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Old 03-25-2014, 11:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Considering higher mileage VX

Hello ecomodders,

I've recently sold my '83 Civic hatch and I've been searching for the right VX for me. While I would ideally love a bone stock one with low miles, they are bringing prices that are about 1.5-2k above my price range. I'm no stranger to tinkering, so finding one that needs a few things doesn't scare me all that much, as I enjoy seeing progress with my vehicles.

That being said, I do however want to find a solid base for me to start with, mostly one with original body panels/paint because I really don't want to mess with that.

I found a higher mileage VX (240k miles) that appears to be in great shape. I ran the carfax on it, it's been a southern car it's entire life, hasn't even been registered in another state. The same owner had it from new till 230k miles.

The questionable: I can tell it has an aftermarket header, and aftermarket muffler. It also has a different ECU. Otherwise, bone stock.

Since it has a different ECU, I'm just going to assume the lean burn isn't functioning. I'm betting since it has an aftermarket header, it started to run not as good since the 02 sensor is in a different place, so they alleviated the problem with a different ECU.

When I go check it out, I just want to make sure it has the original head, and VX tranny. What markings on the head or tranny will tell me that they are in fact original to the car?

What other things should I look for that I may not have thought about?

Again, I know not having the stock exhaust is a turn off, but there's a member on here that is getting rid of a stock federal ECU and stock exhaust manifold, so that would help me start transforming it right away.

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Old 03-25-2014, 11:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The original VX manifold had the 02 sensor and cat just inches away from the head.
Plenty of real knowledgeable Honda guys here. Maybe you could find one from a ricer engine swap and use the parts they tossed.

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Old 03-25-2014, 01:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your theory about changing the ECU because of the O2 sensor problem is solid as I experienced that same issue. But a more likely explanation of the non-stock ECU is that they did a "mini-me" swap. This is where you swap on a D16Z6 VTEC head. That also explains why they changed the ECU, probably to the P28 from the D16Z6 cars.

The way to tell is to look at the stamp on the head. If it says P07-1, it's a VX VTEC-E head.

The transmission would be stamped P20/A000, but that doens't confirm it is a VX. The DX/LX also had the same marking. The only way to easily tell would be to take a test drive. My VX tranny runs at around 2000 RPM at 60 mph.

I would still consider buying it for the right price if the head/transmission have been swapped. Especially if there is no rust or body damage. 92-95 Civic hatchbacks with good bodies are gold in the Honda world.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you can get your 83 civic back, I'd trade you for my stock VX.
Otherwise I'd stay away from modified VX's, they tend to be hacked up, abused, trashed shells of what they used to be.
In short, when you buy a riced out VX you are buying the shell of a car unless you can get a check list of what was done along with all of the parts that were removed.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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He pmed me a pic of the engine bay. It looks stock other than the header. All egr is there. Stock intake mani. Even stock correct vx air tube. I can even see the 5 different color wires on the 02.

They probably threw a p28 in it like cbaber said. No matter what ecu they put in it the engine light will be on without doing any wiring.

Good thing about having the header in is identifying the cylinder head is easy as pie.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
If you can get your 83 civic back, I'd trade you for my stock VX.
Otherwise I'd stay away from modified VX's, they tend to be hacked up, abused, trashed shells of what they used to be.
In short, when you buy a riced out VX you are buying the shell of a car unless you can get a check list of what was done along with all of the parts that were removed.
While the 83 was fun, it also had a two barrel carb and required a lot of attention. It was a fun cruiser around town, but I want something that I can take on a long trip if necessary. If you get on CL and find a 2nd gen civic (80-83), you'll quickly see with the prices they generally sell for, you'll be giving someone the trade of a lifetime if you trade them your stock VX, but be my guest

Getting the checklist is partly why I'm here, cbaber & slownugly have already helped me verify a few things.

Last edited by KROHN27; 03-25-2014 at 08:23 PM..
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re the mileage they seem to hold up extremely well in terms of wear. We've had the wife's VX from 50k miles to now (220k miles). It gets a timing belt, water pump, etc., every ~120k miles (and all the old stuff looked like new even then), plugs every ~25k miles (they are cheap and it seems to like fresh plugs), full tuneup (OEM wires, cap, and rotor) every ~100k miles, and all the usual filters and fluids. Assuming all this was kept up the only thing that would most likely be shot by 240k is the suspension. We replaced all bushings, joints/pivots, and shocks/struts at ~200k miles and it was much-needed. The car is also a bit hard on oil so we do oil changes at a max interval of 3k miles, I think the manual might say you can go further but I'd not recommend it.

The car you found sounds like a good start. Sourcing OEM VX bits should be easy as everyone concerned with performance throws them away.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikepilot View Post
Re the mileage they seem to hold up extremely well in terms of wear. We've had the wife's VX from 50k miles to now (220k miles). It gets a timing belt, water pump, etc., every ~120k miles (and all the old stuff looked like new even then), plugs every ~25k miles (they are cheap and it seems to like fresh plugs), full tuneup (OEM wires, cap, and rotor) every ~100k miles, and all the usual filters and fluids. Assuming all this was kept up the only thing that would most likely be shot by 240k is the suspension. We replaced all bushings, joints/pivots, and shocks/struts at ~200k miles and it was much-needed. The car is also a bit hard on oil so we do oil changes at a max interval of 3k miles, I think the manual might say you can go further but I'd not recommend it.

The car you found sounds like a good start. Sourcing OEM VX bits should be easy as everyone concerned with performance throws them away.

The car I originally spoke about in this thread was extremely misrepresented, it was hobbled up, leaking coolant, and it didn't start when I drove to check it out. I actually found a much better one for myself, I have a little info on it in this thread here.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ons-29025.html

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