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Thread: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

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    1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    I wanted to start this thread so I could post all my problems in one spot as we go along, to help keep it all in one spot for myself, and others, to reference later if needed. So I'm working on this car I got a few days ago. Running fairly well for a car this old. Definitely in far better shape than some of the 10 year old cars I've owned in the past. There are a few things I've run into that need addressing.

    -Oil seems to be coming up out of the oil cap. The cover has been wiped, but the lip just below the cap seems to be pooling a small bit of oil. I've now wiped the area again to be sure and will check tomorrow.

    - Does this appear to be the stock cap? I'm thinking it's a random aftermarket one, as it's not really tight and the whole oil spillage from this area.


    - This vacuum module only has 1 hose attached, as you can see. However, that 1 hose doesn't go to anything. It's just kinda there, and goes across the front of the engine. Actually, there are a couple other spots that are likely requiring vacuum lines that are missing.


    -These wires come off the air intake. I assume they go to an early style of MAF, of sorts. As you can see, they aren't connected to anything.


    - There is a hose on the driver side of the carb. It's plugged with a screw. It looks like it's on a plastic container that connects like 6 or so hoses in one spot, but this is the last one. Pic will come later.

    - I'm losing coolant somewhere. It's not leaking from the radiator, and I don't see it coming out of the hoses. Checking the oil it looks normal not like chocolate milk or from some other contaminant. The car barely even gets to the halfway point on the temp gauge, so I'm lead to believe it's not the head gasket. As afar as the oil goes, at most I could say it's a bit thin or runny, as if not enough. But that may just be a case of synthetic oil - based on the coloration. Lastly, there's no white smoke. And it certainly doesn't smell sweet. Then again, I've only had a few instances of white smoke, but it always smells like oil/fuel, not weird/coolant - blue usually means bad rings, so I think those are fine for now. I've only seen some smoke when i give it more gas to move and not let off the clutch as much, as well as when it's cold - though neither are guaranteed to happen, those just happen to be when i notice it the most.

    - Do these cars have a transmission/engine setup where the transmission and engine share the same oil? I know they did this on some of the older Honda motorbikes, the CT90 and CT110 in particular, but a few other examples can be found. Mainly asking because I only find one dipstick, so it would seem that way to me.

    - What is the quart capacity of these engines? The previous owner said 3 quarts, but just wanna make sure. I did buy 3 quarts of high mileage 10w-30, but being n older car I could see possibly going 10w-40.


    - And lastly, I saw in a thread somebody wanted one of these diagrams from California, so figured I'd take a pic of mine.



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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    Let me also add: The speedometer doesn't work worth a damn. It's about 10 miles off in the lower range, maybe up to 40. Anything above that and it's worse. Eventually it becomes about 25-30 mph off. So around 90mph is actually 65mph (GPS verified). So with the faults that come with GPS, figure at least a 5mph difference. Probably just needs a new cable, I imagine.

    Fuel gauge seems worthless. Now it works, sure. But I'm under the assumption one of two things is going one:
    - 1) the car is out of proper tune, so needs a carb adjustment and tune up in general.
    - 2) fuel gauge and/or sender (or both) is faulty and needs repair/replacement.
    I've put maybe 150 miles since owning total. After a filling the tank, the trip-meter claims around 110 miles, but yet it sits at under half on the gauge. So something is wrong one way or the other. Hell, it could be both - broken gauge/sender and consuming too much fuel.

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    Oil cap - That doesn't look quite like the OEM cap. But my OEM cap has always felt sorta loose, and most of those E-series engines always seem to be that way. Might try bending the little tangs on the bottom to tighten it up.

    That box with the 1 vacuum line is the air jet controller. That's the piece that is specific to CA emissions models. You can see it on your diagram.

    The wires on the intake, if I had to guess... those power the flapper that regulates the air temp going into the carb. That dashpot on top is what actually opens and closes the valve. Hot air comes in from the tube underneath on the exhaust manifold. Cold air comes in from the side, and there should be a hose that runs up to the front of the car near the headlight, so that you get actual cold air. The carb likes the air temps to be around 100 degrees, so that valve lets in a little hot air to help with atomization.

    How much coolant are you losing? If it's really slow, you might still have a pinhole in the radiator. The coolant could be evaporating before it drips onto anything.

    Transmission and engine are separate. I can't recall off the top of my head, but I usually put in ~4 quarts. My engine has an oil cooler though, so somewhere between 3 and 4 is correct. Buy 5 quarts and check with the dipstick.

    As far as your fuel consumption, the only way to accuratley measure is to fill up the tank 100% full, run it for so long, then fill it up and see how many gallons you used. But if your speedo is not working, then neither is your odometer. You might use a GPS to track your miles driven and use that to calculate consumption. Going to a spot on the gauge is never, not even remotely accurate. But you do need an accurate odometer.

    It's obvious that your carb is missing some components and not working properly. There's no point worrying about the mileage until you're sure the carb is in working order.

    Hope this helps! And also we need pics of the car!

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    To check the oil on an MT, remove the filler bolt. If oil runs out, it's full.

    For the oil cap, bend the retaining tangs back. I had to do that on a fairly regular basis with mine. It never draws up tight, but it will become less sloppy. Also check the rubber sealing washer. If it's hard as granite, replace the cap.
    Last edited by Dr_Snooz; 11-17-2016 at 08:26 PM.
    Dr_Snooz

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndGenGuy View Post
    Oil cap - That doesn't look quite like the OEM cap. But my OEM cap has always felt sorta loose, and most of those E-series engines always seem to be that way. Might try bending the little tangs on the bottom to tighten it up.

    That box with the 1 vacuum line is the air jet controller. That's the piece that is specific to CA emissions models. You can see it on your diagram.

    The wires on the intake, if I had to guess... those power the flapper that regulates the air temp going into the carb. That dashpot on top is what actually opens and closes the valve. Hot air comes in from the tube underneath on the exhaust manifold. Cold air comes in from the side, and there should be a hose that runs up to the front of the car near the headlight, so that you get actual cold air. The carb likes the air temps to be around 100 degrees, so that valve lets in a little hot air to help with atomization.
    Cool. I'll take a second look at the oil cap. It may not actually be as loose as I'm imagining it to be. Might just have thought it would be like super tight. And I'll see if I can wrangle up a hose for the intake.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndGenGuy View Post
    Transmission and engine are separate. I can't recall off the top of my head, but I usually put in ~4 quarts. My engine has an oil cooler though, so somewhere between 3 and 4 is correct. Buy 5 quarts and check with the dipstick.
    I'll grab an extra quart and see how the oil change goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndGenGuy View Post
    As far as your fuel consumption, the only way to accuratley measure is to fill up the tank 100% full, run it for so long, then fill it up and see how many gallons you used. But if your speedo is not working, then neither is your odometer. You might use a GPS to track your miles driven and use that to calculate consumption. Going to a spot on the gauge is never, not even remotely accurate. But you do need an accurate odometer.

    It's obvious that your carb is missing some components and not working properly. There's no point worrying about the mileage until you're sure the carb is in working order.
    OK. I'll just leave it be until I get some other aspects hammered out. It looks like I may have much bigger concerns than gauges.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndGenGuy View Post
    Hope this helps! And also we need pics of the car!
    They are posted in my other thread: https://www.3geez.com/forum/newbie-in...d-accords.html

    I don't wanna clutter up the forum re-posting the same pics over and over. Thanks for the help!



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    To check the oil on an MT, remove the filler bolt. If oil runs out, it's full.

    For the oil cap, bend the retaining tangs back. I had to do that on a fairly regular basis with mine. It never draws up tight, but it will become less sloppy. Also check the rubber sealing washer. If it's hard as granite, replace the cap.
    Nah, it's OK. I think it was a case of imagining a gremlin that doesn't exist yet. I will keep an eye on it, though. Thanks for the input.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndGenGuy View Post
    How much coolant are you losing? If it's really slow, you might still have a pinhole in the radiator. The coolant could be evaporating before it drips onto anything.
    Well, I don't think it's losing much. How much I'm uncertain. The reservoir container has been holding at a certain level for a day or so now. So, pretty much lost like 97% of the coolant reservoir as opposed to when I filled it up.

    However, there was an update today. Drove it to the store to grab some things for work, and she didn't wanna start back up. I'd driven less than a mile and less than like 2 minutes - I did wait for it to reach the operating temperature mark on the temp gauge before taking off. Putting around, we had two new developments. At one point later that morning (about 30 min), the car blew some white smoke. It dissipated after a few seconds, and it stopped after I drove a bit further up the road. It was not super thick or anything, but it was concerning as this was not condensation smoke - that's usually real wispy and thin. This was a thicker smoke. Secondly, in the afternoon, the temp rose to just over half way. The fluid in the radiator has little black flecks in them - though i don't know if this is just from the reservoir, as it is pretty gnarly in there with some brown junk on the walls.

    So it didn't overheat or shut down or break down, but these symptoms would still indicate a blown head gasket to me. I'm going to give it a new oil change tomorrow and double check everything else. I'm ordering a new head gasket tomorrow. Hopefully I can get this done lickity split.

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    If you overfill the reservoir, it will overflow when the car reaches operating temp, then fall lower after the car cools.

    If you overfill the crankcase with oil, it can come out the tailpipe in periodic little puffs of smoke like that.
    Dr_Snooz

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    So the reservoir could be fine, just got pushed out cause of the over fill? But once it had dropped some distance, wouldn't it stop pushing more out? As far as I can tell, it hasn't dropped any lower.

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    They are posted in my other thread: https://www.3geez.com/forum/newbie-in...d-accords.html

    I don't wanna clutter up the forum re-posting the same pics over and over. Thanks for the help!
    Oh yeah I remember now! Cool deal.

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparx MacGyver View Post
    So the reservoir could be fine, just got pushed out cause of the over fill? But once it had dropped some distance, wouldn't it stop pushing more out? As far as I can tell, it hasn't dropped any lower.
    Yes. That's exactly what would happen.
    Dr_Snooz

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    OK, so I figured I'd post here rather than start a new thread. Some more questions.

    Starting off, the thing runs decently still, despite me having zero time to do anything with it. So, that white smoke? It got worse. One particular drive, I couldn't get it up to 65, without it feeling severely sluggish and was blowing smoke like I dropped a smoke bomb to evade some enemy spies, and lastly was over heating like no tomorrow. SO, I pulled over, let it cool, checked everything, and slowly drove home, keeping careful eye on everything. That was a month or so ago. Since then, it's only really given thin wispy smoke when its a warmer temperature out, or if it's driven (say 20-30 minutes of freeway) and then goes to a drive-thru, where it just pumps out a continuous stream of the stuff. Not thick, just constant. THe coolant? Yeah, it stays full, or just below the inner rim. The reservoir isn't empty either.

    So, my deductive skills tell me it's a blown head gasket. My past experience tells me this cause it doesn't do well up hill, and in fact, the temp gauge goes up fairly decently on a hill. It only leaks a little tiny bit of oil now, though unknown where since I changed oil caps since it's no longer wet like it was. Still need to get new plugs and wires.

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparx MacGyver View Post
    OK, so I figured I'd post here rather than start a new thread. Some more questions.

    Starting off, the thing runs decently still, despite me having zero time to do anything with it. So, that white smoke? It got worse. One particular drive, I couldn't get it up to 65, without it feeling severely sluggish and was blowing smoke like I dropped a smoke bomb to evade some enemy spies, and lastly was over heating like no tomorrow. SO, I pulled over, let it cool, checked everything, and slowly drove home, keeping careful eye on everything. That was a month or so ago. Since then, it's only really given thin wispy smoke when its a warmer temperature out, or if it's driven (say 20-30 minutes of freeway) and then goes to a drive-thru, where it just pumps out a continuous stream of the stuff. Not thick, just constant. THe coolant? Yeah, it stays full, or just below the inner rim. The reservoir isn't empty either.

    So, my deductive skills tell me it's a blown head gasket. My past experience tells me this cause it doesn't do well up hill, and in fact, the temp gauge goes up fairly decently on a hill. It only leaks a little tiny bit of oil now, though unknown where since I changed oil caps since it's no longer wet like it was. Still need to get new plugs and wires.
    My '84 Accord doesn't do well going up hills either - I think they're all like that honestly (consequences of a little 86-hp engine). In fact, going up a steep hill will annoy the automatic transmission on mine (it'll slip). Temp gauge does go up slightly but that's inevitable I think.

    Pull the oil dipstick and check the condition of the oil. If it's all chocolate milk-like, then oil is indeed mixing with coolant in there. Hopefully you get it sorted out.

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    How long had this thing been sitting before all this started?
    Dr_Snooz

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    Sorry for the late reply. From the previous owner, he said it had been sitting for some time, though I truthfully don't remember. He said he drove it now and then, about once a week, but otherwise it just sat.

    @Temeku: The oil is fine. Black like it should be. It shows no signs of a blown head gasket save for the white smoke*. Like, sometimes it's little to no smoke. Then drive it in average heat (say 85 or so) for around 30 min (give or take) and it starts letting out some smoke. I'll take it for a test run tomorrow for errands and see how it does. It's been in my parking area for like 3 weeks not being used for the moment (I presumed the head gasket and bought the kit, just haven't had a chance to actually tear it down yet, plus the battery turned to garbage, etc).

    I'll take pics/vid if I can. That might help show you guys and then maybe we can narrow it down.

    *I know there's a few symptoms. Loss of power is one of them. chocolate milk oil is another, that weird mayo gunk on the radiator or oil caps is another, burning through coolant is another, and lastly white smoke.

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    Ok, so after sitting for around 3 weeks or so, now I can't get any smoke out of it. I drove that thing for several hours today while running errands, including almost an hour straight in traffic on the freeway that was mostly stop and go with a couple parts of full highway speed. Nada. The best I got was the temp gauge went up to right about under 3/4. But no smoke or anything. Oil still looks like it should.

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    It sounds like it's improving with more regular driving. Maybe it will keep doing so?
    Dr_Snooz

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    Possible? But it seems weird that it would give no smoke, then smoke like crazy for a couple months, then sit for a few weeks and no smoke again.

    Two thoughts came to me after explaining the issues to a friend. the first is if the carb is not tuned properly, which I cam doubtful since it runs phenomenally. I won't entirely rule this out, but I've always been told too much fuel is black smoke (oil is blue, of course),and he suggested if it's lean it could be white. Though that seems...odd to me. The other is brake fluid getting in there. I've had other older cars with a vacuum system that failed and it was sucking in brake fluid giving off clouds of smoke. Well, I don't see a vacuum port on this booster, though I won't rule out possible previous owner changing things, since I am still working on hooking up all the vacuum lines.

    From wha tI cna see, it's just the two lines that run to the brakes. There is no vacuum here, right? (As far as the brakes go)

    Edit: I'm gonna do a quick test today, once it cools off, and pull the plugs. See if they're fouled or what not.

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    OK, so went and looked at the plugs. Things check out. Only #3 was fouled some. The rest looked relatively normal, not blackened - though a bit darker brown than I prefer.

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    Re: 1983 Accord LX 5spd Repair Work

    Brake fluid is logical. These are power brakes, after all. Valve guide seals are another possibility, though less likely it seems.
    Dr_Snooz

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    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 208k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap, nuthin' else

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