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Old 05-12-2021, 09:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Aerocivic - Restoration and further modding

For those of you who don't habitually read the aerodynamics section of the forum, Aerocivic has come into my care. Basjoos was generous enough to entrust me with this automotive icon.

I thought quite a while about just continuing his thread, because it's really the car's thread, but I feel what I plan to do will at the very least exceed the scope of aerodynamics. I'd like to ask others to volunteer some potential thread titles that capture my ideas of restoring the car, both mechanically and cosmetically, in addition to bringing it back up to peak sleek (or going farther).

First, some pictures:











Aerocivic departed South Carolina with me on a Saturday afternoon, and I drove it to its new home in Vermont through the rest of that day and on into Sunday evening. The car ran great. The engine and transmission feel young and healthy. The same can't be said for much else on the car, and it is my intention to love and restore this car. Perhaps one day my children will ride in the back of it to school, and get picked on by the other children for it.

On my way home, Aerocivic was missing its underbody paneling, and had mismatched tired with relatively low pressure (mid 30's) due to their extremely advanced age. Traveling 65-70mph and not practicing any hypermiling techniques, I was rewarded with 63-65mpg, taking into account the ~1.4% low the odometer reads.

I cannot stress just how much attention this car attracts.

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Last edited by Ecky; 05-16-2021 at 08:54 PM..
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My intentions with Aerocivic are, roughly:

1) Make it 100% mechanically sound again

2) Restore the interior

3) Repair or rebuild the exterior aeromods, taking some care to make the car... if not beautiful, at least polished


~

On my drive home, Aerocivic had some clear mechanical needs. While all of the added paneling and bodywork felt incredibly solid and sound, it was clear that many of the bushings and joints in the car were either broken, or beyond tired. I had told myself that, since I'm already restoring a 2nd Insight, Aerocivic would have to wait its turn, but immediately after arriving home I failed and started working on the car.

I was very reluctant to pull off the wheel covers, but it was necessary to get at the bones.

Some things I noticed, either on the drive or during my inspection:

-The front axles both have some play in them.
-The tie rod inner joints both have at least a quarter inch of play
-The upper and lower ball joints all have play
-The tires, while capable of delivering me home safely, are at the end of their life
-All of the bushings look like this:






The driver's seat has clearly seen some miles.




Otherwise, the carpet and interior, while a bit dirty and dusty, are remarkably intact. Nothing is loose or rattles. It's clearly a very well built car.






I don't expect the engine bay needs much of anything, besides maybe a tune-up.

Last edited by Ecky; 05-12-2021 at 10:57 PM..
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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After observing all of this, I immediately ordered well north of $1,000 in new parts. All of the control arms, links, and bushings, front and rear. New tires. Axles. Plugs, wires, a distributor cap. It will be getting Insight aluminum drums, new fuel economy instrumentation, lightweight alloy wheels, and probably a new radio + speakers.

Here's a closer look under the wheel covers, at the Civic's fantastic double wishbone and multilink suspension:



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Old 05-12-2021, 10:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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New tires mounted on some serviceable Civic HX wheels I had in my basement were good for 2.3lbs on each corner. Not as much as I was expecting! Also not the prettiest, but I don't suppose they'll be seen often.

I was fascinated by Basjoos' front cover setup. The wheel covers are attached with hinges, and held against the car with springs. When you turn the wheel, it rides up on conveyer belt rollers.










I can't promise I'll make quick progress, as I have another car I need to restore before a deadline, and I'm doing some major renovations on my house, and Aerocivic may be several weeks at least before I can even put a tag on it.
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
3) Repair or rebuild the exterior aeromods, taking some care to make the car... if not beautiful, at least polished
This is what I'm hoping for. Make it a better representative of what it is.

Youtube has been feeding me a lot of videos on mixing ratios for Rustoleum paint and acetone. $50 to do a car.

When it becomes time to upgrade the front skirts, I'd suggest replace the hinge with a four-bar linkage.
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Connect - '15 Ford Transit Connect XL
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K-sight - '00 Honda K-sight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
This is what I'm hoping for. Make it a better representative of what it is.

Youtube has been feeding me a lot of videos on mixing ratios for Rustoleum paint and acetone. $50 to do a car.

When it becomes time to upgrade the front skirts, I'd suggest replace the hinge with a four-bar linkage.
I'll definitely want to try a Rustoleum paint job.

Link to what you have in mind with the linkage?
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would suggest a simple title. Like 'Aerocivic pt. II' or 'Aerocivic, the revival' maybe. Ż\_(ツ)_/Ż
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice job! Best wishes to the task!

How about:
  • Aero Civic resurrection
  • El Aéreo Cívico
  • The Lean Green Mean Aero Civic Machine
  • The Aero Civic Strikes Back
  • The Return of the Aero Civic
  • Back to the Aero Civic
  • What I did to my Aero Civic today
  • Aero Civic Surgery
  • Aero Civic. More Aero, less Civic
  • Civic unrest: The Aeromods
  • A Civic's journey to aerohood
  • How to train you Aero Civic.
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Old 05-13-2021, 01:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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IIRC the title can only be changed by the mods.



Pic was added in 2014!

The top two bars are connected in torsion. This would keep the skirt from rocking from any play in the hinges. Instead of the bottom swinging out the whole thing lifts. You want the clearance at the center, not the bottom; and gravity would help close it.
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Old 05-13-2021, 03:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The moderators seem pretty agreeable!

I look forward to seeing what you do with one of the most fuel-efficient cars on here!

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