The Life History of my First Car

Old 02-14-2015, 07:06 PM
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Default The Life History of my First Car

I am the proud owner of a bone stock 1991 EF Hatch. I'm 17 and this is my first car.

Preface: This is a long life story with no real point, I just feel like telling it.

About a year ago, in December, a family friend of ours mentioned to my mother in passing conversation that he wanted to get rid of his old car. He said It didn't run, and he was willing to give it away for free because he just didn't have the time or money to put into it. My mother didn't mention this to me until several weeks afterward, because she didn't think it was important. As soon as she did, I was all over it, having always loved cars and the idea of cars. Me and my father went over one Saturday, and checked it out. Love at first sight. I loved the idea of an older car, and something rather unique at that. The huge grin on my face didn't leave for like a week. After charging the battery and with the little help of some starter fluid, she started right up. Hooray, a free car!

With me only having a learners permit, and barely knowing how to drive a car as is, my father drove it home. The car had about a month left on the registration, and so we drove it down and got it inspected, so we could do all the paperwork and get it legally running and driving. As with most old parked cars, it failed. It needed not that much, but it seemed like a lot to me. It needed rear brakes, rear master cylinders, rear trailing arm bushings, and one of the lug nuts for the front right tire would spin and spin forever, without coming off. The mechanic who inspected it estimated all this at around $700-800, so I decided to do it myself. The brakes went alright, working with my father and a couple of friends who watched(some friends). The rear trailing arm bushings though, frightful. After some Russian ingenuity from my father, with several plates of aluminum, threaded rods, a lot of bolts, and some random pieces of pipe, we created our own rear trailing arm bushing removal tool. It was incredible. We also didn't know how to fix the infinitely spinning lug nut, and ended up just paying the $75 they asked to have it done for us.

While doing all this work we(my father and I) noticed transmission fluid leaking for the car when it ran. Uh-Oh. No worries though! It was just a line/tube/hose whatever that had a badly sized radiator hose clamp. Unable to find a proper one/new one, we used a wire/string. Russian engineering as my father says. Now here's where it gets a little tricky. I was 16 at the time(only 17 now), and young and foolish. Unknowing. We decided to drain the transmission fluid, and top it off with the right stuff, genuine Honda whatever. It took a lot of work to get the transmission drain plug bolt out of the car, and so I thought it would take a lot of force to put back in. While tightening it, I kinda over-estimated how much added force the extended arms of the socket wrench would produce. To the point: I over tightened it and cracked the aluminum transmission casing. After a lot of frustration with me and my father and the now leaking transmission, my dad cleverly came up with a solution. We drilled a hole inside a new transmission bolt and tapped it, then adding a smaller bolt inside that one. We then screwed in the first bolt with the help of some JB weld and put it into place permanently, using the smaller bolt as the drainage if we ever need it! Hooray it's fixed!

Other things we did:
Fixed the leaking taillight gasket by flipping it upside down and cutting new holes in it. It works alright but we should probably fix it in the future.
Fixed the typical Honda rust and repainted over it with kinda bluish paint, that almost matched the original color.
Fixed the rust in the trunk, and removed the pool of water there as well (from the leaking taillight gasket I suppose).
Fixed some of the scratched on the rear bumped by heating and molding the plastic back into place, then painting it over with the kinda bluish paint again.
Did a thorough cleaning of the car, removing the seats and getting in the cracks. Example of the things I found: About $2 in various loose change, several wrappers, a two foot large wrench, and half of a decaying chewy granola bar. Yuck!

Well, after everything was fixed it was like a brand new car to me, and my first car at that. I treasured it like a baby. I got it re-inspected, and registered. At the end of it, I spent about $800 in parts, fluids, alignment, and registration/inspection fees. Costs $273 just to get a license plate, ridiculous. Still, seeing as it was free, It was a great deal.

The car had 115k on her when I first got her, and now she has 121k. Automatic :/, but I still love her and can't afford to do any sort of fancy manual swap. She shakes quite a bit too much, not exactly sure why, and while it doesn't smoke much, lots of black soot gathers on the back of the car. The transmission has trouble registering it's in park when it's cold out, and won't let you take out the key because of it. The antenna was broken when we got it, and I've never gotten around to replacing it, although we did remove the broken one and put in a plug. The car leaks oil kind of badly, and we think it is because of some sort of seal in between the transmission and the engine. Without a garage, I'm waiting until it's spring out before working on it. The ~90 hp doesn't seem to be able to do much over 100mph (in a safe and controlled environment of course), and the brakes squeak slightly. She's slow at accelerating, but gets great gas mileage, even as an auto. Only once has she failed me, when she stalled at a stop sign because of some bad gas from a sketchy station (Worrysome, but she's fine now). I've fit seven people in the car at most, with one in the trunk. Amazing car, the best I could have hoped for.

I hope this is the right place for this thread. Originally I just wanted to show the pictures but it's nice to tell the full story. Thanks for reading this, if anyone has gotten this far.
Now, for the shitty camera phone pictures I have. Some winter pictures, some pictures from the summer, anything varying from last year to last night.

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Old 02-16-2015, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: The Life History of my First Car

good luck.

the good thing is if you ever wanna do another auto swap, a b18auto is super cheap.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: The Life History of my First Car

Cool beans man!!!
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