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Old 11-18-2018, 05:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Member in Western NC

Hello guys, just joined up after reading through several awesome build threads. I had never thought much of what mileage my car got except to calculate gas costs for any long trips. After reading about guys getting 50+ mpg out of some relatively cheap cars, I started floating the idea of buying one myself to drive to and from work. A quick Excel spreadsheet showed a 50 mpg car could have a potential minimum savings of $25 a week compared to our family van, and $48 a week compared to my truck (I really only drive it if absolutely necessary). I live deep in the Appalachian mountains (not toooooo deep, I know of a couple places even more remote than I am), so most of my driving is on winding roads and usually with a lots of hills. One of my local roads gains 1000 feet in a mile, which is quite fun coming down on a bicycle. I'm sure I won't see gas numbers as good as people in flat areas, but surely I can beat my Astro van!.

The hunt for a car was on, and I have finally found one, though it's not home yet- won't have it for another couple weeks. I ended up finding a 1992 Honda Civic VX in decent condition. I live in NC, and the car is in CA, so I'll be flying out there in a couple weeks to drive it home. Sort of a gamble, but no red flags popped up and at $1700 I was tempted enough to bite. No pics of the car right now, as the ad has been taken down, but the outside looks pretty good- one small rust bubble under the paint on a rear fender and some faded red paint, and the interior looks great save for one tear in the driver seat. I'll definitely post a ton of pics once the car is home. Big reason for him selling it is when he towed the car there from Ohio, it wouldn't pass CA emissions tests without a big headache, so he's just been driving it around the neighborhood to keep it running, so I guess it's just time for it to go.

I don't plan on getting too crazy with hypermiling or anything, but would love to average 50+ mpg. I will definitely do some work on the car, mainly removing all rust and preventing future rust, replacing any worn or faded trim pieces with new ones, and giving the car a good mechanical makeover in terms of bushings, bearings, etc. I want the car to look mostly stock and like it just came off the showroom floor. Main concern is he said the motor uses almost a quart of oil every 3000 miles, so I may need to have the cylinders honed or whatever for new rings. I'm not a car guy (yet) so I don't really know what all goes into these things, but I'm hoping to learn! Hoping the lower cost of driving this car will make it easier for us to take longer weekend trips, and for me to drive to far-away running events and things (just recently got into ultra running).

I'm currently taking classes in 3D modeling, and will later take classes in machining and CNC milling, so I'm hoping I can build a workshop where I can fab up basically anything I would need for whichever project I've dreamed up for the moment. I work as a welder, but I only learned how to weld a few months ago for this job and I basically only weld thin steel sheet metal with a MIG welder. I'd love to learn other welding types as well. Not sure what else to say at the moment, but I'd love to hear from any members in my area. There is so much to learn, it's almost hard to grasp it all, but I'll do my best. Stay safe out there, folks!

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Old 11-18-2018, 07:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome aboard.

Love the enthusiasm.

The VX you choose is a good car. It’s capable of 50 plus mpg with very little hypermilling. And is capable of much, much more.

Look for posts by https://ecomodder.com/forum/member-the+donkey+crx.html

Get a aftermarket mpg gauge as soon as possible “Ultragauge or a Scanguage”.

Also, I got my best mileage in the mountains, not on flat ground.


Read.

https://ecomodder.com/forum/EM-hyper...ecodriving.php

And

https://ecomodder.com/forum/fuel-eco...ifications.php


Warning...

This can get addictive...




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Old 11-19-2018, 07:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Cool! The VX was on my watch list but I went full on and grabbed an insight.

It does get really addictive with 90s econoboxes as there is so much low hanging fruit (without making it look bad). Aside from the unicorn thread, it all works!
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Fingers crossed the car is not impossible to get working correctly. Just heard back from one of the well-known local import mechanics and he quoted “several thousand dollars” to rebuild the engine with new rings to stop using oil. I’m guessing rust repair and a paint job won’t be cheap, but “several thousand dollars” to work on an old and fairly simple engine just seemed a bit shocking. How much does it usually cost for something like that?
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum.

I wouldn't worry about an oil burn rate of one qt in three thousand miles!

There are a LOT of cars out there that burn more than that and will run for a long time with no issue. Honestly, I wouldn't even think about an engine rebuild until the consumption went over 1qt/1,000 miles.

You will need to make checking the oil part of your routine, especially when it is new to you. Keep on eye on the burn rate, establish what is "normal" for your engine.
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Old 11-20-2018, 06:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDFbound View Post
Fingers crossed the car is not impossible to get working correctly. Just heard back from one of the well-known local import mechanics and he quoted “several thousand dollars” to rebuild the engine with new rings to stop using oil. I’m guessing rust repair and a paint job won’t be cheap, but “several thousand dollars” to work on an old and fairly simple engine just seemed a bit shocking. How much does it usually cost for something like that?
I agree with the above, a quart per oil change (3K mi)isn’t too bad...

That being said if you wanted to rebuild it *shouldnt* cost several thousand, unless you’re building it to make some serious power... if you could get by without having it bored over (and thus having to replace pistons) it would likely only be a few hundred in parts to make *everything else* new or good as new...

Either the shop charges a lot per hour for labor or they’re gouging you just because it’s an import... I hear lots of “ them little import cars” talk in rural communities, just because it’s not a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge/Chrysler... they shut up when I tell them my was assembled in Tennessee...
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Old 11-20-2018, 07:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 19bonestock88 View Post
I agree with the above, a quart per oil change (3K mi)isn’t too bad...

That being said if you wanted to rebuild it *shouldnt* cost several thousand, unless you’re building it to make some serious power... if you could get by without having it bored over (and thus having to replace pistons) it would likely only be a few hundred in parts to make *everything else* new or good as new...

Either the shop charges a lot per hour for labor or they’re gouging you just because it’s an import... I hear lots of “ them little import cars” talk in rural communities, just because it’s not a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge/Chrysler... they shut up when I tell them my was assembled in Tennessee...
Yeah, it's not terrible but I'm way too OCD to just leave things alone. I definitely don't plan on building a racing motor, I really just want it to be as close to stock (and hopefully retain stock reliability and longevity) and 'like new' as possible. I was guessing a few hundred in parts, maybe a bit more in labor. I may try to do some of it myself, but I've never worked on cars before and I don't want to have it out of action longer than necessary.

Oh well, it's all speculation at this point since I don't have the car in my possession yet. I'd love to be able to end up with a new-looking and driving car for 1/4 the price of an actual new car these days. I have a few plans for creature-comfort mods such as a better seats, decent stereo and some sound dampening for long drives, maybe some upgraded suspension for aerodynamics and/or better handling on my curvy mountain roads.

I'd love to build another one as a track car and go nuts with performance parts and whatnot, but right now I just need a reliable and efficient commuter that I can actually look forward to driving every day. Can't wait to bring it home and start posting pictures and whatnot. Good chance it will remain untouched for a number of months while I save up money to tackle projects in batches to save labor costs, but I'm sure there will be at least some updates in the mean time.
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Old 11-20-2018, 07:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My advice is to find a spare engine to build as you get money/time... I did that with the LSJ in my other Saturn and it made the swap something that took a week versus spending six months with nothing in the engine bay... surely a D15 wouldn’t be too hard to come by?

I had planned the same for the Saturn I’m driving... so far it’s about 10hp over stock, has a non stock stereo and Recaro seats from my Redline, with Redline suspension for the corners... if I drive it conservatively in the summer I can average over 50mpg and it isn’t half bad to drive...

You can do it!!
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Old 11-20-2018, 07:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 19bonestock88 View Post
My advice is to find a spare engine to build as you get money/time... I did that with the LSJ in my other Saturn and it made the swap something that took a week versus spending six months with nothing in the engine bay... surely a D15 wouldn’t be too hard to come by?

I had planned the same for the Saturn I’m driving... so far it’s about 10hp over stock, has a non stock stereo and Recaro seats from my Redline, with Redline suspension for the corners... if I drive it conservatively in the summer I can average over 50mpg and it isn’t half bad to drive...

You can do it!!
Not a bad idea! I'll see if I can find another motor for a decent price. Last one I saw they were asking $1500, which I don't think I could justify given the $1700 price of the entire car. If I can find one for a few hundred bucks, I've got a barn that I could use to store and work on it- it would at least be a good learning experience without having to rush and risk making a mistake. After it was done, I'd still have a spare motor as well! I've considered buying a second complete car and doing the same thing- just drive one while building my "ultimate daily driver" then driving it while building the first into a gnarly canyon carver. I'm a speed freak, and living right in the heart of some of the best roads in the country doesn't help curb the habit...
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You’re probably somewhat near Deals gap, right?

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