Jack’s 1983 Honda Civic Restoration Page

Restoration Project
The Second Generation Honda restoration was performed by Jack.

This story begins about a year and a half ago.
I was in the market for a used car, and I knew that I wanted some sort of compact car for the good gas mileage and ease of parking. Also, I had a pretty tight budget (less than$5K). I did much research on the Internet and I found that old Honda’s fit my needs quite well.
While driving through town I spotted one on the side of the road with a “For Sale” sign in the window. I gave the car an initial inspection and took the owner’s phone number.
It was a 1983 Honda Civic Sedan. It was brown, the rear window was shattered, and the asking price was $200. Surprisingly low I thought. Later that week I found out why. I talked to the owner and he informed me that the head gasket was blown and the engine had overheated. Also, it burned oil and the clutch slipped.
The engine started, which was good, but obviously coolant was leaking into the cylinders as a giant plume of smoke came out of the exhaust. Although this would have turned off most potential buyers, I thought a project car could be a lot of fun. So I offered the owner $150 and he accepted. I was now the proud owner of a second generation Civic.
Seeing as how the car wasn’t exactly in driving-condition (with the smoke screen and what not), we towed the car to my garage. However, I was rather busy at the time, and the car sat there fora few months. Eventually, the project got rolling, and with the help of a friend-of-the-family who also happens to be a professional mechanic, we finished the project last winter. It felt really good to see the all those hours finally materialize into a working car. This car is so comfortable to drive. Everything just feels right. The seats are supportive, the steering is great (I love no power assist), and the 5-speed has clearly defined gates.

The before pictures
Here is an angle from elevation shot, I really dig the forward-opening hood

Detail shots
Here you can see the factory optional alloy wheels. They measure 13 inches by4.5 inches. I know, they are very skinny. But they are made of aluminum alloy by Enkei, and I like the big four spokes. Currently, I run155/80-R13 tires.

Look Inside
This is the optional four-spoke sport steering wheel, and here is a view of the interior of the trunk

The paint could use some work, The original owner’s manual and warranty booklet

The Engine work begins
Here are a few photos of the complete engine rebuild, Here is the crankshaft after we put in new bearings, This is the engine with the crank and pistons installed, This is the block with the newly-machined head bolted on

Internals Engine Bay
Finally,ready for installation, Here is the empty engine bay with the radiator fan hanging down

Installed Engine
The driver’s side view of the installed engine & the passenger’s side view of the installed engine.

Installed Engine & Carpet
The engine as seen from above. This engine is 1.5 liters and makes 67 hp at5000 rpm and 79 lb-ft of torque at 3000 rpm. Not all that powerful, but the car is light enough for it to be plenty spunky around town.

Recently I have been doing some interior and exterior work.
I was worried that the carpet was moldy on the bottom, so I took out the interior and rented a Rug Doctor to clean the carpet.

Interior & Flooring
A view to the rear of the car without the interior, While I was removing the seats I found this. It looks like someone in this car’s history took a Saw z all to this seat bracket. Now I have some welding to do.

Interior & Flooring
For comparison, this is what the seat bracket should look like., here is the carpet drying out on stands

Getting it back together
This is the carpet reinstalled, an outside view with the interior still apart

Finally,the interior back together

My car had a few rust spots on it, so I sanded them down with a Dremel rotary tool and spray-painted the metal flat black. This is the rear bumper cover that came with the car. Nasty

This is the rear bumper cover that I found in a junk yard and painted flat black. Much better.The driver’s side rear door frame had a rust problem, so I taped it up in preparation for sanding and paint. Below left: A close up view. The shiny part is where I already sanded.The rear window had the remains of some sort of sticker. I used a metal spatula and a can of brake cleaner to take it off. Nice and clean now


FirstGeneration Honda Civics’ is not in anyway affiliated with or endorsed by Honda Motor Co. Inc.

Copyright �2005 Durham Region Classic Honda Civics’
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Re posted from /2ndgeneration_civic pages



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