April 18, 2016

Rearview mirror, interior

Why yes, the 96-00 civic (P.N. 76430-S01-A01ZA) interior mirrors do, in fact, fit in place of the discontinued 88-91 Civic/CRX mirrors.

The 1990 Civic Hatch I drive has a mirror which I can't tighten up, and it moves downward over every bump. I have a spare I got from another '90 hatch and it is the same way. I did have one I took out of a 1991 CRX parts car, and it was made differently. It was adjustable, I think. Anyway, it was nice and tight, and I was gonna put it in my Civic, but I ended up putting it in some girl's Civic instead for some reason. <3

So I don't know if there was a plant difference, or CRX/Civic difference, or a change in 1991, but that was a good mirror. If, however, you have a shitty mirror, like I did, the 96-00 Civic mirror, Part Number 76430-S01-A01ZA, is still available, and does fit.

So, I put a 1991 CRX mirror into a 1990 Civic Hatch, then I just temporarily put that shitty mirror in my 1998 Civic hatch, and put the one from the 1998 into my 1990. All fit flawlessly.

I'm going to buy a new rear view mirror, Part Number 76430-S01-A01ZA, for my old 1990 Civic and put the one for the 1998 back in place.

I might buy two because surely they'll be discontinued as soon as I fall into another CRX/Hatch with a shitty mirror.

June 2, 2012


If you know me, or follow this blog, you know i tend to procrastinate. You may also know of my box of new Honda parts with a 2009 receipt date.

I decided to install some of them today, along with a few other parts I recently purchased.

I had to remove my camshaft to replace some oil seals allowing engine oil to soak into my spark plug wires. I tried to take lots of pictures, but my camera was acting weird, and it only saved one 'before' and one 'after' picture, along with the one shown above.

So if you just saw the pics, they say "oh look, new spark plug wires". Rats. I worked on this car for 7 hours today. Here is the list of parts I installed:

Camshaft holder o-rings
Distributor o-ring
Timing belt & tensioner bearing
Camshaft seal
Crankshaft seal
Spark plug wires
Water pump
Valve cover gasket, tube seals & grommets
All 3 drive & accessory belts
also I adjusted the valves and set the ignition timing.

Except for the camshaft holder o-rings and plug wires, I replaced all those parts 70K miles ago in August of 2006 when my mother still owned the car. If I had thought about those o-rings at the time, i could have put this off another year or two, but oh well.

Still in the 2009 box are one inner and one outer tie rod end. I forget which side they go on, but my tires know. They are showing inner edge wear because of my procrastination. It's not like i bought the best Michelin tires I could find though... oh wait. Damn.

just under 240,000 miles so far on the original engine and transmission. YAY!

October 22, 2011

somewhere in a sweatshop


I had to change the thermostat in Althea AGAIN. Above you see two thermostats... one ~18 month old thermostat made in China, and one new one next to it made in Japan. Can you guess which is which? They are both for the same car. Weird huh?

I did not choose to put a cheapo unit in my car last time so much as my car ran hot and the cheap one was available within the hour. This time when Althea ran hot I waited a day for delivery, waited 5 days to install, and paid three times as much. I expect it to last 10yrs this time. Totally worth it.

A more important event took place today but is completely unrelated to cars. My friends Lewis and Russell came over and fixed the rotten part of my roof facia. They are awesome and have probably bought me another 3yrs before I need to replace my roof.

January 22, 2011

Althea: relative priorities

My mother lives in a gated community with speed bumps. She abhors speed bumps and is actively defiant towards them, keeping a steady speed whilst steering as far to the right as possible so as to strike the horrid things with only the left side of her car.

Althea is the given name of the 1990 Honda Civic hatchback which bore the brunt my mother's war on speed bumps for nearly 20 years.

When she gave me Althea I replaced the shocks/struts and a few other things needed. Everything seemed fine except when I hit speed bumps. Weird, right? It made this awful noise like a child rubbing a balloon to torment others.

Anyway, I figured out it was some rubber bushings on the left upper suspension arm making the noise. They weren't "bad" per se, just annoying.
"How annoying were they?" I hear you ask.
They were so annoying....
Well, that was something I tormented myself over.
I hated that noise, but it wasn't causing any other harm than making the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Do I replace just the bushings, or the whole arm? Do I buy it from Honda or ebay? Exactly how much time and money is this noise worth to me?

Last September (over a year after discovering the noise) I decided to spend the money on buying the whole arm assembly from Honda. It cost at least three times as much as just the bushings, or an ebay arm, but I decided I was worth it. It would take less time to install, and I knew it would fit correctly. When the part arrived I placed it in the passenger compartment so I could glare at it every time I went over a bump. I finally installed it today. It took all of about twenty minutes.


Althea is now quiet and the expensive part can continue to be glared at in the above picture rather than on my passenger floorboard. The arm was actually only about $120 from Honda, but I can buy almost a complete suspension for my car off ebay for that ;)

Now, about this other box of new parts I have for Althea... the receipt says June of 2009....

January 16, 2011

red riding hood


So that's a picture of Althea today. This hood could have done well on Dreya's red car. I hope I can find a gold hood someday but this one was available and only cost $20. The new windshield washer nozzles cost more than that.

The left headlight assembly is new as is the side marker light. There is a 'T' shaped brace in front of the radiator which I replaced also. For some reason I had an extra one lying around. It has a sticker which proclaims that it was made in America. The old one said Canada, which I've heard is in North America.

Anyway, with a little help from a sledge hammer, a prybar, and a block of wood, it's mostly back in place, though a bit wrinkly. At least it should pass inspection.

October 31, 2010


Ima hafta get me a hunting license now... or stop driving home from Chapel Hill at night.

Have you seen the Mythbusters episode when they hit a moose? It was kinda like that (but it was a deer- see previous post). The dang thing splattered and flew up onto the roof, over the vehicle.
-deer mist and dents-
The big dent in the roof mostly came out by hand but i need a new hood and headlight at least. I can live with the messed up fender maybe.
seems like I just replaced that headlight recently too. Dang.


If you can believe it it's actually worse than it looks in the picture.
I haven't looked at the back of the vehicle yet. For now we'll assume it is undamaged.

stupid deer


I got lucky I guess. I was only going about 45mph.

So what is one supposed to do when one hits a deer? I just kept going. There was a cop. He turned on his bubble gums. I don't know if that was a coincidence or not. I didn't stick around to find out.

I kinda wanted to pull over and assess the damage but I figured what's done is done, and I just watched for signs of overheating or loss of oil pressure. In the end I got home (20min later) and had to look pretty hard to find the damage. Cool.

Still, it sucks to have another dent. Stupid deer.

October 4, 2009

red car

I am not a painter.
I am bad at prep.
I'm OK at masking sometimes.

"It just looks like a red car"
"unless you really look at it"
I was told by a friend.

So I made a red car red again I guess. I hope it lasts.

First I painted the grey/silver hood "Bright Red" and then dulled it with scotchbrite to kinda match the old paint.

I painted the pink/white/black-mold roof "cherry red" and have to wait 2 days before I can try to smooth out the lines.

The cherry almost matches the old paint, but i have zero blending skills.
I'll prob'ly take more pics after i do it if it looks somewhat better.

Continue reading "red car" »

June 7, 2009


I mean... really WOW! + WOW!

I had no idea my old gold box could ride this smooth. Motor/trans mounts can do a lot for ride quality. I think I can make it even better.

It bothers me that I had to add spacers to an engine mount to get this far. What really bothers me is that I got all four new mounts from an OE supplier, which means if I buy Honda mounts at twice the price (wholesale) I might get the same thing.... they might not be the exact mounts the car came with.

I plan to switch the CRX's straight driver's side mount with the Civic's. If it bolts up straight I will buy a new one from Honda to see if it bolts up straight as well.

If it does I'll buy the rear and front mounts from Honda too. The rear mount is a PITA to replace, and its the one I had to shim. I'll have to drop the frame to replace it (again). The passenger side mount appears to be OK at this time (it is new after all- phbbt)

Aftermarket parts often suck. Sometimes its all you can get... even from the dealer. My car is old :(

But at least I know the original owner (mom) and the history. The car is definitely not bent (other than small dings and that dang headlight). The CRX appears to be a little bent. Possibly more on that later... probably much later.

Continue reading "wows" »

June 6, 2009

wet headlight

So... I'm stayin' at my mom's about 5yrs ago and she came home in Althea (The Golden Nugget) when I noticed the left headlight was all crooked. The next day it was worse. I think someone she worked with didn't know how to park (or un park).

Anyway, now Althea is mine, and that drivers headlight is still all pushed in and now gaining water.
I picked up a dry one at the pick-n-pull. BTW that place always seems picked clean before I get there. Out of five 92-95 Civics not a one had the connectors for the ECU... all hacked. All four of the 88-91 Civics had chopped harnesses too.

But I got a headlight! -not just a headlight but a headlight "assembly" (comes with the bracket and adjusters).

So I took my bumper off... and some other parts... and installed this assembly. I had to adjust a bent bracket.

It's almost totally straight and holds no water. I'm so proud. My 19yr old car is getting close to being... ummmm.... Wayyyyy better than any other 19yr old car on the road?

I'm still trying to fix a vibration. I think at least one of my four NEW engine mounts is made wrong. I have to compare it to an OE Honda mount. Its less vibraty than before, but I want better.

crooked mount after shimming and adjustment:

Continue reading "wet headlight" »

May 5, 2009


Dreygon is the name of Dreya's Red 1990 Civic. The CRX (LE PEU) remains in my clutches for experiments, while i also get to experiment on the Dreygon. Muhahaha

So i bought this 4 speed hatchback for her to replace her CRX and of course it broke almost immediately... it is almost 20yrs old by the by.

The fuel pump went out. A tow and a pump and filter later she runs tall for a trip to PA in the winter... where she overheats.

Dreya can now change a thermostat on a civic in under 15min.

The car was making a noise I heard when I started it at 45*F. It made the noise consistantly but very briefly. I decided it needed a waterpump.

Last month we replaced the waterpump, which turned out to have a shot bearing (my mechanic instincts rock), as well as the timing belt, the accessory belts, and all related oil seals and pulley bearings.

At the same time i changed her camshaft to one with higher lift and duration (more air suction and for longer) and her ECU (computerized fuel management to handle the new camshaft)

We go from 70HP to 90HP @ no cost to you, using stock Honda parts.

August 30, 2008


Althea is the given name for my recently aquired 1990 Honda Civic DX hatchback. My mom bought a new Civic in ~April, and gave me Althea. HOORAY!
Mom's had Althea since new, and it has about 190K miles on it. In the last few years, strangers have approached her with offers to buy it. The Honda dealer said he could have sold it 5 times in the weekend it sat on their lot. But now it's mine! MWAHAHA!

Dreya and I flew down to Ft Meyers FL to get it over the weekend of the 16th, and drove it back from Naples FL. I picked that weekend because it was my birthday on the 17th. I got a car!

We had to get AAA over to jump it since it sat for 4-5 months. I bought a battery, charged the A/C, and changed out a tire, and it was good to go. We stopped overnight in Savannah,GA and visited an old cemetery among other places.

Althea has been on this site before. Links to about 2 yrs ago:

Continue reading "Althea" »

August 5, 2006

Mom's Civic

The Mazda runs... barely. The fuel system is full of tar from old gasoline. I didn't say it runs well.
The ant infestation seems to be dissapating though.
It has a two part fuel tank for balance, and thus 2 fuel pumps. Ugh.
The main tank has old gas.
The secondary tank fuel appears even older... cloudy, and mixed with solvent... or some sort of injector cleaner which never made it to the main tank. The transfer pump is inoperable at this time.

Even so, somehow the 323 has earned an exhalted space in the garage, displacing the Pantera.
I can think of quite a few reasons why it's in there actually.
I just feel bad that the Pantera is outside braving the piercing trees, plagues of birds, cats, squirrels, and of course, the recently arising daubers looking for a home.

Continue reading "Mom's Civic" »