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Old 04-01-2012, 10:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Florida
Posts: 105

The 'Vic - '96 Honda Civic DX
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The 'Vic - 96 Civic DX

Here is the build thread for my 96 Civic DX 5 speed. I bought this car on February 15th 2012 as a replacement for my 06 BMW that I had decided to sell. I wanted something cheaper and more fuel efficient. It was basically an experiment to see if I could drive something a little more economical all around. I have fallen in love with this little car and have spent most of my time repairing and restoring the vehicle.

The major work I have done so far:
Thorough cleaning
Fixed jammed parking brake
New wiper stalk
New spark plugs and wires
New timing belt, idler and water pump
Painted
New tires
New air filter
Full size spare tire
New O2 sensor and modified secondary O2 sensor with spark plug non-foulers to fix CEL because previous owner had a headers to replace a rusted catalytic converter.

Since I have fixed almost everything wrong with the car, it's time for me to start efficiency mods.

The first thing I did was make an upper grille block from some black plastic I picked up from Lowes. I ran it for a little while but my consumption fell within the range of normal fill-ups so the results are inconclusive.



The next thing I did was I bought a Scan Gauge. The fist tank I ran with it was 44.5 mpg, and this was running about 50% of the miles with AC. My average before this was 37 mpg and ranged between 35 and 39. My high was 40.5 before this. The Scan Gauge works well and the setup I have on it is:

MPG________TPS
AVG________RPM (DX doesnt have a tach)

I will say that I am more experienced at utilizing instant and average MPG information because the car I just sold was my third BMW and they have all had analog MPG gauges. I consistently exceeded EPA figures in those cars over about 100,000 miles in all of them combined but it wasn't a goal like it is in the Civic. I am excited to continue refining my driving skills and am glad to see RPM and TPS info. The TPS value is good to know and helps me more than I expected.

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Civic Build Thread
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3.788 Civic CX final drive, air dam, 1st gen HCH 14" wheels and Michelin Defender 175/65R14 LRR tires
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Coastal Southern California
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Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 66.42 mpg (US)

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I love the new paint job. Black like mine! Does the scan gauge have an engine load % readout? If it does, you could replace TPS with it and accelerate with load between 75-80%, shifting gears at 2000-2200 RPMs. That's roughly the figures I learned for our DXs by imitating Palemelanesian, who scores some of the very highest MPG on this site through nothing but some serious driving discipline. As soon as I followed this formula, my number increased.

Also, delete your power steering, if your DX original owner bought it as an option. You won't notice a difference at any time except parallel parking. It will save fuel.

I just reinstalled my black lawn edging chin spoiler under the bumper... I trimmed the top lip off the edging to get down to about 3" and still have the second lip to use for attaching the edging to the underside of the front bumper.

I'm am glad you love the car. I have driven mine for 11 years and still love it.

Oh yeah! I posted a link on this site for a free copy of the 1996-1998 Civic official Honda Service Manual. Search this site and it'll come up.

james

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawk2100n View Post
Here is the build thread for my 96 Civic DX 5 speed. I bought this car on February 15th 2012 as a replacement for my 06 BMW that I had decided to sell. I wanted something cheaper and more fuel efficient. It was basically an experiment to see if I could drive something a little more economical all around. I have fallen in love with this little car and have spent most of my time repairing and restoring the vehicle.

The major work I have done so far:
Thorough cleaning
Fixed jammed parking brake
New wiper stalk
New spark plugs and wires
New timing belt, idler and water pump
Painted
New tires
New air filter
Full size spare tire
New O2 sensor and modified secondary O2 sensor with spark plug non-foulers to fix CEL because previous owner had a headers to replace a rusted catalytic converter.

Since I have fixed almost everything wrong with the car, it's time for me to start efficiency mods.

The first thing I did was make an upper grille block from some black plastic I picked up from Lowes. I ran it for a little while but my consumption fell within the range of normal fill-ups so the results are inconclusive.



The next thing I did was I bought a Scan Gauge. The fist tank I ran with it was 44.5 mpg, and this was running about 50% of the miles with AC. My average before this was 37 mpg and ranged between 35 and 39. My high was 40.5 before this. The Scan Gauge works well and the setup I have on it is:

MPG________TPS
AVG________RPM (DX doesnt have a tach)

I will say that I am more experienced at utilizing instant and average MPG information because the car I just sold was my third BMW and they have all had analog MPG gauges. I consistently exceeded EPA figures in those cars over about 100,000 miles in all of them combined but it wasn't a goal like it is in the Civic. I am excited to continue refining my driving skills and am glad to see RPM and TPS info. The TPS value is good to know and helps me more than I expected.
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.



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Old 04-02-2012, 12:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: East Tennessee, USA
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CRX HF - '91 Honda CRX HF
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Nice! The paint job looks good
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 105

The 'Vic - '96 Honda Civic DX
Team Honda
90 day: 39.3 mpg (US)
Thanks: 6
Thanked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
I love the new paint job. Black like mine! Does the scan gauge have an engine load % readout? If it does, you could replace TPS with it and accelerate with load between 75-80%, shifting gears at 2000-2200 RPMs. That's roughly the figures I learned for our DXs by imitating Palemelanesian, who scores some of the very highest MPG on this site through nothing but some serious driving discipline. As soon as I followed this formula, my number increased.

Also, delete your power steering, if your DX original owner bought it as an option. You won't notice a difference at any time except parallel parking. It will save fuel.

I just reinstalled my black lawn edging chin spoiler under the bumper... I trimmed the top lip off the edging to get down to about 3" and still have the second lip to use for attaching the edging to the underside of the front bumper.

I'm am glad you love the car. I have driven mine for 11 years and still love it.

Oh yeah! I posted a link on this site for a free copy of the 1996-1998 Civic official Honda Service Manual. Search this site and it'll come up.

james
I snagged a copy of the manual you posted a couple of weeks back. And I might take off the power steering. I will just remove the belt at first and see how it goes. I agree that the effort isn't bad because I have been dabbling with EOC here and there. Some of my friends have noticed and asked why my car is so quiet when I pull into the parking lot.
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Civic Build Thread
Your grammar is appreciated.

3.788 Civic CX final drive, air dam, 1st gen HCH 14" wheels and Michelin Defender 175/65R14 LRR tires
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
Hypermiler
 
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,313

PaleCivic (retired) - '96 Honda Civic DX Sedan
90 day: 69.2 mpg (US)

PaleFit - '09 Honda Fit Sport
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Nice car! I concur about using LOD instead of TPS. I like mid-80's LOD for pulsing. These cars respond VERY well to Pulse & Glide.

I found the Scangauge to read a little high on MPG. I have a 13% offset on mine. (in the fillup process)
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11-mile commute: 100 mpg - - - Tank: 90.2 mpg / 1191 miles
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The 'Vic - '96 Honda Civic DX
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90 day: 39.3 mpg (US)
Thanks: 6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaleMelanesian View Post
Nice car! I concur about using LOD instead of TPS. I like mid-80's LOD for pulsing. These cars respond VERY well to Pulse & Glide.

I found the Scangauge to read a little high on MPG. I have a 13% offset on mine. (in the fillup process)
Thanks for the tips. I played with it a little this morning on an 80 mile drive. My scan gauge is all sorts of mis-calibrated. I forgot to keep the setup instructions in the car and botched the first fillup calibration by making adjustments. I guess that means that the indicated 58 mpg/80 mile run wasn't correct this morning. And I think that my reports may have been too soon, as I topped off my tank today again and reset the scan gauge but it drank 2.8 gal for 30 mpg. So I suspect a short-fill skewed my numbers. I have 1000 miles of driving this weekend so it will be settled then.
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Civic Build Thread
Your grammar is appreciated.

3.788 Civic CX final drive, air dam, 1st gen HCH 14" wheels and Michelin Defender 175/65R14 LRR tires
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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The 'Vic - '96 Honda Civic DX
Team Honda
90 day: 39.3 mpg (US)
Thanks: 6
Thanked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaleMelanesian View Post
Nice car! I concur about using LOD instead of TPS. I like mid-80's LOD for pulsing. These cars respond VERY well to Pulse & Glide.

I found the Scangauge to read a little high on MPG. I have a 13% offset on mine. (in the fillup process)
So your scangauge routinely indicates that you get 79 mpg average? wow

I switch to LOD and I like it. The 80% range actually gives me better acceleration than I had been (driving, doing, making, having, odd verbiage) before.

I removed the power steering belt today as an experiment to see if the car is livable. I don't have a problem with it at the moment. My driving has been unusually limited this week compared to normal (averaging 124.5 miles per day) and my scangauge readings will not be trusted until an accurate fill. Right now the TANK AVG is 46.5 mpg.

Pale, what is the off event for your scangauge? 0 RPM? I changed mine to COM hoping that I could keep it alive during EOC but I am switching with the key so the computer still shuts off with the engine at first until I switch it back. Any workarounds for this? Fuel cutoff switch I suppose is the best solution to kill the engine.
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Civic Build Thread
Your grammar is appreciated.

3.788 Civic CX final drive, air dam, 1st gen HCH 14" wheels and Michelin Defender 175/65R14 LRR tires
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
Hypermiler
 
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,313

PaleCivic (retired) - '96 Honda Civic DX Sedan
90 day: 69.2 mpg (US)

PaleFit - '09 Honda Fit Sport
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Wagons
90 day: 44.06 mpg (US)
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Change fuel type to Hybrid and it'll stay alive as long as it's powered up. That's all hybrid mode does. Com is still default.

If you look at my log, it was a couple years of full-time hypermiling before I got to this level. Practice makes perfect (or at least better ).
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11-mile commute: 100 mpg - - - Tank: 90.2 mpg / 1191 miles
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The 'Vic - '96 Honda Civic DX
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90 day: 39.3 mpg (US)
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Civic update: I realized that I haven't ever quantified my gains from my two minor ecomods. Grille block and a power steering delete. The power steering was only the removal of the belt but the entire system is still there with the belt and a wrench in the trunk. But with a 4376 mile baseline and 2781 miles with mods I can be confident in the results.

Before: 37.24 mpg
Modded: 41.07 mpg
Difference: 3.83 mpg / 10.3% improvement!

I am very happy with these results! Are my real world driving results acceptable to substantiate my claims? I don't want to do ABBABAB testing.
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Civic Build Thread
Your grammar is appreciated.

3.788 Civic CX final drive, air dam, 1st gen HCH 14" wheels and Michelin Defender 175/65R14 LRR tires
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
Hypermiler
 
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,313

PaleCivic (retired) - '96 Honda Civic DX Sedan
90 day: 69.2 mpg (US)

PaleFit - '09 Honda Fit Sport
Team Honda
Wagons
90 day: 44.06 mpg (US)
Thanks: 605
Thanked 422 Times in 277 Posts
I think there's too much real-world variation to claim anything for sure. I don't doubt the mods helped, but you need ABA all-else-equal testing to know how much. Temperature, rain, wind, routes, traffic, your mood, your driving style... each of these can be a 10% difference or more.

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11-mile commute: 100 mpg - - - Tank: 90.2 mpg / 1191 miles
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