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Thread: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

  1. #1
    DX User jsturner's Avatar
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    '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    After owning my trusty '88 DX Hatch for 12 years it has failed smog. I'm sure I could fix it but the state has offered me $1000 to scrap it. I have five project vehicles and not enough time/money/space, so unfortunately that's an offer I can't refuse. I'm taking it to the salvage yard on Saturday morning, but I hate to scrap such a great car for such a stupid reason. If you meet me in San Mateo, CA before Saturday morning with $1000 cash in hand, it's yours. If you're interested reply to this thread or PM me.

    The details:
    1988 Honda Accord DX hatchback
    5-speed
    Carbed
    212k miles
    Owned and serviced by former Honda engineer
    Runs and drives very well
    All stock, unmolested
    Interior in great shape
    Body has a couple minor dings and some very minor rust (California car)
    Perfect glass
    Installed a rebuilt head in 2015 and a rebuilt steering rack in 2017.
    Clean title in my name
    Current registration with no back fees.
    Lots of service records



    With some of the reasons I can't keep it:




    Last edited by jsturner; 01-18-2018 at 03:40 PM.



  2. #2
    LX User Fixedit's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Dammit!! I hate to see perfectly good 3gís die! Fucking shit I want to come save it so bad. I have money but no time, and Iím also in Oregon. Fuck. Shit hurts. Iím sad now great. I donít know what to do (commence 24hr full time contemplation).

  3. #3
    LX User Fixedit's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Did you post this to the Facebook group? If I canít save it maybe someone else can. Thereís a lot more activity there

  4. #4
    DX User jsturner's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixedit View Post
    Did you post this to the Facebook group? If I canít save it maybe someone else can. Thereís a lot more activity there
    Good tip, thanks, just posted it there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixedit View Post
    Dammit!! I hate to see perfectly good 3gís die! Fucking shit I want to come save it so bad. I have money but no time, and Iím also in Oregon. Fuck. Shit hurts. Iím sad now great. I donít know what to do (commence 24hr full time contemplation).
    Yep, it makes me sad too. I could probably be talked into holding onto it for a little longer if someone showed serious intention to save it.

  5. #5
    LX User Fixedit's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    I definitely have the intention but it may take me longer than youíd be willing to wait unfortunately. I post a link to this thread as well just in case, Iíll try and direct any responses to your post!

  6. #6
    LX User Fixedit's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Is it in 3geez?

  7. #7
    DX User 85preludedx's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Wow bummer. That things in great condition. Why'd it fail?

  8. #8
    DX User jsturner's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixedit View Post
    Is it in 3geez?
    Yup, may have to be approved or something to show up. I could see it in the "visitor posts" sidebar though.

    Quote Originally Posted by 85preludedx View Post
    Wow bummer. That things in great condition. Why'd it fail?
    I don't have the results handy right now but the smog tech said too much air in the exhaust on the dyno part of the test. Apparently that's usually due to non-functioning EGR causing excessively high combustion temperatures. The cat is also old, and there are a few small rust holes in the exhaust, so those are also possibilities. I haven't done any diagnostic work though.

  9. #9
    LX User Fixedit's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Thatíd be gravy if it were just rust holes and leaky gaskets

  10. #10
    3Geez Veteran MessyHonda's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    I live in San Mateo.

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

  11. #11

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    "too much air in the exhaust" would be the rust holes. You could probably save it for a couple hundred and a trip to the local muffler shop. Heck, $12 of muffler tape from the parts store would probably be enough. It'd be interesting to see the complete results of the test, though. Seems a shame to let a car go see easily, especially when you're still driving it.
    Dr_Snooz

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  12. #12
    LX User Fixedit's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Itís a nine hour drive for me. Wish I knew of someone already driving there Iíd hitch a ride and get dropped off there. Seriously though it sounds like an easy fix. I wouldnít give it up so easily

  13. #13
    DX User jsturner's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Quote Originally Posted by MessyHonda View Post
    I live in San Mateo.
    Well that just seems too convenient to ignore; maybe you're destined to be the next owner of this car!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    "too much air in the exhaust" would be the rust holes. You could probably save it for a couple hundred and a trip to the local muffler shop. Heck, $12 of muffler tape from the parts store would probably be enough. It'd be interesting to see the complete results of the test, though. Seems a shame to let a car go see easily, especially when you're still driving it.
    Well I do have a welder so it would only cost me time to patch up the exhaust. Same with checking EGR functionality.

    Smog test results:


    Okay, you guys have convinced me to hold onto it until NEXT Saturday, the 27th. If I get time to fix it and re-test great; if somebody decides to buy it great; if neither of those happens it means I don't have time to fix it and nobody wants it, so scrapping it will be the only option.

  14. #14
    3Geez Veteran MessyHonda's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    My first car was a 88dx sedan. I had problems passing smog too. I used seafoam in the gas tank and drove it to Palo Alto and back to get it tested while the car was hot. It passed and I was able to get my sticker.

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

  15. #15

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Yikes! Those results are really bad. You have some issues with the EGR that you'll have to figure out, and possibly a cat replacement too. Worse, as I understand it, once it goes gross polluter, you have to take it to a special shop for the re-test. Probably better to send it away. I assume you have been testing it regularly every couple years. What happened that it's suddenly so badly out of whack?
    Dr_Snooz

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  16. #16
    DX User jsturner's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Quote Originally Posted by MessyHonda View Post
    My first car was a 88dx sedan. I had problems passing smog too. I used seafoam in the gas tank and drove it to Palo Alto and back to get it tested while the car was hot. It passed and I was able to get my sticker.
    I got the car nice and hot before the test but the smog tech took forever to get it on the dyno and stopped to chat with his buddy while the car cooled down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    Yikes! Those results are really bad. You have some issues with the EGR that you'll have to figure out, and possibly a cat replacement too. Worse, as I understand it, once it goes gross polluter, you have to take it to a special shop for the re-test. Probably better to send it away. I assume you have been testing it regularly every couple years. What happened that it's suddenly so badly out of whack?
    I used to live in a rural county which didn't require the biannual test. I only had to smog test it once before, and they didn't require the dyno test. It passed no problem. I tested the EGR and it seemed to be working.

    Anyway, someone bought it. I made a point of telling her it's an old car that's going to be difficult, but she seemed committed and was realistic about having to spend money to get it to pass smog. I told her about this forum, so hopefully the car will be back here!

    Thus endeth my 3geez saga, I guess. Thanks everyone for all the help over the last 12 years!

  17. #17
    LX User Fixedit's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    I commend thee! For thou hath not crushed thy 3gee!

    Thank you very much for finding a dedicated buyer for that beautiful car, you have saved me heartache and brought me happiness, all at the same time. Iím excited to see if she brings it back to the forum!

  18. #18
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    I'm the girl that bought the DX from jsturner. This is my first project car and I hope to make it my daily. Any help would be greatly appreciated since I haven't done any work with cars other than oil change and tire rotation.

    I'm planning to do rust removal first then take it to a muffler shop in the next few weeks. After that I'll have the engine rebuild maybe replace the catalytic converter.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    LX User Honda#1's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Quote Originally Posted by SevenGAX View Post
    I'm the girl that bought the DX from jsturner. This is my first project car and I hope to make it my daily. Any help would be greatly appreciated since I haven't done any work with cars other than oil change and tire rotation.

    I'm planning to do rust removal first then take it to a muffler shop in the next few weeks. After that I'll have the engine rebuild maybe replace the catalytic converter.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
    Congrats on saving the little hatch! And welcome! Just ask questions because we're here to help!

  20. #20
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Quote Originally Posted by SevenGAX View Post
    I'm the girl that bought the DX from jsturner. This is my first project car and I hope to make it my daily. Any help would be greatly appreciated since I haven't done any work with cars other than oil change and tire rotation.

    I'm planning to do rust removal first then take it to a muffler shop in the next few weeks. After that I'll have the engine rebuild maybe replace the catalytic converter.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
    Congrats on your 'New' Car. You could start another thread on this project and your progress in the 3geez section of the forum. My bit of advice just now is to hold off on the 'rebuild' of the engine as it likely is not needed. Cared for these engines will go 300-400 thousand miles before needing rebuild. See what's required to fix the smog problem and go from there. My '88 has 174K miles, burns no oil, engine runs perfect, always has passed CA smog. Good luck with it!

  21. #21
    LX User Honda#1's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Definitely do not rebuild the engine unless something catastrophic happens. You could end up with the engine being worse if you choose to rebuild it now. Agreed with g.frost. If you do the right maintenance at the right time and do not drive it to the ground then it should go half million miles without a rebuild. These era Hondas last and run strong with 200,000 plus miles.

  22. #22
    3Geez Veteran MessyHonda's Avatar
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    cool. another bay area member

    1989 Honda Accord LX-i
    B18c1 swap since 7/2011
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  23. #23
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Thanks for the advice. I will definitely hold off on the engine rebuild. I'll also start a project thread soon.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

  24. #24
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    I had smog numbers that were like that posted above. A new cat solved my problem.

  25. #25
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    Re: '88 DX 5-Speed Hatch for sale (failed smog)

    Quote Originally Posted by netplus View Post
    I had smog numbers that were like that posted above. A new cat solved my problem.
    Where did you buy your cat if you don't mind me asking

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