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Thread: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

  1. #1


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    1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    *** I will soon be a paying member, but for now would like to use this as a place holder if possible.***
    Current compression numbers, 1-185 2-180 3-178 4-183 4/28/2011
    This site has been very helpful through the years of my Accord ownership. It is very strange how no car other than older Hondas (Acuras) feel comfortable to me. I have owned 3 3g Accords, one 2g Integra, and a 3g Prelude. Of those vehicles the Accord was/is by far my favorite though they are all very similar.
    A little about me; I am a 32 year old who has a mechanical knack but still far behind the curve. I have been lurking on this site for years taking in information and getting helped with a couple of problems.
    I name all of my cars and this Accord will be referred to from here on out as Honda-Pooper or H.P. (donít ask)
    So gas is getting expensive and the H.P. is by far the most efficient vehicle I own. Needless to say it is getting driven a lot more. Because I am driving the H.P. so much more it is time to spend some money making her right. Please donít expect anything in this build to move quickly and I will be doing nothing revolutionary. Right now the furthest my plans are going is OBDI and that is more for reliability and economy (ok ok I do want to screw around with tuning a little bit).
    The Honda-Pooper was purchased from one of those shady dealerships. When I saw her I had to have her as she met all of my 3g Accord requirements (88-89, sedan, 5spd). One week later I paid $1200 for her. The drive home was only 5 miles, but I could tell things were not right with this car. The CEL light was not coming on when the ignition was first turned on was a huge indicator that the fuel injection system was not completely happy. The second major indicator was that the car would NOT start when it was hot. As soon as I got home I moved the seat forward and got my codes. The coolant temp sensor code was the only one flashing so I checked it out. It turns out they had they coolant temp sensor hooked to the temp cut switch which turns on the condenser fan above 226F when the ignition is off! I switched the plugs and no more codes!
    I purchased the car in July without a working A/C and after getting her running ok with no codes I parked her and tore down the ENTIRE A/C system in search of the blockage. One 0-ring set, some R134 (I have since moved to Duracool refrigerant and it is Eleventy BILLION times better than R134) pieces, an expansion valve, and one month later the A/C was working. No I was able to driver her back and forth to work!
    Over the years I did very little to the car, new tires, O2 sensor, plugs, etc. I did rear end someone which did some slight damage to the front of the car, bent the condenser to its limit without rupturing and exposed some stupid crap those idiots I bought the car from did. After the wreck I drove the H.P. home with a timing belt that had jumped several teeth and a driver side motor mount that was not attached! It turns out those idiots@$#@#$@ I purchased the car from didnít tighten the block to motor mount bracket bolts up very tight. The outside of the bolt holes in the block casting cracked away. Fortunately there was enough depth left to reattach the bracket.
    Problems with the H.P. right now: Getting code 2, one of my O2 sensors is bad, but I am not sure which is for the B sensor Tan or green ( I will look at the wire color)?
    The casting on the head for the power steering pump bracket is cracked off. I have one bolt and a brace I built holding the power steering pump in. I donít really want to buy another head as the one I have is good, but have no choice.
    Upper ball joints in the front are toast
    Time for new tires again
    Needs new muffler
    Rear springs are saggy. I need something heavy duty but do NOT want to lower. If anything I wouldnít mind another ĹĒ up all around.
    Preventative stuff I plan on doing: All suspension bushings, all ball joints, bearings and fuel pump.


    I just found out, about 2 hours ago, that my commute is going to increase from 38 miles one way to about 60 miles one way. Because of this I am funneling more funds into the Honda-Pooper and less funds into the other vehicles/boat. I might even go as far as looking for another older Honda in a year or so.

    Now for some pictures:

    This is the good side, front passenger fender is done and missing a wheel cap on the front passenger wheel.



    WOW, what a mess. This thing was treated like crap before I bought it. Yeah, I was lazy and just threw a filter right on the intake, but you have to understand until recently even though I love this car I viewed it as a beater. Now the Honda-pooper is GOLD to me.



    My 2" receiver. I couldn't live without this mod. Notice the busted to hell bike rack. Took all of 15 minutes to build and I wanted something I wouldn't have to worry about beating the crap out of on rocks or going down driveways.



    YAY! for cruise control and timing belt covers that like to be eaten by their timing belts! But most of all, YAY! for assholes that don't secure the motor mount bracket to block bolts!



    How in the hell did this happen? The only thing I can figure is that this was a junk yard engine, or came out of another car and it got smacked hard. Or someone really f-ed up and cross threaded this bolt. Regardless, the only way I am getting that bolt back in is with a new head.



    I think I have the wrong front motor mount bracket. I read some where on the site that the cast front mount was for 89 LXI Auto's only and is 1/4" taller. This would make a lot of sense.



    This Friday I will be getting new tires and ordering parts.



  2. #2
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Shouldn't this be in the Project Central forum?

  3. #3


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Yes it should be, but I am not yet a paying member. It was my understanding that until then I couldn't post my project there. Soon, though.


    I replace the B O2 sensor tonight as I was getting an error code 2. So far the car seems to run better.

  4. #4

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Quote Originally Posted by system-f View Post
    until recently even though I love this car I viewed it as a beater. Now the Honda-pooper is GOLD to me.
    These cars have a funny way of doing that, don't they? Glad to see you fixing it up.
    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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    3Geez Veteran Pico's Avatar
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    I bought my sedan as a beater ...that idea went out the door...
    Keep us updated on your progress

  6. #6
    SEi User Strugglebucket's Avatar
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    why is the condenser bent and has a fan in front of it?

    i think you might actually get better mileage with the stock intake. if you keep the short ram you should add a short section of pipe with a fitting so you can connect the valve cover breather hose.

    p.s. you're right about the front mount being wrong. i can tell by the way the engine is sitting.
    Last edited by Strugglebucket; 05-10-2011 at 09:04 PM.
    Originally Posted by Justanothermike
    my A20 is not SLOW. ur A20 is slow.

  7. #7


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Thank you all for your comments and input. I will have many questions and this site is a life saver as is your support.

    why is the condenser bent and has a fan in front of it?


    I did rear end someone which did some slight damage to the front of the car, bent the condenser to its limit without rupturing and exposed some stupid crap those idiots I bought the car from did. After the wreck I drove the H.P. home with a timing belt that had jumped several teeth and a driver side motor mount that was not attached! It turns out those idiots@$#@#$@ I purchased the car from didnít tighten the block to motor mount bracket bolts up very tight.

    The fan in front of the condenser wasn't because of the wreck. I wanted to increase airflow over the condenser because I live in Texas and it gets hot here. Not to mention this car will be driven to AZ and it gets hotter there. Having the fan in front of the condenser and not behind the radiator does cause one problem. When the fan controller kicks the fan on after the ignition is turned (above 226F) it takes longer to shut off as it is not directly pulling air through the radiator.

    i think you might actually get better mileage with the stock intake. if you keep the short ram you should add a short section of pipe with a fitting so you can connect the valve cover breather hose.
    Probably. The stock intake takes up a ton of room and paper filters are hard to come by though I haven't done extensive research on them. It was easier to buy the filter that is on there and throw it on for the time being. Something has to change, though the intake drone get's annoying after a couple of hours behind the wheel.

    p.s. you're right about the front mount being wrong. i can tell by the way the engine is sitting.
    That mount is another confirmation that this car was a junkyard car. Another thing is the 2" high hump in the driver's side floor board. Someone jacked the car up by the floor or a fork lift somehow got it wrong. The only time I could think of anyone not caring enough about the body to jack up the car by the floor would be at a yard of some sort. The title is clean, though and I am a pretty good welder, but body work is WAY down the list.

    Questions:
    Anybody having problem finding lower radiator hoses? Autozone doesn't have them nor does the online order place (similar to Majestic)?

    Are you guys seeing less and less of these cars in junkyards? My local yard, which has ALWAYS given me AWESOME deals is slowly drying up?

  8. #8
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    how did you get stock compression? i just got my 87 lxi hatch last week and i want to do a whole top end rebuild, im consistantly hitting 120 in all 4 cylinders

  9. #9

    AZmike's Avatar
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    I'd skip the fuel pump unless yours is actually causing a problem. They very rarely go bad.

    I replaced my 405k mile fuel pump after I had (mistakenly) confirmed that it was bad. The new pump took more than 10 seconds of cranking to start the car and was much noisier. Later I swapped the original back in once I found the real cause of the problem.
    Mike

  10. #10
    SEi User Demon1024's Avatar
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Quote Originally Posted by Invisibro View Post
    how did you get stock compression? i just got my 87 lxi hatch last week and i want to do a whole top end rebuild, im consistantly hitting 120 in all 4 cylinders
    Carbon build up can do it if not modded or just still perfect<- seafoam time!

    I know you said beater gas miser stlyin but a can of velvet black or any other trim paint makes these cars come back to life. Car looks great outside not sure body problems you where saying lol

    Set your timing a deg ahead if you've killed the stock intake already<-- gas saver.

    "Weight is relative to power like time is relative to speed"

  11. #11


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Saturday she gets new tires, just some midrange 195/60/14's. I have Michelin destinys on there now and they are awesome, but the Kumho tires have gotten good reviews and are much less expensive. If I wasn't buying so many parts I would just order some rims and tires from Tire Rack...but it is not in the cards.


    Before I do my big parts order is there a HUGE difference in the Honda front upper arm/ball joint Vs. the Autozone brand? It will save me around $40 if I go Autozone, but $40 might be worth a factory Honda part.

    Check on Fuel pump.

    Check on timing, though I think it sits a tad advanced anyways. I need to double check.

    how did you get stock compression?
    When I bought the car it said 126k on the clock. If that was true, which I doubt it is, then the compression numbers seem right. I have seafoamed the engine before and I do not think there is much carbon buildup. It is very possible that the engine is good and just sat for a long while. It runs like it is good so for now I am not going to worry about it.

    Car looks great outside not sure body problems you where saying lol
    The body really isn't THAT bad. The paint is faded bad on the hood, trunk and roof. The passenger front fender is toasted where it meets the door and the hood is all f-ed up. I have some front end re-aligning of mounts to do and radiator top support replacement to do, though. The driver's floor board is bent up, but that is not visible unless you are driving it and look down. I have some standard hail damage to fill/fix. I think she can end up looking real good in the end, but right now I need to know I can get in her and go 1100 to AZ without issue so mechanical first.

    **UPDATE** O2 sensor has fixed my code 2 and so far no CEL lights. I think the Code 7 for the TPS sensor was a loose connector though I am still searching for a throttle body.

  12. #12
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Lower rad. hose was avail. from Adv. Auto Parts last fall.

  13. #13

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Quote Originally Posted by system-f View Post
    Before I do my big parts order is there a HUGE difference in the Honda front upper arm/ball joint Vs. the Autozone brand?
    Don't buy either. Buy Moog arms. The arms I got from the dealer years ago were complete garbage. Most of Autozone's stuff isn't much better.
    Dr_Snooz

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


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  14. #14


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Awesome, thanks for the info as it turns out the OReilly down the road from my house carries MOOG junk AND they have a warehouse close to my town so the arms and high pressure power steering line will be here tonight! Saved about $30 on the arms AND got MOOG junk!

    I also ordered from Honda:
    cam seal
    crank front seal
    timing belt
    Upper radiator hose
    upper front suspension arm bushings
    woodruff key for cam and crank pully
    and the seals around the upper front suspension arm bushings

  15. #15


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Alright, you guys are stuck with me for 30 years now. I just made my payment please move this to Projects when the payment is confirmed.

    Just got back from the junkyard and I was going to get some nuts and bolts. Instead I came back with a hood, right fender, radiator top support, and an ENTIRE dash! Basically for $100 I picked up all of the major body parts and interior parts I need. I LOVE my junkyard. Pics later.

  16. #16
    SEi User gp02a0083's Avatar
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    Don't buy either. Buy Moog arms. The arms I got from the dealer years ago were complete garbage. Most of Autozone's stuff isn't much better.
    i agree, i replaced my lower drivers side ball joint, ended up replacing two of them from autozone due, i spent the money on the moog one after the fact.

    1989 Accord Lx-i hatchback (current DD project)
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  17. #17
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    All that for a 100.00..Awesome

  18. #18


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Here is a super crappy pic of the fender. It is mint as far as the straightness goes, but will get repainted one day.



    No pics of the Hood, it is still at the yard since I couldn't fit it in the Honda. I will have to pick it up tomorrow in one of my SUVs.

    Here is the dash. I have some crap to clean out of the top of it and have to remove some pro-god sticker. yes, the pic is super crappy. Right now all I have is a cell phone cam.



    All that for a 100.00..Awesome
    I am very lucky. I have been using this yard for 16 years and have sold them the first 3g I owned which I almost died in. One of the owners is still there and he remembers me. He said that for awhile I am his only 3g customer, though some people have been coming it lately for more parts on 3gs. I am always surprised to know that he remembers who I am.

  19. #19


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    I replaced the high pressure PS line and hoped to do the dash today, but was too trashed from my MTB race on Saturday. I was able to prepare the dash for installation and clean all of the crap off of it.

  20. #20


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    My parts came in today. My upper balljoints in the front are very loose so I figured I would do them tonight.

    I screwed up and pressed the bushings into the arms before first putting the new dust seal on so I dicked up a couple of the bushings getting them out. it turns out the old bushings were fine and came out without damage so I used one of those. Because of the seals I could see the bushings on the upper arm lasting a LONG time.

    Now for pics, my camera has a broken LCD so I let it focus which is bad at night.

    Here is the messed up passenger fender.



    You can move the top of the knuckle back and forth about 1/8"! The passenger side was REALLY bad.



    So easy to remove.



    This is the order I THOUGHT the hardware went in. Notice how the bushings are already in the arm but the dust seals aren't on the inside of the bushings.





    And here is the passenger side. The driver side went much quicker.



    Easy job.

    In other news this weekend I hope to get the cam seal, front crank seal and timing belt done. I also need to replace the PS and A/C hose. The upper and lower radiator hoses also need to be done, but I might wait on those.

    Then there is the dash, I hope to have time to get to that this weekend, but mountain biking or boating might come first.

  21. #21


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    WOW, removing 1/8" of play from your front suspension REALLY makes the car drive much nicer. For all of you out there who might be wanting to spend money on mods before making the suspension right DON"T DO IT.

  22. #22
    3Geez Veteran MessyHonda's Avatar
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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    yeah ball joints with alot of play is not good. good thing you are working on the suspension first because your brakes and handling dont perform good with out good suspension components

    1989 Honda Accord LX-i
    B18c1 swap since 7/2011
    175whp and 132tq
    Redzone tuned

  23. #23


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Last night I did the timing belt, crank seal and cam seal. The crank timing belt pulley required my carrier bearing puller to yank it off. Turns out I need to replace the seals on the oil pump and I couldn't find an oil pump in stock anywhere so it will have to be done later. pics later when I find the cable to my camera.

  24. #24


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    Before, nice clean seats



    I like to get the steering column out of the way.



    Ugh, night shot with flash on reflective material sucks.



    About 40 minutes later.



    Some stereo wires and grounds needed to come loose.



    The dash is free.



    Transplanting everything to the new dash took longer than pulling the old one out. Tomorrow comes the real pain of installation.

  25. #25


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    Re: 1988 LXI Sedan 5spd Daily Driver project

    New Dash is in and the car was running UNTIL I found the puddle of oil under the crank. The oil pump blew a seal Replaced the oil pump and then on the way home the crankshaft pulley bolt nearly came out and I lost the water pump/alt. belt! I thought i cranked that sucker down tight, but I guess not.

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