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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I'm new on here and i'm thinking about making my 1989 Accord LXI a tuning play-toy. I need some basic advice... I have this car and am I really going to be able to do much to it? It is fuel injected. I would have to do a lot of work just to clean it up, but seriously, too old? Just perfect? Does anyone out there do this kind of thing with this old a car? Thanks everyone for putting up with a REALLY dumb question :) ! EET
 

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theres quite a few people with a 4th gen accord on here. One good thing to do is to do major repairs on the car before you start modding. im sure there quite a bit you can do but you have to make a plan. figure out what you actually wanna achieve. do you want performance? or just looks? do your research and then go to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Performance

Yeah, I totally understand I have to do a lot of work to get it back up to par... and the key is here is going for performance. I think the best explanation is the short-formed story. I've had this car like 5 years and a friend had it the previous 5 before that. I never took great care of it and it has come into a state of running, but could be doing better. I just recently got bitten by the tuning bug with a new car I got and kinda want to do the whole tuning thing in my free time. I would not overly care for body and looks, but it would not be forgotten. But since the first thing I think that needs to be done is either an engine swap or an engine overhaul (take it totally apart replace seals clean it all etc.), I want to get at the point that while I'm doing that is it going to be worth my time to do it all and then start doing some tuning, or just not worry and sell it. Thanks all, EET

Also, it's a auto, and i think a manual is the way to go... thoughts?
 

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89 = 3gen...not fourth.

is this your daily driver or are you willing to sacrifice a lot of streetability for a rare breed of accord performance?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
not so much

yeah, definitely not my daily driver. I can afford to dismantle this puppy and work on it for weeks. I really appreciate everyone's help. If this question has been asked btw, just link me over to that question or subsquent car. That way i'll save everone some trouble. thanks, EET
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
and btw

:bye I'll sacrifice almost all it's streetability. I want a car that is just gonna be a beast... i would do it to a much different car if I had all the money in the world, but I have this now and I would be super interested in doing it. Thanks, EET
 

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you want to do a 5spd conversion? That'l cost alot of money. Not trying to ruin ur spirits but 5spd coversions shouldnt be done until you get the basics down, Replace anything that needs to be replaced, fix what needs to be, and then start modding, Because modding a car with problems will only lead to really big problems later on, and decrease any performance you could've gained.
 

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antwn_5k said:
you want to do a 5spd conversion? That'l cost alot of money. Not trying to ruin ur spirits but 5spd coversions shouldnt be done until you get the basics down, Replace anything that needs to be replaced, fix what needs to be, and then start modding, Because modding a car with problems will only lead to really big problems later on, and decrease any performance you could've gained.
don't listen to this guy...there's nothing to fix on the old setup since you will be replacing it with all different stuff anyways.

first thing to look into is your suspension. this is easy...just check out the recommended parts thread in the stickies for an idea of what's available. if you have some questions about a certain product, check out the parts review forum here on superhonda. you should really do the suspension first before upgrading the power.

okay, now for the heart of the project...your car is already fuel injected, so this swap is a bit easier. you can get a DOHC VTEC B-Series engine (b16 or b18) from the civic si, civic type r, integra gsr or integra type r. however, for an accord, i wouldn't get the 1.6L B16's because they are a bit heavier and need the added torque. so for an amature honda builder as yourself, i'd recommend either b18 from the gsr or the integra type r (itr). the ITR b18c5 has more power, but is also way more expensive than the gsr motor. and in some cases, the transmission already comes w/ a limited slip differential (LSD) which can come in handy when you're trying to carve out some sharp corners at high velocities. another option you can try to go for is a b20 vtec setup. the b20 comes from the honda cr-v (you know, that small suv on the civic platform). however, it never came w/ a vtec head, so you will just need the b20 short block and a b16 head and a LOT of research and tuning to make this setup run reliably.

an auto tranny just will not do...so you must upgrade to a manual. this is one of the things you really need to do some digging around for since nobody on this forum is too big on the 3gen models. you can check out www.3geez.net or .com i forgot. but it's not as simple as just getting an MT and slapping it on. you will need to find out if the shift shaft can be used from the civic/integra or if you have to modify the accord shifting mechanism at all. you will also need to look into if your car was a hydro or cable mechanism for the clutch. and if it were cable, you'd have to do some work into converting it to a hydro mechanism using custom steel braided lines. however, doing it this way is hard work on the left leg.

next you will need a computer to run all this stuff. any ecu should be fine, but there might be issues from you being obd0 going to a motor that's obd1 or even obd2. for simplicity, you should look into getting an obd1 motor and ecu. they are much easier to tune than an obd2 setup, way cheaper, and a lot easier to swap in. they make obd0 to obd1 jumper harnesses also to make swapping very easy. as for a specific ecu to get, the p28 is a favorite among honda tuners because there are many different applications for it. it's cheap, readily available and can be reflashed to do almost anything you want it to do. however to reflash it, you will need something like crome, hondata, uberdata, etc. you can check the ecu and fuel management forum here on superhonda regarding this kinda stuff. another option is to get a full standalone like AEM EMS. my personal favorite however is the A'PEXi Power FC unit which totally replaced the stock ecu for a full standalone unit. just STAY AWAY from any ebay ecu chips...they are the worst thing ever you can do to your car.

there are way too many specifics to get into for this one broad topic, so just look at everything i said as an overview of how to approach this project. ultimately its your car and you can do whatever you want to it (just don't rice it out and we won't laugh at you). we can guide you, but you need to be willing to put in some research and work on your own as well. most of the things i talked about have been covered already, so use the search function. anyways, good luck and if you have any problems or questions, feel free to ask :tu
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
sweet

Ok, so it sounds like there are definitely the standard options, drop a new engine, upgrade suspension, rechip... my 96 audi doesn't really have some of those options because the cost is OFF the PAGE. So if i went with a moderate setup that gained me like 150-250 horse i'm looking approximately 3k right? Generally speaking that is. That last post, btw, was so much what i needed. I really needed to figure out if it can be done or not and what significant options were out there. Thanks!!!!!! EET
 

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150-250 horse gain is not a $3k project. if you want a reliable setup, you should really set aside a $10,000 budget if you want that much power and still be able to run it without a full overhaul for the next track event. for that kind of power, you will have to get an old b-series...even if it's junked...and rebuild it from oilpan to valve cover. you will save a ton of money buying a junked b18 (they are about $500 for a bad longblock compared to almost $3k for a working changeover). you will then need to go into the internals and rebuild EVERYTHING. knife-edge and balance the crank, new bearings, new rods, new low compression pistons, new rings, resleeved block, new valves (overbored if possible), valve springs, retainers, port and polished head, turbo camshafts, adjustable cam gears (for ease of cam tuning), and lots and lots of dyno time. this isn't including a $2k custom turbo setup that you will have to piece together. the rebuild can cost anywhere near $5k-6k (btw, i supply almost all those parts i listed). it's not cheap to build, but you will have a VERY good and VERY reliable setup. there is three things to tuning: power, price and reliability...you're only allowed to have two.

oh, and another thing you might want to consider for your old car is to refresh the grounding system. i happen to be selling a super grounding kit and voltage stabilizer from apex for $155 shipped for a plus unit and $150 shipped for a regular unit. this unit showed a 9hp gain to the wheels on a similarly powered honda w/ a b-series engine. not only do you gain power, but on my car, i've gotten better mileage. the effects should be even more pronounced in such an old car like yours.





 

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I like the 3rd gen. Hatchback looks almost like a Hachi-Roku!!! :p
 

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First, I was stating a fact: 5spd conversions can get expensive, and second there are certain things that should get fixed if they need it, before you mod the hell out of a car. If your alignment isn't right, that would need to be corrected, as well as several other little things that will turn into big problems if you don't fix them.
 

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antwn_5k said:
First, I was stating a fact: 5spd conversions can get expensive, and second there are certain things that should get fixed if they need it, before you mod the hell out of a car. If your alignment isn't right, that would need to be corrected, as well as several other little things that will turn into big problems if you don't fix them.
if you're buying a full changeover, then the parts to just convert to manual only goes for $200 or in my case, i spent $150 on my 98 accord....it'd probably be cheaper for an older accord.

if you're doing a full changeover for the b-series, you will be putting new axles in and redoing a bunch of shit...meaning the alignment comes AFTER the motorswap anyways. plus the suspension (if going full coilover) will have to be corner balanced to the new motor too. so alignment happens after corner balancing too.

like i said...don't listen to this guy. he just keeps showing his ignorance.
 
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