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Thread: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

  1. #1
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    '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Hello,

    This is my new project a 1988 Honda Accord LXI. This is my first Accord I've owned (own a 92 civic) and for a 25+ year old car I gotta say I'm impressed. Anyways this is what it looked like the day I rolled up to it:



    EVERYTHING works. The Electric sunroof doesn't leak. The Headlights fully work. Quite honestly I couldn't find a thing wrong with it. Nailed it for $500. Came with After Market Tires you see here with 90% tread left and they were studded. Also came with complete set of Factory Honda wheels with about 20% tread left. The Gentleman mentioned it burns oil. Test drove it a bit and did notice it was smoking. I wasn't concerned much, cause even crap accords around here sell for almost $2k. And since I'm a diesel Mechanic by trade, well a rebuild is pretty cheap for me to do if it became necessary. Anyways I went ahead and bought it for the wife. She has a 2000 Durango with 216k on original powertrain. While it still runs fantastic and doesn't leak anything, I'm getting a bit nervous with it and wanted to take my time rebuilding it. That and her new job is 40 mile round trip and with a 15mpg vehicle....well you get the idea.

    Anyways on the way home I was climbing a hill and all hell broke loose. I left a smoke cloud James Bond would have been proud of. Took the pressure off and the smoking subsided. So got it home. Drove it a couple days and under extreme pressure it would smoke really bad. At idle it felt like it was missing. After the 2nd day checked oil and it was almost completely empty. Pulled the Air intake to confirm a suspicion and found about 2" oil in the bottom of it. Yup, blowby. Decided to tear it apart. Found out 2 things. Well 3 actually. Found out never forget to disconnect the damn shifting cable to the transmission ($20). The motor had been bored .020 over at the rebuild last year and whoever did it did a SHIT job. And the cause of the issue:



    3 of the pistons looked like that. So right now JUST got my block back from being .030 bored over (had my machine shop do it that I've used for 2 other rebuilds and machine work for my job for years) and will spend the weekend putting it back together.

    Plans:
    Not too much. Will add a CAI and maybe loosen the exhaust up a bit. Will probably add a DVD Deck with a halfass decent system (nothing boombox as my Civic has all that). Our plans are just for her to use as a DD, a "traveling car" and to travel to see her mom 300 miles away on occasion. I got my 92 Civic to have all the fun in






    On a side note one of my closest friends has a 88 Accord LX with a blown motor ad transmission. My buddy said he's had it for about a year and I can have the whole thing for parts. So gonna get it to my shop and start stripping it of everything lol. Also yes I know my civic wheels are 2 different colors. Going from white to black and just havent had time to finish the rear wheels
    Last edited by Locruid; 07-10-2015 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Spelling



  2. #2

    87roach's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Welcome to the forum!

    It looks in surprisingly good shape, and for $500 too!

    I imagine once you get the engine running again you'll be good to go for a while really.. be sure to check the vacuum hoses and such for small leaks that will lead to bizarre issues too. Good stuff man, be sure to post up some rebuild pics!
    Andrew.

    My hatch build thread(started in winter of 07).

  3. #3
    3Geez Veteran MessyHonda's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Welcome to the site.

    This story reminds me a lot like mine when I bought it also for 500 same color except mine was stick. These cars have little to no problems with just simple maintenance. make sure to look around a lot of questions have been asked before. Hope your wife is happy with a 25+ mpg car to her work and back plus they are really comfy.

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

  4. #4

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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Im surprised it needed boring to begin with, these are tough blocks and very high quality piston assemblys oem.welcome and congrats on the finds! Ive seen several A20 with over 200,000 that still had factory hone marks on the cyls

  5. #5
    LX User ryan427's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Nice find! Your wife will love it. Driving my 89 LX 80 miles per day. 30mpg consistently. Also, impressive that you tore it down that fast. Kudos to your mad skills.


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  6. #6
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    LOL Thanks everyone. I got experience rebuilding my Civic motor earlier this year. The 2 motors really aren't that much different.

    I'm taking my time putting it back together. Just got the engine mostly back together today. Tomorrow gonna mate the transmission to it then slide it back into the car. and spend the next couple days hooking everything back up. The heat here lately has been INSANE and the only place i can work on it at home is in a Lean too with Tin roof . Next time I'll drag it down to my shop..... just didn't have the extra room

  7. #7

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Quote Originally Posted by Locruid View Post
    the only place i can work on it at home is in a Lean too with Tin roof .
    I think you mean "solar oven." LOL. The car looks great. I'm surprised someone could do such an awful job rebuilding. The PO clearly cared for the car and probably meant for a better job than he got. Take good care of this one. It's a keeper.
    Dr_Snooz

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


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

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  8. #8
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Agreed.

    They were pretty clueless about car mechanics but I do have paperwork that "Grandpa" bought it new off the dealership, passed it to "Daughter" then to "Grand Daughter" at which point it started an Oil Consumption issue in May. They kept records throughout the years lol. I now do spot work for the other daughter and she has an awesome looking 89 LX. They just decided to just get rid of it since the last owner (The GrandDaughter) just went ahead and bought a brand new Accord instead of "fighting this one again".

  9. #9
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Slight Delay



    Was torquing down the Drive Plate when the socket slipped and my forearm picked a fight with one of the Valve Cover studs at the very top of the motor. 24 stitches. I should be able to resume the engine in a couple weeks (got a manager's meeting/getaway ALL week next week 300 miles away).

  10. #10
    LX User ryan427's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    It will be a nice battle scar...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    89 Accord LX
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    We've nicknamed it "The Time Machine"

  11. #11

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Ouch!
    Dr_Snooz

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


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

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  12. #12
    3Geez Veteran MessyHonda's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    take care of your self.

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

  13. #13
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    looks like fun! heal up man then get back at it. ur making great progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAH View Post
    pullin up turbo spoolin fast lookin fly like a 3g like a 3g like a 3g

  14. #14
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Thanks all just a quick update.

    Arm is healing pretty good. I've had the wife act as my 2nd hand all this week and got the motor all assembled and the transmission re-connected. My last 2 parts came in today so got the starter installed (broke the solenoid somehow) and the Harmonic Balancer back on and everything adjusted.

    It's now sitting on it's blocks connected to the engine hoist but I want to be back to near functionality before wrestling that beast back in. I leave tomorrow for a Manager's Meeting that will have me back home Fri so that gives my arm another week of healing. Might be able to drop it in this weekend. I'll keep ya'll posted!

  15. #15

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Safe travels.
    Dr_Snooz

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


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  16. #16
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Hey all quick Update:

    Got back from my meetings. Learned a lot about my New Propane fleet I didnt know lol.

    Today got most of the wife's Accord back together. All I need to do is wait for the HVAC Control to arrive, add coolant/oil/Trans Fluid. Put on the front tires (doing that tomorrow) and ready for first firing.

    My son had a 88 LX given to him (it's his first car). We gonna get it Sat. It has a Blown Head Gasket and might need a new transmission but other than that it's free. Was told the body and interior is in great shape. I told him HE will pay for the parts but his old man will help him fix whatever needs fixing but he's gonna learn to do it himself. I'll post some pics when we get it.

  17. #17
    LX User ryan427's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    You're an awesome dad.


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    89 Accord LX
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    We've nicknamed it "The Time Machine"

  18. #18
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    AAAANNNNNNDDDDDD

    The Accord fired up. Ran great for 5 seconds then lost fuel. So the standard start it, die, start it, die...on the 4th it caught again and ran smooth and steady. But everything isn't perfect in Wonderland for Alice.

    It appears theres a pretty damn good leak at the crank near the harmonic balancer. The seal I put in didn't seem ALL that tight so gonna yank it out and replace it with another. Other than that ran smooth and didnt smoke so that's always a great sign (and feeling lol).

    It's about 105 here which I can tell you is a freakin SCORCHER for where I live. So gonna wait until tonight and fire up the ole Halogens to pull off the Balancer to replace the seal. Then I'll put the Front tires back on and seal up the exhaust. Should have it's first run on Sunday.

  19. #19
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Hey guys and gals,

    Replaced front seal. Engine quit leaking. Started it up and let it get to temp. Everything seems just fine however I do have a weird problem maybe ya'll can help.

    If I hit the brake the idle increases and the Temp gauge reads almost H. Release the brake and the idle goes back down and the Temp goes back to normal. It's just a major inconvenience but I'd like to get it working properly lol. Definitely sounds like a ground issue to me but I can't remember how many "grounds" there are. I know my civic has like 3-4 and all I can find on the Accord is the main Battery to Engine ground.


    UPDATE: Nm found the secondary ground lol. Everything working like it should now
    Last edited by Locruid; 08-01-2015 at 05:14 PM. Reason: Update

  20. #20
    LX User ryan427's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Man you work fast. What are your compression readings? I've always been told to take an initial one after rebuild. Then again at 500 miles and another at 1000. Are you using break in oil? Post a video of it running. We're nerds.


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    89 Accord LX
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    We've nicknamed it "The Time Machine"

  21. #21
    DX User steverine's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    I want to second that "awesome dad" comment.

    And it sounds like an awesome car.

    As a resident of the rust belt who is currently working on rusted rocker panels and wheel wells on his '88, I just gotta say I envy all the owners from the West and South whom I've seen posting here recently. Anybody got one you wanna sell?? (and help me get it here...)

  22. #22
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Quote Originally Posted by ryan427 View Post
    Man you work fast. What are your compression readings? I've always been told to take an initial one after rebuild. Then again at 500 miles and another at 1000. Are you using break in oil? Post a video of it running. We're nerds.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Not saying you shouldn't use break in oil but in the 2 rebuilds I have done (92 Civic B8 block/Y8 Head/Z6 intake and a 95 z28 lt1 rebuild to 330 rwp from 240) I never used break in oil. I did however use Assembly Lube. I'd do the normal break in period of 500 miles and change the oil. Haven't had an issue yet. I do however let it run on first startup to operating temp then re-torque the head bolts once it cools down. I wont do compression readings until I give her a road trip cause as I've learned what works great at idle doesn't always work good on the road lol.

    I'll upload a vid when I can. until then heres my camaro:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/locrui...57631600833745

    The first video is first start up and the second was after I adjusted some things. And no that isn't valve tap....for some reason the camera recorded the sound like that

  23. #23
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Well had my first run.

    Got about 8 miles from home and the transmission had issues. Had to have the wife grab her Durango and tow it back.

    Not sure exactly what's going on. Definitely a leak between the engine and transmission but where it's leaking from I never messed with lol. Turn off the motor for a bit and you can drive it up to 20-30 then it slips out of gear and stays out of gear until you turn the motor off again. unfortunately auto transmissions are my weak spot. So might have to just pony up the cash for one. it's weird though it shift perfectly before I pulled the motor. gonna play with this a little bit and see what I can find

  24. #24
    LX User ryan427's Avatar
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Valve body... Clean and reinstall. Worked for me and worth a shot!


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    89 Accord LX
    270k miles
    We've nicknamed it "The Time Machine"

  25. #25
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    Re: '88 Accord LXI To Keep Wife happy

    Quote Originally Posted by ryan427 View Post
    Valve body... Clean and reinstall. Worked for me and worth a shot!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'm beginning to wonder if the O ring on the TC is bad or fell off while I had to transmission separated. When I got it home and started up to pull it in the shop it was a steady stream of transmission fluid coming from that area

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