4x4

    Slammed4x4 New Member

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    Thank you. Any special upgrade to the engine or keep it stock?

    Do you recomend sticking with the 5 speed cable tranny or hydro tranny?

    I think once I start working on the body I will just get rid of the molding and shave the door handles ( I know, it's my style though... ) I just like a clean look without any of the decals..
     
  17. Slammed4x4

    Slammed4x4 New Member

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  18. phyregod

    phyregod !!YTINASNI

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    That brake setup is nice, and worth the money if it is complete, but you can get by for $250. Just make absolutely certain that the swap is complete and has the cables with it. I saved $50 by grabbing one without cables, then had to hunt them down for a month, paid $80+shipping when I finally found a set.

    A huge upgrade would be to get rid of those big, heavy wheels.. You're car will perk up like you won't believe. Get some 15 pound or less wheels in 15 inch..
     
  19. 78civic

    78civic Junior Member

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    -The first thing I did to my 90 4dr was to do a tune-up and get it running like it's supposed to.
    -Do a compression check and if you're at the same around 90-150psi, you should be at least able to run for a time. Of course the higher the better considering..
    -Get some good NGK plugs. JUst the standard V-groove, you don't need the high dollar crap.
    -Pull the cap/rotor. Check for the red death.. If so, start looking for another good dizzy. Spray the inside with some GOOD silicone spray to water proof it and help with arcing. Take a little jewelers file and scrape off the electrical corrosion buildup on the rotor contact points and inside cap.
    -Depending on your emissions location, you can find a header for less than 75.00 to your door. While your there, get a good 4-wire O2sensor and wire it up. I've noticed some minor improvements, but improvements none the less.
    -And of course at least 2 1/4" pipe with some glasspacks. (remember, the engine is an air-pump. Free it up some)
    -Flush the oil and use a few cans of seafoam or the like.
    -For about 40.00 I got all the parts for a timing belt job (water pump, belt, seals cam/crank, belt tensioner) Then while getting 38+mpg I went to the local pull it and got a tegs 40/40 valve and master/booster. I already had the suspension from a 90 teg but for me the rear lower control arms didn't fit or the rear swaybar..?? SO I just went with the civ's lca's. (check the mileage of the donor car. If it's too high look for another, unless it's just too good of a deal. (I forgot my mileage on my parts and now have to replace wheel bearings)
    -DO one end at a time so you don't get stuck not being able to drive it.
    -Flush the brake system with GREEN rubbing alchohol, That way you can see when it starts turning green when you bleed it, it's getting all that crap out of the system. Spend the money and get a some GOOD dot-5 synthetic brake fluid (maybe Motul) Just don't drip it on your paint. And by the time it starts changing color back to golden color, it should be clean. (been doing that since I did it to a 1928 Packard Sedan back in the late 80's, never had a problem)
    - Get some other seats.. I got rid of my crappy seats and fabbed in some 88 Prelude seats. Feels lots better with the adjustable side bolsters and the glides can be easily modded to fit. (you just feel better driving in comfy seats).
    - I'd worry about the exterior last like they said. Well, unless you are upgrading the wheels. (i think you'd be happier with 16" rims at a max for clearance and geometry issues)
    -Get a good printer if you don't have one already, extra ink and even a memory stick to save pics and other info of other cars either on this site or others of mods that you like.

    I'm not really sorry for the long post. It's good info and wish someone told me stuff like this decades ago. Plus, I like the 4drs too

    E
     
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  20. phyregod

    phyregod !!YTINASNI

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    Put steel wheels on it, and then drop in a turbo H22. :ph34r:
     
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