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Used Del Sol + Enlightenment

1173 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  AceDelSol
Ok, so yeah, I'm definitely new to Honda Del Sols and even to the car scene. I'm here for a little help in choosing a car and what not, so here's a little back info. So I'm a senior in high school and recently I've been looking for a car for the last half of this year, and something I can have fun with over the next year or so. After looking around at different cars and what not, I fell in love with the Del Sol.

Oh, and before I go on, yeah, I actually know nothing about cars. I've only been driving my mom's Corolla for the last year and am just recently been developing an interest in cars. Anyways, I'll continue...

I think it's sleek look is what really got me. What I'm here for though, is for some advice in choosing a the best used model I can find. I live in Palo Alto, CA - the peninsula of the bay area, and I've been scouring Craigslist the past few days for a Del Sol. Oh, and a side note, I've also been looking specifically for a manual transmission cause I've been told that they're more reliable.

True? Manual > Automatic?

Ok, so here's the thing. What do I look for in the ad and in the car that will indicate a good choice? Here are a few that seem to stand out.

95 Honda Del Sol (Clean Title)
I'm guessing it's an Si model since it has power steering.

Then there's this, from a dealer.
1994 Honda del Sol Si, Like New, hard to find, $4,995

Oh, and this cheap one, at $1600, but with a salvage title...
1993 HONDA DEL SOL

And this interesting and detailed summary, but it has a rebuilt? engine.
94 Del Sol SI RED CONVERTIBLE!!! LS Swap (BAR)

At $4300 with a GSR swap.
1994 Del sol with GSR swap

And this one...
1997 Honda Del Sol SI Clean Title Low Miles

Yeah, so those are a lot, and the ones I'm somewhat eyeying right now. Hope is on the $2000 one as I'm asking my dad for some help with paying for it.

Ok, and if you don't want to read through those, I just have a few questions.

1) Like I asked, is Manual really better than Automatic transmission? In what ways?
2) What is the best option in a used car? Should I look for one with it's stock engine? What is the quality of "rebuilt" engines? And what's the opinion of GSR swaps? And haha, what exactly are those?
3) Acceptable mileage?
4) What should I look out for during test drives and when I check out the car?
5) Haha, could someone point me to a place with good info on how to drive stick? I'm still stuck on automatic.
6) Acceptable price range? Is $2000 too risky?

Well that's all I have right now, but thanks in advance to anyone who can help me! :) I'm in love with just the thought of driving a Del Sol around, haha. I couldn't even sleep the other night cause I was already picturing myself rolling around in one. Hopefully that fantasy can come true. Thanks a lot.

EDIT: And yeah, those are not the only Del Sols available in my area, but they're just the ones that caught my eye. Any tips on what to look for while shifting through Craigslist? Thanks again yo.
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OK well I am no expert, but I think that 95 Si s are the best models. In 95 they fixed the auxillary wiring problems as well as modify moldings to prevent leaking into the cab and trunk areas. It is also the last yeah they have the auxillary lights which I think are a huge piece of curb appeal. the one for 2000 has way tooo many miles for 2000, offer a 1000 and use the rest to put in a engine/trans/clutch. Something to remember is that there were only 73000 of these ever sold in the US so Low Miles+Good Condition=MEGA BUCKS! if not then I offer low. I left the state to find the perfect del Sol and I now have a 95 Si with 108000 original miles. Paid 3500 (what I had from my alero I sold, same day, so basically a trade for me) and dont regret it. fun to drive, decently quick, affordable, and with work it will be the best in the state. When it comes to engine swaps I would be careful about who does what, just because some kid puts in a GSR doesnt mean it wont blow up or some shit. when I bought my del Sol a previous owner put in a sony deck and mangeled all the wires. it was a bitch to put in my new deck and wire up my amp and subs. dont be distracted by rims and body kits. they arent worth shit. watch for typical honda rust on fenders and bottoms of doors, under the carpet in the trunk.
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the last one looks exactly like mine did when i got it but it has2000 more miles, and its white.
I bought my 94 del sol si back in may last year and i absolutely love it. Its an automatic but im planning on doing an auto to manual swap sometime this year. The best thing to get is one with a manual cause you might like the automatic for the first couple months but then your gonna hear you cant turbo an automatic very easily. I dont know what your plans are on the del sol. An automatic is good if you going to keep it stock engine wise. If you find one with a gsr motor and looks and runs great. Id get it. A gsr is a 1.8l motor from an acura intergra(i think). And there is tons of potential with that motor. But there is also lots of potential to with a del sol that has a stock motor. The si is good, but id stay away from the s if you can. Theres just not much power in a del sol s. Oh and if you can find a del sol vtec absolutely get that one. Cause its got a dohc engine. Lower mileage is good, just basically means the car is worth more. Ive seen civics and sols with 300,000 miles and still running strong on the same engine. I bought mine from a honda dealer and it was certified so i knew it was good. Hope this helps.
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SUCCESS! So here's come crazy good news! My dad said he's down to back up my purchase even if he's got a few reservations. Now all I have to do is get some more info and choose the right one!

Right now though, my dad is worried about the reliability of these cars. Few things.
1) How much do you think I'd have to shell out for regular maintenance over months of use?
2) Could I drive these long distances? I'm in the bay area, but we do sometimes have road trips to LA since family is there.
3) How long do you think the car will last? He said he'll feel good if I get at least a good year of use from it.

Any info on those? The thing is, he actually prefers that I get a new car, but I'm still iffy on that. If I were to get a new car, it would have to be the low-end Civic, but I'm digging the Si too much to settle for the Civic DX. And I just don't feel right with something that costs that much at this age and stuff. So that's why I'm really interested in getting a used Del Sol. Now the question really is how is the reliability and how much use can I get out of it.

Oh, BTW, he's in love with the CRX, he's had great experience with an '89 model back in the day.

So right now, all I have to do really is pick the RIGHT one.

He's looking for me to get something cheap, like the $2000 option, but he's not totally opposed to getting something more expensive, with the cap at around $4000.

Because of that, my interest is mainly on this one:
1997 Honda Del Sol SI Clean Title Low Miles

and this one:
95 Honda Del Sol (Clean Title)

Two ends of the spectrum, one at $2000 and one at $4300. One black one white too, haha. What do you think?

With the following in the mid-range:
95 del sol 2000 firm ($2000)
95'del sol V-teac 5 sp clean title ($2750)
Honda del Sol SI ($3300)
95 Del Sl ($3500)
1994 Honda Del Sol Si Black on Black - Nice ($3500)

And totally just for fun to post, this BEAUTY.
1994 civic del sol 5 speed

Haha, yeah, that's a lot, but damn, I want one so bad, haha.

So main things:
1) Reliability? Future costs?
2) What do I look at when I check out / test drive the car?
3) Worth it?

Thanks a lot guys! Oh, and yeah, I found a friend who's willing to teach me how to drive stick! Haha, my mom's too scared to get near a stick shift after all these years. :D
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I dont think you understand the reliability of a honda. As long as you do regular maintenance on these cars they will last a very long time. Like i said in the last post its not uncommon to see civics on the road with the same engine with over 300,000 miles on them. They run forever. If you get one with over 100,000 miles just make sure it had its timing belt replaced recently. Regular maintenance is like just do an oil change every 3000 miles or so and your good to go. There are other things you need to change or make sure is working properly (suspension, drivetrain) If you have a good honda service dealer your good to go. You can drive these cars anywhere you want. Its all about the drivers comfort. Driving a del sol over a long distance is ok. Its just a little noisey on the highway. That last link in your post with the 94 civic del sol 5 speed is the one to have. Its got the dohc engine in it. But its all up to you which one you want to have most. When you find one you like and test drive it, look for rust. And see how the suspension feels to you. If it feels sloppy it prolly needs new bushings and whatnot. Is it worth it? Sure it can get you from point a to point b. Or you can make it faster or handle better. As long as you keep the maintenance up it will still be worth something the day you sell it. If you ever do sell it. I plan to keep mine forever.
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Hey guys, so I'm back with some more info. So all the above deals fell through for one reason or another, but now there's something new. I've got two things going on right now.

1) 1995 VTEC DOHC (155K Miles) Black

So the dude has installed S Tech lowering springs, a Greddy Sp2 Exhaust, DC Header, and has HX rims on the Sol. Tinted windows too. What's an acceptable price on this? Considering KBB prices a good vehicle at around 3200, what would be acceptable? I'm thinking

150 (springs) + 250 (rims) + 500 (exhaust) + 300 (header)

Bringing the total to around roughly 4400. Really high for me, but still doable, worth it?

2) 1994 VTEC DOHC (96K Miles) Black

The low miles is really appealing, but his asking price is 5000, REALLY steep for me, considering the KBB value is 4K for one in "excellent" condition. No aftermarket add-ons. What would be a feasible counteroffer?

Thoughts and opinions?
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I was offered 6k for my '97 Si yesterday.
Anyways the first one sounds eeehh ok I guess, but does he not have an asking price for it?

The '94 maybe, but depends on the condition. Locally the guy that sold me mine also has a '95 VTEC with around 130k and some mods listed for 3600$
4k sounds reasonable. If they are looking to sell they will work with you, If not don't waste your time. Take some advice from me and don't spend more than you are comfortable with. Also take in to consideration the previous owner and how long they have owned it. You can learn alot about the maintenance and wear on the car from who they are. Young guy 1st standard? Expect clutch and tranny issues. Older couple? maybe a weekend car that was never raced.

I assume these are in your area so go see them in person.
The only way your going to find out if you like any of them is drive them

and remember DOHC>SOHC because both the intake side and exhaust side open up during vtec instead of the sohc only opening up the intake side.
Thanks guys. On a side note, any tips on haggling? :D
Thanks guys. On a side note, any tips on haggling? :D
Got any jewish friends?
Got any jewish friends?
Lol freakin' wrong
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