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Thread: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

  1. #1
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    I was browsing the local craigslist about 4 weeks ago, specifically searching 1980-1993 cars, mostly daydreaming as my wife & I were in between houses at the time. We were living with her mom while waiting to close on our next house. We both finally found a house that has everything she wanted (relatively up to date, big enough yard for a pool) and everything I wanted - oversized garage.

    I saw an ad for a crusty 1988 Accord right around the corner from me listed as $500 obo. After a few emails back and forth for an address, I drove over to take a look. It was pretty rough, had tags on the back from 1992 and had been sitting under a bunch of trees. It was complete, fuel injected, a coupe and the body was pretty straight. I held off a week before making an offer to check parts availability (everything is dirt cheap is what I found), namely a fuel pump and fuel tank. I emailed the seller with an offer of $350 and they accepted. We moved into our house on Saturday the 4th. I met the buyer the next day with cash in hand, got the title and had it towed to the new place.











    After we got it home, and after I fixed a broken spigot my daughter helped me get most of the heavy dirt off to get a better look at the paint. Sadly it's pretty bad. Lots of spiderwebbing and down to the primer in a couple spots. Only found 2 dings and a minor scrape to the passenger front fender and no rust.



    I had her open the doors and trunk each afternoon to hep air it out when it wasn't raining. It was pretty musty inside. The interior is complete and all the seats are in great shape. There is a little mildew on the headliner and visors. Steering wheel is toast from the sun and the windshield is cracked pretty bad.



    Today I found my air chuck for the compressor, so I filled the tires up with enough air to roll around and since my son was visiting from San Antonio the 3 of us pushed it into the far stall in the garage.

    I'll pick up a couple wheel dollies to put it on so I ca roll it around as needed. It's just kind of shoved in there right now.



    Did I mention the garage was oversized? More like just right sized if you ask me. 3 bays wide with an extra 3 feet on each side plus an extra 14 foot easement at the head. Drop down stairs with decking in the rafters for more storage. Once it finally cools down I'm going to install a radiant barrier in the overhead, solar powered vent fan and add some insulation to the walls after I move some of the outlets and plumb in some running water.

    That's my daughter's 2000 CRV (also a project). We have some EP3 SI seats waiting to go in. It's going to get some coilovers (haven't bought yet), headers, exhaust and some 16x8 gold BBS wheels w 225/50/16 tires.

    This is going to be a slow project as I also have a new house full of projects.



  2. #2
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Got the front end up on jack stands and drained the coolant on Monday night and it smelled pretty awful. Dumped a half gallon of distilled water in the top to help rinse a little of the old coolant out.
    Pulled the plugs and all 4 are really clean. They look almost new.



    Pulled the driver side front wheel off last night and was able to turn the motor over by hand with the crank bolt. This was a big relief because I with no history on the car or why it was parked I was taking a gamble buying it.



    Next step was to pull the ECU from under the driver seat to check for water damage. The car hasn't had a battery in it in a long time. I know this because of the giant nest of pine needles I pulled from the engine bay battery tray when I first got the car home.
    There was some corrosion on the outer housing and mounting bracket and it looks like there was a little water inside at some time due to the tan corrosion near the top circuits. I'll probably pick up a used spare off eBay just in case this one is bad.



    Seats and interior are in great shape despite the musty smell. I'll be able to clean the seats while they're out of the car.



    Just under 101,000 miles on it.



    Still have a long list of things to buy and parts to remove and replace.

  3. #3
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    It's been a week and I haven't had any time to work on the car. I'm still unpacking from the move and trying to get things organized in the garage.

    The garage itself needs quite a bit of work before I'm able to get any wrenching time in. There is almost no wall insulation up and no air movement in the attic space. With outside temperatures here in Houston around 100 degrees daily it's just too damn hot to work.

    The garage to do list includes :

    - Radiant barrier in the inside roof to reflect some of the heat back out
    - Radiant barrier on the inside walls plus some insulation
    - move some of the electrical outlets and light switches that were placed randomly
    - ceiling mounted fan in the working area
    - solar powered attic vent fan to move the hot air outside
    - install more 4 foot lighting fixtures. Going to go with LED fixtures. I need at least 8-10 more installed
    - plumb in some lines for the air compressor with fittings and moisture traps
    - buy and hang a couple of electrical cord reels in the ceiling

    I should have a little time this weekend to do some disassembly and hopefully drain the old gas.

  4. #4

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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    If the weatherstripping or taillight seals were allowing water to enter the cabin, I could see the humidity alone causing the corrosion you describe. These cars are awesome. Most of the time a new battery and a few cranks are all that's required to resurrect them from the dead. Wonderful, wonderful little cars.
    Dr_Snooz

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  5. #5
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    So after putting away all my tools from this weekend's repairs to my daughter's CRV I figured I'd start doing something to the Accord. I grabbed a magic eraser and a bucket of water and began scrubbing. Didn't get too far, but it's making a difference in removing the grime and mildew.



    I cleaned the upper half of the door and you can see the difference compared to the armrest. I have a long way to go inside yet and I'm going to have to order a box of magic erasers to get through everything. I tried a spot on the headliner and it came clean, so that is another relief as I was afraid the headliner was beyond repair.

    Here's a better shot of the dash showing everything is original. It even came with a few sweet cassette tapes.



    After my lone magic eraser crumbled into nothing, I went up to the driver side front suspension and hit everything with PB Blaster to get ready for disassembly.

  6. #6
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Hello in Cypress, I'm in Pearland

    If you ever want any help or just chill and wrench on a car

  7. #7
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Got a little spare time today now that it's not unbearably hot out and made a little progress. Ordered 10 feet of 3mm silicone vacuum hose and began removing and replacing the brittle vacuum lines in the engine bay. Pulled the intake off to make a little room and remove more of the pine needles. Been cleaning everything I remove and all the rusty parts are getting an overnight soak in Evap-o-rust.

    I'm a little disorganized right now and not sure exactly what I want to tackle first. I need to overhaul the entire cooling system, entire brake system plus all the belts. Additionally most of the suspension will need looked at also as the rubber boots for items like ball joints are probably as bad as the hoses/vacuum lines are.

    If anybody has a complete list of all the hoses in the coolant system I would greatly appreciate if you could share it. Nothing worth taking photos of this weekend.

  8. #8
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Heater and radiator hoses can be found relatively easy, but you should start searching for the bypass hoses now because it may be difficult to find those in their molded original form.
    You can still use dealership online diagrams to reference everything too. They don't keep parts any more, but the diagrams are endlessly useful.

    I have been doing the same to the lude.. Actually haven't driven it in like a month :/

  9. #9
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Still replacing vacuum hoses in the evenings during the week, there are more than I expected. Most are being replaced with silicone and I have another 10 feet ordered and on the way.
    Started buying some replacement parts also.

    $25 shipped from Rock Auto goes a long way with this car. Outer tie rod ends, upper radiator hose, thermostat, thermostat gaskets, oil filter and another coolant hose that I have to figure out where it goes.



    I ordered some Prothane sway bar end links because these are done after sitting for 26 years.



    This is what most of the rubber looks like on the car. The transmission mount has a split nearly halfway through and all the vacuum hoses are hard as stone.

    2 weeks ago I hit everything on the driver side with some PB blaster and tonight I began disassembly. Replaced the outer tie rod end and everything I'm reassembling is getting Permatex anti-seize on the threads.



    Removed the caliper, rotor and brake line. I'm playing it smart and placing all the hardware in labeled plastic bags. I have a set of stainless brake lines on the way for the front. It's going to get new upper and lower ball joints and new bushings in nearly everything.

    This weekend I'm going to pull the fuel pump, drain the gas, blow out the fuel lines with compressed air back toward the tank and see how bad the fuel tank looks. If it's not super crusty inside I'm going to wire brush the inside and give it a good flush. Depending on condition, I might wind up dropping the tank.

    I've also been reading here a lot on what works regarding replacement parts. I want to get it running right and then I'm going to install a new suspension with Tokico blue shocks and lowering springs. Been eyeing some sets of 15" wheels, but that's long term.

  10. #10
    DX User B0CKS's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Quote Originally Posted by schaff70 View Post
    I've also been reading here a lot on what works regarding replacement parts. I want to get it running right and then I'm going to install a new suspension with Tokico blue shocks and lowering springs. Been eyeing some sets of 15" wheels, but that's long term.
    I've been watching this thread from the sidelines and I have to say that you're doing awesome work! Really respect how thoroughly you're going through the vehicle, I'm sure you know how reliable of a car you're going to end up with! And putting those coilovers in it is a great call, I ran Tokicos and Ground Control springs with 15x8s for the time I had my coupe on the road, and I couldn't complain one bit! Keep going!
    -img_20160911_151148926-jpg
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  11. #11
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    I've never been one to sit down and watch TV very much, so after dinner I was back out in the garage. Got the driver's side headliner clean, rear side panel inside, dash and center console clean also. My garage is too dark for photos, so I'll have to take one in the morning to show the difference. My daughter was out there with me using a hand held clothes steamer to remove the faded purple window tint from the driver side door and side window.

    I pulled the speaker cover off to check what size the speaker actually is before ordering some replacements. The OEM speaker foam is long gone LOL.



    While browsing Amazon this afternoon I came across a bluetooth amplifier that will allow me to use my phone as a tuner to the speakers that way I can keep the stock head unit, but still have quality sound. The only problem was it was only rated at 15 watts per channel and I know the rear 6x9s are going to need more than that in order to keep up with some Bohemian Rhapsody.

    I'll be making some good progress on the car this weekend with more updates.

  12. #12
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Got almost all the vacuum lines under the hood replaced. I just have to tackle the mystery box lines. Driver's side front rotor and caliper are off. Got most of the rust off the caliper. I was considering replacing both calipers, but They don't look like they aren't functioning correctly, no fluid leaks were present. The brake line is completely off and the stainless lines arrived on Friday.
    I got most of the fuel pump fittings removed, but the 2 rubber nipples are refusing to let go of the cover. They're both one way type fittings. I don't think they're essential if they break, but I wanted to check before I damaged them. Had to run to Harbor Freight to pick up an LED worklight to help in the garage and while I was there I also picked up a battery powered fluid transfer pump for the old gas.
    I began to hit the paint with some aggressive cutting compound to get rid of all the caked on grime. Some of the paint in spots is flaking off and primer is showing, so I'm not real concerned about causing any damage (it can't get any worse). It's working so far, but it's taking a lot of effort. Driver's side front fender is clean, headlight covers, the top of the front bumper and a little in the engine bay along the front.
    I pulled the cowl cover off to clean it and whatever I found under it and came across a rust hole on the passenger side. It's about the size of a golf ball just below the windshield. I found another spot on the roof at the driver's door that isn't as big. Mostly from having a lot of dirt accumulate which trapped the water.
    I need to pick up a parts washer for the garage once I start digging into some of the engine disassembly.

    Photo of the progress halfway. The whole fender is clean now.

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  13. #13
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Injector rail is off, injectors are soaking in Seafoam. Cowl cover is off and clean, been cleaning under the cowl cover to get ready to apply some POR15 on the rusty areas. I need to pull the wiper mechanism to clean under it as well as lubricate the wiper linkage.
    I was trying to figure out what to use in the cowl to get it clean. I started with a basic scrub brush and water which got the caked on crud off, but still left some mildew. The rubbing compound I was using is a little too aggressive as it's removing some of the paint and leaving heavy swirl marks. I looked around and just went with some Westley's Bleach White tire cleaner and it's working better than anything I've tried so far. I went ahead and used it on the whole front bumper cover and as much of the sides of the engine bay that I could reach.
    I need to get a fuel pump, fuel filter and injector seals on order and figure out what I'm going to do about all the oxidized aluminum bits in the engine bay. My compressor can't handle the CFMs required for a media blast cabinet and all the portable unit's I've seen are garbage.
    The list keeps growing, but thankfully the parts are reasonable and readily available.
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  14. #14
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    I was finally able to sell the set of OEM Volvo glass headlights I took in on trade a year ago which freed up some money. I just dropped a $130 order with Rock Auto plus new (rebuilt) injectors and a new fuel pump from eBay.
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  15. #15
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Big box of parts showed up this afternoon. Pulled some of the larger vacuum hoses so I can stop and buy a couple feet to replace on the way home tomorrow.

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  16. #16
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    replaced the transmission mount
    passenger wheel is off and all the bolts/nuts are sprayed with PB Blaster
    Sway bar brackets are off, driver side end link fully removed
    Brake lines on the master cylinder are off and the nuts holding it to the brake booster. It was stuck on there and I stopped in here to verify there isn't a strange bolt inside the car holding it on. Found this thread to assist : https://www.3geez.com/forum/classic-...-cylinder.html
    Yes, I read a lot before I start tearing into things.

    A/C and alternator belts are off, alternator bolts are all loose.
    Fuel filter showed up today & I stopped to pick up a short length of fuel hose and some larger vacuum hose for a couple fittings on the intake. It seems the fuel supply line running back to the tank is on the driver side below the master cylinder if I'm correct. Once the new fuel pump shows up I'll finish removing the old one and figure out a way to get some seafoam into the fuel line to soak before hitting it with some compressed air to blow out any crap back towards the tank. From there it's cleaning and maybe resealing the fuel tank.

    By the way, if you're working on your car * especially in rust prone locations you should be applying this on everything before you reassemble it. Trust me, you'll save yourself a headache down the road. I must have 3 or 4 bottles or tubes lying around the garage.

    Last edited by schaff70; 10-03-2018 at 06:06 PM.
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  17. #17

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Be careful with that stuff. I have bolts rattling out because of it! LOL Nice to see a 3g getting TLC.
    Dr_Snooz

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


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  18. #18
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    I only ever use it on exhaust and brake stuff, but I prefer copper based anti-seize

  19. #19
    3Geez Veteran MessyHonda's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    nice find. cars around here like that end up in the junkyard.

    1989 Honda Accord LX-i
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  20. #20
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Got a little side tracked this weekend with my daughter's car. My kids car's seem to wind up being my project cars also. I just can't leave well enough alone. Installed her coilovers and 16x8" BBS wheels with 225/50/16 tires. It took a little while to get it all level and at the right height where the front tires wouldn't rub the fender liners except over heavy bumps.




    My son's car we completely updated the suspension back in February. Koni shocks, Neuspeed springs, CL Type S rear sway bar, Neuspeed upper strut bar, 17" Enkei wheels and 215/45/17 tires.

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  21. #21
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    sounds like you have a "can't leave well enough alone" addiction :p

  22. #22
    DX User schaff70's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Still no progress on the car lately. The remaining parts arrived - fuel pump, fuel pump gasket and injectors. Now that the weather has cooled off some from 97 degrees down to around 90 I took advantage of starting to get the garage under control. The house we bought was built in the 90s and the garage remained unfinished. There is no insulation on the walls and only a single air driven vent in the roof. Throughout the summer the garage was on average 5-10 degrees warmer inside than it was outside. I cant leave the doors open because the mosquitos have been relentless this year and I'm their favorite snack.

    I had to relocate the light switches from the wall by the garage door to near the door because it makes sense for them to be right inside the door. Had to run some new wires to extend them over. I also installed radiant barrier on the walls followed by insulation and drywall. I got half of the first wall complete. The rest of the first wall should go pretty quick because there aren't many outlets to worry about. I ripped out the sketchy old workbench in the back corner and I'll be building a storage system with an 8ft workbench and a place to mount a bench vise. I'm also going to insulate the garage door, mount a solar powered attic vent fan and radiant barrier in the attic area to help reflect the summer heat up toward the peak where the fan will remove it.

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  23. #23

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 88 LXi Coupe - raising the dead

    Nice work on the garage!
    Dr_Snooz

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


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