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Matt's 94 VX Hatchback Build

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Old 03-29-2012, 11:28 AM
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Default Matt's 94 VX Hatchback Build

Save some time and go to post #37 to skip the manash and missing pictures. or read through it all if you'd like lol. i'll organize/make a cleaner thread some day


hey guys!

been lurking around here for quite some time. i've done some extensive work on this car and figured i'd post up progress. my goal is to have a nice clean fuel efficient daily driver.

some info about the vehicle:
1994 Honda Civic VX 3dr Hatchback
175,000 miles.
pretty much stock as can be.

here's a little back story.

about 2 years ago one of my good friends bought this car for 750$ from a friend of his moms. ran great but he didn't keep up with ANY maintenance for over a year. not even an oil change. granted he didn't drive it a whole lot. maybe put 7 or 8k on it. anyways the transmission started to give out and finally it just stopped working. he parked it and it sat for a while. someone then tried to steal it, luckily because the trans and clutch were completely gone, they failed to get it. still stole the system/radio and managed to brake the steering column where the ignition attaches to it. So i offered him 400$ cash for it and towed it to my house. sat for about 6 months (money was coming in slow) while i ordered a new clutch, flywheel, and a friend of mine at work literally gave me his old transmission from his civic (not sure exactly which model, but it was the same A000 just different gearing than VX)

here is how she sat (i had a b18b1 and trans laying around i was thinking about swapping in, but it was more trouble than its worth.)


decided to just pull the motor


old "custom" 2 piece clutch next to new clutch lol


new clutch and pressure plate installed and torqued down


cleaned up and stickers removed



so i drove it like this for a while. it had a few problems, lots of hesitation in the throttle, but i still drove it. then i got in an accident



luckily the damage to the radiator was minimal and i have found no leaks so far. unfortunately it was my fault and all i have is liability. but new fenders, core support, and hood are in the near future. as for now i just banged it out as best i could so the hood would close completely. but after the accident it was having lots of problems, and would stall before i got 50 ft out of my driveway. so i decided it was time to look into the transmission.

pulled the transmission out and took it apart, to find it had some problems, and decided that it was beyond me to attempt replacing bearings and such. so instead of paying 300$ on parts to rebuild, i decided to invest in a brand new transmission from synchrotech that has the correct VX gearing.



threw it in, and it was running again! but unfortunately i soon found out my hesitation problem had come back to haunt me, and ended up being the reason for its inability to drive. Then it struck me, of course the distributor is probably all out of wack. pulled it off, opened it up and it was corrosion central. Bought a nice new shiney one from the auto parts store, and it was like a brand new car!

some other things i've replaced are the drivers side cv shaft, passenger side lower motor mount, front rotors and pads, all fluids (clutch, brake, coolant, eng oil, trans fluid obviously)

and the most recent mod is 15% tint with a 5% brow


i'm also a pretty big stereo and car audio guy. right now i have a simple newer alpine 120$ headunit with a single SA12 in the back on my old RD1750.1. looking to throw some alpine type r components and another SA12 in it when i can.

i also ordered some moog tie rod ends that came in yesterday, and will probably be installed after i finish typing this. And i am still waiting on my viper 5901 alarm which is already ordered. planning on doing a really nice stealth alarm install with an extra shock sensor (ordered) and a proximity sensor (already have). Till then, my damaged front end will have to be a good enough theft deterrent LOL

some future mods include:
--A/C install (gonna hurt mpgs, but in Texas its just too hard to go without it. going to try and piece some of it together as cheaply as possible)
--14" HX wheels (maybe powder black but probably not to keep stock appearance) and 165 65 14 michelin energy saver tires
--all new motor mounts, still need to decide which brand and how much i want to really spend.
--very small drop, new coilovers that have the best ride at near stock height. not looking to slam it on the ground. more interested in a smooth riding vehicle and a very small gain in mpg from the slightly lower profile
--fix hood and core support, then fix 2 front fenders, then repaint entire vehicle same factory red color.
--sound deadening, this will be after the system upgrades mentioned earlier
--some new front seats. most uncomfortable seat ever. i may have an upholstery guy i knew just take the old seats and put new/upgraded foam padding and recover it with black leather. maybe upgrade them to heated/cooled :crazy:
--power windows/doorlocks
--some sort of custom center console. this i'll build on my own. but my cup holders are broken and its kinda frustrating. gonna see if i can implement/build some new ones and fabricate an arm rest or something of the sort.
--si tail lights
--basic bolt ons:very mild exhaust if possible. i have my truck for a loud exhaust; air intake.. just something that will flow better and net some slight mpgs.

well thanks for reading and i look forward to doing more work on this thing and posting up progress pics!

oh and here's a picture of my tahoe. she's a bit of a picture *****.
next to my friends SAS 1500


and next to the VX

Last edited by Bradshaw; 07-13-2014 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Matt's 94 VX Hatchback Build

Where ya at in tx, close to shreveport? I just took my vx motor and tranny out. I did a gsr swap so if you need anything VX let me know. It was nice having that vx though, 40-50mpgs without even trying!!!

Try getting some integra seats out of the junkyard or something. They are much more comfortable!!

Also find ya an armrest in the junkyard. I paid 10 bucks for mine.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Matt's 94 VX Hatchback Build

looks good, you're heading in the right direction... I miss my old vx.. damn semi rear ended my brother, then two days after I actually fixed it, a sheriff ran a stop sign and t boned it doing about 45... that killed it for good
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Matt's 94 VX Hatchback Build

thanks for the comments guys!

@speedjunkie_g35: i'm in san marcos tx, just south of austin. if i do need anything vx i will definitely holler at you! and i will definitely keep a look out for some integra seats. there's a ton of junk yards around here so i'm sure finding them won't be hard just gotta save some more $$ and take care of other stuff first! want to get this thing running smooth then worry about my comfort lol

@Civic2Fast: its sad how beat up these things are. mine's BRIGHT red and people STILL don't see me half the time!

when i had the trans my friend gave me in, i was only averaging 35-38mpg. my first tank so far with new trans got me 41mpg but its got some fine tuning and my foot could have been much lighter if i wasn't running late for work and class a few times lol.

well right now i just got back from working on the tie rods. drivers side was no sweat. the outer tie rod locking nut was a little difficult but took about 1 min max and it was off. old outer tie rod came off by hand. easy as pie.

the passenger outer tie rod on the other hand... locking nut came easy. but the outer tie rod WILL NOT come off the inner tie rod. i've tried literally everything. torched it, vice grips, tons of leverage, nothing. i feel like maybe when i got hit it might have got messed up somehow.. only way its going to come off at this point is to cut the bitch in half.

so it looks like i'm going to order a new inner tie rod as well and if i'm gonna do that, might as well do 2 of em right and replace both sides? only thing is the inner tie rods are 50$ a piece! compared to 22$ a piece for the outer tie rods. of course that is the moog brand which is what i use on my truck. stuff is BEEFY. plus its serviceable which i like. so i guess there goes another another 125$ on 2 inner tie rods and some new bellows. can't wait to see how firm the steering is though once i get it all done and aligned!
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Matt's 94 VX Hatchback Build

nice project bro way 2 save her from a slow death in your buddys drive way......
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:30 AM
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hey sweet synchrotech transmission that thing must be nice! I have a VX too wanna sell me your small rims when you upgrade to HX's? lol
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:19 PM
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well update: figured out i'm somewhat of a moron and didn't realize that i needed to re-time my engine after the distributor replacement. i mean i did, but i didn't. nvm... gonna run it by firestone tomorrow and see what they can do without taking an arm and leg. if they want to much then i'll just go buy a timing gun and do it myself. still got 40mpg with my timing out of wack LOL.

and @Int3graz: yeah for sure man only problem is i only have 3 vx wheels. one's a cx steelie i believe. but this probably won't happen anytime soon as you'll have just as good a chance of finding vx wheels as i will finding hx wheels. but we'll see what the junk yards have when the time comes. i can handle 1 off wheel. this busted front end i cannot. so the front end will be getting higher priority.

i need another tax return.. sigh
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:26 PM
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Looks like a good build thread. Subscribed.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:43 PM
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Ooh I see, yah they are hard to come by! I saw a set of HX's go for 300 recently and are a good looking and more versatile rim than the VX's. Goodluck with getting your timing figured out!
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Matt's 94 VX Hatchback Build

Nice hatch dude all stock 5spd vx. dam about the accident but hey it's fixable also question why didn't u put in the LS swap?.
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by teggyluva90 View Post
Nice hatch dude all stock 5spd vx. dam about the accident but hey it's fixable also question why didn't u put in the LS swap?.
money mainly. plus the gsr trans i had was cable. i had an 88 teg before this and got in over my head and sold it. it was a learning experience. ended up selling the LS motor and trans to help bay bills during the couple months i was unemployed.

once i'm done with school (that'll be the day) and get into a nice better paying job, i hope to do all sorts of fun stuff to this guy. for now, its gonna be my reliable DD to get me to that point lol
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:03 PM
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well got a lot done today and also managed to do some damage.

got my new moog inner tie rods today. went to install the drivers side one and i had planned on reusing the bellows. well i was having a hard time getting the old bellow off the old inner tie rod and ended up breaking the rubber. just my luck. so i ordered 2 new ones like i should have the first time.

also stopped by auto zone and picked up a timing gun, and some red/clear high temp paint.

went to go time the ignition timing on my car, and i got it all the way where the timing is fully retarded (LOL) and is still 2* off. it was WAYY off before i timed it. does this mean i need a new timing belt?

then the worst of all happened. since the bellow on the drivers side broke i wasn't gonna mess with the passenger side till the 2 new bellows came in and decided to paint my calipers. i'm pretty OCD and wasn't about to just tape up a bunch of newspaper on my car. so i pulled the caliper off so far so good. then went to remove the lower bolt for the sliding caliper and the ****er just snaps. didn't even use that much force to remove it. so i pull it all off to assess the damage. broke off flush inside the sliding caliper.

then spent 2 hours trying to drill it out. but it was a lost cause.

good thing is i have another vehicle but 15mpg on premium fuel vs 40+mpg on regular fuel really hurts. especially when i have to drive about 100 miles round trip tomorrow for class and 50 miles rounds trip on friday and saturday for work. then the junk yard is about 150 miles round trip from me in san antonio. there goes 100$ in gas real quick.

i did however get to paint my brake caliper. came out great! but its dark outside.

and i also got my new alarm in, its a viper 5704 (updated version of the 5901 which is what i have in my tahoe) so i messed with that for a little bit too. de-pinned a few things that i knew for sure i'm not gonna need. still need to do some more research. probably won't tackle it until i've got a good amount of free time and install all the other parts i have lying around. really a shame the causeforalarm website is gone. i was planning on using that a while back really has a lot of good info. :/

anyways, i'll throw up some pics tomorrow after class.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:49 AM
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everyone loves pictures

painted brake caliper



sliding caliper after many attempts to drill out the broken off bolt. will soon be joining the trash can after a quick trip to the junk yards



slid it back in to get an idea. i might paint the new sliding caliper black just so there isn't too much red.


stopped by the stealership wanted to charge me 67$ to do my ignition timing. went and picked this up for 40$ to do it myself and many more times.


new moog inner and outer tie rods



and finally the alarm viper 5704


ignition 2 depinned as it will be unused. still unsure about a couple pins on the 24 pin harness but took out the diesel wait to start pin and a few others i knew for sure. saving all the old pins just in case.


well now to get ready for class and see if there are any junkyards in austin i might be able to hit up in between classes LOL
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:10 AM
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Did you jump the service connector under the dash before trying to set the timing? If not the ECU keeps trying to adjust the timing.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 94EG8 View Post
Did you jump the service connector under the dash before trying to set the timing? If not the ECU keeps trying to adjust the timing.
yes i did, but its still just very slightly off. it still drives 10000x better than before. idle doesn't shake the whole car and acceleration is very smooth.

and an update on my brake situation, a quick stop by aarons auto parts in south austin had me a perfectly good sliding caliper and new bolt i needed for 15$. this place was awesome way better than pick n pull in san antonio. told them what part i needed, a parts puller guy comes up. we hop in a jeep loaded with tons of tools and head to get the part. took maybe 5 minutes to drive to the car, get the part i needed, and back to the office checked out. no walking around didn't need any tools. place is LEGIT! will definitely be going there to get any other parts i need.

time to go eat lunch and get to work!
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:33 PM
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well latest updates:

i have a red, working, drivers side brake caliper

finally got around today to replace my passenger side inner and outer tie rod as well as the bellow. will replace the drivers side bellow tomorrow its about to start pouring outside

also adjusted all my valve lashing and from my short test drive, i believe i have gotten rid of my rattling noise! some of the valves were pretty off. took my time to make sure they were as close in spec as possible.

tomorrow will be replacing drivers side bellow and running by firestone for the fresh alignment.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:42 PM
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did you set up the viper alarm yet. Im curious on your review for it, Btw how much did u pay for it?
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Steezer View Post
did you set up the viper alarm yet. Im curious on your review for it, Btw how much did u pay for it?
i have the same alarm (exact same thing basically just a little older, the 5901) in my tahoe and i love it! waiting on the cause for alarm website to go back up before i start getting into my car and taking apart the interior. i mean i pretty much know how to install the alarm, but that website practically does it for you.

also found a website online and got it for 200$. i originally ordered a refurbished 5901 for 180$ but they were out of stock so they asked if i wanted to upgrade to the 5704 for 20$ i said hell yeah

Last edited by Bradshaw; 04-15-2012 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:51 PM
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only updates i have are that i've put 6k miles on it and she's driving smooth! been recording every single fill up and service on her. avg mpg has been 42-45 mpgs. got an oil change at the dealer at 180k. i'm just too lazy to do my own oil change anymore and for just under $40 i'm not gonna complain. when i have more time and less money i'll do them myself again.

priced out some new metal for the front end on ebay through "carpartswholesale" at 500$ shipped for hood, passenger fender, front bumper cover, front bumper support, and core support. hopefully i can get it ordered sometime next month. if anyone knows of any other places to get better replacement parts feel free to let me know. i am well aware that these aftermarket parts may not be as solid as oem, but that might work out in the better for weight reduction/mpgs.

next mod after that would be some fresh paint, which will be the same oem red. hope to do just the entire outside of the car. i should have my job transferred by then so i can drive my truck to work or get a bicycle since it will be a quarter mile away from my apartment. can't wait to go from 70 miles round trip to work to less than 1.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Bradshaw View Post
priced out some new metal for the front end on ebay through "carpartswholesale" at 500$ shipped for hood, passenger fender, front bumper cover, front bumper support, and core support. hopefully i can get it ordered sometime next month. if anyone knows of any other places to get better replacement parts feel free to let me know. i am well aware that these aftermarket parts may not be as solid as oem, but that might work out in the better for weight reduction/mpgs.
I can't stress this enough, BE CAREFUL OF 'EBAY' BODY PARTS.

Most of them will have fitment issues, rust, or just be total junk.

Ultimately it's your choice, but please, don't waste your money.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by purgat0ry View Post
I can't stress this enough, BE CAREFUL OF 'EBAY' BODY PARTS.

Most of them will have fitment issues, rust, or just be total junk.

Ultimately it's your choice, but please, don't waste your money.
yeah decided i will probably be ordering the core support through majestic honda or something like that. find the best price i can on oem. then hopefully find a decent oem hood and fender at the junk yard. gonna be going there tomorrow to get as many a/c parts and body parts i can find.

just put in a new richporter dizzy and redid the ignition timing. 100000x better. still blows my mind i wasn't able to get my ignition timing correct with the autozone brand one. i guess it shouldn't. 3rd gear used to be a little sluggish at lower rpms. much smoother and more responsive now. i was still getting 46mpg LOL. going for solid 50's after this


on order tomorrow will be a main relay and parts for an MPGuino. as an electrical engineering major i'd like to do a bit of a custom set up. want to put the screen inside the gauges just below the tach. then the buttons and the usb port where the oem clock would go (i have a block off plate). plan on using the white on blue lcd. http://adafruit.com/products/181

thats all for now!

here's a pic of her and my tahoe in the background sleeping
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:04 PM
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and a successful trip to the junk yard! got all my a/c lines, drier bracket, condensor fan, complete evaporator with drain hose and firewall grommets, belt tension pulley, and wiring harness with relays. also snagged some acoustic research tweeters and an oem clock.









need to order compressor, condensor, drier, o-ring kit, and some coolant. then a good flush and vacuum and i can finally enjoy a/c!!!! :D
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:39 PM
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ordered all the small parts i needed like drier, new expansion valve, orings, etc.

also cleaned up some parts and wiring i got earlier today.

all i need now is the compressor, condenser, then flush parts, install, vac, fill with fluid and enjoy my awesome a/c!!!
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:24 AM
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Good haul on the AC, I forgot really how much goes into blowing some cold air
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by purgat0ry View Post
Good haul on the AC, I forgot really how much goes into blowing some cold air
no kidding!

i was in a bit of a bind too. trying to decide if i wanted to go have my a/c repaired on my tahoe, or go get all the parts on the honda. glad i decided on the honda. considering i've spent about 2k in ALL maintenance mods in the past 6 months she drives great! tahoe on the other hand is about to hit the 200k mark and has a laundry list of needed repairs/maintenance. which drove my final decision to the honda.

think i may tackle my alarm install this sunday. if i'm gonna be driving this thing to school i will for sure want that. the damaged front end helps deter theifs but i'm ALWAYS worried. its damn near bone stock but all the maintenance i've done to get this thing reliable, i'd be devastated. i keep her garage kept at the apt so less worries there.

i seriously cannot wait for a/c. first car had barely working a/c which blew about 80*'s on a good day. got my tahoe as a graduation present (mainly my mom wanted a new car, so i got her old one) which worked for 2 summers till it got in a hit and run. i might be able to have insurange fix it but its been about 2 years since that.. never noticed it didn't work as i was hit in oct til about feb/march. plus i just moved 75 miles away from the shop work was done.


okay rambling man is rambling.
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