saruken Reader
3/23/21 6:38 p.m.

Like the title says, I work in software and have no idea what I'm doing. Hi.

But I saw this little guy in the scrapyard at my local VW shop and fell in love:

The astute among you will realize this is no VW, but an '83 Civic 1500DX. It was actually the shop owner's pizza delivery car when he used to drive for Papa Johns, but he parked it after it suffered a transmission issue sometime in the oughties, and there it sat until I gave him a few hundred bucks and he loaded this beauty onto a rollback tow truck via forklift and sent me on my way. He even threw in a couple spare transmissions.

It's all there, trailer hitch and everything.

Question: What can you tow with 63 HP? Answer: Everything I know about transmissions and carbs.

I've already replaced the mouse-chewed plug wires and a few other obvious bits. Fogged the cylinders and rotated the engine manually. With starter fluid in the carb, it will try to run for a second, but the fuel pump is bound up and making sad little clicking sounds. In pulling that off to replace it, I also replaced the 2 filters and dropped the fuel tank to drain the ancient rust/varnish cocktail inside, but it was so bad I ordered an entirely new tank.

Then winter happened...

...and I forgot which of the 8(!) fuel lines went where when the tank came off, so after some careful studying of my repair manual and the not-blue side of the Civic, I came up with a spiffy diagram:

I just ordered the various lines I'll need, so while I'm waiting on them to arrive, I figured I'd start a build thread here to keep things organized.

Things Happening Soonish

  • Sort fuel delivery
  • Overhaul brake system
  • Get some wheels and tires
  • If it goes into gear and moves and stops:
    • Huzzah, post a picture of it on reddit for 6 karma
    • Drive it into the garage
    • Buy an engine hoist & stand; separate transmission and commence panicking about the number of tiny metal parts
  • If not:
    • Boo, post a meme about it on reddit for 6 karma
    • Push it into the garage
    • Buy an engine hoist & stand; separate transmission and commence panicking about the number of tiny metal parts

If this thing gets to the point where it will actually drive around like a car, I will attempt to patch the surprisingly mild rust, and thoroughly restore/replace everything else.

Things Happening Someday

  • Replace the chassis/interior electrical systems with something of my own design
  • Convert it to MegaSquirt/EFI
    • Sincere question: How tricky would this be with a CVCC engine? Easier to just swap the head?
  • Take it to Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Or Radwood. Either one really
TED_fiestaHP HalfDork
3/24/21 12:37 p.m.

   That looks like a lot of fun, I often see people having more fun less money spent.   Last time I was at a autocross there was a guy with a ford festiva, he was a better driver than most, nad he seemed to be having great fun, and it didn't cost him hardly anything.

    It should be simpler to use a carb, but you should be able to get lots of fuel injection advice here. I would use carbs, but there are many others here that would rather use injection.

FMB42 Reader
3/24/21 1:52 p.m.

A long-time friend had that same car in the late '80s. Got about a million miles per gal and ran forever. We used to tour the CA gold country in it. Thanks for bringing back some good memories.

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