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Thread: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

  1. #1
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Oh my God, guys I'm aching to drive this car again. At the time of writing this she is down with a broken clutch fork (presumably). I have so much planned for it and its been put on the back burner because I don't have the time to pull the engine right now.


    Here she is right now. I am only the second owner and despite having a little quarter rust and the front end being a little tweaked from a deer, it is a very nice car. 120k miles and a very healthy engine. I gave it a tune up and deleted all of the vacuum lines and I have to say its almost fast. I have a ton of parts for it that will be installed when I tear into it.

    Right now it has
    -Msd ignition coil
    -Full vacuum delete
    -Cat delete
    -Wideband sensor
    -Rebiult brakes. Metallic pads, new master, booster delete. Looking to do the lines later and add a wilwood proportioning valve
    -Solid dogbone bushing
    -Choke delete

    Parts I'm waiting to install on it
    -Exedy stock clutch
    -Flywheel
    -the damn shifter seal. I'm almost glad I broke my clutch
    -Shifter birdcage bushing and poly shifter bushings
    -Poly front engine mount
    -Catch can

    I'm probably forgetting some of the things I have/installed, but I have a few big plans for it
    First, as soon as I need tires I'm installing 15x7" Diamond racing Pro Street wheel with presumably 195/50r15s and fender flares.
    Second, I have these babies.

    Its been too long since I've played with them to remember what size they are, but I do have adjustable needles for them and they should really let me tune this car good. They are ready unless I'm forgetting to buy an accel pump diaphragm. once I've set the floats on them though all I need to do is make a manifold and put it on.
    I have two turbos lying around. A Toyota ct26 thats prooooobably too big, and a built Garret t25 with an oversized t28 wheel on it and Saab housings. I built that when I was a youngun and I'm a tad scared of it, I have no idea what it will do, its so small, but I don't know how to give it a test run before I try to put it in a car. I don't know how those bike carbs will behave under boost, but I'm not above building a header for it. I will probably put a return style fuel system in it when I change carbs unless I happen to get a manifold built while I'm doing the clutch. I will put a walbro in it and a boost reference fuel pressure reg in it and that should be way overbuilt for any boost the stock engine will handle. Head studs are in its future as well.
    Also, I plan on making a cruise and speedo controller with and arduino... this is a precautionary plan for when the speedo cable inevitably breaks and breaks my heart along with it, also the cruise only works if you steer with your feet and balance a glass of water on your head. I should be able to use the handy wheel speed sensor used for the cruise control

    I really hope I get some work done to it soon. I'm going to do a timing belt and clean the cylinders out when I have it apart. I'd say its biggest and most confusing problem right now (besides the clutch) is that it diesels when its hot, but I never thought it could be carbon.
    More pictures will come later, maybe after I figure out how to straighten the hood gap or I have to whole drivetrain strung across my garage.



  2. #2

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Quote Originally Posted by ShiRen View Post
    I should be able to use the handy wheel speed sensor used for the cruise control
    Well I have some bad news for you. There is no wheel speed sensor. The speed is measured off a magnetic pulser in the speedo gauge. Sadly, then the cable brakes, the speed pulser will too...

    Anyway, it sounds like a fun project. Do keep us posted on all your adventures.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

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  3. #3
    LXi User InAccordance's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Can attest. had my speed cable break 3 days after I got it running again. Odometer is tied into it as well so I dont even know what my actual mileage is now =P
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

  4. #4
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Is that right? I know you have to turn the driver side wheel and yeah its just a weak magnetic pulse you can measure off the cruise control plug. I thought it was on the wheel, but if its driven off the speedo cable I might have to put a trigger wheel on the cv axle, which isnt a big deal.

    The only thing I use my odometer for is my oil changes, other than that I dont think I want to know! lol

  5. #5

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Quote Originally Posted by ShiRen View Post
    I might have to put a trigger wheel on the cv axle, which isnt a big deal.
    Take pics and do a how-to for us, please.

    You can always use your smartphone to find out your speed.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

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  6. #6
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Biggest thing I need to find out is what the control module sends to the cruise motor. I dont exactly have a reliable module and I cant think of a good way to check besides jacking the front of my car up, starting it in 5th, and pray it sets speed long enough I can check it. Ive only gotten the cruise to set a couple times and it would turn off after a little bit and not come back on, when I took the module out I couldnt get it to engage no matter how many times I tried. The manual might have said a little bit about it, I will have to look to refresh myself.

    Edit: nothing in the manual says the voltage, but I see what I am working with. There is 3 valves in the actuator, theyre tied together on the brn/wht positive wire. The other 3 wires are negative, blk wire goes straight to ground and completes the circuit for the safety solenoid (I dont know the exact purpose of this, but it would be always fully closed in use, vents with vent valve), the brn/blk wire goes to the vacuum solenoid (this may be used to physically turn the cruise on/off, activated with the resume button. Its rest state is closed unlike the others.), the brn wire goes to the vent valve and this wire must be resistively controlled because I highly doubt brn/wht carries a pwm signal. The resistance range must be extremely minute because operation of either the safety valve or the vacuum valve is enough to shut it off. If the test calls for applying 12v to all solenoids plus vacuum that means the vacuum is pulling the actuator to wot, venting the vent valve would reduce vacuum pull. There surely is a harmony these old vacuum cruise control systems work in. To prevent from under/over shooting when resuming the vent valve must be adjusted on the fly according to the vss. Vacuum will pull the cruise when under load while the vent valve should still be actively moving to adjust speed, which is good because the vent valve may have very limited movement, acceleration is a much quicker action than deceleration. Under deceleration the vent valve will slowly creep open and bring the car to a cruise. Depending on engine vacuum the cruise control may have a maximum operating rpm, if speed is set high enough that the vent valve is fully closed then the cruise probably wont be able to pull all the way to wot, it will sit wherever the vacuum pressure can pull against the spring within the diaphragm. Concluding this it should allow me to test some function of the actuator. I can find the resistance range used for the brown wire (for the final product I will need to find components able to operate between ~12v and ~14v so I have enough range to fully open the vent valve with extra voltage from the alternator) but I will not have any idea how it translates to speed. Im going to have to start with my code soon, thatll be pretty tough too.
    Edit2: brown wire may actually be pwm my bad, even if its not, it may be my safest bet to do anyway. I will need to buy my arduino and make a driver to test the actuator like this. In the meantime, is there a picture of what the end of the speedometer cable looks like going in the back of the cluster?
    Last edited by ShiRen; 02-16-2019 at 11:53 PM.

  7. #7

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Yikes. You're getting pretty cozy with it. It might be easier to follow the troubleshooting flow chart in the manual to fix it.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

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  8. #8
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Haha, sorry I do get a little carried away, but its a lot easier to get my thoughts out if I'm reverse engineering something. I've fixed my pedal switches and checked about everything else on the flow chart, I'm almost 100% sure the control unit is dying. If it works how I think it does it will be pretty easy to replicate on other cars.

  9. #9
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    I'm back. Car is finally being worked on. Pulled the engine and trans to find the clutch was improperly installed. Spent a long time cleaning the engine and making everything look way too good to go back into this beater. Disassembled the trans today, I just want to say that I am beside myself because I have the wrong shifter seal... the correct one should be a Frewdenburg-Nok W0133-1634604-NOK, not a Timken/National 221607. Should be 26mm outside, 14mm inside.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_20190323_151641-jpg  
    Last edited by ShiRen; 03-23-2019 at 06:29 PM.

  10. #10

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    So you opted to pull the engine after all? Or do you just keep pretty long blocks sitting around the shop. Sucks about the seal. Hope you get it sorted.
    Last edited by Dr_Snooz; 03-28-2019 at 05:51 PM.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  11. #11
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    No worries on the seal. The one I mentioned was the right one, it seems to be the same as every other honda, or at least for a d series... Just don't let the parts store give you the wrong one!


    And yes, I had planned on pulling the engine, practically the easiest way to go about it, especially with all that I wanted to do.

    I've cleaned it up the best I could, looped the power steering lines today and tucked/deleted a lot of wires and lines.

    Here's my poly front engine mount taken from https://www.3geez.com/forum/restorat...ght=poly+mount
    The images were down on the linked post, so here is an example. The ones he was making should work on the back, but I'm not going to mess with it yet (stock front mount is UGLY)



    I should have it driving soon, maybe this weekend, only shifter bushings to go (I need to find the birdcage bushing I bought from cheddars Im going nuts). I have a goal now to go to Hot Import Nights KC on July 6, so once I get it moving Ill fix some rust, put new oem springs on to fix the gangster lean, and get my bike carbs ready. Hopefully my budget allows for new wheels and tires by then.

  12. #12

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Very cool! LOL at that orphan exhaust manifold in your bay.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  13. #13
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Alrighty boys, its been a few days, got her running, but had no time to post (so I'm writing this at work while doing tune ups &#128521

    Night after my last post I got my bike carbs polished and put together. They ate Mikuni Vm26ss's I need to make a manifold for these still, I may go with 3d printing if they will hold up.


    le bent needle

    If you are interested in the parts and manuals for these I can post them, otherwise Ill put everything for this car up on github later.

    Earlier this week I got the energy suspension poly shifter bushings, cheddas auto delrin birdcage bushing replacement, exhaust manifold painted, clutch on, engine in, front engine mount shortened, aaand running. Had the distributor 180 out at first, but its been smooth.


    I had to add a piece of tubing to the bottom of the clutch cable because its so stretched, and also had to remove the jute from behind the pedals under the carpet because there was no way the clutch pedal could move all the way before hitting the carpet.


    I just ordered a carb kit because Im not getting enough fuel when the throttle blades crack open, either one, main or secondary because of the big vacuum spike. So whenever I take off I have to get the engine to about 3k rpm or it just falls on its face when the clutch grabs and I see my afr meter peg lean. Its not cool but I suppose its my sloppy old accel pump diaphragm, the accel pump is adjusted as tight as it can go without leaking, theres no stop on the lever, and my float is as high as it will reasonably go. Good news is after I adjusted the float it at least doesn't lean out if you ease in the throttle, even passed the secondaries. I know I dont plan on keeping this carb, but I would like to have it as a safe alternative

  14. #14

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Starting to look exciting!
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  15. #15
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Carb kit was the wrong one, imagine that. I could have used parts out of it, but I'd rather get my $50 back. Accel pump diaphragm actually looked good though. I put it back together and couldnt get the accel pump to stop leaking even with new hex head screws and o rings, I didnt notice it before today, but maybe thats my problem. May have to use silicone or something.

  16. #16

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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Would your smog laws allow for a Weber swap?
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  17. #17
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Its been a while, but I've only been dailying the car for the past week. I fixed the carb problems, accel pump finally sealed and made a base gasket for it. Runs better than ever now, but its pretty lean down low and sometimes stumbles if you let off and then get back on the throttle. I switched jobs too, so I haven't had much time to do more than that to it , but I've already been making enough money I can jump on buying more parts right away.

    Emissions here are basically free game. I already don't have a cat, but I don't want to spend $300 on a weber when I have carbs I want to try.

    Also theres an 89 DX auto around here that I'm going to pick up for real cheap, I can fix up my front end and I guess I'll paint the car since I don't want to have a white, brown, and bondo pink neapolitan paint job.

  18. #18
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Looking at your picture of your clutch cable I think the round rubber part that catches the clutch fork should be at the bottom of the cable and the rubber touches the fork it slef. Just looking at it from memory.

    Last edited by Oldblueaccord; 05-13-2019 at 06:20 PM.
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  19. #19
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    The rubber is under the fork with the domed washer between it and the fork. I added a piece of tubing below the rubber to take out the whole ass inch and a half that my clutch cable has stretched. Kind of ghetto, but I expect this cable to snap somewhere down the line. That's the only thing I did though really, nothing is rearranged on the cable, the zip ties at the top just help the cable stay tight and upright in the bracket because of the way I have the cable routed.

  20. #20
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    I hit a sweet spot in the tune today. Added roughly 5deg of timing, aimed for 10deg, hits the 24 mark at a ~1000rpm idle. Richened it up, mixture screw is out about 3.5 turns, put the idle afr around 13-14. I didn't realize how low I had the float, raised it back up to the middle of the sight. Much more responsive now, no more hard jumps if you get back on the gas too hard after shifting, no more stumbling getting back on the gas exiting corners of heading up valleys. Still running out of fuel though, I am at the limit of the stock carb for sure, but its sure come a long way. I'm just waiting for the day it feels faster than my old 06 rsx.

  21. #21
    LXi User InAccordance's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    DanST Engineering makes a18 bike carb manifolds. He could easily do one for an a20. Hell, I gave him the a20 pattern cause he made my dcoe manifold. Just email him and tell him what you want.
    The dcoe manifold cost me 312$ shipped. Crazy ass dollar to pound conversion rate 8(
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

  22. #22
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Making the manifold and welding it isnt a big deal. I used to be a full time welder repair tech for Miller Electric working under my grandpa up until a few weeks ago. My grandpa specializes in aluminum tig, but I dont want to throw a big project on him, Ill have to cut the flange out at least, I might even weld it. Luckily I dont have to make 2 flanges like dcoes. The biggest problem is finding the time to make it, even if I had time theres other things I need to get done like fixing the garage doors and running power on my detatched garage. Im currently waiting to buy a parts car, I have one lined up and I might jump on it next paycheck. I want to see if the stock manifold can be cut to work with the bike carbs temporarily, but Im also going to regrind the cam and while Im swapping the cam its getting a head gasket and head studs because Im getting a little suspicious that water is magically disappearing

  23. #23
    LXi User InAccordance's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Well I have a stock carb manifold laying around if you're interested in it.
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

  24. #24
    DX User ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    Im buying another 3g probably next weekend, should have all the parts I need. New front clip, 89 bumpers, itll really fix this car up... after I patch the rocker panels and paint the whole car...

  25. #25
    LXi User InAccordance's Avatar
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    Re: 87 DX Sedan Project Log

    I hear that. Though I am tempted to just leave mine all rusty for the lulz
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

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