Not really looking for another project, but I wouldnít mind picking something up I could keep around for a year or two just in case.
1986 LX-i hatchback: a friend of a friend of a friend has an LX-i hatch, grey, 114,000 miles, owned by two old couples and now driven by this fifty-some-year-old guy. Body is normal: scratches, dents, dings, etc. but no major rust. Engine is great (as you would expect), but itís an automatic. Transmission doesnít shift by itself. Dude thinks itís the ECU (TCU?), but it could be a solenoid. Whatever it is I have the hookup for a five-speed swap. Before the guy will sell me the car, I have to buy him a motor for his Ranger.
Ranger motor: $400, maybe less if I can talk the yard down.
Accord: $200 (I know, right?)
Transmission swap: Iím thinking less than $200. Transmiossion/clutch free, pedals/ecu/mount/cable/other shit I can get from a yard I know has five 3Geez.
Bottom line: 86 LX-i hatchback with 114k for less than a grand.
1990 EX: the car I had before I bought my coupe has been sitting since I sold it. It blew a head gasket (twice), and the guy I sold it to spent a bunch of money fixing the head despite the fact that the bearings are whatís fucked. Body is incredibly straight Ė never been hit, no rust in the quarters (ya rly), 155k-ish miles. It has a couple little issues: the windows donít roll down for some reason, the clutch would very rarely not disengage fully (this happened maybe three times in the 10,000 miles I drove it), interior isnít that great. But it has a sunroof, which I dearly miss. Probably needs brakes and tires from sitting so long, will definitely need a new bottom end, which I can get for $150 from the same place that has the other Accords.
Motor: $250ish after maintenance crap (Honda dealership discount FTW)
Brakes, Tires, Whatever Else is Fucked Up: ??$
Bottom Line: no less than $800 for a CB7 EX that was, before it exploded, a very reliable and pleasant car to own. Kind of a question mark though.
If I got the hatch, I wouldnít be as inclined to keep it around, simply because I already have a 3G. It would be pretty cool to have two of them, especially manual LX-iís with low mileage, but it wouldnít be worth fixing to me and would more than likely end up getting parted or sold to someone who would junk it. The CB7, however, would stick around for a while. It would need more work up front, but once I got it running right I would definitely keep it. Itís bigger, more comfortable, has four doors (which I actually prefer), and I tuned it up a little before I sold it, so I know the intake/ignition/exhaust is all kosher. But I donít know what else might break on it. Then again, I donít really know what might break on the 3G either.
Iím leaning slightly toward the CB7, mostly because I donít want to buy a motor for a guy then wait two months before I get the car. Whatever I buy is going to need work before I can put it up to daily driver status, but winterís coming and I donít want my coupe back in the snow again. Also, I kinda miss it. I really like CBs and even when I sold it I really wanted another one. What do you guys think? Is there a glaring positive/negative to either of these cars, or are they both about even? Should I just keep looking for something else?
God bless you if you actually read that whole thing.