Craigslist had been my main search tool locally just keeping an eye out. Until Monday afternoon on my lunch break I decided to look in that annoying new marketplace tab they added to Facebook mobile. $400 mechanics special 1993 Civic sedan.
I went and looked at the car last night, in the dark, which I hate doing. After looking it over I managed to talk them down to $200.00. I was able to get right in the car and drive it home.
Now I looked this car over pretty well last night before even offering $200 because I didn't want to jump into a full on project while finishing the TSX. It does have some issues and it does potentially need a new transmission but we will see this weekend if I can sort that out. My goal here is to restore the car to fully stock 100% smooth operating condition for as little as possible. Then once the TSX is done I will pull this into the garage and take care of that awful Milano red paint.
-AT Transmission flares between shifts - it is overfilled with a non Honda ATF. Going to flush it with Honda DW-1 fluid and fix any leaks I find... looks like the seal under the solenoid is bad. Car shifts perfect by moving through manually 1,2,D3,D4 so I'm hoping the clutch packs will be ok when cleaned up and refilled with Honda ATF. If the transmission is toast I will try to find a used trans locally for dirt cheap. Not gonna throw money away rebuilding the AT. Sticking AT for the time being... it seems to be better if I decide to sell the car after fixing it.
-Check engine light: Jumped pin got code 41. Error in primary O2 heater circuit. There is oil all over the O2 sensor connector from leaks. Going to de-pin it and clean everything. If i'm lucky the oil is the issue here. If not I should have a used O2 laying around and I know I have a spare AT ECU so even worst case scenario should be able to fix this easily.
-Oil Leaks: Valve cover gasket, distributor O-Ring, probably oil pan but its filthy under the hood. Need to clean up an recheck once I've replaced valve cover gasket and dizzy o-ring.
-AC is still R12a (not really a bad thing just need conversion kit or to find some R12) but it has no AC belt so I couldn't test the compressor. Honest guess is it is out of freon and the owner couldn't figure out why it wouldn't turn on. But all of the AC parts are still in place.
-PS leaks: pump, hose, rack. Oh well I'll just put new boots and tie rods on the rack and remove the power steering pump and lines.
-Brakes: Work fine but pedal is soft. Brake fluid is dark dark brown and probably half water from 1993. Going to go ahead and do front rotors, pads, and flush the system to fix this and make sure the car is safe. I'll also inspect and adjust the drums, wheel cylinders are only a few $s if they show any leaking.
-Coolant hoses: Hoses to heater core are looped to bypass it. Gotta get these and see whats wrong. Hoping the hose that goes to under the distributor just rotted and busted and this was the cheap quick fix. Replacing the heater core if it leaks is cheap but its a lot of work.
-Body: FUGLY eBay headlights, faded peeling Milano Red paint, small rust hole near drivers side taillight on the quarter panel. I have stock headlights and corner lights to install, will list the ugly ones on eBay for $25-50 and possibly make back some of the $200 I spent. For the rust spot I am going to cut and remove all the rust and use some etch primer to stop it from growing. Also going to put some metal tape over the hole to prevent water from making it into the trunk. A quick trip to the junkyard should get me the necessary sheet metal to properly repair the rust. Just not going to do any paint or body work to this until I finish the TSX. I think a nice exterior respray of Milano Red along with the rust repair should be pretty reasonably priced to do in my garage.
I will update as I look the car over and start making repairs. I'm going to keep a running total cost on the project as well. Can't wait to start messing with it this weekend. I placed an order this morning at work for what I know needs replaced and some ATF to hopefully sort out that transmission issue.
The $200 Civic project