View Full Version : Another '88 Coupe...

01-09-2013, 04:40 PM
It's been awhile since I've been on the forums on a regular basis, but I'm back with a couple of Accords. This thread will be covering the '88 coupe that I just got my hands on. It used to belong to my family before it was sold to the guy that I just bought it from. I found out that this Accord was for sale, so I went to go check it out, and $700 later it's mine. Yes...it's in extremely rough condition, but I wanna see what I can do with the car.

This was the Accord when I found it.

Now to list all of the problems that need to be repaired.

What happened to the window? I was told that it was a pissed off ex-wife with a golf club. The packing tape was good for a temporary window.

The out of control golf club again...

The skulls aren't going to work for me.

01-09-2013, 06:12 PM
You have your work cut out for you there. Only question I have is: does the ex-wife know that the car has been sold now? I thought that kind of stuff only happened in the movies.

01-09-2013, 11:15 PM
at least its efi

01-10-2013, 04:36 AM
But wait! There's more!

This issue is going to gnaw at me until it's solved. No lovely noises in the car. Around town won't be too bad, but for the longer trips out of town I've devised a rather ghetto set-up consisting of my cell phone, Pandora, and my Jawbone Big Jambox...at least until I have a stereo system installed.

While not really suited for sitting in a car, it was the best sounding portable speaker Best Buy had to offer.

Even if I did have a radio...

This old tint job must go. It makes looking out of the rear windshield a blurry experience.

Parts of the interior need work.

01-10-2013, 06:23 AM
I'll need to source another driver side tail light from ebay or one the local junkyards. Later I'll have to get rid of the holes in the trunk that were made by some sort of spoiler in the past.

The hood seems to have come from a different Accord and doesn't shut properly. The A20A3 was rebuilt 70,000 miles ago before my family sold the car. The engine is still running strong.

The first order of business was replacing the old battery.

After being stranded at work one morning, I got ahold of a starter and put it in.

01-10-2013, 06:58 AM
You have your work cut out for you there. Only question I have is: does the ex-wife know that the car has been sold now? I thought that kind of stuff only happened in the movies.

The guy's ex-wife lives over two hours away from me, and hopefully by the time I'm finished with the Accord, she won't recognize it anyway. There's a good chance she knows the car's been sold as well.

01-14-2013, 11:38 PM
Damn, it looks like its in rough shape but at least it runs fine.

02-01-2013, 04:30 PM
February 1st, 2013 Update:


The front windshield and the driver side window have been replaced and the windshield wipers are now functioning. It's a good feeling knowing that I can drive in the rain and snow now!

02-02-2013, 10:45 PM
Just keep the ex-wife away from it! LOL

Glad to see you're making progress.

02-04-2013, 08:43 AM
February 4th, 2013 Update:

Yesterday I was on the freeway doing around 65 miles per hour when my hood broke loose, was blown backward, and smashed my two day-old windshield.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good:

(1) I'm still alive and kickin'.
(2) I didn't cause an accident on the freeway as I was able to safely pull over without incident.
(3) My new driver side window is still intact.
(4) My windshield wipers are still working.

The Bad:

(1) The new windshield is finished.
(2) The hood actually looks worse than before.
(3) My rearview mirror was knocked off when the hood smashed the windshield.
(4) My turn signals didn't work after the incident, but they work now...what the Hell...

The Ugly:

That's gonna have to be replaced...again.

The front of my Accord looks like a damn Picasso painting!

02-04-2013, 08:54 AM
I've had that happen to me before on a 68 F100 and it was NOT fun at all but I wheeled thru without incident.
I am glad for the good list, sorry about the bad but those are fixable easy...

02-04-2013, 04:28 PM
From the pics, it looks like it might have damaged the roof too. Super major bummer there.

03-06-2013, 05:42 PM
The other day I went to one of the local junkyards to hunt for some parts and I found a 3rd Gen Accord with a type of center console that I've never seen before.



I've done some searching on 3Geez but I haven't found any information about any center consoles that look like this, so if anyone has any information on this center console I'd love to hear it.

03-06-2013, 06:07 PM
Another junkyard find that I made was another hood. The hood looks a lot better...and yes...that's a bungee cord holding the new hood down because I still haven't straightened the front end out. The corner lights are also junkyard finds.


03-06-2013, 06:21 PM
On the floor of another "junked" Accord I found some vintage paper.


03-06-2013, 06:27 PM
After I found another turn signal housing from the junkyard, I went ahead and "cleared" both of them.


03-06-2013, 06:32 PM
To go with the corner light housing replacements were a few light bulb upgrades.


03-07-2013, 11:45 AM
Another junkyard find of mine...


03-07-2013, 06:06 PM
The old front storage console piece was swapped out with a junkyard piece.


03-07-2013, 06:12 PM
The front console and ashtray from the junkyard are installed.


03-07-2013, 06:14 PM
The side profile of the armrest installed.


03-07-2013, 07:55 PM
The last upgrade for about a week was installing my Pioneer speakers into the 6.5" speaker enclosures that were found at the junkyard. In about a week I'll be going back to the junkyard for a couple of 6x9 speaker enclosures that I saw, and I guess that means I'll have to buy some 6x9 speakers to go with them.


03-10-2013, 08:10 PM
Just a small update...

For the last couple of days I've been searching the internet for anything related to the Honda Vigors (CA1, CA2, CA3, etc...) in Japan and I came across an 8-page brochure and a 32-page catalogue of Vigor accessories. I just bought the 32-page catalogue, but the 8-page brochure has to wait...

An image of the front of the catalogue:

...and an image of the back:

This catalogue is supposed to list all of the factory accessories that were available for the Vigor along with all of the part numbers. Once I have this catalogue in my bloody claws, I'll try to contact some import/export companies overseas and see if I can special order some of these parts if I think they're compatible. I just hope I can get past the Japanese language in the catalogue. Has anybody tried to get ahold of any of these Vigor parts from overseas for our Accords here in the states?

03-22-2013, 02:38 PM
A few days ago I changed the engine oil and replaced the old oil with Royal Purple oil, and I see the valve cover starting leaking like a faucet. I took the valve cover off to inspect the valve cover gasket and the thing looks brand new. I cleaned and dried the valve cover and the gasket, and put them back together using black RTV gasket silicone. That seems to have stopped the leak.

While I'm at it, I wanted to find out if I could do something about latching the hood down properly. Another trip to the junkyard for a hood latch mechanism that wasn't broken and I managed to get the hood to latch down all the way. You wanna know one of the more frustrating things for me at this point in time? It's when I mosey on down to the junkyards around here and see third generation Accords that are in better shape than mine. Damn it! At this point I find out that the hood release cable isn't working and I can't get the hood back up.

I knew I had to take the bumper off to reach the hood latch but I realize that some idiot decided to attach the front bumper using "unconventional methods"...so I finally get these "Frankenstein bolts" out of both sides of the front bumper.


I still can't get one of the bumper mount bolts to come out on one side, but at least I was still able to reach the hood latch. Now after continuosly adjusting the hood latch I can't get the hood to latch down all the way. Has anybody else been able to fix this issue?

03-26-2013, 03:59 PM
Screw down the bump stops some on the fender flange where the hood rests. Is the spring broke in the latch where the cable release mech is? How is the gap at the head lite flip lids?
Make sure the striker up on the hood isn't bent and correctly falling in line with the latch, I have that issue with my trunk shutting, the metal under the striker is weak and I have to pull it up with a crow bar once in a while.0

03-28-2013, 03:23 PM
Okay. I've got it figured out. The hood release lever inside the Accord won't work when I pull it because of too much slack in the hood release cable. A couple of zip-ties in strategic places took up some of the slack. I've also figured out why the hood wouldn't latch down. It seems that the hood release cable is frayed right before it ends at the ball that hooks into the hood latch mechanism, thereby not allowing the latches to lock the striker bar on the hood into place when the hood comes down. Until I repair the frayed cable, manually pushing down on the lever that the ball of the hood release cable hooks into will suffice.

03-28-2013, 06:34 PM
I do have EXACTLY the same armrest in my 86 LXI. Mine came broken as some asshole put his weight (300+lbs) on it at the front end while it was still in the hands of the previous owner (2nd since brand new). I just got it back together.
The car looks rough, but that may be worked out over time. I believe the first priority is making it a reliable daily driver; it mirght take a little time if the car has been neglected but eventually you will get there.
I have to read you r post about the hood latch because sometimes I have problems when opening mine - I would pull the lever all the way but the hood would not release.

03-28-2013, 07:34 PM
Unfortunately I had to take the dealership armrest out and install an SE-i style armrest that I pulled from a junkyard about a week ago because I put my weight on it and broke it. I just haven't posted anything new because I've been taking some work-related training for the last few days.

The new armrest.

I also put in a third brake light that wasn't busted up.

I installed another taillight as well.

Eventually I'd like to change the interior color with the black interior parts that I've started acquiring. I should have all of the black interior parts with the exception of the driver's side door panel in the next couple of weeks.

Other repairs include repairing the trunk release latch, ripping out the old radio antenna, and installing a new amplified radio antenna in the same cubby that houses the digital dash clock.

04-10-2013, 09:53 AM
At this point I've replaced the old bumper mounts and straightened out the right corner light mounting bracket.

My major issue now is trying to figure out if I can straighten out the bent parts of the front of the frame with the limited tools that I have.

Does anyone know any tips or tricks for repairing this kind of damage without taking the car to a body shop?

04-11-2013, 07:07 PM
Doesn't look too bad to straighten out. Lot of that could be taken out with some careful hammer and dolly work. If you want to be extra precise, in the body section of the service manual there are measurement points for straightening that should help greatly with making sure you are going the right way with it. Other than that, picking up a cheap HF type hydraulic body jack set is also pretty handy.

Main thing......go slow, and take your time.

05-11-2013, 02:55 AM
Just a small update on the '88 before I start a thread for my '85...some time ago I was driving home from work and the instant I hit my driveway I snapped the ball joint. This Accord is parked until I can replace some of the suspension parts.


05-11-2013, 04:59 PM
It's usually a good idea to make sure all the mechanical stuff is in order before going on to the beauty stuff. Sorry your car pooped out.

05-18-2013, 10:09 AM
man this makes me want to replace my rear ball joints. i have not replaced them. they might even be OEM

08-17-2013, 10:29 AM
An update for the '88 Accord. I've just finished replacing the rear upper control arms and the alternator. This Accord is up and running again.

03-16-2014, 03:46 PM
Another update has finally come around. A quick visit to eBay, and $169.99 later, the '88 coupe was taken down to the shop where the

brother and step-father work so I could bolt the new exhaust on. It was, as always, a learning experience. With a little bit of guidance from

my step-father, the exhaust was on in short order. It's a good start for future exhaust upgrades like headers, high-flow "cats", and mufflers.


03-16-2014, 06:36 PM
So whats left of the old armrest...any chance of it being salvaged?

03-18-2014, 01:36 PM
I think it can be salvaged. I need to find a way to reinforce what's left of the plastic panel inside the armrest with some sturdy metal pieces

that can withstand the weight of my careless, clumsy, "hairless gorilla" upper torso every time I put my weight down on my right elbow.

J. McNeal
03-27-2014, 01:11 AM
It's sooo nice to see another Coupe going through a good build/rebuild phase :) i'm doing my suspension first since my engine and tranny seems to be holding out well enough for now, trying to get interior parts yadda yadda.. Say, where'd you get the black interior parts? I thought about just re-upholstering a lot of my fabric parts, re-doing my door panels with a bit of help from the great RooDoo, and then spraying all the interior plastic black a few layers and trying to find a clear-coat that will hold it all in place without letting it get thrashed.. Bit of a journey, but it would be a lot easier just buying interior pieces that are already black, if available..

04-10-2014, 12:19 PM
Spokane has a couple of halfway decent junkyards that yield nice items once in a while. The last time I was rummaging through the Mead

location, I found a Phoenix Red hatchback with a black interior.