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Thread: (nearly) New owner of 1989 Honda Accord LX - i, questions before I pick it up

  1. #1
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    (nearly) New owner of 1989 Honda Accord LX - i, questions before I pick it up

    Hello everyone, I am sure with beginning this project I'll be back here a lot... While not 100%, I am pretty set on buying this car tomorrow and wanted to run some things by to see the best options.

    What I have been told is the piston rings are probably going bad and it eats oil,
    as well as it having a missing 5th gear which they claim is likely a bent shift fork. Ruins and drives good but generally the engine might be going soon. This is my first project car but I have another daily so I am not scared of making it a huge and complicated project if need be.

    My hopes were to turbo whatever I get, and my options here are likely either rebuild this engine (245k) or swap to something else like a b series. I have been looking around this forum a lot seeing what others have done, but haven't been able to find any very recent posts regarding swaps and such. I was wondering about the ECU as well as it is my understanding it is OBD0 and tuning is either impossible or much more difficult than it would be on a newer ECU, which would make a turbo a bad idea on the stock engine and ecu.

    Interested in hearing ideas and input so I can figure out what I'm doing here, but I'm excited to be getting this car and finding out in greater detail all the issues it will likely have!



  2. #2


    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Re: (nearly) New owner of 1989 Honda Accord LX - i, questions before I pick it up

    Oil consumption could very well be rings but most likely leaks.

    5th gear is replaceable with out a tear down and is very common on these cars. There been some available new this year but not often.

    OBD0 is not tunable its never been fully hacked. Its pretty easy to convert to OBD2 now on these cars. I run E85 with just injectors and fuel pressure adjustment with very good results.

    Car wont take much more than 10 psi boost before the head gasket goes and there is question about crank walk over that. A20 is a very good engine for what it is.

    Welcome to the forums.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord <<< MY YOUTUBE PAGE!

  3. #3
    DX User
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    Re: (nearly) New owner of 1989 Honda Accord LX - i, questions before I pick it up

    Thanks for the reply, I was looking earlier but could not find, if the transmission ends up actually just being a bent shift fork, where can I find one that fits? Most of what I see is discontinued.

    I would also be very interested in the OBD2 conversion if there were any relevant posts on that you could easily link. I was looking at some but they were really old.

    As for the engine, I doubt I would be changing a ton with this engine especially if it needs work, though if its just easy things then maybe that will change. Without major modification can a B series engine handle much more boost than that or is it about the same?

  4. #4


    Join Date
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    Re: (nearly) New owner of 1989 Honda Accord LX - i, questions before I pick it up

    Quote Originally Posted by BentIguana View Post
    Thanks for the reply, I was looking earlier but could not find, if the transmission ends up actually just being a bent shift fork, where can I find one that fits? Most of what I see is discontinued.

    I would also be very interested in the OBD2 conversion if there were any relevant posts on that you could easily link. I was looking at some but they were really old.

    As for the engine, I doubt I would be changing a ton with this engine especially if it needs work, though if its just easy things then maybe that will change. Without major modification can a B series engine handle much more boost than that or is it about the same?
    Shane LXI sells the kit for OBD2 conversions.

    Ihave very little knowledge about the B18 sorry.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord <<< MY YOUTUBE PAGE!

  5. #5

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: (nearly) New owner of 1989 Honda Accord LX - i, questions before I pick it up

    I'd do a compression test to confirm that ring diagnosis. If it drives nice and has pep, then they might be fine. Does it smoke?

    Fifth gear fails often on these cars and I've never heard of it being a shift fork. Usually the synchro spring breaks, gets caught in the gear and grinds the gear teeth right off. If it is a shift fork, that will suck because you'll be combing junkyards for that part.

    Posts pics when you buy it.
    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

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